Thursday, February 20, 2020

"She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased." - Luke 8:44
Penicillin based antibiotics were a tremendous discovery. Serious life-threatening diseases were stopped in their tracks as the medicine was administered. The devastating expectations that plagued families in years gone by were no longer feared. Long term deterioration of health was simply arrested by a short term treatment. Finally, a life saving blessing.
The lady that we are reading about in the above passage was worn down by twelve years of illness and failed efforts of treatments. The heartache had become as much a condition of despondency and frustration as the illness itself. No matter where she turned, there was absolutely no hope. But, then the day came when she "touched the fringe of His garment". Finally, a life saving blessing.
Have you come to end of the road in search of an answer my friend? Have you been plagued with spiritual, emotional and physical devastation and discouragement for years? Has any degree of hope simply slipped through your fingers? Well, take a moment to reach out and "touch the fringe of His garment". Come to Jesus in faith and you will find... Finally, a life saving blessing.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

"Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left. The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him." - Luke 8:37-39
You will often see an ad that highlights an average person who gives testimony for some new medicinal treatment. They will talk about their physical problem and they may mention many others who suffer in the same way. Then you are given the amazing details of how this new product can help you, because in the words of an average person like you, they say..."It worked for me".
Sometimes we resist the actual source of help. We may be intimidated or just filled with doubt. We need to know someone like us who has been helped. The day Jesus cured a demon possessed man was one of those occasions. Jesus was asked to leave because the locals were "overcome with fear". Jesus left in a boat, but not in his heart. He sent the cured man, an average person like them, back to say "Jesus can help you" because... "He worked for me".
Has the Lord done great things for you? Has he changed your life and set you free from sin, guilt and fear? There are those in your world who resist the preacher and church. But they know you; work with you, live next door to you. You're an average person just like them and you've been helped by Jesus. Take time today to tell someone you know, how much Jesus can do for them, because... "He worked for you".

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

"Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him." - Luke 8:18
In the Gym there is a phrase; "Use it or Lose it". Such is the case when you fail to work a certain muscle group. The tight muscular look softens up and the strength of the muscle lessens over time. If you haven't worked that area for a while, you painfully realize how much you've lost when you go back to training.
In spiritual matters the above phrase is just as apropos; "Use it or Lose it". The Lord is not suggesting a mean and uncaring robbery of some to bless others. The point is simple; when you value the truth and nurture it in your soul, more understanding will come. But, when you blow off the process of learning and growth, you will even lose what you have. 
I have met many believers that have known the Lord for a long time. Some of them are well established in spiritual and Biblical wisdom, but others know very little. The words for today my friend are: "consider carefully how you listen". Remember, "Use it or Lose it".

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Monday, February 17, 2020

"And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith." -- Matthew 13:58
No matter how skilled and well trained a physician may be, if the patient has no faith in him, there can be little accomplished. Without faith the patient will fail to cooperate with the doctor's directions. The resources for healing may be abundant, but when doubt prevails we will remain as sick as ever. You've got to believe.
The need for faith in spiritual matters is even more significant. While the Lord alone brings about the miraculous, he looks for believers. He is the abundant resource of all that we need for spiritual and tangible needs. But are we people of faith or doubt? As we read in James 1:6-7, "But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord" You've got to believe.
How much is the Lord doing in your life today? Are you seeing a powerful work of spiritual growth and dramatic provision day by day? Or are you doubtful that God will do anything in your life? The writer of Hebrews noted the sad outcome of those who lacked faith in 4:2, "...but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith." He is still a God of the miraculous, but to experience his power, you've got to believe.

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Sunday, February 16, 2020

"Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn." - Matthew 13:30
Have you ever noticed when you weed your garden that you occasionally pull out a flower while pulling the weeds? The roots of some weeds intertwine so much with the flower you just can't separate the two. While there are other measures you can take to rectify the problem, sometimes you just have to lose the flower.
The church can be much the same as your garden. Jesus knew that unbelievers were going to be found in the church. His counsel was to leave them alone until His coming. Unlike the garden, apart from extenuating circumstances, we are not directed to pull them out. The wisdom in this counsel is multifaceted. Over time unbelievers very well might be converted, and during this time believers will hopefully grow stronger and more secure in the Lord.
This parable should alert us to the fact of unbelievers sitting in church pews. The difference between believers and unbelievers may often be difficult to discern on the surface. So every believer should be faithful in their conduct, testimony and witness; especially with the church family. And be careful my friend to consider the words of  2 Peter 1:10, " Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure..."

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Saturday, February 15, 2020

"... And since they had no root, they withered away." - Matthew 13:6
There was a tree in our back yard that we had removed. Over the years the roots of this tree had surfaced  and were compromised to the degree of being cut off. From that time on the limbs grew dry and the leaves were fewer every spring. The bottom line was: "No root, no fruit".
As Jesus began the teaching about the sower, He brought to light the significance of healthy roots. The Pharisees and Scribes were well versed in the Scriptures, as many are today. But a spiritually productive lifestyle was definitely missing. The bottom line was: "No root, no fruit".
Beyond a doubt, life brings scorching seasons that will overwhelm the best of us. But, believers in Jesus will never wither away. The psalmist spoke of the godly person this way in Psalm 1:3, "He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither." While "No root, no fruit" is true, when you're rooted in Jesus there will always be great fruit.

Friday, February 14, 2020

"Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters." - Matthew 12:30
Jim and John Harbaugh grew up as brothers in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For over four decades they did what many brothers do as good friends. But on November 24, 2011 their life decisions placed them on opposite sides of the field in a national competition.  That night Jim, as the coach of the San Francisco 49ers would stand against John, the coach of the Baltimore Ravens and only one team would conquer. The line was drawn in the sand.
Jesus knew the hearts of all men and with that knowledge came the understanding of those who were against Him. The possibility of remaining neutral was not an option. All religious views now came to a moment of decision and the outcome was simple, but sobering. Those who were not with Jesus were against Him and He alone would conquer. The line was drawn in the sand.
Brothers, relatives and friends must eventually come to the great dividing line of life. You cannot be neutral when it comes to the person of Christ my friend. He has achieved the ultimate victory from an empty tomb and is preparing for the day of His return as the King of Kings. Those who trust in Him in this life will join Him in His triumph. Those who are against Him will stand on the opposite side of the field in eternity, having lost all hope. The line is drawn in the sand. Which side are you on?