Tuesday, May 31, 2011

According To Your Faith


Matthew 9: 27-34

Story & Lessons

The need of faith is again emphasized!

This time it was in the healing of the blind men.

The blind men didn't have physical sight, but the eyes of their understanding were enlightened.

They were able to see that Jesus was not just a prophet.

They recognized Him as the promised Messiah when they addressed Him, "Son of David."

They were persuaded that He was able to heal them and they called on Him to have mercy on them.

Jesus didn't at first respond to their call.

But they followed Him to the house where He was staying.

Jesus challenged them, asking them if they really believe that He was able to heal them.

They said that they did.

Jesus touched their eyes and said, "According to your faith let it be to you".

The men were instantly healed.

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A demon-possessed man was brought to Jesus.

The demon had rendered him dumb.

The crowd marveled when Jesus cast out the evil spirit and the man began to speak.

But miracles don't convince those who hate Jesus.

The Pharisees responded by blasphemously asserting that Jesus cast out demons through the power of Satan.

Reflections

The Pharisees had physical sight but they were spiritually blinded by their own sin and prejudice.

There are none as blind as those who don't want t see!

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How is our faith?

Do we believe that the Lord Jesus is able to meet our needs when we come to Him in prayer?

"According to your faith let it be to you."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Your faith Has Made You Well


Matthew 9: 18-26

Story & Lessons

The ruler of the synagogue was Jairus.

His daughter was 12 years old.

Jairus asked the Lord Jesus to heal his daughter.

But then, a message came, informing him that his daughter was dead.

Jesus encouraged him not to despair, but to believe.

Jairus expressed his trust in the Lord Jesus to raise his daughter from the dead.

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Jesus was on the way to the house of Jairus.

He was interrupted by a woman.

The poor woman had suffered 12 years of misery through continuous hemorrhages.

She had spent all that she had in search of a cure.

But her condition had grown worse.

She had suffered repeated disappointments in the past.

But she was confident that the Lord Jesus could heal her.

She touched the Lord Jesus' garment.

The Lord Jesus turned and said to her, "Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well."

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God is pleased when we really trust Him in all circumstances.

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Jesus affirmed that the girl was not dead but sleeping.

Th professional mourners at Jairus' housed laughed Him to scorn.

They misunderstood Him.

What the Lord Jesus was saying was that death would not have the last word.

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Jesus put them out of the house.

He raised the child from the dead.

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Reflections

The Lord Jesus was very tender in His dealings with the woman and with Jairus.

We have a wonderful Saviour!

Let us worship Him!

Let us trust in Him at all times!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The New Wine Of Salvation


Matthew 9: 14-17

Story & Lessons

Some of the disciples of John the Baptist and of the Pharisees saw the happiness and feasting at the house of Matthew.

They were puzzled that the disciples of Jesus did not fast.

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They asked Him, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?"

He replied that fasting was inappropriate for His disciples, comparing His presence on earth with a wedding feast.

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A Jewish wedding in Bible times was a very festive time.

The couple who were married did not go away for a honeymoon but stayed at home.

An open house was kept and the bridegroom and his bride were treated like royalty as their closest friends shared all the joy and feasting of the week.

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The Lord Jesus was comparing Himself to the bridegroom and His disciples to the bridegroom's closest friends.

How could they fast and mourn?

They were with the Almighty Son of God.

... They were seeing corrupt tax officials like Matthew coming to faith in Christ and their lives completely transformed.

... There was daily rejoicing over sinners repenting.

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The Lord Jesus went on to speak of the bridegroom being taken away (15).

He was speaking of His death on the cross.

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Jesus said that a new cloth patch would soon pull away from an old garment as it shrunk in the wash.

New wine would burst an old wineskin as it fermented because the old wineskin could not stretch like a new one.

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We are not saved by patching up our lives with good works.

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When a man or woman is saved by grace, they are a new creation in Christ and the old things have passed away.

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The garments of the old life are replaced with the garments of salvation.

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The new wine of salvation must be poured into the new strong wineskins of joyful thanksgiving and sacrificial service which glorifies God.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Matthew Arose And Followed Jesus


Matthew 9: 9-13

Story & Lessons

Matthew gave an account of his own conversion.

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He was a tax collector.

The tax collectors were hated and despised by the people because they worked for the Romans who occupied their country.

Some tax collectors also had a reputation for being dishonest and corrupt.

As long as they collected an agreed amount of tax for the Roman authorities, they could overcharge and keep the surplus for themselves. The tax payer had no right of appeal.

The scribes and Pharisees put them on the same level as the worst of sinners and wrote them off as far as salvation was concerned.

*******

The Lord Jesus called Matthew, one of these social outcasts, to follow Him and to be one of those most closely associated with Him.

Matthew was amazed to hear the Lord Jesus saying to him, "Follow me."

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Matthew arose and followed the Lord Jesus.

He gave up a comfortable living to become attached to the Lord Jesus.

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He did not become a secret believer.

He made a great feast to which he invited many other tax collectors.

They too followed the Lord Jesus (Mark 2:15).

Reflections

Are you glad to own Jesus as your Lord before your friends and colleagues at work?

Do you earnestly desire and pray for their salvation?

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No one is beyond the reach of God's mercy!

Christianity is for sinners.

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But the churlish, self righteous Pharisees did not recognize their own spiritual need.

Jesus told them, "I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.

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The Lord Jesus does not call the righteous because there are no righteous people (Romans 3:10)!

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We are all sinners.

The Lord Jesus calls us to repentance.

Will you come?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Faith Sees The Way


Matthew 9: 1-8

Story & Lessons

The Lord Jesus crossed the sea of Galilee and came to His own city, Capernaum.

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4 men brought a paralyzed man to Him for healing. But they could not get near to Him because of the crowd around the house.

They took the man up an outside stairway to the roof of the house.

They opened up the roof and lowered him on his mattress.

Jesus, seeing their faith spoke kindly to the man, forgave his sins and healed him.

*******

The scribes rightly recognized that the Lord Jesus was claiming to be God when He told the man that his sins were forgiven.

They thought that Jesus was blaspheming because only God alone can forgive sins.

Jesus knew what they were thinking and he rebuked them.

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The Bible plainly teaches that the Lord Jesus is God.

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Reflections

The 4 men recognized that their paralyzed friend had a great physical need.

When they brought him to Jesus, an even greater need was met -- his sins were forgiven!

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Jesus, seeing their faith, which was not put off by seeming obstacles (the crowd thronging the house), honored that faith.

It was a faith that persevered!

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Without faith, it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11: 6)

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What kind of fath does God see in us?

Do we have the faith that perseveres in prayer for our loved ones and friends who do not know the Lord?

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Let us look on obstacles as an opportunity to prove the faithfulness of God!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

They Rejected Jesus


Matthew 8: 28-34

Story & Lessons

The disciples marveled when they saw the power of the Lord Jesus over the storm on the sea of Galilee.

They were now reminded of His power over demons.

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When Jesus and His disciples came ashore in the Gergesenes, they were met by two demon-possessed men who were wild and fierce through demonic power.

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Demons are terrified of the Lord Jesus Christ and He is sovereign over them.

They know that everlasting torment awaits them and they asked Jesus if He had come to torment them before that time.

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It is a frightening thought to know that all who die without Christ will go to that place prepared for the devil and his angels.

Is our heart right with God?

Are we sure that we will spend eternity in heaven with Christ?

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At the command of Jesus, the demons left the men and entered a herd of pigs which ran over the cliffs to perish in the sea.

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The terrified swineherds fled to the city to tell their story.

All the people of the city went to meet Jesus, but they didn't welcome Him.

They didn't bring their sick for healing, but begged Him to depart from their region.

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It is tragic that men and women, blinded by Satan, enslaved in sin and loving it, refuse God's offer of mercy.

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Jesus said to those who rejected Him, "You are not willing to come to me that you may have life."

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Are you uncomfortable with Jesus, or do you welcome Him?