Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sickness and Diseases

"That evening they brought him many who were possessed by devils. He drove out the spirits with a command and cured all who were sick. That was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:

He himself bore our sickness away and carried our diseases. (Matthew 8: 16-17)

Perhaps you are sick in your body at this moment or maybe just worried whether you may be able to keep the good health you enjoy right now till the end of life. Good health is one of the great riches of life. I have had experience of ill-health, some of them serious. Encouraged by stories of people who had overcome chronic disabilities, I became interested to learn how they did it. In the Gospels, we find instances of people that are sick seeking out Jesus for cure. They recognized Jesus as the source of good health.

Reasonable good health is possible for most people. Extraordinary good health is a fad which is impossible to attain. By extraordinary good health, I mean total absence of pain always and everywhere. Just as there are rules for success in anything, there are also rules for success with regard to health. Observe these commonsense rules: eat well, rest well, exercise well. Above this, trust Jesus as the Great Physician to give you the health you need to fulfill your purpose in life.

Whatever may be your situation, it is most comforting to realize that God, our Father has made concrete provisions concerning our health in His word. The key to enjoying His promises on health is to understand these promises as they apply to you; to trust God's word and to obey what they ask us to do.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Discipleship and Provision

Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means(Luke 8:2-3).

Women who benefited from the ministry of Jesus provided for His needs and those of His disciples. They provided for them "out of their means." The widow of Zarephath provided for Elijah out of her meager resources. God blessed this source and it never dried up.

This incidence is typical of God's arrangement for providing the future disciples of Christ. In the Old Testament, we see many instances of God providing for His servants through people. This principle was established with the Levitical priesthood. Elisha, the prophet was likewise provided for by a couple in the course of his work. In the New Testament, we find abundant examples from the works of the Twelve and St Paul.

What are the lessons for us? God makes adequate provisions for the needs of those who preach the gospel. God prefers a situation of weakness and dependence for His servants so that His wisdom and power can triumph through their work. God infact wants His collaborators in the work of salvation to imitate the simplicity of Jesus Christ. He appoints people to supply the needs of His workers.

How do the disciples of Christ today appropriate God's blessings and provisions for them? First, they must be aware of these provisions in the Bible. They must understand what God's word or promise is saying to their particular situation. Disciples of Jesus must believe his word and act on this word. Trust and obedience activate the power of the word.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Spirit and discernment of spirits

"My dear friends, not every spirit is to be trusted, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets are at large in the world. This is the proof of the Spirit of God: any spirit which acknowledges Jesus Christ come in human nature, is from God, and no spirit which fails to acknowledge Jesus is from God; it is the spirit of the Antichrist, whose coming you have heard of; he is already at large in the world." (1 John 4: 1 – 3)

Principles of discernment:

  • "By their fruits you shall know them." (Matthew 7: 15 – 20)
  • "Whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him." (1 John 2: 3 – 6)
  • "Every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh." (1 John 4: 2-3)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Spirit is the proof of God’s presence in us

"Whoever keeps his commandments remains in God, and God in him. And this is the proof that he remains in us: the Spirit that he has given us." (1 John 3: 24)

The presence of the Spirit is proof of God's presence in us. It is the proof that we are truly sons and daughters of God.

How do we know that the Holy Spirit is in us? How do we know that the wind is blowing? We see the effects of the wind. We see branches and leaves swaying. We notice flags on top of poles swaying. In a similar manner, we observe the effects of the Spirit in us. Some of the fruits of the Holy Spirit are:

  • Peace and tranquility
  • Joy and consolation

When we compare the before the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the after, we see the clear difference.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Word

"The law of your mouth is to me more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces."

"(Psalm 119: 72).

How do we know for certain that God's word is more precious than silver and gold? God's word transforms ordinary humans into extraordinary beings. There are abundant proofs from the lives of many people. Their heroic lives had been recognized and many of them canonized as saints. The proof also come from the lives of dedicated Christians living among us. These individuals have the courage to test the life-changing principles in the Bible and confirm that they work. Their highly successful lives and achievements bear testimony to the power of God's word. God's word contains many promises each of which may be worth more than silver and gold, depending on our needs.

To discover the gold and silver in the word of God, read it as a personal letter. Read the word in order to act on its principles and so obtain what it promises.

How Apply the Word of God to your Problem:

  • Define the problem.
  • State two or more key words that are contained in your problem.
  • Get a Bible Concordance and list all the references to your keywords.
  • Take your Bible and write out all the references that bear directly on the problem.
  • Focus on a number of texts that apply directly to you.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to apply the scripture.

The last step is critical: Understand what the scripture is saying to your actual situation. If you are not satisfied with the answer that you are getting, keep working on it until you are enlightened.

Believe the Bible text that God has revealed as answer to your problem. Belief may not come automatically. Like Peter, you can say again and again: "Lord I believe; increase my faith."

When you get a clear idea on concrete steps to take to solve your problem, act without hesitation. If you are not sure, wait until you get this clear signal. This is the most important step. "Faith that is firm is also patient." (Isaiah 28:16)