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January 13

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“Then Jesus went to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness” (Matthew 9:35 HCSB).

From: January 13, 2021

CHRIST’S EARTHLY MINISTRY AND OURS

The apostle Matthew described the earthly ministry of Jesus as having three important aspects. They were teaching, preaching and healing the sick. These three aspects of Christ’s earthly should also be ours as members of Christ’s body, which is the Church.
Teaching. Jesus had a teaching ministry. This ministry was primarily with the Twelve, but Jesus also taught everywhere He went. His teaching ministry was marked by both answering and asking questions, telling stories and parables, and often explaining passages of Scripture. In the Great Commission, Christ commanded His followers to make disciples, baptizing them and “teaching them” (See Matt. 28:19-20).
Preaching. Jesus preached the good news. This is different from teaching in that it is less interactive and is more about announcing and proclaiming, than explaining. Good preaching will include explanation, but its practice and purpose is different than teaching. Jesus taught for understanding, but He preached for faith. Christ has commanded His Church to preach, saying: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15).
Healing. Everywhere Jesus went, He healed people. He gave sight to the blind, made the lame to walk, healed the leper and even raised the dead. This ministry should also be an important aspect of the Church’s ministry today. As the apostle James wrote, “Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray over him after anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will restore him to health” (James 5:14-15).
 
The most important aspect of Christ’s ministry was dying for our sins and being raised for our justification (Rom. 4:25). All His teaching, preaching and healing pointed to this ultimate act of love. Jesus has ascended to the Father, but His Church is still here. And we are called to teach, preach and heal in Jesus’ name.
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You for Jesus. He is our Lord and Savior, but also our example. For He shows us how He wants us to live teaching, preaching, and healing others in His name. Strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit to be the Church that ministers as Jesus did. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest’” (Matthew 9:37-38 NKJV).

From: January 13, 2020

Will you answer the prayer to be a gospel laborer?

Jesus told His disciples that multitudes of people were ready to be led into the Kingdom, but there weren’t enough workers to lead them. He instructed them to pray to the Lord that more workers would answer the call. I have prayed this prayer continuously for years. Since planting our church 28 years ago, we have always seen the need outweigh the help. God has trusted us with multitudes of people who need to hear the gospel and be discipled. Yet, the task is often overwhelming. Many cry for help, but few answer the call to be helpers. We still pray this prayer today, that God would send workers to help with the harvest in this generation. We always begin this prayer with, “Lord, send me.”

PRAYER: Father, we pray to You as the Lord of the harvest, send out laborers who will bring in the harvest of souls to Your Kingdom. Lord we not only pray for more laborers, we also say, send us. We want to be busy sowing gospel seeds and making disciples. Strengthen our hands for this good work. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36 NLT).

From: January 13, 2019

SEEING THROUGH GOD’S EYES

When Jesus looks at us, what does He see? He sees a world of people who are “confused and helpless.” What is His response? He has “compassion” for us because we are “like sheep without a shepherd.”
 
Do you see what Jesus sees? Have you ever asked the Lord to let you see through His eyes? When we see others as Christ does, we see their confusion, we see their helplessness. We see their lostness. Seeing through the Lord’s eyes, His Spirit fills us with compassion for them. But we have to really look. Not just with a passing glance. We have to look closely with spiritual eyes. For they need someone to introduce them to the Shepherd.
 
PRAYER: O Lord, we are often afraid to really look at others because we don’t want the headache. We’re afraid they’ll ask us for something. We don’t want to get out of our comfort zone. Yet, You want us to see others as You do. And to see them with love and compassion. Help us Lord. We want to see others through Your eyes today. In Jesus name, Amen.

“And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants” (Genesis 28:14 NLT).

From: January 13, 2018

On Jacob’s trip to Haran to find a wife, he had a vision from the Lord. As he slept on the ground with a rock for a pillow, he dreamt of a stairway between heaven and earth. At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, who told him that “all the families of the earth” would be blessed through his family. This was a confirmation of God’s covenant with Jacob’s grandfather, Abraham, to whom God had promised the same (See Gen. 12:3).
 
Has God kept His covenant promise to bless all the families of the earth through Jacob’s descendants? Yes! First of all, God has blessed the world with the gift of the Bible, which was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit almost entirely by Jacob’s descendants. And most importantly, God has blessed the world with the gift of Jesus, who is a descendant of Jacob and the Son of God.
 
Jacob saw a stairway, a ladder, between heaven and earth. In chapter 11 of Genesis, mankind tried to reach God through their own effort by building the tower of Babel, but failed. Yet, Jacob saw a ladder from heaven that reached all the way to earth. Isn’t that ladder Jesus? What man couldn’t do, God did by sending Jesus. “For, there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5). Jesus is the Promised descendant, God’s greatest blessing to all the families of the earth!

“But when they departed, they spread the news about Him in all that country” (Matthew 9:31 NKJV).

From: January 13, 2017

When Jesus healed two blind men, he instructed them not to tell anyone. Why He forbade them is not explained, for certainly He later commands His followers to go into all the world preaching the gospel (Mark 16:15). Perhaps He did not want the fame of His miracles to obscure His message. Or perhaps He didn’t want the news to limit His ability to move about freely until the appointed day of His crucifixion. Regardless, the men went throughout the country sharing the news of how Jesus had restored their sight, in spite of His warning. Isn’t it ironic that these men couldn’t be stopped from sharing what Christ had done for them, while many believers today cannot be urged to obey Christ’s clear command to witness.

“And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven” (Genesis 28:12 ESV)

From: January 13, 2016

Jacob, sleeping on a rock for a pillow, dreamt of a ladder that connected heaven and earth. He heard God promise that his offspring would fill the earth and that through them all peoples would be blessed. He awoke and named the place “Bethel,” which is Hebrew for “House of God” (“beth” house + “el” god). I’m sure he meditated on this vision for the rest of his life. I wonder, did he foresee that God’s Son would be born into the line of his son, Judah? Did he understand that God would send Jesus as the Ladder of Love to open the way to heaven for those who would believe?

“Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest’” (Matthew 9:37-38 NKJV)

From: January 13, 2015

Jesus told His disciples that multitudes of people were ready to be led into the Kingdom, but there weren’t enough workers to lead them. He instructed them to pray to the Lord that more workers would answer the call. I have prayed this prayer continuously for years. Since planting our church 23 years ago, we have always seen the need outweigh the help. God has trusted us with multitudes of people who need to hear the gospel and be discipled. Yet, the task is often overwhelming. Many cry for help, but few answer the call to be helpers. We still pray this prayer today, that God would send workers to help with the harvest in this generation. We always begin this prayer with, “Lord, send me.”

“The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields” (Matthew 9:37-38)

From: January 13, 2014

The harvest represents those who are receptive to the gospel seed. The workers are those who would plant and water the gospel. Jesus looked at the world with spiritual eyes and saw open hearts and a people without a shepherd. There are people today in our city and around the world that are open to the gospel. Who will work in these fields? I’m praying for more workers who will carry the gospel to our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and around the world (Acts 1:8).

“And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!” (Genesis 28:12)

From: January 13, 2013

Jacob, sleeping on a rock for a pillow, dreamt of a ladder that connected heaven and earth. He heard God promise that his offspring would fill the earth and that through them all peoples would be blessed. He awoke and named the place “Bethel” (“beth” house + “el” god). I’m sure he meditated on this vision for the rest of his life. I wonder, did he foresee that God’s Son would be born into the line of his son, Judah? Did he understand that God would send Jesus as the Ladder of Love to open the way to heaven for those who would believe?

“So Isaac called for Jacob, blessed him, and said, ‘You must not marry any of these Canaanite women'” (Genesis 28:1)

From: January 13, 2012

There is a spiritual principle here for singles. Don’t be unequally yoked (2 Cor. 6:14). This includes dating. Why tempt your heart? Put a person’s spiritual condition at the top of your “What I’m looking for in a mate” list!