This past weekend Cheri’ and I had the privilege of speaking at Victory Christian Fellowship in Waverly, MO., where Pastor Jerry and Brenda Curry and their wonderful congregation have become dear friends. We believed God had a message of encouragement for them and we were excited to deliver it.
“You can’t see the forest for the trees” is frequently true for many of us. We are so focused on what we are called to do that we fail to recognize how God is using us in our daily routines. VCF is a great church in a rural community bearing so much more fruit than they realize. God simply wanted us to remind them of this truth; and their open hearts made this easy to do.
Years ago I heard Tommy Barnett preach a message that has continued to impact me. He spoke from 2 Kings 4:1-7 regarding the widow who was in great financial distress to the point of losing her children to slavery. Elisha asked her this very significant question, “What do you have in the house?”
She replied, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” When we compare ourselves or our churches to others we never come away looking or feeling very good about ourselves. We tend to believe we have “nothing in the house!” Believe me, I have lots of personal experience with this.
As we spent the weekend with them, we found they didn’t have much in their house either, except a jar of oil and…
*An amazing Food Pantry that weekly serves many people in their region.
*A weekly outreach to a home for troubled youth.
*A monthly meal for the community that serves 100 people.
*The church home for a couple that leads a major missions outreach to India and other nations.
*A lot of oil (the Holy Spirit) in that jar.
*Lots of love and compassion for the people of their region.
*They also have Terry & Jerry and a lot of other people just like them. Terry leads the weekly outreach to the boys at the detention center and Jerry just comes along and hangs out even though he doesn’t think there is much of anything in his house to offer these kids. However, he is a faithful man who goes to support and encourage where he can. He is not an upfront guy like Terry who combines the best of both worlds. Terry leads, but also stays late on visitation days to be a dad to the guys who haven’t had any family members come for the open visitations.
Recently, while Terry was speaking, a young man whom Jerry had befriended, turned to him and hugged him. He asked Jerry how he could be saved and while giving him a big bear hug he led this young man to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Jerry has a lot more oil in his jar than he realized. His “oil” is big ole long arms, a big ole chest, an even bigger heart, and a willingness to be available to hug some tough, broken kids. One planted (Terry), another watered (Jerry), and God gave the increase!!!
This church and these guys so moved my heart to search again and see what” I have in the house” and to celebrate it and encourage others to do the same. Soft hearts impact communities and change the lives of kids!
Not only is it vital to know what is in the house, but someone has to pour the oil into something. The widow had to find empty vessels and she had to also do all the pouring. So, my dear friends, “WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR HOUSE?” Who needs the oil of the Spirit through your life poured into them? And, when are you going to pour out to others what you have in your house?