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2 Kings 5 – Day 3

2 Kings 5:15,16 – “And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant. But he said, As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused.”

Here we begin this final day with Naaman coming back to Elisha to offer him gifts for telling him how to be healed. Naaman acknowledged God as his Healer, but he wanted to give Elisha some of his treasures as a thank you. Elisha, however, refused. 

The problem is found after verse 16. Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, had overheard this generous offer and was none too happy when Elisha refused. So after Naaman had left, Gehazi ran after him and made up a story about travelers needing money and clothing (vs. 21,22). Naaman was all too happy to assist Elisha with his “problem” (vs. 23). But when Gehazi came back to where Elisha lived, he hid the treasures and then denied that he had left (vs. 24,25). Elisha knew what he had done and bestowed upon Gehazi the very thing that Naaman had come to have taken away – leprosy (vs. 26,27).

What’s the lesson here – 

1) When we are following after God, we should not expect a reward. When God tells us to do something, we should not expect recognition, compensation for our work or any other form of reward. When we do, it shows a problem in our heart-attude. Yep, just made that word up. It means the attitude of our heart, the reason that we do something. Elisha did not help this wealthy and recognized man because he thought he would get some kind of reward. No, Elisha helped Naaman because God told him to. And when offered a compensation for his efforts, Elisha politely declined. God should receive the glory. Additional money and fine clothes would only draw attention to Elisha and people would ask how he came into this wealth. He would have to answer honestly and then Elisha would be put on a pedestal. Elisha knew that was not what God wanted. Pride, as we learned earlier, has the potential to destroy anyone who sips from that cup. When God tells you to do something, just do it without expecting anything. 

2) Greed will come back to bite you in the rear. Gehazi thought he could pull the wool over Elisha’s eyes. I guess he forgot who Elisha was in contact with – the Almighty God. But Gehazi couldn’t stand the thought of all those nice clothes and all that money heading back to where it came from without him getting just a sliver of it. So to get a portion, he lied. Dishonesty is one thing that really lights my fire. If there is one thing that I have taught my children over and over again is that telling me the truth the first time will get you in a lot less trouble than me finding out you lied to me. I am honest with others. I expect the same from other people. Unfortunately, many people don’t feel the same way and our world is full of people who refuse the truth. Our world is also filled with greedy people. There are people just like Gehazi out in the world that will say and do anything just to get something without having to lift a finger for it. They sacrifice intergrity and honesty just to gain an easy buck. Not the kind of person I want in my life.

So on this last day of 2 Kings 5, remember this – following God doesn’t mean you need recognition from others AND integrity and honesty are way more important than wealth. Both of these are challenging lessons. We all like to be recognized and a little extra in our wallet is a good feeling. But once again, how did we get it? God will recognize our deeds one day. That’s the only One whose acknowledgement really matters. And trusting that God gives us what we need when we need it helps to keep the greed away. 

Happy Friday.

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Psalm 37 part 3

Psalm 37:5,6 – “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.”

Let’s pretend that you have a huge decision to make. This decision will change the course of your life and your family’s life. Or let’s say that you have to go to the grocery store this week and you only have so much money to spend. You can’t spend any more than what you have in your hand. The problem is that you are supposed to have company this week and you want to make something really nice for dinner. What do you do?

Now the first instance, I’m sure you are ready and willing to give it to The Lord to let Him guide you in that decision. But would you so easily give Him the second situation as well? Do you think that He cares about you being able to save money at the grocery store? Absolutely He does! He knows that these trivial things are important to you. And if they are important to you, they are important to Him.

By “commit(ting) your ways” you are giving Jesus full reign on the situation. You are saying “I can’t do this on my own and I have no idea how to make this work. I need you, Jesus”. It is a beautiful moment when we submit to Him in this way.

And He rewards us for our obedience to Him. Also in this instance of obedience and blessing is the opportunity to praise Him for what He has done. It’s awesome how that little circle works.

So this week, princess, it is my challenge to you to commit it all to Him. Let Him have your earth-changing decisions and your minor ones as well. He cares about them all and wants to be involved.

Bargain!!!

I got a screaming deal today! I love to bargain shop. “Clarence” (or as some would say – clearance) and I are very good friends.

I had some “store cash” to use. I found a super cute $95 dress on sale for $28.50 and found Rachel some athletic shorts for $3.99. With my store cash, I only had to pay $2.66 for my items. Best of all – I saved $102.50! Yep, I got a deal!

Don’t you feel amazing when things like that happen? We princesses have to bargain shop to make our pennies go further. We tend to be concerned about clothing and food. The grocery store is another place that I love to look at the savings line of my receipt.

God tells us that worrying about these things is futile. Matthew 6:25 – “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food,and the body more important than clothes?”

For a teenager, these may seem like words of heresy. I know some adults that would have problems with Jesus’ teaching here. But Jesus tells us that there are more important things than what you will wear tomorrow and what you will have for your next meal.

Some days this is a difficult pill to swallow and some days you could care less what you wear and what you eat – as long as you are decent and full.

A little further down in the Scripture we get the crux of it – verse 33 – “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Look after the things of God and the rest will fall into place. Yes, you will have to work at it but it will all be there.

So, princess, celebrate those small victories over the almighty dollar but keep it in perspective – God gave you the opportunity to find just what you needed at just the right price!