Day 17: God’s transforming presence – Offering Christ to a hurting worldPosted: May 10, 2013 Filed under: 40 Day Walk With God, Bishop's Blog | Tags: 40 day walk, aldersgate, annual conference, bill mcalilly, bishop, god, healing, luke, memphis, Methodist, Prayer, tennessee, UMC 4 Comments
Luke 13: 10-13
Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. A woman was there who had been disabled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and couldn’t stand up straight. When he saw her, Jesus called her to him and said, “Woman, you are set free from your sickness.” He placed his hands on her and she straightened up at once and praised God.
“God’s will, done His way, and in His timing” is a powerful prayer for individuals and for the church. However, when Jesus healed the crippled woman on the Sabbath He offended the synagogue rulers. Jesus called them hypocrites because they showed less compassion for this woman of sacred worth than animals in their care.
Jesus’ simple prayer, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment,” was filled with the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. The spirit that had been crippling her for eighteen years left her. She stood up straight and began praising God.
Healing of body, soul, and spirit causes us to praise the Lord who is the true source of all healing.
Since God’s healing, transforming power so dramatically changed this individual, can we also believe that the Lord will transform families, congregations, districts, and annual conferences? Our theme from John 14:12 certainly encourages us to pray for even greater things than these.
“God’s will, done His way.” Those are challenging words. God’s way is always better than any program, plan, or agenda that we could contrive.
Together let’s consciously submit our will to God and pray that we’ll be led by the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we believe your transforming power and presence can change individuals and our churches and our annual conferences. Place your hand on our lives, set us free from any infirmity, and allow us to praise You wholeheartedly. AMEN
Director of Prayer Ministries, Aldersgate Renewal Ministries
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REFLECTIONS FOR THE DAY | Use a program on your computer, a traditional journal, or feel free to use the comment section of this blog post to record your reflections as a conversation with others…
READ – What spoke to me as I read today’s meditation?
REPENT – Where is God showing me that I have failed to be obedient to the call to discipleship today?
RECEIVE – What words of redemption and grace is God offering to me?
REMEMBER – Who and what is God calling me to remember in prayer related to today’s reading?
RESPOND – How is God calling me to respond today?
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When I read the passages about God’s healing power I shrink in thought as I am handicapped. There is no medical hope for my healing past my present condition. In spite of all of this, I never blame God for my state, and I never ask God why me? I learned from this reading how to pray for my healing, “God’s will, in His time, in His way.” I am thankful for my healing so far, and in a way, I have been taught how to appreciate every one of God’s gifts.
Jesus calling the rulers hypocrites for caring more for the animals ,in their care than the sacred woman ,caused me to reflect on animal care. It is becoming more evident that people are worshiping their animals, they seem to have become idols. A couple could not attend church because their dog might jump up on the couch while they were gone and injure him self, after surgery. The dog was sixteen years old and the cost of the operation was three thousand dollars. They were able to go to work, however. I love animals and recognize that this is an unpopular stand but when thousands of dollars are spent on surgeries. Pet Spas, insurance, burials, gourmet food, etc, could we be “caring more for animals in our care than for hurting people?”
One of my theological “heros” is the late Gordon Cosby. In Luke 13, it says that Jesus offended the synagogue rulers and Gordon was never afraid to offend either, when faced with injustice. I believe many in our churches hunger to be challenged and perhaps be made a wee bit uncomfortable by the Gospel message.
Thanks for this blog. There is something in it for me every single day.