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March 22

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‘And they were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today!”’ (Luke 5:26 NKJV).

From: March 22, 2020

HAVE YOU SEEN STRANGE THINGS TODAY?

When some men brought a paralyzed man to see Jesus in hopes of having him healed, they couldn’t enter the house because of the crowds. So they opened a hole in the roof and lowered him in on his bed. Seeing such faith, Jesus declared the man’s sins forgiven. The religious leaders present questioned this, reasoning among themselves that only God could forgive sin. Jesus knowing their thoughts asked which was more difficult, forgiving sins or to have the man rise up and walk? And without waiting for their response, he turned to the man and said, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” And the man did just that! He arose, rolled up his bed, and began walking home, shouting praises to God all along the way!
 
Notice how all the people responded: Amazement, glorifying God, filled with fear and they went around telling others that they had “seen strange things today!” Surely it isn’t everyday that you see what they had seen that day. People so desperate as to cut a hole in the roof of someone else’s house. Yet so hopeful as to carry their paralyzed friend on his bed and lower him down before Jesus. How strange! Even more strange was that this Jesus declared his sins forgiven and healed him!
 
The word translated, “strange,” is paradoxos in the Greek. It might also be rendered, “unexpected, uncommon, incredible, or wonderful.” We get the English word, “paradox” from it, which the dictionary defines as “a situation, person, or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities.”
 
Certainly, the word “strange” was fitting to describe the events of that day. I wonder might it fit the events in our world on this day? Haven’t we seen strange, contradictory things of late? Has it caused us to look to God in amazement? Are we moved to glorify God and fear Him only?
 
While everyone, everywhere is talking about the strange things in our world. Can we be the ones who talk about the One who can forgive sin and raise up the paralyzed to walk?
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, we are living in strange times. Everyone is talking about the virus that plagues our world. People are filled with fear. Yet we don’t worry about these strange things. We are the ones who know the One who has overcome sin, death and the grave. We are followers of Your Son, Jesus. Empower us to speak of Him during these strange times. In Jesus’ name, amen.

OYB Devotion March 22. You can follow my written OYB devotion posts at https://www.garycombs.org

Posted by Gary Combs on Sunday, March 22, 2020

“Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all” (Psalm 65:3 NLT).

From: March 22, 2019

HOW MANY OF YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN?

When we confess Jesus as Lord and believe in our hearts that he died for sins, was buried and raised from the dead, we are saved. In that very moment, we have been saved from sin’s penalty (justification), we are being saved from sin’s power (sanctification), and we will be saved from sin’s presence (glorification).
 
So, when we receive Christ’s payment for our sins, how many of our sins are forgiven? Past ones? Present? What about tomorrow? The answer: In Christ, God forgives “them all.” For this, the apostle Paul exulted, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).
 
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, we thank you for your provision for our sins in Christ. He is the perfect atonement, covering all our sin, so that we are made holy in your sight. We are no longer slaves to sin, but we are your servants of righteousness. We praise you for your love and mercy. In Jesus’ name, amen.

‘”So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”’ (Luke 5:24 NLT).

From: March 22, 2018

CHRIST’S MIRACLES ARE PROOFS OF HIS DIVINITY
The Pharisees were upset by Jesus telling a paralyzed man that his sins were forgiven. They said to themselves that he had committed blasphemy because only God had the authority to forgive sins. Jesus knew their thoughts, so he asked them which is easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? Then, without pause, he commanded the paralyzed man to stand up and walk. He said that this miracle should “prove” his authority as the “Son of Man” (A Messianic title).
 
Jesus offered many “proofs” of His divinity. That’s why the apostle John called Christ’s miracles, “signs” in his gospel. Sign’s don’t point to themselves. They identify the place, person or thing. Jesus’ miracles were signs pointing to His identity as the Messiah, both Son of Man and Son of God. They were proofs that He had the authority of God because He is God.

“Therefore do not defile the land which you inhabit, in the midst of which I dwell; for I the Lord dwell among the children of Israel” (Numbers 35:34 NKJV).

From: March 22, 2017

What would “defile the land?”
 
The blood of unatoned murder is a defilement of any land. Not just the murder itself, but the murder that isn’t justly punished. As the Lord told Cain after he murdered his brother, “Your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground” (Gen. 4:10).
 
The Lord gave authority to human government to both limit and punish sin. As the apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, The ruler “does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.” The Lord will not long dwell with a nation that does not execute justice.

“And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him.” (Luke 5:13 ESV)

From: March 22, 2016

A man “full of leprosy” fell on his face before Jesus saying, “Lord if you are will, you can make me clean.” And the Lord, who could’ve healed from afar, came near and touched the man who was leprous all over and said, “I will, be clean.” Jesus was not only willing to heal the leper, he was willing to touch him. The first action demonstrated divine power, the second divine love. Certainly, we rejoice in Christ’s healing and forgiving power that saves us. Yet, that Jesus is willing to touch us, calling us his own, moves us to even greater thankfulness and joy. He is not only Physician, but Friend!

“So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed” (Luke 5:16 NKJV)

From: March 22, 2015

The more that crowds gathered around Jesus, the more often He “withdrew” to pray. Jesus modeled an important rhythm between doing ministry and personal devotion. We recognize the need for food and rest for our physical bodies after exerting work, but we often overlook the need for our souls to be replenished after doing ministry. Do you ever withdraw to pray?

“Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all” (Psalm 65:3 NLT)

From: March 22, 2014

When we confess Jesus as Lord and believe in our hearts that he died for sins, was buried and raised from the dead, we are saved. In that very moment, we have been saved from sin’s penalty (justification), we are being saved from sin’s power (sanctification), and we will be saved from sin’s presence (glorification). So, when we receive Christ’s payment for our sins, how many of our sins are forgiven? Past ones? Present? What about tomorrow? The answer: In Christ, God forgives “them all.” For this, the apostle Paul exulted, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).

“But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray” (Luke 5:16 ESV)

From: March 22, 2013

The more that crowds gathered around Jesus, the more often He would “withdraw” to pray. Jesus modeled an important rhythm between doing ministry and personal devotion. We recognize the need for food and rest for our physical bodies after exerting work, but we often overlook the need for our souls to be replenished after doing ministry. Do you ever withdraw to pray?

“All of us must come to you. Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all” (Psalm 65:2-3)

From: March 22, 2012

Is there a repetitive sin area that plagues your life? Or a sin that you have trouble receiving forgiveness for? Come to Jesus. Don’t let sin overwhelm you. He has paid for them all. Why should you carry a debt that He has paid? Come, experience true forgiveness. Come and be set free!

“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16)

From: March 22, 2011

Following Jesus we learn His rhythm of working out of rest. Lord, teach us to work out of a place that is fully secure and at rest in You. Not striving, thriving.