Pastor Dale Swanson
Seeking the Doctor’s Care.
In Luke 5, we read about Jesus feasting with a group of tax collectors and other people who were obvious sinners. The Pharisees and scribes grumbled and complained that Jesus was hanging out with such people. They asked why. Jesus answered them,
Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have come not to call the righteous, but the sinners to repentance. Luke 5:31
So, Jesus makes it clear by his answer that he cannot serve those who walk in a spirit of pride–those who consider themselves righteous and those who cannot recognize their need for grace and forgiveness. If we consider ourselves well, then why call the doctor? It’s when I become aware of my own weakness and vulnerability, that I am in a position to receive healing.
Jesus tells us to take a submissive position and acknowledges our need for help. That’s true humility.
“That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” James 4:6
It’s humbling to visit the doctor and hear that I am overweight or out of shape or that I have high blood pressure, but I am wise to submit myself to the wisdom of my physician. It’s tempting to become self-righteous and think, “What does that doctor know. I can take care of myself!” But this kind of prideful thinking will only make me more sick or unhealthy. How much better it is to admit my weakness and change my habits.
Lord, forgive me for an attitude of self-righteousness. I want to remain humble and aware of my need for You. I never want to take the position that I don’t need the healing and expert care that You provide.
Seeking my Doctor’s care,
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
Paul says that the ONE thing that he does is he forgets what is behind. He said he does not perfectly have it down, but he is trying. I have been thinking what was in Paul’s rear view mirror? He gave the order for Stephen to be killed; he also had pride; and he was an angry and violent man, Christians everywhere were afraid of Saul.
How did Paul forget those things that were now behind him? He said he “strained.” To strain means “to hurt, or overexert. ” Paul hurt his previous way of thinking in order that he might change the way that he normally thinks to break the old pattern. That took lots of work. Paul worked very hard at not looking in his rear view mirror.
What a great example Paul is for me, it seems that from time to time my looking in the rear view mirror has caused me to crash. I can’t drive into the future with my eyes on the past. I am unable to keep my eyes focused on the future/prize and at the same time look in rear view mirror. The pain, shame and regrets of the past are like ghost that continue to show up in my mirror, but I must strain against the pain from the past. I must force my head to look another way and divert my eyes to heaven like a race and a runner that throws his body forward at the finish line straining to win the prize. This requires discipline and a desire to win, the prize–which is Jesus.
Dear Lord, you have forgiven my past, healed my past and given me a fresh start. Please forgive me for looking back. Please break the former pattern of thinking about my past as I strain toward a new and living way. I desire to only see the cross and all that have you have done for me when I look at my former life. Help me Lord to keep my eyes fixed on you.
(Director, Children’s Ministry)