Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Luke 13:14-19

Luke 13:14-19
Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, "There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath."
The Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Doesn't each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?"
When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.
Then Jesus asked, "What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches." 

Kind and Compassionate Healer of Hearts,
So often I miss the wonder and delight in Your marvelous work. Unhappy that someone undesirable has received an unfair advantage, I hurriedly stomp off in a huff. I'd be happier to see an animal untied, than an undeserving human set free. I'd be more contented leading pigs to pond water, than sin-scorched souls to the fountain of forgiveness. I worry more about feeding my Chia Pet protein enriched plant food, than I do about nourishing hungry hearts with eternally rich Bread of Life.
Lord, have mercy on me! I'm no better than the hypocritical religious leaders. When I consider my own lack of compassion, I'm left speechless and ashamed! A person of unclean lips, I'm unworthy of even carrying Your sandals. I need to turn around and look at You.
Please enlarge my heart and bless me with a burden for the hidden treasures of Your heart: the rejects of society. In the garden of my growing heart, plant a tiny, little seed of grace that will gradually develop into a strong limb for disadvantaged people to safely land. Perched on the firm branch of my faith in You, sin-scored souls will drink from the River of Life, Your love, flowing out of me. I'll generously feed their hungry hearts the Bread of Life, Your Word, coated with irresistible honey from the Rock. Nestled securely on Your life-saving limb, they will heal and become whole. Instead of resenting them, I'll rejoice when You restore and release them.
Please show me someone deemed unworthy by society and I'll offer them comfort on my sturdy branch of faith for the benefit of Your beautiful everlasting Kingdom. Amen. 

Do you despise people who perpetually receive government handouts? Does it repulse you that your tax dollars pay to incarcerate prisoners? Do you resent when Jesus calls forward the unworthy and unattractive and offers them the same amount of grace He offers you? Do you think you deserve more than them because you have a job or have never been charged with an offense?
Listen to the words of Jesus. He says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." He doesn't promise the kingdom of heaven to the rich and well-kept, but to the needy.
Admit your own hypocritical tendencies. Then, ask the Holy Spirit to enlarge your heart and bless you with a burden for the hidden treasures of His heart. Ask Him to give you the awareness of Christ to notice the undesirables; the compassion to speak to them and for them, and the power to heal them. Then look for an opportunity to let someone land and lodge on the life-saving limb of Your faith in Jesus Christ.
Is your faith strong enough to sustain their heavy load?

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