We’ve been reading the Bible through together this year, using the Discipleship Journal Reading Plan published by the Navigators.
Each day there are 4 readings from different parts of the Bible.
But starting tomorrow, while picking up in the very same places we will leave off from today – we’ll be using a new breakdown to match our new 5 day format.
If you would like a copy of this new format, email me and I’ll send out a copy as a PDF. firstname.lastname@example.org
I am struck that in acts of mercy, nothing was needed but the need itself.
He is a merciful God.
And in this it does not seem that He discriminated between Believers and Unbelievers.
The Gospels are riddled with accounts of Jesus healing, casting out demons, raising the dead and miraculously feeding thousands of people without ever asking first if they were Believers or disciples of His.
It is amazing.
If they sought Him out, He responded.
But take a minute to note a 3 key things in this account:
a. The leper was convinced that healing was a simple matter of Christ’s willingness, not whether or not He had the power or authority.
I wonder if we are as convinced that He can act on our behalf and in our circumstances – or if we imagine anything too hard for Him?
I think this is often the case when it comes to seeking His forgiveness for our graver sins.
Deep down, some of us still wonder: “Can God really forgive even THIS?”
And our hearts need to be reminded of God’s words to Abraham when he and Sarah were well past child bearing age – and yet were promised a son: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
Someone might say: That refers to a miraculous act in the physical – but you don’t know how filthy and repetitive and disgusting MY sin is!
To which I reply – God’s statement to Abraham still stands – AND – Scripture is specific that there is but 1 sin in the whole catalog of human sin which will not be forgiven – knowingly attributing the work of the Holy Spirit through Jesus – to the Devil.
And even then, it doesn’t say that sin “can’t” be forgiven, but only that it will not.
No matter how black, how wicked, how oft repeated, how shameful, how heinous or repugnant your sin may be – it is never greater than the blood of Jesus which was shed to cleanse it.
You can’t sin, greater than His power to atone for that sin in the Cross.
b. How quickly and easily Jesus’ heart was moved with pity. He was not dispassionate, even regarding this stranger.
How He hates sin and its effects.
How pitiable He is toward the suffering mankind endures because of it.
c. How WILLING Jesus was – and is!
He took no convincing.
He did not need to be buttered up, promised anything, bargained with, cajoled, pleaded with or anything else.
He was wonderfully willing.
What an incentive to pray this is.
It was the old Puritan Thomas Watson who once wrote that Jesus was more willing to go to the Cross, than we are to go to the throne of grace in payer.
He was right.
God the Father is so much more willing to answer our prayers than we are to pray them.
But it is one of the highest things Christ has purchased for us in His Cross-work – free entrance to the throne of God so as to find mercy in our times of need.
Oh Christian – ASK!
We have a giving, merciful, approachable God.