Lessons Of A Lifetime

SUNDAY SEPT. 22, 2019

Scripture To Consider:
“Now it happened, the day after, that Jesus went into a city called Nain, and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd. And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her.”

“When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’ Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And Jesus said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise.’ So, he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And Jesus presented him to his mother.”

“Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has risen up among us’; and ‘God has visited His people.’ And this report about Jesus went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region.” Luke 7.11-17

Something To Consider:
Jesus traveled south from Capernaum along the coast of the Sea of Galilee to a city called Nain. Nain means beauty, which beautifully describes what happened just inside the gate to the city of Nain. Jesus and His disciples came upon a funeral procession in progress. The death of an only son brought about much weeping from a widowed mother.

Many mothers and fathers have had the unfortunate chore of burying their sons and daughters. But the sight of this widowed mother’s only son being carried on a burial bed and the many tears that accompanied this widow’s weeping, moved Jesus to having compassion on her.

Jesus was often moved with compassion to a point of action on behalf of others. The writer of Lamentations 3.22-23 acknowledged the Lord’s compassion, by stating; “Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They  are new every morning: great is Your faithfulness.”

How many times have we called upon the new every morning mercy and compassion of the Lord? Thank God our heavenly Father, that His mercies and compassion are made readily available in and through Jesus Christ on a daily basis! Therefore, have we taken full advantage of the mercy and compassion of the Lord today? And if not, why not?

Something Else To Consider:
What is it that moves us? What is it that moves you? What is it that moves me to have compassion? Does the death of another’s child? Would the weeping of this poor sonless widow have moved us to having compassion? Maybe it was the threatening thought that as a widow this woman would be left alone without support, without help, and without hope. Or could it have been the realization of an entire family line being cut off or coming to an abrupt end without the prospect of any children to carry the family name into the next generation?

Whatever it was, it was enough to move Jesus, a much more than a great prophet, to demonstrate compassion that caused quite a stir in the city of Nain. Are we at all moved to having compassion by the many being deceived by false messages of the false hope being delivered on a weekly basis by false prophets? Does it concern us in the least that many millions will be led through the fiery flames of a hopeless eternity separated from all that is good and godly?

Or, will we have compassion or pray for the depth of compassion that Jesus exemplified for a weeping widow over the loss of her only son? If millions of dead sons and daughters who have realized they have died and are not in the presence of the Lord could speak from the other side of the grave, what would they declare? With what earnest beseeching conviction would they attempt to warn us?

Something More To Consider:
While a widowed mother was still weeping, a word of divine authority from Jesus powerfully enabled a dead son to rise from the dead and to speak. I am sure the mother’s mourning instantaneously turned to tears of joy unspeakable along with uncontrollable laughter at the sight and sound of her son sitting up and speaking. And yet, great fear fell upon those following the funeral procession as all eyes, ears, and hearts, in a moment of time knew without any doubt that God had visited them that day.

God is still in the business of visiting His people. He is still very much willing to raise many spiritually dead sons and daughters to new life in Jesus. By His very presence, Jesus is able to instill new life into the coldest and most callous of hearts, just by speaking His Word. Are we listening to the Word of God? Are we listening to the life-giving words of Jesus?

What is it that we instill in others, in our family, in our co-workers, and the others we cordially come in contact with throughout our seemingly mundane life and day? Many, if not most of those we rub shoulders with each day of our earthly lives are as spiritually dead as the poor widow’s son of Nain was physically dead. But, the living and powerful sharper than any two-edged sword of the Word of Jesus brought instantaneous life and breath into the dead cold lifeless soul of this son of a widow mother.

A Few Final Words:
How aware are we that others are watching our lives, listening to our words, and taking notice of our attitudes and actions, while they proceed on the funeral-like procession of life, spiritually dead in their sins? Beginning in 2 Peter 1.5, Peter reveals a lesson of a lifetime for us to learn. “But also, for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.”

Peter adds that by doing or practicing these things we will never stumble. He finishes his thoughts in verse 11, by stating; “For so an entrance will be supplied to you [enduring to the end diligent follower of Christ] abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” As mentioned earlier, God is still in the business of visiting His people by way of the Word of God and by way of His Holy Spirit.

Jude, writing in his 25 verse letter declared before closing out his thoughts with a beautiful benediction to Him who is able to keep us from stumbling and to present us faultless before the presence of God’s glory with exceeding joy; “But you [enduring to the end faithful follower of Jesus] beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the [new every morning] mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

God’s presence through His Word, His Son, and His Holy Spirit, has at times brought fear, but God visiting His people is enough to raise the spiritually dead back to new life in Jesus Christ. “Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has risen up among us’; and, ‘God has visited His people.’” Have we welcomed God when He visits His people? The truth is that God is visiting us even now in our reading and listening to His Word!

Our Father in heaven, speak Your Word to our hearts and bring us new life. Exchange our coldness with Your compassion for others. In Him Always, Amen!

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