Posts Tagged ‘Healing’


Acts 8:5-8, 26-27, 38b-40
Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. So there was great joy in that city…Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians…Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

The book of Acts gives us a sense of how the Church exploded after Jesus’ resurrection. Nothing was the same and followers of Christ were doing things that were not of them. Philip seems to be the man of action mentioned throughout this chapter and he was involved in some real mystifying acts like healing people with evil spirits inside of them, healing cripples and paralytics and even disappearing after baptizing the Ethiopian eunuch who accepted Christ. What is God speaking to us today through this passage?

For many weeks, a dear friend of mine has been plagued by a rasping cough. It’s trying and hard when the medication he has been taking has had no effect and his faith is being challenged. It is at times such as these when one doubts why the Lord permits suffering in the lives of his cherished and those living far from God seem to be in bliss. The reality is that like Philip, we are called to serve God regardless of when and where and we should consider it a privilege to serve for the salvation we have received from the Lord. Philip was not acting in his strength but through the Holy Spirit at work in him. The Lord works in mysterious ways when we submit to his will and we need to pray for humble hearts that we might serve faithfully and God is glorified through our lives.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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John 8:3-6, 7, 9-11
The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him… When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her”… At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

To those who were trying to cause Jesus to falter in dealing with this situation, it must have been crushing. Not only was Jesus responding to their every taunt but he was in fact teaching them through these situations. If this was not Godly wisdom, Jesus was certainly more wise than the wisest. However, to Jesus’s accusers, do you think they learnt from this verbal thrashing? Until God the father chooses who will receive and who will not receive him, rivals of Christ will never believe. A few may but most will continue to be hard hearted and like Saul (Before his conversion), they will be riveted by this desire to disprove God but only to their own loss.

It is amazing how the world tends to revolve around controversies and of late, the press has continued to use the brokenness of Tiger Wood’s life as a platform to sell their media. Place Tiger Woods at the same place as the woman caught in adultery in the passage above and tell me what Jesus would do? Some of us may or may not have committed adultery but have certainly sinned in many ways and this has caused our relationship with God to be strained. For God, there is no bigger and smaller sin and we are not in a position to judge others, only God can. I’ve probably mentioned Tiger a few weeks back but this passage reminded me once again that we are called to stand in the gap and pray for the lost, not mock and condemn them. Which side are you on?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Flying Turtle


Luke 17:11-19
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

What a sight it must’ve been for those traveling with Jesus when ten lepers called out to him for healing as he passed them by. Over and over again in the gospels, we hear the plea of the poor, the suffering, the dying, the mourning and what is interesting about them is that they are not ashamed to call out to Jesus for help. What is even more amazing is that this is what the Lord appreciated and responded to with healing and the basis was their faith in him and his ability to heal them. In this passage above, it is the record of another great miracle but the response from those who were healed is what is most important for us today.

Last evening, we were visiting with dear friends who are better called family considering the relationship we share. They shared something from times past when they lived in Dubai that I would like us to do. Every Christmas, each person in their fellowship would bring in a list of prayer needs for the following year and these would be individually sealed in envelopes and stored by a custodian. The following Christmas, the envelope would be opened and the individuals would share the way the Lord worked in their lives. It would be outstanding to see how God answered prayers and people would express their gratitude to God for his manifold blessings. We need to know that God will answer our prayers if it is what he wants for us and we ask in faith. However, when God answers, what is our response? Have you been grateful to God for his countless blessings in your life? Have you thanked him and been grateful for his goodness? Lets be people of gratitude for what the Lord has done and is doing in our lives. Let’s not be the 9 healed lepers who forgot but rather like the one who was sincerely grateful.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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A Natural Canopy

Christ Through New Eyes

Posted: Sunday, December 6, 2009 in Luke, New Testament
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Luke 4:24-30
“I tell you the truth,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.” All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

As we continue to walk with the Lord through his word, we are once again confronted with the issue of a prophet not being accepted in his hometown. Three times over in as many books of the Bible, the same issue is echoed and there must be some relevance to it. Jesus reflects on the life and ministry of Elijah and talks about how God used him to minister to a widow in Sidon rather than to the many in Israel. He then talks about Elisha and the issue of many lepers not being healed in Israel but only a Syrian. What is the issue here? Why would the locals find it so difficult to accept one of their own and rather trust someone they don’t know? What is the Lord speaking to us today?

I was born in a Christian home and went to Church all my childhood days. Jesus Christ was preached, taught and accepted as God but I did not put my faith in him until my eyes were opened far away from home. I accepted Christ when I saw evidence of lives impacted by him in Bangalore and saw people who lived with motives not of this world but of Christ. Instead of looking critically at Christ through my skeptical eyes that grew weary of the agenda being pushed in my face, it was easier to see him with open eyes when I was away. This does not mean Christ was different at home and elsewhere but just that we tend to get critical of such things when we live with it in our homes. Similarly, for the locals of the land where Jesus was born and raised, they could not imagine trusting him as their Lord but it would be easier to put their faith in someone they did not know whom they experienced anew. Are you living in a dead relationship with Christ or not in one at all? Why don’t you explore him through new eyes by stepping out of your comfort zone and experience what a real SAVIOR means.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Beautiful or Boring


Mark 6:41-44,48-50
Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand… He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

After Jesus performed an astounding miracle with the physical provision of food to 5,000 men and their families using just five loaves and two fish, it was disheartening to hear how the disciples were down on morale and struggling at the oars and that is the reason Jesus decided to walk to them on water to encourage them. Somehow I think I would be full of courage and strength if I were to witness such miracles but after pondering about it, I realize that I am certainly no different from these disciples in my faith. Time and again, the Lord works his miraculous ways in our lives but we in our selfish nature either are blinded to the truth or are lost in our own selves and don’t recognize them.

You might not have seen a healing or a feeding like those reported on these pages of scripture but look back at your life and think of the little miracles that have happened? I remember prayers being answered in difficult circumstances, undue blessings coming our way in times of desperation, situations coming to pass without our efforts, etc. However, I know now that I have issues and problems and situations that I am banging God’s doors with because I am concerned God will not come through. Am I not acting like the disciples? I pray today that we will start to count our blessings and when we are faced with storms, that we will be able to submit our problems to God and wait upon him for his blessing rather than trying to fix things ourselves. This is a journey from head to heart which seems short in length but will take a lifetime!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

Guarded Beauty

 

 


Mark 5:2,3,12,13a,25,27,29,41,42a
When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain… The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs… a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years… When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak… Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering… He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!”. Immediately the girl stood up and walked around.

Every morning before I read the word, I spend time in prayer and I often reflect on the word as not just God’s word for me and you today but as words that are life giving, life altering and life transforming. Chance and luck are words often used to give hope to people because there are things outside of our control and we know we cannot exercise control over those things. Like when someone is going for an exam, they are told best of luck as if they would only do better by luck and not effort. I am guilty of this too because these are common statements that are part of our vocabulary and we need to get rid of it.

In today’s passage (a mish-mash of verses from Chapter 5) it is evident how Jesus was not only a miracle worker but that his dominion was over the forces of evil and even over death, something only God can do. You might wonder what faith it is that these people exercised to have Jesus work such miracles in their lives but there is no special something they did which we cannot do. All of the seekers were genuine in their need and they all went to Jesus knowing he is able. For Jesus, being the Son of God, all things are possible and when we completely submit our pains, needs and problems to him, he choses to bless us in ways he sees fit. Sometimes with healing, sometimes with patience, sometimes with silence but every time in ways that are his and not ours. Next time you want to wish someone, wish them God’s blessing and then pray for their need. Lets be prayer warriors to permit God to continue to work miraculously in our broken world. Are you up to the challenge?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

Light at the End of the Tunnel

 

 


Mark 3:1-6
Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

This morning, I read through the chapter several times wondering what passage I should write on because I was hoping for words of encouragement as many of us need it but this was the portion that stood out because it again showed our sinfulness. One of the tragedies of life is that regardless of how hard we try, our sinfulness comes in the way of everything we do and say. For those who feel otherwise, we are reminded time and time again in the word about this and it is a reality we deal with regardless of if we are saved or not. We always think about ourselves and our needs first before we think of anybody else and lastly about God. We cater to our own needs and work in our own dimension and this puts a skew on life.

In today’s passage, what Jesus did for the man was life altering and no human could ever do that, whether the world’s best doctor or magician. However, the hardhearted people of the time were not looking at the blessing from Jesus in the crippled man’s life and rather were focussing on the right and wrong of it. Are we the same? Do we judge with biased eyes? What blessing is this to our fellow humans? I am encouraged today to look at the suffering of people around us and pray healing and blessing in their lives and not judgement about what they did wrong and how they need to fix their issues. God through his spirit will convict and correct them but our duty is to invite God into the lives of the broken.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

Solitude Mountain