December 15

Today's Bible Reading
     II Chronicles 17
     Revelation 6
     Zechariah 2
     John 5
''Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, 'See,you have been made well. Sin no more lest a worse thing come upon you '." (John 5:14) 
            Throughout my ministry, I have taught that not only did I believe in divine healing, but that it was indeed the only kind of healing that I did believe in. No matter how many physicians and medications we use, God must give the healing. Our earthly physicians can diagnose, prescribe, prognose, cut and sew, but only God can give the healing.
            As a pastor for more than 36 years, l have had the opportunity of seeing God miraculously heal a significant number of people without any known medical application providing the healing. These are, indeed, what we call ''miracles of healing." On the other hand, I have seen God give the ultimate healing to an overwhelming majority of people. By that, I mean He took them on to glory where they no longer had suffering, pain, or tears. For the Child of God, death is the ultimate and complete healer.
            I am currently in remission from multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. it is considered incurable. I am hearing many suggestions from many corners of the theological world. There are, of course, those who tell me that if I really believe God, and have genuine faith, that I will be healed and have no need of doctors or medicine. I glance around my study and see an entiresection of materials on faith, and at least nine or ten of those books are written by a man whose entire ministry was to understand and teach the subject of faith. I have probably never known anyone with greater faith than this man. Yet, the last several years of his life were filled with great pain and suffering because of many advancing diseases. He finally lost the struggle,and is now with the Lord. To me, this very real example refutes that theology and reveals it to be a heresy.
           Consider this story of a man, crippled for 38 years,who Jesus healed at the Pool of Bethesda.
This healing was pure and sovereign grace - that is, it was unmerited and solely due to God's kindness and mercy. The word ''Bethesda'' means ''house of mercy."
2.     It was to a man who was not seeking Jesus. Jesus sought him. The man did not ask to be healed. It was Jesus who asked, ''Do you want to be made well." Even after Jesus healed him,he did not know who Jesus was. The last thing Jesus said to him was,''See, you've been made well. Sin no more lest a worse thing come upon you."Jesus was revealing, through His power to heal the body, that He had power to forgive sin.
3.     The question is raised, ''Why did Jesus heal only one man out of a multitude of sick and lame people waiting to be healed when, at other times, He had ''healed all who were sick''. (Matthew 8:16)  Also in Matthew 12:15, ''Great multitudes followed Him and He healed them all."The answer is obvious. Physical healing is an act of the sovereign will of God. Jesus said, ''The Son gives life to whom He will." (John 5:21) This time,we see Jesus, the Creator,giving life to one of His creatures according to His sovereign will, by restoring grace to a hopeless, helpless, sinful man who had suffered physical infirmity for 38 years. Thus, He continued to prove that He is God.
Again, we can claim no credit for His healing - it is a sovereign act.
Pray today for the 300,000 people who live in the Republic of Maldives. Since these people are among the least evangelized on earth, and the country is 99.4% Muslim, we need to pray for the outreach of Christian radio in this land. FEYA broadcasts only 30 minutes weekly in Dhivihi despite government efforts to prevent this. Thisis a difficult place, and we need to pray that the Spirit of God will give anointing to every outreach effort.
''DOING VS. DREAMING -do noble things, not dream them all day long; and so make Life, Death, and the vast Forever one grand, sweet song."
Charles Kingsley