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Devotional Week 38 Monday
Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, ‘that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.’”
Matthew 6: 28, 29
“It has taken long for me to learn
The simple lessons that the Master taught:
To consider the lilies as their petals burn
Among the wayside grasses, to take no thought
Of a tomorrow that may never bring
Some direful, long-anticipated thing;
To mark the sparrows on a sandy stem
Lashing and dipping in a day of storm,
And to remember that He cares for them,
And shelters them and keeps them from all harm;
And that I am more valuable than they
To Him who walks beside me day by day.”
Grace Noll Crowell
“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.”
Matthew 10: 29-31
“’Let not your heart be troubled…’ –
these His words should have been learned and heeded long ago.
I should have lived lighthearted as the birds;
I should have marked the lilies – Ah, too slow
Has been my heart in learning how to live.
Dear God, You tried to teach me. Please forgive.”
Grace Noll Crowell
“Let not your heart be troubled…I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
John 14: 1, 3
Today’s Study Text:
“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”
Matthew 4: 23,
“A ‘Whole’ Lot of Love”
“Whole” - 1) containing all components; 2) not divided or disjoined; 3) sound and healthy; 4) constituting the full amount; 5) a complete entity.
Like the paralyzed man, whom Jesus healed, do I have a place in my life where I need Jesus’ healing touch?
“And when the Pharises saw it, they said unto his disciples, ‘Why eatest your Master with publicans and sinners?’ But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, ‘They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.”
Matthew 9: 11, 12
King James Version
“To love a person, means to see him (her) as God intended him (her) to be.”
When I was in training as a Family Nurse Practitioner, one of our physician instructors was a specialist in emotional causes of illness.
He related an experience he had with a patient who was brought to the local emergency room complaining of severe chest pain. From all external signs, the man appeared to be in crisis. His skin was clammy and cold. His respirations and pulse rate were highly elevated. And the pain in his chest was so severe he was having difficulty getting his breath.
The physician took immediate action to order necessary medical tests thinking they would confirm his visual diagnosis. However, tests that would usually be elevated when a person was having an acute heart attack came back at normal levels.
On further exploration, as the physician sat down and discussed the situation with his patient the man in distress confided that one year earlier, his own father had a heart attack and passed away. The emotional effects of this event were so traumatic – that a year later, this man thought he was experiencing the same problem that had taken the life of his father.
As our instructor so vividly explained to us, “Never underestimate the physical symptoms caused by emotional pain.”
In our study of the life of the paralyzed man, we have found it was Jesus’ love which drew him into the circle of Jesus’ presence. But, getting to Jesus’ side was the result of a group of friends, who cared for him enough, to put themselves out and take him to Jesus.
Once in the presence of Jesus, this man not only received the gift of God’s grace but he was also given unconditional forgiveness for his sins. In fact, the first thing Jesus told the man was, “Your sins are forgiven.” Jesus wanted the man’s emotional pain to be healed first so that when He healed the man physically, he would be free to enjoy the “new life” God had planned for him. And this is exactly what happened. For the man left “glorifying God.”
Isn’t it wonderful to know Jesus understands our emotional pain as well as He does our physical pain? He is willing to lay His healing hands on what breaks our hearts as well as what breaks our bones.
I love this quote from Helmut Thielicke which serves to illuminate the expansive healing love of Jesus – the “wholeness” of His healing:
“When Jesus loved a guilt-laden person and helped him, he saw in him an erring child of God. He saw in him a human being whom his Father loved and grieved over because he was going wrong. He saw him as God originally designed and meant him to be, and therefore he saw through the surface layer of grime and dirt to the real man underneath. Jesus did not identify the person with his sin, but rather saw in this sin something alien, something that really did not belong to him, something that merely chained and mastered him and from which he would free him and bring him back to his real self. Jesus was able to love men because he loved them right through the layer of mud.”
May the love of Jesus encompass you today – bringing wholeness to your emotional pain and physical hurts.
“In the deserts of the heart let the healing fountain start.”
W. H. Auden
“But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. So he said to the paralyzed man, ‘I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.’ Immediately, he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. They were filled with awe and said, ‘We have seen remarkable things today.’” May we too, see remarkable things as Christ heals our lives.
Luke 5: 24-26
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
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