A “Pleasant” Shocker!

Searching His Word
Seeking His Heart

Last week we met The Widow. Perhaps you already guessed that this was the widow of Nain, a town south of Nazareth. Nain means “pleasant” or delightful. Unfortunately, things were not so pleasant in “Pleasantville.”

To help personalize this unnamed widow, I suggested the name, Hannah (which means “honor.”) Her son had died and now men were carrying his open coffin toward a burial cave.

About that time, Jesus entered the town along with his disciples and a large crowd who had been following him. 

As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. Luke 7:12

What timing! Coincidence, you say? How many times in your life has the Lord been there just when you needed him most?

I love the next verse when we see Jesus’ compassionate heart. He did not do his acts of healing for sensationalism; he did them because he saw a need and had a caring heart.

When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” Luke 7:13

Now hold your breath as we view what happened next. 

Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and begin to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. Luke 7:14-15

Wouldn’t you love to know what the son said? And see his mother’s reaction? It certainly became a delightful, pleasant day in Nain. Our Hannah has been honored to have her son back once again.

What a happy day for all. Let’s check in with the crowd.

They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country. Luke 7:16-17

“God has come,” they said. They had experienced Immanuel—God with us.

We have two other accounts in Scripture of Jesus raising someone from the dead. It seldom happens in our day, but we do see injured persons and those with dreadful diseases come through it with life—miracles in our midst.

And what joy we have when someone who was horribly dead in sin is brought into eternal life.

Thank you, Father, that you see our needs, whatever they may be, and minister to us in loving ways. Open our eyes to even small ways from day to day that you are Immanuel, God with us. 

~ Joyce ~

Salvation 2 – Wages of Sin

Searching His Word
Seeking His Heart

Last week, we began a process of how we might share the gospel with a non-believer. (Salvation 1 – Who Is Worthy?) We established that we all sin and this sinful nature separates us from God. 

You drew a figure something like this—

In your Bible, you underlined Romans 3:23 and put a star beside the verse.

Turn to this passage again, and go to the bottom of of the page and write “Romans 6:23.” When you turn to that verse, underline it and put a star beside it.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23

We don’t use the word “wages” much anymore, but we understand that it means something like a salary. You do work, you get paid. It is something you earn. We think of it as a good thing.

But we can also “earn” something negative. You commit a crime; you earn punishment. You fail to turn in your homework; you earn a bad grade.

In this case, the Bible tells us that what you earn from sin is death. Eventually, we’re all going to die physically, but the death in this verse refers to spiritual death, a hefty penalty, because it is an eternal death.

Oh, but there is good news! God has a gift for us. A gift is something you have not earned. It is given out of love. The gift comes through Jesus Christ who wants to be Lord of our lives. The gift is not eternal death, but eternal life.

Under your “two-mountain” drawing, you might want to draw a $10 bill with the word “death” above it and a gift box with “life” above it.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.

So what did Jesus do to give this gift?

Next week—The Price He paid.

 ~ Joyce ~