Topic: Good Neighbourliness I [Open Heavens 25th May 2018, Friday]
Memorise: And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. – Luke 10:27
Read: 2 Kings 4:1-6 (KJV)
1 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.
2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.
3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.
4 And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.
5 So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out.
6 And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.
Bible in One Year: 1 Kings 1, 1 John 5
Today’s Bible reading tells the story of the widow of one of the sons of the prophets, whose late husband owed some money to a heartless creditor, who threatened to take away her two sons as slaves. After listening to her complaint, the man of God said to her in 2 Kings 4:3:
“…Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.”
This instruction indirectly placed the solution to her problem in the hands of her neighbours, because her ability to get the many empty vessels she needed depended on how good a neighbour she had been.
Among the Jewish people in Bible days, loans were not supposed to be commercial in nature; rather, they were to be given on charitable terms. For example, interest-free loan would be given to assist a peasant farmer during a period of poverty. The primary motivation of borrowers is to obtain relief from need rather than to further their economic enterprises. For this reason, lending with interest to the poor was prohibited in Exodus 22:25. God’s expectation is that lending to the poor will be a form of sacrifice motivated by the spirit of mercy and compassion in obedience to Him (Proverbs 3:27-28). Although the Bible encourages us not to deny the poor and needy who approach us for help, we determine who deserves our help and how far we are ready to go on their behalf based on factors such as good neighbourliness. In Acts 9:36-41, the neighbours of Tabitha protested vehemently against her death and pleaded passionately with Apostle Peter for her to be raised back to life because she was full of good works and alms deeds. In Luke 7:1-10, the elders of the Jews approached Jesus on behalf of a centurion who had a sick servant. They pleaded with Him, saying this man deserved His assistance because he had shown his love for them by building them a synagogue. Without controversy, good neighbourliness played a very big role in these cases we have considered. In the case of the widow in 2 Kings 4:1-6, the fact that she went to her neighbours and got the vessels she needed indicates that she had been a good neighbour to them. Imagine if she was the kind of person who was not known to her neighbours or if she was a proud and difficult person; she would have been denied the vessels she needed and her miracle would have been a mirage. God charged us in Romans 12:18 to live peacefully with all men, knowing fully well that apart from it being a source of blessing to us, a peaceful coexistence with our neighbours will give us the much needed opportunity to preach the good news to them.
Action Point: Make peace with every neighbour you are not at peace with.
If you missed yesterday devotional, please click HERE to read Open Heavens 24 May 2018 Thursday daily devotional by Pastor E. A. Adeboye – Observing The Times & Seasons?
Hymn 12: Take My Life, And Let It Be
1.Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise,
Let them flow in endless praise.
2.Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee,
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
3.Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee,
Filled with messages from Thee.
4. Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose,
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.
5. Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
6. Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee,
Ever, only, all for Thee.
Open Heavens Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer’s Ministries. The Open Heavens devotional application is available across all mobile platforms and operating systems: iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Mobile and PC.
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