Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lowliness in All of Us

Who is like the LORD our God, Who is enthroned on high, Who humbles Himself to behold The things that are in heaven and in the earth? He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the needy from the ash heap, To make them sit with princes, With the princes of His people. Psalms 113:5-8

Our devotionals this week have considered the healing of the lady bent by sin and the failure of the Pharisee to recognize that traditions are secondary to compassion.  Many enter worship bent by the hammer of sin on their lives.  Do the rituals and traditions of the church minister to their condition?

Lowliness in All of Us 
What is keeping you bound up? Spiritually speaking many, if not all of us, are bent out of shape from a number of things in our lives. It’s like there are invisible cords that keep us bent over. 
"When we feel that the weight of the world is on our shoulders, we may be bent over. Worry and anxiety can do that to us. Abuse can leave us bent over. Physical abuse, emotional abuse, carrying around dark secrets, shame can leave us bent over. Heartache, pain, frustration, poverty, can leave us bent over. Being unemployed, facing financial worries, being the object of gossip, dealing with grief and loss, dealing with despair. Being trapped in sin makes us bent over." -- Dave Russell, Pastor FBC Arthur, Illinois

When Jesus came into the synagogue He was drawn to the lady in need.  Perhaps others who had been there for those eighteen years had become accustomed to seeing her in her state and could quickly dismiss her condition from their minds.  This lady represents those who are seen in the shadows of the fellowship.  Not bold enough to cry out for help as a Bartimaeus or having much to offer as a rich, young ruler, they are relegated to the back pews or avoided in the halls.

Possibly it is an impaired individual who is bent by slowness of mind, or a senior bent by crippling disease.  It may even be a person of difference from the culture of our church who just really “fit in” with our friends.  May be it is you.  Maybe sometimes you just feel like no one sees you and your need.

Jesus Saw the Lady 
As Jesus did for the lady I believe He desires to do for you and me today, this very day!  We have the tendency to think we have to gain the attention of Jesus.  But Jesus sees us in our infirmity long before we ever see Him. 

We speak of our God being "all seeing" . . . but most often it is thought of as a "Big Brother - We’re Watching You!" syndrome of judgment.  Jesus sees you and me bound up and bent over in our infirmities and the oppression by Satan who wants to keep us that way. Jesus longs for us to know He sees us and wants to help us be free.

We can be the eyes and voice of Jesus to someone around us.  As His heart beats inside us so His Spirit guides us.  We can care if we cannot heal.  We can minister hope and love to someone others ignore.

Jesus Called to the Lady 
Jesus called to the lady to come to Him and she made her way to Him. He’s calling to you today. What hinders you from coming to Jesus?  Have you resigned yourself to think this is just the way it’s going to be? Maybe it is a lack of expectancy; you don’t believe God can or will do anything about your condition.  You can come to Jesus for He is calling to you! His arms are not folded, but open wide to receive you. He wants to touch each of us this morning and say, "You are loosed." 

Scripture to Claim:
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  Hebrews 11:6

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