— Acts 3:4-6Peter and John looked at [the lame man] intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”
The man who had been lame since birth was hoping for a few coins. What he received was the attention of two men of faith who believed Jesus could do more for this man than any amount of money could. They brought the power and presence of Jesus to bear on the man’s situation. They believed the Lord Jesus could and would act powerfully in that moment just as he had when he was on the earth. Do we still believe in Jesus’ power and presence when we pray in his name? I know that Jesus has dramatically answered some of my prayers for healing and deliverance in the lives of others. On other occasions, my prayers have not been so immediately or observably answered in the way I had hoped. I am not sure why the immediate results are different at different times other than the different loving choices of our sovereign God. I do know, however, that we are challenged to pray and expect God to work through the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, our Savior and Lord (James 5:13-18). Let’s recognize that we can bring the power and presence of the Lord into our worst situations by praying in the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene!
Thank you, dear LORD, for this beautiful story about Jesus’ powerful presence and grace. We ask, O Holy Spirit, that you will continually remind us that we can invite Jesus’ power and presence into our situations and into the wounds and hurts of those we love. Please hear our personal prayers, today, for those who need healing and deliverance. We pray for them in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, and our Lord. Amen.
“After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: ‘My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.’”
Don’t accept everything said by others until you are confident it is the will of God for you!
In this passage, God is rebuking several of Job’s friends for the counsel and advice they gave him. Job’s friends loved him and cared about him, and they spoke very confidently about what God was saying to Job. But they were wrong. Their message didn’t really come from God.
When you are seeking God’s will and someone says that God has given them a message for you, don’t reject it and don’t accept it. Rather, open your heart to God and let him know you are listening if he wants to speak to you through this person. Then weigh what they are saying to you against the word of God. God will NEVER contradict his word.
You should also seek the counsel of other godly people. But above all, ask the Lord to give you a conviction in your own heart about his will for you. Listen for his voice above all others. Even though a number of Job’s friends all agreed, they still were not giving God’s message to him.
For the iPhone app and more from John North and Ambassadors For Christ International, click here.
Teach me, LORD, to follow your decrees, and I will keep them to the end. Psalm 119: 33
It would be nice if the power of temptation diminished as we get older, but there are no guarantees with age. King David was fifty years old when he fell into sin with Bathsheba, and at that time fifty years was much longer than now, since the life expectancy was shorter. The hot blood of youth no longer ran through David’s veins, but he still fell into sin.
Middle age and old age have their own set of temptations, and we must never let our guard down. It is true that we should grow in intelligence and strength as we age. We should grow in grace. But don’t think that you will ever be immune from temptation in this life, no matter your age.
J. Oswald Sanders writes: “Nothing is easier for the person who is getting older and older and experiencing some depression as a result than to become self-absorbed and care only for himself. That mental attitude only compounds the problem. It is when we purposefully reject our own pain, our pain, and keep ourselves busy helping others, that we will gain our own relief.