Saturday, December 29, 2012

“SIH’s Think On These Things: Woman With Infirmity”

The next miracle in our series is healing the Woman with an infirmity …This miracle is recorded for us in Luke 13:10-13

In this miracle, we find a woman whose spine was physically bent to an extreme.  Her condition was so severe that she could not straighten her back and lift herself to an upright position…” And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself”

The remedy for this lady’s condition was found in the gracious intervention of Christ Jesus…. “And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.  And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.”

This woman’s posture reminds me of an individual who is bent down bearing the burden of their own sin as they live their life on earth… Ps 38:4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.  

What is the solution to this horrible burden of sin?  Just as the lady in our miracle found release from her infliction in Christ, so too, the burden of sin can be removed by Christ… Matt 11:28-30  Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.

Bring your sin burdens to Christ and leave them with Him. He came to the earth and lived a perfect life enabling Him to be our sinless substitute for us.  As He has died on the cross, He was bearing the punishment of the sins of His people.  By coming to Him, we can exchange our sinful acts for His righteousness, thus receiving rest from this horrible burden that we bear. 

When we come to Him, we are to come willing to accept Him as Lord of our life and out of love and appreciation serve Him with all of our might.  This is the yoke that we are to bear.  It is a yoke that is light… a yoke that we bear with joy, knowing that we have been liberated from the burden of sin that will only work death in our lives.

If you have never been released from this burden of sin, come to Christ.  It is through Him and Him alone that we can find rest for our souls.  Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.


May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

Friday, December 28, 2012

SIH’s Think On These Things: A Blind Mute Demoniac

The next miracle in our series is Healing a blind mute demoniac …This miracle is recorded for us in Matt 12:22, Luke 11:14

Here is one account of this miracle that is set before us… “And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered.”

Here we are told the result of this miracle was that the people “wondered” at the workings of Christ.  The root word of the word translated “wondered” has three ideas with it:

1.    “to look closely”, “to examine”

2.    “to perceive”, “to understand”

3.    “to appreciate”

Do we “wonder” at the workings of Christ that take place around us?  In our lives; in the lives of our acquaintances, friends and family; in the natural world that surrounds us; and in the pages of God’s Word;  do we come to a recognition and appreciation of His greatness, authority, strength, and wisdom?   

If we find these miracles slipping by the wayside of our minds, let’s follow the three steps outlined the definition of wonder…

  1. firstly, we need to take a moment to recognize, and then closely examine, the work of Christ that we see taking place.  
  2. Secondly, after our examination of the event we need to come to an understanding of its impact and what it is teaching us about the person, attributes and workings of Christ. 
  3. Finally, we should allow this new understanding of the greatness of Christ work in our hearts to give us a new appreciation and reverence of His supremacy and grace.  This should renew a spirit of worship in our hearts and minds.

Let us resolve to never take His workings for granted.  When we recognize He is at work, let’s take a moment to process His workings and come to a greater recognition and appreciation of our wonderful Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

SIH’s Think On These Things: Catching A Fish With A Coin

The next miracle in our series is Catching A Fish With A Coin …This miracle is recorded for us in Matt 17:24-27

The “tribute” money being described in this miracle was a Roman tax that was levied to honor (or “give tribute”) to Caesar.

This miracle began when the tax collectors approached Peter and asked him if Christ paid tribute to Caesar.  Peter responded in the affirmative.  Christ then uses this event to teach an important spiritual lesson….” What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?  Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.”   

The spiritual lesson from this miracle are two-fold:

  1. Recognition of Christ’s high position of authority… Christ is King of King and Lord of Lords. (1 Tim 6:15)  He is actually King and Lord over the Caesar.  Therefore, the tribute money that was collected should actually be given to Him and not Caesar.  
  2. Recognition of the Christian as members of Christ’s royal family…Also, Peter (standing as representative of all Christians) was adopted into the family of Christ. (Gals 4:5)   He was “a child of the King!”  Therefore, Peter had the liberty to not pay this tribute money that actually belonged to Christ.  Why?... because the tribute money was never owed by a child of the ruler,  it was only levied against those who were not related to the ruler.

In spite of the fact that neither Christ, nor Peter, actually owed this tribute money, they paid it.  Why?  It was a matter of testimony.  Christ explains this when He says “Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.”

How often do we go “the second mile” to retain a good testimony in the eyes of those around us?  In this example Christ emphasizes this truth by paying a tribute that He was not obligated to pay. 

(Paul emphasized the same principle in 1 Cor 8:4-10.  Here we find that we are allowed to eat meat sacrificed to idols (because an idol isn’t really a god).  But we are to not take advantage of this liberty for the sake of those who are weak in the faith.  They might misunderstand our eating of the meat and interpret the act as a vindication of idolatry.)

Are there any “liberties” we are exercising that could be misunderstood by those around us?  Could this liberty be a stumbling block, ruining our testimony for Him?  If so, let us prayerfully consider no longer exercising this liberty out of our love for Christ and others.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

Monday, December 24, 2012

SIH’s Think On These Things: Healing The Demoniac Boy

The next miracle in our series is  Healing The Demoniac Boy …This miracle is recorded for us in Matt 17:14-21, Mark 9:17-25, Luke 9:37-43

In this miracle, we have a demon possessed boy who is described as a “lunatic”, “sore vexed”, “he falls into the fire and into the water”, “has a dumb spirit”, “he foameth”, “gnasheth his teeth”, and “pineth away”.  From this variety of descriptions we can easily see the horrible condition this boy was in and the basis for his father’s great concern.  The father brings this son to the disciples of Christ who are unsuccessful in casting it out.   Then the father brings the child to Christ who successfully casts out the demon and heals the child.

Afterward, His disciples come to Him questioning Him, “Why could not we cast him out?  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief:”   Jesus then continues…

If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

To understand Jesus response we need to know that the mustard seed is the smallest of the commonly planted seeds of the day.  What He was saying is simply that with the smallest amount of genuine, God given faith we can see great miracles take place in our lives and the lives of others.

(Please keep in mind, Godly faith involves, among other things…

  1. an acknowledgement that He is Sovereign (able to intervene in any situation)
  2. a recognition that His will is ALWAYS done in all areas of living
  3. what takes place is ALWAYS for His glory and the good of His people.
  4. A desire for His will to be done above our own desires

This type of faith is shown in our lives as a spirit of submission to His will above our desires.  When the above four principles are sincerely and deeply held beliefs, we find that He answers every one of our prayers in accordance with His will.

Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting  - Christ continues by explaining how we can develop this type of genuine faith in our lives.  It is through prayer (communion with Him and recognition of our need for His intervention in the situation) and fasting (the denial of the fulfillment of fleshly desires which brings us into submission His will above our own desires.)  The combination of these two practices are great aids in the development of a Godly faith that stands in times of trial and need.

Do we have a faith that allows Christ to work miracles as we come before His throne of grace?

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

SIH’s Think On These Things: Healing The Man Who Was Blind From Birth

The next miracle in our series is  Healing The Man Who Was Blind From Birth …This miracle is recorded for us in John 9:1-41 (The record of this miracle is long and detailed… I would suggest that we all read the entire miracle as it is recorded in John.  For the sake of this devotional much of the miracle’s details and truths have been skipped. Sorry.)

In this miracle recorded in the book of John we find 5 basic parts…

  1. The prelude (vs 1-5) – The Lord explaining why this man was born blind… “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. “  This young man had been born blind, but not because of any sin.  He had been born blind so that the Lord would manifest the strength, authority and grace of God in this healing.

  1. The miracle –(vs 6-7) The Lord giving physical sight to this young man who was born blind – “When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,  And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. “Why the uniqueness in the method of this healing? This miracle symbolized spiritual truths about salvation.  Basically, this miracle teaches us that although we are all born spiritually blind, the Lord by grace can intervene, apply the Word by the Spirit; and wash us of our sin while giving us spiritual sight.

  1. The Testimony of the young man (vs 8-34)  “A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight”…  “one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.”  ….  The testimony of this young man consisted of explaining the miracle that was performed and the results of that miracle.  This is the most effective way that we can witness to others also… tell others what He has done for us and how we have changed since our salvation.

  1. The Results of his testimony (vs 8-34) are typical reactions from the fallen world. They include curiosity, fault-finding, disbelief, and rejection.

  1. The Ultimate Lesson (35-41) - And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.   And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?   Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.  The ultimate lesson of this miracle, and our devotion today is taking an honest evaluation of our condition before the Lord.  We find that the Pharisees, as they denied their spiritual need, were demonstrating that they were spiritually blind.  Others, who are motivated to come to Christ, as the see their sinfulness and inability to save themselves, are the ones with Godly understanding and spiritual life.

We must be honest with ourselves and examine our hearts.  Have we ever been given spiritual life and sight or are we, like some of the Pharisees, in denial of our own spiritual blindness?  We should ask the Lord to graciously show us our true spiritual condition today.         

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Devotional: Christmas Story 6

SIH’s Think On These Things: Healing The Bethsaida Blind Man

The next miracle in our series is  Healing The Bethsaida Blind Man …This miracle is recorded for us in Mark 8:22-26

          In this miraculous healing by Christ, we have a very different method used to perform this healing from all the others we have studied so far.  Note how the performance of this miracle is described: “And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.  After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.”

          One of the obvious questions that comes to mind is Why?  Why, did He choose to heal this man in such an unorthodox way?  It is obvious, Christ could have simply spoken the Word and this man would have been healed but He did it another way.  The Bible does not address why He did things this way, all I can do is share with you what has been placed on my heart without being able to “prove” this is His purpose through the Scriptures.

          I believe that the method Christ employed in this healing is representative of His work of salvation. This work of salvation results in the lost man’s spiritually blinded eyes being opened and understanding of the things of God.

Let’s take each point one at a time:

  1. This man is brought to Christ by others… the evangelization of this lost man by Christians.
  2. This man is blind … his blindness to the things of God.
  3. The desire of those who bring him is for Christ to touch him…. Christians are unable to save the lost but must totally rely on Christ’s intervention. 
  4. Christ takes the hand of the blind man and leads him out of town – Christ now begins to work in this man life bringing him to Himself by removing all the hindrances of the lost world.
  5. Christ spit on his eyes… the application of the Word (proceeding from His mouth)
  6. Christ put His hands upon him …. The operation of the Spirit applying the Word
  7. He asked him if he saw as he ought …. Christ shows the man his spiritual need as the Word is received MENTALLY and begins to take effect in His life. 
  8. He answers he saw men as trees walking …. a lost man who has received God’s word sees his need and the remedy Christ, without actually being given clear sight and understanding.  This is how Christ called us prior to salvation, through conviction and the revelation of Himself.
  9. Christ then touches Him, rubbing in the spittle… the effectual call to salvation, as Christ applies the Word to the HEART and SPIRIT, bringing us to Himself and working repentance and belief.
  10. This man now sees clearly… picturing the opening of his blinded eyes, as a new creature in Christ, able to understand and clearly see the things of God in His Word.


          If we are saved, let us stop and think back to our salvation experience and how the Lord intervened in our lives and brought us to Himself.  Let us praise and honor Him for working His GREATEST of miracles in our hearts.

          If you have never received God’s gracious salvation… look to Him through His Word, come to  Him realizing you have sinned and can do nothing to gain salvation of your own merit.  Turn from your sin and place your trust in Him.  Accept Him not only as your Savior, but the Lord of your life as well.  This is what genuine, God-given salvation is all about.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

“Tis the Season to Deny the Existence of God”

As the Christmas season approaches, Atheist billboards are beginning to pop up declaring that the virgin birth, and even God’s existence, is only a myth.  One example is this billboard…


With all of this world’s mixed messages about the Lord’s person, His work, and even His existence; I thought it was wise to remind everyone of some of the results of denying what the Lord clearly told us in His Word. 


The Word of God addresses many subjects including:

  1. the proofs of God’s existence – (Psa 19:1-6, Jer 10:10-16, Acts 17:8-9, etc etc)
  2. the proofs of Christ’s coming to the earth and the work which He performed (Acts 5:29-33, Acts 2:29-36, 1 Cor 15:1-11, etc etc )

as well as many other truths that help us to understand who the Lord is and what He has done for us. 


The Lord, by His grace and love, has revealed to us the serious results of denying what He has clearly told us in His Word.  May the Lord bless each of us with an understanding and acceptance of this crucial truth… 





Heb 10:19-31 (KJV)

19Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;...30For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.31[It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.





In Hebrews 10:19-25, we find the importance of not taking God’s gracious workings in the lives of His people for granted…


19Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21And [having] an high priest over the house of God;


The Lord has given sinful mankind the privilege to enter into His presence now (through prayer and Bible study) and throughout eternity (dwelling with Him face to face).   Although we are sinful, through the death and shed blood of Jesus Christ, we can receive forgiveness of sins and communion with Almighty, Holy God.  It is though His work on our behalf that He becomes our intercessor (or priest), standing between God and sinful man, working peace, communion and forgiveness on our behalf.



22Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.23Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is] faithful that promised;)24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:25Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.


Because the Lord has brought us into a close relationship with Himself, we are to draw near to Him, knowing that He has cleansed us from our inward and outward sins.  This forgiveness was applied to our account when His Spirit applied the Word to our hearts and lives (Eph 5:26).

We are also to be telling others of His workings in our lives and we are to aid others to serve Him in love (by meeting together to worship, learn and encourage other Christians).


All of these acts of appreciation, we are to observe in a greater way because our time is running short.  Soon our God will be coming back to take us home and be with Him forever.   



In Hebrews 10:26-31, we find the solemn results of rejecting the truth by those who are not His people...



26For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,27But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.


After we receive the truths God has shown to us, and then count them as being false, there is no reason to believe that the Lord has, or will, forgive us.  If we remain in a state of denial of His truths we should fear, knowing that we are facing the judgment that is prepared by God for those who are His adversaries.  This judgment includes God’s fiery indignation (burning wrath) upon those who oppose Him.


28He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:29Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?


Now our attention is turned to the penalty of breaking God’s laws given to the nation of Israel.  According to the law given to them… if there were two or three witnesses to the commission of a crime worthy of death, that was ample proof for execution. 

We are to compare that type of sin with the rejection of Christ, His work and His shed blood.  After hearing of Christ and His great sacrifice and then counting that as untrue, worthless, or of no benefit, we commit a very heinous sin in God’s eyes.  It is as if Christ and His work is being tred underfoot, dirtied, buried and ignored.  

Even if the initial receipt of the truth affects our life causing a worldly, outward, reformation (sanctification) , this is not proof of spiritual life being present.   Simple good works shown in the life is no guarantee of acceptance by God. 

A heart of repentant faith in Christ and in His work is an absolutely necessity for the forgiveness of sins.  This type of belief cannot be turned from, nor denied. (2 Cor 7:9-10)  


30For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.31[It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

The Lord is plain throughout His Word, not only is He a God of love and grace; He is also a God of justice.  The Lord makes it clear that He will send judgment and deserved punishment upon those who reject the kind, loving, gracious, most valuable work of His Son.  


This truth will bring terror upon those who reject Him.  To deny God’s existence and work is to sentence themselves to an eternity of separation from God in eternal misery in the lake of fire.





For those who are saved…


Let us never forget all that our God has done for us.  He not only created us, but then He saved us from our deserved punishment  through the sacrifice of His Son.   How much more should we be motivated to serve Him after all He has done for us? (Rom 12:1-2) 



For those who have never trusted in Christ… 


Please take time to, honestly and with an open heart, study God’s Word and come to an understanding of the many various proofs of God’s existence and His Son’s work on your behalf.  


The Bible makes it plain that we have all sinned and are facing punishment for those sins. (Rom 1:18-21, 2:11-12, Acts 17:30-31)  This is why rejecting the existence of God and His Son, Jesus Christ, is tantamount to sentencing yourself to an eternity of suffering at the hands of a Just God.  (Rom 2:5, 2 Pet 2:9, 3:7, Rev 20:15, 21:8)


Things do not have to be this way, however.  This same God, who is just in punishing sin, is also a very kind, gracious and loving God.  He has sent His Son to the earth to save His people from their sins. (Matt 1:21)


Through Jesus’ shed blood on the cross, the payment for the sin debt of God’s people was made in full.

By turning from our disbelief, and by trusting in Christ and His work on the cross, we can find forgiveness for our sins and peace with God. (Rom 3:26-28, 4:17-25, 5:1-2, 15:13)


Oh, won’t you change your mind and attitude about God and Christ?   Won’t you believe that God and His Son exist, and that they have performed the necessary work to forgive you of your sins?  By looking to Him and placing your life and future in His hands you will be assured of a life of peace with God.


May the Lord bless you as you seek the truth about Him. 




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