God provides for us in ways that go beyond our expectations. When we put Him first, we realize that no matter what situations we face, we will never lack the necessities in life, for God knows just what we need. He is faithful and will provide. If we remain obedient like Elijah and the widow of Zarephath, God will reveal His power and providence in our lives. His mercy goes beyond the borders we create and shows Himself the Mighty One who never runs out of resources to meet our needs.
Prior to the meeting, set up a table on the side with simply decorated mason jars filled with water and have some warm sliced bread displayed on a serving tray. If possible, make some homemade bread (see recipe links included).
Virtual Meeting Set Up
If you are conducting a virtual meeting, be sure to let participants know before the meeting what ingredients they will need for the recipe (don’t share what you will be making even though some may already figure it out on their own).
Homemade bread recipes:
- Or use any other recipes that you are familiar with or would like to share.
After the introduction and prayer, share the directions for the recipe while completing each step together as a group. Once finished preparing, place the dough into the oven to bake. While it is baking, continue the program with the discussion and devotional section.
In–Person Meeting Set Up
For an in-person meeting, set up a circle of tables with chairs and a center table. On the center table, include the items below.
- a Bible (opened to the scripture passage)
- a white cloth
- a few sticks
- a small loaf of bread
- a mason jar ¾ filled with flour
- another jar/jug ¼ filled with olive oil.
“Count Your Blessings:” The Salvation Army Song Book #909
Opening Prayer: (say the first half of the Lord’s prayer and insert the poem below that ties into devotional):
Our Father who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name,
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done,
On Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Thank you, Lord, for your grace and mercy. Thank you, Lord for your love.
Thank you, Lord, for going before us and watching us from above.
Help us to be obedient to your Word and to allow You to be our guide
For you know just what we need, and you never fail to provide.
- What motivates you to give to others?
- When have you found yourself reluctant to give because you were afraid you wouldn’t have enough? Explain.
- If you’ve ever given selflessly in times of uncertainty, how has God revealed Himself to you in those situations?
- How can you bless others through your obedience to God?
- Share a moment when God has provided for you beyond your expectations.
Read 1 Kings 17:7–16.
At the beginning of 1 Kings, we see how God spoke to Elijah and how in obedience to His word, Elijah did exactly as God instructed. We see that God showed His everlasting faithfulness in providing for Elijah.
After the brook dried up, it would have been easy for Elijah to question, “What now Lord?” God had provided for him just as He said He would, but the supply had seemingly run out. Well, that’s just when God shows up. He already had a plan in place and prepared the way for Elijah. “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food” (v. 9). Once again, God spoke to Elijah. He told him exactly where to go and told him whom he would meet. In obedience, Elijah did just as God commanded.
When the widow met Elijah, she was gathering a few sticks to prepare the very last meal for her and her son. Elijah told her to make a small loaf of bread for him first with the little that she had and then make something for herself and her son. Would she do what Elijah asked? With barely anything to eat and drink, it must have been a difficult decision for the widow to make.
At first she hesitated because she only had enough food for herself and her son, but she acted in faith and was obedient. She set aside her personal desires and put God first by obeying His Word spoken to her through Elijah. Through her act of faith, God showed His faithfulness and provided. “There was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry” (vs. 15-16). Through Elijah’s act of faith, God showed His faithfulness and provided for Him as well. All through the drought, Elijah lacked nothing. He had all he needed (read vs. 5-6).
There will be times in life when our faith will be tested. In fear we may be hesitant to act out in faith, but God’s promises are true. If He leads us to it, He will see us through it. We just need to be obedient to His Word and walk in faith knowing that He has already gone before us and has put everything in place for us.
God used ravens (unclean birds) and a widow (a poor Gentile woman from a foreign land) to supply Elijah with food. There is no limit as to whom or what God will use to carry out His purposes. God’s mercies reach all cultures and His mercy goes beyond borders. When we put Him first, He reveals Himself in ways that go beyond what we could ever imagine. He surpasses our expectations through miracles both big and small. Like the widow and Elijah, may we also step out in faith, and through obedience, experience God’s power, His love, His grace and His mercy.
When those moments of fear or doubt arise, may we remember that God will provide. May our eyes be opened to see that His promises are true and that He has a plan for you and me.
For in-person gatherings, take this time to share the warm bread and water. While feasting on this light snack, use the time to go around the circle and share moments when God provided your necessities (your “daily bread”).
For virtual meetings, after the discussion and devotional, have the women check on their bread. It should be finished or almost finished. Once their homemade bread is finished, they can enjoy it and share how God has provided for their necessities, their “daily bread.” If the bread isn’t finished yet, you can continue with this moment of sharing and then enjoy your bread after everyone has shared.
Heavenly Father, help us to be women of faith despite the challenges we face. Help us to be obedient to your Word and sensitive to Your voice. Give us the strength and assurance to step out in faith knowing that You will provide our every need. When situations cause us to doubt, may Your faithfulness remind us that You already have everything planned out. May we be reminded that You are not a God of limitations but that Your mercy is limitless and goes beyond what we could ever expect or imagine.
In closing, invite the women to recite the poem:
Thank You, Lord for Your grace and mercy. Thank You, Lord for Your love.
Thank you, Lord for going before us and watching us from above.
Help us to be obedient to Your Word and may You always be our guide.
For You know just what we need, and You never fail to provide.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.