Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Others getting what you want - 1st Timothy 5:23-25

"No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments. The sins of some men are quite evident, going before them to judgment; for others, their sins follow after. Likewise also, deeds that are good are quite evident, and those which are otherwise cannot be concealed." (1 Timothy 5:23-25)
Paul was a man who performed many miracles in his day including many healings. However, here is his "true son" who is beset with "frequent ailments." In fact, we know that Paul himself also suffered sickness and diseases during his life as an apostle. "But you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time." (Galatians 4:13) Could not the one who healed so many heal himself and his son Timothy? Time does not permit for a full treatment on the subject of healing, but there is often no correlation between the gifts of healing and the healer's own healing. There is an interesting story of when Abraham and his wife Sarah lived near Gerar. Fearing the king and the people of that place, Abraham asked Sarah to say she was his sister so that they would not kill him and take her, for, even late in life, she was still very beautiful. As he suspected, king Abimelech took Sarah, thinking she was Abraham's sister but God kept him from her lest he sin against another man's wife. Once God had revealed to Abimelech the deception that had been perpetrated against him, he restored Sarah to Abraham, but not without first rebuking the patriarch. "Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maids, so that they bore children. For the Lord had closed fast all the wombs of the household of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham's wife." (Genesis 20:17-18) Abraham prayed for Abimelech and his household and they all started having children again, and yet, here Sarah was still barren! How many times had Abraham prayed that same prayer for his wife to no effect? Why would God hear his prayers for Abimelech but not for his own wife? Sometimes the contrast between our personal and our ministry lives server to test and refine our faith. Will we continue to pray and believe for others while we still are waiting for answers to our own prayers for ourselves? When others get the very thing we ourselves long for will we continue to serve and trust God knowing He is always good and loving towards us, even when it doesn't look like it? Both Paul and Abraham continued to pray and believe for others even when beset with their own needs, and so should we. Our needs should not derail us, or disqualify us, from the gifts and service God has for us.

In the end, all things will be seen for what they truly are. For some, their deeds, good or bad, are seen and judged by all, for others, we will have to wait till they are revealed at the judgement seat of Christ. However, either way, one day, all will be seen for what it truly is. In that day there will be no "hidden"sin and no unrewarded deed. Just because no one knows what we do in secret does not mean that no one sees, God does. Just because no one acknowledges or rewards us for the good we do does not mean that no one sees or cares, God does. What others see and think of us matters little, for often they only see what we want them to see. What really matters is what God sees and what He thinks of us for He sees us for who we really are. Let us live in the revelation that God is always watching and sees everything. Then, in that day, we will not be ashamed of what is revealed for we have already lived our lives if full disclosure before God.

David Robison

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