Meditation for 06/26/2019
“Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.” (Psalm 103:2-3)
The jubilant experience of forgiveness and healing led the psalmist to extravagant praise of God. He testified to his situation of the moment and to his confidence in God’s power.
He did not establish a general rule binding God to heal every disease of a believer. Nor did he give us a way to judge others’ faith by seeing if they are healed. Healing is a part of salvation, but complete healing will come only when Christ returns.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Abba, there are times for all of us, that it may seem impossible that You might consider forgiving things we have done or said; yet, You are a compassionate God and see not our looks of sadness or disappointment or penitence, rather You look at our hearts to see the truth of our intent. It is then, that You recognize our true disappointment of what we have said or done and Your heart reaches out to our own. By taking the burden of sin from us, we are restored to You and we feel the freedom from sin that holds us back from You. You don’t just stop there, for You also heal us from the inside out to give us a full restoration of our body and spirit. In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Character is doing what’s right, even when no one is looking.”
“Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall! Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: ‘Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips. Assyria cannot save us; we will not mount war-horses.’ We will never again say ‘Our gods to what our own hands have made, for in your the fatherless find compassion.’ ‘I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.’” (Hosea 14:1-4)
Waywardness (backsliding) is a spiritual disease which requires healing. Neither political and military power nor human products offer hope. When God’s people genuinely repent of their sins and confess them to Him, he heals their spiritual disease. Only God’s freely-given love can provide the healing we need. Salvation is a continuing healing process.
Salvation, Healing: (Luke 5:17-26)
Beloved the world that Jesus entered had numerous forces and powers, “all hawking their wares” to people who were hungry, ill, despondent, blind, lame, enslaved, freed—-to identify only a few of the existing conditions. Luke wrote a Gospel to a Christian community whose own beliefs were not unified. What place did Gentiles, outcasts, and women have in the church? What role did the Holy Spirit play? What missionary challenge had Jesus in relationship to Judaism and in relationship to the Roman Empire? Luke sought to help his readers understand the full significance and implications of Christ’s gospel. Jews and Gentiles alike could have depended upon the Roman government, who provided many things for the people already, though none of which provided no spiritual support for the individuals who lived well below the Roman influence. Judaism offered much more stringent morality than most of the religions of the day and those standards could be verified very quickly and simply. Instead, Christianity was the alternative then as it is today. It is not a religion that makes life easier, but the long awaited Messiah, was to usher in a new way of living and worshiping. A way that helped all and encouraged all to worship the Living God in three Beings; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Second Thought of the Day:
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. One each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation 22:1-2)
At the beginning of the Bible, in Genesis, Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden of Eden so that they might be denied access to the “tree of life” (symbolizing eternal life) in their corrupt state (Gen 3:22-24). Now, at the end of Revelation, the tree of life reappears. The water that flows is a healing water because it comes from the Throne of God. The water is always providing, like the Tree of Life. The tree continues to bring fruit and never dies. This proves that our spiritual lives will be sustained even in the Kingdom of Heaven.
An act that God and the Lamb share one throne again emphasizes their unity. There can be no doubt that John views Christ as untied with God. A pure, clear river symbolizes the pure life God gives forth to God’s people. The idea of a river flowing from God or the Temple is consistent with Old Testament imagery, including Zech. 14 and Ezek. 47. The text is unclear how many trees of life are being described. Tree is in the singular, suggesting one, which would also parallel with the Garden of Eden. However, can one tree be on both sides of a river? Perhaps it is a large tree that is somehow straddling the river. The idea that the tree bears fruit each month and that the leaves are good for healing again relates back to Ezek. 47.