Saturday, July 26, 2014

Say the Words

There is an interesting story in the Bible in Luke 7:2-10.  A high ranking Roman soldier, a Centurion, hears that Christ is nearby and sends some people to ask him to come and heal his chief servant.  As Christ nears the home, the Centurion sent Christ a message saying in essence “I’m not worthy to have you come even under the roof of my house.  If you will but say the words I know my servant will be healed.”

Christ is amazed.  This must surely take the cake.  He even comments on the man’s audacity and boldness, and great faith.  He says, “I tell you this, I have never seen such great faith, even in all of Israel.” 

The servants return and the sick servant was healed.

And look what we have.  We have great faith.  GREAT FAITH!

What does this speak to you and me?  It speaks of great faith.

Now get the picture.  A man, the Centurion, says simply, “Christ, say the words from over there and I believe in you enough that my servant will be healed.”

And so it was so.

What kind of faith is this?

What kind of faith do you exert?  Do you need a talisman – a lucky rabbit’s foot?  Do you need to kiss a crucifix?  Do you need your hands on a certain Bible in order to see prayers answered? 

None of those were mentioned in this story.  No magic potion, no proper clothing, no burned sacrifice was needed for the healing to be performed.

Just great faith!

GREAT FAITH!

God is offering us this same access.  He still works through our faith.

The words He wants to hear the most are these – I Believe!

Need sins forgiven?  Believe in the Redeemer.

Do you have a need that needs to be met?  Believe.

I don’t understand it, but then I’m not required to understand the power of faith in God.  I just have to exercise my faith. 

Christ saved the servant that day.

What do you need saving from?

Now might be a dandy time to prayer your prayer of faith.



P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time


Saturday, July 19, 2014

The One Who Stands with Us

There is a great story in the Bible that I want to focus on for today’s thought.  Picture this scene.

Christ has arrived early to the Temple to teach a class.  A crowd of eager listeners gather and so the class begins.  Sooner than soon there is a disruption right in the middle of his lesson. 

A group of religious types –teachers and church leaders, burst in on the meeting dragging a woman into the middle of His lesson.  She is barely covered, more by using her hands in strategic places than by any snatches of cloth that is available to her, for she has been snatched straight from the bedchamber in her near naked state and is being forced to stand before the Christ.

The disruptive clan leader speaks.  “Teacher, we caught this woman in the middle of committing an adulterous act.  She was in bed with the man, and we dragged her here so you could see for yourself.  The Law of Moses clearly says to stone her.  What do you say?”

And here is what happened next.  He bent down.  He bent down and began writing on the floor. 

They were being ignored.  They said it louder.  “Teacher, what do you say?  The law says this.  What about your opinion?

They were setting a trap, you see.

He wrote a bit more, and then He stood up.  Christ stood up.  He looked at the woman.  She was trembling.  Her hair was a mess, shame was written all across her face, and she hung her head.  She expected the worst pronouncement of all from this man.

And Christ spoke.  He didn’t speak to her.  He spoke to the crowd.  His words echoed off the stone walls, and reverberated around the chapel chamber.

“Those without any sin my certainly cast the first stones.”

And then he bent down and wrote in the dirt.  He wrote more.

If you listen closely, you’ll hear a few well-placed thuds as the stones are falling to the ground, and you’ll hear some of them rolling around as they bounce off the hard ground. 

When He looked up, the woman still stood before Him.  She was still attempting to cover her body, and she still hung her head in shame and guilt. 

He asked her:  “Where are your accusers?  Is there no one now accusing you?

She looked around.  Shock and awe must have been in her expression, for she alone was standing in front of the man, the Christ.

She spoke in a faltering voice.  “They … they must have left.  No one is here accusing me any longer.”

And He spoke the words.  “Neither do I condemn you.  Go and sin no more.”


What a great story.  And it is not a parable – a make-believe illustration but a real life experience.

Christ stood with her when the accusers came to destroy her. 

And still today we experience the same.  Christ is on our side.  He offers redemption and restoration when others issue proclamations and decrees of condemnation.  When others judge our motives, our past and our weaknesses, Christ stands with us.

Max Lucado puts it this way.  “(Christ) is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us.”  (Romans 8:34)

When the accusations fly, his grace flows.  And it flows all the way down to where you and I stand, and covers our sins and missteps. 

He is our defense attorney.  He pleads our case for us. 

Are you placing your trust in this Christ?

He is THE one who stands with us when the stones fly, the words accuse and the court of public opinion turns south on us.

He is our ally.



P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Searching for a Savior

When I meet someone for the first time I try and look into their eyes.  And what do I see? 

Fear
  Courage
    Boldness
      Anger
        Love
          Mercy
            Confidence
              Tenderness
                Trust
                  Evil intent


When I metaphorically look into the eyes of God my Savior, I see mercy.

MERCY!

I hope you do too.

I see a generously kind and grace-filled Savior looking for His wayward child.

Are you a lonely soul in need of a Savior?  Then perhaps this will cheer your heart.  I’m borrowing some lyrics from Sandi Patti’s great song There Is a Savior, written by Greg Nelson and Bob Farrell.

There is a Savior, what joys express
His eyes are mercy, His word is rest
For each tomorrow and yesterdays
There is a Savior who lights our way.

Those are reassuring words, wouldn't you say? 

I especially love the phrase “His eyes are mercy, His word is rest.”

The world begs for mercy.  Harshness abounds on every side.  Payment is demanded.

And sometimes we want to cry out in great despair … Is There No Mercy?

And if we look at the balance sheet on which our lives and deeds are represented, we might see great gaps, goofs, missteps and misspoken words, dastardly deeds, and some stupid acts. 

Where can we find mercy for this bundle of badness?

The invitation is offered. 

“Come unto me, all who labor 
and are heavy laden.  
I will give you rest.”

And when we approach to accept the invitation, what do we find? 

Amazing relief
     Sins forgiven
          The past washed away
               A clean slate

Here is the verse to this great song. 

Are there burdens in your heart
Is your past a memory that binds you
Is there some pain that you've carried far too long
Then strengthen your heart with His good news
There is a Savior and He’s forgiving you

Now, treat yourself to this full blown version of the Talley’s singing this song.



A Prayer for All of Us

God:
I am a soul in need of a Savior.  Even at my best I often feel so inadequate. 

Help, God.

Is there really some relief from this burden of my own doing?  Is there a way out from under this weight that I bear?

If so, I’d really like some help.  I need a bucket load of help, if you don’t mind.

And so I ask … and so I expect to receive.

Your scared and very weary child,



P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Impossible Is Possible

Don’t you hate impossible situations, closed doors, stubborn relationships, mountains that can’t be climbed, and a bank account that is empty?

If there is one encouraging thought to give you today, it would be this. 

“Impossible is one of God’s favorite words.”
~Max Lucado

In Luke 1:37 Mary had just been visited by Gabriel, the chief angel of God, and she heard some perplexing news. 

   It was preposterous. 
      It was beyond imagination. 
         It was impossible. 

Her question is this:  “How can this be?”

In other words …
No way Hosea.  Are you crazy? 
Did you misunderstand the plan? 
How can I get pregnant when I've had no relationship with a man?

And the great answer comes: 
“For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

And the answer still echoes across the ages, across the gap between heaven and earth and from my heart to yours.  It is perhaps the great promise from God to mankind. 

He is saying in effect:
     ~I've got this.
     ~I see you and I know what you need.
     ~I haven’t abandoned you.
     ~I am the steady hand on the wheel of your life.
     ~Let me fight your battles for you.

I've seen a few impossible things change to possibilities before my eyes.  

-I was once given a money gift of 
$3,000 when I was down to a 
few dollars in my bank account. 

-I've been given grace 
when I should have 
been given grief.

-I've seen people healed 
when the prognosis 
was typically certain death. 

-I've survived near misses 
and an auto accident 
that could have been the end.

What have you seen?  Have you had an impossible miracle?

Remember, with God nothing is impossible. 



P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time