January 1 Devotional

There is a very familiar story in II Kings 5 about a captain of the Syrian army, Naaman, had gotten leprosy.  In the day he was living, this disease was the same thing as a “death-sentence.”  Naaman’s wife had a young Israelite slave girl.  We don’t know her name, but her faith made a huge difference in the life of this man, his wife, and I am sure the rest of his family.

 

Upon hearing of her master’s leprosy, she made a simple statement to her owner.  She said to her mistress, “… Would to God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! For he would recover him from his leprosy” (II Kings 5:3).  She believed that God could heal her new master.  The story unfolds that Naaman went to visit Elisha and was told to dip himself seven times in the Jordan River. He obeyed this order from Elisha and found healing when he came out of the water after the seventh time.

 

Naaman then offered Elisha gifts as payment for the healing he had received. Elisha refused the gifts (I think mainly because God had healed him … Elisha knew that he had little to do with it).  There is a statement that Naaman made following Elisha’s refusal that really touched my heart. He said, “thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD” (II Kings 5:17b).  Did you catch that?  The influence of a “little maid” had a major impact on this captain in the Syrian army!  He turned his back on the idols of his past, and made a commitment to love and sacrifice to the God of eternity!  All because of one “little maid” who spoke up when it was most important!

 

This chapter, and particularly this verse, leaves me with the reminder that God can use anyone, anywhere to advance His principles and truths.  The key is that this “little maid” was ready and willing to speak up when the time of need presented itself.  This girl was no different than most of us reading this.  We often feel inadequate, and out of place as compared to the problems that are just in front of us.  I hope that each of us will put aside our feelings of inadequacy to see the opportunities God has placed in front of us.  Today look for the people God wants you to influence.  Today look for the opportunities to serve your God and represent Him to the world around you.  There will be people without hope near you all day, tell them about your Savior!  He is all they will ever need.  Who knows what will happen!

 

Always seek out the seed of triumph in every adversity.” – Og Mandino

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