6/12/16: When the Creditor is Coming

imagesI Kings 4:1-7 relates a story that is very timely for when we are facing an economic recession or a personal financial reversal. A single mom finds herself in credit trouble. She articulates her problem to Elisha the prophet who asks her what she has. All she has is some oil in a jar. Elisha tells her, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors – empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones… (When she returned to Elisha with the task completed, he told her) Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest” II Kings 4:3-4 and 7 (NKJ).

If you find yourself in a similar situation – in bondage to credit – take the six steps this woman took to become free:

  • Step 1: Express your need to God – Now is not the time to stop going to church, to stop praying, and to stop serving God. This woman expressed her need to the man of God. She didn’t turn to ungodly sources or get-rich-quick schemes. She needed help; she turned to God. You need help; turn to God.
  • Step 2: Examine your assets – This woman had a little oil – something that everyone needed. What do you have that everyone needs? Maybe it’s not something physical like oil; perhaps you have strengths, talents, and skills. For example, I can teach, I can write, I can teach others to write, I can edit, and I can teach the Bible. I can also sew and play the piano, so since I can do these things as well, I’m sure I could teach others to do these things too.
  • Step 3: Employ the family – This woman had two sons who she rallied to her aid. They helped to collect the empty pots from the neighbors. Get others involved with you gathering all you’ll need to position yourself to exit your credit problem. Put their strengths and skills to work for you.
  • Step 4: Evaluate the emptiness of others – How can your assets fulfill the needs around you? This woman and her sons found people who had empty vessels, people who needed oil. Look around: who needs what you have, even if you have just a little of it? I could, for example, advertise that I’m an editor, appraise who might need to learn to write, or record a webinar on understanding the Bible.
  • Step 5: Exercise the entrepreneurial spirit – Go into business using your assets to fill others’ needs. This woman poured her oil into the empty pots until there were no more empty vessels. Her oil didn’t run out until the empty pots ran out. And her oil was worth money. Your assets, gifts, and talents are not to be cheaply prostituted. Set a fair price and don’t apologize. People will pay for what they want and need. As long as the need exists, you’ll be in business.
  • Step 6: Exist on the increase – This woman sold her oil and she and her sons lived on the rest. She had not only enough to get out of debt, but she also had enough to sustain her family going forward. Her assets profited enough for investment for the future. Wisely handle the increase from now on to keep the creditor from coming back again.

What a wonderful plan to undertake when the creditor is coming. Try it.

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©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

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2 Responses to “6/12/16: When the Creditor is Coming”

  1. “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” Luke 12.15 NLT

  2. Consider Romans 13: 8-10 (NIV) which states that for Christians, we are not to let any debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt of love for one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

    This love can be stated as follows:

    1. You shall not commit adultery;
    2. You shall not murder;
    3. You shall not steal;
    4. You shall not covet;

    and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

    God’s commandments regarding debts in this case point to the universal ability of all people to love one another. These commandments apply especially to Christians who are told by God to love as Jesus Christ loved and that other people will identify Christians by their love for one another even loving enemies and praying for those who persecute them because we openly share the Gospel with all who will listen.

    Perhaps the first four points listed above relate to King David’s life. Not only did He commit adultery with Bathsheba, Uriah the Hittite’s wife, but He set Uriah up to be killed on the battlefield. Stealing and coveting perhaps are representative of the lives of his sons: Amnon and Absalom. Jesus Christ told His followers a parable of the good Samaritan in order to define a good neighbor. The good neighbor in this parable was a Samaritan who assisted a severely wounded man to become well by taking him to an inn and paying the innkeeper to tend to the man’s needs. He promised that when he returned he would pay for the person’s care.

    Today, we hear the word love used so casually. People do not demonstrate agape-sacrificial love that Jesus Christ lived out on a daily basis as He lived on this earth and continues as mankind’s mediator to God while He is seated at God’s right hand.

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