Friday, August 5, 2011

Daily Light - August 5, 2011

Daily Light from the Lighthouse

"And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him..."
Matthew 10:1

We love to use words like elite and special. There is a sound of importance and superiority in such words. These twelve disciples held such distinction. They were as set apart of a group as could be. At one point they even let it get to their head a little and began to argue about which would be the greatest in the kingdom. A quick study of their lives reveals that they all had their own issues. We all of course know "doubting" Thomas. What about "speak first think later" Peter? Philip struggled because he had trouble rationalizing all that Jesus taught. Then, there is famously Judas, which Jesus Himself said was full of the devil.
For some reason, when we read about the failings of these men, we become encouraged. They weren't perfect, far from it. They were just like us, and they had been chosen by God to do a special task in spite of all their failings. There is probably no greater picture of grace and mercy than when God chooses to use the weak to lead the strong. The elite in the kingdom of God are only that by the sovereign choice of the Most High God.
God extends a call upon each of our lives. That call is different for each individual, but it does not mean that it is any less important. His desire is to use us for His glory so that His grace might be continually on public display. He enters into the world of our frailty, ignorance, pride, and foolishness and calls us out to Himself. He has a work for each of us to do. He called the disciples to do a work but not without three things.
If you study the chapter in its entirety, Jesus first handed them their marching orders (5-14). They were to walk into this world by the power of His name and proclaim the Word of the Lord. That call has not changed in the 2,000 years since. We have received from Christ the command to go make disciples. Second, Jesus gave the disciples a word of warning (16-26). This task that they had embarked on would cause them to be hated by the world. Persecution would most definitely come, because so many were opposed to their message. Even today there are many that despise the truth of the Word. If you stand for Christ, you will be described as a bigot and narrow-minded, but these insults or persecutions will not change the power of the message. Finally, Jesus instructed them about the seriousness of the task (27-42). This was no game. They were not proclaiming the gospel of social favor. The stakes that lie before them were as serious as Heaven and hell. How serious minded we must also be about the task that we have been given! As one of God's chosen people, you have been called to the elite forces of spiritual warfare. Enter it boldly with the banner of Christ always before you.
May you go out into a needy world today!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Daily Light - August 2, 2011

Daily Light from the Lighthouse

"For which is easier to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Arise and walk'?"
Matthew 9:5

Matthew 9 is like the who's who of healing stories. Numerous miracles just pour from the words of this rich chapter. A man with paralysis is completely healed and walks away with his bed under his arms. The tragic story of a little girl that had died was transformed to a story of triumph as Jesus brought her back to life. A woman who had felt the pain of illness along with the contempt from those around her was wholly restored when she touched only the hem of Jesus' garment. Two men who could not see anything but darkness were healed and looked upon the Light of Jesus Christ. Another man had lost his ability to speak and was controlled by the demonic forces of hell was released from his spiritual bondage and for the first time spoke aloud praise to the Almighty. The chapter ends with scores of people being changed by the miracle working power of God.
Do you believe in miracles? Do you believe that God is able to change all things according to His will so that He might receive the glory that is due Him? Perhaps you think that God doesn't work this way any more. God does miracles from time to time, but He chooses to simply let things be as they would. It is this very mindset that has caused much of Christianity to miss out on two things.
First, many are missing out on the miracle that they need to see God do today. Faith has been sacrificed on the altar of rationalization. We have determined that what we cannot explain or fathom is impossible. There are many that believe the miracles recorded throughout the Bible which are astounding, but they cannot believe that God could do or would do the miracle that they need in their lives right now. Why? Has God changed in who He is or how He works? The God of the Bible is the God whom we worship today, and His power and compassion have not diminished at all. The prayer of our hearts should match that of the disciples when they said, "Lord, increase our faith."
Second, the greatest miracle that is ever performed is when a life is transformed by the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Lame legs that are given strength are nothing compared to the soul that was lost and is now found. The miracle of blind eyes seeing the light of day is small compared to the heart that was blind but now looking upon the Light of Christ. A little girl being raised up from her death bed is astounding, but it cannot hold a candle to the miracle of a soul that was once dead experiencing new life through the breath of the Holy Spirit. Our God is a miracle working God that is able to transform not only the broken physical things of this world but especially the spiritual things that need His touch.
May you experience a miracle of God today!