Posts Tagged ‘christianity’

Praise

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

Praise

It was a little bit warm that day they came to pick up their friend. The dust from the road filtered into the openings of their sandals which wouldn’t have bothered so much except there were pebbles that occasionally made their way in as well causing them to stop and work the stone loose. They were determined, though. There was a Healer in town. He had been to many other towns and met with many others who were ill. Tales of the miraculous healings had preceded Him. Best of all, he was a Jew just as they were. It was said that he spoke in the synagogues and even the chief priests were astounded at what he taught. Some even risked possible blasphemy by saying that He might be the Messiah.

The men walking down the road didn’t care what others said about His teachings. They were only concerned with His ability to heal. They were coming to get their friend who had been paralyzed for so long. This small group of men had been friends for many years. They had watched their friend become a shell of his former self as his paralysis dragged on year after year. If anyone could heal him, it was this Man. They were unprepared for the objections of their paralyzed friend. ‘Why would He want to heal me?’ he asked. ‘I have angered God by my complaining. I have not been careful to obey the law. If this Man is truly the Messiah, He will know what I am and what I have done.’

This wasn’t something the men had considered. No one had told them that healing might be refused. They hadn’t heard of others being refused. Those in the meeting with Jesus now were Pharisees and Teachers of the Law. They were important people. This little group of men weren’t important in any way. They had always tried to uphold the law but it was so easy to make little mistakes. This Man who had the power of God to heal might refuse them. If God worked so mightily with Him, He could decide they were unworthy of favor. They turned to study their friend. Pity and love for him strengthened their resolve. The Healer might refuse but if He was willing, their friend could live a normal life again. With determination, they lifted him, bed and all, and carried him out the door.

The house where Jesus was teaching was a large one but not large enough for the crowd gathered to see him. People had come from every village in Galilee. It was said that there were even some from as far away as Judea and Jerusalem. People were packed shoulder to shoulder and wall to wall. They spilled out the door with those on the outside standing on tiptoe trying to catch a glimpse of the Man who taught inside the building. The men carefully placed their paralyzed friend on the ground as they discussed what to do. They would never be able to work their way through the crowd. How could they possibly reach Jesus? Where there is a will, there is a way. There were stairs on the side of the house leading to the roof where the owners would go to sit in the cool of the evening. They could make a hole in the roof and lower their friend into the room. The tallest of the men went to peer through the door trying to get an approximate location for Jesus. Satisfied that he could tell the others where to make an opening, he returned to help them carry their friend to the roof.

The heat of the afternoon radiated off the roof. Just carrying the bed and occupant up the stairs had caused sweat to roll down their foreheads and into their eyes. They placed the bed on the ground and began searching for loose tiles to begin the process of making an opening. The building had been well-made but they were able to find one near the place where they believed Jesus was teaching. They began to rip the tiles as quickly as possible afraid someone would come to stop them before they had completed their task. No one came. The hot sun beat down on their backs causing them to sweat even more profusely. Lifting the tiles took all of their combined strength. Thirst and exhaustion almost made them give up but finally they reached the last layer of tiles. This was the point where it would be most likely that someone would stop them before they could lower their friend into the room where Jesus taught. Once the last tiles were up, sunlight would stream into the room and alert the homeowner.

They put the bed in position to be lowered quickly into the room. The ropes to lower him were laid carefully so that each of them could grab the one closest to him. A last check was made. Satisfied that they were ready, they each reached down and gave a mighty heave. The hole was complete. All eyes turned upward but the friends didn’t notice as they grabbed the ropes and began lowering their friend. As they did so, they saw that their aim had been perfect! Jesus was directly below them. He was looking up at them – not watching the bed descending towards Him. It seemed as if He smiled at them. They didn’t realize the longing and hope that shone from their eyes. Jesus turned his attention to the man on the bed.

The paralyzed man lay on the bed and looked up into the face of Jesus. His eyes didn’t shine with the faith and hope of his friends. He knew of his sin. He knew of the things he had said to God in the privacy of his home. He knew that the anger he felt toward the circumstances of his life had been directed at God. He knew all the little laws he had broken. He knew that he had failed to sacrifice often, blaming it on his illness, but knowing that it had really been because of his anger that he had not obeyed the laws and made the sacrifices. He didn’t speak to Jesus. He didn’t know what to say.

Then Jesus spoke. “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

He was astounded. How had He known? This Man of God knew of his sin and was offering him forgiveness. Was it possible that he could be forgiven? Then he heard the Pharisees and the Teachers of the Law murmuring among themselves. He knew that they didn’t approve of what Jesus had said. The longing to know that he could be forgiven as Jesus had said nearly overwhelmed him.

Jesus, too, knew that the others in the room disapproved of what He had just done. He shook His head slightly and then asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your heart? Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or ‘Get up and walk’? I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”

Jesus turned back to the paralyzed man. “Get up. Take your mat and go home.” Joy flooded him! He could be forgiven! The Son of Man had just said He would prove it by healing him. He jumped up to obey the command forgetting that just this morning when others had helped him to sit up to eat he had been dizzy for several minutes. Others had tried to help him to sitting positions in the past but without the bed to lean against, he had merely fallen over unable to get his balance. Even the fact that he had not so much as held food in his hands for several years was forgotten as he reached down to lift his mat. Jesus had said he was forgiven. Jesus had said he was healed. As he lifted the mat to his shoulders, the enormity of the physical change flooded his memory. Tears streamed down his cheeks as he turned to look at Jesus. Still, he didn’t know what to say but the look of thanks was enough.

“Go home,” Jesus had said. The crowd parted to make a path to the door. They stared in awe at this paralyzed man who had been made whole. But he didn’t see them. He was thanking God with each step he was able to take. His friends hurried from the roof. The intense labor in the heat of the day was forgotten as they bounded to his side. In awe, they watched him walk as if he had never been ill. Together they went to his home and, like their friend, they shouted and praised God with each step.

Luke 5: 17-26

July 24 Verse of the Day

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

“Because he loves me”, says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him and honor him.” Psalm 91: 14-16

Father. in a world where danger meets us at every turn, we need Your protection. Just everyday living brings turmoil and, often, outright danger to ourselves and those we love. When those times come, Lord, when tornadoes strike, when flooding threatens our homes, rescue us. Protect us in times of trouble.  Deliver us, Lord, from all evil.

 

July 21 Verse of the Day

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Then Jesus said: “Come…”
Matthew 11:28
New Living Translation

Lord, may we always hear and obey when you call us to come. It is astounding that You, who are above all others, would care to call us. But You do. You love us and say “come”. When we are tired, upset, angry, depressed, You call us to come.  You lift those burdens for us. When we are happy, relaxed, calm, serene, You call us to come and let You share in our joy

 

We are so grateful that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords would want to be with us.  Lord, be with us always.  Never let us forget to come.

 

July 25 Verse of the Day

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

2 Timothy1:12
New English Translation

I know the one in whom my faith is set and I am convinced that he is able to protect what has been entrusted to me until that day.

Father, how great You are and how thankful we are to know You. You have promised to never leave us or forsake us.  We are confident that no matter where we are, we are never lost. No matter what is happening in our lives, You are there. And no matter how often fear tries to overcome us, we can always be reminded that You are able to protect us and those who have been entrusted to us.

 

We can never give enough thanks or praise for all You do in our lives.

 

July 17 Daily Verse

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Matthew 11:28 (Amplified Bible)

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]

 

Father,

There are many of us who feel the struggles of daily living. We are dealing with issues that cause depression and, further, cause rifts in our relationships with others.  Father, we need Your rest.  We need You to refresh our souls.  Come.  Hold us close.

July 19 Daily Verse

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Matthew 15:6 Amplified Bible

So for the sake of your tradition (the rules handed down by your forefathers), you have set aside the Word of God [depriving it of force and authority and making it of no effect].

 

Father,

Our churches – and we individually – have been guilty of setting aside Your Word for the sake of our traditions. We have done wrong. We have harmed those whom You love and whom You are calling.

We ask for Your forgiveness, Father. We ask also that You would show us where our traditions are interfering with the work You want us to do.

Give us discernment to live in this world while not being of this world.

 

July 20 Daily Verse

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Psalm 91:11
Holman Christian Standard Bible

For He will give His angels orders concerning you,
to protect you in all your ways.

Father, We want to thank You for Your love for us. We want to thank You for the care You have taken on our behalf.  Like a loving parent, You have given instructions to Your angels as they watch out for us.  You know each step that we might take and have provided protection. We may not always know why some troubles come to us and we may not know how some circumstances could possibly bring good but You do. And You have seen to it that the angels sent to watch over us have been told how to keep us safe in the middle of turmoil. Thank you.

July 18 Daily Verse

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Matthew 6:33 KJV

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Father, there are many today who would seek You but who have needs that must be met.  They have stresses that interfere with their ability to see You and Your love for them.  Satan has buried them in grief, poverty, loneliness, anger and so much more.  Father, You have promised to provide if we would just seek Your kingdom and Your righteousness.

Call us to seek You.  Call us to help provide for those in need so that You may extend Your love to them.   May what we do remind them that You long to provide for them. May what we do remind them how much You care.

 

July 14 Daily Verse

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Genesis 6:8 Amplified Bible

But Noah found grace (favor) in the eyes of the Lord.

 

Lord,  may we live in this world as Noah lived in his. May we be able to stand firm in our faith striving always to walk in Your ways,  even though we may be surrounded by others who do not.  May we, Lord, follow the laws You gave us adhering to the spirit of the law.  Loving others, lifting others, and always praising Your goodness and majesty.

 

May 23 Daily Verse

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Hebrews 13:16

But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

 

Lord, we are grateful that you have given us the means to share with others. We may not have a lot but we are thankful that what we have is enough for us and for others who are in need. Help us to remember not to hoard Your blessings for ourselves but to share them with others because that is why You have blessed us in the first place.