STRENGTH TO MINISTER
In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You
I pray that you will have the wisdom to restore a hurting person gently. May you help one another, selflessly carrying each other’s burdens. May God give you compassion as you minister with love to them, and may you not judge them or compare them with others. I pray that God will strengthen you as you give godly counsel. May you be encouraged and strengthened as you refresh others.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
When we pray to God, most of the time we gloss over praising God. Instead, we cut to the chase and just ask God to bless us, our children, and heal our neighbors. Yet we serve a powerful God. One who deserves to be recognized and admired for His love, power, and grace. Let’s spend a few moments talking to God by sharing our love and honor for Him. Isn’t He glorious?
There we saw the giants ~ Num 13:33
Giants stand for great difficulties; and giants are stalking everywhere. They are in our families, in our churches, in our social life, in our own hearts; and we must overcome them or they will eat us up, as these men of old said of the giants of Canaan.
The men of faith said, “They are bread for us; we will eat them up.” In other words, “We will be stronger by overcoming them than if there had been no giants to overcome.”
Now the fact is, unless we have the overcoming faith we shall be eaten up, consumed by the giants in our path. Let us have the spirit of faith that these men of faith had, and see God, and He will take care of the difficulties.
It is when we are in the way of duty that we find giants. It was when Israel was going forward that the giants appeared. When they turned back into the wilderness they found none.
There is a prevalent idea that the power of God in a human life should lift us above all trials and conflicts. The fact is, the power of God always brings a conflict and a struggle. One would have thought that on his great missionary journey to Rome, Paul would have been carried by some mighty providence above the power of storms and tempests and enemies. But, on the contrary, it was one long, hard fight with persecuting Jews, with wild tempests, with venomous vipers and all the powers of earth and hell, and at last he was saved, as it seemed, by the narrowest margin, and had to swim ashore at Malta on a piece of wreckage and barely escape a watery grave.
Was that like a God of infinite power? Yes, just like Him. And so Paul tells us that when he took the Lord Jesus Christ as the life of his body, a severe conflict immediately came; indeed, a conflict that never ended, a pressure that was persistent, but out of which he always emerged victorious through the strength of Jesus Christ.
The language in which he describes this is most graphic. “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed, always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be manifested in our body.”
What a ceaseless, strenuous struggle! It is impossible to express in English the forcible language of the original. There are five pictures in succession. In the first, the idea is crowding enemies pressing in from every side, and yet not crushing him because the police of heaven cleared the way just wide enough for him to get through. The literal translation would be, “We are crowded on every side, but not crushed.”
The second picture is that of one whose way seems utterly closed and yet he has pressed through; there is light enough to show him the next step. The Revised Version translates it, “Perplexed but not unto despair.” Rotherham still more literally renders it, “Without a way, but not without a by-way.”
The third figure is that of an enemy in hot pursuit while the divine Defender still stands by, and he is not left alone. Again we adopt the fine rendering of Rotherham, “Pursued but not abandoned.”
The fourth figure is still more vivid and dramatic. The enemy has overtaken him, has struck him, has knocked him down. But it is not a fatal blow; he is able to rise again. It might be translated, “Overthrown but not overcome.”
Once more the figure advances, and now it seems to be even death itself, “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus.” But he does not die, for “the life also of Jesus” now comes to his aid and he lives in the life of another until his life work is done.
The reason so many fail in this experience of divine healing is because they expect to have it all without a struggle, and when the conflict comes and the battle wages long, they become discouraged and surrender. God has nothing worth having that is easy. There are no cheap goods in the heavenly market. Our redemption cost all that God had to give, and everything worth having is expensive. Hard places are the very school of faith and character, and if we are to rise over mere human strength and prove the power of life divine in these mortal bodies, it must be through a process of conflict that may well be called the birth travail of a new life. It is the old figure of the bush that burned, but was not consumed, or of the Vision in the house of the Interpreter of the flame that would not expire, notwithstanding the fact that the demon ceaselessly poured water on it, because in the background stood an angel ever pouring oil and keeping the flame aglow.
No, dear suffering child of God, you cannot fail if only you dare to believe, to stand fast and refuse to be overcome.
CHRIST’S HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE
Mark 10:42-45; Philippians 2:5-8
In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You
I pray that your attitude will be the same as that of Christ Jesus, who, in spite of being fully God, humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death. Like Christ, may you willingly take on the nature of a servant. May you prefer to serve than to be served, to be humble than to lord it over. I pray that God will exalt you for your humility and obedience.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
All Christians probably believe that God has the power to bless, heal, protect, prosper, and make someone a success. However, we know that not all Christians believe that God is willing to do all that for them. Matthew 8:1–3 records the story of a leper who came to Jesus for healing. He said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” The leper did not doubt Jesus’ ability to heal him, but he was unsure if Jesus was willing to heal him, a leper who was ostracized by all. In other words, he believed in God’s omnipotence, but was not sure if God’s heart was one of love and unmerited favor toward him. I am sure that you know believers who are like that. They may believe in God’s power, but they are unsure of God’s heart toward them. They know that God can, but they are not sure if He is willing.
My friend, don’t be like that leper who completely misread Jesus! Let’s see how Jesus responded to him. This is important because it would be the same response that Jesus would give you if you approached Him today.
Matthew 8:3 records that “Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.'” Can you see how personal Jesus’ ministry is? He did not touch every person that He healed. At times, He simply spoke and the sick were healed. But in this case, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched the leper tenderly. I believe that Jesus did this to heal him not just of his leprosy, but also of the emotional scars that he had received from years of rejection.
Leprosy was a highly contagious disease and the law forbade lepers from coming into contact with anyone. This meant that for years, this leper had been shunned by everyone who saw his condition, even his own family members. He probably stank of decaying flesh and neglect, and his appearance must have been repulsive.
But without flinching, Jesus touched him, giving him the first human touch he had since he contracted the disease. The Bible tells us that immediately, his leprosy was cleansed and the man received his healing.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8). Whatever breakthrough you are believing Him for, He says to you, “I AM WILLING.” Don’t doubt His heart of love for you any longer. Stop being occupied by your own disqualifications and be completely absorbed in His love and grace (unmerited favor) toward you!
Have you received a spiritual revelation lately or learned a faith lesson recently? It’s important to share it with others. They too can hear how God has been moving in your life as well as learn from your experience. In the same way, we can encourage others to keep pushing forward in their struggles. Paul is encouraging two churches to do the same by exchanging letters. Go on, share your personal faith insight with other believers.
NO MATTER WHAT IS GOING ON in your life at this time, your hope in Me is secure. Be constant in prayer—especially when you are struggling. As you stay in communication with Me, I help you to be steadfast and patient in suffering.
Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer.
~ ROMANS 12:12 [AMP]
“I give [My followers] eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”
~ JOHN 10:28 [NKJV]
Also read: TITUS 2:11, 13; ROMANS 8:6
Before You Turn Out the Light:
Your prayers need not be pretty or proper. Just bring your petitions to Me.
How often do you share how happy you are that you are going through a hard time? Most of us don’t do our happy dance when things get hard but James says consider these moments to be joyful ones. We can be joyful in these moments because we can trust that God will use them to grow our faith.
What does the Holy Spirit feel like? It’s an inner urge that can come gently or even forcefully to say words, connect people, or take action. Usually the result of the prompting of the Holy Spirit brings healing, strength and joy, only good things. It may not necessarily be clear to us in the moment how our words and actions bring healing. By stifling the Holy Spirit, we don’t carry out the message we have received and stand in the way. The next time you feel the inner gut feeling to follow through on something, embrace it and let the Holy Spirit work through you.