Yes, I am still coughing up a storm and running a low-grade fever periodically. So that means another Sunday at home. Alone. Not all that awful, actually. Just different. And I wouldn’t want to make a habit of it.
The quiet gives me opportunity to contemplate. This morning I opened my Bible at random, and it happened to fall at Luke 14. The first words I read made me smile. “And it came to pass…” I remember once hearing someone say that those were their favorite words from the Bible, because it’s just such an encouragement to think that everything comes TO PASS. Well, I can definitely relate to that right now! It seems that this illness is certainly taking its time about passing, but I do have faith that it will, eventually!
As I was reading along, I came to the story of the unjust steward in Luke 16. That story has always mystified me. It seems so out of sync with most of the other parables. This guy was accused of wasting his master’s goods, so his response is to go out and conspire with the master’s debtors, with the end result being that he cheats the master even more?
It doesn’t say whether the steward was actually guilty of cheating his master before, just that he was “accused,” but by his actions here, it seems likely that he was guilty. But his lord commended him for this “wise” thing he had done? Really? I mean, come ON. Had I been his master, I’d be saying, “Too bad for you, wise guy, you deserve to go dig ditches or beg or whatever! You should’ve thought of that before you ripped me off.”
In the next verse, Jesus gets on with the lesson. “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.”
What exactly is he saying? That we should cheat people in order to make friends who can help us out later? That it’s okay to use funds that aren’t ours for a worthy cause? Surely not. I’ve never really gotten the point.
I understand the next part, where he says that we need to be faithful with the little things, or we can’t expect to be given more. But what does the shyster steward have to do with it? Can anyone shed light on that for me?
In the next chapter, there’s that story of the lepers. I love the last part of verse 14–“And it came to pass, that as they went, they were cleansed.” Well, first off, it came to pass but the second part caught my attention this time. “As they went…” Mmmm-hmmm. He didn’t cleanse them and then send them. He sent them, and as they were going (obeying Him) they were cleansed. Love that thought. God isn’t going to make me perfect, to fully equip me for ministry, until I take off and follow Him! Faith~ It’s all about faith!
Which brings me to the sermon I listened to this morning. It was given by a friend of ours. I don’t know if it was his very first sermon, but it was the first I’ve heard from him, and he did a marvelous job. There may have been a couple of minor points where I disagreed with him, but it was definitely one of the best sermons on faith I have ever heard. Lots of interesting bits to chew on–listen and be encouraged!
Click here to listen: Phil Beery on Faith