And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him – Mark 11:1-6
The gifts of the Spirit are not meant to be a substitute for our own faith in the Lord. We are not to depend so completely on some individual with a spiritual gift that we neglect our own spiritual growth and maturity. We can receive anything we need from the Lord without a gift of the Spirit operating through another individual, if we know how to believe. Dependence on the Lord directly is superior to dependence on the Lord indirectly through someone operating in one of the spiritual gifts.
What if there were no gifts of the Spirit and the Lord established that the only way we could receive from Him was through our own faith? There would be some individuals who would get born again who already had terminal diseases but didn’t have enough time left to mature in their faith and receive healing. They would die if it wasn’t for others interceding for them or someone with the gift of healing praying for them. That’s why the Lord gave these gifts–to keep us encouraged and alive so we can mature.
It is also wrong for an individual not to mature in his personal faith in the Lord and become dependent on the gifts. It is not right for someone to receive a miracle through someone with the gift of miracles and then just struggle along until the next time that gifted minister comes through town.
The Lord wants us to receive His power through these gifts, but then we must mature so that we can walk in God’s best on our own.
We are able to mature beyond a total dependency on the gifts to where we can hear and receive from God directly. But none of us will ever reach such a level of maturity in the Lord where there is nothing left to learn or receive. Let Him teach you through His Word today.
LET GOD BE GLORIFIED :
And Jesus went forth…moved with compassion…and he healed their sick. And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them: Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel. – Matthew 14:14; 15:30-31
Religious tradition says that God gets glory when we bear up nobly under the agony of sickness and disease. But that’s not what the Bible says. It says God gets glory when the blind see and the lame walk and the maimed are made whole!
In India or Africa where people haven’t been taught those kinds of religious traditions, when somebody stands up and announces, “I come to you as a messenger from the most high God,” people believe what he has to say. When they hear that Jesus, the King of Kings, shed His blood for them; when they hear that He’s sent His messenger to tell them that He’ll deliver them from sin and sickness and death today, they get excited. They don’t argue with the Word of God. So you know what happens?
People begin to get healed. People start throwing away their crutches and flinging off their bandages!
When we learn to hear the Word of God like that, the same thing will happen to us. God is no respecter of persons. His Word works for everyone. It’s how we receive it that makes the difference!
THE BARKING LION
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches. —Proverbs 22:1
Visitors to a zoo were outraged when the “African lion” started barking instead of roaring. Zoo staff said they had disguised a Tibetan mastiff—a very large dog—as a lion because they could not afford the real thing. Needless to say, the zoo’s reputation was sullied and people will think twice before visiting it.
Reputation is fragile; once it’s damaged, it’s hard to restore. It is not uncommon to sacrifice a good reputation on the altar of power, prestige, or profit. This too could be our story. Scripture encourages us: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches” (Prov. 22:1). God is telling us that true value must be placed not in what we have but in who we are.
Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates said, “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” As followers of Jesus, we bear His name. Because of His love for us, we strive to walk worthy of Him, reflecting His likeness in our words and deeds.
When we fail, He picks us up again by His love. By our example, others around us will be led to praise the God who has redeemed and transformed us (Matt. 5:16)—for the name of the Lord is worthy of glory, honor, and all praise.
Lord, I do want to walk worthy of Your name because You have made me Your own. I know I can’t live perfectly, but I want to reflect to others a little of who You are. Please show Yourself through me.
The purest treasure mortal times afford is a spotless reputation. —Shakespeare
LIVING THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE
HEBREWS 12:1–2 …let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…
Have you always longed to live a life that’s beyond the ordinary? Well, you can. You can live in the realm of the extraordinary and even the impossible by the power of the Holy Spirit when you keep your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith!
The disciple Peter was able to walk on water as long as his eyes were on Jesus. Remember that Peter was just an ordinary man like you and me. But as long as he looked to Jesus, the Holy Spirit was able to work and Peter could do the impossible. And he was doing fine until he took his eyes off Jesus and considered the boisterous wind (Matthew 14:30). The devil must have whispered in his ear, “You’re not supposed to be walking on water. Don’t you know that? Look at the huge waves.
Feel the strong wind. You are going to drown!” And the moment Peter took his eyes off Jesus and looked at his natural circumstances, logic took over and told him that he could not walk on water. That’s when he began to sink.
Beloved, realize that the Spirit of God works to the measure you keep your eyes on Jesus. Today, if you’re being rocked by 10-foot waves of sickness, debt or depression, don’t fix your eyes on the storm. Keep your eyes instead on the Lord. As you meditate on His glory and grace, faith will arise. And you will see His Spirit empower you with His wisdom, His strength and His limitless resources to walk in victory over every single storm!
HOLD YOUR PEACE :
The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest. – Exodus 14:14, AMP
One time in scripture when the Israelites were facing an impossible situation, God told them, “Hold your peace. Remain at rest, and I will fight your battles.” Notice there was a condition, something the Israelites had to do. They were told, “Hold your peace.” It’s the same for us today. A command like that indicates that something is trying to take your peace away: thoughts of worry, fear or anxiety. You might think, “What if it doesn’t happen? What am I going to do?” If you will just stay in peace, the Creator of the universe, the Most High God, will go to work on your behalf.
Remember, nothing can stand against our God. He has all power. He stopped the sun for Joshua. He closed the mouths of hungry lions for Daniel. Whatever you face in life, God promises He will fight your battles. Trust Him, remain at rest and hold your peace!
GOD WANTS HIS CHILDREN WELL AND JOYFUL :
John 14:9 – Jesus said to him, “…He who has seen Me has seen the Father…
Imagine the following scenario: A father tells his little girl, “Come here, girl. Mummy says that you have been playing by the roadside. Is that true?” “Yes, Daddy. I am sorry.” “Sorry? How many times have I told you not to play near the road? Come here! Lie down on the road and stretch out your legs!”
Daddy drives his car over his little girl’s legs. You can hear the sound of bones being crushed and the poor girl screaming in pain!
“Now, darling, you know that Daddy loves you. And Daddy did that to teach you a lesson, that playing by the roadside is dangerous.”
You are probably shaking your head in horror by now, wondering which sick father would do that. Yet, there are many Christians who believe that our heavenly Father does the same thing. They say that He gives people sicknesses, accidents, earthquakes and death to teach them lessons.
But Jesus said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.” Jesus is the nature of God in action. Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus or God going about healing the sick. If God wants some people sick, then there should be at least one incident in the Gospels where you see Jesus saying, “Behold, your complexion is too lovely, receive leprosy,” or “Blindness is good for you. Remain blind.” But no, never once! In fact, Jesus “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil”. (Acts 10:38) That’s the heart of God.
As a father, if your child is sick and in pain, your heart just wants him well. How much more your heavenly Father! My friend, God does not give your child a sickness to teach both of you some lesson or to glorify Himself. To think so is to talk out of a warped mind bound by religion! And Christianity is not a religion. It is a loving relationship with your Father in heaven.
Beloved, hear God speaking this to your heart today: “I will never punish you for your sins because they have been punished in My Son’s body. I do not wish you ill. I will not take away your child or give you a car wreck to teach you some lesson. My heart always wants My children well and joyful!”
Thought For The Day :
If God wants some people sick, then there should be at least one incident in the Gospels where Jesus gave sickness to or refused to heal someone.
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