A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Friday, December 7, 2018
"The Example Of The Centurion"
Message summary: In this very broken world people are still finding God and getting saved!
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"When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, asking for help. 'Lord,' he said, 'my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering'" (Matthew 8:5).
In our chaplaincy role Christian employees often share with us about their "prodigals" and enlist our prayer support. Yesterday an employee updated Brooksyne about her adult son who has strayed from his spiritual roots for quite a number of years, and yet he still finds himself surrounded by believers, evidence that God is still seeking him out.
The employee told Brooksyne that her "prodigal" son's co-worker is a devout Christian, and sometimes the work they do can be quite challenging. The Christian co-worker is upbeat and usually has an encouraging thought regarding the matter at hand. Recently, he reached out to her "prodigal" son when he sensed that he was quite disturbed about a problem and asked if he could pray for him right there and then. He consented but did so very hesitantly.
Well, it just happens that we are also chaplains at the company where her son works and know the Christian co-worker she described. He is a solid believer, has an active faith, and often goes on mission trips. We pray that as he deals with his less than receptive fellow worker he will not grow weary in well-doing, and that one day the "prodigal" co-worker will tell him that he planted seeds that led him to a restored faith in Christ or perhaps he may even lead him to Christ.
The above story reminds me of yet another story I heard years ago. A Christian manager shared with me that he had the duty of dismissing an employee for just cause; a single man living a reckless lifestyle. As he was escorting him to the door he felt the Spirit's prompting to ask the dismissed employee if he could pray for him and the employee consented. He prayed a brief heartfelt prayer and said farewell.
Many years later he was eating in a restaurant and the former employee came over to greet him. He was a changed man, now married with children and living a responsible life. He told my friend, "I found God". Only the Lord knows what impact the Spirit-prompted prayer many years earlier had in his change of heart. That is something we just to leave to God. Our call is simply to obey God's leading.
God calls us all to express care toward others. Real love is conveyed in expression, words and action which often includes some tangible form of caring.
Consider the centurion in the daily text. He had many working under his authority and was likely a man of considerable influence. He could have been too busy or felt he was too important to really pay attention to the needs of those who worked for him, particularly a servant. But just one of his "employees", a servant, was in need. He sought out Jesus on behalf of this servant who was "paralyzed and in terrible suffering". Wouldn't you like to have someone like this for a boss!
Today we encourage each reader to be sensitive and observant. Look for opportunities to express God's love and care to those in our sphere of influence; much like the centurion did for his needy employee.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Here's the full context the daily text comes from:
When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. "Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering." Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him." The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would." And his servant was healed at that very hour. (Matthew 8:5-13)
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Stephen & Brooksyne
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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