Reflections #22: The Faith of Miracles

Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.’ Mark 2:3-5

The healing of the paralytic man is an incredible story. Jesus is in Capernaum, where so many healings happened. Not coincidentally, the people in this region had a strong faith. That realization made me stop and ask myself this question:

What is God wanting to do in my life, but He is waiting on my faith to grow up and catch up?

Perhaps you’ve wondered this same thing. Finish listening to this 5-minute meditation by clicking on the arrow below, or subscribe to our podcast on iTunes. If you like it, we’d appreciate if you’d leave us a review.

Thanks for listening. May your soul’s meditation be fuel for Spirit-led actions today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church with Guest William Stark

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The simple act of living out their Christian faith is dangerous for so many Christians around the world. Because of extremism, many are part of underground churches that worship in secret. Other have no community support at all and worship on their own.

Let’s consider some facts on persecution. According to Open Doors, every month around the world the following occurs:

  • 322 Christians are killed for their faith
  • 214 churches and Christian properties are destroyed
  • 772 forms of violence are committed against Christians (this includes beatings, abductions, rapes, arrests, and forced marriages)

According to the Pew Research Center, among the world’s 25 most populous countries, these five countries have the highest religious restrictions: Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia, and Turkey.

2016 International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

This Sunday, November 6, 2016, is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Please take some time to pray for those who are suffering for their faith. I have listed resources here that will help you to pray in an informed way. These resources also highlight other ways you can help if you desire. For example, through VOM I have purchased Action Packs and filled them with blankets, clothing, etc. for displaced Christians. You’ll find numerous opportunities to make a difference. But remember, we need to start with prayer, as that is the most powerful way to affect change.

Update to 2013 Podcast

In 2013 I interviewed Todd Daniels from International Christian Concern. This year Only By Prayer welcomes William Stark From ICC as he gives us an important update on what we can learn from the persecuted church and how we can support them. Listen below or you can also subscribe on iTunes.

Resources for the Persecuted Church

There are other organizations as well. These will get your started as you seek to become informed and to help. Thank you for supporting our brothers and sisters in Christ, and feel free to post your prayers in the comment section.

Pray on!




To Do-ers List: Walk by Faith

To doers

Day 4

To Do-ers List: Walk by Faith

For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.
2 Corinthians 5: 7-9
It was a harrowing time when my sons were learning to walk. My oldest was determined from the beginning to stand on his own two chunky feet. Staggering from chair to couch to table, he’d continue to lurch and reel until he’d tumble to the ground. Bruised-yes. Vanquished-no. The process continued, day after day, bump after bump, until one day, at the age of nine months Erik could walk.
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Learning to walk by faith is also a process.

We stumble.

We stagger.

We fall. Bumped, bruised, and hurt-yes. Vanquished-no. We are not beaten because we fall; we are only beaten if we refuse to rise. We get up and try again. We learn to walk by faith.

What does a walk of faith look like?

A walk of faith looks like a series of good decisions based on the truth of God’s Word.

  • A friend invites you to a party. You know your parents would not approve. You also know they will never find out. You say no. You walk by faith. “Children, honor your parents.”
  • Your co-workers are chewing up a colleague no one likes (for good reason) at the lunch table. You change the subject. You walk by faith.Let no unwholesome talk proceed out of your mouth.”
  • Your husband has asked you to make a pie for tomorrow’s work picnic after he has just delivered a five-point lecture on how to park the car. The nerve of him. You make the pie. You walk by faith.Repay evil with good.”
  • Your sister/spouse/boss/mother-in-law snaps at you during a conversation. You choose (it takes all your strength) to answer with respect. You walk by faith.Repay no one evil for evil.”
  • You KNOW God has called you to serve in the new ministry at church. It doesn’t make sense – everyone says so. Some say you aren’t qualified, skilled, or educated enough to do it. God calls you anyway. You say yes. You walk by faith. “Be on your guard before Him and obey His voice.”

Walking by faith is usually scary, uncomfortable, and involves stepping out of the usual. But I have to tell you, I have never regretted a single step of faith. How do we avoid walking by sight? By keeping our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.

What is the outcome of walking by faith?Walk Day 4

Our faith grows.

The faith of others grows.

Our lives produce fruit.

We are entrusted with greater work.

The greatest benefit of walking by faith is listed in verse 9 … we please our Father.

For Today:

Make decisions based on faith; not fear, not feelings, not the usual. When faced with a decision today ask yourself, What would a faithful person do? And do it.

Use the To-Doers List Study Guide or a journaling app to plan and journal  your day.

For ideas on how to walk by faith, please check the resources below.

Please take a moment to pray and ask God for His strength to walk by faith. Don’t forget to leave a comment in the comment section below. Have a blessed day!

Missed a day? Don’t worry. Just click on the links below!

To Do-ers List, Day 1: Love God

To Do-ers List, Day 2: Love Others

To Do-ers List, Day 3: Pray ’bout Everything

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by Mary Kane

Copyright 2015

all rights reserved

 

 




Take 5! Fear and Faith

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 Take 5!

Fear and Faith

Please Take 5! minutes and go before God in prayer. Confess to Him any sin and ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit. Please read John 20:18-22.

18 Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message. 19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

Prior to this portion of Scripture, Jesus had just risen from the dead. Early resurrection morning, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb to be with her Lord. Finding the tomb empty, Mary stood outside the tomb and wept. Suddenly, Jesus appeared to Mary and spoke to her.

What did Jesus tell Mary to do?

 

He sent her on her first missionary journey—to tell the disciples He had risen! Jesus gives us the same instructions—tell others we have seen the Lord and He has spoken great things to us.

Name something God has spoken to your heart.

 

Later that day, the disciples gathered together (because of fear and because of faith), perhaps to pray and to discuss the earthshaking, stone-rolling events that had recently occurred.

Read verse 19 and record the word used to describe the doors.

 

Why were the doors locked?

 

They were locked because of fear. All the disciples were gathered in one small room. Locked in. Locked down.

Fear locks us in and prevents us from fulfilling God’s calling on our lives. Fear kills joy. Fear steals purpose. Fear destroys ministry. Kills … steals … destroys. Satan’s calling card. But suddenly—Jesus appears. He meets us in the middle of our fear … and everything changes. Doors unlock. Windows open. Prisoners freed.

Faith frees.

What does Jesus tell the disciples (verse 21)?

 

Draw close to Jesus and receive a fresh breathe of the Spirit and go. He is sending you.

 

Antidote for fear …

1. Remember Jesus is with you in your fear, amid the flames, and among the waters; bringing down walls and  giants.
2. Meet with Jesus. It will turn your fear to joy.
3. Receive the spirit. God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, sound mind and love.
4. Continue to do God’s work. Do it afraid.

Remember, 

Have a blessed day.

Mary Kane

copyright 2015

all rights reserved.




1 Thessalonians, A Life of Faith, Part 16: The Quiet Life

DOve JPEG 10 edtI love the quiet. As a busy teacher, who spends much of the school year with noisy, energetic children, I long for peace and quiet. The quiet life. God also loves quiet and wants us to live the quiet life. In the stillness of the quiet life, we can hear God’s voice speak words of life and hope.

Even though God calls us to live the quiet life, that doesn’t mean we are to be silent. In season and out of season, we need to be ready to tell everyone we meet about the grace we have found in Jesus Christ.

So how do you live the quiet life, and yet speak loudly of the kingdom of God? God’s Word contains the answer. To continue your study of 1 Thessalonians, A Life of Faith, please click on the link below.

1 Thessalonians Part 16: The Quiet Life