Matthew 8:3 – Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, I am willing; be cleansed. Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
When you see someone receiving a miraculous healing or financial breakthrough, do you ask, What about me, Lord? I believe that the leper who came to Jesus must have asked the same question.
He must have heard or seen from a distance, since he was not permitted to be in public places by the law, how Jesus had healed the sick. So he had no doubt that Jesus could heal him, but he was not sure if Jesus would. He said to Jesus, Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean. (Matthew 8:2) He was confident of the power of God, but not the love of God for him.
Like the leper, maybe you dont have a problem believing that God can give you your miracle, since He is Almighty God. But you are wondering if He will do it for you. My friend, let Jesus actions and answer to the leper settle this question once and for all. He stretched forth His hand, touched the leper and said, I am willing; be cleansed. And immediately, the leper was healed.
I want you to notice that Jesus touched the leper. He could have healed him from a distance with just a spoken word. He had healed others this way as in the case of the centurions servant and the Syro-Phoenician womans daughter. So why did He touch the leper?
Jesus knew that for so many years, the leper had been cut off from his family and society, so he must have been feeling dehumanized. I believe that Jesus touched him to make him feel human again, to make him feel loved and accepted again. His touch was His love language to the leper.
Can you see Gods heart of love here? Can you see how much He loved the leper? That is how much He loves you! The day that you come to know Gods heart of love and believe that He wants you blessed more than you want to be blessed is the day that you receive your miracle!
Beloved, catch a glimpse of Gods heart of love, and you will believe that He is not only able, but also willing to make you whole!
GOD’S MERCY IS A GIFT
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. – Matthew 23:23
One of the ways that God’s goodness is revealed is by His mercy. We may describe mercy as the readiness of God to relieve the misery of fallen creatures. Many times, mercy is called compassion or lovingkindness. It is expressed toward the sinner because of the misery that sin has brought upon him.
God’s mercy to the believer is revealed by God taking away the misery of sin’s consequences through the New Covenant of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Mercy is not something merited or earned, but a gift, as the apostle Paul states, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to HIS MERCY He saved us” (Ti. 3:5).
Paul speaks of the heavenly Father as “The Father of mercies.” The word father is used many times in scripture as an originator or as a source of something. For example, the devil is called the father of lies (Jn. 8:44), i.e. he is the author and originator of lying. Likewise, our heavenly Father is the author, originator, and source of all mercy. Each time that mankind cried out in faith, God’s mercy reached out and met their need.
God is said to be rich in mercy because of His great love wherewith he loved us (Eph. 2:4), and to have a throne called grace whereby we may come and obtain mercy. God wasn’t motivated to save us through pity or a sense of obligation as our Creator. He was motivated solely by love. God loves us.
MEDITATE ON HIS LOVE
And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” – Matthew 8:20
I find what Jesus said in Matthew 8:20 so beautiful. Let me tell you why. In the original Greek text, the word “lay” is a very unique Greek word, klino. It is seldom used in the New Testament. The only other place it is used in terms of Jesus resting His head is at the cross. When Jesus hung on the cross and cried, “It is finished,” the Bible says that “He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost” (John 19:30, KJV). The word “bowed” here is the same Greek word klino.
My friend, it was only at the cross that the Son of Man finally found a place to rest His head. Jesus found His rest in redeeming you, in saving you. He found His rest in loving you.
So beloved, feed on Jesus’ love for you. Listen to sermons or sing songs about His love for you. You will be surprised at how strong it will make you. You will become more than a conqueror, not through your love for Him, but through Him who loves you (Romans 8:37)!
WALK IN FREEDOM TODAY …
In the New Testament, there’s a story about a woman who was caught in the act of adultery. The religious leaders of the time had already condemned her in their minds, and the law said that she should be stoned. Out of curiosity, they brought her to Jesus to see what He would do, and Jesus surprised them all with His response to the situation.
Instead of condemning the woman, Jesus showed love and compassion to her. In fact, He turned the whole situation around when He said to the crowd, “Whoever is without sin, throw the first stone.” (See John 8:1–11). Then it says that the woman’s accusers walked away one by one.
Jesus turned to the woman and asked, “Where are your accusers? Does anyone condemn you now?” She answered, “No one, Lord.” Then Jesus said something very profound, something that gives us insight into His heart for us. He said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” God was in essence saying, “I don’t put My stamp of approval on condemnation. That’s not what I’m about. I came to set you free.”
Maybe you’ve encountered people who want to accuse you and “throw rocks” at you, but that’s not God. He’s never going to throw rocks at you or try to push you down. He loves you and wants to empower you to live in freedom, to live a better life. Maybe you’ve made some mistakes, maybe you’ve done some things you’re not proud of, or maybe you’ve been hurt by someone who threw rocks at you. Today is your day to let go of that hurt and open your heart to receive God’s love and forgiveness.
Remember, as long as we live, there will be accusing voices. The faultfinders and rock throwers will always be there. When the negative voices come, we can either believe them and stay stuck in condemnation, or we can choose to believe God and walk in freedom knowing that we’re forgiven, accepted and approved by God. It’s up to us to cast the deciding vote for either freedom or condemnation; faith or fear; love or bitterness.
My prayer for you today is that you will understand your value and truly see what God has given you and what you have to offer others. Life is too short and too precious to waste a single moment in fear and condemnation. Instead, take captive every negative thought and choose to dwell on the truth of God’s Word. Place your hope and confidence in Him so you can live in His everlasting freedom far above and beyond the accusing voices of this world.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1 NIV)
COMPASSION IN ACTION
But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. – Matthew 9:36
Compassion. That’s the one thing people need more than anything else in this world. They need someone to reach out to them with the compassion of God.
Compassion is a deep yearning that responds to the needs of people. It’s much deeper than sympathy. Sympathy can just sit around feeling sorry for people. Compassion has to do something for them.
Compassion is what motivates God, and Jesus’ life on earth was a picture of that compassion in action. His whole ministry was driven by it. It was compassion that caused Him to multiply the loaves and fishes, heal the sick, cast out demons and raise the dead. It was compassion that compelled Him to go to the Cross. And it’s that same compassion that He now longs to pour out through you.
That’s a staggering thought, isn’t it?
It’s staggering to realize that we believers are the only body Jesus has on this earth now. His healing must flow through our hands and our faith. His compassion must move us to provide for the hungry. It must compel us to cast out demons and set the captives free.
“But, I don’t have that kind of compassion!”
Yes, you do. If you have the Spirit of God dwelling inside you, you do– because He is that kind of love! You simply need to activate it.
How? Just like Jesus did when He walked the earth. Through prayer and fellowship with the Father. Look through the Gospels and notice how much time Jesus spent alone with the Father. That time activated the compassion of God within Him. It caused Him to feel what God feels about the suffering of mankind. It stirred Him so much that whenever He encountered a need, He met it by the power of God.
Follow His example. Spend time in fellowship with your Father. Meditate on His compassion until it rises up strong on the inside of you. Stir it up until the desire to see others set free becomes paramount in your thinking.
Jesus has sent you to reach out and touch a love-starved world with His compassion.
If you don’t do it, who will?
DON’T ACT ON IMPULSE!
‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’ Isaiah 28:16 ESV
As twins go, Jacob and Esau were very different. But they quickly learned to negotiate. Have you ever watched children make a deal that favoured one over the other? For example, one offers the other a candy bar in exchange for an expensive video game. Well, that same dynamic was at work between Jacob and Esau. Esau had been out hunting and came home exhausted and hungry. Nothing mattered to him except food—and certainly not something as remote as a future inheritance. In a moment of weakness he said, ‘“I am about to die…what is this birthright to me?”…So…he…sold his birthright to Jacob…[for] bread and stew.’ (Genesis 25:32–34 NKJV) It was a decision Esau would live to regret, and couldn’t undo. Recovering addicts are taught the importance of observing their H.A.L.T. sign. When they’re Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, they’re in danger. And so are you!
Acting on impulse will cause you to:
(1) buy stuff you don’t need at prices you can’t afford;
(2) react before you get all the facts, resulting in a loss of respect, opportunities and good relationships;
(3) compromise your character for a few moments of sinful pleasure;
(4) quit in the middle of the race, or worse, on the threshold of victory.
The Bible says, ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’ When you make choices based on short–term gratification rather than life–long convictions and goals, you always lose out in the end. So don’t take the deal; don’t trade your God–given destiny for momentary gratification. Be patient and hold fast. When you do, God will bring your dreams to pass in ways that honour instead of diminishing them.
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