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Psalm 18:35

May 6

You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great.

Nineteenth century English dramatist, Henry Taylor, once said, “The world knows nothing of its greatest men.” Two hundred years later, this statement still rings with truth.

In our media-saturated culture, superficial notoriety is often substituted for true greatness. People have traded the valuable for the vain, dignity for disrespect, kindness for callousness, and restraint for rebellion. They think that money, power, and fame represent the marks of true greatness.

Many people are willing to do many things for their fifteen minutes of fame. Grasping for short-lived celebrity, they break boundaries and push limits. Fame may garner some notice, but it does not constitute greatness. Attention spans are short. Spotlights fade.

Some equate money with greatness. People invest their lives in the pursuit of wealth and gain. The principle of living simply within one’s means has been discarded for a more-is-better, pay-with-plastic mentality. Money may fill someone’s life with stuff, but it cannot buy greatness.

Some correspond power with greatness. Since the dawn of time, people have striven for power. Armies have marched, emperors have schemed, kings have killed, executives have plotted. People scrabble over others to climb to the top of the heap, to demand deference and force fear, but coercion does not constitute greatness.

To ever be considered great, we must submit to the Source of greatness Himself. Jesus had much to say about true greatness in the Kingdom economy. For those who wish to be genuinely great, learn to be the least (Mark 9:35). He pulled a small child onto his lap — the picture of unassuming innocence, no fortune, no fame, no power — as He said those words.

True greatness lies in the character that is forged through a relationship with the One Who emptied Himself, became as nothing, and humbled Himself to go to His death on the cross (Philippians 2:7-8). He came seeking no fame, fortune or power. He came only to do the will of His Father Who sent Him. And therein lies true greatness.

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, protect me from the deceptions of this world. It’s so easy to be convinced of my own importance — forgive me. Help me to always keep Jesus’ example in front of me. Give me power to do Your will humbly and obediently. In Jesus’ name…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Ruth 2:1-4:22

New Testament 

John 4:43-54

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 105:16-38

Proverbs 14:26-27

 

 

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Psalm 8:3-4

May 5

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?

Greatness is more than a catch phrase, much more than a campaign slogan. If we pause long enough in any moment of any day, we will become aware of the greatness all around us.

Genesis 1 tells us that God created light on the first day. On the fourth day, He set lights in the heavens — a greater light to rule the day, and a lesser one to rule the night. He also set the stars in the sky — so numerous that they are impossible to count. Every morning, that greater light rises over the eastern horizon and sets in the west. It warms our planet to create an ecosystem finely balanced to sustain life. Greatness!

At night, those smaller points of light twinkle against a black velvet sky. For many years, humankind believed that our solar system was the only one that existed. We now know that many galaxies spin outside of ours, that innumerable stars shine beyond our sight. Telescopes have given us the ability to gaze deeper and deeper into space, and the deeper we search, the farther it stretches — beyond our vision and our mathematical calculations. God’s greatness on display!

Amazingly enough, Psalm 147:4 assures us that God knows the number of the stars. Not only does He know the number, He knows all of their names. 

The breathing process? The easy, unconscious inhalation and exhalation, the act of taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide, comes from Him. God breathed the breath of life into Adam and created a living being. Job declared that the breath of the Almighty gave him life (Job 33:4). Let everything that has breath praise the Lord for His greatness!

Consider the handiwork of God all around us. See it in the watercolor of an evening sky. Smell it in the raindrops. Hear it in the birdsong. And in the moment, breathe out a prayer of gratitude to the Creator for His greatness.

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, help me to slow down today. Open my eyes to see the work of Your hands everywhere around me. May I never lose the wonder. With the breath You gave, I say, “Thank You.” In Jesus’ name…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Judges 21:1-Ruth 1:22

New Testament 

John 4:4-42

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 105:1-15

Proverbs 14:25

 

 

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Proverbs 4:20-22

May 4

My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.

Healing comes through the Scripture and the Spirit. Not only does He forgive all of our sins, He promises to heal all of our diseases, too (Psalm 103:3).

The Word of God speaks healing to us. When we cry out to the Lord in our troubles, He sends His Word to heal us, to deliver us from distress and darkness, even the very shadow of death. He breaks our chains into pieces (Psalm 107:13,14,20).

Our verse for today says that His Words bring life and health to our flesh. As we read His Word, as we memorize and internalize it, as we apply it and walk it out, it translates into healing and wholeness for us. One of the most powerful things that you can do to improve your health is to read God’s Word.

Not only does God heal through His Word, He heals through His Holy Spirit. According to Romans 8:11, the Holy Spirit raised Christ from the dead. As believers, that same Spirit lives in us. The Word tells us that Spirit will quicken our mortal bodies. He will bring new strength and new vitality to us — now and eternally.

As we immerse ourselves in the words of the Father, our faith unfurls and blossoms. Mustard-seed faith can move mountains of medical impossibility! As the Spirit comes alongside to convict us of our sin and convince us of His righteousness, we recognize our need to confess. He trades our sin for salvation and mends our broken hearts. As we heed His counsel, we find the power to forgive. When we find the strength to let go, we are set free.

Our Good Shepherd anoints our heads with the oil of His Spirit, and we flourish even in the presence of our enemies (Psalm 23). The Lord is our Healer.

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, as I read Your words, help them come alive to me. Help me to store them deep in my heart. Let them be life, truth, and light to me. Renew and restore me through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I believe that You are my Healer. In Jesus’ name…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Judges 19:1-20

New Testament 

John 3:23-4:3

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 104:25-35

Proverbs 14:22-24

 

 

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Matthew 6:14-15

May 3

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

One of the greatest barriers to receiving the healing of God in our lives is to harbor unforgiveness. The individual who holds an offense against another builds a barricade between himself and God.

The disciple, Peter, asked Jesus how many times he should forgive someone who had wronged him. Seven seemed a generous number! Jesus corrected him and upped the ante to seventy times seven. Essentially, Jesus said to forgive so often that it becomes a lifestyle. Forgive so many times that the practice becomes an ingrained habit.

We sometimes hold onto a long list of grievances against others. We believe that no one understands the harm they have done to us, the pain they have caused, the rejection they have inflicted, the burdens they have heaped upon us. Our Good Shepherd does. And still He urges us to forgive them and cast all of our cares upon Him (I Peter 5:7). He comprehends the weight of carrying around that unforgiveness which is why He wants us to let it go. As long as we hold that list so tightly, He cannot pour healing and blessing into our hands.

Jesus told the story of a servant who owed ten thousand talents — about 50 billion dollars in today’s terms — to his master. His master had every right to judge him, to sell him and all his family for recompense. However, when the servant begged the master to have mercy, not only did the master pardon him, but he forgave the debt entirely.

The servant went out and found a fellow servant who owed him fifteen dollars. He demanded immediate payment, and when the man could not pay, he had him thrown into debtor’s prison until he could pay back what he owed. When the master heard, he angrily reciprocated and threw the first servant into jail with the same sentence. Instead of two men going free, two people lived in bondage.

The King of Glory has forgiven us the debt of our sin. He paid the price to set us free when we had no ability to do so ourselves. How can we not forgive those who have offended us? Choose to forgive. Release the bitterness and the rage. Tear down the barricade between yourself and God to receive the healing you crave. When you set that person free, you open the door to your prison cell, too.

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, I never want any wall between us to cut off Your healing in my life. I choose to forgive those who have wounded me. In the same way You forgave me, I release them. Wash away the hurt, the anger, and the bitterness in me. Set me free! In Jesus’ name…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Judges 17:1-18:31

New Testament 

John 3:1-22

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 104:1-24

Proverbs 14:20-21

 

 

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Proverbs 28:13

May 2

He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

Jesus is our Healer, but unconfessed sin can obstruct the blessings of God in our lives. As today’s verse points out, if we cover up our sins, we cannot prosper. Obtaining mercy involves two steps.

First, we must confess our sins to God and ask His forgiveness. Most of us find that step the easier one. Second, we must forsake our sins. This is the more difficult action. Repent actually means that we feel such regret for our actions that we amend our life; sorrow brings about a change of behavior.

God cannot bless our rebellious disobedience. It would deny His own character. If He did bless disobedience, it would enable us to remain in our sinful state…the place from which Jesus rescued us. He loves us too much to leave us there.

While God’s love is unconditional, available to all, many of His promises are not. Those promises are not based on Who He is, but on how we respond to Him. Consider I John 1:9 — “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” His action hinges on ours. If we do what He commands, He considers us His friends (John 15:14). Exodus 15:26 tells us that if we heed the voice of God and do what is right in His sight, He will heal us.

Our Good Shepherd knows how far we stray. At our faintest cry, He will seek us out and bring us home. Restoration is as near as repentance. Maybe your healing is a confession away.

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, I open my heart before You. I confess my sin to You, all the places that I fall short. Cleanse me and make me whiter than snow. Create a clean heart in me, open to receive Your healing touch. In Jesus’ name…amen

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Judges 15:1-16:31

New Testament 

John 2:1-25

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 103:1-22

Proverbs 14:17-19

 

 

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Matthew 21:22

May 1

And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.

Jesus is our Healer! Evidences of this fact are scattered throughout the New Testament. He reached to touch a leper, He smeared mud in blind eyes, He stuck His fingers in deaf ears…and they were healed. Jesus is exactly the same — yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He still heals!

So, why do many go without a healing? One simple answer zeroes in on unbelief. The writer of Hebrews cautioned the believers to beware of an “evil heart of unbelief” that might cause them to be “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:12-13). The children of Israel, because of their unbelief, were led astray to wander in the wilderness for forty years. Their rebellion and disobedience kept them from entering into the Promised Land.

James, the brother of Jesus, in his no-nonsense manner, said that a person who doubts should not expect to receive anything from the Lord (James 1:7-8). Indecisiveness, an inability to make up our minds, causes us to be unstable and wavering. Jesus was unable to do many mighty works in Nazareth because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:58). Their lack of faith tied His hands.

In the gospel of Mark, we read the story of a desolate father who came to Jesus. His son was possessed by a mute spirit that would seize him, throw him to the ground, and cause him to convulse and foam at the mouth. The father had taken the boy to the disciples, but they were unable to help him. If these men — who saw firsthand the miracles of Jesus, who looked into His face and asked the hard questions, who were sent out by Him – could not lay hold of healing for this boy, how can we do any better? But wait — there is hope!

The despairing father brought his child to Jesus and told him that the spirit often threw the boy into the fire or the water to try to completely destroy him (Mark 9:14-29). Sadly, the father looked to Jesus, “But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

Jesus already knew He could do anything, but he wanted this sad father to know, too. “If you can believe,” He told him, “all things are possible to him who believes.”

The desperate father, wanting to wholeheartedly believe but knowing there were gaps in his faith, cried out tearfully, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” And it was enough for Jesus. He rewarded the man’s mustard seed faith and healed his son. He will do it for us, too.

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, I believe that You heal. I believe that You are a miracle worker! But help me in my unbelief. I confess that I struggle with doubt sometimes, with unbelief. Please forgive me. Steady me. Help me to pray with faith, believing for the answers every time. In Jesus’ name…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Judges 13:1-14:20

New Testament 

John 1:29-51

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 102:1-28

Proverbs 14:15-16

 

 

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Psalm 107:19-20

April 30

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

God declared Himself to be the Lord that heals us (Exodus 15:26). Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted, to give sight to the blind, and to free the oppressed (Luke 4:18). In all the places where we suffer, Jesus is our Healer.

Our verse for today tells us that God sent His word to heal, deliver, and save. In John 1, we read that in the beginning, the Word was with God and was God. Everything was created by Him. Life and light were found in Him. That Word became flesh and came to earth so we could behold the glory of the Father. He was sent to heal us.

In Isaiah 5:13, God says that His people have gone into captivity because they have no knowledge. In Hosea 4:6, He laments that His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. In many of our lives, what the world says has taken precedence over what the Word says. We have placed our faith in other things and have learned to treat only the symptoms.

We cannot experience the healing power that the Gentle Shepherd provides simply because we do not take God at His Word. The power of this Word cannot work in our lives if we do not build our faith based on its promises. How do we build our faith? Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. The sound of it has gone out to all the world, to the ends of the earth (Romans 10:17-18).

We need healing – in our hearts, in our minds, in our bodies. Open God’s Word and read it. Ask the Father to open your eyes to understand this rich inheritance that He has given us, that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is at work in us to accomplish mighty things (Ephesians 1:17-21). As we read over the pages, we will find a Lamb Who took stripes on His back so that we would be healed. We will find a Good Shepherd Who comes to pour in the anointing oil that brings relief from our pain and suffering. We will find a Savior Who went about healing the lame, the blind, the paralyzed, the epileptic – all who came to Him.

Read His Word. Wrap your head around it. Wrap your heart around it. Wrap your hands around it. His Word was sent to heal you.

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Word to heal us. Help me to study it, believe it, memorize it, and apply it so that the power of it may bring healing in every area of my life. In Jesus’ name…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Judges 11:1-12:15

New Testament 

John 1:1-28

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 101:1-8

Proverbs 14:13-14

 

 

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Psalm 23:1

April 29

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

The Lord is our Shepherd. In Israel, making a living as a shepherd was not a status symbol; it was considered one of the lowliest positions of service. For the psalmist David to liken Jehovah God to a shepherd seems quite the paradox. How could our Lord Above All, Who created the heavens and the earth, be so down-to-earth as to walk among the sheep?

King David, who started out as a young shepherd boy, understood that God is with us, never far away, walking beside us, and providing all we need so we do not want for anything. David also understood that a good shepherd was not just a provider, but he was also a healer. David remarked that God anointed his head with oil, that his cup ran over (Psalm 23:5). Every shepherd carried oil with him – a mixture of olive oil, fragrant frankincense, and myrrh which was a natural pain killer.

In the rainy spring season in Israel, lambs graze in the fields. The sharp, new blades of grass cut the lambs’ tender noses, and something dreadful occurs. Flies lay their eggs in those tiny wounds. When they hatch, the maggots work into the nasal passages of the sheep where they cause serious agony. The sheep will run from place to place and butt their heads into rock or trees to jar those tormenters loose. When the shepherd realizes the situation, he pulls the oil flask from his belt and pours it over the head of the sheep. The fragrant oil runs over the sheep’s faces and into the wounds where it eradicates the pests and brings healing and relief.

Satan, whom Jesus referred to as Beelzebub (meaning Lord of the Flies), seeks out the wounds and sore spots in our lives. He embeds himself there and begins to torment and terrorize. He brings such agony and pain that we will not know what to do except to run from place to place, pounding our heads against anything that might bring a measure of relief – anything that might deaden our pain.

We have a Good Shepherd Who will leave the other ninety-nine sheep to come looking for you. He will take you in His arms and pour in the oil of the Holy Spirit. He will tenderly anoint you until it runs into every wound, every spot that brings anguish and torment to bring relief and healing and peace. In His arms, you will know what it is to want for nothing.

Blessing: 

My Good Shepherd, thank You for seeing me in my pain. Thank You for coming after me. Pour the fragrant oil into these wounds of mine. Let it run into the deepest parts of me to bring the healing that I need. In your name…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Judges 9:22-10:18

New Testament 

Luke 24:13-53

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 100:1-5

Proverbs 14:11-12

 

 

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1 Peter 2:24

April 28

Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Our God is a Healer. Jesus purchased our salvation at Calvary, and He paid for our healing. He was wounded for what we did. He was crushed for our crimes. He was punished so we could find peace. He was hurt so we could be made whole (Isaiah 53:5).

We serve a Deity who loves us. He is not mad at us; He is mad about us. If we need healing in our emotional lives, in our spiritual walks or in our physical bodies, He is our Healer. If we want His joy to return and be our strength again, if we want His peace to be our portion, if we long for our broken hearts to be restored, He has power to heal. He sent His word to heal us. No sickness, no disease, no ailment or infirmity exists that He has not conquered.

He not only forgives our sins, but He heals all of our diseases. He redeems our lives from destruction and makes us young again (Psalm 103:3-5). He heals the brokenhearted and bandages our wounds. He renews our hope and heals our bodies (Psalm 147:3). Malachi 4:2 paints a beautiful picture for those of us who honor and worship His name. He promises that the Sun of Righteousness will arise with healing in His wings, and we will leap forth like well-fed calves released from the stall – healthy and happy in the presence of our Healer!

Jesus, our Father in the flesh, went about healing all kinds of sickness and disease. The leper and the lame, the mute and the maimed, the blind and the brokenhearted, the hopeless and the helpless – He healed every one. Yesterday, today and forever, Jesus remains the same (Hebrews 13:8). The stripes on His back that He received at Calvary still have the power to make us whole.

Are you hurting? Ask Him to heal you. Are you tormented? Ask for the touch that brings liberation. Are you brokenhearted? Ask Him to bind up your wounds. Are you afflicted with disease? Ask for the word that brings deliverance. From the very beginning, God has assured us, “I am the Lord Who heals you” (Exodus 15:26). Take Him at His word today.

Blessing: 

My Lord Who heals me, I thank You for the stripes that Jesus took on His back for my healing. I ask that You would restore my joy. I ask that You would heal my body from all sickness and disease. I ask that You would increase my faith to receive this gift of healing, and that You would grant me peace as I wait for the answer. In the name of Jesus Christ…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Judges 8:17-9:21

New Testament 

Luke 23:44-24:12

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 99:1-9

Proverbs 14:9-10

 

 

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