Summary: This is a sermon in an Elijah series.
The famous motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, tells the story of a boy that went with his mother to the old general store. He liked to sneak away from his mother and when no one was looking he would dip his finger into the large barrel of molasses.
The storekeeper caught him doing this and decided to teach the boy a lesson. So he picked up the boy by his britches and dunked him head first into the barrel of molasses and then set him out on the front porch of the store. But instead of crying the boy was out there praying, "God, give me the tongue to equal this opportunity." This boy made the choice to not miss an opportunity.
Another story is told of a little boy whose mother was preparing pancakes for him and his brother. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake... Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson, If Jesus were sitting here, she said, He would say let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait. The little boy then turned to his younger brother and said, Ryan, You be Jesus.
We can laugh but the truth is that you and I are given opportunities everyday. The choice for us then becomes what we do with these opportunities.
With that in mind would you turn once again with me to 1 Kings chapter
17 beginning in verse 10.
The widow once she encountered Elijah was faced with many opportunities. She was faced with a choice- a choice to trust and obey Elijah’s God or to not trust and obey Him. When she chose to obey, she and her family were saved.
Once salvation came to her family she was confronted with a new opportunity- An opportunity to share this new resource with her extended family, friends, and neighbors. Would she choose to keep her new found life giving bread to herself or share it with others?
Picture it for a minute. We are not sure how God provided for the widow. He either allowed the oil and flour to almost overflow and then let it never decrease or he allowed only enough oil and flour in the container to make bread; so that every time she dipped her hand into the containers she experienced again the joy of the provision. Regardless of how it lay in the container, once she was saved; she was faced with the question: What about others? What about my neighbors? And in that question lay the opportunity to share... the opportunity to let others know what God had done for her.
In this same way if you have entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you too have been given the life-saving bread; so then as a result of this gift, you too are given the opportunity to share.
So then how and what do you share.
First, You pray
For this widow, she was presented with a problem to share about her gift of salvation would take much boldness and courage. It would take divine wisdom to know when to share, how to share, and who to share with.
F or you see to share with others would bring attention to herself and to her house guest Elijah. To trust in another’s God was tantamount to treason and could result in her death. So how could she share?
Well she had to begin by asking the God of Elijah to show her who, how, and when to share. Now scripture doesn’t record how or if this happened, but one day in heaven I would love to ask her -so what did you do?
But the scriptures are clear to us we are commanded by God to share. So how do we break through our fear. Start by talking with God. Be honest with him. Tell him you are scared and afraid what someone will say or do. Then pray this, God you show me. If you really are sincere wait, and God will gladly answer.
A story is told of a guy who prayed this prayer every morning: "Lord, if you want me to witness to someone today, please give me a sign to show me who it is." One day he found himself on a bus when a big, burly man sat next to him. The bus was nearly empty but this guy sat next to our praying friend. The timid Christian anxiously waited for his stop so he could exit the bus. But before he could get very nervous about the man next to him, the big guy burst into tears and began to weep. He then cried out with a loud voice, "I need to be saved. I’m a lost sinner and I need the Lord. Won’t somebody tell me how to be saved?" He turned to the Christian and pleaded, "Can you show me how to be saved?" The believer immediately bowed his head and prayed, IILord, is this a sign?1I