Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Power of God was Present to Heal Them

And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day. Luke 5: 17-26

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Jesus was teaching, as was His practice, and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. God knows the needs of each person and He knows how to get people to the person or place necessary for them to get to to get healed. While Jesus was in a home a number of men brought a man with palsy on a stretcher opened up the roof and lowered it down to where Jesus was preaching to the multitude. When Jesus saw the faith of the man on the stretcher, and the men carrying the stretcher, he told the sick man that His sins were forgiven him. The Pharisees began to think in their minds that Jesus must be a blasphemer for He was claiming the power to forgive sins. The Jewish leaders were thinking that only God could forgive sins and for Jesus, being a man, they decided that He could not be God. They did not accept the Bible’s testimony that Jesus was indeed fully God and fully man. To accept Jesus’ power to forgive would be to credit Him as being God and this they were not prepared to do. But Jesus asked them which was easier to tell the man he as forgiven or to heal the man? Jesus told the man to stand up and walk and he did. Jesus thus proving that He was God and was able to forgive and to heal. Everyone was amazed except Jesus.

Prayer for Today: God, help us to have the faith to come to You for help with our addictions and with our lives. We want to be healed and we want to be forgiven for all of the crazy things we have done. Help us to trust You like this palsied man did. Thank You for Your mercies to draw us to You as You did to this man. When we get there we want to be relieved of our burdens and fears and to be able to start a new life, free in You. Thank You for Your love toward us.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

You Can Heal Me!

And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him. And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed. Luke 5:12-16

Steps: 1,2,3,11,12

The man in this story had a case of leprosy – a nerve deteriorating disease that takes away your sense of pain and slowly causes problems in the skin and nervous system. It is a slow and miserable to die. In old Jewish culture once you had this disease you were required to leave society and live in leper colonies lest you contaminate someone else with this disease. So this man knew that it was not likely that a Rabbi would listen to him and give him instruction on how to be right with God. Yet he had heard enough about Jesus to predict that if he approached Jesus to heal him Jesus would not run away from him. So he came to Jesus and said “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” His testimony of faith proved to be accurate. Jesus did heal him, but in a unique manner, Jesus reached out and touched him. This is a remarkable testimony for a Jew for all Jews would feel contaminated if they touched someone who had been pronounced unclean. Yet although Jesus could have healed him with a word instead Jesus touched him, knowing that many people would turn away from following Jesus because of touching a person who was diseased.

Prayer for Today: God, thanks that you would, and did reach out to us and touch us. We ask today that You will heal us from our disease of addiction. As You know many of us do not want to ask You for help, we would rather hope that something will change so we don’t have to ask for help. But thank You for Your willingness to work with us in recovery. We need You very much.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Peter’s Response to a Miracle

Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him. Luke 5:4-11

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

After Jesus completed His teaching the people He then asked Peter to take the boat out further into the lake and then to let down the nets. Peter thought this a strange request because you don’t fish with a net in the day time because the fish can see the net and avoid it. But when He cooperated with Jesus and obeyed His instructions then they caught a great number of fish. They then called their partners and they caught so many fish that the number was almost enough to sink the two boats with the weight. When Peter realized what had happened he fell at Jesus feet and did a paradoxical thing that grateful recovering people do – he asked Jesus to leave him because he was so evil and yet hung onto Jesus by faith. Peter recognized that Jesus was Someone special because of the miracle he had just witnessed, a miracle that was special to Peter for this was his area of specialty being a fisherman. Peter recognized that no one not connected to God could do something like this. Then when they got back to the shore Jesus called them to go with Him to catch men and not fish and all of Peter’s close friends went with him. Since Jesus could take care of fish they recognized that He could take care of them as well.

Prayer for Today: God, we don’t know what to ask You for that will convince us completely that You are real and that You are interested in us. So please, as You created an event that was special for Peter, and his friends, help us as well. We ask that You will reveal Yourself to us in a way that our hearts and our minds will be convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that You are real and that You have a special plan for us. We are excited, and yet afraid of what You will do, but we ask for Your help anyway. We want a spiritual awakening as deep as what Peter had. We thank You for this gift before it happens trusting completely in You that it will happen.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Jesus Taught Anywhere and Any Time

And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Luke 5:1-3

Steps: 11, 12

Where ever Jesus went one of the things He wanted to do is to teach the people about His Father in heaven. He wanted them to know what a wonderful and loving God He was. Jesus often healed before He taught because it is difficult for people to learn the details of the things of God if they are in pain and suffering. So healing and teaching often went together in the recovery ministry of God. In the above Scripture Jesus went out into a boat so that people could see Him and hear Him better than if He stood on the shore and was pressed about by the people. This was His ministry and it is ours as well to share our experience, strength, and hope with as many people as possible. Matthew 28:19-20

Prayer for Today: God we pray that today You will send us someone to teach us what we need to do to be in harmony with You, Your law, and Your recovery. When that someone shows up we also pray that we will recognize that person by what they say and by what they live. Thank You for being concerned enough about us that You prepare people to speak the truths about recovery to us. Thank You for Your mercies and for Your grace.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Comprehensive Healing Power of Christ

And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about. And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon's house. And Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her. And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them. Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ. And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them. And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent. And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee. Luke 4:37-44

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12

When the people heard of the power of Jesus to cast out demons many came looking for Him. He had gone to Simon’s house and when going found out that Simon’s wife’s mother had a fever and Jesus healed the fever. She was healed so fast, and so thoroughly, that she was able to take care of Jesus and His disciples as Simon’s house. When the people heard that He was at Simon’s house they came to Him, after the Sabbath had passed, and asked Him to heal them of their diseases and addictions. The people followed Him around knowing that an opportunity like this did not come along every day and they were willing to follow Him to be sure that their friends could find healing as well. But Jesus healed and continued to preach in the synagogues to teach people how to come to God and maintain their healing and not to slide back into the addictive behaviors again.

Prayer for Today: God You know how many different people are reading this blog and looking at these ideas. We ask today that You will deliver us from our diseases as You delivered those people at that time. We know that You can heal any time You choose but today we ask that You will heal us today. We know that we can’t see you today but since we are reading Your word we believe that You are here with us and You know our problems. We know that all You have to do is speak and it will be done in us. Help us to be aware of our needs, and to be aware that You have all power necessary to help us deal with our problems in a manner that will be helpful to us and give glory to Your name. Thank You for your deliverance from our addictions.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Authority of the Word of Christ

And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out. And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about. Luke 4:31-37

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12

After leaving Nazareth Jesus went to Capernaum and began to teach the people on the Sabbath days. During one of His meetings a man which had the spirit of a devil in him started distracting the people by stating that he knew that Jesus was the Holy One of God. To protect the people from not hearing His teaching Jesus rebuked the demon and told him to hold his peace and come out of the man. When the people saw the power of Jesus’ word they were amazed that anyone could do that and help people in such a manner. As a result of this His fame spread throughout the countryside and many came to Him seeking help with their problems.

Prayer for Today: We pray God that You will send us people who know the answers to our problems and who will share their experience strength and hope with us. We need much help and we thank You that You have delivered people and that they can be of assistance to us. Help us to recognize them when they arrive and help us to be willing to surrender to Your counsel through them. Thank You for taking the initiative with us, and by sending people who know what we are experiencing. We want Your help and help us to accept Your help. Help us not to turn away from You in whatever form You may show up in help us to recognize that it is You who sent the help.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Response of Nazareth to Jesus

And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son? And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way, Luke 4:22-30

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,

The people of Nazareth were not willing to participate in the inventory that Jesus presented to them. When they understood that He thought that they needed to be helped, rescued, delivered from prison, they were so angry that they were willing to kill Jesus to shut Him up. This is the inevitable position of someone who is afraid of an inventory. God can not help us if will not allow us to hear the truth about ourselves. So when the Nazarites heard that He thought that they needed help, they turned on Him rather than address the addictive thinking and feeling.

Prayer for Today: God, You already know that we are afraid of You and afraid of the truth You want to bring to us. We usually try to hide ourselves in our addictive behaviors so that we will not have to deal with You. Grant us the gift of courage that we will trust that You are by our sides and that You will not leave us alone to face these crises on our own. Thank You for Your great mercies that You show to us.

The Testimony of Jesus in Nazareth

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son? Luke 4:16-22

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Jesus went to His home town of Nazareth to share His experience, strength, and hope. As His custom was He went into the synagogue to speak about recovery on the Sabbath day. He taught about the brokenhearted, the poor, and to set those people at liberty who were chained to their addictive behaviors. And He said unto them all of the things that He had said were needed and preached to the people of Nazareth. Now we will get to see if they were happy to be set free.

Prayer for Today: God, set us free, for we freely admit that we have addictive behaviors and recognize that we need help from You to change our lives. We have pretended long enough in the thought that we could take care of ourselves. Help us to recognize our need of You and to recognize that if we ask for help You are more than willing to help us. Thank You again for your marvelous gifts.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Jesus Uses John’s Experience Even After He is Dead.

And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things. Matthew 21:23-7

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 12

One last comment on John the Baptist before we get back to the life of Jesus. Shortly before the death of Jesus, Jesus uses the experience of John one more time. John gets to tell his testimony one more time even though he is dead. Jesus is preaching in the temple in Jerusalem and the Jewish leaders ask Him by what authority does He do and teach the things that He does? Jesus tells them that He will answer their question if they will testify about whether the Baptism of John was of heaven or of men. The leadership knew that if they answered in the affirmative then Jesus would claim the authority of heaven. If they said that the Baptism of John was of men then the people would turn on them. So they decided to take a neutral position and deny their responsibility of being able to recognize the movings of God on the hearts of men. Then Jesus told them that He would not answer their question but would continue to do the work that His Father had sent Him to do.

Prayer for Today: God, it is amazing to think of how many times Jesus avoided the entrapments of men. Help us to see truth and to know how to handle these difficult questions. Help us to find the ways, and the words, to give honor and praise to Your holy name. Help us to grasp the significance of seemingly simple question in the recovery experience of people and to learn how to answer them like Jesus would do if He were here on Earth today. Thank You for Your willingness to continue to sponsor us.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Effect of John the Baptist

But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. Luke 7:26-30

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 12

About the time of the death of John Jesus asked who had the people gone out to meet? He asked them a number or rhetorical questions showing that John was not like the Jewish leadership, but was a man sent by God to accomplish a specific purpose. John was the forerunner for Jesus and when He had accomplished his purpose John was laid to rest – he died for Jesus. He died so that men could see that a faithful follower of God could do right and still die a martyr’s death. He also died so that even the least follower of God could see that they had the opportunity of seeing the wonders of God while John did not have the opportunity. The people also saw that those who followed John and through whom they had had a recovery experience treated spiritual things differently than those who did not have a recovery experience with. Those who knew John ended up accepting Jesus as the Son of the Living God.

Prayer for Today: God, we ask that even though we never met John the Baptist we can know him through Your Word. Help us to be blessed by his recovery experience and his total trust in You. Grant us the opportunity to have our eyes opened that we may see the things that John did not get to see but to still have the complete trust in You that he had. Thank You for granting us this gift and this opportunity.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Death of John the Baptist

Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not: For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly. And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison, And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother. Mark 6:19-28

Steps: 4, 5

In this story John has been imprisoned because he was willing to be a faithful sponsor, even knowing that if spoke the truth he might die. None the less John was willing to confront and it eventually cost him his life. The person most angry at him was Herodias, Herod’s illegal wife. She was angry at the prophet for upsetting her experience. She waited and plotted to get revenge knowing that she could not attack John directly for Herod would protect him. But she knew of Herod’s tendency to drink and make big promises while drunk. She waited for a party night and when her daughter danced for Herod he promised her anything up to half of his kingdom. Feeling the big shot he was not aware that he had been set up by Herodias. When he made his big promise Herodias took advantage of the opportunity and through her daughter she accomplished the death of John. Another great man suffered death due to a drunkard’s promise.

Prayer for Today: God, You know how many promises we have made in our lives and how foolish most of them have been. Today we would like to apologize to You again for our foolishness and we would like to take advantage of Your promises to us. Help us to remember how crazy we can get, and help us to remember how stable You are. Thank You that You have not given up on us.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

John the Baptist Imprisoned

For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife. Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not: For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly. Mark 6:17-20

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12

In this story we see someone who wants to know the truth and he turns on the truth and tries to destroy it. King Herod liked John the Baptist and thought that John was a just and holy man. He even accepted him as a type of sponsor to listen to and to cooperate with on spiritual/recovery matters. But like many people in recovery the sponsor hits on a cord that is painful and that person who is doing something wrong is sensitive to it. In this case John confronts Herod on taking his brother’s wife for himself, and tells Herod that it is against the law of God. Herod took John and had him put into prison. But Herod’s wife Herodius, wanted John dead thinking that this would free Herod, and herself, to have a better time and to free them from guilt. But once you start down a wrong train of thought terrible things can happen unless you stop and accept the truth and then be willing to accept the inventory and are willing to do right above all other things.

Prayer for Today: God, You know how easy it is to slide into doing something you did not intend to do. Help us to talk to You about these things and when You respond, help us to take Your feedback and come into harmony with You. Protect us from ourselves and our addictive thinking for it can get pretty bad in our own minds.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jesus Claims to be Equal with the Father in Heaven

And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. John 5:16-18

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

The Jewish leadership was unhappy because Jesus healed on the Sabbath day. Then Jesus amplified the situation even further by claiming that He was equal to the Father in heaven. The Jews did not accept Jesus as the Messiah and were willing to kill Jesus not only over the Sabbath but because Jesus claimed to be equal with the Heavenly Father. This was considered to be blasphemy against God and they sought to kill Him.

Prayer for Today: Father, help us to grasp this truth today, that Jesus is God as You are. We tend to think of Jesus as a man, and often forget that He is fully man as well as fully God. As You know it is difficult for us to grasp that Jesus was God and that as God He can bring healing to us. Help us to grasp these things and to understand that Jesus, was all powerful, especially as He remained connected to You. Help us to grasp that God was with us then, and is with us now. Help us to remember that You sent Jesus to us, and that Jesus was fully God. It is an amazing thought Father, please help us to accept these truths for our sakes and for our healing.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Jesus is Persecuted for Healing on the Sabbath Day

And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. John 5:9-16

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12

When Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath day the Jewish leaders were unhappy with Him, and with the man who had been healed. They leaders felt that Jesus was breaking the fourth commandment by healing on the Sabbath day. They did not accept that Jesus was the Creator who had established the Sabbath day in Eden Genesis 2:1-3, nor did they accept Him as the God who gave the Ten Commandments – the Sabbath being the fourth commandment. Exodus 20:8-11. Jesus found the man and told him to be careful, now that God had healed him, and to no longer sin the sins that had caused him problems in the first place. The Jews, once they found out that Jesus was the One who had healed the man, wanted to kill Him because He had healed the man on the Sabbath day, His holy day Isaiah 58:13. Such is the energy developed by spiritual blindness.

Prayer for Today: God, You know our tendencies. You know that if anyone does anything that we do not approve of, we also would want to kill, at least in our hearts. Help us to be willing to grant God the latitude to do what He feels is best. Help us to trust in You and even if we do not understand to have the confidence that You know what You are doing. Help us to be patient with others, and to be patient with Your work in us as well. Thank You for your grace in healing us and instructing us to walk in the ways of recovery.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Healing of the Sick Man at the Pool of Bethesda

After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. John 5:1-9

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

Jesus went to Jerusalem and found a man who was one of a group of people who were blind, sick, and weak, who gathered around a pool in Jerusalem called Bethesda. They were all there because they had a belief that when they saw the water move in the pool that the first one in would be healed. The problem was that this particular fellow was so weak that he could not get into the pool first and remained sick, and remained near the pool as his only hope was there. He was the weakest of the weak at that moment in time. When Jesus saw him and felt pity for him and offered to heal him. The man somehow grasped the inspiration of the moment and was willing to trust Jesus by faith, and was healed immediately. This healing took place on the Sabbath day.

Prayer for Today: You know that some of us have had addictive behaviors since we were children. You know that we have struggled just like the man in our story today. We know that our efforts have not produced the results that we have been looking for. Help us to look for Jesus in our lives and to know that He wants to heal us. Help us that when our time of opportunity comes that we will not be so preoccupied that we miss the boat. Help us to have a spiritual awakening and to seize the moment of healing that You have promised us by telling us this story. Thank You Lord for not giving up on us.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Nobleman and His Son

So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house. John 4:46-53

Steps: 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12

In this story a nobleman comes to Jesus and asks Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son. It appears as though the man had certain criteria in his mind and if Jesus did not meet these ideas then the nobleman would not believe. God, Jesus in human flesh, told the man that if he did not believe, before He healed the child, then there would be no healing. After this confrontation it appears that the man received the lesson, and the very act of confrontation became sufficient sign and wonder for the man to believe. Once he believed then Jesus healed the child without going to Capernaum. When the man went home he checked the time and found out that when Jesus spoke the words, that his son was healed, then it was at the same time that the child was healed. As a result the whole household believed in Jesus.

Prayer for Today: God, we certainly are thankful when you do not hold things against us. We stick our feet in our mouths often enough and we pray that when we really blow it You will not turn Your back on us. We thank You that give us more than one shot at these things. Help us also to believe in You that You may bring holiness and love, and trust into our lives.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Woman’s Response to Messiah

And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours. And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. John 4:27-43

Steps: 11, 12

Jesus, the one real God who had come in the flesh, was contented because He was doing His Father’s will and He was watching it be successful. The disciples were wondering why would Jesus, a Jew speak to a Samaritan woman, something that they would not have done. The woman herself went immediately back to her village because she had had a spiritual awakening and she wanted to share it immediately with her friends. When the friends heard they wanted to go and see. Jesus was blessed by His ministry to the woman, the village was blessed, and the disciples were blessed. They got to see the results of one sharing with one person and how far this sharing will go.

Prayer for Today: God, help us to be willing to share our experience, strength, and hope with others. Help us to trust that You will use this sharing to accomplish great things for You.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Woman at Jacob’s Well

Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. John 4:10-26

Steps: 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12

There are many truths in this one section of Scripture. The most beautiful part to me is where Jesus, the Son of God, conducts an impartial inventory and rightly reveals the woman’s life to her without rejecting her or making her feel bad. He simply stated the facts in the context of offering her something better. Jesus also conducts an inventory on her religion and offers her something better as well. Then, after Jesus takes her through all of these experiences, He offers her the awareness that the Messiah was willing to talk to her individually and reveal Himself to her. What a blessing that must have been to her soul – that Messiah would not reject her even though He knew she had not conducted her life in a positive manner. Even though she was a marriage addict He still blessed her and drew close to her.

Prayer for Today: God, from this story we know that You know all there is to know about us. You know every defect in our character and You know every shady quality in our lives. Yet this same story says that You will not run away from us and You still want to bless us. It is hard to imagine that kind of love, fairness, concern and yet by faith we will accept Your gifts today. Thank You for this spiritual awakening.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

He Must Increase But I Must Decrease

After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. For John was not yet cast into prison. Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying. And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. John 3:22:31

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

Jesus and John the Baptist, and their disciples were baptizing people seeking recovery from their sins. A question came up between the disciples of John and of Jesus about purifying. The basic question was who was better Jesus or John, and to whom should people come to to get help, and thus who had the better baptism. This question could have caused a split in the cause of recovery but John answered in a manner that brought a blessing to all who wanted to know the truth. John said “He must increase and I must decrease.” John bowed out of the way so that the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One could stand forth as the standard and as the goal. John was willing to move out of the way so that all would come to Jesus, and not to him. This posture was a testimony that John had accepted recovery in it’s fullest sense. He proclaimed his experience with God and it was true.

Prayer for Today: God, You know that our pride and vanity will always attempt to get in the way of truth. Please help us to have an experience like John’s. Help us to recognize that we are not God, but that Jesus is. Help us to get help from Him and not to try to distract people to us. Thank You for this witness, help it to bless us with a true awareness of what recovery is.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How Was Nicodemus to be Saved?

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:14-17

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

Nicodemus must have been wondering how all of this change would take place when Jesus told him this wonderfully simple story. In the ancient times when Israel, the nation, was wandering in the wilderness, they got into a struggle with God over would He feed them and what kind of food would He feed them. Numbers 21:4-9. They just happened to be in an area where there were many serpents and since they did not want, or trust, that God was taking care of them He took His covering hand off of them and allowed them all to be bitten by poisonous snakes. This symbolized the fact that all have been bitten by the serpent Satan. To heal them God instructed Moses to fabricate an image of a serpent and then put the serpent on a pole and then lift up the pole so that all could see the serpent on the pole. Then God instructed Moses to tell the people that all who looked upon the serpent on the pole, in cooperation with the instructions of God, would live, those who refused to look would die. This story was to alert Nicodemus that he, who had been bitten by Satan, would find life by looking at the Son of God who would be lifted up on a cross, and Who would have taken all of the sins of the world upon Himself. Jesus would allow Himself to be perceived as the greatest of all sinners, and yet all who would look to Him would be saved. When Nicodemus actually saw this happen, His recovery was completed, he was saved from the bite of the serpent.

Prayer for Today: Help us Lord to be willing to read Your story, and to be willing to look to You for help. Help us to be willing to look to the Son of God lifted up on a pole for us. Thank You Lord for Your great love toward us.

Monday, October 11, 2010


There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? John 3:1-12

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Nicodemus was a Jewish leader of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish leadership group. Nicodemus recognized that not all was well with him and he wanted to talk to Jesus but he knew if he talked with Jesus during the day time that people would see and wonder if he was a follower of Jesus and he would lose his place in the Sanhedrin. So Nicodemus came to Jesus by night to preserve his anonymity. Nicodemus wanted to talk about spiritual things with Jesus but he only knew how to start by attempts at flattery. But Jesus, Nicodemus’ sponsor cut right to the heart of the matter. He told Nicodemus that he must be born again – he needed a spiritual awakening in order to understand recovery concepts. Nicodemus’ response revealed that it had not happened yet, although the process was under way because he had taken the risk to go to a meeting with God Himself – Jesus, the Creator of the universe in human form. Jesus slowly took Nicodemus through the steps – Jesus informed Nicodemus that he was not born again. To have an 11th and 12th step one must have an experience with God to bring a new mind and a new life into play. To do this he must recognize that he is a sinner/addict and that God only could save him. Nicodemus made a decision that night to follow Jesus. And even though it took several years to complete the process Nicodemus took the steps and was willing for the change to occur.

Prayer for Today: God, when it is our turn to speak to You, help us not to run away from You. You know that spiritual things are difficult for the non-recovery mind to grasp. Help us to gain courage from the experience of Nicodemus that You will not reject us but You will take the time to walk us through the steps and go through all of the experiences necessary to make the change. Thank You for this wonderful gift.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What Kind of Sign Do You Have?

Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. John 2:18-22

Steps: 4, 5, 11, 12

The Jewish leaders had just been thrown out of the temple by Jesus and when they chose to come back they indulged in a great helping of disbelief. They asked Jesus to give them a sign. They conveniently had already chosen to reject the first sign, that Jesus had driven them out of the temple and they were not able to resist the command to leave. But since they chose to not believe Jesus, and His power, they asked for another sign of His power. Jesus told them that He would resurrect His body in three days after they had destroyed it at Calvary. As they did with the first sign, they chose to reject the second sign. They displayed all of the doubt and disbelief that led them to sell cattle in God’s temple in the first place. They did not believe nor learn from their mistakes. But the disciples remembered what He had said and they had a spiritual experience as a result of these truths that Jesus gave.

Prayer for Today: God you know we lose sight of the truth easily. Help us to listen and learn when You try to tell us things. Help us to remember that when You reveal Your power, you have something You want to teach us. No words come out of Your mouth that are not important. Help us to see these things and to learn how to trust You and understand what You are saying to us. Thank You for Your help in our lives and in our experiences.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. John 2:13-17

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12

When Jesus came into the temple in Jerusalem He saw all kinds of things going on that did not reflect correctly upon His character. He knew that the temple in Jerusalem was a parable about Him (Exodus 25:8) and a parable about His relationship to the hearts of those who worship Him (I Corinthians 3:16-17; I Corinthians 6:19). What He saw was that they had turned His worship time into a time of commercial activity, which had turned the hearts and minds of His people away from Him. See Nehemiah 13:15-22. Jesus determined to take inventory of this and to heal and cleanse the temple so that true worship could occur again. Jesus’ behavior is a promise of what God will do in our hearts if we will allow Him to do so.

Prayer for Today: God, we thank You that You are the only one who knows how to do an accurate inventory of our hearts. There is so much stuff going on is us that we despair of changing, but we have hope if You do the inventory. Help us to do our part and help us to be willing to look at these things and help us to be willing to surrender all of our stuff to You for You only can deliver us from us. Thank You Lord that You are willing, and able, to enter into our hearts and minds and not be afraid of what you find. Deliver us we pray.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Jesus’ First Official Miracle

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him. John 2:1-11

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 12

After His anointing and gathering the first of His disciples He was invited to a wedding, a great celebration of life in Israel. At the wedding they ran out of wine and Jesus’ mother asked Him to help the wedding participants. In full faith Jesus’ mother, Mary, told the workers to do whatever Jesus asked them to do. He told them to fill up the water pots with water and then give the host of the feast the first sample. When he tasted the wine he was shocked for this wine was of superior value than anything tasted in the feast so far. When they looked for Jesus He could not be found for He had left the wedding unnoticed and they could discuss these things with Jesus’ disciples. When the disciples had testified for Him their faith in Him was further developed and His glory, or His character, was revealed for all to see and to taste.

Prayer for Today: Help us to taste of this wine, the wine of Your character. Help us to have the experience that the disciples had when they testified of You. Give this opportunity to clearly speak about our 11th and 12th steps. Thank You for allowing us to experience You and then to share You with others.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. John 1:45-51

Steps: 3, 11, 12

One of the earliest disciples, Philip, found his friend Nathaniel under a fig tree in his favorite worship spot, meditating about the Messiah. Philip told Nathaniel that the Person that Nathaniel was meditating about had been found by Philip. Nathaniel almost gave up hope for Philip told him that the Messiah came from the city of Nazareth. Nathaniel’s prejudices almost blocked him from finding the One who He wanted to see more than anything. Rather than fighting with Nathaniel, Philip invited him to come and see for himself. When Nathaniel came into the presence of Jesus, Jesus conducted an inventory on Nathaniel and pronounced him an Israelite in whom was no guile. Nathaniel asked how Jesus could know him and yet Nathaniel did not know Jesus. Jesus told Nathaniel that while he was mediating under the fig tree Jesus saw him. Nathaniel’s faith took hold of this statement and his faith said that this was indeed the Lamb of God – the King of Israel. Jesus commended Nathaniel’s faith and told him that he would see many wonderful things in his walk with Jesus.

Prayer for Today: God, we don’t know what it will take for us to believe in You, but You already know for You are God. We pray that when our turn comes we will have the child like faith of Nathaniel. We also hope that when You tell us something we will recognize that what You are telling us is the truth. Nathaniel accepted that God could do more than Nathaniel thought was possible and when Jesus told him that He saw him, Nathaniel’s faith grasped the fact that Jesus knew something about Him that He could not know naturally. Based on the evidence that He had, He accepted Jesus as Messiah. We too can do the same because we have more evidence than even Nathaniel had, we have the whole Bible to tell us this truth. We must believe on the evidence that God has chosen to reveal to us. Based on that evidence we believe, and we ask You God to help our unbelief.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The First Disciples

Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. John 1:35-39

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 12

When Jesus had returned from the wilderness temptations God’s prophet identified Jesus as the Lamb of God who would be slain for the sins of the world. Most people could not recognize that Jesus was something special. John recognized this and some of John’s disciples recognized something special in Jesus and chose to follow Him. They asked Jesus where He lived for they wanted to know what was special about this man that John saw in Him. Jesus told them to come and see for themselves. Come and conduct an inventory on Him. If He passed their inventory then they should follow Him and spread the message that He was teaching.

Prayer for Today: We ask again for Your help God. It is easy for us to pass the day preoccupied with interesting, but not particularly helpful stuff. Help us to recognize Jesus in whatever form He may come to us. You know how ignorant we can be and today we ask for enough discernment and enough wisdom to choose the right Person to follow in our recovery. Thank You for Your constant help.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Jesus, the Lamb of God

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. John 1:29-34

Steps: 4, 5

When Jesus came back from His temptations in the wilderness, He came back to John. John saw Him in the crowd and made the declaration that Jesus was the Lamb of God. John did not know exactly what that meant but the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Godhead, had directed Him to say that name and John obeyed. John did not know that Jesus would, in about 3.5 years, die on the cross for John’s sins and the sins of the whole world. But what John knew he should say he said it with conviction. This promise is the hope for all of humanity.

Prayer for Today: The fact that Jesus would die for us, that He would be our sacrificial Lamb is an amazing concept. Most of us have been shocked that You would want to talk to us at all, none the less die for us. We have great difficulty imagining that You love us that much. Help us to grasp this idea, and then help us to grasp the idea that You have a special plan for each of us, that You actually want us to help You in a special way. Help us to keep our eyes and ears open as we study these things out. Thank You for Your love for us.

The Temptations of Jesus

And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. Luke 4:3-13

Steps: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

When God called Jesus into the wilderness it was to give opportunity for Jesus to prepare for His ministry. God allowed Jesus to go into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan on the issues that mankind usually fell on. Satan was allowed to tempt Jesus on appetite/craving, presumption, and an easier softer way. In each case Jesus depended upon what the Word of God said, rather than what He wanted to do as a man. Jesus was clearly hungry and wanted to eat, after 40 days of fasting. Jesus also wanted to prove to Satan that He could do things on His own, and that if at all possible He would like to have the world without suffering and dying. But in all of these cases when He asked Himself would He work with His Father’s plan, He chose the way of God rather than the ways of the flesh. He passed the tests and won the moral victory over His flesh. He was now ready to go into service for His people.

Prayer for Today: God, we have so little understanding of what it means to have victory over ourselves that when we read this story of Jesus it hardly registers on our minds. The fact that Jesus did not give into His own desires is almost impossible for us to grasp. Help us to see what kind of victories He won and help us to understand how these apply to us. Help us to grasp that when Jesus could do by faith in You so can we. Help us with these ideas and help us to know what recovery from sin really looks like and acts like. Thank You for this inventory.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Fasting of Jesus

And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. Luke 4:1-2

Steps: 3, 4, 5

When Jesus had answered the call to come to John the Baptist, and was baptized by the prophet, and then anointed by the Holy Spirit, and commended by His Father in heaven. The very next thing God did was send Jesus into the wilderness to fast, to not eat for 40 days. God was going to have Jesus, the Creator of Man come to earth and live out a life like God intended for the lives of humanity. God would have us to see how Jesus, the Creator of our race, became the Lord of our race. Jesus will do what Adam should have done, and God starts it out with the fast in the wilderness.

Prayer for Today: We thank You for coming up with such a plans as that of Jesus’ life on Earth. It is quite the truth that in order for Jesus to be the Messiah He had to go over the areas of weakness that we experience in our lives, and have victory in those areas. Thank You that You then offer Jesus’ victories to us that we might claim the victories of Jesus as our own, by faith in Him. Help us to grow up and to act like Jesus in all our affairs.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Anointing of Jesus

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matthew 3:13-17

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

After John had prepared the way for Jesus, Jesus came to John to be baptized of him. When Jesus came to John, John did not want to baptize Jesus because Jesus was sinless and thus did not need baptism in the same way we do, to wash away our sins. But Jesus encouraged John to do it to fulfill the needs of man and the needs of God. Jesus was baptized for all mankind since He was going to take on the sins of all mankind and all of their addictions at one time. When Jesus was baptized by the prophet of God, He came up out of the water and was baptized by the Holy Spirit of God. Then the Father in heaven spoke and said to Jesus that Jesus was indeed His beloved Son, even though a human being, and that God was pleased with Him, and was pleased with the humanity for whom Jesus came to save.

Prayer for Today: God, thank You that You were willing to allow Jesus to come to us. It is a little difficult for us to grasp that You sent Your Son to become a human being to show us what recovery and salvation look like when done correctly. It is amazing that You would love us so much as to offer Your Son to become one of us, and then to take care of us. You know our limited understanding of these things, but thank You and thank Jesus that He was willing as well. Help us in turn to be willing to allow Him to help us and to deliver us.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The People Wonder if John is the Messiah

And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people. Luke 3:15-18

Steps: 11, 12

The insights that John the Baptist granted people, and the presence of the Holy Spirit was so strong on the people that they wondered if John was the Messiah. Other gospel writers also state that the Jewish leadership was so influenced by the work of John that they also wanted to know if he was the Messiah. To each and every inquiry John said the same thing – he was not the Messiah, but the Messiah was among them and they so far had not been able to recognize Him and had not “seen” Him even though among them. The leadership then asked John by what authority he baptized, since the leadership had not authorized him. John responded that he was the forerunner of the Messiah, and that God had called him to do all of the work which he had done. If they had a problem with that they could talk to God about it.

Prayer for Today: God, we all wish we had the courage and convictions of John to know that he had been called to do a work and he was going to do this work, come what may. Help us to have such an experience that we also will know that we have had a spiritual awakening as a result of these ideas and that our lives will change so that You can use us in special ways as you did John. You know we are tempted to look at our defects before looking to You, but today we want to change that. Today we want to look to You for our experience, strength, and hope. Thank You for Your mercies to us.