January 11, 2023 — Healed to Serve

“The other day,” Stan began, “we talked about a blind man Jesus healed, a man who began to follow Jesus as soon as he was healed. Do you remember that?’ [Note to reader: See posting for December 28, 2022, “Healed to Follow.”]

“I do remember,” I replied. “That was the story of Bartimaeus. Why do you ask?”

“I saw something similar in Luke’s gospel about how Jesus healed the apostle Peter’s mother-in-law.”

“Was she blind?” I asked.

“No, she wasn’t blind,” Stan replied. “But she was sick and Jesus healed her. What she did after being healed is the same thing I think we are to do after we have been healed of our separation from God. But I have to admit I didn’t do it, and too often I don’t.”

“What did she do that you didn’t and you don’t?” I asked.

“It says that Peter’s mother-in-law immediately arose and began to serve Jesus and the disciples who were with Him,” Stan replied. “She responded immediately. It took me a long time to get to the point of wanting to serve Jesus and those He wants me to serve.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Same old thing,” Stan replied. “Failure to get me out of God’s way. I was more interested in serving myself or something else than I was in serving God and the people He had for me to serve.”

“How does a person get past that?” I asked. “How did you get beyond that and how do you stay beyond that?”

“Choice,” Stan replied. “Just like Peter’s mother-in-law, just like Joshua, and just like Jesus, I have to choose.”

“How so?”

“Peter’s mother-in-law got up and immediately began to serve. Joshua told the Israelites to choose whom they were going to serve, but he knew what he was going to do. And Jesus said that if I’m going to be His disciple, I have to deny myself and take up what He has for me to take up every day. That’s a choice.”

“So,” I said, “after we are healed from being separated from God, it’s just the simple choice of choosing to serve Him.”

“Simple choice?’ Stan questioned. “Yes, my friend, it is a choice, but remember that just because something sounds simple, it doesn’t mean it’s easy!”

_______________________________

Bible verses to consider:

And standing over her (Peter’s mother-in-law), He rebuked the fever, and it left her; and she immediately arose and began to wait on them. Luke 4:39.

Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve . . . ; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15.

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for healing me so I am not separated from you for all of eternity. You did that through the finished work of Jesus’ cross. Thank you for those people you brought into my life to tell me the truth so I could accept it. I confess that too often I do not serve the way you intend. I do not serve you and I do not serve the people you have for me to serve. I do that because I choose to serve myself or someone or something other than what you have for me to serve. Please forgive me. Help me to follow every step of your lead so I do, in fact, serve you and your kingdom just as you intend. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you been healed from your separation from God so you know you will spend eternity in His presence when it’s time? If no, why have you not accepted His free and gracious provision? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with serving God and His kingdom? If you sense the need for change in what and how you serve, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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