There will be times in life when our faith will waver. Circumstances will confuse us and cause us to question everything we know or believe. It’s in those times we need to be surrounded by others with strong faith who can see clearly what is happening, despite our own spiritual blindness.
The story of Naaman has so many rich truths for us to cling to. What spoke loudest to me today was that Naaman’s men had the faith, or at least the wisdom, to calm Naaman’s anger to do as he had been told by the prophet, Elisha. Because of the encouragement of his men, Naaman was healed and his mission into Samaria was a success.
Paul is getting personal here with the Galatians. He knows they are struggling in their faith walk because of the agitators trying to confuse them and cause them to feel unworthy. Have you ever felt like you don’t belong? What do you do? Perhaps you’ve tried to do something to get people to like you, accept you, allow you into the “in-crowd.” Paul is not only acting as their pastor but as their friend.
When we get off track, we often need someone to pull us back up. Paul is doing that by taking them back to the beginning. “Surely you remember that I was sick when I first brought you the Good News.” Paul doesn’t need to go into the details of his illness, because that statement alone will take the believers in Galatia back to their first encounter with Paul. We may be curious as to what was afflicting him, but it doesn’t matter. Paul reconnects with them by having them remember.
This is one of those passages where I know that God is in the details, too. There are plenty of examples in the Bible where we see generalized promises and provisions meant to encompass many people. Here, today, it is one particular woman. The captive woman.
We have recently read about how whole towns would be wiped out, people killed, including women and children. Those passages are troubling. Here, however, is an example of when there is victory, yet the people are taken as slaves or captives. Just in case there might be a very beautiful woman amidst those captives, God offers a protection for even her.
We’ve got two stories today with similarities and differences.
Both have a miracle done by Jesus. Both miracles were done to help the less fortunate (a slave and a widow’s only son).
But the differences are many. In the first story Jesus was asked for healing, the second was initiated by Jesus out of his own compassion. One was sick and one was dead. One was done with Jesus present, the other by faith alone. Continue reading “Luke 7:1-17 – Is My Faith Amazing?”
Do you know who your enemies are? What is the definition of enemy anyway? That would be “a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something.” So who are your enemies?
I suppose as Christians we can all agree that our enemies are people who speak out boldly against Jesus. We may not necessarily “fear” them in all cases, but there are times and places where she should be careful. Continue reading “Luke 6:27-36 – Love Your Enemy”