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Invitation to Give

The invitation to faith goes out to all of us.


One word on the translation of this passage: Your Bible will have the word "Lord" perhaps in all capitals, "L-O-R-D." That is an English translation or a way of conveying the message of the Hebrew name for God, "Yahweh." It's important, I think, that this name be emphasized because it's the covenant name of God. It's the name by which he identifies himself with his people. That will have great import for the message of this lesson today.

(Read 1 Kings 17:8-16)

Here we are in an Old Testament story. Funny thing about the Old Testament: My son Sam is in preschool this year, and a few weeks ago, he came home with his folder and it had the letter "N" on top. Being as clever as I am, I said, "They must be learning the alphabet." I said, "Sam, how's it going with the letter 'N'? What did you learn this week?"

And he said, "Namaan."

I said, "Excuse me?"

He said, "Namaan. You know, the guy with the spots on his skin who had to go wash in the river."

I go, Namaan. Wow, thank you, Lord. I'm doing Old Testament research on Namaan, writing books with him in it, and my son is learning it in pre-K. What a blessing.

Now I'm paying attention. A couple weeks later, he comes home with a letter "Q," so I'm curious—now, what are they doing with the letter Q? It's Queen Esther. I said, "Another Old Testament story: Praise the Lord!" Now I'm hooked. The week after that, it's "R." Who else? Ruth and Naomi.

Now I'm excited. It's like a suspense story. Next week is going to be "S." Who is "S" going to be? Two people: Solomon and Samson. I looked at that and I said to my wife, "Isn't it amazing that Sam is learning all these Old Testament stories that are so close to my heart?"

The unity of Scripture

Then it gave me cause for pause. I've ...

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Will Stevens is the Vice President of Giving Strategies for WaterStone. Will is currently working towards his DMin and PhD degrees from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a focus on an Old Testament theology of giving and recently finished his book God’s Givers: Seven Old Testament Stories of Fearless Giving.

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I. The unity of Scripture

II. The story in context

III. What's happening in this story?

IV. Making the connection