Days of Heaven Upon Earth

I am my lover’s and my lover is mine; he grazes among the lilies.

[Song 6:3 NET]

If I am the Lord’s then the Lord is mine. If Christ owns me I own Him. And so faith must reach out and claim its full inheritance and begin to use its great resources. Moment by moment we may now take Him as our grace and strength, our faith and love, our victory and joy, our all in all. And as we thus claim Him we will find His grace sufficient for us, and begin to learn that giving all is just receiving all. Yes, consecration is getting Him fully instead of our own miserable life. There are, indeed, two sides of it. There are two persons in the consecration. One of them is the dear Lord Himself. And for their sakes, He says, I consecrate Myself that they also might be consecrated through the truth. The moment we consecrate ourselves to Him He consecrates Himself to us, and henceforth, the whole strength of His life and love and everlasting power is dedicated to keep and complete our consecration, and to make the very best and most of our consecrated life. Who would not give himself to such a Saviour? Surely we will today, first give ourselves and then give Him each moment as it comes, to be filled and used.

Devotional

Healed

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 9:18-26

Your faith has healed you.

[Matthew 9:22]

I have to be honest: this story confuses me on my best day and angers me on my worst. I have known many people with faith much stronger than mine who have died from illnesses like cancer, heart disease, and pneumonia. I can remember sitting in a small country church and hearing a pastor express his belief that if anyone was battling an illness like cancer, all they had to do was pray harder and have more faith and they would be healed. My wife had to work hard to keep me calm.

Even so, Jesus says quite clearly that this woman was healed because of her faith. So how do we understand the role that faith plays here?

First, faith is planted and nurtured by God and grows in us because of Jesus’ work in our lives. It is a product of his closeness to us. While we do things to develop our faith, it is all in relationship to God and not by our own works. Faith is from God, and this woman’s healing happened in relationship with God through Christ.

Second, Jesus says that this woman’s faith healed her. He doesn’t say that everyone’s faith heals all things. To think that all illness can and should be healed by the faith of the sick person isn’t what Jesus means here. But Jesus is pointing out that faith is a strong and important component of our lives.

God’s gift of faith in us can do amazing things for us and for those around us. Let’s ask God to increase our faith today.

Father,

By your gift of faith in us, heal us of the damage of sin in our lives. Grow in us faith that brings us closer to you.

Amen.

Quiet Time

So Jesus came outside, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Look, here is the man!”

[John 19:5 NET]

“Behold the man!” was Pilate’s jeer. That is what all the ages have been doing since, and the vision has grown more and more glorious. As they have looked, the crown of thorns has become a crown of golden radiance, and the cast–off robe has glistened like the garments He wore on the night of the transfiguration. Martyrs have smiled in the flames at that vision. Sinners have turned at it to a new life. Little children have seen it, and have had awakened by it dim recollections of their heaven–home. Toward it the souls of men yearn ever.

~ Robert E. Speer ~