Innocently nestled in the sixth chapter of Mark's gospel, verse 56, are these unforgettable words: "...And as many as touched Him were made well."
First, healing is not selective. Jesus does not sort out the easy diseases or respond only to the desirable people. He cannot be criticized for sexual, racial, age, or religious bias.
Second, some show of faith is required on the part of those who are sick. God does not force healing upon us nor does He reward those who play games. We must be determined.
Third, the result of faithful touching is freedom from the disease and wholeness from the fragmented life we had lived previously. Jesus is more ready to receive our touch than we are willing to reach out by faith and receive His blessing.
GospeLines Prayer:"Father, I reach out to you in my broken state, and beseech you to accept my touch of faith. Heal me of everything that hinders my daily walk with you." Amen and amen.
"So the angel explained that it was the following message of the LORD to Zerubbabel: I am the LORD All-Powerful. So don't depend on your own power or strength, but on my Spirit." (Zechariah 4:6 - Contemporary English Version)
Recently, I was on the freeway in the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane sailing in to work. I didn’t have a care in the world, except a few work-related items seemed to be top of mind. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, I had a blowout!
I moved over to the shoulder and was fortunate that my spouse agreed to ride in with me that morning. Both of us got on our respective cell phones to call for help in changing the tire. His called seemed to get the best response. (I’d still be waiting on mine… they never did show up!)
As we got out my spare and my jack, the tow-truck driver maneuvered the jack until the car was in position to remove the damaged tire and to put on the spare. It was then he faced the most difficult challenge…using the lug wrench to take the lug nuts off and particularly putting them back on to secure my tire. With all of his strength he worked against himself and became more flustered as time went on. Finally, my spouse showed him how to use the wrench and after much pushing and prodding, the mission was finally accomplished. We were finally on our way and after dropping my spouse off I stopped to purchase two new tires.
Isn’t it just like God to carry us? He provides the strength to keep us from working against ourselves. He carries the weight of our struggles and all He asks is for us to cast our burdens on Him, when we are heavy laden.
I’ve cried a bucket of tears…
I’ve cried a bucket of tears, Lord
Tried to use my sheer will
When all you’ve asked of me
Is to wait and be still
I see no light, barely a ray of hope
But you Lord, have given me a promise
To look ONLY to You
For my guidance
I’ve cried a bucket of tears, Lord
Over things out of my control
And I have gone screaming and kicking
When looking to others to make me whole…
I am still in that valley Lord
But oh how I’m determined to try
To keep moving up that mountain Lord
With You as my guide
I’ve cried a bucket of tears, Lord
I’ve practically drowned
But You are ever-present
And have never let me down
You see Lord, I am making my plea
For you to hear my petition
And to grant me your favor
To bring my dreams to fruition
I’ve cried a bucket of tears, Lord…
GospeLines Prayer:Thank you for being there when I need you Lord. I thank you for being my Father; for your gentle hand of reconciliation and for your embrace. When I am in distress, you rock me as a baby in the cradle consoling me like no other.
Thank you for taking this damaged person and showing me your unconditional love and for carrying me when I have nothing left.
When the police or the FBI wants to verify someone's identity, they gather information about the individual from as many sources as possible. They also try to retrieve data from as far back in time as possible to make sure that the facts haven't been corrupted by those trying to falsify someone's identity today. The further back they can go in their search, the more likely a true picture of the person will emerge.
Instead of going back months or years to verify someone's identity, what if we could go back hundreds, or even thousands of years? Would our confidence be increased to the point of absolute assurance? Let's take a look.
Jacob told Judah that his descendants would be rulers and that one of his descendants would be the Messiah. "The scepter or leadership shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until Shiloh [the Messiah, the Peaceful One] comes to Whom it belongs, and to Him shall be the obedience of the people." (Genesis 49:10 - Amplified Bible, Written ~1400 BC)
King David prophesied the betrayal by Judas and details of the Crucifixion. "Even my own familiar friend, in whom I trusted (relied on and was confident), who ate of my bread, has lifted up his heel against me." (Psalm 41:9 - Amplified Bible, Written ~1000 BC) “Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” (Psalm 22:16-18 - NIV, Written ~1000 BC)
Micah prophesied the place of His birth. "But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, you are little to be among the clans of Judah; [yet] out of you shall One come forth for Me Who is to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth have been from of old, from ancient days (eternity)." (Micah 5:2 - Amplified Bible, Written ~700 BC)
Isaiah prophesied salvation for the Gentiles and the virgin birth. "It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth." (Isaiah 49:6 - NIV, Written ~700 BC) "Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us]." (Isaiah 7:14 - Amplified Bible, Written ~700 BC)
The forerunner, John the Baptist, is prophesied. "A voice of one who cries: Prepare in the wilderness the way of the Lord [clear away the obstacles]; make straight and smooth in the desert a highway for our God!" (Isaiah 40:3 - Amplified Bible, Written ~700 BC)
Small and personal details of the trial and crucifixion prophesied. “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering… Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows… But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. …the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:3-7 - NIV, Written ~700 BC) “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9 - NIV, Written ~500 BC)
These prophecies give specific details relative to the identity of this person known as "Messiah." They were written over a period of hundreds of years by different people in different countries. Many more were recorded in scripture; but, hopefully these will allow you to positively identify this man, Messiah.
Who is this man? His name in Hebrew is "Yehoshua" and in Aramaic it's "Yeshua." We know Him by His Greek name, Jesus.
“…these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31)
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”
- Philippians 2:5
Dr. Dimitri Kanevsky noticed how useful conversation was on long trips for keeping drivers alert. With a colleague at I.B.M. he invented a software sidekick that would relieve the loneliness of long-distance solo drivers, operating from the dashboard of the car. Nicknamed the Artificial Passenger, it was designed to initiate conversations, tell corny jokes, play word games, change radio stations and otherwise entertain the driver. It could even learn the driver's preferences and speech cadences to recognize slurring that may indicate fatigue. At that point it will issue a warning that the driver stop at the nearest motel. The use of a small camera could detect signs of drowsiness like an eyelid closing, which would trigger emergency measures like automatically opening a window or even squirting a jet of water at the driver. (Source: The New York Times, 12/27/01)
Living a Christian life is a lot like having a "Spiritual Passenger" with us all the time. If we live by biblical teachings, our "Passenger" will open a window of knowledge when we need a fresh word from the Lord. If we need a sudden refresher from heaven, we might get a "squirt" of the filling of the Holy Spirit. God has given us so many reasons to be obedient to Him! Spiritual failure most often occurs when we turn the "Spiritual Passenger" switch to the off position. Sometimes it may seem that God isn't riding with us, when in fact, we have temporarily disengaged our relationship with Him by our own disobedient behavior.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, forgive me for blaming You for absenteeism during my times of need, when I egotistically pushed You aside in favor of my own abilities. Keep me alert, O Lord, and remind me when I am about to fall asleep. Encourage me when I fail. Sustain me when I am about to yield to temptation. Amen and amen.