Monday

Information Please?



"Information? I need the 
number of the Caseway 
Insurance Company."

"Would you spell that, please?"

"Certainly. C as in sea. 
A as in aye. S as in sea. 
E as in eye. W as in why. 
A as in are. Y as in you."

"Just a minute, sir. 
I'll connect you with 
my supervisor."



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3 comments:

Ravi Zacharias - RZIM said...

In that interesting encounter between Jesus and the paralytic given to us
by Luke, we see a defining reminder of the relationship between evidence
and faith, the temporal and the eternal. The friends of this paralyzed
man did everything they could to bring him within the sight and touch of
Jesus (see Luke 5:17-26). They even disfigured the property of the person
in whose house Jesus was visiting in the hope that he would perform a
miracle for their friend. I suspect they must have reasoned that if Jesus
could make a paralyzed man walk again, then replacing a roof would be a
minor problem. But as they lowered this man within reach of the Savior,
they were not expecting an apologetic discussion.

"Which of the two is harder," asked the Lord, "to bring physical healing
or to forgive a person's sins?" The irresistible answer was self-evident,
was it not? To bring physical healing because that would be such a
miraculous thing, visible to the naked eye. The invisible act of
forgiveness had far less evidentiary value. Yet, as they pondered and as
we ponder, we discover repeatedly in life that the logic of God is so
different to the logic of humanity. We move from the material to the
spiritual in terms of the spectacular, but God moves from the spiritual to
the material in terms of the essential. The physical is the concrete
external--a shadow. The spiritual is the intangible internal--the
objective actuality.

Yet we all chase shadows. We chase them because they are a haunting
enticement of the substance without being the substance themselves. It
takes a jolt, sometimes even a painful jolt, to remind us where reality
lies and where shadows seduce. Our Savior was so aware of this weakness
within us that he often walked the second mile to meet us in order that
something more dramatic might be used to put into perspective for us what
is more real and of greater importance to God. Yes, he did heal that man,
but not without the reminder of what the ultimate miracle was. Once we
understand this, we understand the relationship between touching the soul
and touching the body. Both are real, but one is the object; the other is
the shadow. In this instance, Jesus followed the act of forgiveness with
the easier act of physical healing so that the paralyzed man would feel
the touch of the Savior from what was more meaningful to what was more
felt. If he was a wise man he would walk with the awareness that the
apparently less visible miracle was actually more miraculous than the more
visible one--but his feeling of gratitude for his restored body would
remain a constant reminder to him of the restoration of his soul.

As I have pondered this and the many other examples of Jesus's acts of
mercy, I look at our hurting world that is desensitized to the greatness
of the gospel message--the message that cleanses the soul and heals the
inner being. Our world is weighed down with pain, fear, suffering, and
poverty. In more than three decades of travel around the world I have
seen this reality with my own eyes. Our world is so broken that if we
were to stare reality in the face, we would wish it really were only a
shadow and not an actual embodiment. Such is the blind eye people turn to
the familiar and dismiss as mere shadows what is tragically real. Both
body and soul are forgotten. The cost in human suffering is beyond
computation.

In such a world, the question becomes: Can we shut our eyes to such need
and suffering, or is there a role we can play that lifts the tiles of a
roof to bring some of them within the touch of the Lord? The overwhelming
answer is yes, there is a role that we can and must play. Love is indeed
the most powerful apologetic. It is the essential component in reaching
the whole person in a fragmented world. The need is vast, but it is also
imperative that we be willing to follow the example of our Lord and meet
the need. What does this mean for us? It means giving a cup of cold
water in the name of Jesus and telling the recipient to thank God and not
man for that gift. Only eternity will reveal how deep and how real such
an impact is, but our calling is clear: to let our light so shine that
men, women, and children will see our good works and glorify our Father in
Heaven.

That is apologetics completed. That is confirming to the mind by the
visible touch of the body. The mind is to the soul what the body is to
the shadow. When we can touch both we have demonstrated the power of both
thought and deed. It lifts the message out of the shadow and brings it
into the light. Such is the power of love. Unless we understand a
person's pain we will never understand a person's soul. And what a
privilege we have to take the message of the Cross upon which "He bore our
griefs and carried our sorrows." Christ is the best reminder of what is
real and what is shadow.

Professor Howdy said...

It's no secret around our family that I'm not the most technical or
mechanical guy in the world. And when something is wrong with our car, I do
head for the gas station. Our friend has worked on our car for years and he
does a good job. And since I have been "Joe Used Car" for a lot of my life,
there has usually been a fair amount of work to do. I come chugging in, and
I tell my friend the symptoms of what seems to be wrong with the car. I tell
him about the noise, the starting problem, or the loss of power, and then he
talks back to me. He tells me what he thinks it might be, what he thinks it
might cost, and how long it might take to fix it. So what do I do? Do I say,
"Thanks, friend," and then chug out in my ailing car? No, I have to leave it
there!

Our word from the Word of God comes from Luke 7, beginning at verse 2.
"A certain Centurion servant was there, whom his master valued highly. The
servant was sick and about to die. The Centurion heard of Jesus, and sent
some elders of the Jews to Him, asking Him to come and heal his servant.
When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with Him." At this point,
they are telling Jesus about the problem, just like I tell the mechanic
about my car's problem. In this case, it's a very valued servant.

Jesus responds, and the Centurion sends a message back, and says, "I did not
even consider myself worthy to come to You, but 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 comes, and he comes. I say
to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it. When Jesus heard this, He was
amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following Him, He said, 'I tell you,
I have not found such great faith even in Israel.' And then the men that had
been sent returned to the house and found the servant well." Look at those
words, "such great faith." Jesus is always talking to His disciples about
their little faith. He says, "This unlikely man, this Gentile, has such
great faith." Why? Well, he didn't just tell Jesus about the problem,
he trusted Him with it. That's why he got the miracle he needed.

It doesn't do any good if I just tell my mechanic about the problems my
car has. I have to leave it in his hands and drive away in another car. I do
leave it there. I trust him. Maybe you're looking at a problem or need that
really could use the touch of God right now. You say, "Well, I've prayed
about it." You've prayed about it, but have you really left it with Him? You
told Him, but have you trusted Him with it? Notice, this Centurion says,
"Just say the word, and it will be done." He recognizes the total authority
of Jesus over the situation, and acts as if it is totally in Jesus' hands.
That is great faith.

Is that how you are when you pray about someone or something? "Lord,
if You say come, it will come. If You say, go, it will go. If You say do this,
it will be done." Now when Jesus has the problem, you don't have it anymore.
When you tell Jesus about it, you walk in all bent over with the load, and
you walk out of the throne room still bent over. No. When you really trust
Jesus with it, you walk in bent over, but you walk out standing tall. You
left your load in Jesus' hands. So, would you relax in His total authority
over the situation? Exercise the faith that brings down the supernatural,
"Such great faith."

The old song says, "I must tell Jesus all of my troubles." Upgrade that
to, "I must trust Jesus with all of my troubles." Drive it to Jesus, and then,
leave it with Him.


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Wist u dat de God van u houdt?
Avez-vous su que Dieu vous aime ?
Wußten Sie, daß Gott Sie liebt?
Avete saputo che il dio li ama?
Você soube que o deus o ama?
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Professor Howdy said...

So God made the two larger lights, the sun to rule over the day and the moon to rule over the night; he also made the stars. - Genesis 1:16 GNT

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