Monday, March 14, 2011

Removing the Stink

I had the privilege this past Sunday of attending a little church down in Columbia, PA to hear a very good friend of mine who was preaching at his parents church. I know this guy's heart and couldn't wait to hear him share. I actually was given the thrill of introducing him.

He preached from the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead in John 11. I was more than blessed as he pointed out that there are times in our lives that God allows what we would consider as "bad things" to happen so that He can ultimately get the glory. That's what happened in this passage. Jesus had gotten word that Lazarus, the one He loved, was sick. Jesus purposefully waited 2 days before heading toward Bethany. When it was time to finally go He told His disciples this in verses 14-15,

"Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him."

Could Jesus have healed Lazarus before he died? Sure He could have. But he was "glad" not to. He was "glad" for Lazarus to die because He had a much greater plan in mind. Mary and Martha didn't understand that. They pretty much rebuked Jesus when He arrived for being late. That's what we do to when "bad" things come into our life. When will we understand that when God allows what we consider to be "bad" things to come into our lives, He still loves us and he still has a plan for us.

And what a plan it was that day in Bethany when Jesus spoke the words, "Lazarus come forth," and Lazarus came hopping out of the grave. But my friend pointed out something else. When Jesus told them to remove the stone from inside the tomb, one of the sisters resisted with the words "He stinketh" (Sometimes I love the King James!). Lazarus had been dead for 4 days. He had already started decaying. He stunk - and so did his grave clothes.

But what did Jesus tell them to do to Lazarus once he came out? He told them to take off his grave clothes. They had to touch those "stinky" grave clothes. That's why at times God allows what we think to be "bad" things to happen in our lives. So that He can ultimately remove those things in our lives that stink so that God gets all the glory!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Pastor Scott -

Going through the stink right now. Can't wait for you to get to GEFC in a couple of weeks.

Pastor Scott said...

Thanks for reading and commenting, anonymous. I know what "the stink" is like - but God is faithful every single time. Can't wait to get to Gaylord! Move date is March 27th! Blessings