Reading Jonah

When one sits down to read through Jonah, an activity I do recommend, a sense of the extreme creeps in. Just let your mind process the following:

  • Nineveh is a great city. (1:2)
  • Jonah flees in the opposite direction by ship.
  • A great wind and fierce storm arise. (1:4)
  • The sailors seem to understand more about God than Jonah does. They have great terror in the storm and then great fear of the Lord. (1:10-16)
  • A great fish has been prepared.
  • Jonah is in the fish three days and nights praying!
  • Jonah travels for three days across the great city of Nineveh. (3:3)
  • The king of Nineveh refers to God’s fierce anger. (3:9)
  • All of Nineveh fasts and repents – from the greatest to the least.
  • Jonah expresses great displeasure. (4:1)
  • Jonah derives great pleasure from a plant. (4:6)
  • When the plant withers, Jonah says, “It is better for me to die than to live.”
  • At the end, God asks Jonah a question but what about the answer?

Do I believe Jonah is true?

The hardest to believe part of this story is the three days and nights Jonah spends in the belly of the whale. It is exactly this that Jesus refers to in Matthew 12:38-41. The scribes and Pharisees ask for a sign and Jesus refers to the sign of Jonah. “For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” We know that Jesus was buried and rose again the third day. Jesus speaks of Jonah’s experience as if it is fact – so I believe it!

Jesus continues his teaching in the same “great” theme as the story of Jonah. “The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

Great city, great fish, great emotions, great sign and yet, something greater is here! This certainly must be part of our message.

 

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Rosa – Joy in the midst of Sorrow

Rosa and her family run a restaurant just a few steps from the base in Cofradia. It is a favorite of ours for it’s half-size bottles of real Coca Cola and frozen juice popsicles. We did not see much of Rosa. Her brother, Vincente, is dying of cancer and lives across the street and she was spending time with him.  We passed her on the street or waved as she worked at her restaurant and always, her face and demeanor showed her sorrow.

Our team became acutely aware of a cultural difference when we heard about both Secu and Rosa spending time with their family members. Instead of living out the last days in a hospital, the family member is taken home and a vigil of sorts takes place.

On Tuesday at noon, a few of us stopped in at Vincente and his wife Eladia’s house and we were privileged to witness his baptism. Steve Silberman, the base director, played guitar and we sang some worship songs. Pastor Gollo read from Psalm 139. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. … Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (139:16, 23-24)

My reflection on this baptism was that this so represented real life. First that life on earth has many sorrows and cares. Our loved ones become ill, or life’s cares are heavy, and sorrow flows out of our hearts. And yet, on Rosa’s face and that of others, the joy at his baptism was a heavenly crown on their sorrow. I don’t know how to describe it any better than that – obvious, bitter sorrow but joy and hope in Christ laid over it.

In John 16, Jesus spoke to his disciples about exactly this sorrow and joy. When he died, they would weep and lament, but the world would rejoice – believing of course that death had ended Jesus’ influence. But he does not stop there and assures them that “your sorrow will turn into joy.” Like a mother giving birth, the pains and anguish are necessary before the new life comes forth. “So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”

Vincente will die and Rosa and Eladia will have great sorrow, but they know the hope of the certainty of “seeing again” as promised by Christ Jesus. The water baptism we witnessed was such an illustration of the sorrowful earthly life buried with Christ and raised to newness of eternal life!

Joy and sorrow – real life and death – Lead me in the way everlasting!

This photo of Rosa was taken Thursday evening at the variety show and I was happy that for a few moments, she was able to enjoy her life in the body of Christ.

Rosa - A momentary sweetness for her broken heart

 

Is there a Christmas Psalm?

This morning as I think about the psalms, I wonder if there is a psalm that could represent or foreshadow our Christmas celebrations. What do you think? Certainly many of the psalms are used to celebrate God’s gifts and goodness, his lovingkindness and benevolence to all people. Maybe, a psalm that mourns would be appropriate for this season, after all Jesus came to earth as the Son of Man for a purpose that involved atonement for our sin. The psalm that came to my mind was one that I read last Easter season as one of the Messianic psalms – Psalm 45. Let’s see if this celebration psalm fits the celebration of Christmas…

“My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.”

Christmas is the time when we get more letters and cards from friends, relatives, dentists etc., than at any other time of year. There is a sense of ‘good tidings’ and happy greetings with one another – those we know and those who are strangers. In the busyness, could one possibly forget to address the verses to the king?

“You are the most handsome of the sons of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever. Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one, in your splendor and majesty!

In your majesty ride out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; Let your right hand teach you awesome deeds! Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; the peoples fall under you.”

Splendor and majesty was the heavenly hosts’ message in Luke 2, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Meekness is an attribute that is mentioned in this season, but the sharp arrows and falling people in the Christmas story came at the hand of the evil King Herod instead of the good king that is celebrated in Psalm 45. Peace with God – oh what gift to share with others!

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad; daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor; at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.”

Here is mention of myrrh and cassia, like the gifts brought by the king makers from the east. One thing we often do not mention at Christmas is that the myrrh and frankincense were used as burial spices also, but they are certainly gifts meant to honor a king.

“Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear; forget your people and your father’s house, and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him. The people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts, the richest of the people. All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold. In many-colored robes she is led to the king, with her virgin companions following behind her. With joy and gladness they are led along as they enter the palace of the king.”

So now we know, without a doubt, that Psalm 45 is a wedding song. At this point in the psalm we could sing, “Here comes the bride!” Notice well how backwards our modern wedding ceremonies are in that they concentrate on the bride. The wedding featured here, and in Jesus’ own teaching, highlights the coming of and preparations made by the groom for the benefit of his bride. In John 14, Jesus said that he was going away to prepare a place for his own, and that he would return and take them to his Father’s house to be with him. In the parable of the Ten Virgins, the bridegroom comes when his preparations are finished; some of those waiting were ready and others were not.

Is that not what a good portion of the Bible story – God’s story – about? God preparing a people, holy, pure, fit to be presented to the King? Jesus’ birth is the key to the creation of this people because there was no one who met God’s requirements to be joined to His Son. The people God had created as ‘very good’ rebelled and pursued less worthy gods; they sold their purity for a bite of fruit but had to be redeemed at the cost of a life. Jesus came to live a life fully obedient to God and to pay the price for his bride.

Further on in God’s story, Revelation 19, we read of the grandest wedding celebration in the marriage supper of the Lamb to the ready Bride clothed “with fine linen, bright and pure.” A wedding will happen! “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

“In place of your fathers shall be your sons; you will make them princes in all the earth. I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.”

The union of the couple is intended to be productive and long-lasting. Philippians 2:1-8 exhorts those who are in Christ to participate in that union by thinking like Christ and humility in service and obedience as he did. God gave Mary and Joseph instructions as to the name of the Child that would come and this name, Jesus, is remembered and praised in all generations because God has exalted it.

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

Sing with the heavenly hosts – Merry Christmas! The Bridegroom is coming!

Psalm 51

David was overcome by strong emotions and passions in the story in 2 Samuel 11-12. God’s question to David is, “Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in His sight?” and the consequences are connected to “by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord.” We can list David’s sins and yet miss the fact that God’s word speaks to us about our daily walk before God. This Word is good and sweet like honey and precious and pure like refined gold and is for us today. It tells of God’s righteousness, His goodness, and our errors and needs.

What does sin do to a person? Psalm 32 tells us: “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. I acknowledged by sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”, and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.” (Psalm 32:1-5) The contrast is between the blessed forgiven one and the heavy weight of God’s hand; between the blessed one whose sin is covered to the wasted, weakened one who tries to cover his own sin; between the blessed justified one who speaks to confess his sin and the one who groans all day long.

How can sinners come before a holy, righteous God? Psalm 52 is an example for us to follow.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

What do we need the most from God? Mercy. Depend on His love and compassion to come to Him with your sin, come to be cleansed.

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,

so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.

Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

What do we do? Confess. Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” God is God, pure, holy, righteous, and judge of our thoughts, words, and deeds. Every single one of us are born in sin and sin all the time when compared to God’s truth and wisdom. Only God can remove sin and clean away the blackness and teach us from the inside out. Hear the affirmations “Cleanse me and I will be clean,” “Wash me and I will be white,” “Let me hear and my bones will rejoice.”

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.

Then something really wonderful – a miracle – happens!

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.
Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.

God is the creator of all things and when you confess, he creates in you a new heart. Jesus told a priest named Nicodemus that a person had to be born again in order to see the Kingdom of God – in order to see God with new spiritual eyes and someday real eyes. Later in the New Testament, the disciples who believed that God sent Jesus save people from their sins received the Holy Spirit because they were born new. This is a new life! A new life that is for you! God’s Holy Spirit then helps you to be willing to live right, in hear truth, and seek after God’s wisdom. This is really Good News that you can share with others!

Be humble and broken. God takes and works on this kind of sorrow to clean, heal, and restore.

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

In your good pleasure make Zion prosper; build up the walls of Jerusalem.
Then there will be righteous sacrifices, whole burnt offerings to delight you; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Finally, here is a prayer for the community of God’s people. Jesus told his disciples that he would leave them but that his work was to prepare a place for them to live. He promised that he would return for them and that those who are his would live with him forever. Jesus guaranteed this could happen and his life was that righteous sacrifice offered to God. God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice and raised Him out of the tomb. When you accept that Jesus’ sacrifice covers all of your sins, when you call Him LORD, you belong to Him – you are in Christ. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)

Psalm 51 shows us the truth. We are sinners and sin against God. Only He can take away the sin when we are sorrowful, confess, and ask for a new life. This is the truth. Don’t let any feelings, emotions, or passions take away this truth. God is a merciful God. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Come!

Another WORD regarding Psalm 19

I can’t seem to leave Psalm 19 just yet…

Psalm 19 can be divided into three sections, each of which revolves around words. The first six verses tell us that the very existence and exquisite functioning of creation are soundless words that declare the glory of God; the next five verses refer to the perfection and profitable benefits of the words of God in His law, testimony, precepts, and commandments – words written for our great reward; the psalm concludes with a prayer for God’s word to work in us and on our thoughts and words.

The word theme in this psalm reminded me of one of my favorite passages of scripture and it seems appropriate to bring it forward in this advent season.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. … And the Word become flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. … And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. John 1:1-5, 14, 16-18

Then I also thought of an often used quote attributed to Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words.” This quote is certainly a useful reminder that others read messages from our actions but really – How does another person know the good news message of John 1, without shared words? Service to other’s needs shows compassion and care, actions may speak louder than words that one is a new creature, but it is not possible to bring another person to the Salvation who visited on mankind without speaking the words of the gospel. Peter acknowledged the importance of words. Many followers left when Jesus’ teaching turned to the ‘foolishness’ of his body and body and he asked the small group of disciples if they too would walk away from him. Peter’s response: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:68-69)

Can you proclaim, preach, discuss, speak, and give witness to the good news of the Gospel with real words, words of eternal life?

Think about this now, at Christmas time. So many opportunities to lead into the words of good news!

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us – Immanuel.

“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” – Savior. (Matthew 1:20-21)

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ (Messiah), God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God – The Prince of Peace. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. – Glory, Glory, Glory to the Lord! (Hebrews 1:1-4)

Psalm 19

Psalm 19 is a magnificent Psalm to practice reading with all of our eyes. Read it and ask:

  • What do the words say?
  • What images do the words show to my mind?
  • What does God tell about Himself and about me?

 Psalm 19:1-6

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
3 There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
4 Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.

In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,
5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is hidden from its heat.

What do the words say?

Nature is speaking. The heavens and skies declare, proclaim, and speak of God’s glory. They are heard all the time, with a voice and language understood by all the earth, to the ends of the world. Their message is the glory of God. The heavens and skies know the glory of God. The sun is given as a specific example to show this glory.

What images do the words show to my mind?

Think of how many different ways we see the skies – during the day, at night, in the mists of morning, and the soft slipping away of the day. Can you see the skies filled with stars, clouds, birds and butterflies? Do you imagine the heavens brightened by a moon or sun, stormy with thunderclouds, or painted with a rainbow? If the sun is given as an example of glory, what do you know about it? Can you look at it? Like the sun, glory is coming, blazing bright, strong, victorious, and never-ending; it will be felt by everything.

What does God tell about Himself and about me?

The Psalm says that the skies and heavens don’t speak with words but simply the way they look and behave testifies to a wondrous Creator God. The Bible’s first words to us are, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” The heavens and the earth were the first to be able to tell of His glory. We can look up, down, in or out and see what marvelous works God has done in nature and we understand without words and without a translator that God is an awesome God.

We know that in the story of Ruth, Boaz was her wing of protection. Ruth and Boaz get married and he becomes her permanent protector. The Book of Ruth in the Bible ends with the birth of King David’s grandfather and David wrote many, many of the Psalms. The story of the Bible, God’s story throughout history, is of the preparation of His people to be the perfect, spotless and pure bride for His Son Jesus. Like the sure glory of the sun rising each morning, Jesus promised to return for His people as their bridegroom! If you are promised to Jesus, you are waiting for your bridegroom just as each day waits for the arrival of the sun.

Psalm 19:7-11

7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.
11 By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

What do the words say?

This section moves from nature to the word of God, the Scriptures. Each verse has a statement about the scriptures and then follows with a benefit. God’s written word is perfect, trustworthy, right, radiant, pure, sure and righteous, precious, sweet, and rewarding. The metaphors used to teach us about the scriptures are precious like gold and sweet as honey. We learn that the scriptures are from the Lord for us his servants. We benefit with revived souls, wisdom, joy, light and life, warning and protection, and a great reward.

What images do the words show to my mind?

When we read the many words used for the word of God, maybe our minds see the many different books and stories in the Bible. The metaphor of the gold might trigger a vision of many precious things and that leads you to the intent of this passage – to make you value and treasure these words, to hold them close in your heart, to have them with you at all times to enjoy the benefits promised. An image of sweeter than honey leads to a pleasant taste and an increasing desire for more of God’s word. Any of the parallel phrases might capture your imagination and desire for that kind of reward for your study of God’s word.

What does God tell about Himself and about me?

The first section of this Psalm said that the heavens and skies testified about God without words but all the earth heard them. People communicate with words and God’s word is the way He communicates to us. We can’t know the truth about God’s love, His holiness, His desires for our life until we read God’s own words. Nature will only take us so far in our knowledge of God and then we need the revelations found in the Bible to know Jesus and what is in God’s heart. The eyes of our hearts are opened to see that the “fear of the LORD” is a good fear and it is through that good fear that we live as His servants.

Psalm 19:12-14

12 Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.

14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

What do the words say?

Now here is a question: “Who can discern his errors?” Are there errors? Yes! Oh, yes, so many, many errors that the writer begins praying immediately asking for forgiveness, protection, power, and pardon. This is a very personal prayer to the “LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer” asking that our words and even our thoughts be pleasing to Him.

What images do the words show to my mind?

What does your mind’s eye see when you read this prayer? Would a prideful person be praying this prayer? Does the person praying this prayer have anything hidden? Is he keeping anything back? This prayer is really opening the heart and mind for God to examine for any sinful actions and thoughts.

What does the Rock stand in for? A rock is sold and firm. A strong building must be put on a solid rock foundation in order to last for the family to live there. Hiding behind a rock will give protection and hiding in a rock, like in a cave, is safe shelter from many storms.

A Redeemer pays a price to purchase something owned by another. Do you see this transaction taking place? What is the price? Who is being redeemed?

What does God tell about Himself and about me?

Meditate a while on the fact that we have gone from the wonder of God’s creation, to the precious, sweet gift of God’s word, all the way to His focus on a hidden thought. How great is our God!

Each section of this Psalm tells of God’s greatness and has a message about His care for His people – you! The words of God are for you to study as truth, as wisdom, to be treasured and delighted in. These words will be used by God to make you pure and spotless and we can even pray for His help in this process! His promise of a bridegroom for you is as sure and the daily rising of the sun.

It is only in God’s word that we learn that the price our Redeemer paid for us was His own life. Our Redeemer is Jesus, God’s son, who came to earth, lived a blameless life, but died on the cross because of our sins. This redemption price was acceptable to God because after three days, Jesus rose out of the grave like the sun rising in the sky. God’s word tells us that He is now at God’s right hand interceding – praying – for those who are purchased by His life.

None of our thoughts, words, and actions are hidden from God. Those that are in error are sins, and God, not you, determines the errors. But forgiveness and pardon is here if we humbly confess and believe that Jesus paid the price for our redemption. You can come to the Redeemer and be acceptable in the sight of your glorious God – your LORD, Rock and Redeemer.

The Little Slave Girl – Messenger of God

2 Kings 5 begins with recognition of the importance of a Syrian army captain named Naaman, but (the all important ‘but’) Naaman was a leper. In verse 2, the opposite of Naaman is a captive “little girl from the land of Israel; and she waited on Naaman’s wife.” The story goes on and we learn that this little maid tells her mistress, “I wish that my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! Then he would cure him of his leprosy.” You know the end of this event. The good news this little girl gave to her master works its way through very important channels. Naaman finds Elisha, who sends him to the Jordan River to dunk seven times, and ‘his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child and he was clean.” (5:14)

Consider:  What is the catalyst in this story? It’s the little slave girl!

I can easily imagine a little girl, perhaps while brushing her mistress’s hair, saying, “I wish that…” If we read wider we find out that this little girl did not know of any miraculous healings of lepers. Luke 4:27 records one of Jesus’ conversations with the religious leaders and he says, “There were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” Elisha had purified water with salt, made oil multiply for profitable sales, prophesied the birth of the Shunammite’s son and then resurrected him, but he had not healed a leper.

Why did this little slave girl think Naaman would be healed?

She knows a God of wonder and power and out of the mouth of this babe came the truth of God’s strength. Through Moses, God instructed His people, Israel, to “love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words… shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deut. 6:5-7) To this little girl, God was a very present help in time of trouble, integrated into her home life, and even though she was taken away as a captive, she knew that God was with her.

I think that she served not only her master and mistress but also her LORD. Jesus told parables about faithful slaves. In Matthew 25 two of the slaves are commended with, “You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” Colossians 3:23 applies the standard very broadly, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” The little slave girl’s faithfulness to her earthly master, Naaman, brought joy to her Lord God as she served. In addition, her faithfulness surely lent credibility to her words.

Enter the joy of your Master

Finally, this little slave girl had good news to share and just like most children they simply cannot keep quiet about a good thing! It always shows on their faces. Her zeal and affirmation about the prophet of God must have been quite something.  This little slave girl was not small or unseen by God. She was not a slave to Naaman but to her LORD who used her willing service at just the right time for God’s purpose. The good news she shared spilled out of a heart filled with God and His greatness.

My friends, we too have wonderful gospel good news to share with others. Those that are suffering from the disease and death of sin need to hear about the prophet of God who can heal them; a Prophet who foretold his own death, resurrection, and return to heaven; a Master who says, “Come unto Me”; the fountain of living water.

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