Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Raising the dead

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: John 10, 11; Psalm 143

John 11:38-40 (NIV)

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

Psalm 143:8(NIV)

8 Let the morning bring the Word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

Good morning!

How much faith does it take to believe Jesus Christ has the power to bring the dead back to life?

I’ve often wondered what Martha must have thought as she watched her brother Lazarus emerge from the grave all wrapped up in strips of linen, his face still covered with a burial cloth. He had been dead for four days when Jesus arrived in Bethany. Martha knew in her spirit that if Jesus had just been there, Lazarus would not have died. When Jesus asked Martha if she believed, Martha confessed, “Yes, Lord, I believe you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.” (John 11:27 NIV). Martha knew the Lord had full authority. She had seen first hand what His living Word had accomplished in the life of her family, and in her heart, particularly. He was more than just the Savior of the world; Jesus Christ was her friend.

It must be a part of the human condition to give up on our brothers so easily. We watch in despair as the people we love suffer with uncontrollable addictions and diseases. We offer up our meager prayers, asking God to heal them, but not really trusting that He can. Our children wander away from faith, placing their ambitions and hopes in a material world. Too preoccupied for matters of faith, they place all their efforts into the acquisition of things. A virtual consumer’s market, the need and greed for money that can buy lots of stuff that will not satisfy the soul, is the sad condition of our culture. They may know of the Savior and, like Martha, even profess that He is the Christ, the son of the living God. Yet, they do not have enough faith to place their hearts in His healing hand. Have you ever watched someone you love walk the path toward destruction, completely self-absorbed and unaware of where they are headed?

Whenever we lift our family and friends in prayer, we utter the words of Mary and Martha, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” Jesus came to heal the sick and suffering. He came to restore new life to those who are dead in sin. There are times when we must walk through seasons of sickness, in order to better appreciate God’s healing touch in our lives. As a mother and grandmother, I have learned that I can take my babies to church, but I cannot make them believe. I can teach them the difference between right and what is wrong, but I cannot make them choose the right path. I can point them to new life in Christ, but only they will choose whether to follow Him. I can pray for them, but I cannot control their ways.

There was a season when I, like Lazarus, found myself covered in grave clothes. Had it not been for the faithful prayers of my family, I would have died in my sin. When Christ came for me, He rolled away the stone and offered a brand new life through His nail-scarred hand. Miracles still happen! I am proof positive that God can bring the dead back to life. If you are worried about your brother’s soul, stand upon the Word of God and claim healing over his life in the name of Jesus.

Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” Christ has the power and authority to perform a miracle in the life of the one you love. If Jesus can reach down into the pit and save someone like me, I know He has the power to save your loved one too.

How much faith does it take to believe Jesus Christ has the power to bring the dead back to life?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


Pray for: a miracle! Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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