September 11, Tuesday

Devotional Thought for the Day

“A Step of Faith”

2 Kings 5:8-14

But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.” 11 But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, “Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. 13 But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 14 So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.”

When I was 13 years old I went on my first short term mission trip to China and South Korea. Towards the end of our trip we visited a memorial for Reverend Son Yang-won. Rev. Son is remembered as a martyr of love who embraced the burden of colonial oppression and war. At his memorial, I saw a large painting of Rev. Son embracing the communist soldier who killed his two sons whom he later adopted. But the painting that really caught my attention was the one that showed Rev. Son removing blood from the infected wounds of lepers with his mouth. I had learned about leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, in Sunday school but it was my first time seeing how terrible the disease was. The paintings and the love of Christ that was practiced by Rev. Son would leave a lasting impression on my life.

In today’s passage, we read about Naaman, a great commander of the Syrian army, who had wealth, power, and popularity. But one day, a physician told him what no person would want to hear: “You have leprosy.” In those days, leprosy, a highly contagious disease, had no cure.

However, a little Israelite girl, who served his wife, tells Naaman about Elisha, a prophet in Samaria who could cure him. Entrusting her words, Naaman goes to Elisha’s house, but he is enraged when the prophet has his servant tell the general to wash himself in the river Jordan seven times. In response Naaman becomes resentful but why? Is he merely being prideful?  Certainly so but have you considered this: The moment this proud general takes off his armor, everyone can see his disfigured flesh—the source of his deepest pain and shame. This is to say, everyone around Naaman who respected this mighty warrior would see him in his weakest state—naked and diseased.

Many of us can relate to Naaman because we, too, have deep pains we would rather keep hidden—the very wounds we have tried to mask with different remedies (e.g., success, accomplishment, relationships, etc.) so that others around us cannot see them. In light of this, let us hear the words of Christ, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” May we take a step of faith and ask the Great Physician to come into the deep crevices of our wounds—to bring healing, restoration, and renewal.

Prayer: Father God, thank You for always being patient with me even when I am stubborn in my own ways. May I humble myself today and come before You just as I am. I ask that You heal my pain and brokenness. Allow me to be sensitive to Your leading today and give me the strength and courage to uproot whatever is preventing me from experiencing Your peace and joy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Job 24


Lunch Break Study

Read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18: So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

Questions to Consider

  1. How is our inner self being renewed day by day?
  2. How can Paul say that his momentary affliction is light?
  3. What should we fix our eyes on?

Notes

  1. On a physical level, we are all moving toward death. As we wait for our physical existence to be renewed when Christ returns, Paul writes that day by day, the ministry of the Holy Spirit is renewing our inward self.
  2. Paul is writing that the difficulties of this life are minor when compared to the weight of our eternal salvation.
  3. Paul writes that we should focus our eyes on what is unseen—our future salvation in Christ.

 Evening Reflection

Ask the Holy Spirit to renew your heart and spirit. The enemy will use fear and fatigue for us to lose heart. In Ephesians 6:10-11 says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”

 

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