lost

Live on What Is Left

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A woman came to Elisha crying because her husband was now dead.  Not only was her husband one of Elisha’s servants, but he was a man who feared the Lord.  Unfortunately, he owed a man money and now that man was coming to take away her sons. He was going to make them work to pay off a debt that they didn’t even owe.

The prophet asked the woman, What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in your house? She initially told him that she didn’t have anything, but then she remembered she had something left – a pot of oil. 

Sometimes when you suffer a loss (death, divorce, etc), it seems like you have nothing left. You don’t know how to move on.  Your confidence or self-esteem is low.  You’re sad. You’re angry.  But the one thing that remained in this woman’s life never lost its value.  She probably couldn’t see any good in what she was going through, but the oil was still good.  It was still worth something.  It could still be used.

Elisha told the woman to borrow empty vessels from her neighbors.  Then, he told her to take what she had left (her oil and her sons), go home and shut the door. She and her sons poured the oil in the vessels. When she asked her sons for another vessel, they told her there were no vessels, but she still had oil left.

After she followed the instructions Elisha gave her, she went to the man of God to find out what she should do next.  (Your obedience is important). Go, sell the oil and pay your debt. You and your sons can live on what is left (2 Kings 4:7, NIV). 

This woman already had what she needed, but she didn’t understand what she had.  Elisha never did anything.  He just told her what to do to show her what was in her.  She just wasn’t a woman or a mother or a wife.  She was a businesswoman.  Sell the oil.  Had he done everything for her, she would have come to him the next time she had a problem – and the next time, and the next time. 

There is nothing wrong with desiring a husband, but don’t get married because you’re lonely or because you’re tired of paying bills. This woman had no idea that her husband was going to die this soon. And he didn’t just leave her.  He left her with his problem – his debt.  The man God gives you will not be perfect.  Just like you have problems, they have problems, too.  Instead of looking for someone to complete you, become complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10).

Don’t focus on what you lost.  Focus on what you have left.  Some of us have been crying over what we lost or what someone did to us or what was stolen from us.  The enemy may have stolen some things, but he didn’t steal everything.  Take what you have left and live.  Take what you have left and give it to God. Give Him your best praise. Give Him your worship. 

If you’re going to focus on anything, focus on how good God has been to you.  Focus on how He spared you and gave you another chance.  I know some people have left you and some things have left you, but HE never left you. I will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5). 

Stop crying over what you lost and thank God for what you have left.

 

[Scripture reference: 2 Kings 4:1-7]

Your Net Will Not Break

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In Luke 5, Jesus tells Simon to go out where it was deeper and let down his nets.  Simon wasn’t by himself.  His partners, James and John (the sons of Zebedee), were also with him.  When they did what Jesus told them to do, they caught a lot of fish and their net broke (vs 6).

In John 20, the disciples are having a meeting with the doors locked for fear of the Jews.  Jesus had now risen from the dead and he came to the disciples while they were meeting and said, Peace be unto you; as my Father has sent me, I am sending you.  After he said this, he breathed on them and said, Receive the Holy Ghost (vs 22).

In John 21, Simon Peter goes fishing again.  The other disciples (Thomas, Nathanael, the sons of Zebedee and two others) decide to go with him.  Again, they caught nothing.  This time Jesus appears to them on the shore.  This is his third appearance after the resurrection.  He doesn’t call them his disciples or his friends, but instead he calls them children and asked if they had any meat (vs 5).  They said, No.  Jesus then tells them that if they throw the net on the right side of the ship, they will find fish.

They threw the net, but they were unable to pull the net back in the boat because there were so many fish.  In fact, they are described as dragging the net (vs 8). Simon Peter then helps draw the net to land (vs 11). 

What caught my attention was that even though they caught 153 fish that day and they dragged their net, the net did not break (vs 11). It did not tear. No fish escaped.  They lost nothing.

I’m sure if some of you read and study these passage of scriptures, the Lord will reveal something different to you, but this is what the Lord shared with me.

I blessed you before, but you lost some things.  But if you will let me do what I want to do – if you will let me fill you the way I want to fill you, this time when I bless you, you will lose nothing.

Your net will not break.

Give Me Another Chance

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You don’t miss your water till the well runs dry.

My grandmother used to say that all the time.  That was her way of telling me that I won’t really appreciate what I have until it’s gone or until I lose it.

Have you ever abused or misused something?  Have you ever lost anything and you wanted God to give you another chance?

Maybe you messed up a good friendship.  Or you cheated on a good man/woman.  Or you left a good job.  Or you squandered money.  Or you lost a business.  Because of your ways and your disobedience, you missed out on some great opportunities.

But the good news is that if you confess your sins, God is faithful and just to forgive your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful, but if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance (Proverbs 28:13, TLB).

For weeks now, I’ve been asking God to trust me again in certain areas. 

But I’m not asking Him to give it to the person that I was when I lost what He gave me – selfish, unfaithful, immature and disobedient.  No.  I’m asking him to give it to the person who is filled with the Spirit of God in wisdom, understanding and knowledge – who will not do her own will, but the will of her Father.

You Haven’t Lost

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Image result for death samson

lost: cannot be recovered; beyond your reach

I think at one time or another we have either taught or believed that Samson lost, but when you study the story of his life, this man of God didn’t have a sad ending (as some might think).

Samson married a woman from Timnath.  Then, he slept with a prostitute from Gaza.  Neither one of their names is mentioned, but we will never forget the name of the third woman from the valley of Sorek whom he joined himself to – Delilah.  He loved this woman (Judges 16:4).  With the exception of his marriage (which according to Judges 14:4 was a part of God’s plan), Samson didn’t do a very good job of choosing the right women.  Another area where he tripped up in was in his conversation.  There was a time when the Pharisees got together and plotted how they might entangle Jesus in his talk (Matthew 22:15).  Samson’s enemies, the Philistines, did the same thing.  Unfortunately, Samson failed the test.  He told Delilah all his heart (Judges 16:17).  Sometimes, we talk too much and become ensnared by our own words.

The Philistines paid Delilah to find out where Samson’s great strength lied.  He had no idea that the woman he loved made friends with his enemies.  It was all fun and games at first.  He lied and teased Delilah three times.  Each time he broke free before his enemies could capture him, but the fourth time he got caught and it was going to be difficult to break free this time.  Not only did they bind him, but they afflicted him also (put his eyes out).

Samson was at his lowest point. He couldn’t see and he was forced to grind grain in prison. He was working for his enemies when his enemies should have been working for him. He lost some things – his sight, his strength, and not to mention, the Lord departed from him (Judges 16:20).  Now to me, that’s a great loss, but it wasn’t over for him.  Just like the woman caught in the act of adultery, Samson was getting another chance.  His hair was growing – again (Judges 16:22).

The consequences of his actions didn’t feel good, but it humbled him.  No chastening seems joyous at the time.  Instead, it seems sad, uncomfortable and painful, but in the end it produces fruit (Hebrews 12:11).  I don’t know how many years Samson was in prison.  I don’t know how many years it took for his hair to grow back, but what I do know is that his hair wasn’t the only thing that was growing.  If you refuse to complain or despise the Lord’s correction – if you will endure what you must  go through – you will grow from it.  It will make you better.

Samson’s enemies thought they won.  Our god has delivered into our hands our enemy and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us  (Judges 16:24).  Samson was no longer a threat to them, but little did they know that God was restoring what Samson lost.

One day, the Philistines called for Samson out of the prison house.  They celebrated this man’s fall.  They tormented him. They laughed at him. They made fun of him. They humiliated him, but Samson won in the end.  They called on their god, but Samson humbled himself and called upon his God. O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee  (Judges 16:28).  God had never forgotten Samson, but the moment Samson remembered God, God used Samson again – and even greater than before.

You may have lost some things, but you didn’t lose. Your enemies are not going to rejoice over you anymore (Judges 16:23).  The only reason why Samson died was because he requested to die with his enemies (Judges 16:30), but he didn’t lose. He defeated more enemies in the end than he did in the twenty years he ruled Israel.  He was even listed as one of the heroes of faith (Hebrews 11:32).

You are going to rejoice again.  You are going to laugh again.  God is going to restore you and every year that was stolen. You may have failed in some area(s) of your life, but you are not a failure.  For a just man falls seven times and rises up again  (Proverbs 24:16).

You will rise again.

It is not the end for you.  There is still hope for you.  Your enemies are expecting you to fail, they are expecting you to give up, they are expecting you to lose, but their expectation shall be cut off.  It may feel more like pain than joy right now, but it is making you stronger and mightier.  And soon, you will no longer remember the pain because of the joy that shall come.

You haven’t lost.