#316, 21st February 2017
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Hi, Friend,

When Jesus was Amazed!

In our last newsletter I discussed the early ministry of Jesus in Matthew's gospel, then jumped over the Sermon on the Mount to chapter 8, and "Lessons from the Great Physician." The first of those lessons was based on the healing of the leper and the need to establish the will of God.

When Jesus finished the Sermon on the Mount, it is recorded that "the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes" (Matthew 7:28-29). In this church age, how desperately we need preachers and teachers who speak with authority from God's Word. Fifteen minutes of wishy-washy words of encouragement are not going to impact the world in this post-christian era.

An angel told Peter and John to "Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life" (Acts 5:20). Paul wrote to Timothy, a young preacher: "Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching" (II Timothy 4:2).

In Matthew 8:5-13, when Jesus entered Capernaum, we have the record of the healing of a Roman centurion's servant. Let's look at it carefully and discover the second lesson from the Great Physician. "When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, 'Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.' And he said to him, 'I will come and heal him.'" (Matthew 8:5-7).

The corresponding record in Luke says the servant was sick and at the point of death, and was highly valued by the centurion (Luke 7:2). The centurion's request was not on behalf of a soldier under his command, but for a servant, a slave, one who had no rights, yet his master was filled with compassion for him in his pain.

The fact that the centurion came to Jesus showed that he had some belief in this miracle-worker who was meeting the needs of great crowds of people in Galilee. Note that as with the leper at the start of the chapter, there was no hesitation in the Lord's reply: "I will come and heal him." Jesus didn't ask permission from the rabbi of the Capernaum synagogue, he didn't ask for any details from the centurion, he simply spoke those powerful words, "I'll come and heal him." -- Peter Wade [Continue reading online.]
In Christ: A New Creation

Miracles and the New Creation
Chapter 4 of our book, In Christ: A New Creation, says: "Miracles are just part of the normal pattern of life for New Creation people. Since God has proved Himself to be a miracle-working God and since we have His nature within us, then it is no surprise to discover from the Bible that miracles are a manifestation of God's spirit in the believer." This powerful 48-page book is just loaded with truth.
     Get your copy from our online bookstore today! (Different cover in Australia; same great truths.)

RECALL: I'll take my chances!

It is only a repeat if you didn't read it the first time! Here is an extract from one of our early newsletters or blog:

I was thinking this week of my third pastorate, a "church plant," and I was the first pastor to be called to the church. In the first or second week, I received a call from the "mother church" pastor to say that there was a person associated with my church in hospital who needed a visit and he also had a person in the same hospital to visit, so we agreed to go together. The man I prayed for died and the man he ministered healing to lived!

Shortly afterwards, when this other pastor was confined in bed with the flu, I called him and asked whether he wanted me to come and pray for him, but he said, "No, I'll take my chances!" And he never let me forget that hospital incident. I was blessed to be able to spend a few hours with him before he passed away last year.

Did that stop me praying for the sick? No, because I realized early in my ministry that I wasn't God. My commission was to pray for the sick and "having done all, to stand." Some healings are instantaneous and some are slower (like the ten lepers, and the blind man who saw people as trees walking, and the use of the word "recover" in Mark 16:18), but their healings were still sure. God will heal you of all your sicknesses except the last one, otherwise how will He ever get you to heaven? Today we have names for every condition and it seems you can't just wear out or die peacefully in your sleep anymore; its heart failure!

What do you do while you are hanging on to the end of the rope? You go over in your mind all the scriptures that relate to your situation, you rehearse and speak out what God has said. "He has said... so that we may boldly say" (Hebrews 13:5-6). You might be inclined to try and get a thousand people praying for your need, in the vain hope of changing the mind of God. However, God's mind has already been made up and He's told us in the Word what He thinks about your situation. We are told that our sufficiency (Christ in us) comes from God (II Corinthians 3:5), and in Philippians 4:11 to live independent of circumstances. -- Peter Wade.

The "Joys" of Pastoring

Mrs Huff is up the miff tree On a seat fixed good and firm,
And she'd like to tell the pastor A few things, and make him squirm!
Mrs Huff was sick abed, sir, Yes sir, sick abed a week;
And the pastor didn't call, sir, Never even took a peek.

Wasn't that enough, enough sir To provoke a saint to wrath,
And to make a Christian pilgrim Wander from the churchly path?
When I asked her if the doctor Called to see her, she said, "Sure";
And she looked as if she thought I Needed some good strong mind cure.

Then I asked her how the doctor knew That sickness laid her low,
And she said that she had called him On the phone and told him so.
So the doctor called to see her, But the pastor didn't go,
For the doctor knew that she was ill, sir But the pastor didn't know.

Now the doctor gets his bills paid With a nicely written check,
But the pastor, for not knowing, Simply "gets it in the neck!"
-- A.Q. Bailey
If you didn't open our previous newsletter on
"Lessons from the Great Physician" [#315],
just click here to open it in your browser.
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