DONE AS YOU HAVE BELIEVED
Matthew 8:13 – Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.
What are you expecting God to do for you today? Do you believe that God will respond according to your expectation? When Jairus, distraught at the sickness that was claiming his daughter’s life, fell at Jesus’ feet, he entreated Jesus to personally come to his house to lay His hands on his daughter so that she would be healed. (Mark 5:23)
But do you know that Jesus can heal at a distance? He didn’t need to go to Jairus’ house to heal his daughter. Still, Jesus went and didn’t even chide Jairus for his little faith. He met Jairus’ expectation—his little daughter was raised from the dead that day. (Mark 5:41–42)
Why do I say that Jairus had little faith? Because there was a Roman centurion who came to Jesus about his servant suffering at home. He recognized the power Jesus had and asked only that Jesus “speak a word, and my servant will be healed”. (Matthew 8:8) Jesus told him, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” True to the centurion’s expectation, his servant was healed that same hour.
My friend, there is no particular level your faith must reach before God gives you what you are asking for. Your faith does not initiate God’s giving. He has already given to you all things that pertain to life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3) His blessings are pressing on you already! Regardless of the level of faith you are at, He will respond. Jairus needed Jesus to go to his house to lay His hands on his daughter, and Jesus did. The centurion only needed Jesus to speak a word for his servant to be healed, and Jesus did. He met both their expectations.
My friend, don’t fix your eyes on how much or how little faith you have. Fix your eyes on the One who loves you, who has already given you what you need. When you come to Him, simply believe that He is waiting to meet your expectation. He will say to you, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.”
JESUS GOES BEFORE YOU
John 10:4 – And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him…
Have you ever seen a farmer trying to drive a bunch of geese from one location to another? He goes behind the geese, doesn’t he? Compare this to a shepherd who leads his sheep. He goes before them and the sheep simply follow him.
Jesus is our shepherd and we are His sheep. He does not drive us, but He leads us. Legalistic people drive others. Jesus leads. He goes in front of us. He is not like the sergeant who says, “Men, cross this river. I’ll cover you from behind,” because he suspects that the river is infested with crocodiles. Jesus is not that kind of leader. He goes in front of us.
In the Old Testament, Jesus led the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. Do you know how Jesus appeared back then? He appeared in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Where was that pillar? It was in front of them. In fact, the pillar of cloud shaded them from the hot desert sun so that they were kept cool during the day. At night, when the desert got very cold, Jesus, the pillar of fire, gave them light as well as warmth. Whether He was the pillar of cloud or fire, He went in front of them.
As long as they followed Him, the Israelites did not have to worry about anything. Jesus took care of all their needs. He gave them water when they were thirsty, and bread and meat when they were hungry. Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell. They were kept in good health throughout the 40 years of their wandering in the wilderness.
My friend, Jesus your shepherd wants you to just follow Him. As long as you allow Him to lead you, all your needs will be taken care of. He is your provision, healer, counselor, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification…He is everything you need Him to be!
ABOUT THOSE PHARISEES
They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. – John 9:34
Much of the Pharisees’ problem was spiritual pride, as is very evident by this statement. They were so blinded by their arrogance that they couldn’t believe anyone who hadn’t been through their “seminary” could teach them anything.
The name “Pharisees” comes from a Hebrew word meaning “separate.” This term was applied to this sect because of its extreme devotion to the Mosaic law and commitment to leading a separated life. This was a reaction of the devout Jews who came back to Jerusalem from the Babylonian captivity, and saw the pagan customs and influences of the Babylonians everywhere. Not only their religion but their identity as a nation was being threatened. The Pharisees were patriots as well as religious zealots, who in the beginning served a very needed function in the Jewish nation which was struggling for survival. However, over the centuries the Pharisees had departed from the Mosaic law and had written their own interpretations of the law – interpretations which they held to be God-inspired and equal to that of Moses. In Jesus’ day this group was characterized by hypocrisy and self-righteousness. They, as a whole, persecuted Jesus and His followers and received the Lord’s most stinging rebukes.
The Pharisees, like many people today, were ignorant of achieving right standing (righteousness) with God through the simple act of receiving His forgiveness by faith and were trying to earn salvation by their own acts. No one can fulfill God’s commands (Rom. 3:23) except Jesus (Heb. 4:15). Therefore, to be righteous, we must put our faith in what He has done for us
THE FATHER’S ANTICIPATION
For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of Eternity], Prince of Peace – Isaiah 9:6, AMP
When you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, not only is your eternity secure, but you become a child of the Most High God. You instantly have an Everlasting Father! Think about that word everlasting. It means that before the beginning of time, the Father was there. He was waiting for you to make the choice to receive Him and become a child of His.
I can only imagine that He was excited and anticipating that day just like a father would anticipate the birth of his child in the natural. I can imagine that each day God would think, “Is it today?” I don’t know what your experience has been with your earthly father, but God is a good and perfect Father. He loves you with an everlasting love. He loves everything about you so much that He notices when a single hair falls from your head. He accepts you just the way you are, and He loves you enough to guide you and work His character in you. Best of all, He will be your Father from now until eternity! He will never leave you nor forsake you! Thank Him today for being your Everlasting Father!
STAYING WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE LEAVING (1)
…humans must not pull apart what God has put together.’ Mark 10:9 CEB
Not every relationship can be saved. When physical, mental or emotional abuse threatens your child’s safety, or your own, you may be forced to leave. Failing to do so could lead to tragedy, but where a workable resolution can be found, a troubled relationship can become a source of shared joy and fulfilment. Here are some keys to make staying worthwhile: Adopt God’s perspective on sin—yours and your spouse’s. One of the major problems is the way we classify sin—especially our spouse’s. You’re understandably overwrought and anxious because they’re incorrigible and selfish. They’re the wilful sinner—you’re the offended saint. They need a major overhaul, and you’re responsible to see they get it. Things like being critical, nagging and controlling seem like small things compared to a spouse who swears, drinks and visits porn sites. From God’s perspective, sin is sin—yours and theirs! It’s all harmful to relationships. Stop ‘classifying’ sin and try to discover the relationship–transforming power of handling the situation the way Jesus taught. ‘How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.’ (Matthew 7:4–5 NIV) You’ll be amazed at how God will cause your spouse to acknowledge and deal with ‘their’ problem when you get honest and deal with ‘yours’!
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone”; – Ephesians 3:19-20 (KJV)
This day, like every other, is full of opportunities, challenges, and choices. But no choice you make is more important than the choice you make concerning God. Today, you will either place Him at the center of your live, or not. And the consequences of that choice are both temporal and eternal.
Sometimes, without our even realizing, we gradually drift from the One we need most. Thankfully, God never drifts away from us. He remains always present, always steadfast, always loving.
As you begin this day, place God first in your thoughts, on your lips, and in your heart. And then, with the Creator of the universe as your guide and companion, you can face today’s journey with courage
WALKING ON WATER
Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid. —Matthew 14:27
When I learned to sail, I had to walk along a very unsteady floating platform to reach the little boats in which we had our lessons. I hated it. I don’t have a good sense of balance and was terrified of falling between the platform and the boat as I attempted to get in. I nearly gave up. “Fix your eyes on me,” said the instructor. “I’m here, and I’ll catch you if you slip.” I did what he said, and I am now the proud possessor of a basic sailing proficiency certificate!
Do you avoid taking risks at all costs? Many of us are reluctant to step out of our comfort zones in case we fail, get hurt, or look stupid. But if we allow that fear to bind us, we’ll end up afraid to do anything.
The story of Peter’s water-walking adventure and why it supposedly failed is a popular choice for preachers (Matt. 14:22-33). But I don’t think I’ve ever heard any of them discuss the behavior of the rest of the disciples. In my opinion, Peter was a success. He felt the fear but responded to the call of Jesus anyway. Maybe it was those who never tried at all who failed.
Jesus risked everything for us. What are we prepared to risk for Him?
Father, thank You for stretching out Your hand and saying, “Come.” Help me to get out of the boat, knowing that it is totally safe to walk on water with You.
“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” Helen Keller
IT’S WHO YOU KNOW
The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. – John 9:28-30
The “acid test” of whether or not someone is of God is by his actions. Jesus’ actions were so miraculous and overwhelmingly consistent with God’s Word that any reservations about whether or not He was of God should have been set aside. But, as in Mark 7:13, they had exalted their own traditions above God’s Word, thereby making the Word of God of no effect in their own lives. Just as in this instance nearly two thousand years ago, theologians today are sometimes the last to accept a move of God if it violates their traditional beliefs. “The common people heard him gladly” (Mk. 12:37). “Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth” (1 Cor. 8:1).
In spiritual matters, a person can educate himself in theology to the degree that it does more harm than good. It is possible to win a theological battle and yet lose the war for a person’s heart. Arguments over points of theology often distract from the more important issues. There is no premium on ignorance, but love is infinitely superior to knowledge. We should learn all we can, but we must make our knowledge a servant to love. “The greatest of these is love” (1 Cor.13:13).
If anyone’s quest for knowledge leads them away from knowing God, then it would have been preferable for them to stay ignorant. What we know is not as important as who we know (speaking of the Lord). Our most important goal in life must be to love God and be known of Him.
HE DIRECTS YOUR STEPS
The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps. – Proverbs 16:9, NASB
What are you doing to bring your dreams to pass? Are you getting prepared? Do you have clear direction? Are you taking steps of faith? Success is intentional. You may not know what steps to take right now, but God has a good plan for your life. If you’ll do your part to seek Him and begin to make plans to succeed, God will guide you. He will direct your steps. You don’t have to vaguely go through life. God wants to show you His plan. He wants to pour out His blessing on you and see you living a life of victory.
Decide today to make plans to succeed. Write down your goals. Make time to evaluate where you are in life. Evaluate your finances, your career and your relationships. Don’t go another week without having a plan for your future. Evaluate how you’re spending your time and money. If you’ll go beyond dreaming and start making plans to succeed, God promises that He’s going to direct your steps. He will lead you down the path of His favor.
ON THE HOME FRONT
…I will raise up a faithful priest who will serve me and do what I desire… – 1 Samuel 2:35 NLT
Being the high priest in Israel was a prestigious job, and Eli seemed suited to it. Yet he failed badly on the home front. ‘…His sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.’ (1 Samuel 8:3 NIV) As a result, God told Eli He ‘…would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed against God, and he failed to restrain them.’ (1 Samuel 3:13NIV) As a parent and leader you need to answer this question: If God applied the same standard to you as He did to Eli, how well would you do? Eli ended up losing his credibility, his children, his career, and eventually his life. He missed the mark because he made some critical errors. Let’s look at them and see what we can learn: (1) He had the wrong emphasis. He emphasised the Word of God to the people in his congregation, but not to his own children. (2) He had the wrong expectations. He thought his children would ‘get it’ because they lived under his roof and worked in the church. But it doesn’t work that way. (3) He set the wrong example. Eli failed to live at home what he taught at work. He had 20/20 vision when it came to his profession, but where his family was concerned he was blind to his own weakness. Leadership on the home front isn’t about power and control; it’s about ‘giving yourself’ to the people who should matter most (Ephesians5:25). So, how are you doing on the home front?