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God's Living Word

It turns out you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!  In this instance the role of the “old dog” will be played by me and the “new trick” will be an application from a well known Scripture.  I know that many of you reading this article have been believers for a long time and, as you sit in church or in Bible study week after week you begin to get the feeling that you have heard all of this before.  The good news about God’s Word though, is that it is a LIVING Word and the Spirit of God uses it in our hearts to bring new insights no matter how many times we have heard it or read it.  


Recently I spent a horrendous 9 days in UVA Hospital in Charlottesville.  A fairly significant surgery involving a chest tube was supposed to mean a 3 day stay but complications set in.  Pain, fear, anxiety, nausea became overwhelming.  Coupled with this was a hospital room mate that was loud, cantankerous and rude.  He kept the lights and the TV on all night and was constantly pushing the call button so people were in and out of the room at all hours.  All of this caused me to narrow my focus on one goal, I want to go home!  


When Sunday rolled around, I decided to listen to a sermon to try to calm myself down.  I tuned in to Elevation Worship with Pastor Steven Furtick.  Pastor Steven was preaching on Paul and Silas in the jail at Philippi.  Again, I have heard this story many, many times dating back to the flannel graph figures in Sunday School as a child, so I was frankly a little annoyed that this was the sermon topic when I really needed a deep spiritual truth to help me in my trial.  As Pastor Steven was making the point that at midnight Paul and Silas were singing and praying, I was literally rolling my eyes.  So what I’m supposed to do?  Break out in song right now??   But then he made a simple point about their prayer.  They were NOT praying for God to get them OUT of the prison, they were praying for God to come INTO the prison with them.  The Spirit immediately spoke to me.  I had been praying to get OUT of this hospital room but God wanted me to invite Him into the room.  As soon as I did that, the message was clear, your roommate needs Jesus. It is convicting to think that up to that point my self focus had kept that thought out of my consciousness.  


At my first opportunity, I dragged my IV pole to the bed next to me and shared the gospel with John.  He was in pain from a cancer surgery and not in good shape.  He listened and thanked me for sharing.  He did not pray to receive Christ but I did pray with him again when I left the room a few days later.  Seeds were planted so please join me in praying for John’s salvation. 


After sharing Christ with John, the amount of peace I felt was amazing.  My focus had shifted from “God deliver me” to “God use me in this place”.  God’s Word is so powerful and, when we allow it to, it delivers just the message we need to hear. 

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