"Go, Sell Your Oil and Pay Your Debt"

Preparing for Commitment Sunday, March 17

Once there was a young mother whose husband had died and left her in debt. The creditor came and demanded that the debt be paid. But she had no money. So she called on Elisha the prophet.

"My husband has died and I am left without any money, and the creditor threatens to sell my two children into slavery to recover his loan. O, Elisha, what shall I do?"

Elisha thought for a moment and sought the Lord. Then he said, "Do you have anything at all in the house?"

She answered, "I have one jar of oil. But what good is that?"

"Ah," said Elisha, "one jar of oil devoted to the Lord is more than you think. What counts is not the amount you have but if it is utterly devoted to the purposes of God." Then he said, "Go, borrow vessels from your neighbors. Empty vessels. Borrow as many as you can."

The widow was perplexed, but trusted the man of God, and did as he said. When she had gathered several shelves full of empty jars, Elisha said, "Now go into the kitchen with your two sons and let them watch you. Pour your one jar of oil into all the other jars. It is important that the boys watch you." She looked at Elisha with doubt in her face. Elisha said no more, but only looked at her, as if to say, "Do you trust the God of the universe to do more than human beings can do?"

So she did as she was told by the man of God. She began to pour. When one jar was full her sons brought her another jar. She trembled and did not want to move. So she stayed in one place and they brought the jars and put them under the stream of her one jar of oil. One after the other they were filled. The boys glanced at each other and at their mother, but none dared say a word. Never had they been so conscious of the power of God.

Finally all the jars were full. The widow came trembling to Elisha and said, "My jar of oil has become many jars of oil." Her voice wavered with emotion. A faint smile came to Elisha’s firm face.

Then he said the sweetest words she had ever heard, "Go and sell the oil and pay your debt. There will be more than enough. You and your sons can live on the rest. Your future is free."

On Saturday, March 16 at 6:00 PM please come to pray. This will be our gathering of the jars and our asking for the miracle of God’s outpouring.

On Sunday, March 17 at 10 AM please come and bring your pledge—whether small or great. As you come, pray that God will take your jar and make it whatever it needs to be so that we can "go and pay our debt."

I will be there with my little overflowing jar,

Pastor John

Thumb author john piper

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books, including A Peculiar Glory.

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