Note: At church and in these Devotionals we are on an adventure called 90 Days with Jesus that will culminate at Easter. Throughout this adventure we are considering the amazing stories of the Master Teacher and Storyteller, Jesus Christ. This week’s Devotionals will not specifically deal with this week’s story. The story of the “Mustard Seed” helps us “picture the kingdom of God” in good and helpful ways through the image of the tiny mustard seed growing into a great tree that increasingly influences and blesses the world. Our mission is to bless the world with the kind of love and care God gives to us as His children. When the opportunity comes, we share the message of salvation with those God is using our lives to bless. What an exciting thing it is to be a part of a spiritual kingdom that is influencing and winning the world one person at a time as individual lives are touched and reclaimed for God. We hope this week’s Devotionals will serve to compliment the story of the “Mustard Seed” and be a blessing to you.
Only do not rebel against the LORD; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them. But all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Then the glory of the LORD appeared in the tent of meeting to all the sons of Israel. Numbers 14:9-10
Surely you shall not come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. Your children, however, whom you said would become a prey--I will bring them in, and they will know the land which you have rejected. But as for you, your corpses will fall in this wilderness. Your sons shall be shepherds for forty years in the wilderness, and they will suffer for your unfaithfulness, until your corpses lie in the wilderness. According to the number of days which you spied out the land, forty days, for every day you shall bear your guilt a year, even forty years, and you will know My opposition. I, the LORD, have spoken, surely this I will do to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be destroyed, and there they will die. Numbers 14:30-35
They brought to the Pharisees the man who was formerly blind. Now it was a Sabbath on the day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also were asking him again how he received his sight. And he said to them, “He applied clay to my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” Therefore, some of the Pharisees were saying, “This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” But others were saying, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And there was a division among them …. So a second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give glory to God; we know that this man is a sinner.” He then answered, “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” So they said to him, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?” He answered them, “I told you already and you did not listen; why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become His disciples too, do you?” They reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where He is from.” The man answered and said to them, “Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.” John 9:13-16, 24-33
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
Caleb and Joshua stood tall in the assembly of Israel by choosing to be faithful stewards of God’s promises even in the face of the opposition leaders who opposed them and the promises of God. God promised that the inhabitants of the land would become prey to the people of Israel if they would be obedient and enter and take possession of the land. Under the influence of the opposing team of ten, the people were terrified that their wives and children would become prey to the inhabitants of the land if they were to enter in and try to take possession of it. And in an ironic twist, an entire generation of Israelites, except for Caleb and Joshua, became prey to the wilderness because of their direct opposition and disobedience to God to enter and take possession of the land He had given to them.
The blind man from the New Testament spoken of in the John passage above was faithful to the stewardship entrusted to Him as one who encountered Jesus Christ and had his sight restored by his healing touch. The blind man stood tall in the midst of opposition and had an impact on them and others around him as he carefully and simply told his story as a faithful kingdom member. How was he able to do all this so readily? It is because the reality of both his encounter with Jesus Christ and his miraculous healing dominated his mind, heart, and soul. In redemption we encounter Jesus Christ and receive the miraculous healing touch of his eternal forgiveness.
This salvation experience with Jesus Christ could not be any more powerful and real an experience than if it had come about while being face to face with Jesus Christ like the blind man in our story. And this is just the beginning for us. Our salvation experience with Jesus Christ allows him take up residence in the core of our being where we encounter him and receive his healing touch over and over again. When our encounter with Jesus Christ and his miraculous healing touch (initial and ongoing) dominate our mind, heart, and soul, we will readily stand tall, share our story, and impact the people around us (opposition as well).
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, thank you again for your amazing grace. Fill me with an awareness of your presence and healing touch that is full and all-encompassing. May I be a good steward of your grace this very day as I more readily than ever before stand tall, share my story, and impact the people around me. May you be honored and glorified in full. Amen!
Posted on Thu, April 11, 2019
by Ken Hart