Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Just Say The Word

I was reading Matthew Chapter 8 the other night and noticed the wide variety of healings accomplished by the Savior.  I guess you could categorize the sicknesses in this fashion:

1.  Casual sickness. In verses 14-15, we discover that Peter's mother-in-law was lying in bed with a fever.  Maybe she had a cold or a virus  of some sort.  Apparently she didn't feel well and went to bed to recover.  It is hard to say, but I'm thinking that maybe this was just a minor illness.  After Jesus healed her, she got up and waited on Him.  Many times in life we get hit by minor illnesses which are more or less a nuisance.  We're not deathly sick, mind you.  It's just that an illness interferes with our work or family plans.  Maybe it goes away in a week or two, but it is still very annoying. 

2.  Chronic sickness.  Verses 2-4 describe a man with leprosy, a chronic debilitating condition. Left untreated, leprosy caused permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes.  There was also considerable social stigma associated with leprosy as lepers were considered unclean and had to dwell apart from the general population.  It was a horrible way of life.

3.  Calamitous sickness.  Verses 5-13 list the centurion's servant, lying in bed, paralyzed and experiencing tremendous pain.  Not really sure what was going on with this person, but it appeared to be a painful illness.  He was immobile and suffering.  It was a desperate situation.

4.  Chaotic sickness.  Verses 28-34 tell of two men who were demon-possessed.  They lived in the  tombs and were so violent that no one could pass by the road.  The local residents went to great lengths to avoid any interaction, fearing their own personal safety.  Sometimes illnesses today are so complex that families and neighbors are perplexed to understand how to intervene.  There appears to be no simple cure.  

However, no matter the depth of sickness, from Peter's mother-in-law to the demoniacs, Jesus healed them all.  The centurion, knowing Jesus' power, was well aware of the secret for removing all of these ailments.  In verse 8, he proclaimed to Jesus, "...just say the word and my servant will be healed."  That's all it takes.  Just a word from Jesus.  Just say it and everything will be made well.   

Furthermore, in today's world, we may also experience the different types of illness.  Being treated by healthcare professionals (of which I am one) can help, but the ultimate cure comes from the lips of the Savior.  We must entreat His favor with the attitude, "...speak, for Thy servant is listening". (I Samuel 3:10).  Once He speaks the true healing begins, whether instantaneous or in time.  

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Beware The Sabeans

I've recently read a book about Job while doing research for my second book.  If you aren't familiar with Job, let me refresh your memory of his demise which occurs in the first chapters of the book of Job.  Within moments he loses his livestock, servants and children.  Later in chapter two, his health begins to deteriorate.

Nevertheless, the first action which occurred in this process is mentioned in Job chapter 1.  "...The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, and the Sabeans attacked and took them.  They also slew the servants with the edge of the sword..." (Job 1:14-15).  You could say the first domino to fall came about at the hand of a mysterious people called the Sabeans.   Who were the Sabeans?  Apparently they were some terrorizing robbers who were descendants of Abraham and Keturah (Genesis 25:1-3).  After they attacked Job's servants and livestock, they are hardly mentioned any further in the Bible, except a brief reference in Job 6:19.  Hence, the Sabeans came and left after inflicting their harm and then seemed to disappear off the face of the planet.  Isn't that how life is sometime?  An evil person or an evil circumstance appears for a brief moment, does its damage, then vacates.  I cannot forget the ways cancer attacked me in 2004 and 2006.  After major surgery and chemotherapy, I am now more or less relatively healthy, although cancer forever damaged my body.  You could say the Sabeans came and went, still leaving me to bear with the consequences.

On the other hand, sometimes good people or good circumstances appear for a short time, leaving a lasting joyous effect.  I know that when I went through chemotherapy, a lady provided T-shirts for the staff to give to patients which stated "God heals cancer" and listed "I shall not die, but live, and tell of the works of the Lord" (Psalms 118:17) written on the back.  I never met the lady, don't know what kind of cancer she had, and was certainly unfamiliar with Psalms 118:17, although I had read my Bible numerous times.  Yet, that verse ultimately became a life verse for me.  As a matter of fact, I now wear a bracelet on my wrist at all times which lists this verse.  How did this all happen?  Basically, because a godly lady appeared on the scene for a season, ministered to me, then vanished.  Yet, I am so grateful for her ministry.

Thankfully, even though Sabeans attack us at times, there are checks and balances in God's plan in which godly men and women minister to us, albeit just for a brief time to repair the damage of terrorizing robbers.

You can read more about the vicious attacks I endured while battling cancer but yet the victories I achieved by reading my book, "A Place I Didn't Want To Go: My Victory Over Cancer."  It can be accessed at: