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Be a Heavenly Hero

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Be a Heavenly Hero

2 Kings 4:8-37 (Initial reading vs. 8-24)

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - June 23, 2013

*Who is your hero? -- When I was a little boy, one of my heroes was Roy Rogers, "The King of the Cowboys!" He was such a good guy, and what a great horse: Trigger! Roy had those guns that would shoot about a thousand times without reloading! And Roy always beat the bad guys.

*You can still see Roy Rogers on RFD-TV. But today's movie-goers are turning out to see the latest version of Superman. And next month they can see a new version of the Lone Ranger and Tonto.

*Movie and TV heroes get a lot of attention. But right now the world needs real heroes. This world needs real heroes as much as it ever has. And the amazing truth is that we can be heroes for God.

*Of course Elisha is a hero in today's Scripture. But so is the Godly woman here in the Word of God. And she helps us understand some important qualities we need to be a hero for God.

1. First: We need to see with spiritual vision.

*We need to see life from a spiritual point of view. How are you looking at life today? One of the great things about this woman was that she looked at life from a spiritual point of view.

*We get a glimpse of her spiritual insight in vs. 8-9, where the Bible says:

8. Now it happened one day that Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a notable woman, and she constrained him to eat some food. So it was, as often as he passed by, that he turned in there to eat some food.

9. And she said to her husband, "Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly."

*She said, "I know (Or perceive or understand) that Elisha is a holy man of God." In other words: This lady looked at life from a spiritual point of view.

-She understood the things of God.

-And she cared about the things of God.

*There was a spiritual dimension to her life. But without God, people's lives are flat. And many people around us are living two-dimensional lives. Things may be going great at work or school. Things may be going great at home and in their health. They may be on top of their golf game, rolling in the dough, feeling good and looking good. But there is an emptiness in their lives that only Jesus Christ can fill.

*Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, not just so our sins could be forgiven, not just so we could go to Heaven, but so we could have a close, personal relationship with Him right here and right now. Both in the Old Testament and in the New, God urges us to draw close to Him.

-In 2 Chronicles 7:14, the Lord said: "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

-In 2 Chronicles 12:14, Solomon's son, King Rehoboam "did evil" (and why?), "because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord."

-In Psalm 34:8-10, King David pleads with us:

8. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

9. Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.

10. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.

-And Psalm 105:3-4 says:

3. . . Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord.

4. Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore.

*And the more we seek the Lord, the more we will see from a spiritual point of view. We will be more like the Godly woman in vs. 9, who could say: "I perceive that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly."

*Things like that can still happen today. About 25 years ago, Robert Trey found this out in an unusual way. This preacher was visiting a family at the funeral home. And the front pew was filled with family members and friends that he did not know.

*Robert walked down the row introducing himself. And he came to an elderly black lady who had worked for the family for many years. She reached up, took his hands, and out of the blue, with deep conviction said: "I perceive that this is a man with the Spirit of God!"

*Robert was shocked, because he wasn't feeling all that spiritual right then. It was one of those times when chills go all over your body. (1)

*And things like that are not going to happen every day. But God surely wants to give us spiritual insight! And we should be growing so that we can see more of life from a spiritual point of view. This includes the good things and even the bad things. God wants us to be able to look at life from a Romans 8:28 point of view. He wants us to be able to boldly say, "We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."

*God wants us to see our world and our lives from His spiritual point of view. Some of the most challenging words Jesus ever spoke to the church urge us to see with this spiritual sight. In Revelation 3:14-22, Jesus said:

14. "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, 'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:

15. I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.

16. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth.

17. Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked;

18. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

19. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

20. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

21. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

22. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.''

*Jesus tells us to anoint our eyes with eye salve that we may see. He wants us to see. And we can be heroes for God, if we will see with spiritual vision.

2. But we also need to give with generosity.

*Here's another great thing about this Godly woman: She generously supported the work of the Lord. We see her generosity in vs. 8-10:

8. Now it happened one day that Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a notable woman, and she constrained him to eat some food. So it was, as often as he passed by, that he turned in there to eat some food.

9. And she said to her husband, "Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly.

10. Please, let us make a small upper room on the wall; and let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; so it will be, whenever he comes to us, he can turn in there.''

[1] Notice that she gave the right amount.

*She gave the right amount for the need: Both food for Elisha's hunger, and a place for him to stay. She gave according to the need.

*And she gave according to her ability. This woman was wealthy, and we know this, because vs. 8 tells us that she was a "notable" woman. The KJV says she was a "great" woman. And John Gill said she had "great wealth, riches, kindness and hospitality." (2)

*The Shunammite woman was wealthy, so she was able to give a lot. But we can be generous even when we don't have a lot. We can be generous with what we have, knowing that God doesn't ask us to give more than we are able.

*In his second letter to the Christians in Corinth, Paul had a lot to say about giving. The churches were raising money for the very poor Christians in Jerusalem. But God didn't ask the Christians from Corinth to give more than they could afford. Listen to 2 Corinthians 8:12-14 from the New Living Translation.

*There Paul said:

12. If you are really eager to give, it isn't important how much you are able to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you don't have.

13. Of course, I don't mean you should give so much that you suffer from having too little. I only mean that there should be some equality.

14. Right now you have plenty and can help them. Then at some other time they can share with you when you need it. In this way, everyone's needs will be met.

*God only asks us to give what He provides for us to give. When Jesus was about to feed the 5,000, Luke 9:13 tells us that first the Lord told His disciples: "You give them something to eat.'' That command freaked the disciples out, because there was no way humanly possible that they could feed that huge crowd.

*But Jesus was just testing their faith. He already knew that He was going to miraculously multiply the little boy's lunch of fish and bread. And Jesus could have fed 50,000 or 500,000 with that same little amount of food.

*Nothing is too hard for God! And somehow, He will provide what He asks you to generously give. That's why the Godly woman from Shunam was able to give the right amount.

[2] But also notice that she gave with the right attitude.

*The Godly woman gave because she wanted to help. She was a cheerful giver. And 2 Corinthians 9:7 tells us that God loves a cheerful giver.

*Plus, it's so important to notice that she did not give to get something back. The woman from Shunam didn't ask for anything, and as far as we know, she didn't expect anything. But she did get something special back from the Lord.

*We can see this truth starting in vs. 11:

11. And it happened one day that he (i.e. Elisha) came there, and he turned in to the upper room and lay down there.

12. Then he said to Gehazi his servant, "Call this Shunammite woman.'' When he had called her, she stood before him.

13. And he said to him, "Say now to her, 'Look, you have been concerned for us with all this care. What can I do for you? Do you want me to speak on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?''' And she answered, "I dwell among my own people.''

14. So he said, "What then is to be done for her?'' And Gehazi answered, "Actually, she has no son, and her husband is old.''

15. And he said, "Call her.'' When he had called her, she stood in the doorway.

16. Then he said, "About this time next year you shall embrace a son.'' And she said, "No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!''

17. And the woman conceived, and bore a son when the appointed time had come, of which Elisha had told her.

*One of the greatest blessings this woman ever received came because she was a generous giver. And you will always be blessed when you give to God. You can even be a hero for the Lord.

*Dr. Eleanor Chestnut was a Presbyterian missionary who arrived in China in 1893. There she built a hospital, using her own money to buy the bricks and mortar. The need for Dr. Chestnut's services was so great that she performed surgery in her bathroom until the building was completed.

*One operation required amputating poor man's leg. Complications came up, and skin grafts were needed. A few days later, another doctor asked Eleanor why she was limping. "Oh, it's nothing," was her only reply. Finally, a nurse revealed that Dr. Chestnut had taken the skin graft from her own leg!

*Twelve years later, during the Boxer Rebellion of 1905, Eleanor and four other missionaries were killed by a mob that stormed the hospital. (3)

*Have you ever heard of Eleanor Chestnut? -- Probably not, and most of this world never will. But up in Heaven, Eleanor Chestnut is a great hero!

*And when I think about her life, I just know that I can raise the bar on giving and living for the Lord. We can be heroes for God by our generous giving.

3. But we also need to take our troubles to God.

*This Godly mother knew exactly what to do when trouble came her way. She took her trouble to God. Look starting in vs. 18:

18. So the child grew. Now it happened one day that he went out to his father, to the reapers.

19. And he said to his father, "My head, my head!'' So he said to a servant, "Carry him to his mother.''

20. When he had taken him and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.

21. And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door upon him, and went out.

22. Then she called to her husband, and said, "Please send me one of the young men and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God and come back.''

23. So he said, "Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.'' And she said, "It is well.''

24. Then she saddled a donkey, and said to her servant, "Drive, and go forward; do not slacken the pace for me unless I tell you.''

*When the Shunammite woman ran into trouble, she ran to the Lord, and that's what we need to do! Look what happened in vs. 25-37:

25. So she departed, and went to the man of God at Mount Carmel. And so it was, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to his servant Gehazi, "Look, there is the Shunammite woman.

26. Please run now to meet her, and say to her, 'Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?''' And she answered, "It is well.''

27. Now when she came to the man of God at the hill, she caught him by the feet, but Gehazi came near to push her away. But the man of God said, "Let her alone; for her soul is in deep distress, and the Lord has hidden it from me, and has not told me.''

28. And she said, "Did I ask a son of my lord? Did I not say, 'Do not deceive me'?''

29. Then he said to Gehazi, "Get yourself ready, and take my staff in your hand, and be on your way. If you meet anyone, do not greet him; and if anyone greets you, do not answer him; but lay my staff on the face of the child.''

30. And the mother of the child said, "As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.'' So he arose and followed her.

31. Now Gehazi went on ahead of them, and laid the staff on the face of the child; but there was neither voice nor hearing. Therefore he went back to meet him, and told him, saying, "The child has not awakened.''

32. And when Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed.

33. He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the Lord.

34. And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm.

35. He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.

36. And he called Gehazi and said, "Call this Shunammite woman.'' So he called her. And when she came in to him, he said, "Pick up your son.''

37. So she went in, fell at his feet, and bowed to the ground; then she picked up her son and went out.

*When trouble came, this mother ran to God's man. She didn't let anything stop her. She went straight to the top. And she would not give up! That's why she saw a great miracle.

*And Elisha may not be here today, but we can go much higher than Elisha! We can go straight to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Elisha was a prophet. But Jesus is The Prophet with a capital "P"! Jesus Christ is the Lord God Almighty, and the only Savior of the world!

*By the grace and power of God, Elisha brought that boy back from death for a while. But when Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again from the dead, He conquered death forever!

*And Jesus will give His eternal life to you.

-If you will come to Him.

-Open your heart to Him.

-And receive Him as your Lord and Savior.

*Then, whenever you have trouble, you can run to the Lord.

*That's what truck driver, Ron Lantz, did in the Fall of 2002. At the time, the nation's attention was riveted on Washington, D.C. In just 3 weeks, unidentified snipers had killed 10 people and wounded 3 more.

*Ron Lantz and about 50 other Christian truckers got together to pray that somehow the sniper would be caught. Ron was going to retire in a few days. And he didn't even live in the area, but he felt sure that God would answer their prayers. In fact, Ron told the other truckers that God was somehow going to use him to catch the sniper.

*A few days later, Ron was listening to the radio as he drove through the D.C. area. Suddenly, he felt compelled to pull off the highway into a rest stop. It was just a couple of miles from where the prayer meeting had taken place.

*As Ron pulled in, he was shocked to see a car just like the one being described on the radio. Then as Ron carefully tried to read the license plate, a chill went up his back, because the numbers matched.

*Ron quickly called 911, and waited there for the longest 15 minutes of his life until the police arrived. Ron even pulled his truck across the exit, so there would be no escape for those murderers. (4)

*Thank God they were captured. And Ron was truly a hero. But it happened because he and many other people took that trouble to the Lord.


*This world needs a lot more heroes like that! And we can be those heroes for God. How can we do it?

-See with spiritual vision.

-Give with generosity.

-And take your troubles to the Lord.

*We can do that right now, as we go to God in prayer.

(1) Personal testimony from pastor I know

(2) "John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible" - 2 Kings 4:8

(3) David Holwick illustration #3935 - CATEGORY: Sacrifice; Missionary; China; Martyr; Hospital; Give Of Self; Eleanor Chestnut; Boxer Rebellion SOURCE: Online Leadership Journal (America Online) TITLE: To Illustrate: Sacrifice - AUTHOR: Ruth Tucker - ENTERED: 116/96

(4) SermonCentral illustration - SOURCE:

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