Devotional 3: Do You Believe That I Can Do This?

Two Blind Men Healed

Matthew 9:27 – 31

27 When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!”

28 And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”

They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.”

29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you. 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying,“See that no one knows it.” 31 But when they had departed, they spread the news about Him in all that country.

The question Jesus asks these men, and us, is critical, for on it hangs our eternity.

Our Lord says He will raise us up to be with Him on the last day (John 6:40)

Do we believe that He is able to do this?

For all our focus on the cross, which is to present us spotless before the Father, there is the matter of our own resurrection. Paul writes of Christ as the first fruits of those that sleep (1 Corinthians, 15:20)

Matthew 2:52 speaks of the graves opening after the temple veil was torn, but no one came out of them until Jesus did, and that they appeared to many, most likely reuniting with loved ones who thought them long dead, and treasured them in memory.

On their faces, these stories are fantastical, yet, Jesus’ question underlines them all:

“Do you believe that I am able to do this?”

Do we?

Therefore,  pray:

Lord Jesus, my faith is in your power, the power endued to you from on high by the Father, the power to raise up your people who remained in faith of your mercy and grace, hoping to see their salvation in your glorious appearance. Bless us with a touch of Heaven today Lord, and renew our hope, our fire. Let us, indeed, being as spiritually blind as these men were physically, have your healing hands restore our spiritual sight. 

Give us the Spirit of God again, Lord, that the Father’s Word be revealed to us, that our souls be refreshed in us, that our sins be purged out of us, so that as we fall as one dead in the presence of Your holiness, you bid us to rise, and take Your nail-scarred hands, and walk with you through the gates of our eternal salvation, to be with you forevermore, in the Father’s light and goodness.

Yes, Lord, I believe that You can do this, and it is not too difficult for You. 

By the power of Your holy blood, I ask you to receive my sight again.

In Your Name, and by Your stripes, I claim my healing.

Amen.

Devotional 2: Spiritual Peaks and Valleys

From the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 16: v 13-19 and 16: 21-23

When Peter confessed Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Jesus told Him that flesh and blood did not reveal it, but His Father in Heaven.

Jesus then went on to bless him and change his name to Peter; from verse 18 we read:

“And I say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys to the kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven.”

IMAGINE the power Peter now held in his spirit!

What would we do if Christ Himself spoke those words to us? How could you doubt anymore that God was real, Heaven existed, and all the words of Jesus were true? I honestly couldn’t say what my reaction would be, and we’re not told Peter’s, but here perhaps is why that is:

In verse 21, after Jesus tells his disciples (again) that He must be delivered up to be killed and raised, the newly named Peter goes back into spiritual blindness, in a big way, in verse 22:

“Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”

23) But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Hold on a second! Was this not the man to whom He just gave the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and the power to bind and loose? How is it then, that he became blind again so quickly, and forgot the things of God?

Again, we are not told Peter’s reaction, but I’m sure these words wounded as much as the others lifted. We are told, later, that Satan specifically asked for Peter to be turned over for ‘sifting.’ Jesus tells him this too.

I’m not sure, to be honest, I would have kept walking with the Lord after that. If you’re really honest with yourself, would you?

I’d be confused, hurt, upset, and frightened, having seen so much and been told so often how small my faith was, how limited my understanding. I’m not sure I would not have thrown up my hands and asked, “Then WHY did You pick me?”

The truth is, we strive to be like Christ, but we’re a lot more like Peter. There are days we have enough faith to get out of the boat, even if we lose our focus later, and there are days we go into the tomb just to check and see if He’s really gone, and what that really means for us.

Where are you on the spectrum of  Peter’s faith today? Where will you be tomorrow? And the day after?

Therefore, let’s pray:

Lord, if mustard seed faith is enough to move mountains, what would mountain sized faith in You accomplish? My faith is as a boat without oars in a storm, powerless to resist the winds and currents of the times and seasons, the fads and protests, the bombardment of the world’s knuckles at the door of my heart.

There are days, Lord Jesus, where I feel that I too, have the keys to the kingdom, that I understand all, that the mysteries are solved, and my times of trial in my spirit are over. I will doubt and sin no more, because I understand what’s required of me.

And there are days I’m an offense to You, as reprehensible as Satan, with my words as well as my actions; days where if I told someone I was a follower of Yours, they would smile and say to someone else,

“See? I told you; they’re no different.”

My faith is not unwavering, Lord, and I confess this to my shame. I need Your grace and mercy, but I need Your strength as well. I ask for discernment, revelation, times of refreshing, knowledge, and wisdom that when You say, “I tell you the truth,” it is a truth I can rely on when my last breath is taken, my spirit departs, and my body returns to the dust until the last day, when You will raise it, glorified in Your holy presence.

Reach out Your hand, Lord Jesus, and save me from the towering waves of faithlessness, of turning away, of doubting Your promises, and the promises of Our Father. Be ever with me, Lord, and burn with a holy fire the obstacles in the way of the Spirit, who reveals to me Your Truth, and my sin.

By the Power of Your Holy Name, I pray.

Amen, and amen.

Devotional 1: You Must Become as Little Children

From the Gospel of Matthew 18:2

Then Jesus called a little child to him and set him in the midst of them, and said

“Assuredly I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in my name receives Me.”

Jesus wasn’t telling the disciples to behave in a childlike manner, he was telling them to adopt the mindset of a child regarding a good father.

Children believe the promises of good things made to them will be made manifest by a father who claims to love them and look out for them.

Children believe their father will be kind to them, and protect them.

Children believe their father rejoices and shares in their happiness and sorrows.

Children are not afraid to go to their father with their concerns, and let him take care of it, whether by word, deed, or both.

Children believe their father with no reservations or doubt, and for their part, children should have a healthy fear of and want to please their father.

Therefore, I pray:

Lord Jesus, I want to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Help my unbelief, and help me to believe in the unconditional love my father bears toward me.

 Help me to remember His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments.

 Help me to fear Him, even as I come boldly before the throne of grace.

 Help me to pray for what I need, and give thanks as if I’ve already received.

 Help me to remember in holy fear that He will judge the work of my hands, and bring every secret thing to light.

 Help me to stay faithful to his precepts.

 Let me rejoice in His pleasure, and find peace in the song He sings over me.

I don’t hope to hear You say,“Well done, good and faithful servant,” because I haven’t been. I only ask that You dry my tears after I suffer the loss of reward for burned works.

 But let me receive You anew each day in my heart, soul, and mind, that I may hear You say “Enter into Your Father’s rest.”

Lord Jesus, hear my prayer.

Amen.