|Mark 1:40-45 (HCSB)|
|40 Then a man with a serious skin disease came to Him and, on his knees, begged Him: “If You are willing, You can make me clean.”
41 Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched him. “I am willing,” He told him. “Be made clean.” 42 Immediately the disease left him, and he was healed. 43 Then He sternly warned him and sent him away at once, 44 telling him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go and show yourself to the priest, and offer what Moses prescribed for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 45 Yet he went out and began to proclaim it widely and to spread the news, with the result that Jesus could no longer enter a town openly. But He was out in deserted places, and they would come to Him from everywhere.
|God blessed this leper for the faith he showed in presenting himself to Jesus for healing. However, in his zealous and joyful heart after his healing, he wound up doing exactly what Jesus told him not to do, and this disrupted the ongoing work of Jesus.
|This is a challenging one for us to learn, for the question becomes: How often do we override the commands of God, to do what we feel is best? Yes, even when our plan is to supposedly honor and glorify God. This reminds me of what we do when someone tells us a secret and asks us to keep it between us two. What’s the first thing we do? We find someone who we feel is trustworthy and we preface our gossip with: “Now ‘Tom’ told me to keep this between us two, but I know you won’t say anything, and I really believe you should know this…”, right? Now I know that God never made a mistake, so I’m sure that He knew this leper would instinctively go and tell the world that a man whom they despised and rejected is now perfectly whole again, and it was Jesus, the Christ who healed him. However, look at what happened to the ministry of Jesus when the healed leper allowed his will to be done, instead of the will of the One who just healed his body. Jesus said up in verse 38 that His whole reason for coming to earth was to preach the Word of God in all villages, then in just a few verses later we see where Jesus’ ministry was then restricted to to isolated places outside of the city. I wonder what impact our cruel, unthoughtful words; or our selfish and often bitter attitudes; or our prideful and arrogant treatment of others; must have on the work of the Lord in our circles of influence? Remember, that our knowledge and our vision of what lies ahead in a situation is restricted by what we can see in that present moment, compared to the eternal God who knows and sees all things, including what the future holds for those involved. He has a purpose in commanding us to follow His Word, even when it seems so strange to us. Oh may His perfect will be done, so that His glory might be revealed, resulting in awesome praise and worship to the Father, for ‘Our God Is an Awesome God!’
|Father, please forgive us for the times that we deliberately jump out in front and decide to do things that totally disrupts Your work. Yes, we always think that we know enough to make sound decisions or recommendations, but oh how limited our knowledge truly is. The leper in our story today probably thought that he was doing the best possible thing, for he was promoting the name of Jesus by telling the world that He is the one responsible for his healing. However, Jesus didn’t tell him to go and do what he thought best, which is exactly what we tend to do way too often. Please open our eyes to the innocence of raw humility and strict obedience to You oh Lord, so that You might accomplish Your will and Your work in our midst, without us erecting stumbling blocks along the way. Your way is perfect, please help us to always be mindful of that, AMEN!
|There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!|
Archive for the ‘Stumbling block’ Category
May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………
Today’s Bible Reference: Nehemiah 8:1–3
Today’s Bible Text: On the first day of the seventh month, the people came together in the open area in front of the Water Gate. Then they asked Ezra, who was a teacher of the Law of Moses, to read to them from this Law that the LORD had given his people. Ezra the priest came with the Law and stood before the crowd of men, women, and the children who were old enough to understand. From early morning till noon, he read the Law of Moses to them, and they listened carefully.
The Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)
My Take Away: I found it awesome that the Israelites gathered in the square, in unity, and asked that the book of Moses be read to them. Friends, I had to stop and think carefully about when church goers would ever call the pastor and ask that he come and read the Bible in their large, public group setting. Also, think with me about the length of time that Ezra was allowed to read, and compare that to the length of time that we would sit around in a church service or allow a pastor to participate in a public setting. Could it be that we have come so far – perhaps in our knowledge and our modern day conveniences and technology, that we feel like we have a lot of things worked out on our own and really don’t need to sit through an extended period of training in the basics of God’s Word? I recently attended a prayer summit, and many attendees were very curious as to how we would handle sitting through a conference where all we would do is to wait before God, pray, read His Word and sing. However, we saw God come and bless us with His awesome presence, and the time slipped by without anyone losing their mind! I believe it comes down to what we are willing to set as a priority in our life. God is waiting for us to open our hearts and reach out to Him, so that he could fill us with His awesome presence. What are you willing to do in order to draw closer to God and allow Him to speak to you? Are you willing to fully surrender your life to Him? Are you willing to take God with you into your homes, into our churches and even into our public places? He hung on a cruel cross and died a criminal’s death for you and I, and never considered it ‘shameful’. Are you willing to do the same for His sake? I started this devotional yesterday, but due to illness I had to return to my bed. Praise God that I was able to pick it up again, because this chapter is loaded with great truths that can benefit us all.
Prayer: Father God, You endured it all for us. Please strengthen us so that we may be willing to allow You to shine through us wherever we may find ourselves. Please help us to never be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, no matter where we may find ourselves. Perhaps if Your children would truly be Your people out in the highways and byways, perhaps the lost might stand a chance of seeing Jesus and having a greater desire to know Him personally. Lord, unfortunately I believe that if we are not representing You well, we may very well be a stumbling block to someone coming to know You because we are not living the life we are claiming. Lord may that never be the case, I pray. I ask for boldness to be a better witness for You, and I ask this in the name of Jesus, AMEN!
Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!