Multiply | Multiply Forgiveness

Understanding How To Multiply Your Blessings As A Christian

Steven Roberts
Sep 4, 2022    32m
If you want to multiply your blessings as a Christian, you must first learn to stop focusing on the problem. God already knows your problem. You must then ask God for His help and do as He tells you to do. Only then can He multiply your blessings. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Steven Roberts: [00:00:00] Good morning, Journey. How's everybody doing this morning? Oh, man. I just want to say welcome and thank you so much for choosing to worship with us this morning. Got an exciting morning. We are finishing our series on Multiply. As you can see, I am not Pastor James. My name is Pastor Steve. I'm the children's pastor here. And Pastor James is out of town right now. And I think that is so awesome, not just because I get to preach, which is pretty cool, but because he's setting the example, man. He is hanging out with his family, doing amazing things. So, Pastor James, I hope and I pray that you are having a tremendous time with your family. And we're going to dive into it this morning. God has given me a word for your flock. And I just want to say thank you again for letting me preach. This morning, man, you will not believe it. I woke up with a terrible, terrible sore throat. So for the first time in my entire preaching life, I actually brought water up on stage with me. So if my voice squeaks or I cough or I have to stop and drink some water, bear with me because God's got a word. And I promise you, if you pay attention this morning, God has something for you. So let's bow our heads real quick. I want to pray. Lord God, thank you so much, Father.

Steven Roberts: [00:01:28] Thank you so much for giving this word to your people. Father, I pray right now for every ear that can hear your message, God, that you would say something to our hearts, Father. In your holy and precious, precious name. Amen. Amen. So as I said, we are finishing our series on Multiply. If you like to take notes, I highly, highly suggest it. I have entitled this sermon Multiply the Blessing, Multiply the Blessing. So the first thing that pops into my mind is what's a blessing, right? What does a blessing actually mean? And it's pretty simple. A blessing is simply God's favor and protection. So know that going into that. This whole message is about God's favor in your life. So how can you multiply God's favor in your life? I hope if you're taking notes, I hope if you have the bulletin, you can see it. I've given you a starter with my own notes. So my hope is at the end that we give you three pretty simple steps on how you can start unlocking God's blessing in your life. So for starters, if you want to multiply the favor, if you want to multiply God's blessing in your life, you need to know your need. Need to know the need. Right? And that is completely different than knowing a problem in your life. It is knowing the need that you have. So I want to dive in, straight in the Bible.

Steven Roberts: [00:03:09] When I was in school, I probably told this before, I took a class called homiletics, which is basically the art of preaching. And they taught me a whole bunch of stuff on how to engage a crowd. But one lesson I'll never forget was they said, you could do a lot of things when you get up there and preach. But one thing you can never do is use the message translation of the Bible when you preach. So using that lesson, I want to dive into Scripture this morning. 2 Kings Chapter 4, reading out of the message this morning. Okay. Tough crowd. Tough crowd. I got it. I got it. Don't worry. We'll loosen up. We'll get there, man. It says one day the wife of a man from the Guild of Prophets. So I want to start. We're going to kind of walk through the fourth chapter a little bit. But one thing right off the bat, so 2 Kings is all about a guy named Elisha. He was an awesome prophet, man after God's heart. What's so interesting about the way that this first verse opens up is the woman that we're talking about, her husband actually worked essentially for the prophets. It says it right from the beginning. So I find that so interesting because she's coming to Elisha. And it's somebody who Elisha probably already knows, right? Think about it. If you worked here at the church, I would probably know you, right? So that's kind of where we're starting.

Steven Roberts: [00:04:52] So I want to set the stage on that because I find it so interesting. The husband worked for the prophets and now this lady is coming up to Elisha. So one day the wife of a man from the Guild of Prophets called out to Elisha. Your servant, my husband is dead. It's a way to start a conversation. You well know what a good man he was, devoted to God. And now the man whom he was in debt to wants to collect by taking my two children, my two sons as slaves. And you thought getting that phone call from debt collectors was bad? Elisha said, I wonder how I could be of help? Tell me, what do you have in your house? And she says nothing. And I assume Elisha kind of gave her a look because then she immediately goes, Well, I do have a little oil. So another version actually says that Elisha responded to her, What do you want me to do about it? So this lady comes up to Elisha, says, Hey, my husband is dead, which again, the husband worked for the prophet. So I'm assuming Elisha already knew that. And he says, What do you want me to do about it? So recapping, the lady's husband died, literally worked for Elisha, right? Or at least worked for the church at the time, worked for the Guild of Prophets.

Steven Roberts: [00:06:31] He was in debt. And we automatically. I know you did it, I did it, we automatically assume the worst, right? Like, oh, man, he had, like a gambling vice or something, and now he's got this huge debt and these loan sharks are coming out to get him. The Bible doesn't say that. So check yourself like I had to check myself. See, today we could take out a loan and we're pretty protected because we sign contracts and the bank can only do so much to us. And back then, a debt collector could literally just come and collect your entire debt whenever they wanted. So you could be making payments. So this guy could have bought a house, right? Went got a loan. Bought a house like so much of us. And he could have been making his payments. But now that he's dead, they came and said, You know what? You owe us all that money now. So think about your mortgage. And if the bank just said, Hey, we want you to repay all of that right now, could you do it? I couldn't. So that's kind of the difference. And since obviously, she couldn't repay the entire loan, whatever it was for, probably not loan sharks. They said, okay, well, then we're going to collect your sons and until you can pay it back in full.

Steven Roberts: [00:07:52] So she lost her husband. She's about to lose her kids. Her whole family is getting ripped apart. And Elisha, the man of God, 2 Kings calls him a lot, looks her dead in the eyes and says, What do you want me to do about it? That sounds cold, right? That sounds extreme. He's the man of God. Why would he look at you and say, What do you want me to do about it? Until you start diving into it. See, the wife spent that entire first paragraph that we just read talking about the problem. And I already said the husband works for the Guild. Elisha probably already knew that. Right? So she spends the entire time talking about the problem as if we already don't know what the problem is. Like Hey, widow, we know what the problem is. Why do you keep telling us the problem? Elisha makes her leave the problem. See, Elisha says, Yes, I know exactly what the problem is. He was my employee. We lost him. What outcome are you looking for? Where is the solution? Even in the dwelling of our negative, Elisha's saying, I know what the problem is. Leave the problem. Where is the solution? You cannot multiply your blessing if you just keep magnifying your problem. So you need to know your need. Who cares what the problem is? What do you actually need in this scenario? So knowing the problem is not the same thing as knowing your need.

Steven Roberts: [00:09:39] And then my favorite, favorite, favorite part of the verse that I just read: Tell me, what do you have in your house? What has God already given you? You know, it doesn't matter if it's only a little, little tiny bit of oil like this lady. You know? He's saying, stop focusing on the problem. Look in your own hands. What has God given you? Because God with that tiny bit of oil can bless more than you could do with like a million dollars. So stop looking at the problem. You know, it's already in your hand. That's what Elias is saying. He's saying the answer to what you're asking is already in your hand. God has already given it to you. The problem is you just don't think it's good enough. You don't think it's big enough. You don't think it's enough. You don't think. And here's what really the problem is. You don't think God can bless you with what he's already given you, and you want more. So here Elisha is saying, What do you want me to do about it? Stop talking about the problem and let's move forward. So that's the first step. Know your need, know what you want, and ask God for that. Stop telling God your problem when He's saying, I already know what your problem is. I want to have a relationship, and I want you to tell me how we can move forward from here and what you're going to do with me.

Steven Roberts: [00:11:15] And that's step one. Step two in multiplying the blessing, this one's a no-brainer. You ask God, he's going to tell you. Do what God tells you to do. Right? Seems pretty easy. We can do that. Okay. Going to pick back up in 2 Kings here, verse four. I'm sorry. Verse three and four. So here's what you do. It's a good indication that God is about to tell you what to do and you should probably write it down. He says, Here's what you do. Go up and down the street and borrow jugs and bowls and jars and anything you could get from your neighbors that's going to hold something. Because she said she has a little bit of oil. Not just a few. Get all that you can get. Then come home. Lock the door behind you. Lock the door behind you. Bring you and your sons inside. Pour oil into each container. And when each is full, set it aside. How does that help, Elisha. Did you not hear the problem? I spent a paragraph, Elisha, telling you the problem. How does this help? That's what she. No, she didn't say that. And that's the important thing. See, this is where most of you miss your blessing. Guaranteed. Right here. Right here. See, I'm going to say it one more time for dramatic effect.

Steven Roberts: [00:12:55] This is where most of you lose out on your blessing. I guarantee it. See, God just told her through Elisha to go and do a bunch of work. Some of that work was embarrassing. She had to get up and go to all of her neighbors and ask, Hey, what do you have in your recycle bin? Where are your spent containers at? I need some of those. And still didn't solve the problem. Problem is, she still owes a lot of money and her kids are still going to go to slavery. Right? So at this point, her money is the problem. Her money is her family's falling apart, literally. And all Elisha told her was go do a bunch of work. Still hasn't said, And then I'll buy the oil. And then I don't know what you're going to do with the oil. But get up. Go embarrass yourself in the midst of all your neighbors. Do a bunch of work and then come back to me and maybe we'll talk. See, if you're focused on the problem, you've missed the blessing already. Get all of the jars, not just a few. But all of them. See, God wants to meet every single need, every single need. Not every want. Every single need in your life. And he's going to bless everything that you bring to him. But you've got to get up and do the work instead of sitting in the living room and crying about your debt collectors.

Steven Roberts: [00:14:42] God says, Get up, go collect the jars, saying, I have such a huge blessing, I'm going to multiply the tiny little bit that you have so much that you need every single jar that you could get your hands on. Because that's how big God's blessing is. And all you need to do is do what God tells you. Good job. Good job. Let's keep reading. 2 Kings, picking back up in verse five. She did what he said. That's the whole sermon right there. Right? You could go home now if you want. All you got to do is do what he said. She did what he said. Give it up for her right now. Go ahead. Come on. See, me and you, we've missed the blessing because we wouldn't do the work. Not her. She did what he said. She locked the door behind her and her sons. As they brought the containers to her, she filled them. When all the jugs and bowls were full, she said to her sons, Another jug, please. And he said, That's it. There are no more jugs. Then the oil stopped. So this is what's really interesting is God didn't just make a bunch of oil appear. Right? It was still her tiny little jar of oil. He didn't just say, okay. For whatever reason, we still don't know why.

Steven Roberts: [00:16:23] But for whatever reason, she needs her own Etsy shop with oil or something. And for whatever reason, she needed a bunch of oil. God could have just said, Here's your oil. Go in the closet. I've stocked your store shelves. No, he said go do work. Bring the empty jars, the jugs. And it wasn't until the last jug was full that the oil stopped, but she had to keep pouring out her jar. So God was supernaturally multiplying the blessing as it was going, as the need was there, as there was a jug that needed to be filled. It wasn't just all at once. It was a blessing that had to just keep rolling as she was being faithful to what God told her to do. There's something in that. But I love that. I love that she did what he said, man. She locked the door behind her. And as a children's pastor, I like to talk to the kids as I'm on stage. And usually, it's a rhetorical I'll ask them a question, but they fire out an answer anyway. And my question is, why do you think she locked the door? I think that is obedience. First and foremost, Elisha said, Lock the door. And she was like, I'm going to follow what God said to a tee. But I also think symbolically there's something in that, because when God gives you your calling and you leave the door open, where are you still going to look to? Where's the problem? The problem is outside.

Steven Roberts: [00:18:11] The problem was the debt collectors. Were the debt collectors in her living room? No, the debt collectors were outside. So what Elisha is saying, when I'm giving you something to do to multiply your blessing, you walk into that prayer closet, you walk into your living room, you close off the door. And you don't just close the door to the distractions. You lock the door to the distractions. When God tells you to do something, you focus on what God told you to do and you stop. You take away any bit of possible distraction to what that problem is because we know what the problem is and we want to go to where the solution is. So she went in, she locked the door. She started focusing exactly on that oil. And she was focusing so much on pouring the blessing out, she didn't even realize that they were running out of jars. She didn't grow weary of the work that God told her to do. She just kept doing it because she locked up all distractions. When God says to move, you move. And that's all she did. And she still has no idea where the solution is. And I keep going back to that, guys, and I keep going back to that for a reason because I want to know the plan, God. I want to know the end result, God.

Steven Roberts: [00:19:34] And if we learn anything from this lady, it's she didn't care. She just knew God was going to take care of her. And she was in there and doing one step at a time. She didn't get the whole plan. She got to step in the plan and she had to take that step to get to the next step. She had to go out and get the jugs. Then she had to come back to her house. Then she had to lock off all distractions. Then she had to fill one jar at a time of oil, all having no idea what she was going to do with them. And if I'm just being honest, I could very rarely handle the whole plan if God were to give it to me anyway. And then I would get so caught up and just trying to get to the end of the plan, I would be missing the blessing of doing what God was telling me to do in that moment. That is what is so important. One step, guys. So you need to know, and then you just need to do, right? So now that we know it, now that we're doing it, here's my last point. Don't squander your blessing. Who knows what squander means? I'm just joking. You guys are adults. Just joking. We all know what squander means. Don't squander your blessings.

Steven Roberts: [00:21:04] And right now, you're probably saying, But Pastor Steven, the widow still hasn't even been given her blessing yet. And you're saying don't squander it. Yeah. Yeah. We're going to get there. Let's get that next verse though because this is what it's all about. Verse seven, she went and told the story. So she got all the oil. She filled all the jars. She got them all. That's what the man of God told her to do to, Elisha. Remember that? So she goes back to him and she says, Elisha. I did it. I did everything. I even locked the door. That's why nobody could get a hold of me. I turned off my cell phone for once. Nobody could get a hold of me. Nobody could call me. I turned it off, and I was just doing what you told me to do. Now what? And Elisha says, Go and sell the oil. Make good on your debts. Live, both you and your sons, on what is left. She paid off all of her debts. Notice, that's the very first thing Elisha told her to do. God gave her the blessing and the very, very first thing, Elisha didn't say, Go hug your kids first. I find that interesting. He said, go make good and go pay off your debts. You know, you can take that however you want this morning. That's just free, but however you want. God says the first thing you should do when you're getting your blessing is square it up between you and men.

Steven Roberts: [00:22:46] And that's the very least of that I'm going to take that because I think that's a whole nother sermon that I probably don't have time for. But go receive your blessing and immediately take that blessing to other people. I think that's interesting. It's multiplied. Go take it to other people. And then when you're square, go get all of your family. Stitch your household back together. We're still not talking about living a high life. If we're following this order, we're square amongst men. And then we're taking care of our family, taking care of our household. That's why I think it's so awesome that Pastor James is leading the example for us that he's taking time away from the office to just go and hang out and keep his family together. So he didn't even know that this was in the sermon, which I think that's awesome. Pastor James is already living out what I'm preaching. That sounded weird. But. And then when your family is back, when your family is whole, when you've taken care of your family, live off the rest. So she made so much oil, God blessed her so much, she was able to pay off the house, assuming that's what the debt was. She was able to get her household back together. Then she was able to live off the rest.

Steven Roberts: [00:24:19] And then what's really interesting is not just her. It says you and your sons get to live off of what is left. The blessings of God are generational if you're doing it right. So because she closed the door, because she locked the door, her entire family gets generations of blessings from God. And that is how you get to multiply your blessings. You stop focusing on your problem. And when God says, Just do what I'm telling you to do, you start seeing her kids and then her kids' kids and then her kids' kids' kids. All getting this blessing from God. And as I'm sitting, as I'm writing this, I do like to pitch ideas back and forth with Pastor James, obviously. He's a really good mentor if you didn't know that. And as we're running, he asked me, What do you think would have happened if the widow only brought some jars? She went out and she only got some jars. Do you think she still would have gotten blessed? And I said, probably not. Or in the very least, she wouldn't have been able to bless her generations and generations and generations because she wouldn't have had enough jars. Elisha never told her how many jars she needed. He just said, Get all that you can get and God will bless whatever you bring him. But then I kept reading. I left that little sit down with Pastor James, and I kept reading 2 Kings, and I came across a story that I think actually answers that question.

Steven Roberts: [00:26:22] And I don't have time to read the whole thing. Don't worry. Write it down or it might be in there. 2 Kings, chapter five. That's your homework. Say homework. That was nice. That's your homework. 2 Kings Chapter five. And it's basically this guy. He's got some sort of disease, I think. I'm pretty sure it's leprosy. He's trying to get healed, doesn't know how to get healed. And his wife told him, Go see this man of God named Elisha, to which he goes to the town that Elisha's in and goes to the king in that town. Almost starts a war because then he offended that King and then that king said, Oh, your king is trying to send us leprosy. And it turned into this huge ordeal. And Elisha's like, Hey, hey, hey, send him my way, which is what his wife told him to do in the first place. So, guys, just listen to your wives. Could have saved a war. Elisha hears about it. He says, Come to me and basically gives him nothing to do. He says, Just go jump in the river seven times, specifically fully submerge yourself seven times. And when you come up, all the leprosy will be gone. And the guy was like, No, I'm not doing that.

Steven Roberts: [00:27:45] And he got so angry. Got so angry and he left. Nobody chased him. Elisha didn't chase him down and say, Hey, hey, we have a blessing for you. He left. He got angry because he was expecting Elisha to give him something different. What he was expecting to have to do didn't align with what God actually told him to do. And thankfully for this guy, it ended pretty well. A friend of his calls him a dummy and says, bro, just go cannonball seven times and you'll be healed. Worst case scenario, you don't get healed. And he takes the advice of his buddy and he goes and does it. That's a really good friend. But the point is he was ready to walk away from God's blessing just because it didn't align with what he thought God's blessing looked like in his life. So, Pastor James, do I think she would have gotten the full blessing if she wouldn't have? No. And I don't think Elisha would have chased her down. God's saying, bring him to me and I will bless them. So are you missing out on your blessing? This morning, Journey, that's my question for you. Don't answer it out loud. Just think about it. Are you missing out on the blessing because God has told you to do a little work? Are you missing out on your blessing because what you think the blessing is doesn't look like what you think it should?

Steven Roberts: [00:29:27] Yeah. That made sense. Maybe you're sitting there, maybe you're sitting there this morning and you're still magnifying your own problem. You're still focusing on the problem when God is ready to smack you upside the head and say, I already know what the problem is. I already know what your problem is. What do you want me to do about it? What do you want God to do about it? You need to tell him. And you need to be open to doing what he tells you to do. And maybe that's where some of you guys are at. You've heard God. You've heard him. He's told you what to do. You're just not doing it. Maybe you're like that guy. No, I don't want to do that because I want to do my own thing, but I want you to bless me anyway. You know, in just a few moments, we're going to open these altars up, man, and we want to stand in unity with you. We want to help you pray. Whether it's that first. And you've just been magnifying your own problem for far too long. And you're ready to ask God for the solution. But you don't know what that sounds like. You don't know what that looks like, man. We're going to have a great team up here who will help you in that prayer. You know, maybe your next step getting the jars from your neighbors.

Steven Roberts: [00:30:54] Now, like a famous guy once said, Man, let us be your neighbor. Let us be your neighbor. And then there's like a whole nother group. And I thought about that while writing this, too. There's this whole other group who's sitting there and you've never talked to God before. Maybe you're not sure who that is, how that is. Or maybe you've just never actually known that you could talk to God. We want to help you with that, man, because the Bible says that every single person has sinned and fallen short of his glory. But he says if you ask him, he wants to bless your life anyway. We want to help you take that step, man. So would you stand with me? I want to give one more prayer, one more prayer for you. Lord God, we just thank you so much, Father. We thank you so much for Your Grace. God, we thank you, Father, for always knowing the right steps that we need to take. And I pray for every single person in this room right now, Lord God, I pray for their hearts, that they would come, Father, that they would come to you and that they would stop focusing on their issues and their problems, Lord God, and that they would know that you have the solution for their life. In your holy, holy and precious name. Amen.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360