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14 Days of Prayer - Week 2 - April 9th - 15th

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Sunday, April 9th, 2017

Scripture Reading: Luke 22:45-54

The moment has almost come. Jesus has finished the Last Supper with his closest followers. Judas has left to betray him. He has prayed, asked God to take this cup. Given himself fully to the will of God for the sake of all of us. He has sweat blood drops under the strain of his coming days. He finds his disciples asleep, and a crowd approaching. The hour has come for the Son of Man, the Savior, to be handed over. The hour of the cross is near. In this moment of impending tragedy, all of which Jesus knew and carried the weight of, a seemingly small miracle takes place.

One of Jesus’ disciples cuts off the right ear of the High Priest’s servant. Jesus answered, “No more of this,” and touched the man’s ear and healed it. Immediately, the action moves on. Jesus is taken away. We hear no more about the man who was healed.

I can’t imagine how that servant felt in that moment. He was there to assist in the arrest of this man who they were going to put to death. He was clearly on the side against Jesus. And yet, the very man who he was there to take, to lead to his death, heals him. Without hesitation.

Oh but isn’t this a picture of the true Gospel! This miracle – it’s our miracle too. When we were still on the wrong side of this life – he healed us. Without hesitation. He met us and said “No more of this,” and touched our severed and broken hearts and healed us.

This Easter season, don’t lose sight of the miracles hidden in our story. They can seem buried in the details of life, in the action of what is moving and going. But they are there. Remember the miracle. When he was on his way to death he didn’t hesitate to heal the broken around him. When he was on his way to death you weren’t forgotten.

“No more of this.” You are healed. Remember the miracle.

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Monday, April 10th, 2017

Scripture Reading: Luke 17:11-19

As Jesus was on his way 10 men with leprosy called out to him, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us.” Jesus said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” As they went, they were cleansed. Only one came back and thanked him. Jesus asked where the others were, and told him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Jesus did lots of miracles when he was on the way from one place to another. He spent his days journeying from one place to another teaching, healing and training his disciples. What I love about the stories of Jesus’ miracles is how Jesus heals people. There was no set way. Each miracle was different. Sometimes he touched people, he even used his own spit. But for this miracle he barely stopped. He called out to them, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” He didn’t touch them or say a whole host of fancy words – just go.

The real miracle happened as they went. The Word says, “As they went they were cleansed.” It wasn’t an instant snap of the fingers complete healing. They had to walk towards the place of healing. Catch that – sometimes the miracle requires a walk. If you are believing God for a miracle, something only He can do, don’t stop. Refuse to quit calling out to him. Refuse to quit walking. Sometimes the miracle happens as we walk.

Above all things – be the one who comes back to give thanks. When you see that God is moving in your life. Give thanks to him. Don’t forget who healed you, even if that healing happened on the way.

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Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Scripture Reading: John 5:5-13

The man at the pool of Bethesda. He had been an invalid for 38 years. Unable to move himself into the healing waters. When Jesus saw him, he asked him “Do you want to get well?” The man offered excuses. Jesus replied “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

The pool at Bethesda was a place of healing. It was said an angel would come down and stir up the waters and the first one into the pool afterwards would be cured. So all around the pool were sick people waiting for the waters to stir. Waiting for the moment come for their healing. But, they had to be first. The second person didn’t receive the healing. This man had waited 38 years. With no one to help him, he was unable to make it into the water at all let alone first. And so, there he sat on his mat. Year after year.

Until Jesus came.

Until Jesus entered the grounds.

When Jesus came the waiting ceased. The striving ceased. There was no struggle. He was healed. He got up and walked. When the religious asked why he was carrying his mat on the Sabbath, he said “The man who made me well said to me. ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”

When you look at your life are there places that have been off limits, paralyzed for a long time? Maybe years have passed and you can’t imagine what it would feel like to feel again. To be healed.

Friend, Jesus came. He has entered the grounds of your life and mine. We don’t have to wait or struggle or strive. We can pick up our mat and walk because he has told us we can. Don’t wait for the perfect sermon or altar call. There is no “pool” that you have to make it to. He’s here. The miracle lives inside of you. Take a deep breath and stand up in your spirit and begin to walk. Because the man who went to the cross for you, the man who made you well is telling you pick up your mat and walk.

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Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Scripture Reading: Luke 8:40-56

A dead girl and a sick woman. A lesson in timing and trust.

I don’t like to be late. It makes my skin crawl and I fell panicked. With that said, I can’t imagine how Jairus felt on this day. His daughter was dying. He came to Jesus and fell on his feet begging him to come. Jesus, Jairus and a few disciples set out to his home. But the crowds found him and began to crush in. A woman who had been bleeding for 12 years was desperate to be healed. She struggled through the crowds and with all the faith in the world she touched his hem and the bleeding stopped. Jesus knew what had happened and he stopped. He spoke to her. Jairus must have felt his heart pounding knowing that every second his daughter was closer to death. And then it happened, someone from home appeared and told them she had died. If only they had gotten there quicker. If only this woman had not stopped him. We are too late! Jesus turned to Jairus and said, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” When they arrived, the mourning had already begun. They laughed when Jesus said she was only asleep. Jesus put everyone out except his disciples and her parents. Jesus took the girl’s hand and told her to get up and her spirit returned.

His timing our trust.

A woman who had waited so very long and yet didn’t give up hope. She fought through the crowd. Her faith, his presence. Healing. A girl dying second by second. But his timing is perfect and death obeys him. Alive.

There is nothing you face that is beyond his timing. If you’ve had to deal with it for years, it’s not too late. Don’t give up hope. Stretch out in faith. Get in his presence. There is healing there. If you feel dead inside. If your marriage feels dead. If the life seems to have left your spirit. Ignore the voices. Don’t mourn. Death obeys him. Let him in to the dead places. Let him take your hand. There is life there.

His timing, our trust. Miracles.

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Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Scripture Reading: Luke 5:3-10

The fishermen were on the shore cleaning their nets after a long night of catching nothing. Jesus is nearby teaching a crowd of people. He asks Simon, a fisherman, to let him sit in his boat and push out into the water. Jesus taught from the boat. When he was done, he told him to go out into the deep water and let his nets down. Simon quickly tells him that they have been out all night with no luck, “BUT BECAUSE YOU SAY SO, I will let down the nets.” The nets are over run with fish and begin to break. Fellow fishermen come to his aid.

When they reached the shore, Simon fell on Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man.” But Jesus told him and his friends, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”

The miracles that happen when we don’t consider what has happened in the past and all the failures we’ve experienced and just say ok God, because you say so, I will do it.

Fishermen down on their luck became the disciples who changed the world for the Gospel and it all started with letting down the nets again, because he said so.

You’ve prayed for a long time. Pray again. You’ve fasted. Fast again. You’ve given all you can. Give more. You stepped out in faith and it didn’t work. Step out again. When he says to let down our nets, don’t hesitate. There’s a miracle coming.

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Friday, April 14th, 2017

Scripture Reading: Mark 2:1-5

When Jesus came to town, the crowds came too. When he arrived in Capernaum the people piled in so thickly that no one else could squeeze in. But there were a few men who had brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus. They had carried him on his mat to see Jesus. Now they were stuck outside. But these were the real deal friends. They didn’t come all this way to see their friend left the same. They climbed on the roof. Hoisted the man and his mat on the roof. Dug through it and lowered him down in front of Jesus. In verse 5 it says, “when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, ‘son your sins are forgiven.’” He rebuked the religious who questioned him and he told the paralyzed man to get up and walk home. He did. He was healed.

Whose faith did Jesus see? It wasn’t the faith of the paralyzed man – it was their faith. The faith of his friends. They had faith and they refused to let their friend go one more day without seeing Jesus. No matter what the cost. Can you imagine them sitting on the roof, looking through the hole they had dug, watching their friend walk out through the crowd as people praised God and watched in awe. Their faith. He saw their faith.

Easter is in two days. The studies and statistics show that people will go to church if they are invited almost 90% of the time. Who can you invite or invite again? If not this weekend, then next weekend. What about that girl at the coffee shop or the kid who bags your groceries? What about that family member who only calls to ask you to ask for money? Your child’s teacher or bus driver? Your spouse, sibling, parent? They may not see Jesus yet, but our faith can make room for a miracle in their life. Start digging through that roof. Let’s believe together for the ones we are praying for – this year we will see salvation come. This year we will see them meet Jesus and walk out changed. There are miracles through the roof.

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Saturday, April 15th

Scripture Reading: Mark 6:53-56

53 After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret. They brought the boat to shore 54 and climbed out. The people recognized Jesus at once, 55 and they ran throughout the whole area, carrying sick people on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 Wherever he went—in villages, cities, or the countryside—they brought the sick out to the marketplaces. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.     Mark 6:53-56(NLT)

Just after Jesus had walked across the water and amazed his own disciples, they landed at Gennesaret. Gennesaaret is described as a lovely and fertile region beside the Sea of Galilee. When Jesus’ feet touched the shore the people saw him and they knew. They had heard about the feeding of the 5,000, the healings, the miracles, the teachings. They saw him and they knew. They rushed and ran and carried their sick to wherever he was. As he walked, wherever he went, the saw him and they knew. Just a touch and they were healed.

Before he conquered death on the cross, they had to find Jesus. They had to rush to him. Sometimes I think we take for granted that He is with us always. We tend to forget that the same power that raised Jesus from the grave lives inside of us. The moment we called out to him as savior and confessed our need for him, he deposited his spirit in us and sealed it. Do we forget that the same Jesus who healed the blind and set the captive free and walked on water here on this earth now lives inside of us, with us, at all times?

Friends, tomorrow morning we gather together to celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. May I encourage us all to look at our lives as the fertile ground of Gennesaret. It is in our lives that he walks and talks with us. He rose! He sent his spirit to be with us. We don’t have to run to find him. He is here! Let the sick and broken meet him when you show them love and tell them about how precious he is to you. You are his miracle. Your life connected to God with no separation is his miracle. Wherever he went, people were healed. He is in you, wherever you go, you take the risen Jesus with you. It’s time to remember the miracle that lives inside your heart and spread his healing love wherever you go.

You are his miracle.

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