October 30 - November 2
"We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech (were pleading) you by (through) us." (2 Corinthians 5:20)
In answer to a Roman centurion's earnest pleas to heal his desperately ill slave, Jesus started to go to the man's house. The man, however, said that he was unworthy of such attention. He said, "Only speak a word and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me." (Matthew 8:8-9) If he, an officer in the Roman army, could have things done by a word of command, surely Jesus, the great prophet of God, could do likewise.
A centurion had 100 men under his command. Above him was the senior centurion, and above the senior centurion, the 60 centurions of the Roman legion. Above the 60 centurions were the 6 tribunes, and above the 6 tribunes the 2 counsuls. Above the 2 counsuls was the emperor himself. It was because the Roman centurion stood in this long line of delegated authority that he was able to give orders and have them obeyed. He had authority because he himself was under authority.
Today, those of us who submit to Christ are men and women "under authority." Because of our relationship to Him, we have the authority to speak on His behalf, declaring forgiveness of sins to all who believe in Him.
Do we live and speak as people under authority? (HWR)
Am I a soldier of the cross?
A follower of the Lamb?
And shall I fear to won His cause
Or blush to speak His name? (Watts)
We can speak for Christ only when we listen to Christ.
Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (1993). Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission.
N.J. Hiebert # 2781
"Yet a little while, and He that shall come will come,
and will not tarry." (Hebrews 10:37)
"A little while" - 'twill soon be past,
Why should we shun the promised cross?
O let us in His footsteps haste,
Counting for Him all else but loss!
For how will recompense His smile,
The sufferings of this "little while."
N.J. Hiebert # 2782
"Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." (Isaiah 53:4)
Christ's death was a shameful death. More than the pain they inflicted upon Him, perhaps the shame was the most trying aspect of what man did to the holy Saviour. In Roman executions, the criminals were stripped naked, and inhumanely exposed to public shame. So the Roman soldiers cast lots for His clothes and left Him naked. Scripture tells us, Christ "endured the cross, despising the shame." (Hebrews 12:2) This He did in love for sinners and because of His delight in doing the will of God. What a tragedy it is if we are ashamed of the One who bore such shame for us! (Milton Haack)
N.J. Hiebert # 2783
"And all that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on (Stephen), saw his face as it had been the face of an angel." (Acts 6:15)
Never fear persecution; it will make your face shine as an angel's.
N.J. Hiebert # 2784