Tag: healing the sick

The Harvest is Plentiful, Workers are Few!

Scripture reading for January 11th: Matthew 9:18-38

Farmers know the pressure when the crops are ripe and the weather is just right for harvesting.  I speak from years of experience in raising grain on an Iowa farm.  Farmers know that the window of opportunity is narrow and they must make haste before the storm comes and ruins the ripe grain.  An urgency and focus comes upon them that even deprives them of their desire to eat until their task is finished and the precious grain is in the barn.

“Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.  When He saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  As the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into the harvest field.” (Matthew 9:35-38)

Jesus came to earth with a mission to seek and save lost sinners.  He likened them to ripe grain, ready to harvest.  He quickly went into the harvest field healing the sick and delivering those who were demon possessed.  His compassion and power drew large crowds of hurting and hungry people.  Jesus was moved by their needs like a shepherd would care for his own sheep.  He spoke to His disciples about the harvest and the need for more workers.  Prayer for workers must be made to the Lord of the harvest, His Father in order to solve this problem.

Prayer is conversation with God and listening to God for an answer.   We ask and then we wait for instructions or the answer and these disciples must have asked for the laborers.  It is interesting to note that in the next breath, Jesus was sending them out as the answer to that prayer!  “He called the twelve disciples to Him and gave them authority to drive out spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.”  “Go to the lost sheep of Israel”. (Matthew 10:1, 6)  This command to pray is needed yet today by the followers of Jesus.  There is a ripe harvest and a time of opportunity that needs all the workers gathering it in with urgency!  Will you obey?

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Come and Follow Me!

Scripture reading for October 15th: Mark 1-3

“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  “Come, follow Me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”  At once they left their nets and followed Him.” (Mark 1:16-18)    Jesus had a plan in His heart from the Father to reach all nations with the message of repentance and life.  He knew that His time on earth was short and that He must choose some faithful men who would carry His heart for the lost and obey His instructions.  The men He chose were ordinary men who were working at a trade.  He promised to use their training to reach men.  The authority by which He spoke caused these men to immediately leave their work and follow Him!

In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus was pictured as a man of authority and action.  He seems to stir up demonic forces and then confronted demonic powers with authority, casting them out.  He dealt with sickness with that same authority, healing many and drawing large crowds of hurting and needy people.  He was angry at the ruling religious authorities for their stubbornness and refusal to believe in Him.

“Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to Him those He wanted, and they came to Him.  He appointed twelve–designating them apostles–that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach and have authority to drive out demons.” (Mark 3:13-15)  Jesus called those He wanted by name.  He appointed them as apostles, ones sent out with a message.   He wanted them to be with Him and learn from Him, sharing His heart.  This was common for a “Rabbi” to choose his disciples.  When a disciple was fully trained, they were to be like their Master!

I heard Jesus call and chose to leave my farm, my cattle and hogs, and my family’s home area to follow.  I told Him I would follow Him wherever He would lead me.  The journey has been wonderful, although not necessarily easy at times.  I am still being taught and need to follow daily.  I want to be with Jesus and preach His Gospel with authority!  Where are you in your spiritual journey?  Are you following Jesus?  The Master is still calling out, “Come, follow Me!”

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Satan Fell Like Lightning!

Scripture reading for October 24th: Luke 10-12

We are in a war and often our lives here on earth resemble a war zone!  The Kingdom of Heaven is in direct opposition to the kingdom of the devil.  The devil’s kingdom is one of dominance, manipulation, fear, and deceit.  God’s Kingdom is one of love, compassion, faith, and truth.  The devil uses sickness, oppression, depression, and poverty to imprison those made in God’s image.  God sends His people out under His authority to heal the sick, deliver the oppressed, preach good news to the depressed and hopeless, and share His great riches with all who will receive!  These kingdoms are in conflict that is raging around the earth each day.

In our reading today, Jesus sent out seventy-two disciples into this conflict. (Luke 10:1-4)  They were not to take a purse, bag, or sandals.  They were not to greet anyone on the road because they had a mission.  They were armed with His Word and authority and had prayed that the Lord would send out workers.  Jesus then sent them!  Be careful what you pray for– you may be the answer!

They were to live by faith and trust God for whatever they needed in the way of daily provisions.  As they entered a town, or a house, and were welcomed, they were to speak ‘peace’ to those who dwelt there. They were to eat and have fellowship with those who welcomed them.  They then were to heal the sick and tell them of the Kingdom of God.  (Luke 10:8-9)   However, if they were not welcomed, they were to shake the dust from their feet and warn the people that the Kingdom of God had come near to them and their dust would be a witness against them on judgment day.  (Luke 10:10-12)  It was a simple assignment!

As the seventy-two returned to Jesus, they were full of joy and rejoiced at their results!  The demons had fled, sick people were healed, and Jesus’ authority had given them victory after victory!  Jesus Himself remarked: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.  However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:18-20)  Jesus was filled with joy at these disciples’ success and their understanding, for the Father had opened their hearts and given it to them.  He cautioned them not to become proud, but to remain humble about God’s grace gift to them.

As we reflect on this passage and on our own lives, we realize that each day we are sent into this conflict.  We have the Holy Spirit and the Name of Jesus Christ.  Authority is ours to plunder the enemies’ camp!  All power of the enemy can be overcome by faith and the Word of God.  We must remain humble and under His authority.  Go out with humble boldness today and bring joy to God’s heart!

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