Healing Power

Running commentary on how Jesus' Healing Power is affecting my life - and helping me to help others.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Living at Ease...

They asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
- John 6:28-29, NIV
As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”
On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
- Matthew 9:9-13, NIV
Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith.
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
- Isaiah 26:2-4, NIV

I am getting closer to discovering exactly what “Perfect peace” really is. It is a total understanding that no matter how bad it gets, the LORD is still on my side. He has brought me to understand that nothing can bring me peace except Him.

This portion of “Healing Power” began to churn after a discussion with a follower of Eastern Meditation. She told me that she loves the Eastern philosophy that says you get to keep trying until you get it right. “Nobody loses!” But that means you have to keep coming back here. And I'm not so sure I want anything to do with that.

So my response was, “That's why I like the Christian Truths. When my time on Earth is done, it's done. I don't have to come back. I get to stay in Paradise with my Heavenly Father forever. I don't have to spend eternity getting it right, because my faith has made it right.”

The question I waited for, though, never came. Because I have felt an itch for the last several days, I'll answer it here. How can you be sure you are good enough to enter Heaven?

Paul answered that question in the book of Romans. I'll sum it up here. God gave us a list of laws that He knows are impossible to keep. Since they are impossible to keep, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to take on our guilt. All who confess a resurrected Christ will have everlasting life. I believe. I will spend eternity with Christ.

So if all you have to do is believe, then you can do whatever you want, right?

Paul answered that in Romans, as well. Sin grieves God. Yeah, we still sin, but that is because the temptation of the evil one - the enemy - is sometimes greater than we can overcome on our own. When we do sin, the Father lets us feel some of His pain through guilt. But He also reminds us that our sin is forgiven through Christ's sacrifice on the cross.

Then we are to criticize others for not living as we believe is right? Is it OK for us to be a sorta Christian Taliban?

Absolutely not!

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.”
- Matthew 7:1-5, NIV
This passage asks that if we are not perfect, who are we to judge? That is not why we are here. We are simply here to share the good news. And, as such, we smile when we talk - we don't yell and condemn.

So, I do not engender controversy. I share the love of Christ, and I pray for those who do not. I am finding the Peace which Christ described.

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Friday, May 02, 2008

Taking the Time

Last night I was able to return to prison. It's the mission work I love doing. As we caught up on the last three months (has it really been that long?), he lamented the fact that so few people write letters to him. Some write and say they will write more often, but don't. I'm ashamed to admit that I fall into the latter category.

Image of Konquest for Linux

But letter-writing isn't the only task about which I procrastinate. Truth is, I'm more inclined to find time for things that are less important to do like play a game on the computer or watch a television show. What does it take to get away from that?

I think it goes back to my last post regarding prayer. Between my desire to commune with the Most High and the enemy's desire to break that communion, I wind up finding something else to do that is more active but much less fulfilling. Something like playing a stupid game on the computer.

As I talked with my friend in prison, he committed to never doing anything like that. He said, "I know how hard it is to be in this position." And I hope he's right. I had made the same commitment when I got out of the Navy. It was so hard to go to mail call for several weeks and not get anything. But then, when my brother went on a six month cruise, I did not write him a single letter. Something (like a computer game) was more important.

Christ commanded us to love God first, everybody else second and ourselves last. Loving others means taking the time to be there for them. Write the letter. Make the phone call. Drop in for a visit. Find the time.


Heavenly Father, your hands created this world in which we live. Your hands created the very essence of time from which we cannot escape. You made it our responsibility to be good stewards of the time you have given to us.

Help us to grow into that stewardship. Help us to stop doing the things that waste our precious time and embark on a new mission that will reflect your Glory. Bring about in us the change that makes us shine for You.

In Christ's name we pray,