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Friday, June 24, 2016

Kids In Ministry (2 Kings 5:2-3)

 "Now bands from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel and she served Naaman's wife. She said to her mistress, "If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy."

Imagine yourself kidnapped, taken from your home, taken to a foreign land and enslaved. Imagine, further, your childhood taken from you and being isolated from your family. How would you respond in such a setting? Several responses are possible:
  • You could become bitter
  • You could try to escape
  • You could undermine your master to others while pretending to be loyal
  • Or you could have a right attitude in a wrong situation
Our nameless young Israeli girl chose the last option. She served from the heart and she cared for her master. Moreover, she so wanted to be a witness for her God that she proclaimed His power to remove the only flaw from her master's otherwise perfect life. Naaman's leprosy was the "but" in a successful career. This girl risked everything for her God. 

Out of concern for her master she put her reputation on the line along with her life. She had such confidence in her God and in His prophet that she was willing to risk all for her master's sake. Had Naaman gone, humbled himself in the waters of Jordan and remained a leper, at the very least, her position would have changed; at worse, she might have even forfeited her life.

Why would Naaman believe this young girl's testimony? She:
  • Demonstrated huge work ethic (the good job that she did gave credence to her message about God)
  • Displayed a positive attitude (the positive attitude which she had demonstrated her large view of God)
  • Declared the unashamedly greatness of her God (the greatness of her God was good news and simply could not be contained)
God is not limited to using adults, free people, or even nameless people.
Eveyone in the story won because one little girl was willing to take one BIG risk in proclaiming the greatness of the God of Israel. What risks are you taking today? Are you risking a bold witness? And if you do, would your deeds back it up? And if they would, could there be a "Naaman" in your life who needs to hear your testimony about the greatness of God?

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
2 Kings 14:7-14; 2 Chronicles 25:11-24
  • What character flaw does Amaziah demonstrate that proves his downfall?
  • What price does he pay for that character flaw?
  • Why does Johoash the king of Israel break down the wall of Israel?
  • What does this story teach us about the sources of the warnings God may send us?
2 Kings 5:1-7:2 (The miracles of Elisha)
  • What character flaw also shows up in Naaman's life? How does the leprosy symbolize his deeper spiritual flaw?
  • How does the king of Israel respond to Naaman's request?
  • How does Elisha treat General Naaman? What does this treatment reveal about Naaman?
  • What is the public display of Naaman's faith?
  • Why does Elisha not accept payment for his ministry to Naaman?
  • What does Gehazi's decision teach us about God?
  • Where else have we seen God responding to hidden things?
  • When the king of Aram comes to attack by what means does God protect the children of Israel? How does this validate Elisha's ministry?
  • What does Elisha know about God that the servant does not?
  • What happens when Elisha prays for the servant and the Aramean army?
  • What is God's purpose in allowing the famine?
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to show you where your life contradicts your testimony.