John 17:15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. (NKJV)
There once was a man who became a doctor after being healed himself of a terrible sickness. After getting well, he realized how many more sick people there were and desired with all his heart to become a doctor so he could go out and share medicine and health with the whole world. He realized that many people were so sick, and had been sick for so long, they didn’t even realize how sick they were. Often, when a doctor would say, “A cure has been purchased at a great price for you! All you have to do is come get it,” people would laugh and mock the doctor and think he was silly.
Even still, this man wanted to be a doctor and help spread healing to all the sick people around him. He learned all about medicine. He enrolled in education programs about medicine. He was part of several small groups that got together and talked about medicine. Three times a week he attended a large gathering of people who learned about medicine, shared their thoughts about medicine, and listened to what others were doing as doctors. They even took up donations to help other people who were in far away places practicing medicine. The group felt sorry for these frontier doctors because they were often poor and had trouble raising support for their work.
For years the man continued to surround himself with other doctors in training, and together they all created a very “doctorly” lifestyle that was centered around health education, the latest news about medicine and newer and better ways to get more people interested in medicine. They wore doctor’s coats, hung stethoscopes around their neck, and spoke in medical terms.
A decade passed, and then another, and over time the hopeful doctor was astonished to find out that only 2% of all the doctors in training ever went out to find sick people and help them. Despite all the talk, all the training and all the preparation, the doctor found that like himself (despite millions of sick people all around) they all had for the most part, isolated themselves from any sick people. They had gradually allowed insecurity and fear to keep them from actually going out to try and heal the sick and share the medicine and health care they had learned about.
Many deceitful groups of doctors, with fake cures and false promises of healing were actively and aggressively going out to the sick and fooling large numbers of desperate people.
With firm resolution, he gathered all the doctors-to-be and proclaimed what he had realized. “We are all training, educating, and have centered our lives our medicine, and yet only 2% of us ever actually go out and find sick people to treat. This is a tragedy… this is not right! We are failing in our mission!”
This enthusiastic plea resulted in an additional 9% of the trainee’s deciding to go out to treat the sick and wounded. After about a year, most of them had returned, worn out and discouraged because everyone else was back at the group enjoying all the fellowship and comfort of being immersed in a like-minded group of people. Once every few years, the cycle was repeated.
In the end, the man who had once felt so much desire to go out and heal the sick and hurting, realized he had spent his whole life just being comfortable among others like him, talking about the need to tend to the sick. He sincerely hoped that future generations would take more real action as doctors rather than living in doctor communities, surrounded by other doctors, and always learning how to be better doctors – at the expense of actually treating any sick people. He regretted that he had not spent more, or most, of his time out treating sick people rather than just talking about it with other doctors.
There once was a man who was healed of his sickness and wanted to tell others about the cure he had found…
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The would-be doctor is a Christian who is saved and healed from the curse of sin. The other doctors-in-training are his fellow Christians at church and his community. The sick are those who have not been convicted of their sin by hearing the Law, or offered salvation by hearing the Gospel. The frontier doctors are Christian missionaries who often scrape and beg for support when they are doing the real work of evangelization.
Christians often spend a lifetime surrounding themselves with all things “Christian”, in essence removing themselves from the world. It’s comfortable, but not Godly. Then we hear or read something convicting us of the shameful percentage of Christians who have ever actually shared Jesus Christ with another person, and for a while, a few people start evangelizing. Then after a while, it’s all back to “normal” until the next “revival”.
Dear Christian… you are a doctor sent out by the Great Physician to bring healing to a lost and dying world. If you know the cure, then you are ready to see patients. Yes, you can keep educating yourself. Yes, you can fellowship with other doctors… but you must be seeking and treating your share of sick patients or your training is in vain.
People are dying. You know why, and you have the cure. Will you keep it from them because you are nervous, afraid or uncomfortable? Be glad that whoever told you about The Cure didn’t feel too scared to share it with you.
Lord God, Help us to seek out the sick and dying and lead them to the Great Physician. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Contemplation: How many people have heard the truth about sin and salvation from your lips? In the last 5 years? The last year? This month? This week?
Application: Perhaps you have taken yourself out of the world if you do not have ample opportunity to come across the spiritually sick and dying. Jesus did call us out of this world. We are to be in this world, but not OF this world. Have you insulated and isolated yourself from the world by totally surrounding yourself with only Christians and Christian activities?
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?