Sunday, January 20, 2008

medical missions

This morning I taught my Bible study on 2 Corinthians 8. In that passage, Paul is encouraging the Corinthians to follow through on their previous commitment to give to the suffering church in Jerusalem. Paul writes to them:

But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.... For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. (2 Cor 8:7,9 ESV)

So, giving is itself a grace; Christian giving is only righteous to God when it is done in the same fashion—through grace—that Jesus set aside the riches of heaven and became human so that we could in turn gain the riches of heaven. As I continue to reflect on this, I just read a blog post pleading for prayers for a young Indonesian boy who lacks the medical care needed to care for him.


Father, in your infinite wisdom and grace, you have created each person and chosen the place where each should live (Acts 17:26). You have given some more than others, but each person will give account for what they have done with what you entrusted to them (Mt 25:19). Some you have given much, and some you have given little (2 Cor 8), but you have called your church to serve one another; those with plenty are to use their plenty to meet the needs of those with little, so that through our generosity, your name may be glorified (2 Cor 9). May your church in America, because we are all so wealthy, be awakened to our wealth and the responsibility we have to use your resources for your glory. May we be awakened to see the suffering all around us and may we have a heart that cares for those in need. May we not be like the priest and the Levite who passed by the injured man, but may we be like the Samaritan who took the risk and made the sacrifice.

Father, I have called on your before to send out more missionaries in the field because the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. And I pray again, call out of your church more people to go into all the earth and proclaim your greatness, your glory, and your grace. And father, I pray that many of those missionaries called out of your church would be physicians of the body as well as physicians of the soul. The world needs physicians who go into the suffering world and bring physical healing, as well as spiritual healing. May your church rise up and fight against the tyranny of disease in this world.

Father, I thank you for the work of those Christians who airlifted this young boy, Rizky, to the hospital where he is now. I thank you that your people have had the chance to reach out to the family and show your mercy and love. And I pray that you will hear their cries and heal Rizky; perform a miracle that can serve as a testimony to your power and love. May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

We are so blessed to have a Lord who understands our frailties and sufferings. We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Therefore, I am able to approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that Rizky may receive mercy and find grace to help him in his time of need (Heb 4:15-16 NIV).

I ask these things of you in faith through my advocate Jesus. Amen.

No comments: