On Wings Of Eagles

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Friday, November 15, 2019

Healing


Matthew 8:16 (ESV)
That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick.

In A.D. 410, barbarian tribes poured into Rome, ravaging and pillaging the proud city. In response to critics who said the rise of Christianity had weakened Rome, Augustine, bishop of the city of Hippo in North Africa, wrote The City of God. In that lengthy book, which became a major influence in Western civilization, Augustine brought assurance to those who had been violated and explained how Christ brings hope to the world. In his writing Augustine aimed to bring the healing power of Christ and his good news to people’s traumatized hearts and lives.

The Lord Jesus himself was “a man of suffering, and familiar with pain” (Isaiah 53:3). From the time of his boyhood in Bethlehem, where he barely escaped a massacre, to his death on the cross, he was the target of violence and hatred. But he moved with love among the people of Israel, healing miraculously with a touch or a word.

Over the door of a great hospital in New York City is an inscription: “Of The Most High Cometh Healing.” Whatever haunts your heart and threatens to leave your life a ruin, look to Jesus for healing. Remember, “He took up our pain and bore our suffering” (Isaiah 53:4).

Dear Lord, thank You for the healing of physical pains and difficulties. But we know that the root of our trouble is deeper, and that only You can ultimately heal our souls. We pray that You will stretch out Your healing hand today. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Respecting each other


1 Peter 3:15-16 (ESV)
15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.

Somewhere today, a child will remind her parents that respect must be mutual. Moms and dads may not like hearing that, but it’s true. The bars of our prisons become all the more poisonous when guards treat their wards as if they’re subhuman and prisoners consider their guards only as objects of dirt and ridicule. Mutual respect is essential for relationships at home, church, and everywhere else.

Peter calls us to “be like-minded” and “love one another,” calling for sympathy, compassion, and humility. Can we summarize these with one word: respect? At least in part. Respect calls for relating in ways that acknowledge our identity as image bearers of God and recipients of his divine love.

Peter reminds us that we should not expect to be harmed for doing good. But if that happens, we can count it as a blessing of honor. After all, Jesus suffered for doing good, didn’t he? We are to explain why we act the way we do in the light of our confession that Jesus is Lord. But the manner of our explanation must show respect for our questioner along with a gentleness that echoes the love of the Savior.

This means responding in such a way that malicious accusers will be ashamed. It means letting our actions speak louder than our words.

Dear Lord, thank You for the respect You show us in your gentle dealing with us, despite our sins. Empower us to see You in others and to respect them as objects of Your love. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

In honor of my wife's birthday


Mark 13:32 (ESV)
But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

“Only the Father knows” when it is time for a baby to be born. “Only the Father knows” when you were meant to grace the world with your presence. Whether 10, 20, 50, or 75 years ago, your heavenly Father caused you to enter the scene; He filled you with the potential and talents to change the world. Even before your earthly parents met, God knew you would be the result of their union.

God the Father welcomes about 353,000 babies into the world every day—and every day He wishes hundreds of thousands of His children already born, “Happy Birthday!” It’s easy to imagine a continuous, glorious birthday party celebration in Heaven proclaiming miracle after miracle after miracle.

Of the 7.4 billion people who inhabit the Earth, every one is a gift from God. Every person worldwide has the potential to make the world a beautiful place to live—through the love and peace of Christ. Let’s start today with a smile and a kind word for all we meet.

Dear Lord, help us to enjoy this day, for it is the day you have made. Also help us to look beyond just this day, just this year, and focus our eyes on eternity. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Letting go


1 Peter 5:7 (ESV)
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

In the final scene of the movie Forrest Gump, Forrest Junior has started going to school, and Forrest has waited at the bus stop all day for him to come back. We may say that Forrest did that because he had an IQ of only 75, but in real life, many parents feel the same way when they send their children away for their first day of school.

Going to school for the first time is a big event for young children. They have to transition to spending a lot of their day interacting with strangers—teachers and other students. That makes for a big change not only in the children’s lives but also in their parents’ lives, especially for a parent who has been at home with their child every day for the past several years. It is not easy to let your child go.

The writer of Hebrews talks about what Abraham and Sarah had to let go. They let go of their home, extended family, and community when God called them to leave and travel to the land he would show them (see Genesis 12). Abraham was also willing to let go of his son Isaac, the promised son born to him and Sarah in their old age (Genesis 22:1-12).

They did all this “by faith”—and faith is a learning process. Just as parents get used to letting go as their children begin to grow up in life, so we too learn to let go of things in our lives as we trust God to guide us day by day.

Dear Lord, through the storm we pray that we would trust in You fully. Through the night lead us on to the light; take our hand Lord and lead us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Thankful for the small things


Psalm 147:3, 7 (ESV)

3 He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds.
7 Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
    make melody to our God on the lyre!


When young children scrape a knee or elbow, they cry for a bandage—whether they needed one or not. It is surprising how much comfort can come from a small adhesive strip. That’s probably because the tiny bandage represented much more than a wound covering, it is put in place by hands with a history of showing love and tender kindness.

Throughout the Bible we can see that God also uses small things to bring hope and healing to the world. God chose the small nation of Israel and charged them to be a blessing to all other nations. Through this group of people, preserved and cared for by God’s faithful hands, the Savior, Jesus Christ, came into the world. And the Savior himself came in a tiny package: a baby born of a teenage peasant girl. Who would imagine that such a child would heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds?

Psalm 147 uses words that echo throughout the Bible and were made visible as Jesus went about his compassionate healing ministry. What’s more, Jesus promises to forgive all our sins and to be with us always to bring comfort and hope far beyond words printed on a page.

Today let us give thanks that God works in small ways. Ask him to help you see today how his faithful hands are tending your wounded heart.

Dear Lord, we want to thank You that You came in a small way to change everything with the forgiveness and hope that You brought. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Travelling mercies


Genesis 28:15 (ESV)
Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.

I remember a practice that my dad started with us as little kids.   When we would leave on a trip whether it was to go and see Grandpa and Grandma, Grandma, Uncle Bob or any other family vacation he would begin the trip with a prayer in the asking God to provide "traveling mercies." It's a practice we continued with our family and still do to this day. Ultimately it was a request that God would protect us along the way and return us safely home.

We live in an age of safety requirements. Safety belts and air bags are required in every automobile. Tires have to meet safety standards. Windows are made of safety glass. Rear doors have child-safety locks. But only God can keep us truly safe.

In the midst of his lonely escape from a brother plotting to kill him, Jacob meets God. In a sleep-induced dream, Jacob sees that God is with him, and he hears God make a promise of protection.

God will go with Jacob and watch over him. In this journey, God will ensure a safe return. God promises that he will never leave Jacob. And Jacob the schemer finds that God is the planner and provider. Jacob is learning the lesson God shared with Abraham: traveling mercies are about traveling with God.

Traveling mercies mark our movements as pilgrims along God's pathway. God wants us to come home. The destination isn't a matter of geography. Home is being with God--wherever we are.

Dear Lord, many of us wander. We never seem to be settled. Please guide us and make us pilgrims walking with you, day by day. And for those that have strayed help them find their way back to You.  In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Communication


Hebrews 1:2 (ESV)
But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

When we are away from family and friends, it’s good to keep in touch with them. Today we can do that by phone, text message, e-mail, Facebook—and even by the old method of sending postcards or letters.

God’s message comes to us in his Word, the Bible. And the Word of God has become flesh in the person of Jesus Christ (John 1:1-5, 9-14). As believers today, we can now hear and receive and live by the Word of God, and we experience something of the life God intended for us when he created the universe.

In the Old Testament God spoke through the prophets, but that communication was often limited to the situations of the people in those days. Prophets were spokespeople for God; Jesus is the Son of God. Prophets grasped part of the mind of God; Jesus is the mind of God. What more can be said than what God has spoken to us through his Son?

There are many ways in which God continues to communicate to us through Jesus, by the power of his Spirit. Today God’s Word is proclaimed all over the world. May people receive it for what it really is: good news that opens us to new life with God. Daily we read Scripture not simply for information but to hear how God is directing and sustaining us through his Son. As we follow Jesus, we also learn to pray and work, spreading the good news of salvation to build up the kingdom of God.

Dear Lord, speak to us that we may speak in living echoes of Your tone.  Help us bring Your Word to those around us so that it reaches into their hearts, that they may live by the truth. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.