Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people. Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude. Luke 22:1-6

Steps: 4, 5, 6

The steps of recovery are usually positive but in this story Judas is rejecting the steps to recovery and he is letting his addiction have full control. He agrees to betray Jesus to the Jewish religious leaders. He is going to betray his friend and sponsor Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. So Judas was indulging his addiction for money and the leadership is indulging their addiction for power and control.

Prayer for Today: God, You know all about our addictions. Help us not to pretend that You don’t see all things. Help us to remember that before we were even created You already knew what we would do. Help us to accept that You know us, that You are not afraid of us and that You know how to help us. Grant us the courage to accept the fact that You love us just as we are, and yet You are also willing to help us to change and to have victory over our addictions. Thank You for your patience and love.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Parable of Jesus and the Vineyard

And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country. And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard. And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled. And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some. Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son. But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.' And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others. And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner: This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way. Mark 12:1-12

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

Jesus is still teaching His people and He chooses to tell the parable, or verbal teaching device, of God and the vineyard He planted. Jesus says that a certain man planted a vineyard – that man was God in the story, and the vineyard is the nation of Israel. He loaned out the vineyard to some workers and left and went on a long journey. The long journey is the God returning to heaven and leaving His church in the hands of the leaders. After a time the man sends some workers to gather fruit from the vineyard and from the husbandmen but they were rejected and abused by the husbandmen. This is the teaching about how God’s prophets were treated by Israel. Finally God sends His Son – Jesus – because surely they will recognize who Jesus is by His teaching and by His miracles, and they will give the fruits to the True Owner. But instead they kill Jesus, as they had killed the prophets before Him. Then Jesus asks the Jewish leaders what God will do to those men? They answer that God will send His armies and will destroy the husbandmen and give the vineyard to others – the Gentiles. The leadership grew angry at this because they knew that He was speaking of them, but they could prove nothing.

Prayer for Today: God, we know that You are loving, fair, and considerate of all people. Help us to be like You. Help us to recognize our need of Your love and care. Help us to recognize Your people when You send them and bless us in Your love. Thank You that You will not have to take Your kingdom away from us because we want to listen to You and give you the gifts of our love.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cleansing the Temple Number Two

And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves. And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him. Luke 19:45-48

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

After being accepted as King Jesus goes into the temple and performs His kingly duties of cleansing the temple from the buyers and sellers who did not learn the lesson He taught in the beginning of His ministry in John 2:13-17. After cleansing the temple from the buyers and sellers, He began to do what a Melchisedec king priest would do, He taught the Word of God every day in the temple and made it a house of prayer. The Jewish leadership wanted to kill Him but could not find a way to do it without offending the people who were listening to Him as though their lives depended upon it. This example is what all in recovery at to do now – they are to teach people who do not know about recovery principles and show them how to have a recovery experience so that they in turn can go out and tell the wonderful things about God so that others can have victory over their addictions, in every shape and form that addictions come in.

Prayer for Today: God, when You start teaching us, through whomever You approve of, help us to recognize Your messenger and be willing to listen to that person daily. We need Your teaching, and Your power to give us victory. Thank You for Your love and patience.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Kingly Entry into Jerusalem

And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. Luke 19:37-44

1, 2, 3, 11, 12

It is nearing the time when Jesus would die. He has come to Jerusalem, He has for the first time accepted the praise and worship of the people of the city. In fact Jesus is allowing them to say “Blessed be the King.” This behavior is very risky for Jesus for He knows that as people refer to Him as king that the Jewish leadership does not want Jesus to reign over them, they want to reign over themselves. But Jesus is determined to be the sacrifice of Israel. As they near the city Jesus looks over the city and bursts into tears for He, the true and only King of Israel, will be rejected and the people in their stubbornness will also reject Rome as well and will be lost, their city destroyed and the temple destroyed.

Prayer for Today: God, it is sad that You have lost so many of Your precious children. Help us Lord to see and accept Your precious gifts and help us not to be so caught up with ourselves that we reject You. Thank You for Your grace and patience with us and thank You again for putting up with all of the grief and suffering so that You could come and rescue us.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Feast At Simon’s House

And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. Luke 7:36-50

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

Jesus is invited to come to a Jewish leader’s home and Jesus accepts the invitation. When He comes to the home, and when they sat down to eat, a woman comes into the gathering, of mostly males, and begins to wash Jesus’ feet with a box of ointment. The odor of the ointment draws all attention to her, and her actions. When the attention is upon Jesus and the woman the owner of the house – Simon- says in his heart that Jesus should not receive these kinds of attention from a woman in public. He also thinks that Jesus should not receive these attentions because the woman is addict/sinner, and Jesus is supposed to be a holy man. Jesus, knowing what Simon has thought, through the insights of the Holy Spirit, speaks to Simon and gets him to pass judgment on two sinners, in a parable. Simon says that the person who has been forgiven most will love the most. Then Jesus turns to the woman and proclaims that since she has loved the most that her many sins have been forgiven, whereas Simon, thinking he has not sinned does not love much. Simon received the inventory and so did the woman. Jesus says that her faith has saved her.

Prayer for Today: Thank You Lord for not embarrassing Simon by a direct confrontation. Help us to receive Your corrections in the spirit in which it has been given, and will be given. Grant us Your great love and heal us from our addictions. Thank You so very much.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:1-10

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

In this story Jesus finds a man by the name of Zacchaeus in the city of Jericho. He was a Publican which means that he could use his tax privileges and steal from those not protected by Roman law. When Jesus found him he was up in a tree because he was so short that he could not see Jesus because of his height. When Jesus came under the tree he was sitting in he stopped and called Zacchaeus by name and told him that He was coming to Zacchaeus' house to have a meal. Zacchaeus was delighted for he would have the Rabbi in his house and would get to ask all of his questions and get to the bottom of the issue - what must he do to be saved/go into recovery. Jesus told him and Zacchaeus told the people in the house, for there were many on the outside who would not come in and be instructed because they thought Zacchaeus to be a money addict and would not associate with someone like that. But Zacchaeus was glad to be called whatever because he wanted help and instruction so that he did not have to continue to defraud others. So Zacchaeus was happy to go through his inventory with Jesus, and then make amends for his behavior. When he had finished with his statement Jesus confirmed that indeed Zacchaeus was a saved man for he was willing to correct his past and look to Jesus for help in all things. Salvation had come to that house.

Prayer for Today: Thank You God for giving us stories like this. Thank You that You could save a thief and a corrupt tax gatherer. Thank You that His sins did not turn You away from helping him. Thank You for the statement that you came looking to save the lost. I claim to be one of those who is lost and I thank You that since You have promised to come and see those, then please find me. Thank You for your determination to help people like me, and my friends.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Plot to Put Jesus to Death

But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death. John 11:46-53

Steps: 1, 2, 3

This part of the story of Jesus and Lazarus shows the other end of the spectrum of belief. The people who saw the resurrection of Lazarus believed that He was the Messiah. These men of leadership believed that He did miracles but they would not believe that He was the Messiah for if they did then they would have to accept Him as higher in authority than they were and they would have to listen to Him and obey Him as Messiah and Lord. Instead they determined that He should die so that the whole nation would not die at the hand of the Romans. Because Caiphas was the High Priest that year his statement was considered to be a prophecy, and Jesus actually fulfilled this prophecy. He died that the whole nation would not die as a result of sin/addiction.

Prayer for Today: God, help us to believe in You. We know that we have major problems and we need Your care. Help us to not get caught up in protecting things and to surrender to You so that You can help us. We need Your help to see things clearly and we need Your help to have victory over our addictions. We haven’t done anything great for You but we give all that we have – our addictions. Thank You for Your help for us.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jesus Resurrects Lazarus from the Dead

Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. John 11:32-45

Steps: 11, 12

Jesus knew the reaction of each and every person who was going to see the resurrection of Lazarus. Mary and Martha attempted to chastise Jesus for being late, and not rescuing Lazarus, but Jesus promises that if they believe they will see the glory of God, and the display of His power and wisdom. Jesus tells the people to take the stone away from the grave and when they do He prays to the Father for power to do this wonderful miracle. Then Jesus calls specifically for Lazarus to come forth and Lazarus comes out. When the people saw this miracle, the fact that Jesus could resurrect someone who had started to decay, then they believed that Jesus was the Messiah.

Prayer for Today: God, we have read the story, and we have no reason to believe that You would lie to us. Help us today to believe that if You can raise someone from the dead that You can raise us up from our addictions. No problem is too difficult for You. Help our unbelief and help us to grasp Your power and help us to be willing to ask for Your help for us. Thank You for Your power and Your love.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Death of Lazarus

Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. John 11:1-15

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

Jesus knew that Lazarus, his friend, was sick and would die. None the less Jesus did not immediately go to help him until he died. Then Jesus went to him, and his two sisters Mary and Martha. Jesus knew what would happen and what lessons He wanted to teach His disciples. Jesus used the word sleep to communicate death because when Jesus would resurrect him it would seem like sleep to Lazarus. But when Jesus would resurrect Lazarus the disciples would believe that He was indeed the Messiah. Just like us, if we were convinced that Jesus could resurrect those who were dead, we also would believe and we would ask Him to heal us of our diseases.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord God, we come to You today to ask for more help. We ask that You will help with our problems. We feel that our addictions are so strong it is like wrestling with death and we have no hope unless you step in to help us. We hope you are able to take care of Lazarus and if you can we ask for Your help as well. Thank You for always being there for us to get the help we need. We appreciate Your help as much as we understand You. Thank You for Your love for us.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Blind Man Is Healed

And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me. And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him, Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God. Luke 18:35-43

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

In this story Jesus comes in contact with a blind man named Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52). When this man heard that Jesus was coming by he started yelling for Jesus to stop and help him. The people around him told him to be quiet and not interfere with the Master. When he knew that Jesus was still near he cried out even more. Finally Jesus told the people to bring Bartimaeus to Him. When Bartimaeus came near Jesus asked him what he wanted Jesus to do. Bartimaeus answered that he wanted to get his sight. Jesus told him that his faith in Jesus saved him and he was able to see. When the people saw and heard what Jesus did for him they all praised God that such a miracle could and did happen.

Prayer for Today: God, we also have problems similar to Bartimaeus. In our cases most of us can literally see but most of us have problems seeing spiritually. We know that the steps say that we must recognize our needs and then get that help from You. Help us to keep working the steps till we get to the 11th step which improves our contact with You. Please continue to grant us Your grace and mercy and power so that we can see and respond to Your gifts. Grant us a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps and as we “see” that we will understand what we see and it will indeed improve our conscious contact with You. Thank You Lord for Your mercies toward us.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Disciples 11th Step

Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken. Luke 18:31-34

Steps: 11, 12

In this text Jesus is attempting to alert His disciples about what will happen to him shortly. He plans to go to Jerusalem and He knows that He will be tortured and crucified, and then He tells them the good news that He will rise again on the third day. But sadly the disciples did not understand what He meant. They were so fixated on Jesus becoming the king of Israel that they could not process any idea that He would die. Thus Jesus tried to alert them but they were not ready to hear anything negative about their plans for God. This is a warning for us.

Prayer for Today: God You know that we to have our minds so fixed on certain thoughts that we can hardly hear anything but what we want to hear. Help us to so trust You that when You tell us something that we will trust Your perspective more than ours. Grant us a true 11th step and help us to have a true spiritual experience because of what You tell us. Thank You for Your mercies toward us.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Rich Young Ruler

And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. Luke 18:18-27

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

A man came to Jesus asking what he needed to do to inherit the kingdom of God and thus eternal life. Jesus asked the man why he called Jesus good? Jesus was asking if this man recognized Jesus as the Son of God and thus someone who could help him or was the man just asking for wisdom but not recognition of Jesus’ divinity. Jesus then told the man to do the last 6 commandments of the ten – the ones that pertain to our duties to our neighbors. The man said he had always done these things. Jesus, knowing the inventory of this man, then asked him about one more thing. Jesus told the man to go and sell all that he had, give the monies to the poor, and come and follow Him. When the man heard this he grew sad for he had a lot of money and he was not willing to give it up for God. Thus Jesus has revealed the very thing that was blocking his recovery. Jesus was God, He was able to do a complete inventory on this man and He chose to reveal the commandment of God that this man was breaking – the first commandment – You shall have no other gods before Me. Exodus 20:3. This man did not realize that to break one commandment was to break them all. James 2:10. God Himself, in Jesus, was informing this man what was holding him back from recovery and this man rejected the information. He held onto his riches and lost recovery. The disciples were shocked at this information, for they thought riches were a blessing from God. Jesus did not deny that riches were a blessing from God, but informed that if they did not give up their gods, they would be lost. God only could rescue this man, if he would choose to receive His help.

Prayer for Today: God, only You know what kinds of Gods are holding us in our addictive states. Please be merciful to us and reveal these things to us and give us the help we need to give these gods to You. We want to claim Your promise today, that what is impossible for man to do is possible for You to do. Thank You again for Your love and grace.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Recovery is Like a Child

And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. Luke 18:15-17

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

When people brought their children to Jesus for Him to bless them and teach them, the disciples intercepted them and did not want children to come to Jesus. The disciples apparently did not see any wisdom of sharing Jesus’ time with children thinking that it would not be a profitable use of Jesus’ time. When Jesus saw what they were doing He was displeased with their behaviors. Mark 10:14. Jesus instructed them to bring the children to Him and He would bless them and their parents. Jesus then told the disciples that anyone who did not accept the kingdom of God, all of the principles of recovery, as a child would not enter into it. The people who are too wise and proud, will not receive something as simple as recovery but will constantly be adjusting it to suit their own thinking rather than receiving it simply and with the faith of a child.

Prayer for Today: God, You know what our hearts are like. We often try to make You comply to our standards of recovery rather than for us to surrender to Your standards. Help us to be humble enough to trust in Your care and reveal Your recovery unto us, and then help us to receive Your gifts, in Your way. Thank You again for Your patience and love.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Principle of Humility

And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. Luke 18:9-14

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

This story is about men who trust themselves and thought that they were righteous and they despised others. This is their inventory, taken by God, not by themselves. Jesus contrasted them to a publican – a person that the Jews disliked because publicans were tax gatherers for Rome. The men who trusted in themselves, and not God, compared themselves to others whom they selected and then felt justified in their righteousness and their perceptions of recovery. Jesus compared these people to two different men; one who talked to himself, and compared himself to God, and the other who came before God asking for His help and did not trust in himself. The one who recognized that he needed mercy and help went home justified by God, the other trusting only to himself, although he talked much about God, went home unjustified. God knows the difference between people who talk recovery and who do not experience recovery.

Prayer for Today: Help us Lord not to pretend with You. You know us very well, we don’t know ourselves well. We ask again that not only will you help us but be merciful to us. We need You and we need Your help. Give us victory over our pride, and help us to accept Your grace and Your mercies. We want recovery and we pray that You will help us to accept Your version of recovery and not ours. Thank You Lord for Your blessings today.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Good Samaritan

And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. Luke 10:25-37

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

There was a debate and a man asked a question of Jesus, “What must I do to get solidly into recovery.” Jesus answered and said “What is written in the Law, how do you read it?” The lawyer said that the way to inherit eternal life was to love God with all that you had, and to love your neighbor as yourself. Then the lawyer asked “Who is my neighbour?” Jesus then told him the story of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritan helped a Jew who would most likely have not helped him if the circumstances were reversed. He helped him when even his fellow Jews would not have helped even at the risk of his own life. The lawyer answered that it was the man who showed mercy on the man attacked by thieves. Jesus then told him that that was the definition of being a neighbour.

Prayer for Today: God help us to be willing to help someone else even if it costs us to do so. We know that we would like to be helped, so help us to do to others what we would like to have done to us if the circumstances were changed. You know that we are often afraid to help but help us to risk it all for you and for our neighbour.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Jesus was Transfigured

And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead. Matthew 17:1-9

Steps: 3, 11, 12

Jesus continues to prepare, and to prepare His disciples for His crucifixtion and resurrection. Jesus needs encouragement and His Father sends men who have experienced rejection, disappointment, and human censure. They encourage Jesus and then the Father Himself speaks to Jesus and to His disciples. The Father states that Jesus is His Son and tells the disciples that it is safe o listen to Him. Now all doubt should be removed because God Himself has spoken. In effect the disciples see a mini version of God’s kingdom. They see Jesus glorified, they hear the Father speak, and then they see Elijah – a type of all those who do not die before Jesus comes, and Moses who did die, and was resurrected, a symbol of all those who have died. Then Jesus tells the disciples to tell no one about this event until Jesus is resurrected from the dead. All of this to prepare Jesus and His disciples for the traumatic events of Calvary

Prayer for Today: God if the disciples needed all of this encouragement, we certainly need it as well. Help us to trust that You know our needs and that You are willing to help us with encouragement specially tailored to our needs. Help us to develop an experience with You so that no matter what it is that happens we will be in tune with You. Thank You for being willing to help us so often and so specifically for our needs and issues.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Who Do You Say Jesus Is?

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he, his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Matthew 16:13-21

Steps: 3, 11, 12

Jesus had taken the disciples through many experiences and sent them out o witness about Him. When they came back Jesus asked that what people were saying about Him. The disciples gave Him a report. Then He asked them who did they think that He was. Simon said that Jesus was the Son of the Living God – the real Thing. Jesus blessed Simon for this testimony and told him that he understood this thought enough to say it because God the Father in heaven revealed it to Simon; he did not get it because he was so smart. Then He told them that He would build His church on the Rock which was Himself. Since they disciples had advanced as they had Jesus knew it was time to try to get across the truth about Himself that He was going to go to Jerusalem and He would die there, and then be raised back again to life. These were heavy and deep thoughts for His disciples. But they need to hear them to start getting ready for the trial and the death of Jesus. Jesus allowed them to start experiencing these thoughts to prepare them for the tragedy of His death.

Prayer for Today: God we have read many stories in Your Bible since starting this daily devotional. One of the most difficult story is that we have read about You in the Bible but we did not think we would have to decide whether You are real or not, yet recovery demands that we decide whether You are real or not, who You really are, and then what will we do in response to our conclusions. Help us Lord to be honest in our appraisals and help us to be open to the truths about You. Help us to make right decisions and then help us to follow through. Thank You for this opportunity to have a firmer grip on reality than we have ever had before. Thank You for Your love.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Jesus and Peter Walk on Water

And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God. Matthew 14:22-33

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

After feeding the 5000 Jesus instructs the disciples to get into their boat and head out to the other side of the lake. On the way the disciples get into a storm, which matched the storm in the hearts of the disciples because they wanted to make Jesus king like the people who had just been fed. John 6:15 But Jesus sent them away because He had different plans of how and when He would be crowned king. After the disciples got refocused on recovery then Jesus walked to them on the water and the disciples were afraid of Him because they had never seen anyone walk on water before. But when Jesus reassured them then Peter wanted to walk on the water to Jesus, and Jesus called him to do so. By faith Peter walked on water but when Peter got distracted and afraid he started to sink and Jesus caught him and brought him to the boat. When they got onto the boat the storm stopped. Then the disciples worshipped Jesus for they recognized Him as the Son of God.

Prayer for Today: God You know that we get caught up into all kinds of ideas of what recovery looks like and functions like. We pray today that we may bring our ideas of recovery to you and get them brought into harmony with Your mind. Forgive us from trying to force certain issues and help us to rest in Your care. Thank You that You come to find us and help us, for without Your initiative we would get nowhere in our recovery. Thank You for Your love.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Feeding the People

And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing. And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place. But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people. For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company. And they did so, and made them all sit down. Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets. Luke 9:10-17

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

When the disciples came back from their community experience Jesus took them aside and helped them to process their experience. When the people heard where Jesus was they came to Him with all of their problems and all of their sicknesses. Jesus healed them all and cared for them. When the day was almost night time the disciples asked Him to send them away so that they would have time to get to a village to get some food and lodging. But Jesus, knowing the experiences that the disciples had just had, asked them to exercise faith and feed the people instead of sending them away. But like most of us they looked on circumstances first and then doubted for the circumstances looked like more than they could handle. Then once the situation had been laid out before them Jesus used the available food in front of Him and fed 5000 men besides women and children. He also used the disciples to establish a principle. He had the disciples break up the people in groups of 50 and then He prayed, He multiplied the food, and then He gave to the disciples who then gave to the people. This is the principle of recovery – God heals, God then uses those healed to send the message to others so that they too can receive the blessing. Then they picked up the fragments and gave these fragments to others so that they would have another opportunity to tell their story.

Prayer for Today: God, we need the blessing of Your care taking. Help us, feed us, give us the resource and experience so that we can be blessed and in turn we can bless others. Thank You for Your love and grace for us, and for those whom You bring us into contact with.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jesus Sends Out His Disciples to the People

Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where. Luke 9:1-6

Steps: 11, 12

Now Jesus was ready to send out His twelve disciples so that they could get practical experience in the work of God. Jesus gave the disciples power and authority over all devils and to be able to cure diseases. Then He sent them out to preach about the kingdom and to heal the sick. He repeats this concept in verse six - preaching the gospel and healing everywhere. God could do all of this work all by Himself, with much less hassle, but He has chosen to reveal Himself through people so that people will not be afraid of God. People can relate better to people that they can identify with, so God wants us to share our experience, strength. and hope with others so that they can see, relate, and model our behaviors. All of this sharing is an essential part of God’s program and we get to share it with others.

Prayer for Today: Thank You Father for coming to find us and to help us. Help us to have an experience with You that is shareable with others. Thank You for sharing with us in the beginning and that you are now helping others through our testimony. Thank You for giving us an opportunity to work hand in hand with you and helping us to grow strong in You as a result of Your training. Help us to stay with You and help us to share with others.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jesus Heals the Daughter of Jairus

While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat. And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done. Luke 8:49-56

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

After healing the woman with the bleeding sickness the Bible gets back to the story of Jairus and his daughter. After seeing Jesus heal this woman, Jairus must have had good feelings that his daughter would be healed as well. Shortly after this moment one of his servants came to tell him to no longer bother Jesus but to come on home for the daughter had died. When Jesus heard the new He encouraged Jairus to not be afraid but to believe on what he has heard about Jesus and what he had already seen with his own eyes. Jesus promised that if he would believe that his daughter would be made whole. They all pressed on to Jairus’s house and found that the professional wailers were already at work. Jesus told them that they no longer needed to weep for the child and then He said that she sleepeth. They took the most literal interpretation of the idea of sleep, thinking that Jesus did not know that the girl was dead but they thought that Jesus might felt that she slumbered. Jesus took the parents of the child, and Peter, James, and John into the room where the child lay and then Jesus raised the child from the dead. The parents were astonished at the power of Jesus and were touched by His mercy to mankind, yet Jesus asked the parents not to speak of how the girl was healed to anyone, at this time, so that His ministry would not get bogged down into political intrigue. God’s wisdom does not trifle with political intrigues but that which keeps the focus upon Jesus and the truth. As He did then so will He also do today.

Prayer for Today: God, when we see some of the events that we have had to experience, we again have hope only in You and in Your grace. Help us not be afraid of what You might do for us and embrace You and Your love for us. Help us to trust that You know what you are doing, even in your various ways. Help us not to be afraid but to believe in Jesus. Help us to gather faith from the testimonies of these stories from the Big Big Book.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Jesus Heals A Woman Sick for 12 Years

And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and besought him that he would come into his house: For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him. And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. Luke 8:41-48

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

When Jesus and the disciples came back to Capernaum they men a ruler of the church named Jairus. Jairus had come to Jesus to seek healing for his daughter who was twelve. Jesus agreed to do so and was on His way to Jairus’ home when He was crowded by people wanting His attentions. In the middle of the crowd was a woman who had a bleeding sickness of some kind. She had spent all of her money on physicians and they had not been able to heal her and now she was so desperate that she put her whole faith into Jesus as a result of the stories of healing that she had heard about Him. She reasoned that if she could only touch His garment that she would be healed. She struggled through the crowd and through God’s grace she was able to get to Jesus and touched His garment and she was healed. But right when she thought she could leave without being noticed Jesus stopped the movement through the crowd and exclaimed that someone had touched Him, in a special way because He could feel the healing power of love leave Him and bless someone. When the crowd movement stopped at the proclamation of Jesus the woman felt under observation and she told her story about her condition and how God had healed her. Jesus reframed the experience and told her that her faith in Him had made her whole.

Prayer for Today: Lord, You know how logical most of us are. We would conclude that You don’t heal in the way described in this story. We often think You have a very proscribed way of doing things, yet this woman claimed to be healed by you just by believing in touching Your garment. We think we have tried things like that but have not been healed of our addictions, so what is happening here? Yet You said that it was not because of her touching the garment but because she had faith in You. Help us to develop faith in You rather than faith in our efforts. Thank You that You came close enough to her to help her. Please come close enough to us that we can reach out to You and receive Your gifts to us.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jesus Heals the Demoniac

And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. Luke 8:26 -36

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

The disciples are in for another exciting event. The night before they had been in the storm and Jesus had rescued them. Now when they landed in the country of the Gadarenes they saw another scary sight – a man possessed by devils. This man was naked, cut himself with stones, and lived in the tombs. This man had often been bound by chains but he was so supernaturally strong that he could break the chains and wondered around the wilderness wailing in his agony. But when this man saw Jesus he cried out to Him the best that he could. Jesus called out the demons and allowed them to go into a herd of swine. The swine then ran down the steep place and into the lake where they were choked, or drowned. Jesus allowed this to happen to draw the attention of the people to their loss of money in the pigs, and to call their attention to the fact that Jesus had healed someone that they could not. This attention was to eventually win many souls to Christ.

Prayer for Today: God, You know that all of us have acted like this demon possessed individual at one time or another. Forgive us again, and help us to look to you with as much hope as this man did. Grant us victory over the things that bind us, and cause us confusion. Free us to worship You in purity and holiness.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Jesus Calms the Storm

Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him. Luke 8:22-25

Steps: 3, 11, 12

In this story Jesus and the disciples are traveling across what is called the Sea of Galilee. While traveling in the boat Jesus falls asleep and apparently the Sea of Galilee was big enough to have some pretty severe storms on its surface. While sleeping the storm arrives and threatens to fill the boat with rain and waves. The disciples fear for their lives and they call out to Jesus to help them. When Jesus sees what is happening he stands up and commands the storm to stop and it obeys Him. The disciples are totally stunned at what they saw and they do not know what to think of Jesus now. They had seen Him do many miracles and this one is beyond anything that their theology could predict. They are beginning to think that Jesus might be more even than a prophet. They are beginning to think that Jesus might be the Messiah the One sent directly from God to mankind. All through the gospels Jesus claims to have been sent from heaven by the Father. But even today that is a concept that is difficult for us to process. That God Himself, the Creator of the universe would come to Earth as a man requires much faith to believe such a thing but yet the data demanded this verdict.

Prayer for Today: God, You know how little faith we have. We want the facts and nothing but the facts and yet we are afraid of the conclusion that the facts are leading us to. Help us to look at these stories and draw the right conclusion – the You sent Your Son Jesus to come to Earth to show us how You think and act in the middle of chaos and confusion. Help us to have the confidence to ask for Your help in the middle of our crises, and help us not to use our proven failure methods to rescue us. Help us to find the faith necessary to work hand in hand with You. Deliver us from ourselves and our fears.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Widow of Nain

And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about. Luke 7:11-17

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

On the way to do His work for His Father He was led by God to come to the little city of Nain. When He arrived He saw a funeral procession and He saw the body of a young man who being grieved over by a widow. There must have been some kind of communication with the Holy Spirit because Jesus felt a special compassion for this woman. Apparently Jesus could tell that this woman was to be left alone with no support in the world. Her husband had died and now her son and she had no one to care for her in her age. But Jesus, seeing the funeral, had compassion on her and resurrected her son and returned him to her. When the people saw this, a great fear came over them and they believed that God had blessed them through Jesus. They did not yet perceive Jesus as the Messiah, and they did not see Him as God on Earth but they glorified the Father in heaven for displaying this wonderful miracle in their midst. They had some perception that an act of God had occurred.

Prayer for Today: Father, we thank You for being considerate to your people in need. We thank You that You know our needs and that you arrange for special things to happen to us. We ask Lord for even more. We have so many needs and perceptions of needs that sometimes we get immobilized by our needs. Please help us to look expectantly to You for more blessings and more helps. Thank You for being there for us. Teach us how to work cooperatively with You. Thank You again for Your mercies and love.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jesus and the Centurion

Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum. And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this: For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue. Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick. Luke 7:1-10

Steps: 11, 12

When Jesus returned to the city of Capernaum a Roman Centurion asked the Jewish elders to come and speak to Jesus for him. The elders wanted Jesus to help the Centurion for the Centurion had been helpful to them even building them a synagogue. This was unusual behavior because the anger between the Jews and the Romans was bordering on warfare between the two groups of people – one the conquering nation and the other the slaves. Jesus chose to go with the elders and on the way to the Centurions house the Centurion sent a message to Jesus saying that it was not necessary for Jesus to come to His house to heal but just say the word and Jesus’ angel ambassadors would come and heal his servant. As the leader of a large number of soldiers he knew that all he had to do is speak and his will would be done. He did not have to go and see that it was done, he trusted in his soldiers. The Centurion had the same faith in the power of God to help and to serve. When Jesus heard this He said that He had not found such great faith in all of Israel. When Jesus heard about this faith He healed the servant and it was done.

Prayer for Today: Lord, help us to develop this level of faith. Most of us need all kinds of evidence in order to believe the simplest thing. Grant us the kind of belief that when we hear these kinds of stories about Jesus that our hope will grow until we ask these blessings for ourselves and for our loved ones. Thank You that You have gone out to find us and start the healing process. Help us to trust in Your care and believe that You really want to help us with our problems. Thank You for Your love.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jesus Healed the Multitudes

And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all. Luke 6:17-19

Steps: 11, 12

Jesus had just been up in the mountains selecting His 12 disciples from amongst all of His disciples. He wanted a special core group of men upon which to build His church. After selecting them He then put them in a situation where they could see what Jesus wanted to do, and what He wanted His disciples to do – to heal and teach God’s people. A great multitude came to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases and their desire was granted to them. The people wanted to get close to Jesus for not only were they healed but virtue – the healing power of love – went out of Him and healed them all.

Prayer for Today: We want to get near You as well Father. Help us to accept how You have set things up. We want to know You, we want to hear Your truths, and we want to be healed from our dis-eases and our addictions. Grant us the healing power of Your love and bless us abundantly. We have been working on our defects for a long time and today we ask for Your blessings through Jesus, for in His name we ask these things – Amen.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Jesus’ Sabbath

And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; And charged them that they should not make him known: Matthew 12:9-16

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

Jesus went to church on the Sabbath, as His custom was, and fellowshipped with the Jewish people. They had a person in their midst who had a withered hand and they asked Jesus if was OK to heal someone on the Sabbath? Jesus told them a practical story and asked them if they would take care of an animal that fell in the pit, simply for financial benefit, but if a man were to fall into a pit they would tell the man to wait until after the Sabbath before they received any help at all. Jesus said that in the eyes of God, Himself, that a man is better than a sheep. Thus if one would find a man in a pit on the 7th day of the week, that it is ok to help that person even if were to fall on the Sabbath day. Jesus then tells the man to stretch out his hand and it was healed. The Pharisees, the Jewish leadership, were angry that Jesus would put the healing of a man as something worthy to be done even on the Sabbath day and they were so angry that they wanted to destroy Him. Thus in their heart and in their actions they showed that they were breaking the Sabbath day because they wanted to harm instead of heal.

Prayer for Today: What a story that is God to think that people wanted to kill on the Sabbath day while stating that they wanted to know the truth. These people were out to take care of themselves and did not want to know the Truth, for the Truth was standing in front of them trying to teach them. Please help us to not turn away from the Truth but to accept Him and His Sabbath days, and His healing in our own lives. Thank You for Your blessings to us.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Call of Levi Matthew

And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. And he left all, rose up, and followed him. And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them. But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Luke 5:27-32

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

After healing the physical diseases of man Jesus turned now to the spiritual issues of life. He saw a man who was a publican – one who made his living by agreeing with Rome to be a collector of taxes for Rome. This opened the door to take unfair advantage of your neighbor with Rome being the enforcer if the people protested. This made the publicans a group of despised people and enemies of the Jewish people. So when Jesus met with Levi Matthew and asked him to follow Him the Pharisees and Sadducees thought that they could take advantage of this issue and try to turn the disciples against Jesus over the issue of association with perceived sinners/addicts. Jesus responded by telling them that He did not come to take care of people who did not need to be taken care of, but He came to call those who needed Him the most – the sick, the weak, the addicted. Their very need drew His attention for they needed Him.

Prayer for Today: God, we thank You that You are aware of our great need. We are embarrassed by our need, but You seem to be attracted to us because of our needs. Help us to respond positively to Your overtures to us and help us to accept Your gifts to us. Thank You that You would come to find us and to help us. We truly appreciate it.