Monday, November 03, 2014

November 3 - God's Love on Display

Today's Reading: 
Numbers 8:1-9:23
John 9:1-41
Psalm 38:1-12
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:

John 9:1-5

1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 3 "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

When the disciples saw a man disabled with blindness, they asked Jesus a question that betrayed a very simplistic view of God and suffering. The man was blind so they assumed it was a punishment from God. They seemed sure his condition was a direct result of sin; it was only a question of who had sinned. Was God punishing the man for his own sins or for the sins of his parents?

Jesus’ answer boldly countered their assumptions. He declared that the man's blindness had nothing at all to do with sin. It wasn't a punishment from God, but it was something God could use to display his redemptive power and will to save.

Response and Action:
When things go wrong do I jump to the simplistic conclusion that God is punishing me or someone else? While it's always good to consider how the problems I face may be consequences from sin or errors on my part, it doesn't make sense to interpret every problem or hardship as judgment from God. Sometimes hardships are just part of living in an imperfect world. Every hardship and weakness is an opportunity for God to display his redemptive and saving power in my life.

O God, you know the hardships and weaknesses I'm dealing with today. Help me to discern the difference between the consequences of sin and the ordinary hardships of life. In every weakness and need, I turn to you, O Lord, asking you to display your saving power to redeem and transform. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: 
Luke 4:17-19
17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to [Jesus]. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

by C. S. Lewis

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