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Monday, March 16, 2009

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2 Kings 5:1-15
Psalm 42:2-3; 43:3-4
Luke 4:24-30

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"He turned about in anger and left. But his servants came up and reasoned with him." —2 Kings 5:12-13

Naaman was a military man, "the army commander of the king of Aram" (2 Kgs 5:1). He "was highly esteemed and respected by his master, for through him the Lord had brought victory to Aram" (2 Kgs 5:1). Naaman was accustomed to being called "Sir," saluted, respected, and obeyed. Nonetheless, when he came with his retinue to Elisha to ask the prophet to heal him of leprosy, the prophet did not even come out to see Naaman. Instead he sent him a message telling him to wash seven times in the Jordan River.

Naaman was angry at being seemingly snubbed, insulted, and ignored, but eventually humbled himself by listening to his servants and obeying Elisha. Then he was cured of leprosy. Some of God's greatest works in our lives depend on our obeying commandments that will confront and deflate our egos. If we humble ourselves instead of becoming angry with God and His messengers, we can see God do the impossible. But if we hold on to our rebellion, stubbornness, and pride, we'll walk away with the leprosy of sin rather than a miracle.

If we don't walk in Jesus' ways and obey Him, we'll walk away from Him (see Mk 10:22). Then Jesus will seem to have gone "straight through" our "midst and walked away" (Lk 4:30). Walk in obedience and be healed, empowered, and free.

Prayer:  Father, help me to obey the command that most challenges my ego.

Promise:  "His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean." —2 Kgs 5:14

Praise:  Barbara obeyed the Lord's call to her to go beyond tithing to almsgiving.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Pride and Faith on audio AV 64-1 or video V-64.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 11, 2008

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