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Sunday at 9:30 a.m.
7111 La Jolla Blvd in beautiful La Jolla, CA
14 miles north of downtown San Diego, CA



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Don't walk away from your miracle

Monday Mark 10:17-22 (NRSV)
As [Jesus] was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.’" He said to him, "Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth." Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

The man was within inches of his miracle – in this case, the gift of eternal life. But he walked away sorrowful, because he counted the cost of receiving the miracle as too great.

What miracles are you longing for?

What is standing in the way of you receiving them?

Tuesday 2 Kings 5:1-3 (NRSV)
Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man and in high favor with his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Aram. The man, though a mighty warrior, suffered from leprosy. Now the Arameans on one of their raids had taken a young girl captive from the land of Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, "If only my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy."

The captured Israelite girl could have been resentful of Naaman, but instead she offered him her best. She believed Elisha could cure Naaman of his leprosy, and she wished he could go see him. According to Jesus in Luke 4:27, Elisha had never cured anyone of leprosy when the young girl announced this, but she had the faith for it to happen.

What do you have faith for that you haven’t seen yet?

Wednesday 2 Kings 5:4-7 (NRSV)
So Naaman went in and told his lord just what the girl from the land of Israel had said. And the king of Aram said, "Go then, and I will send along a letter to the king of Israel." He went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten sets of garments. He brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, "When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you my servant Naaman, that you may cure him of his leprosy." When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, "Am I God, to give death or life, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Just look and see how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me."

The girl didn’t say Naaman should go to the king of Israel; she said he should go to the prophet. But Naaman was a man who followed orders and did things through the proper channels. And when he did, his own king assumed that the king of Israel would know about (and control) someone able to cure leprosy in Israel. Unfortunately, the king of Israel knew the facts (that no one in Israel had been cured of the disease) and didn’t have the faith of the young girl, who believed God could do the miracle through Elisha. The king of Israel concluded that Naaman’s request was a pretext for war.

Fear is often a signal that we lack faith. Seth Godin says you can use fear to help identify the most likely spots of breakthrough: When you feel fear, that’s where you should advance.

What fears keep you from receiving the miracle(s) you desire? Are those places you should advance?

Thursday 2 Kings 5:8-12 (NRSV)
When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king, "Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come to me, that he may learn that there is a prophet in Israel." So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the entrance of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean." But Naaman became angry and went away, saying, "I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy! Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean?" He turned and went away in a rage.

Naaman traveled all the way to Israel, got an audience with the king and the prophet, and was within inches of his miracle – but was ready to walk away in a rage without being cured. The miracle didn’t come in the way he had imagined, so he was ready to reject it.

The miracle(s) you desire will come through something you haven’t done yet – otherwise you would have received them already! If you want a miracle, you often need to stay open to new possibilities and be willing to do new things.

Sometimes breakthroughs come because people pay attention to things that unexpectedly didn’t work (glue that didn’t stick = Post It Notes; a useless test product people wouldn’t give up = Viagra; unexpected mold in a petri dish = penicillin, etc.) You may not think of Post It Notes as a miracle, but they are for the 3M company! Your own miracle may also come through something unexpected that others reject because they think it is a failure.

What have you and others around you rejected because it “didn’t work”?

What new possibilities do you need to be open to?

Friday 2 Kings 5:13-14 (NRSV)
But his servants approached and said to him, "Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, ‘Wash, and be clean’?" So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean.

Luckily for Naaman, his servants convinced him to try what Elisha suggested. As a result, instead of walking away disappointed, he walked away restored and healthy.

Revisit the questions from Monday: What miracles are you longing for?

What is standing in the way of you receiving them?

What are have you done this week because of Jesus?

What do you want to do next week because of Jesus?

What do you need help with?

Check out other Bible Studies and videos for 2013 or messages for 2012 or messages for 2011.

La Jolla Lutheran Church is a member of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, a fast-growing association of churches that believe the Bible. Other LCMC churches in the San Diego area include Penasquitos Lutheran Church at 14484 Penasquitos Drive; and St. Timothy Lutheran Church at 2602 Reo Drive. Check the list of more than 800 congregations to find an LCMC church near you.

The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV), copyright, 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S. A. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Visit La Jolla Lutheran Church Sunday at 9:30 a.m.



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Leslie, a member of La Jolla Lutheran Church Charlie, a member of La Jolla Lutheran Church

Leslie's story

Charlie's story

Worship with us Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

La Jolla Lutheran Church
7111 La Jolla Blvd, La Jolla, California, 92037
14 miles north of downtown San Diego.


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