Thursday, December 31, 2015

A New Year Standing on the Promises of Jesus

Caleb, was about 8 years old when he had an unfortunate accident in his PE class. The PE teacher set up "buddy" relay races. Caleb took off like a shot gun, just like any competitive boy would to show his 8 year old lightning speed. On the opposite end of the court, the opponent bolted from his line. Both boys barreling down the court, heads up, arms thrusting ,and eyes closed giving every effort to beat the other in a battle for victory.... then WHAM!! A head on collision!!

The opponent gets up and stumbles back to see the damage while Caleb lies on the floor. Caleb attempts to move, but then quickly determines that standing would not be possible. He yells at the PE teacher standing at the other end of the court, "Dad!! I think my leg is broken!" (Yes, his dad was the PE teacher, so there was no need for a parent teacher conference.... that occurred later at home.)

As dad hurries over to see his boy lying on the floor, he says "Oh you will be okay, just get up and shake iiiittt ooofff." As the tone of his sentences trails off, it is apparent that once he looked down at the leg, it was not at a natural position. About 3 inches above the right knee the femur had snapped in two. The top part of the leg was lying naturally to the right, from the knee down...awkwardly to the left.

It was hard for both mom and dad to see their little 8 year old son in that condition. He was a trooper though. He never screamed or cried, but you could tell he was in a lot of pain. Having to watch him endure that and then go through surgery was incredibly hard as a parent. I can't even imagine what other parents go through when their children have more severe situations and cases.

I was reminded of this story as I was reading in John 4. I came across a familiar story about an official of king Herod whose son was close to death, and as any parent would be, very anxious to get him help. Like any parent with children, we will do anything to help our children and get them the help they need.
"And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death." John 4:46-47
There was some distance between Cana in Galilee and the official's son who was sick in Capernum. I can imagine the sense of urgency the official must have been under to find Jesus and travel back to Capernum. The man heard about Jesus and knew that if only he could get Jesus to go to his son, he would be healed just like the rest.

I'm sure there was some begging from the man for Jesus to go with him. He probably wouldn't accept the word "no", but Jesus does not go with the man to heal his son.
"Unless you people see signs and wonders," Jesus told him, "you will never believe." John 4:48
Stand on the Promises
Jesus rebukes, not the man's faith but the Galilian people basically saying that unless they see signs and wonders, they would not believe in him. That seems to apply today as well. People just don't believe or see the wonders of Jesus and so don't believe.

The man continues to beg and refuses to be denied. He is persistent.
"The royal official said, "Sir, come down before my child dies. John 4:49
"Go," Jesus replied, "your son will live." The man took Jesus as his word and departed. John 4:50
The man's faith in the word of Jesus healed his son. Instead of continuing to pester Jesus to come with him, he chose to believe the spoken word of Jesus. He left to head back to Capernum.
"While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living." John 4:51
After the initial shock from hearing the news from his servants, he asked them what time his son got better.
"When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him." John 4:52
After hearing this, the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said "Your son will live." So he and his whole household believed. (John 4:53)

We can stand on the word and promises of Jesus! This story in John is a testimony to the faith of a royal official who, in any normal circumstance would likely be indifferent to Jesus, but he heard of Jesus and believed in Him. He trusted in Jesus spoken word and had faith that Jesus would fulfill his promise. When the man saw Jesus promise fulfilled, he and his whole family believed.
Stand on the Promises

This story reminded me that we need to spend time with Jesus through studying His word to know His promises. We all come across times in our lives that cause us to struggle, where we need help, endurance, and perseverance to get through. If we know the spoken word and promises of Jesus, we can stand stronger in our faith and be the light of Christ so that others believe. As believer's in Christ, we are son's and daughters of the King. Just like any parent, He will be there for us. He will protect us with His promises.

This New Year's I challenge all of us to spend time in the Bible. On Heart Java, there are a few options for us to read and meditate on the Word of God. Check out the Bible Reading Plans Page for options for beginning a reading plan.

If you need a more focused study, check out the 30 Days with Jesus Reading Plan. Another option is to strengthen our prayer lives by completing the 30 Day Prayer Challenge by Southern Melle. I will be starting this plan January 1 in order to grow in a more focused prayer life with Jesus.

The most important thing for us is to spend time daily in the Word. Not in a legalistic way, but as a way to spend time with God, learn how to live more like Christ and to be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. When we read the Word, meditate on it and spend time in prayer, we allow God into our hearts to mold and shape us into the people He wants us to be - standing strong on the promises of God!

Happy New Year!
"May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance." 2 Thessalonians 3:5

2 comments :

  1. Yes, I too, want to stand on His promises. I loved your story about Caleb. Poor little guy. Poor parents! But God used it to teach you all. Praise Him.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Amy! Yes He did and praise the Lord Caleb still grew up strong and knows Jesus! That is the most important thing!

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