The place is the Last Supper…Jesus is washing the disciples feet one by one when Peter refuses Him. In Jesus’s reply He did not say, “You have no part in Me.”…which would mean that Peter was unsaved, but rather Jesus said, “You have no part with Me.”…which means having no communion or fellowship with Jesus. The Lord was showing Peter the necessity of regular spiritual renewal or cleansing in order to remain in fellowship with Him…and that simple act of foot washing symbolized sanctification…
being set apart for God.
This Proverb can only conjure up unpleasant memories for many of disputes around the dining table! Sadly, so many times a beautifully prepared meal has been marred by quarreling and contention of those gathered to partake of it. This Proverb was written by King Solomon, who having 700 wifes and 300 concubines, probably had rather lively discussions around his table…and could have been wishing for more peace and quiet in his own life!
Because of our location, our home is a crossroads for many friends. Those traveling from the West Coast eastward stop, as does those in the Midwest headed West. And the many visiting Yellowstone National Park end up staying here to. It says that we need to practice hospitality… that means doing it over and over again until we get good at it. Yes, it takes practice to be friendly, generous, warm, and welcoming to all those who come into our homes. I Peter 4:9 states that we should “offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” By opening our homes up to others we show the love of Jesus in very basic and practical ways…food and shelter given with kindness and love.
A man covered with leprosy saw Jesus from afar. According to the Law he was to isolate himself from the crowds, but instead, he rushed headlong towards Jesus,throwing himself down at His feet. Maybe this man had watched Jesus healing others, maybe a fellow leper he knew was healed, regardless, he now presented himself at Jesus’s feet proclaiming “I know you can do it…but will you?” When Jesus said “I am willing.” He used a Greek word that not only meant He desired to heal him, but that He had the ability to do it. Do you need a healing in some area of your life today?…Jesus is there, willing and able to do it for you.
Most people who read this scripture think it has to do entirely with money. But showing benevolence towards others has so many varying facets. Several of the Proverbs talk about a generous man prospering and being blessed not just monetarily, but with abundant joy. But the opposite is also true…if you are lacking in certain areas of your life, if you sow it into others, you yourself will it reap back…for it says in Galatians that a man reaps what he sows. In other words, if you are lacking, pour into others, and you will receive back lavishly.
Newly married, we were shopping one evening at the local grocery store, when a young woman came towards us pushing her cart..full of groceries, a large Bible, and a beautiful baby with the most exquisite pair of shoes I had ever seen. As soon as she saw us, her face lite up, as if seeing old friends, and she began to talk as she approached our cart. It was a very odd one-sided conversation, in that she seemed to know both of us very well, and was telling us how blessed our marriage was going to be. As quickly as she appeared, she left, leaving us both dumbfounded. At the very same moment we turned and asked each other…”Who was that?” Neither one of us knew who she was, so we decided to find her and apologetically ask. Up and down the aisles we went, finally ending up at the check-out stands where two of our good friends were cashiering. Neither one of them had helped a lady with a baby and lots of groceries all evening. Was she an angel sent to give us a message of blessing from the Lord…I believe so.
Ezra was going to lead a group of Israelites from Babylon back to Jerusalem over dangerous and isolated territory. He had boldly told the King that God would protect them during this journey,…but now he had to believe his own words. Ezra called a fast, in order to humble themselves before God, committing the trip to Him, and asking for safe passage. When God tells us to do something, in the back of our heads we’re always thinking…but what if God doesn’t show up?!…I’ll be humiliated! First, there is boldness in stepping out when God speaks to you, then there is obedience when you follow through…and just like Ezra, God will be there every step of the way.
What exactly is it to live a holy life? I dare say, what I consider to be living a holy life may differ greatly from what you think. Each one of us comes from differing cultures, backgrounds, and upbringings. Each one of us are at different places in our Walk with the Lord. Aristotle defined holiness as standing between caring to please no one, and endeavoring at all costs to please everyone. In other words…we should strive to please God not man, all the while being Jesus to everyone around us.
Fear, panic, anxiety…these are all negative emotions that can stem from something that happened to us a long time ago, but when triggered, can cause the same feelings as when the original event happened. We know in our head that we’re safe, but our emotions are telling us something completely different. The Lord doesn’t want us to live in fear. The Bible states that God is Love, and this perfect Agape love of God’s will drive all fear from our lives if we allow Him. His powerful love will break through all negative emotions and bring us peace. I pray that if you are battling negative emotions today,ask the Lord to fill you with His Agape Love.
Naaman was the commander of the King of Aram’s army…a great and highly regarded soldier…but he had leprosy. He was told that the Prophet Elisha could heal him of this, so armed with a letter from the King, gold, silver, and other gifts he went off to find him. But when Elisha did not personally greet him or accept his gifts, but rather sent a servant out to instruct him on what to do, Naaman went ballistic! He wanted fireworks and a sideshow, but all he got was direction on a simple task. After his master’s tirade had subsided, his servant wisely asked him…”If Elisha had told you to go do something outlandish in order to be healed, you’d do it! So why won’t you do something simple?” Naaman reconsidered, and obediently did what Elisha said…which is exactly what the Levitical Law decreed for purification…and he came out of the Jordan with skin like a little boy. Why do we think the more grand and elaborate the prayer for healing the better? Sometimes it may be as simple as praying…In the name of Jesus , be healed.