Thursday, February 28, 2019

Wash and Be Cleansed

Today's Reading:
2 Kings 4:18-5:27
2 Corinthians 6:1-13
Psalm 100:1-5
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses: 2 Kings 5:13-14
13 Naaman's servants went to him and said, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, 'Wash and be cleansed'!" 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

Naaman did not know the God of Abraham, but his hope for a cure led him to Elisha. After being healed, he decided to never again worship any god other than the God of Israel. He didn't fully understand who that God was, but his heart was turned and headed in the right direction.

Gehazi did know the God of Abraham, and had seen his power displayed in powerful ways through Elisha's ministry. However, in his actions toward Naaman, and deceit toward Elisha, he demonstrated that his heart was turning away from God and headed in the wrong direction.

Naaman turned toward God and found healing. Gehazi turned away from God and became diseased. Carelessly turning away from God in selfish sin leads to death and sickness. Turning toward God in faith and submission leads to life and restoration.

Response and Action
Am I, like Naaman, seeking truth and drawing nearer to God? Am I growing in my understanding and my wholeheartedness toward Christ? Or am I, like Gehazi, taking God for granted, and getting careless about my actions? I do not want my profession of faith to be contradicted by actions that are selfish and deceptive.

Both Naaman and Gehazi were confused in their understanding about God, but Naaman was stumbling toward God, and Gehazi was stumbling away from God. I have a long way to go in my understanding of God, my knowledge of Scripture, and my spiritual growth, so I will keep eyes on Jesus, turn my heart toward him, and pursue righteousness. When I stumble, I want to stumble toward   God.

O God, I want to know you more. Thank you, that though I have so far to go, you love me where I am. Draw me closer to you. Grant me the wisdom and the will to seek you with my whole heart and to walk in your ways. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: James 3:14-15
14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.

Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Discipleship
by N.T. Wright (Ch. 8 - "The Mind Renewed" is based on 2 Kings 5)

No comments: