Sunday, January 27, 2013

Being Contagious

Well it’s the flu season again and everywhere you go you run into someone that is sick or just getting over being sick. Some say the virus is in the air, others say that coming in contact with people that are sick passes it on to you. Some may have low immune systems.  More than likely it is all of the above. The fact of the matter is it's all around us and you can’t get away from it. So you do what you know to do, you start eating better, bundling up when you go out, and you wash your hands a lot. But it seems with all the effort we put into it we still end up getting sick. 
Now let’s stop and take a look at this on the spiritual side. If we get so full of GOD, that maybe we could become contagious, and start spreading the good news, that there is hope for all who call on his great name! There can be something in the air because of us. It can be joy, and peace, and confidence that GOD hears and answers our prayers and that things can change because of who we serve. We can also reach out and touch someone with kindness and mercy. 
One of the things we can do to build our spiritual immune system is to just be a doer of the word, not only read and hear it, but put it in to our daily lives. This not only builds our immune system but infects others around us by giving them confidence that it can be done. By following GOD with all our heart and walking in his word, others will not be able to help but to catch the spirit and be changed. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Don't Let Your Light Go Out

A person may go to any public library, walk back to the 200 section on religion, and begin a causal browsing of the titles which strikes his eye. He may readily observe that very few organizations have been as analyzed, scrutinized, criticized, and categorized as "the church".

As the person begins reading some of the volumes that have been written about the church, he sees that what one praises, another condemns. One's mind may be overwhelmed by terms and words that are all but meaningless to the average person.

Around any town a person may notice the varieties of churches that are present - large and imposing, too small and seemingly insignificant, and from many organizations. How is it possible that this has happened? How has this simple, living institution that was founded by our Lord and His twelve disciples, today become not only so splintered but also a major force in both political and economic circles, with power an wealth that is incalculable?

If we were to ask the historian how the church has arrived at this place in history, we would probably get a mysterious and complex answer regarding the purposes of God.  But if we look into the pages of the Holy Scriptures, we will discover another reason.

Throughout the history of God's dealings with man, He sought to reconcile man back to Himself, to restore the fellowship lost in the fall. This is the ministry which He gave to the church - ministry of reconciliation. He called, equipped and sent us to fulfill this purpose. When the church loses this mission, it lapses into carnality and becomes socially motivated. But if we are to remain faithful to god's primary purposes, we must see the lost.

Consider a person who walks in t light of a full moon. Even though the has set, the moonlight lights the path so he may see. But the moon has no light n itself. When the Apollo 11 team returned from he moon in July, 1969, they brought back samples of lunar soil and rocks. Scientists found that the surface soil and rock contained fifty percent glass. God has placed a giant mirror in the night sky that reflects the sun's light.

So it is with the Christian. We have no light in ourselves, but we reflect to others the light of Christ in our hearts. God has called us out of darkness to lead others to His light.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Jesus Healed Them All!

Christians are often confused when they try to match what they have been taught with what they read in the Bible. The Bible clearly states that “Jesus healed them all”, yet often, instead of the ‘healed them all’ Scriptures, Christians can only remember the Scriptures that seem to point to Jesus’ failure or inability to heal or perform miracles.

A Dilemma of Understanding
This dilemma between the ‘All-powerful Jesus’ and the Jesus who ‘could do no mighty works’ is simply one more in the list of ’traditions of man’ that keep the sick from being healed.

When everything goes right and the sick get well, everyone is happy. When things don’t go right, people start looking for answers. And if an answer is presented, it is often quickly accepted without investigation. In today’s religious world, there are few ‘Bereans’ that will search the Scriptures to see if what they are told matches the Word of God.

As ministers and representatives of Jesus Christ, we have a responsibility to accurately and truthfully represent Jesus. That means we can’t say what we want to or just repeat what we have been told by others. We must only say what Jesus has said and/or what He would say (which would be in alignment with what He has said).

Jesus used absolute words like: whosoever, whatsoever, all, anything and nothing. In the area of healing, Christians use words like sometimes, maybe, if it be Thy will, etc.

Do You Make Excuses for Failure?
A general rule of thumb is that you never analyze your victories, just your defeats. A good indicator of your honesty toward the Word of God is how you deal with a failure. If you are ‘standing on God’s Word’ for healing and the person dies, how do you react? Do you go on quoting Scripture and ‘speaking faith’ or do you revert to excuses. The same excuses you were taught, but can’t be found in the Bible.

Faith and the Will of God
Another indicator is how you react after ‘praying’ for the sick and seeing no apparent change. Maybe you have learned the Biblical way to minister healing by commanding the devil and his works to depart (note: we are not commanding God to heal, we are commanding the devil to cease his operations), yet after doing so, nothing seems to have happened.

What do you do? Do you revert to the old non-biblical (and even anti-scriptural) method of looking for some hidden or unconfessed sin in the sick one - or worse yet, some sin from past generations?)

Two things are important here: First, get it settled in your heart that what you are doing is the Will of God. Second, once it is settled, pray the ‘prayer of faith’ which is a prayer that states the end result that you desire in the form of a statement or command. This is not praying to God, it is representing God before man. It is ‘praying’ for the sick like Jesus did. He commanded. He never spoke to God about someone getting healed.

A True Picture of Christ’s Power

Jesus healed everyone that came to Him and sometimes He even went to people specifically to heal them. Apparently it was always God’s will to heal those who came to Jesus, and even more amazingly, they all had enough faith.

Not once did He ever tell anyone to keep their illness or to confess their sins (or the sins of their ancestors) before He healed them.

One Scripture even says He healed all that had need of healing. Several times it says He healed multitudes. Even in the oft (mis)quoted verse about His not being able to do mighty works in His home town, it says He healed everyone He laid hands on. In Acts, it even says that the disciples “healed all”.

The following is from a letter from John G. Lake, the so-called “Apostle to Africa,” to Carrie Judd Montgomery on April 22, 1911. Dr. Lake is making reference to the phenomenal success of his healing ministry in South Africa in the early 1900’s:

I feel …that there is a step in this ministry in advance of what the (Pentecostal) Movement in general enjoys, and God has laid it deeply on my soul to present this particular phase of the exercise of the dominion of Jesus Christ, and that the secret of our success here in this ministry, is in our teaching our workers to exercise the dominion of God through the Holy Ghost, and that He has already put in their soul when He baptized them; while in other branches of this work they still follow largely the old line of intercession for the sick.

We do not pray for God to come and heal as in the old days. But, looking into His face, believing that He has baptized us in the Holy Ghost, and that we have received the power of God through that baptism, command in the Name of Jesus, the devil and his works to depart. I am convinced that there is a secret and better place of interceding for the sick, in exercising a dominion of God over the devil and his sicknesses, that when learned by the Pentecostal Movement, will put the ministry of healing miles in advance of where it is now.

“His name, through faith in His name hath made this man strong.”

“Such as I have, give I thee.” “Aeneas, Jesus maketh thee whole.”

Is Divine Healing for Today?
Most of us have heard about someone who experienced a miraculous healing in their life. Most people believe that healing exists, but they think of it more like a lottery. They may do everything they can to be healed, and when everything else fails, try prayer. Most people use God as a last resort and are hoping that God heals them because nothing else has worked.

Some think that perhaps God in His mercy will find us worthy of healing. Some may think that if they could just “get enough” faith going they would get healed. They may even think that God wants some to suffer or even die because He has a mysterious plan to use it to reach more people.

The biggest problem is that many of us have never acquired a true biblical understanding of healing for ourselves. Many have blindly adopted the opinions of other believers, or form their beliefs to match what they see. When we study God’s promise of healing for ourselves, many are surprised to find that there are ample unscriptural beliefs lurking in their minds.

The Goal
Careful Bible study will help you to solidify your biblical foundation in divine healing. As you proceed, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you will be challenged to think about what you have been taught and believe. Through study and revelation in God’s Word you will gain the necessary tools to answer many questions about divine healing.

It is common to answer questions on divine healing by starting with, “I believe,” “I heard,” or “My pastor said…” A much better way to answer these questions begins with, “God’s Word says …” because God’s Word is our final authority. Base your studies on the truth of the Word of God and it will help you to re-establish what you know with God’s Truth (not man’s ideas) as your foundation.