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Old 02-18-2009, 07:19 PM   #1  
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So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha's house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, "Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed." But Naaman went away angry and said, "I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn't I wash in them and be cleansed?" So he turned and went off in a rage.


Preconceptions



Have you ever met someone new, either at a party, or work – maybe at school or at a sporting event. As you spoke with the person, you formed opinions about them.
At work, or school – you expect people to do certain things in certain situations.



When you proceed in a particular way, you expect others to do the same, after all it is what you would have done.



Isn’t that what we do with God?
We tell God what He should and shouldn’t do for us.



That is what Naaman did in Sundays lesson – he had a preconceived notion of how and what God should have done for him, how he should have been healed of his leprosy.



God’s ways are not our ways:



Although He is King of all

He made himself a slave, dying on the cross for our salvation



Although He demands perfection from us

He forgives us when we fail



Although we reject Him in our sin

He pursues, and cleanses us through His Word and Sacraments



Although we demand signs and miracles

He works through all things to accomplish His will



Naaman, perhaps the most powerful military leader on earth at that time, came from Syria to Israel to be cleansed of his incurable physical disease of Leprosy.



Naaman had pre-conceived ideas about how that should be accomplished.



He expected and wanted the prophet Elisha to come to him personally and make some flamboyant incantation toward the heavens as he put his hands on the diseased flesh to cause it to be healed. Instead Elisha sent his servant, Gehazi, to tell Naaman to go and dip himself seven times in the Jordan river. Insulted and peeved Naaman carps at the instruction given by a mere slave questioning how the water of the lowly Jordan could be of any value to him when compared to the waters of the mountain streams of Syria.



Fortunately for Naaman he finally swallowed his pride and dipped seven times into the Jordan and his skin became like that of a baby.



And like Naaman God makes us clean



God cleans our life with what He has, His way.



Jesus, the omnipotent Creator of heaven and earth, underwent physical death and **** as our substitute. He forgives our sins. He then put the healing forgiving power of His word into the water of Baptism to cure the leprosy of our sin!



How can water do such great things?



Certainly not just water, but the word of God in and with the water does these things along with the faith which trusts this word of God in the water. For without God's Word the water is plain water and no Baptism. But with the word of God it is a Baptism, that is, a life-giving water, rich in grace, and a swashing of the new birth in the Holy Spirit.



God allowed the young Israelite servant girl to be taken to Syria in Naaman's household. She told Naaman about Elisha, the prophet of God in Israel. Elisha makes certain that Naaman knows that it is the grace of God that heals him and not anything that Elisha or Naaman did. The washing seven times in the insignificant Jordan River that he might be cleansed was an act of God's grace.



So it is with all of us.



Christ comes to us with His "Amazing Grace" and forgives us and makes us His children, without any merit or worthiness on our part.



YouTube - Leann Rimes - Amazing Grace

Leann ~http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iT88j...eature=related



AMEN

Last edited by EZMONEY; 02-18-2009 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 02-19-2009, 08:16 AM   #2  
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God's grace is totally amazing! Thanks, Gary.
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Old 02-19-2009, 12:33 PM   #3  
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Thanks !! E.Z. for sharing that... She does an amazing job ! acapello ! We always think that the right way is the hard way when often it should be the easiest... Like the gift of salvation... Its free and costs us nothing yet many feel they have to make a payment by being good enough or doing enough ect. Then it wouldn't be free... God Bless!
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