Posts Tagged 'Jesus speaking'

Loving Sinners

JESUS SPEAKING

   Then Levi gave him a great feast in his own house.  And there were a great number of tax collectors (sinners) and others who sat down with them.  And their scribes and the Pharisees (religious leaders) complained against his disciples saying, “Why do you eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Luke 5: 29 – 32.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

    Those who had committed the greatest offenses were also the most eager to receive forgiveness. The prostitutes and tax-collectors, devoid of any delusions of purity, were wholly capable of conducting an honest self-appraisal.  The religious leaders however, believing themselves to be righteous, refused to accept the message of repentance and reconciliation.  The initial step toward the restoration of divine fellowship includes a genuine recognition of sin. Still today, those who need the greatest measure of healing, are often rejected by the self-righteous. Although most have forsaken the worst offenders, God has not abandoned them.

  Many living within the boundaries of the Roman Empire had little compassion for the sick and the infirmed.  There were no retirement homes, assisted living facilities, or modern hospitals.  Poor sanitary practices often lead to outbreaks of disease that devastated entire towns, cities, and nations.  Those who fell ill were usually abandoned by the healthy; and left to die in the streets. Still, as Christianity spread, so did mercy, compassion, and love. During a plague in Alexandria, Egypt, in 416 A.D., a group of Christians assembled to care for those who were sick. They became known as “the Parabalani” (“the reckless ones”); because in caring for the infirmed, they selflessly exposed themselves to infection.  As they ministered, they undoubtedly preached the gospel; drawing many to the foot of the cross.

    In similar fashion, we are called to care for the sickest of sinners; those who have been abandoned and left to die.  Drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes, thieves, adulterers, and fornicators are frequently the most willing recipients of God’s message of forgiveness and salvation. May we never abandon the lost; nor shun the wretched; for Jesus Christ himself loves every outcast.

   “Lord Heavenly Father, may we never forget that we are but sinners, saved by Your grace.  Provide us with opportunities to minister to the lost.  May we have compassion on the sick and love those who are dying.  May we be instruments of Your mercy; delivering Your message of salvation to the lost.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you.

Demonic Possession

JESUS SPEAKING

          “When an evil spirit comes out of a man, he goes through dry places seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to the house from which I came.’  And when he arrives, he finds the house swept clean and put in order.  Then he goes and takes seven other spirits, more wicked than himself, and they go in and live there.  And the final condition of that man is worse than the first” (Luke 11: 24-26.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

          Evil spirits, although often considered to be a myth, are very real.  They dwell within the hearts of those who deny God.  When an individual receives Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, all demonic apparitions are expelled; the child of God is set free; the chaos and devastation of evil living subsides; the believer ceases to engage in self-destructive behaviors; their hearts are purified and their minds are quieted.  The dispossessed demons however, are not satisfied unless they are causing misery and pain.  So, they often return to their previous hosts, stronger and more determined than ever.  They tirelessly seek to turn the faithful away from God; sadly some fall victim to their schemes and reject the Holy Spirit.  Without the Lord’s protection, the blasphemer is again invaded by demons and their lives plummet back into destruction (a destruction far greater than any they had previously known.)

          I once met a man who had been a pastor for many years.  After he had received the Holy Spirit his life began to change in wonderful ways.  He experienced an immense peace and began to preach the gospel with great enthusiasm.  He served the Lord for some time, before suddenly renouncing the faith.  Soon after his denial of Christ, he joyfully began to engage in strange sexual deviancies with multiple partners; he also started smoking, and boasted of his severe daily dependence upon alcohol.  Additionally, as an atheist, he actively attempted to turn others away from the faith.  I would occasionally see him out in the community from time to time; and he appeared to be physically and mentally deteriorating (a condition I could only attribute to demonic possession.)  The words of Christ are true, in that this man’s situation is worse today than it would have been if he had never received the Lord.

          Demons are very real; they roam the earth, trying to possess those who are weak.  Individuals who receive the Holy Spirit are no longer capable of being possessed.  Unfortunately some believers do eventually reject the Holy Spirit; in turn they are possessed and their lives plummet into even greater chaos.  Maintaining our close relationship with God through prayer, bible reading, fellowship, and obedience, is the best defense against evil spirits [If you have never received the Spirit of God and you would like too, please contact me and I can lead you in a prayer of acceptance and faith.]

          “Lord Heavenly Father, give us more of Your Holy Spirit.  Deliver us from evil, and protect us from demonic attacks.  Remain in us and continue to work through us; give us the strength to endure; may we never turn away from You; may we always continue in Your ways; and may we never return to the bondage of sin and death.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you.

God’s Wisdom

JESUS SPEAKING

          “They will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons.  You will be brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.  But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.  Therefore settle it in your hearts not to think beforehand what you will answer.  For I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all of your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist” (Luke 21: 12-15.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

          Jesus prophesied that his disciples would suffer persecution; they were all eventually arrested, and 10 of the 12 disciples were put to death.  Although they had committed no crimes, they were brought before kings and rulers, and compelled to testify concerning their faith in Jesus Christ.  Jesus commanded them to refrain from rehearsing their testimonies prior to being questioned.  Preparation had the potential to hinder the proclamation of God’s wisdom.  Human effort needed to be abandoned, and God’s power had to be embraced.  By the power of the Holy Spirit, God spoke through the disciples, and He continues to speak through His people today.  Questions are still being asked and God is still answering them clearly and without error.

          Sometime ago, a woman who had gone through brain surgery reached out to me to discuss matters of faith.  Seeking answers she wrote, “I don’t understand why some suffer such heartache and trials beyond our choosing, and others, often those who are seemingly evil, are blessed beyond belief.”  The Holy Spirit immediately gave me the answer to her question.  The answer did not come from me, but from God.  I simply quoted one of Christ’s parables: “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.  But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores, who was laid at his gate; desiring to be fed by the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table.  Even the dogs came and licked his sores.  Then the time came that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom.  The rich man also died and was buried.  And being tormented in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’  But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.”

         The correct answers aren’t ours to give.  All genuine wisdom and understanding comes from God, and the Holy Spirit directs and guides those through whom He chooses to speak.  Only God has the right answers.  Only God speaks without error.  In this world, human wisdom battles against divine wisdom.  True victory can only occur when God’s wisdom is proclaimed.  Let God’s words flow from your mouth; give Him the opportunity to speak to those who have questions; let them find real meaning; let them be satisfied with the correct answers; and may the one true and living God make Himself known to all those you meet.

          “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You, and we ask that You fill our mouths with Your words.  Speak through us, and communicate with those who would seek to question and examine our faith.  May You reveal true wisdom to those who lack understanding.  May we be Your messengers to a world that does not know You, and may all those who oppose You be put to shame.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.


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