Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

3 Responses to the Excellence of God

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Jesus Heals, The People Respond

In Mark 7:31-37, we read the following story of Jesus healing a deaf and mute man:
Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him. After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
In this passage of Scripture, we see three responses from the people who witnessed Jesus' healing of this man who couldn't hear and who could barely speak. First, the people couldn't stop talking about what Jesus had done for this man. Second, they were overwhelmed with amazement. And third, they believed everything that Jesus did was done with excellence. Let's look at each of these responses.

Can't Stop Talking About It!

Have you every been involved in a particularly incredible situation that you can't stop talking about? Put yourselves in the position of the people that were present at this particular healing. The people that brought this man to Jesus knew that he had been handicapped for most likely the majority of his life. This man had a long-term disability and had very little hope for recovery.

I'm sure the people's thought process was that they heard about Jesus' healing of hundreds of other people, so they brought this deaf and mute man to Him hoping that Jesus would perform a miraculous healing. Of, course, it was one of those situations that you cannot believe until you actually see it take place. So, Jesus places his fingers in the guy's ears, touches the man's tongue, sighes, and then says "be opened," and the man is healed!

The people are overjoyed that the man has been healed, but Jesus commands them not to tell anyone about the healing. What do the people do, though? They can't stop talking about it! They're running around the area of the Sea of Galilee telling their friends and family what Jesus was able to do for this man. They ignored the Lord's command and told people anyway.

What has God done in your life or the life of others that you can't stop talking about? Has the Lord saved your soul? Has He helped you through a particular difficult period of time in your life? Has He provided for you materially and financially through a job loss? Has He healed you physically from a difficult illness? If so, we should be about the business of proclaiming God's healing power to those we come in contact with each day.

Blown Away!

The people who were present at this healing of the deaf, mute man were completely blown away by the healing of power of Jesus. They were overwhelmed with amazement. They couldn't believe that this handicapped man had finally been made whole. I'm sure that the people who brought this man to Jesus had faith that he could be healed. Until the actual healing took place, though, their response was probably typical of anyone else's response. They were completely surprised by the power of Jesus!

So what has Jesus done or been doing in your life and the lives of those around you that has brought genuine amazement? When you pray for healing and the healing takes place, are you overwhelmed with God's awesome, divine power? When you pray for a job that seems like a completely long-shot and the Lord provides for you, are you blown away by God's provision? God is at work all around us every day. Are you completely blown away with what He is doing for you and others?

Excellent and Beautiful

The third and final response of the people is captured in their statement, "He has done everything well." The word "well" that is used in this verse has the root idea of excellent and beautiful. When Jesus decided to heal this man, He didn't do a halfway job. He went all the way with a complete healing of the man's hearing and speech.

And that's just like God isn't it? He is an amazing, all-powerful God, who is perfect in every way. Jesus had compassion on this handicapped man and healed him with beauty and excellence.

What has God been doing in your life lately that has been excellent and beautiful? Has He taken care of your financial needs in some pretty incredible, amazing ways? Has He brought about a complete physical healing from a terrible illness? Has He answered specific prayer requests for some rather difficult and hopeless situations in your life? If He has, then give Him the praise and honor that is due Him. Praise Him for the excellence and beauty that He brings into each one of our lives!

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