FAITH BLOG

HEALING FOR THE NATIONS

As a Gentile, I get a kick out of passages in the Bible where the Kingdom of God “breaks in” to those like me, previously “having no hope and without God in this world” (Eph. 2:12). Today’s reading in Matthew is one such passage.

 

Jesus has just given the sermon on the mount, telling us what the kingdom would look like. He just healed a person from leprosy—one of the messianic miracles—a sign that the Kingdom’s Ruler was here! Now we have someone from what the Jews would consider outside the Kingdom, asking for healing for their servant. This Gentile comes with a deep faith that causes Jesus to marvel, “I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel” (Matt 8:10). Jesus graciously mandates healing from afar, and the servant is healed at that very moment. 

 

Jesus’ words after this (Matt 8:11-12) are a reminder of what it takes to get into the kingdom of God: faith. We never enter the kingdom based our own good works. It’s always a gift from God -- and everyone is welcome to that gift!

Posted by Erik Brommers with

I WILL GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD

Psalm 9:1 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.

 A relationship with the Lord is characterized by a heart of thankfulness. The Psalms reflect this throughout. Psalm 68:19 reminds us that the Lord “daily loads us with benefits.” Psalm 103:2 exhorts us to “forget not all His benefits.” In the New Testament, we find similar instructions: In Ephesians 5:20, “give thanks always,” in 1 Thessalonians 2:13 to “thank God without ceasing,” and in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

In contrast, unthankfulness is clearly a trait of an unbeliever in Scripture. Luke 6:25 tells us that God is “kind to the unthankful and evil.” Romans 1:21 states that unbelievers “knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful.” In 1 Timothy 3, Paul lists the characteristics of unbelievers in the last times, and unthankfulness is one of these traits. These are people that have “a form of godliness but deny its power.” We as believers we must regularly examine ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5) to ensure we do not have a spirit of unthankfulness.

I often catch myself in this “funk.” Focusing on the negative instead of the good things He has done. Paul reminds me in Philippians 4:8-9 how to keep our minds in a proper perspective:

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

I encourage myself and all, to daily recount all His wonderful deeds!

 

Posted by Michael Burner with

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