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Thursday February 21 – So close, yet so far

There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. – Luke 13:28

Scripture reading: 2 Kings 7:3-20; Luke 13:22-30

The remarkable passage in 2 Kings reminds us that for the sake of Christ, God provided food for His people (v.16), just as He does today, in lean times and times of plenty (Matthew 6:25-34). But it also teaches us that we are not to savour the feast without telling others the good news of the gospel. The lepers feasted on the food left behind by the Syrian army. But they realized what they were doing was not right. In verse 9 they said, “What we are doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves.”

But do you realize that a lot of Christians today do the same thing as those lepers did? Is it possible that in your life, you have done that? I know that in my life, unfortunately, many times I have feasted on the gospel without telling others the good news.

The passage is also a graphic warning, reminding us that the punishment of unbelief includes the torment of seeing the blessing, but not partaking of it. Elisha had told the captain, “You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it.”

The captain was so close to abundant blessings, and yet so far. But he is not alone. All those who reject the Word of God and harden themselves in unbelief will come under the Lord’s judgment. And part of that judgment will include seeing the blessing and glory of salvation for others, but not tasting it themselves (Matthew 25:31-46; Luke 13:28).

Suggestions for prayer

If you have entered the narrow door of salvation (Luke 13:24), thank God for His grace. If you are unsure, pray that God will enable you to strive to enter the door of salvation by faith in Christ alone.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Ted Gray has served as pastor of First United Reformed Church in Oak Lawn, Illinois for the last 15 years.

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