Archive for February, 2011

The message is the greatest miracle!

JESUS SPEAKING             

                When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on everyone and healed them […] Now when it was day, he departed and went in to a deserted place.  And the crowd sought him and came in to him, and tried to keep him from leaving them; but he said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.”  And he was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee (Luke 4: 40-44.)


                People from all over brought their sick loved ones to Jesus and they were all healed.  After the healings he attempted to depart for a time of solitude, but the crowd tried to keep him from leaving; the Galilean people recognized that Jesus had done something no one had ever done; he produced true miracles.  Yet, the miracles were far less valuable than the message that accompanied them.  The message was ‘whoever believed in and followed Jesus would receive eternal life and a reconciliation with the one true and living God.’  Some believed, and some didn’t; but those who did, experienced the greatest miracle of all.

                In another portion of scripture, Jesus sent his disciples out two by two, with the authority to do all of the miracles that he was doing, and they did exactly as he had done; when they returned from their journey they said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your Name.”  They had cast out demons, and done many miracles, but Jesus said to them, “Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but that your names are written in heaven.”  The true miracle has always been eternal life.

                Jesus has done miracles in the lives of so many people.  He continues his work upon this earth through the members of his body even today.  The possessed have been set free; the dying have been revived; drug addicts have been delivered from bondage; marriages saved, relationships mended and the mentally ill healed.  More hospitals have been built in Christ’s name than any other.  When an area is devastated by some natural disaster, he moves through is followers to feed and house millions of people.  The works of Christ upon this earth are so numerous it would be impossible to list them all.  Still, despite the miracles, his message is what is truly important.  What is the message?  The message is, if you turn from a life of sin, and believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, ask for forgiveness, and choose to listen to him and make him the authority in your life, you become a Son of God; eternal life in His Kingdom is yours; that is the greatest miracle of all.  Have you received that miracle today?  If not, please contact me at and we can discuss how you can make that decision today.

                “Lord heavenly Father, we come before You now and we thank You and praise You for how awesome and mighty You are.  We thank You for all of the miracles, but we desire to know the greatest miracle of all; eternal life in Your Kingdom.  We have received the message Father, and we believe that Your Son is the only way to know You and be healed eternally.  Grant us forgiveness of our sins, and help us to follow Your Son, that where he is, there we might be also.  We love You Father, we thank You, and we praise You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

The Jew First, Then the Gentile!


                Then Jesus went from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  And behold, a woman of Caanan came from that region and cried out to him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David!  My daughter is severely demon possessed.”  But he answered her not a word.  And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”

                But he answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

                Then she came and worshipped him, saying, “Lord, help me!”

                But he answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”

                And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the masters table.”

                Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith!  Let it be to you as you desire!”  And her daughter was healed from that very hour (Mathew 15: 21-28.)


                In Jewish culture, dogs were considered dirty animals that scavenged for food; they rummaged through garbage and fed off of the scraps that people refused to eat.  The Jews commonly referred to non-Jews (gentiles) as dogs.  Jesus identified the begging woman as a dog; he told her his priority was the lost Children of Israel.  How did she react to being called a dog?  She was not insulted nor did she turn away.  The woman humbly persisted; she accepted being a dog, but refused to accept no from Jesus.  He grants her desired request, and praises her for her faith.  [Note:  Jesus literally referred to himself as the “bread from heaven;” God provided his Son as a heavenly meal for His people.  Many chose to eat what God had provided; many however rejected God’s super.  Today, Christians who are not Jewish have been blessed to eat the crumbs (leftovers) that have fallen from His ‘table.’  Because Jesus was rejected by many Jews, God was gracious enough to allow anyone who was hungry to eat ‘The bread of life.’]

                When I was a small child, we ate meals around a dining room table.  Our dog, Brutis, was an overeager collie that waited in the wings for my mother to leave the room.  My mother would ask us to eat all of our food, which we of course did not enjoy.  When she left we whistled and lowered our plates.  Brutis would come and lick the plates clean.  By the time my mother returned, it appeared as though some of us had finished our meal.  He was more than happy to eat what we had rejected; he enjoyed the food that was meant for us; he never once complained about get leftovers, or not being able to sit at the table.

                Many people today believe that the Jewish people no longer matter.  Many people have rejected them, just as many of their people have rejected Christ.  Yet, the Jewish people are still important to God; they were a priority to Jesus, and they are still a priority to God today.  Jesus Christ grew up in a Jewish home.  John, Peter, Paul, and the rest of the writers of the New Testament were all Jewish.  The first thing Paul did when he reached a new city was, he walked straight in to the synagogue and proclaimed the gospel to the Jewish people.  Only after they had rejected the message did he reach out to the gentiles.  Jesus himself made it clear that the 12 Jewish disciples would rule 12 thrones in the coming Kingdom.  Does the idea of being ruled over by Jews upset you?  If it does, there is some pride still left in you.  But to those who are willing to humble themselves, and acknowledge their place, as the woman did in this scripture, you will receive what she received; the desires of your heart! (Note:  Christians and Jews who believe in Christ are brothers, and have equal access to God today; we are one in Christ Jesus.)

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we thank You for the Jewish people, and for Your plan in saving many of them through Your Son.  We love them, because we love You.  We desire that we might all, Jew and Gentile alike, accept Your message in humility, knowing that we do not deserve Your grace; we are but lowly dogs; but dogs who desire to be in a relationship with You.  Please do not deny us Father.  We love You, we thank You, and we praise You; and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

Complete Forgiveness


             “Take heed to yourselves.  If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.  And if he sins against you seven times in a day and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him” (Luke 17: 3-4.)               


             Jesus warned of the danger of unforgiveness; it is dangerous to not forgive, because God’s forgiveness of our sins is dependent upon our forgiveness those who have sinned against us.  He said, “But if you do not forgive, your Father in heaven will not forgive your sins.”  How many times is a person obligated to forgive another?  Jesus used the number seven because in the Hebrew culture it was symbolic of completeness; a disciple of Christ is obligated to forgive an infinite amount of times.  Since the beginning of creation men and women have been running to God to ask Him for forgiveness.  Not a single person who has ever asked Him has been denied; we must do as our Father does.  (In this scripture there are also two persons who must take action; the sinner, and the one who has been sinned against.  The one who has been harmed must confront the one who has harmed them.  In turn, the one who has sinned is obligated to repent and ask for forgiveness.  [Note:  Even if the other person doesn’t repent, it is good for a true believer to forgive them completely.  While Jesus hung on the cross the religious leaders teased him; they were not repentant, but Jesus said, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”  We have our example in Christ.])

             Some months ago, I discovered that my car had been vandalized; the stereo had been stolen along with a $150 watch, and a small MP3 player.  After realizing what had happened I was very angry.  But my heart was immediately in communication with God.  The Holy Spirit revealed to me that God had forgiven me of so many sins that I had no right to refuse to forgive the vandals.  A warm feeling came over me, and the anger was swept away like a grain of sand caught in the flow of a mighty river.  I prayed that their lives would be transformed and that they would come to know Jesus Christ; since then I have never wished them any harm.

             To what extent should we forgive others; Jesus has taught us that we should be like him, and forgive all those who need to be forgiven.  We who have been forgiven of so much, have no right to withhold forgiveness from others.  Search your heart; if you know of anyone you haven’t forgiven, you need to forgive them.  You may also need to confront them, and give them the opportunity to repent and ask to be forgiven (follow the leading of The Spirit.)  May the Lord show you any resentment you are harboring, and may He give you the strength to let go of your hatred in favor of forgiveness.

             “Lord Heavanly Father, we come to You and ask for Your forgiveness for all of the sins we have committed.  We desire to be like You, and to forgive like You.  Help us to forgive others from our hearts.  If there is anyone that we have not forgiven, we ask that You reveal it to us now, and help us to be obediant  to You in confronting them of their sin if You so desire; and help us to let go of any hatred we are clinging too.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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