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November 8 – The gladness of life

“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward . . .” – Matthew 10:40-41

Scripture reading: 2 Kings 4:8-17

Elisha often stopped by the home of a well-to-do woman and her husband for a meal. That home became Elisha’s B&B whenever he was in that region. What an encouragement this evidence of her godliness was to Elisha. A prophet was not always well received. Remember the Bethel boys. Do you receive your pastors with kindness and generosity?

Jesus promises a reward for us if we do (Matthew 10:41). Elisha offers this woman a reward for her kindness in receiving him. He asks, “What is to be done for you?” Unlike the widow in v. 2 who was asked the same question, this woman needed nothing. Her answer in v. 13 conveys contentment. After consulting with Gehazi, Elisha promises her a son. She is somewhat incredulous. “Do not lie to your servant, O man of God!” What Elisha promised came true. Why would God do this for her? Three reasons:

  •  To reward her for her kindness to His servant.
  •  Because he is generous. There is an obvious link to the story in Genesis 18:10 where the barren Sarah receives the promise of a son. This woman’s son wasn’t an Isaac through whom the promise would continue. So why does God give this gift? Because He is generous (1 Timothy 6:17b). That is helpful to remember, isn’t it? We are given many things simply for our enjoyment so that we might glorify God as the generous source.
  •  To reveal Himself even more gloriously. But we’ll take a look at that in a couple of days.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord for your Pastor and ask Him to enable you to receive him with kindness. Thank God that He gives us everything to enjoy and pray that we might enjoy the Giver through His gifts.

Reverend John van Eyk has served as Senior Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church (United Reformed) in Lethbridge, Alberta since 2017.

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