Archive for June, 2009

More Than The Lord of the Rings

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

In Luke 6:5, Jesus is called “The Lord of the Sabbath.”  He allowed His disciples to eat consecrated bread on the Sabbath, and he healed a man’s hand on the Sabbath; in a magnificent fashion by simply saying, “Stretch out your hand.”  When the man did so, his hand was completely restored.  Oh, I wish I could have been there to see that shriveled hand made whole right before my eyes.  Whenever Jesus performed healing, He didn’t just make things better, like a doctor who might temporarily relieve one’s cold symptoms  He made things perfect.  The best analogy would be a cavity in a tooth.  If Jesus were to heal it, it wouldn’t have a filling, like a dentist might do.  Instead, Christ would actually restore the tooth with enamel like it originally had. 

Hmmm, Luke 6:12 says, “Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.”  Have you ever wondered how Christ, in his humanity, could do such powerful things?  Or why he told us we could also do such things?  Well how many times have we spent the whole night praying about such things?  Could we actually perform the deeds that Christ did in verse 18, where “Those troubled by evil spirits were cured, and the people all tried to touch Him, because power was coming from him and healing them all?” 

He said that we’re blessed if we’re poor, hungry, sorrowful, excluded, or insulted.  If you’re poor, be glad that you are, because you’re blessed.  The Bible doesn’t say that the rich and powerful are blessed.  He even warns those who are rich, well fed, happy, and admired by others, because they have already received their (earthly) reward. No, it’s the poor, the lowly, and the humble who are blessed.  In verse 23, Jesus even says, “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven.”  It’s as though the less we have here, the more we’ll have in Heaven.  We can have our rewards here (Matthew 5), or in Heaven.  Which do you think would be more gratifying?  He tells us to love our enemies, because it’s not easy.  Anyone can love a friend who loves you back, but it’s not so easy to love your enemies.  He tells us not to judge or condemn others, but to forgive them.  In verse 38, He tells us to ”Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  Now that’s something to be joyful about. 

He tells us that just as a tree can be recognized by its fruit, what we truly feel in our hearts will be manifested by the things that we do and say.  Verse 48 says the man who obeys Christ ”is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock.  When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.” 

Our Lord is more than the fictitious Lord of the Rings.  Jesus Christ is the Lord of everything, from the Lord of the Sabbath, to the Lord of our rewards in Heaven.

The Barrier of Sin; Leaving Everything; and, God’s Healing Power

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Luke chapter 5 offers some wonderful nuggets of truth: 

In verse 8, Simon Peter felt so unworthy that ”he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!’  This is the attitude that keep many people from being saved.  Some people think they need to clean up their lives, and then they can be saved.  In truth, the opposite is true.  In fact, they cannot really clean up their lives without the saving power of the Hoy Spirit.  Although the very gospel message itself proclaims that it is one’s sin that separates him from God, it is often the guilt of that very sin that continues that separation.  In verse 31, Jesus said “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” 

What we need to do is to follow the examples of the disciples in verse 11, where they “pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed Him (Jesus).”  In verse 28, even Matthew, the tax collector “got up, left everything and followed him. “  It’s not too difficult to pull one’s boats up on shore, to get up, or to follow Jesus.  The true challenge is to leave everything else. 

We should follow Christ’s example in verse 16, where He”often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”  Even Jesus had to maintain fellowship with the Father through prayer and quiet time with God.”  Verse 17 is quite interesting because it says that ”the power of the Lord was present for him (Jesus) to heal the sick.”  This would imply that even Jesus was not able to perform healing and miracles at all times; rather only at certain times when God the Father specifically sent His power for such purposes. 

In verses 24 – 26, Jesus “said to the paralyzed man, ‘I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.’ Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, ‘We have seen remarkable things today.’”  This demonstrates the complete nature of God’s healing.  God wouldn’t heal a toothache with a filling.  Instead he would actually restore the cavity with brand new enamel.