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July 24th, 2020

God Is Still Willing

God is still willing

In Matthew 8, a man with leprosy comes to Jesus and worships Him. He does this because he knows God can do anything. In fact, he’d have probably heard about all the miracles Jesus was doing for others, but internally he had the same question you and I still have today.

“I know GOD can do anything for OTHERS but is HE really WILLING to help ME?”

Does God really care about MY LIFE?
Which is it? Does God want to LOVE me or SLUG me?

You know, this story of the man with leprosy is in the Bible only because God wanted to reveal His character to us once and for all. He didn’t want us to be in the dark when it came to His will. And what’s more, Jesus didn’t want us to question whether or not He was truly willing to help us!

Jesus Heals a Man With Leprosy

In the story, the leper comes to Jesus, vulnerable and with humility, to seek healing, but he still questioned whether or not God WANTED to heal him. The leper knows all too well how much he was suffering, so he puts himself out there, probably embarrassing himself. He kneels publicly before Jesus.

So…here we finally find out if Jesus will turn the leper away and reject his desire, or whether He would welcome Him with open arms and heal him! Almost afraid to breathe, the leprous man waits on his knees before Jesus and all the people gathered around Him.

What happens next is no surprise. The Bible says Jesus REACHED OUT and TOUCHED THE LEPER (something that was forbidden by society) and He lovingly tells this man the words many of us need to hear today.

“I AM WILLING, BE HEALED.”

And at that moment, the leprosy instantly disappeared.

Today, you might be wondering if Jesus really cares about your struggles and what you are going through. I have got good news: He does.

Jesus is never changing, which means that He is always the same: yesterday, today and forever. Today Jesus desires to help and love you through whatever you are going through. Today, He still is willing!

Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleaned of his leprosy. (Matthew 8:3)

– – – written by Surjith Jacob

August 24th, 2015

Encounter With Jesus

Encounter With Jesus

When we travel, say a train journey, we meet people. They are not friends but we call them acquaintances. But certain people who enter our lives help us, support us, stand by us, transforming us to reach the sky, the zenith of glory, the summit of success or the pinnacle of joy. Such transformation leaves everlasting memories, gratitude and breath of a new life in our hearts.

Encounter with Jesus

The word ENCOUNTER means “bring a change after contact so that you are no more the old self.” i.e. leaves an impression on someone. The same happens with our relationship with Jesus. We all know him as God, His life, His glorious finish and so on. This knowledge cannot help us in any way.

When Jesus was walking along the roads of Jerusalem and Judea many people flocked around him. They were all gifted to see him face to face which none of us got. Yet how many of them benefited? Only the ones who allowed Jesus to transform them completely.

Let us now look at three encounters people had with Jesus:

1. Bartimaeus [Mark 10:46-52]

Bartimaeus, a beggar on the roadside, totally blind, has heard so many talk about a man named Jesus. He pondering over His power, fully desires to meet Jesus, awaits with anxiety, as his last chance of hope in life. Bartimaeus cries out yelling in full surrender “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me” as He passes by him. Jesus, fully aware of the situation, moves forward. Now the beggar hears (for he cannot see) the sound fade and Jesus moving beyond him, his last ray of hope fading, throws himself and yells “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me”. Now Jesus turns back, calls him and asks “What can I do for you?”. He answers “I want to see You”. That is it. His sight was restored! This is what Encounter is all about!

2. The Woman with Hemorrhage [Luke 8:43-48]

A woman with heavy bleeding for 12 years comes to Jesus, “For she said in herself, If I may touch but his garment only, I shall be whole.” A huge crowd was pressing Jesus, still He particularly felt some power leaving him. He knew that a woman with full hope of being healed is touching Him. Jesus asks “Who touched me?” Peter says “Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?”. This is the difference between being pressed by a crowd and touched by a single one with faith, full of hope and surrender to be transformed. At this perfect timing healing becomes instantaneous. The woman certainly had an Encounter with Jesus.

3. Martha and Mary [John 11]

The dynamics between the two sisters and Jesus is just awesome, revealing and releasing many graces and blessings in stages. When Lazarus dies, the whole of Bethany gather in their home in mourning. Martha comes to know that Jesus is in town. She runs to the street, meets Jesus and says “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died”. Then she runs home, tells her sister and brings her to Jesus and now Mary repeats every word of Martha “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died”. Jesus is deeply moved and seeing the crowd weeping He too weeps. The crowd says “He who opened the eyes of the blind, can he not prevent this man from dying?” Again Jesus is deeply moved. Now comes the glorious finish. “Lazarus come out”! The whole audience then had an encounter with Jesus…dumb struck, standing in awe to see a dead man coming out to dine with them! Amen.

We can go on with many more examples like Centurion, Zacchaeus, Leper – they all had a desire to go to Jesus with their whole heart and faith. We also see that Judas, Pilate, High Priest, Herod, Pharisees – they all had the greatest chance of seeing Jesus face to face, yet they were lost in their own world of mortality, filled with hidden agendas and missed the mark and lost the valuable eternal life.

Let us seek Jesus to get transformed, to have an encounter with full confidence, hope, trust and faith, without even the slightest ray of doubt or apprehension. We are sure to be transformed in our six areas [Job 5:19] of life viz: physical, mental, spiritual, family, society and finance. Amen!

– – – written by Cecilia Francis

April 28th, 2014

The Stolen Miracle

The Stolen Miracle

If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed (Mark 5:28). That’s what she told herself, this nameless, bleeding woman who’d traveled 30 miles, fueled by nothing but faith.

It was a daring plan. According to Mosaic Law, women who were ceremonially unclean weren’t allowed to touch anyone, let alone the Son of God. But desperate women do desperate things. For 12 long years blood had flowed from her body, making her physically sick and socially unacceptable.

Desperation and Determination

The physicians of her time were unable to relieve her suffering. She “spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse” (Mark 5:26). Some of us have been there, dealing with a prolonged illness or stubborn medical condition. It’s frustrating, even embarrassing, to keep going to the doctor, only to return home with an expensive prescription, yet little hope.

The true miracle in this story is what remained healthy: her faith. Her willingness to believe she could be well again, despite all evidence to the contrary. When she heard about a man who’d “healed many who had various diseases” (Mark 1:34), she made a beeline for Capernaum.

After a 30-mile journey, I would have thrown myself in his path, begging him to help me. Instead our bleeding sister quietly “came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak” (Mark 5:27). By law, her touch would have made him unclean. By grace, just the opposite happened. “Immediately her bleeding stopped” (Mark 5:29). Without a word, a look, or a touch from Jesus, she was made whole simply by believing he could heal her—and daring to act on that belief.

A Stolen Miracle

When her faith was rewarded, she wasn’t the only one who noticed. “He turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?'” (Mark 5:30). How her heart must have pounded. She’d just stolen a miracle!

When the disciples pointed out that many in the crowded street were touching him, “Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it” (Mark 5:32). He wasn’t looking to accuse but to affirm.

The same faith that empowered her to stretch out her hand now gave her the strength to step forward. She “fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth” (Mark 5:33). She risked everything—public humiliation, if not punishment—to make her confession of faith, explaining to the crowd “why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed” (Luke 8:47).

Restored

With a single word from Jesus, 12 years of pain and isolation were swept away: “Daughter…” (Mark 5:34). In no other gospel account does Jesus use this term of endearment and respect. Daughter. She was a member of the family now, restored to her community, setting an example for others who “begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed” (Mark 6:56).

This woman literally put feet to her faith: traveling to Capernaum, reaching out to touch Jesus’ garment, and walking forward at his invitation. By faith, we too can go first in our families, in our workplaces, and in our circles of influence, stepping forward to proclaim, “There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole.”

– – – written by Liz Curtis Higgs

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