SCOURGED FOR YOUR WHOLENESS
Isaiah 53:5 – …and by His stripes we are healed.
Under Roman law in Bible times, a criminal was either scourged for a lesser crime and then set free, or crucified straightaway if guilty of a greater crime. But Jesus was both scourged and crucified. Pontius Pilate had hoped that after scourging Jesus and presenting His bloodied body to the people, they would be satisfied and willing to let Him go. But the people were not and demanded His crucifixion instead.
Don’t think for a moment that the people had power to inflict such suffering on Jesus. It was all part of God’s plan and the scourging was necessary for only by His stripes are we healed.
The Roman whip used for scourging was made of leather straps embedded with glass, bone and metal hooks. With just one strike, the instrument would have been wrapped around Jesus’ body, causing the glass, bones and hooks to cut deep into His flesh. And as the whip was pulled back, the hooks would have stripped His flesh off, exposing muscle and bone. Indeed, the psalmist says, “They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me,” (Psalm 22:16–17) and “The plowers plowed on My back; they made their furrows long”. (Psalm 129:3)
Although 39 was the maximum number of times one could be whipped according to Jewish law, I believe that Jesus was whipped more times than that because the Romans, who were not likely to regard Jewish law, carried out the scourging.
Whichever the case, His back would have been reduced to a mass of bloody, mutilated flesh. That day, Jesus’ blood flowed freely from His body for your deliverance from every kind of disease and physical affliction. God allowed every one of those stripes to fall on His Son’s body so that your body need not be scourged with diseases.
My friend, if you are sick or suffering from some physical condition, know that Jesus took the scourging as full payment for you to be free of that condition. He bore those stripes so that, today, there is no sickness, no disease left for you to bear. By His stripes you have been healed!
Thought For The Day
Jesus bore the terrible scourging to purchase for you deliverance from every kind of disease.
MOTIVATED BY LOVE
The love of Christ compels us. —2 Corinthians 5:14
In the 1920s, Bobby Jones dominated the golfing world, despite being an amateur. In one film about his life, Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius,there is a scene where a professional golfer asks Bobby when he is going to quit being an amateur and grab for the money like everyone else does. Jones answers by explaining that the wordamateur comes from the Latin amo—to love. His answer was clear: He played golf because he loved the game.
Our motives, why we do what we do, make all the difference. This certainly applies to those who are followers of Jesus Christ. In his letter to the Corinthian church, Paul gives us an example of this. Throughout the epistle he defended his conduct, character, and calling as an apostle of Christ. In response to those who questioned his motives for ministry, Paul said, “Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again” (2 Cor. 5:14-15 niv).
Christ’s love is the greatest of all motivators. It causes those who follow Him to live for Him, not for themselves.
What are some of the ways your understanding of Christ and His love has shaped your motives and your actions? In what ways would you like to see God work in you now?
We are shaped and fashioned by what we love most.
YOU SET THE LIMITS
What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? – Romans 3:3, NIV
There will always be critics and naysayers in life. It’s not what’s said about you that affects your life, but what you say and believe about yourself. Have the opinions of other people caused you to water down your dreams? One of the most important things you can learn is that other people don’t have to believe in you in order for your dreams to come to pass. Other people don’t set the limits for your life — you do. In Romans 3:3, the Apostle Paul is saying, “It doesn’t matter if other people don’t believe. Their unbelief is not going to keep me from believing in my dreams.”
When God puts a promise in your heart, it’s not up to other people to bring it to pass; it’s up to you! You don’t need everyone to validate you. You have to follow the voice of God for yourself and allow Him to order your steps.
God sees the hidden treasures that you’ve had buried on the inside of you. He wants to bring those treasures out and make your dreams a reality! As you get rid of old, defeated thoughts and replace them with what God says about you, you will remove the limits and live the abundant life God has in store for you!
CHRISTIANS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE …
Christians are supposed to be the light of the world, but you can’t be a light if you’re not plugged in.
Jesus calls us, his disciples, the light of the world: You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).
If you want others to see Christ in you, then you must put on love (Colossians 3:12-14) and display the Fruit of the Spirit (Matthew 7:16-20; Galatians 5:22-23).
However, that requires spending time in God’s presence. Psalm 91:1-2 says, He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
The rest of Psalm 91 goes on to list amazing promises that will come true in your life if you fulfill the first two verses; that is, if you dwell in God’s presence and confidently trust in Him.
In order to be a light to the world, we must stay plugged in to God by dwelling in His presence.
IF YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE …
If you don’t feel like you’re getting the love you should get, then maybe you should ask yourself if you’re giving the love you should give.
Too often we look only at what other people are doing for us instead of what we are doing for them. However, the Bible instructs us to look out for the needs of one another, to look for ways to serve others, and to walk in love with each other.
In John 13:34-35, Jesus commands us to love: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Love is so important, because every person needs love. People in the world are hungry for love; they’re looking for a source of real, genuine love. Proverbs 19:22 tells us that What a man desires is unfailing love.
We, as Christians, have an opportunity to give that love, which the world desperately desires. So instead of wondering why you’re not getting the love you should get, decide to give the love you should give
BELIEVE FIRST AND YOU WILL SEE
Matthew 8:13 – …as you have believed, so let it be done for you…
You may have heard some people say, “How can I believe it when I don’t see it? If I can only see it or feel it, I may just believe that something is happening!”
The woman with the issue of blood who came to Jesus could have felt the same way. For 12 long years, she had gone from one doctor to another, trying every conceivable cure they could offer. She not only grew worse, but ended up losing all her money to those doctors and their “cures”.
Then, something happened to her when “she heard about Jesus”. (Mark 5:27) She started believing that He could and would heal her to the extent that she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” (Mark 5:28) Acting on her belief, she made her way to Jesus and touched His garment. Immediately, her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was healed of that affliction. Jesus, her true physician, also pronounced her healed.
Beloved, God wants you to know that when you believe Him, you will see your miracle. What you believe Him for, you will receive.
When a church member lost her wallet at a swimming pool, she prayed together with her husband, declaring their belief that God would restore the loss. One day later, not at the swimming pool but at her feet in the car, she found her wallet! She simply believed that God would restore her loss and she saw the restoration.
In another case, a lady who had skin cancer wore long sleeves all the time to conceal her condition from others. During one of our church camps, she went forward for prayer, believing God for her healing. After one of our pastors, Pastor Henry, prayed for her, she went back to her room, rolled up her sleeves and saw that all the cancerous scarring on her arms had disappeared! Her doctor later confirmed that she had been cured of skin cancer. She believed God for healing and saw it.
The world says, “Unless I can see it or feel it, I will not believe it.” But God says, “If you will believe it, you will feel it. Indeed, if you will believe it, you will see it!”
IF YOU’RE A HUSBAND
Husbands, love your wives…’ Ephesians 5:25 NKJV
‘Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.’ Many men wrestle with the fear of intimacy. Masculine emotions have become the 21st century version of ‘Pandora’s box’. We don’t know all that’s in it, but we have a feeling that we’d better not open it. But if we hide our true selves from our wives, they will only love what we do – not what we are!
As a husband, you don’t have to be a ’10’. You just have to be a man of God. He wants strong men who lead, instead of weak men who follow. No woman wants to be in submission to a man who isn’t in submission to God and led by His Spirit. ‘…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…’ (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV) A woman feels secure with a man who has these qualities, and will gladly say to him, ‘Lead the way.’ Men are masters at giving ‘things’. Where they have big problems is when they are asked to give themselves! Jesus Christ, the greatest lover the world has ever known, gives Himself openly and unashamedly. His love is exemplified in His coming, but consummated in His dying. The truth is, your wife doesn’t need more things – she just needs you to give your love to her completely. Jesus is described in the book of Revelation as a Lion and a Lamb (Revelation 5:5-6). That’s a picture of strength and tenderness, and that’s what your wife needs from you.
You say, ‘How long will it take me to accomplish this?’ A lifetime, so get started!
There Is A War Going On
“Then he said to me, Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia” Daniel 10:12–13 ESV
Daniel had fasted and prayed but he had not received a response in three weeks, though his prayer was heard the first day. The Angel that was to bring the message was held up in a battle. An Angel named Michael came to help him get through the heavens and bring the response to Daniel.
Don’t stop praying because you have not gotten the answer yet. Your prayers get things moving above and often nothing at all happens because that is what we prayed for. Nothing at all.
Pray often. It is the currency of heaven. Do not give up because the answer has not came yet. We are in a war and you are a part of the battle. Believing it or not will not change its existence. There is a war going on out there.