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“Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith will it be done to you.’ “
Sometimes when we pray for healing during sickness, a well-meaning friend will say, “Well, you haven’t been healed because you didn’t have enough faith.” But Jesus did not always heal people according to their faith.
The boy in Nain he brought back to life (Luke 7:14-15) did not have any faith at all. The girl in Capernaum he brought back to life (Luke 8:51-56) did not have any faith at all. When Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana (John 2:1-9), the hosts did not have any faith at all.
This is encouraging, because often we pray for the healing of non-religious friends. It would be futile to ask God to bring them back to health if it depended on their faith all the time.
He is not a God of futility. He is a God of hope. And we love him for it.
HEARTS AFIRE is book three in the THEY MET JESUS biblical historical series. Word is spreading in villages, on highways, at city wells that a carpenter is healing people of diseases impossible to heal, growing back limbs that are impossible to grow back, making useless ears and eyes fill with delight. Who is he? Could it be he’s the promised Messiah? Dare people hope for the impossible? To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this: http://bit.ly/3HeartsAfire
The scripture for today, September 18 (9/18), is Leviticus 9:18ff as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“He slaughtered the ox and the ram as the fellowship offering for the people. His sons handed him the blood, and he sprinkled it against the altar on all sides. But the fat portions of the ox and the ram ~ the fat tail, the layer of fat, the kidneys and the covering of the liver ~ these they laid on the breasts, and then Aaron burned the fat on the altar. Aaron waved the breasts and the right thigh before the Lord as a wave offering, as Moses commanded.”
The Law of Moses did not have just Ten Commandments. It had over 600! They were intricate commands that had to be kept exactly. The above is just a small portion of what they were supposed to do for a particular sacrifice.
Thank God, Jesus nailed the Old Law of Moses to the cross (Colossians 2:14). Yet some religious leaders continue to dip back into the Old Law to copy showy types of worship ~ robes, candles, choirs, harps, incense ~ many things, and all commanded. But if they do that, they must keep ALL of the Law of Moses ~ stoning for adultery, giving 1/3 of their income (not just 1/10), not working on Saturday (even cooking), going to Jerusalem three times a year.
They can’t just pick and choose which ones they like. The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 5:17 “Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised [just one command in the Old Law of Moses] that he is obligated to obey the whole law.”
James said in 2:10, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” Old Testament worship was showy, elaborate, and demanding to the nth degree. New Testament worship is just the opposite.
Mark 14:26 says that after Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper/Communion, “When they had sung a [single] hymn, they went out…”
Acts 2:41-42 says, “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
Acts 20:7 says, “On the first day of the week, we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people…”
I Timothy 4:13 says, “Devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.”
Nothing complicated about it. Just simple worship. Worship the way Jesus and his apostles worshiped. Worship the way God wants it. He said so himself.
FLOOD GATES is novel 5 in the THEY MET JESUS series. His life has been threatened since last his first year of ministry. Now it is the third year and his enemies are desperate to kill him. The people are running after him, declaring their folk hero their king. No more doctors, no more begging for food ~ he’ll supply it all free. In the temple, he tells off the hypocrite leaders more. Among the people, he performs miracles more. Alone with his twelve, he speaks of his death more. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this: http://bit.ly/5FloodGates
“They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and, in their rebellion, appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore, you did not desert them.”
Such love! Do you rebel against God (who is only trying to save you) over and over because you don’t want anyone telling you what to do? Or because he’s too much bother? Or because you don’t have time for him? Or maybe you just outright hate God? Stop. Turn around. He is only trying to help you.
God has faith in you when you do not have faith in him. God forgives you over and over. First Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord…is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
God could turn you into a robot and force you to love and obey him. But that wouldn’t be real love. God is Love, and he cannot go against his own nature.
And so God follows you around and pleads over and over, “Come back! You’re in danger. Come back. Follow my Son to safety!”
How he hurts when you do not; how he smiles when you do.
LUKE: SLAVE & PHYSICIAN. In Roman times, doctors were almost always slaves and belonged to one family. The legions were just beginning to have their own doctor. In this story, Luke loses his father at age 8 from a battle between his Nordic village and the Romans. He is adopted by Theophilus, a tribune, and given training to be his doctor. Then they meet the apostle Paul, become Christians, and Luke is released to be Paul’s personal physician. Paul’s back has been ripped to shreds so many times, it is solid scar tissue and ten times more sensitive to touch than normal tissue. Luke works to keep Paul alive. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this: https://bit.ly/2FsFwin
You, Almighty God, are all powerful. You hold the world in your hands. You lead mankind forward and people follow you kicking and screaming because Satan convinces so many that you hate us and do not want us to have fun. You do not let Satan’s accusations discourage you and stop you. You are more powerful than him. You never forsake us. For thousands of years you have worked out your master Plan to permanently disarm Satan. Even now you limit what he can do to us. You send your angels to stand between Satan and us in battles in other realms, other worlds, we are not even aware of. You are the Lord of all the lords Satan controls. You are King over all the kings Satan manipulates. Your divine majesty resonates around your throne, encircles the world, and comes to rest in my soul.
Lord, it is hard to thank you for things today. Yes, I have a decent place to live, nice things, my health, the weather is still warm. But what is it all for if I cannot help save the lost and help them stay saved? Sometimes I can hardly stand it thinking about friends and even strangers who are bored with you or resent you or even hate you and do not realize what Satan has in mind for them. How can I see them self-destruct like that? Today I am struggling. I need to thank you for…what shall I thank you for? The sun is shining, the corn is harvested, a bird is singing to me outside my window. Over there is a butterfly and in that direction is a squirrel scavenging for things to store over the coming winter. Songs. I thank you for songs. I shall now sing you a song and will feel better. Yes, thank you for songs. And that butterfly.
HEARTS AFIRE is biblical historical novel three in the THEY MET JESUS series. They’ve been dreaming and praying for the God-King to come for thousands of years. He’s not quite what they expected, but at least he’s here. Now, perhaps the impossible can become possible. With hearts afire, they dare to hope. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this: