8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sistersall over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.(1 Peter 5:8-9 ~ NLT)
This past weekend, those of us who live in the United States of America, celebrated Memorial Day, a time for us to honor those who fought and died, as well as those who continue to fight, so that we can live in freedom. Because of the sacrifice of our forefathers, we are granted certain inalienable rights, and among those are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is because of the first amendment to the constitution, that I am free to worship my God in spirit and in truth. Because I live in a country that recognizes this fundamental freedom, I can openly declare to everyone who reads this post that I believe that I am a child of God Almighty, and I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, who was crucified for the sins of mankind, was dead for three days, and arose from the dead on the third day. I can also tell you without fear of reprisal, that Jesus Christ will come again on the clouds.
Freedoms we take for granted, are what makes Meriam Ibrahim’s situation so untenable. If you haven’t heard, Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, 27, a Sudanese Christian woman, married to U.S. citizen, Daniel Wani, was sentenced to death by hanging, for apostasy two weeks ago, and imprisoned in a Sudanese prison with her twenty month old son, a U.S. citizen. When she and her child were imprisoned, she was eight months pregnant.
Since then, Merriam gave birth to a daughter, who was born a month prematurely. Neither her husband, or her attorney have been permitted to see Merriam or her newborn. Hence, no-one is sure of their health. However, when Daniel saw her last week, before she gave birth, she was shackled in her cell. Since giving birth, Meriam’s sentence will now be delayed for two years, to allow her to nurse her baby, in accordance with Sudanese law.
So, what’s the point of this post? This is not just a sad story for everyone to sigh and say, “What a shame!” As citizens of the WORLD, each and every one of us have been given certain unalienable rights. Though some nations guarantee these rights, that’s not what I’m talking about. I am talking about the rights given to ALL MANKIND by our CREATOR, who gives everyone a free will to choose who and what to believe…
Because we are all men and women, I’m asking you to take a stand and cry out on Meriam Yehya Ibrahim’s behalf. This is not a cry for any one race, religious group or culture, but a cry for humanity. Whatever your faith, surely you can see the wickedness that is being perpetrated against this woman, her husband and her children, simply because of her faith. I am a strong Spirit-filled Christian, however, if I heard about someone from another faith being imprisoned and executed for his/her faith, I would cry out on that person’s behalf as well.
Therefore, I urge everyone who reads this post, to go to http://beheardproject.com/Meriam and sign the petition demanding the government of Sudan to free Meriam Yehya Ibrahim and her children from prison. Christians, please, also pray for this sister in Christ…
27 After Jesus left the girl’s home, two blind men followed along behind Him, shouting, “Son of David, have mercy on us!”
28 They went right into the house where He was staying, and Jesus asked them, “Do you believe I can make you see?”
“Yes, Lord,” they told Him, “we do.”
29 Then He touched their eyes and said, “Because of your faith, it will happen.”30 Then their eyes were opened, and they could see! Jesus sternly warned them,“Don’t tell anyone about this.”31 But instead, they went out and spread His fame all over the region.~ Matthew 9:29-31 — NLT ~
Do you believe that Jesus can…? Fill in the blank and ask yourself, “Do I believe that Jesus can healmy disease? Free me from pain? Give me a child? Give me a home? Food? Clothing? Deliver me from fear? Depression? Addictions? Do I believe that Jesus can forgive me? Love me? Change me?
When I began to truly follow Jesus, dedicating my whole life to Him, I could feel my faith growing stronger and stronger, as I read and studied God’s word…
One of the ways our faith can grow is from hearing God’s word. We can hear His word when we go to church on Sundays, but hearing His word only once a week, will not help your faith to grow. If we want to have the faith that moves mountains, then we must know His word for ourselves. Indeed, we must know Christ for ourselves, and there is no better way to know Him than to read His word and spend time talking and listening to Him.
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.~ Philippians 4:6-7 — NLT ~
Do you believe that Jesus can change your life? Can He heal your broken body? Can He mend your broken heart? Can He restore broken relationships?
6 But when you ask Him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.~ James 1:6-8 — NLT ~
How strong is your faith? When Jesus asks you, “Do you believe I can make you (fill in the blank), how will you respond? Do you believe He can do anything, or do you doubt it?
I’ll be honest with you… I have such a strong faith that Jesus will help others, but when it comes to me personally, though I desperately long to believe, I struggle. I don’t think the struggle is so much can He, as will He? For the last three years, I’ve suffered with constant, chronic debilitating back pain, and I’ve prayed for relief, which hasn’t come.
When I first started dealing with this pain, I sensed the Lord telling me that this is something I must go through. So what does that mean, exactly? Is this a temporary thing? Or is it something I will have to deal with for the rest of my life? I desperately want to believe that this won’t be forever, but I’m not sure. I want to pray according to God’s will for this, but I’m not sure what His will for me is… Is my faith weak? How about yours? What do we do when our faith is weak???
There was another person in the bible who loved the Lord and wanted to believe in Jesus’ power to help him, yet, like mine, his faith was much too weak. Yet this man didn’t allow that to stop him. Do you remember the man whose son was possessed by an evil spirit that caused him to have violent seizures, and wouldn’t allow the boy to speak? He brought his son to Jesus, hoping that He would heal and deliver his son, but when he arrived, Jesus wasn’t there, so he asked the disciples to cast the demon out. However, they were unable to do so, and the man was left feeling as dispirited as I’ve felt about my chronic back pain…
Then, of course, there were also naysayers in the crowd, who further depressed the poor crestfallen man, by stirring the pot. You know the kind of people I’m talking about. Instead of encouraging and empathizing your plight, they instead try to stamp out any faith you might still hold onto, by adding their opinions… “I told you, there’s nothing anyone can do”… “You don’t really believe God can do anything about your problem, do you???” This is the scene Jesus came upon when he returned to His disciples…
16“What is all this arguing about?”Jesus asked.
17 One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk.18 And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn’t do it.”
19 Jesus said to them,“You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to Me.”
20 So they brought the boy. But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth.
21“How long has this been happening?”Jesus asked the boy’s father.
He replied, “Since he was a little boy.22 The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if You can.”
23“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?”Jesus asked.“Anything is possible if a person believes.”
Have you been there? You want to believe, and you know you should believe, but there’s still a part of you that just can’t believe. Not only that, but others have seen your situation, and added their opinions, and though you’ve tried not to listen to the negativity, it’s still registered in your brain, and you have that doubt on top of your own.
The father of this boy had heard that Jesus was a miracle worker, and though he desperately wanted to believe, his boy had been like this for a long time. Still, he had worked up his courage, and brought his boy, and the disciples had tried to cast the demons out to no avail. How discouraged he must have felt!
Have you been there? I have. I’ve had several people, from several different churches, pray over me and prophesy that I am healed, though I really haven’t been. I’ve had some tell me to walk in my healing, even though I’m still in pain, denying the pain, though it remains. They’ve commanded me to walk around the church, when I can barely hold myself up, let alone make a trek around the church. I’ve been told to ignore my pain, and though I’m in excruciating pain, I should repeat over and over, “I am healed.” Jesus never told anyone to deny their condition. He always deals in truth.
Therefore, I am left with this realization… I am a lot like the father in this story. I desperately want to believe that Jesus will heal me, but I’m not sure that He will… Though I believe that He can, what if it’s not His will to heal me?
22 The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”
23 “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?”Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
In the beginning of this study, Jesus asked the blind men, “Do you believe I can make you see?” (Matthew 9:28 — NLT) Later, He told the father of the demonized boy, “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?..“Anything is possible if a person believes.” (Mark 9:23 — NLT )Therefore, in light of this study, I will join with the boy’s father, tell ing the Lord, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”(Mark 9:24 — NLT)
All bible references are taken from Bible Gateway. Do you want to look up a scripture, but can’t remember where to find it? Try finding it on Bible Gateway, a wonderful website that includes many different bible versions, study aids and helps. Bible Gateway is a great resource for all believers to grow in wisdom and knowledge of the Lord.
23 When Jesus arrived at the official’s home, He saw the noisy crowd and heard the funeral music. 24“Get out!”He told them.“The girl isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.”But the crowd laughed at Him.25 After the crowd was put outside, however, Jesus went in and took the girl by the hand, and she stood up!26 The report of this miracle swept through the entire countryside.~ Matthew 9:23-26 — NLT ~
Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.~ John 21:25 — NLT ~
Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to us, when we read that among the many miracles He performed in the name of God, He raised the dead. Jesus was fully aware of the power and authority God had given Him. Therefore, He walked in the complete fullness of God.
He was and is the Son of God. Therefore, He had authority over everything in heaven and on earth. This included authority over every living creature…
9 Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.~ Philippians 2:9-11 — NLT ~
… authority over every animate and inanimate object…
36 As He rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of Him.37 When He reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of His followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.
38 “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!”
39 But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke Your followers for saying things like that!”
… authority over the angels in heaven and the demons that roam the earth…
53Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and He would send them instantly? ~ Matthew 26:53 — NLT ~
33 Once when He was in the synagogue, a man possessed by a demon—an evil spirit—began shouting at Jesus,34 “Go away! Why are You interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”
35 Jesus cut him short. “Be quiet! Come out of the man,”He ordered. At that, the demon threw the man to the floor as the crowd watched; then it came out of him without hurting him further.
36 Amazed, the people exclaimed, “What authority and power this Man’s words possess! Even evil spirits obey Him, and they flee at His command!”~ Luke 4:33-36 — NLT ~
... authority over every curse…
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.~ Romans 8:2 — NASB ~
… authority over every sin…
1 Jesus climbed into a boat and went back across the lake to His own town.2 Some people brought to Him a paralyzed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Be encouraged, My child! Your sins are forgiven.”
3 But some of the teachers of religious law said to themselves, “That’s blasphemy! Does He think He’s God?”
4 Jesus knew what they were thinking, so He asked them,“Why do you have such evil thoughts in your hearts?5Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’?6So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.”Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said,“Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”
7And the man jumped up and went home!8 Fear swept through the crowd as they saw this happen. And they praised God for sending a man with such great authority.~ Matthew 9:1-8 — NLT ~
… authority over every illness, whether curable or incurable…
16 That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, and He healed all the sick.17 This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said, “He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases.” ~ Matthew 8:16-17 — NLT ~
Jesus’ authority even included the wind and the waves…
23 Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with His disciples.24 Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.25 The disciples went and woke Him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 Jesus responded,“Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!”Then He got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.
Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Man, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, has ALLAUTHORITYon heaven and on earth. This all encompassing power includes the power of life and death. Therefore, because of His great power and authority, He was able to walk into that house filled with mourners grieving the death of a little girl and after shutting them up, He then threw them out of the house, allowing only the little girl’s parents and His disciples to enter the house with Him and go to where the little girl lay, dead on her bed…
41 He took her by the hand and said to her,“Talitha koum!” (which means“Little girl, I say to you, get up!”).42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.~ Mark 5:41-43 — NLT ~
So what does this mean to us? My beloved readers, it means everything to us! For you see, our whole hope is built on Christ’s authority over death, because each day that we live, we are also draw one day closer to our death. Now, for the very young, that day seems far off, but for those who are middle-aged and beyond, that day becomes more and more imminent. Therefore, Christ’s authority over death is our only hope…
14 Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could He die, and only by dying could He break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.15 Only in this way could He set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.~ Hebrews 2:14-15 — NLT ~
I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave. ~ Revelation 1:18 — NLT ~
54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:54-58 — NLT ~
Beloved readers, Jesus’ authority to raise that little girl from the dead wasn’t just a one time event. He raised others, and at the end of time as we now know it, He will finally destroy death, once and for all! That means our loved ones who were born-again before their death, will be resurrected. That also means that if we, who are born-again, die before His return to earth, we will be resurrected as well.
Thank You, Lord, for Your compassion and grace. Thank You so much for sacrificing Your One and only Son for us, and Lord, thank You for making a way for us to be reborn in the Spirit. Lord, I praise You for conquering sin and death, so that we, Your children, could live with You throughout eternity. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
19 So Jesus and His disciples got up and went with him.20 Just then a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding came up behind Him. She touched the fringe of His robe,21 for she thought, “If I can just touch His robe, I will be healed.”
22 Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said,“Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.”And the woman was healed at that moment. ~Matthew 9:19-22 — NLT ~
Long before Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Britney Spears and Alec Baldwin (just to name a few) had to deal with paparazzi following them wherever they go (even to the men’s or ladies’ room), Jesus dealt with them. In fact, He was dealing with paparazzi before the word was even thought up. Of course they didn’t have cameras back then, but Jesus had to deal with the rest of it. He was followed everywhere He went (except when He was able to slip away into the wilderness to be alone and pray to His Father). He was constantly being stopped on the street and hemmed in by the crowds of people, who all seemed to want something from Him…
And now, here He was, on His way to help someone else, and the crowds are pushing in all around Him. Try to imagine what it must have been like. The crowd was so thick that the disciples were surprised that Jesus would have noticed being touched by any one person, but of course, this was Jesus, and as big as that mob of people was, He still noticed when someone simply touched the hem of His garment…
43 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, and she could find no cure.44 Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of His robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped.
45“Who touched Me?”Jesus asked.
Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against You.”
46 But Jesus said,“Someone deliberately touched Me, for I felt healing power go out from Me.”47 When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of Him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched Him and that she had been immediately healed. ~ Luke 8:43-47 — NLT ~
Now I would imagine that poor woman was scared out of her wits. There were people crowded in all around Jesus, so in order for her to get close enough to touch the hem of His garment, she would have had to push and shove her way through the throng. She was healed instantly when she touched His hem, so since her business was finished, she turned to leave. Then Jesus stopped and turned around, asking, “Who touched Me?”
Can you imagine how Alec Baldwin would have reacted? Or how about Britney Spears or Justin Bieber? Any one of them would have very likely reacted violently to her touch, creating a big scene, probably humiliating her or even physically accosting her. After all, they’re really important people, in their own eyes…
But she didn’t touch one of them. She touched the most important Man to ever grace the earth with His presence. She didn’t touch the clothes of just any man, she touched the clothes of God’s Son. She didn’t just touch a king’s clothes, she touched the King of king’s clothes. She didn’t just touch some lord’s clothes. She touched the Lord of lord’s clothes. And how did He respond to this – this nobody?
Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said,“Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.”And the woman was healed at that moment. ~ Matthew 9:22 — NLT ~
How can you help but love Him? He was the only One to ever walk the face of the earth who could have looked around at the rest of humanity and felt superior, because He is SUPERIOR, and yet He not only treated the woman with respect and with kindness. He actually took the time out of His busy schedule to encourage her! “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.”
Have you ever seen such love? Such grace? Such mercy? Such compassion? The only One who has ever walked this earth and truly was entitled to EVERYTHING, expected nothing and gave His all. Unlike the ones we call heroes today, He truly gave ALL that He had, because He placed everyone else above Him.
Beloved readers, just as He had compassion on the woman with the issue of blood, He has compassion on YOU. As He encouraged her, He wants to encourage YOU. Jesus loves you and He loves me just as much as He loved that woman, and you know what? Jesus is my hero!
14 One day the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus and asked him, “Why don’t your disciples fast like we do and the Pharisees do?”
15 Jesus replied,“Do wedding guests mourn while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.
16 “Besides, who would patch old clothing with new cloth? For the new patch would shrink and rip away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger tear than before.
17 “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.” ~ Matthew 9:14-17 — NLT ~
When I read this passage, I think of children, who often compare their circumstances with those of others… For example:
“My mom makes me do the dishes, so why doesn’t your son/daughter have to do them?”
“My dad makes me take the trash out, so why don’t your children have to do it?”
You get the picture. Doesn’t it seem that way to you? Now, if I’m to be totally honest with you, comments like that are very irritating to me, and I used to get very impatient with my children when they would make petty comments like that. If John’s disciples had come to me with that question, I probably would have snapped at them and put them in their place… I don’t know about you, but I’m sure glad I’m not Jesus…
Jesus was neither angry nor irritated with John’s disciples, even though they were complaining and criticizing His disciples. In fact, by criticizing His disciples for not fasting, John’s disciples were really criticizing Jesus, for not training His disciples properly. Yet Jesus took no offense from their accusations. Instead, He did something wonderful for them, whether they realized it or not.
You see, Jesus turned their accusations into a teachable moment. Rather than giving them a tongue-lashing, as I might have done, He spoke to them gently, and patiently. Instead of condemning them for having the audacity to question Him, He chose to teach them, and in lieu of telling them that it was none of their business, He explained why His disciples did not fast…
15 Jesus replied,“Do wedding guests mourn while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. ~ Matthew 9:15 — NLT ~
Jesus’ response to John’s disciples was simple enough for everyone to understand. In fact, it was simple enough that even now, more than two thousand years later, it remains reasonable…
Women often cry at weddings, but the tears they shed are tears of joy, not sadness. At the wedding reception, there is usually a lot of laughter and fun, as people eat and drink in honor of the bride and groom. It’s supposed to be a time of merriment and celebration.
Jesus explained that His presence here on earth was in many ways, like the presence of the groom at his wedding. Would you mourn at the wedding, as long as the groom was there? Of course not! Therefore, as long as Jesus was here on earth with His disciples, why should they fast and mourn? Besides, there would come a day, when Jesus, (our Groom) would no longer be here on earth with them, and there would be plenty of time to fast and mourn then…
But this wasn’t the only lesson Jesus was teaching them that day, and perhaps this lesson He was teaching was not only for John’s disciples, but for His disciples as well, though many have always assumed the words He spoke were simply to those who questioned them. For just as a parent will teach not only the child who is asking such a foolish, perhaps even rebellious question, but will also teach a lesson to the obedient child as well, so Jesus did in this case…
16 “Besides, who would patch old clothing with new cloth? For the new patch would shrink and rip away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger tear than before.
17 “And no one puts new wine into old wine skins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.” ~ Matthew 9:16-17 — NLT ~
When a child first learns to read, would the teacher give the child “War and Peace,,” by Leo Tolstoy as a reading assignment? Of course not, because that would be much too difficult for the child to read, and it would only result in frustrating the child at the very least. At its worst, this assignment could cause the child to give up on reading altogether…
It was the same with the disciples. Several of these guys were fishermen, one was a tax collector and another was a zealot. None of these men were priests, prophets, Pharisees or Sadducees. These weren’t religious men, therefore, they weren’t used to submitting to various religious practices like the Pharisees, Saducees, prophets and priests were. Also, many of John the Baptist’s disciples were likely Nazarites, just as he was, and since John often fasted, his disciples were used to living a “fasted” lifestyle, therefore, fasting was not as difficult for them as their complaints made it seem.
However, as I said before, Jesus’ disciples had a much different background than these other men, and for someone not used to fasting, it is quite difficult, which is why Jesus talked about patching old clothing with a new patch. To do so, would place too much pressure on the old cloth, thereby causing it to rip and tear. It is also why Jesus made the reference of placing new wine into old wine skins. Again, the pressure would cause the wine skins to burst, thereby rendering it useless. In the same way, to expect the disciples, who were untrained and undisciplined in fasting, and certain other religious practices, before they were ready, could cause them to break under the pressure, and perhaps render them useless.
It makes me sad sometimes, when I see a new Christian being put to work on various “projects” or committees, before they’ve had a chance to grow in the faith. For all too often, the majority will become burned out, and many will turn away from the Lord, going back to their old lifestyle that they’re used to…
When I became a mother, my baby was completely dependent on me for everything. He couldn’t even hold his own head up by himself. He needed me to support and protect him… He couldn’t feed himself. He needed me to provide his milk, and its source was from within me… He couldn’t communicate, except to cry. He needed me to understand his needs… He couldn’t get around by himself. I had to carry him everywhere…
In the same way, when a person is born again, whether they are a child or an adult, they are a babe in Christ, and just as a baby needs his parents to support him and protect him, so a babe in Christ needs the Lord to lead other more mature believers to support him and protect him. Just as a newborn is unable to feed himself, so too, a new born again believer needs other, more mature believers to feed (teach) him on the word of God, and just as a newborn baby cannot eat steak, neither can a new believer digest more complicated doctrinal beliefs…
Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment~ 1 Peter 2:2 — NLT ~
12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right.14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.~ Hebrews 5:12-14 — NLT ~
Furthermore, as a baby has a difficult time communicating his needs, a new believer also has a difficult time communicating and sharing his needs. The new believer hasn’t yet learned our language and our customs, therefore, he only knows how to respond to things the way he has always responded and communicated. And just as that baby needs his mommy to figure out what he needs, more mature believers and mentors are going to need to figure out what the new born again believer needs…
When you look at this passage of scripture through these eyes, we begin to get a glimpse of Jesus’ great love and compassion for both His own disciples at the time, for John’s disciples, and for His future disciples, you and me. Praise God for these words of Jesus, which are always filled with love, grace and mercy!
This post touched me deeply when I read it, and I felt that it was important enough to reblog. For every mommy and daddy out there, please read this post and share the wisdom within with your children, so that they will learn to listen to their God-given intuition.
It was past midnight when it happened. I was thirteen years old and I’d snuck out with a friend during a sleep over. Earlier that day, my friend had met a guy at the mall and gave her address to him. This was before cell phones, so they made a meeting time right there in the mall. The plan was for him to come over after her parents had gone to sleep. She was thirteen. He was seventeen.
Did I mention she was thirteen?
When it was time for their rendezvous, she didn’t want to go outside by herself. So, she asked if I’d sneak out with her. I didn’t want to. But like so many times during my young teen-age life, I caved to the pressure. And lived to regret it. Again.
As we made our way quietly in the dark, I saw another guy standing with the mall…
In ancient times, names were very important. People didn’t simply choose to give their child a name, because they liked the way it sounded. When the Jews named their children in biblical times, the names were usually given with a specific purpose in mind. Sometimes, the child was named after his father or perhaps another relative…
59 And it happened that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to call him Zacharias, after his father.60 But his mother answered and said, “No indeed; but he shall be called John.”61 And they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by that name.” ~ Luke 1:59-61 — NASB ~
Many times the infant was named in obedience to a command from the Lord, and/or in order to convey a message…
12 Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him.13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John.14 You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.16 And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God.17 It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”~ Luke 1:12-17 — NASB ~
We see in this scripture passage that Zacharias (also known as Zechariah), was commanded by an angel of the Lord to name is son (who hadn’t even been conceived yet), John, which means YHWH is gracious.As you can see from the scripture, the reason God blessed Zacharias and Elizabeth with their son, was to turn the hearts of the fathers in Israel back to their children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous. It seems that the Lord truly was gracious in sending John…
Knowing the importance the Hebrew nation placed on names, it is even more important to study the names of God. You see, God has many names, and each name describes one of the many aspects of His character… Therefore, today, we will look at this name of God…
In biblical times, during times of war, when warriors from other nations or tribes would come against the Jews, they would gather within a walled city or fortress, such as in Jerusalem. There would be watchers on the wall, keeping an eye out for impending danger, and at the first sign of danger, they would sound a loud trumpet, warning the people of the coming attack. Then, the walls of that mighty fortress would close, locking the people inside within its walls of safety. While the citizens were hidden within the fortress, the soldiers of Jerusalem would mount its walls, defending the people of Jerusalem.
Now, with this understanding, when we say the name of the Lord is a strong tower/fortress, we are saying that in God’s name, there is safety, and just as the soldiers on the wall protect the citizens within, so God protects us from the enemy’s attacks. Think about it, whenever we are in danger, we should call upon the name of the Lord, our mighty fortress, who protects His people from all harm…
Therefore, beloved readers, when you feel the storms of life crashing against you… when your worries and fears rage against you… when you feel as though all hope is gone, and you’re feeling helpless… call upon the name of the Lord… run quickly into the presence of your Strong Tower!