And He went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So His fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought Him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and He healed them. And great crowds followed Him ... (Matthew 4:23-25a)
Have you ever looked at the content of your prayers and felt guilty? I know I have. Somewhere, long ago, someone said to me it was wrong to pray so much for healing and practical help with my life. They said that this was just using Jesus, and that Christians should mostly say prayers of praise and gratitude and quit asking so much.
But now I think they were wrong. For in this story we see people all over Galilee and Syria coming to Jesus—why? Because they are sick! Because they are suffering with demons, or they are in pain, or they love someone who is dying. They aren't coming to Jesus for high-minded spiritual reasons; they're coming because they're desperate.
And Jesus helps! He doesn't complain, and He doesn't turn anyone away. His attitude seems to be, "Come to Me and I will give you real, everlasting life. I don't care why you come to Me—just come!" And when they come, He gives them even more than they asked for—through His life, suffering, death, and resurrection.
Jesus says this to us, too, doesn't He? "Just come." Don't worry about your reasons for coming. God is calling you, and He doesn't mind if you are using Him. Let Him bring you near.
WE PRAY: Dear Father, bring me close to Jesus. Amen.
* What do you spend the most time praying about?
* Do you ever feel guilty about any of your prayers?
* How has God made you welcome in His presence?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Today's Bible Readings: Leviticus 6-7 Mark 6:1-29
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