Tag Archives: Luke

God’s Assurance Policy

“Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is” Deut.10:14
     Ultimately, God wants His children to be spiritually and physically prepared for natural and non-natural disasters that will occur in the end times. Being spiritually prepared is relying on God as our protector and restorer in the times of natural disaster, and trusting with full assurance that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Matthew 6:34 states, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” God knows all that we need in times of trouble and He bids us to do one thing which is to trust in His promises. God tells us in Luke 21:36, “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” To watch is an action word which means to “to keep awake, especially for a purpose”. We have to keep awake in this world so that we do not fall asleep to its temporal pleasures. As we watch with a purpose of the signs of prophecy and world events that God warns us of in His word, we must pray that He helps us to be vigilant, undistracted, and steadfast in faith so that we are not overpowered with fear or doubt.
     Physical preparation can be viewed in two ways. Preparing for our physical temples (the body), and to put in proper position our living environment for any natural disaster that may occur. When pertaining to our bodies as physical temples, we must take into account that there will be a short supply of food and water due to destruction. One example that God gives us to prepare for such cases is found in the story of Joseph. Joseph was warned and commanded by God to prepare for an extended drought of seven years that the Egyptians would have to endure by storing an immense amount of food (Gen.41). God tells us to take no thought for tomorrow because He most likely will provide us with the thought of how to take action in preparing for our physical temples when disaster occurs in the end times.
      Now how are we to prepare for our physical domains for natural disasters? One of the very first examples that God gives to us is found in the story of “Noah and the Ark”. God told Noah to prepare for the storm that would take place by building an ark (Gen 6).  Just as those who where outside of the ark perished, had Noah disobeyed God’s command, he and his family would have suffered death.  Furthermore, depending on where one inhabits, he or she must be prepared for tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, and any other natural disaster that may cause serious physical damage to property and shelter. However, we can never be more secure with knowing if these disasters do occur, our tangible foundation may be destroyed but our spiritual foundation in Jesus will always help us remember God’s power to restore all things. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:” (Matt 7:24).  With God we can have full assurance that He will not only protect us during disastrous times, but that He will supply us with all of our needs and more. Trusting in Him is the first step in this assurance policy!

The Awesome Power of Prayer

Prayer and Fasting Day

Speaker: Pastor Larry Bailey, Executive Secretary for the Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 7: 13, 14

Many people, including Christians, underestimate the awesome power of prayer. Do you know the ABCs of prayer? We must Ask, Believe, then Claim it. How can we utter our requests to Christ and lack the faith that he will answer our prayers?

We tend to pray when we’re in despair, but what about when things are going well. Should we not say a prayer of thanksgiving or praise?

Over the last year, we have witnessed the signs of the times. Earthquakes and tsunamis in regions we never would have imagined; the mysterious deaths of animals; the economic crisis; and civil unrest in the Middle East. Experts are trying to identify the solution to these problems, but there is no need if you will solve the underlying problem–the lack of spirituality.

In the Bible, there are stories of countless miracles that were performed by Christ throughout his ministry here on Earth. He raised Lazarus from the dead. He healed the incurable. He parted the Red Sea so that the Israelites can escape bondage from Egypt. He caused the blind to see and the lame to walk. They all had faith that he could heal them. Let us not forget the woman with the issue of blood for 12 years, who tried so many remedies, but none worked. She knew if she just touched the hem of his garment, she would be healed. What did Jesus say in Luke 8: 48? “Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.”

If we had not relied on our own understanding, and instead turned to Christ where would we be? He knows our needs before we even tell him. We must always seek his counsel. Place your faith and trust in him first.  We may face great obstacles in our lives, but through prayer and faith, we can overcome.

Have you progressed or regressed?

Just four days shy of the new year, 2011, many Christians are undergoing what some may call a cleansing or purification process. It is always during the last few days of the year, that we take the time to reflect on the past and the many experiences we have witnessed. What have we learned? What were the lessons we walked away with? Have we changed?

It is during those last few days that we really begin to ponder on whether we have progressed or regressed. Have we taken a step forward or continue to move backwards? The truth of the matter is, we forget to reflect on one important factor…have we inched closer to or further from the cross?

Most of us remember the story of the thieves who were nailed to a cross and placed on both sides of Jesus Christ. Read Luke 23:33-43 KJV.  As Jesus hung on His cross awaiting death, one of the thieves teased him, telling him to save himself and them as well. However, the other thief knew Jesus had done no wrong and didn’t deserve the cruel punishment he had received. The thief acknowledged his own sin and guilt. It was at that moment, when the thief confessed, Jesus said he would be saved and join Him in His kingdom.

As the years go by, do you know whether you have grown or shrunk spiritually? How? Your church attendance, the number of ministries you’re involved in, your praise team performance, or swaying sermon will not guarantee a place for you in the kingdom of God. The only actions that will save you and seal your place beside Him is the confessing of your sins; accepting Christ as your personal Savior; and submitting to His will each and every day, regardless of where you are.

Many of us are occasional Christians when we ought to be Christians 24/7. We put on a show when people surround us, but when we’re alone, we act like fools. Christ sees it all. Though we may fool ourselves and others, we cannot never fool He who is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient.

As 2010 comes to a conclusion, I challenge you to make a commitment–a covenant with Christ. One that you cannot break. For 2011, ask Him to help you inch closer to and not further from Him. I pray that your faith, your communication with Him through prayer, and knowledge of His word will increase. I pray that 2011 will be the year of  rededication and consecration for all of us. We have all fallen short of the glory of God, but He is merciful towards us. He has given us many opportunities to seek Him, because He loves us.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. [John 3:!6, 17 KJV]

Time is running out. Have you progressed or regressed?

Choose Today, Whom Ye Will Serve

Blackberry vs. iPhone. Facebook vs. Myspace.  American Idol vs. America’s Next Top Model. Jay -Z vs. Kanye West.

Whether it’s television, social media,  music, or the latest toy in technology,  Christians have vowed their loyalty to the things of the world and not Christ.

How many of us have used these communication tools for our own personal and selfish gain and not for ministry? How many of us spend more time on the materialistic and worldly things rather than in God’s word? Lastly, how many of us have yet to realize that we have switched teams altogether?

No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. [Luke 16:13 KJV]

Time and time again, we have told not asked God to take a back seat while we engage in the things that please us. Every day, we find ways to put Christ in the background and not at the forefront where He belongs. Christ is no longer the driver, but the backseat passenger with no input whatsoever on the direction our lives ought to take. It has become second nature to us that we don’t even realize that it’s a problem to begin with.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me. [Exodus 20:3 KJV]

History has a funny way of sharing the lessons that our ancestors have learned the easy way —or the hard way. Despite our unrestricted access to the recollections of the past, we freely choose to fall victim to the very same traps.

Choose today, whom ye will serve. There has to come a point in our lives, when we must stop and think. Realize that the things and people we cherish the most, can and will perish. Realize that the activities we enjoy, can only provide you with temporary pleasure. There is nothing as everlasting as the love of Christ or the salvation He has promised us.

Why have we as Christians become so foolish, putting our lives in the things that cannot offer us a lifetime guarantee or warranty. Have we forgotten that anything manmade is doomed to perish–doomed to fail. Only God is constant, reliable, solid, unbreakable.

Open your eyes and see the things of the world and in the world will come to an end. Just be careful not to become a part of that final chapter.

What’s In a Touch?

International Women’s Day of Prayer

Speaker: Eunice Senior-Baker, Northeastern Conference of SDA

Scripture Reading: Luke 8:40-48

As women, we must reclaim our responsibility as prayer warriors. We must pray for the church, pray for each other, pray for our young people, pray for those who don’t know the Lord. When women pray, great things happen.

One concern of the devil is to keep perople from praying. He doesn’t care about prayerless religion or prayerless work. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray. So let us continue in prayer.

In Luke 40, we read the story of the ruler of a synagogue who came to Jesus, pleading for Him to heal his only daughter. Jesus never turns down someone’s cry for help. He was on an emergency call. So He headed to Jairus’ house. The crowd also followed Him. As He headed to the house to stand by the girl’s bedside, a women suffering from an issue of blood for 12 years snuck into the crowd and touched His garment.

We don’t know her name. She is referred to as the woman with an incurable issue of blood. She was so stigmatized that no one cared to learn her name. She was identified by her issue and not by the contributions she offered nor her value. She lived under the  Levitical laws, during which it was important for a woman to be identified by family or position in the community. Due to her issue, she was a social outcast for 12 years, excommunicated from the temple and synagogue, considered impure. She was divorced from her husband and abandoned by her family.

For 12 years she sought help and healing from physicians who were stumped. She suffered alone with this illness. She lost all hope and was in despair. She heard that Jesus was in town and had heard of all the miracles He had done. He cast out demons, made the lame to walk, the dumb to speak,  and calmed the seas. She knew that He was the great physician and the only one who could help her. This was her only chance she thought. So she made her way through the crowd thinking that she only had to touch the hem of His garment and that would be enough. It was now or never and she had nothing else to lose, because she had already lost everything.

In one touch, she concentrated all of her faith and instantly her illness gave place to good health. We must all touch Jesus for ourselves. Jesus recognized the touch and halted, turning to ask who touched Him. Jesus was surrounded by a crowd so any one of them could have touched Him, Peter thought. This touch was different and Jesus knew it, because He felt virtue leave Him. Jesus knows the difference between a touch of need from a touch of greed.

This woman was treated by the church and the people as nothing or nobody. Jesus sought the person who touched Him and fearfully she spoke up in fron of the many who had abandoned her in her time of need. Jesus, however, called her His daughter. She was somebody, the daughter of the Prince of Peace.

Jesus is never too pre-occupied to not recognize the cry, quest, and need of a single, solitary soul. There is a certain sensitivity which Jesus has towards the needs of each of us. No one is ever hidden from Him.

Why didn’t Jesus let the woman stay hidden? The Son of God knew who touched Him. That’s not why He asked the question. There’s a lesson behind it. If she remained hidden, the good of the action would fail her. She needed to know who healed her and not how or people would want Jesus’ clothes. Matthew 5:34 says, “And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” Healing didn’t come from His clothes. She shouldn’t be misled. Touching Christ or His clothes didn’t bring healing, because there were many in the crowd who interacted with Him. They were also sick, but not healed. She couldn’t think that her touch could work a miracle. Jesus wanted to recognize her faith. Her touch was different, not a casual t ouch, but a conscious, deliberate, voluntary, dependent, saving, pre-meditated touch of faith.

Hers was a touch motivated by faith and faith always stop Jesus in His tracks. It gets His attention every time. God wants us to have a personal relationship with Him. We must know the Savior, if we must experience personal salvation. We must not be satisfied with being a part of the crowd. We may be near Jesus in a thousand crowds and yet not once in contact with Him. We are too c omfortable with surrounding Him as a crowd, but never truly knowing Him, or purposefully touching Him.

Jesus loves you so much that He made a way for you to be saved. That is why He died for you.  He loves us too much to let us die. Jesus is still here for you. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.