THE LORD IS ABLE AND MOST WILLING
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 don’t 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 centurion’s servant and the Syro-Phoenician woman’s 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 God’s 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 God’s 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 God’s heart of love, and you will believe that He is not only able, but also willing to make you whole!
MAKING YOURSELF LOOK GOOD
‘…if we could control our tongues…’ James 3:2 NLT
When you’re upset, it’s tempting to ‘hand out other people’s dirty laundry’. But making yourself look good at somebody else’s expense always backfires. One Christian author observes: ‘That righteous feeling turns to shame faster than you can walk away, hang up the phone, or hit “send”…I can’t emphasise enough how crucial it is to get control over your tongue. I wish someone had warned me to stop talking and start praying.’ A lady named Michelle learned her lesson the hard way. She was having lunch with a co–worker at a restaurant and they visited the ladies’ toilet. While they were fixing their hair they started to talk about people at work who drove them crazy. Immediately Michelle launched into a diatribe about Beth, a co–worker who had no idea how much trouble she created for the rest of the team. As Michelle prepared to launch into more specifics, a cubicle door opened and out walked Beth, flushed and upset. In a split second what felt like a pressure–relief session turned into an embarrassing mess… Beth ran out in tears, and Michelle couldn’t take back the words she’d said. Beth never returned to work, and the next day she resigned. While her co–workers openly cheered what they considered to be good news, Michelle was miserable… She tried to call Beth, and even wrote a letter of apology, but there was no response. And what’s worse, Michelle is a Christian and Beth made no such profession. Treat others the way you’d like to be treated (Matthew 7:12). What goes around comes around, and idle chatter will surely come back to haunt you.
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.
BE A PEOPLE BUILDER …
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up… – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
God designed us to live in relationship with others. He wants us to help each other grow. None of us will reach our highest potential by ourselves. We need people in our lives to encourage us, and we need to encourage the people in our lives and help them reach their potential. The word “encourage” means to “urge forward.” Many times, you can see things in other people that they don’t see themselves. You can see their strengths and talents. You can see that God has a special plan for them even though they may be going through a difficult time. Don’t assume that people see what you see in them.
Take a moment and encourage them either with a kind word or a simple note. There might be a special gift you can give that will remind them of their goal or dream. In whatever way you can, urge the people in your life to keep moving forward. If you’ll be a people builder and help others fulfill their dreams, God will help you fulfill your dreams also, and you’ll live in blessing all the days of your life.
WRITTEN ON YOUR HEART …
They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts… – Romans 2:15, NLT
In the Old Testament, God’s commands were written on stone tablets and kept in the tabernacle. Now, we have the New Testament, or new covenant. When we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we become His temple. He lives in us, and He engraves His promises and commands right on our hearts!
How can you be sure of this? This verse goes on to say that your spirit, your inner man, has a strong knowledge of what is right and wrong; what you should and shouldn’t do. When His law is written on your heart, you are drawn to follow His Word. That’s the Spirit of God on the inside of you, guiding and directing your steps. As you follow His leading, your ability to hear and know Him is strengthened. But if you choose to bypass that prompting on the inside, your heart can become hard which will affect your ability to hear Him in the future.
Make the decision today to demonstrate that God’s law is written on your heart by quickly obeying His leading. Remember, His law is written on your heart! Trust that He is leading you in the path of blessing all the days of your life!
MAKING YOURSELF LOOK GOOD (2)
‘…lay your hand upon your mouth.’ Proverbs 30:32 AMP
Your tongue is just centimetres from your brain, but the way some of us rattle on, you’d think our mouths and minds were kilometres apart! James says, ‘…The tongue…corrupts the whole body…’ (James 3:5–6 NIV) Ramona Cramer Tucker writes: ‘I admit I’m a talker …I don’t set out to break a confidence, but somehow my mouth kicks into gear before my brain… But God takes a clear stand on gossip. He knows loose lips can ruin another person’s reputation, introduce mistrust into a relationship, encourage the gossiper to embellish their tale, and cause them to sin by being tempted to lie when confronted… I love to share news, to be “in the know”, and because I’m wired this way it’s easy for me to spread gossip under the guise of being well–meaning, even prefacing my news with “I wish you’d pray for”… But just because my sharing is well–meant doesn’t mean it’s appropriate.’ The most common reason for making someone else look bad—is to make ourselves look good! We are like the proud Pharisee in the temple who stood alone and prayed, ‘…God, I thank you that I am not like other people…’ (Luke 18:11 NCV) The writer of Proverbs says, ‘If you have done foolishly in exalting yourself, or…thought evil, lay your hand upon your mouth.’ (Proverbs 30:32 AMP) It’s one thing to think bad thoughts—it’s another to voice them. The saying goes: ‘You can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair!’ So do yourself and everybody around you a favour—practise putting your brain in gear before engaging your mouth.
OUR HELP IN TIME OF NEED
Hebrews 4:16 – Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
If you are facing a challenge right now, I want you to know that you have a standing invitation from your heavenly Father to come boldly to the throne of grace to “obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”.
The phrase “help in time of need” means that you get healing when you are sick, provisions when you are in lack, restoration when your relationship with a loved one breaks down, and favor when news of job cuts or bad prospects are rife.
“Pastor, how can I come boldly when I have been a lousy Christian?”
You can come boldly because you come to God by the blood of Jesus Christ and not by how you have lived your life. So whenever you come into God’s presence, you don’t have to be afraid that your sins will be exposed because the blood of Jesus has removed every one of them. God does not see even one speck of sin in you because He sees only the blood of His Son, which has been shed for your total forgiveness and acceptance.
My friend, when you have failed and need mercy, God’s Word assures you that you will find mercy when you come boldly to God. Mercy means that you don’t get the bad things you deserve, such as condemnation, poverty, failure, loss and even death.
And mercy is not the only thing that you will obtain when you come boldly to God. You will also find grace. Grace means that you get the good things that you don’t deserve, such as health, protection, anointing, favor, good success and life more abundant.
So come boldly to the One who loves you passionately, unconditionally and with an undying love. Come boldly to Him who knows everything about your situation and has the solution. He has wisdom far beyond that doctor you highly respect, that lawyer you greatly honor and the best experts you can consult. Beloved, come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and grace to help in your time of need!