Growing in Christ – Week 1

Healing is the message of Kingdom

“Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I shall heal them.”   Matthew  13:16

Jesus commissions the twelve to go to the lost sheep of Israel: “As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’  Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”  Matthew 10:7-8

What does Jesus say in the parable of the sower that gets in the way of the listeners receiving the message?

“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.” Matthew  13:18-19

How does the ‘evil one’’ operate to keep the person from understanding?

Two lies —

1)  You are not in need of healing.

2)   Jesus is not going to heal you.

Dealing with the first lie.  How do you know you need healing?

Look at what a healthy, healed person looks like?  Do a comparison.

Test One.  The Law Test.

A healthy person according to Jesus loves the Lord with all their heart, soul, strength

and mind and their neighbour as myself.

Question:  Would a jury of your peers examining how you invest your time, money, energy come to conclusion that you love God completely, others compassionately and yourself rightly, all the time?

Test Two  The Fruitfulness Test.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,   peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness,

faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Gal. 5:22

Question:  When bumped up with a stinging criticism or a wrongful judgment against your character are you able to remain fully ‘in the Spirit” or does another spirit come into play?

Test Three  The Tongue  Test.

We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.  James 3:2

Question:  Today leaked to the internet was a manuscript of all the words you spoke over the past month, its gone viral, especially among your friends and family?  Would you go into hiding?

A perfectly healthy person looks, sounds and behaves like Jesus.  So all those places where we miss the mark point to things in us that need healing.  We all need healing.

Dealing with the second lie.

Does Jesus want to heal me?

“They that are whole have no need of a physician; but they that are sick. I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Luke v.31, 32).

You can do a search of the gospel account but you will not find one person who comes to Jesus seeking healing in whom he doesn’t help.  All who humble themselves and seek his healing, he heals.

Don’t take my word for it, why not ask Jesus for yourself?

Be still and quiet in the presence of the Lord.
Ask all the other voices to be quiet except for the voice of the Lord.
Invite Jesus to draw near to you as you seek to draw near to Him.

Questions to ponder with the Lord?

Lord, what most would you like to heal in me?

Lord, will you heal me in this area of my life?

Lord, what is Your part in this healing process and what is my part?

Make a record of what you’ve heard, date it, give thanks for what you sense Jesus said and ask for His grace to help you with your part?  Usually, healing happens over time.  So come back to the prayer, to see any progress made, giving thanks to Jesus for this progress.  Review your part, have you had the grace to follow through, thank Him, if not, ask Him for renewed grace.

For the courageous, share with someone in Christ you trust the area you sense the Lord wants to heal and ask them if they would consider praying for you as well.

Tell your sins to each other. And pray for each other so you may be healed. The prayer from the heart of a man right with God has much power.   James 5:16

Key to spiritual growth is always humility.  To admit we are in need of healing, to humble ourselves before the Great Healer, to admit to another in Christ we need healing, to look for His intervention over time, when we see them to remember to thank Him.  Soon our faith in HIM and HIS goodness grows.  We then can dig a bit deeper in His presence surrendering that next area for healing.  for that next area in need of healing.  The process continues, till we are fully transformed.

Bonus Material
C.S. Lewis illustrates this in quote from The Voyage of the Dawntreader:

“Then the lion said — but I don’t know if it spoke — You will have to let me undress you. I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.

“The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was jut the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off.  You know — if you’ve ever picked the scab of a sore place.  It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away.”

“I know exactly what you mean,” said Edmund.

“Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off – just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt – and there it was lying on the grass, only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me – I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on — and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I’d turned into a boy again. . . .”

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