396. Thinking As We Should About Ourselves. Romans 12:3-4

We all have different ways of regarding ourselves. We dislike those who seem to act as superior to others and make us feel like second class citizens. It is true that so many people are focussed on themselves and their own interests and pay scant attention to the interests of others. It is one of the marks of pride which Jesus said was one of the things that come out from a person to defile them. Mark 7:22.

There are many warnings in the Bible that tell us about the dangers of pride in humans, for example Proverbs16:18, Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. AND Proverbs 29:23, One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honour. Obviously God does not like pride in His creatures and warns them not to be proud.

What God has done through the writings of St Paul is to show us how we are able to have the right opinion of ourselves. We see that in Romans 12:3, “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”We see here these truths,

1]. We are not to have too high an opinion of ourselves. 

“not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think.” The word for “to think of himself more highly’ is from [hyperphrone, ὑπερφρονεῖν] which means to esteem oneself overmuch, that is to be proud, vain or arrogant. It means ignoring God and His demands on His creatures and choosing to do one’s own will. It means setting ourselves up as the lord and master of our lives and forgetting that we are creatures who are meant to be always dependent on our Creator God. 

2].We are to think with sober judgment about ourselves. 

“but to think with sober judgment” [from sōphroneō; σωφρονέω]. This word comes from sōzō; σώζω meaning to save or heal and from phroneō; φρονέω meaning to think or to exercise the mind. Combined it means to think soberly or healthily.

In other words to think godly thoughts which reflect the nature of God and are not severely limited by human powers of reasoning.

That means in practice that I am not to consider myself above what God has made me to be nor by how He has renewed me by His Spirit. Rather I am to remember that my entire existence is a given by God in His grace and mercy and that it is by His grace alone that I can make the right judgments about myself and about others as a new creation in Him. 

On the other hand it reminds me that I should not consider myself of no worth or of little value in the kingdom of God. God has called me to belong to His body the church [the ecclesia], the ones whom God has “called out” from the world to belong to Him to fulfil His purpose. I am to recognise that that God has a purpose and plan to fulfil in and through me. That is how St Paul saw his life before God in 1 Corinthians 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” We are who we are by the grace of God and it requires that we remain in close fellowship with Him so that His grace can accomplish what He wants to do in and through our lives. 

3]. We are to think “according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”

St Paul began this section by writing “For by the grace given to me.” He wasn’t relying on his own human wisdom gathered over the years. Rather he was describing what God in His grace and wisdom had given him to share with the believers in Rome. 

Now he demands that his readers use their minds according to the faith that God had gifted them in His grace and mercy, to be able to think correctly. That faith had equipped them to be able to see things as God sees them, to access His wisdom as His Spirit enlightened them and to see themselves and others in a new light. 

That is borne out in what Paul continued to write in this passage. His readers were to see themselves humbly as individual members of one body, 

4]. We are humbly to play our part with others in the body of Christ, the church.

St Paul wanted his readers to understand that as believers they were dependent on others in the body of Christ. They were individuals but individually members of one another. Different members had different functions, having different gifts. Romans 12:4. “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5. so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them….. .”

What St Paul is reminding us here is that God in His grace has gifted individuals with different gifts to be used for His purposes. It means that none of us has all the gifts and so we need to be dependent on others in the church for God to do what He wants through the church. It is all due to the grace of God at work through His people whom He has called in His grace and mercy to live and work for Him. They may have different gifts but they are all to use what gift they have, according to the grace given to them.

Where then is there any place for pride or arrogance in any believer? There is none! It is God who has called them to belong to Him. It is God who has equipped them by His grace with the gifts they need to do the work He has for them to do.

Perhaps our humble prayer should be, in the words of the hymn

“All to Jesus I surrender

All to Thee I freely give

I will ever love and trust you

in your presence daily live.”

BlogNo.396. Posted on Saturday 26 January 2022. [Australia Day].

Posted in BIBLE PASSAGE OUTLINES, Bible verses. Comments, Creation, Evangelism, Faithfulness, Holy Spirit, Mental Health, Prayer, Salvation, Sanctification, Spiritual Gems in the New Testament, TOPICS | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

395. TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE OPPORTUNITY TO RECEIVE HEALING

[A Sermon on Mark 0129 I preached in the Healing Service at St Andrew’s Cathedral in February1990.]

James wrote, “You have not because you ask not.”

A hymn has these words. “O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”

We need to act on the opportunities we have to receive the grace of God or we may miss out!

In this passage are 2 accounts of opportunities taken to receive healing from Jesus.

  1. Peter’s Mother in law

Jesus returned from the synagogue in Capernaum to Peter’s house where they found Peter’s mother in law ill with a fever.  She was probably in no fit condition to reach out to Jesus for healing.  However Peter and the others brought her need to Jesus, something she was not well enough to do for herself. We read how Jesus took her by the hand and restored her to greater health so that she was able to get up immediately and make them a nice hot cuppa.

It may be tonight that you’re here to receive prayer for someone who is unable to be present either because of distance, or through illness. It’s our privilege to pray with you for God’s blessing on that other person, and we hear every week of wonderful answers to prayer in this way.

Like the people in Peter’s home, we simply join together to tell Jesus about the one who is sick, and leave it to Him to reach out to them in His love, and in His way and in His time.

2. The Sick of Capernaum

Good news can sometimes travel as fast as gossip. Within hours of the man being delivered, and of Peter’s mother in law being healed, people came to the home where Jesus was, bringing all their sick and those with evil spirits. In fact the whole town was outside to see what was going to happen.  They witnessed many being healed and delivered of evil spirits.

We’re not told whether it was the people who brought the sick, who had faith, or whether it was the sick folk themselves. It would appear that those who were sick and were able to make it on their own, got there, whilst those who weren’t well enough to make it, were brought by others.  What is true, is that all the people took the opportunity that was provided, and wonderful healing took place.

Many of us who have been involved in the Healing ministry have seen both of these things happen. There have been occasions when someone has come and asked for prayer for another person who was too ill to be present.  Hands were laid on the person who brought the request, and prayer offered for the other person, and later news is brought of that other person’s wonderful healing.

Or on other occasions, the sick person manages to come for prayer, and prayer and the laying on of hands is ministered, and the person receives a healing.  Whichever way it happens, it is still the same God who has brought the healing. The risen Christ is the Healer, and He can heal the person who is present, or the person who is geographically distant.  The reason is, that though you and I can only ever be in one place at one time, Christ isn’t limited like we are.

Let’s notice what happened just a few hours after Jesus ministered in Capernaum. Mark says that He drew aside to pray in the early hours of the morning.  But His quiet time was disturbed by His disciples who followed Him. They told Him that everyone was looking for Him.

His response may seem surprising. Instead of returning to Capernaum and continuing His teaching and healing ministry, He told His disciples that it was now time for Him to leave to go to minister in other towns.  And He did, going throughout all Galilee preaching and casting out demons.

The opportunity to receive the Lord’s healing had only been offered for a short time in Capernaum, and then it was withdrawn for some time.  But praise God, many took advantage of it and knew the Lord’s touch on their lives.

What if, what if there had been some in Capernaum who heard that Jesus had the power to heal but didn’t act upon it. Some could have said the same sort of things that people say today and fail to come to Him for healing. 

Some could have said, “I’m always suspicious about healing ministries. There are some funny people involved in healing ministries so I’ve heard. I don’t want to get involved with some weirdos. I’ll just hang back a bit and wait to see if the people who receive prayer actually live through it.”

Or others could have said, “I’m still working out my theology of healing, to see whether the scriptures actually indicate that healing might be a possibility in today’s world. “That’s not a bad attitude in some ways, for we need to search the scriptures to see whether these things are so. But when are we going to be convinced? The religious leaders and scholars of Jesus’ day saw firsthand His healings. They were confronted with Lazarus, a man whom Jesus had raised from the dead, yet they still wouldn’t believe.

In fact their unwillingness to believe in Jesus’ healing power made them look away from the proof before their eyes, and made them try to wipe out both Jesus and Lazarus.  Such is the strength of religious prejudice.  It refuses to be convinced and tries to destroy the evidence. It often tries to do so through character assassination.

{ ILLUSTRATION. The founder of this Healing Ministry Canon Jim Glennon  had a funny eye and a different sort of walk. Many scoffed at him and at his apparent physical difficulties. But God chose him to raise up this ministry to His glory and blessed it over all these years. It’s as though God said, “I’ll exalt him internationally, through a wonderful healing he’ll perform, knowing I can trust him to exalt Me.” He did perform a marvellous healing recently overseas which made national papers.  How wonderful that even the paper recorded his words, “Sometimes there are remarkable results. At other times there are not. We just have to leave it to God. “

What are the factors that would inhibit anyone from receiving prayer for healing?

Hopefully, not unbelief or religious prejudice. But there could be other factors. 

Fear of what people might think is one factor.  What would my friends in my church say?

Or pride. “I don’t need other people to pray for me. I’m a mature Christian! ” You may also need to be a humble one, letting God minister through other people to you.

Or it could be that you would feel a hypocrite for asking for help from God, when you’ve not really had much time for Him up to the present. It’s true that God wants to be the Lord of your life, but it’s possible to give your life to Him and ask for help at the same time.

The opportunity to ask Jesus into your life, to be your Saviour and Lord, or to receive prayer for healing and blessing, is here now.  

But I don’t know, and you don’t know, how many other opportunities you will have.  Certainly in Jesus’ day, there were many who missed out on His blessing.

Don’t be among those who in Feb 1990 had the opportunity but missed out. Be encouraged as you reach out to the Lord for your healing, by this fact, that God loves you and wants to bring you blessing, more than you want to receive it.

Blog No.395 posted on Monday 24 January 2022.

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394. In all things God works for the good of those who love Him. Romans 8:28.

These words from Romans 8:28 have meant a great deal to believers of all ages throughout history. Many have seen His hand at work in their very difficult situations as they faced inevitable danger. They cried out to Him and He worked in their situations to release them from those dangers. Others faced life threatening illnesses and their cries for help were marvellously answered as they were healed.

However God works for the good of His children as they ask Him for guidance for their lives. especially is this so as they mature and begin to think about their lives in serving the Lord in living for Him for the rest of their lives. We see that in this verse and in the verses surrounding the truth this one. Rom 8:28 describes those who love God as “those who are called according to His purpose.” In other words God has a plan and purpose in life for those who come to love Him and it is a joy and delight for those people to discover what that plan and purpose in life entails for them personally.

Personal truth

That became very personal for me in 1964 when I returned to QLD from Melbourne [over 1600 Km apart] during university holidays in August. In that time I had caught up with my dear friend Carole whom I had been courting before I left in January to attend college in Melbourne. We were returning from a long trip to visit my sister’s family in Central Qld when we pulled up outside a small country town for a brief rest before we completed the journey home. Knowing I was shortly to return to Melbourne and that we would not be together again for several months we began to discuss our future. What seemed to be certain for both of us was that we believed that God in His goodness had brought us together in the same parish and had seemed to have smiled on our relationship. We both felt that we would be serving the Lord together in Christian ministry in the days ahead. What was uncertain was where and when!

In spite of knowing that we could not get married for at least 18 months and that we would only have a very limited time together before then, it seemed right for me to ask Carole to marry me if she believed it was the right thing to do before the Lord. Imagine my delight when she replied, “Yes, of course!” At that moment our futures were set. We would continue what we were doing as the Lord had guided us already so that Carole would fulfil her obligation to the Education Department and we could be married at the end of January some 18 months in the future. Our parents were delighted with the news of our engagement and so were all our friends. It just seemed to be so right before the Lord! I was glad later that we had become engaged on that day because only a few days later my father became ill, was admitted to hospital and died of a brain tumour shortly after.

In the goodness of God I was able to take my mother with me back to Melbourne where she stayed with my sister and her new husband for the rest of the year. When we returned to QLD it was sad to see how upset my mother was as we approached our home. But in the weeks ahead and with the support of Carole and her mother, she began to be comforted and strengthened to begin a new life as a widow.

In other articles I have expressed my gratitude to the Lord for how He used Carole in so many ways in her work and ministry as a PhysEd teacher and youth group leader whilst supporting my mother. His love flowed through her in every relationship she had and many were blessed by her love and concern for them.

Just 56 years ago on 22nd January 1966 Carole and I were married in our hometown and within a few days Carole and I drove to Melbourne to begin our married life. In the goodness of God Carole gained immediate employment in a new High School as a Phys Ed teacher and formed warm friendships with both staff and students. I continued in my studies. At the end of 1968 we returned to QLD where I was ordained for ministry in Coorparoo parish.

Again in the goodness of God we were able to form rich friendships with many who are still friends today. Later we moved to Mt Gravatt parish where we saw the Lord move in power in bringing many into His kingdom through our ministry and a new church and Rectory were built. It was a wrench to us when we felt led to accept an invitation to become the Dean of the Cathedral in Armidale in northern NSW. Again the Lord was faithful and worked for the good of His people in bringing His blessings to so many.

It was a surprise to be invited to take over the leadership of the Healing Ministry at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney where Canon Jim Glennon had become a world leader in the Healing Ministry of the church. But again the Lord gave us the assurance that we should accept the invitation and we experienced His blessing during the 18 years we ministered in Sydney. It was His ministry after all and He used many people in that ministry to impart His blessings and healings.

In the providence of God He allowed Carole to work in Sydney and she knew His guidance and blessing in building up the most successful department of its kind in the nation. She received many awards during her time as a Senior Head Teacher in TAFE but she saw all this as the Lord’s blessing on her ministry in this area.

In 2006 Carole felt it was time for her to retire and I made the same decision after leading the Healing Ministry for 18 years. We had prayed about where to retire and it seemed right for us to move to Port Macquarie in NSW where we found many wonderful believers in our church. Again God had worked all things together for good even for our retirement.

During our time in Sydney God had worked all things together for good to meet up with folk who had come from Florida and Alabama to learn more about the Healing Ministry. That had in turn led to Carole and I being invited to minister in the USA for a month at a time over a period of 13 years and we saw the Lord’s hand at work in blessing those times for the benefit of those who invited us and to our own eternal benefit as well. This was the Lord’s doing and it was marvellous in our sight.

The Lord overcame many difficulties in allowing us to be blessed with His gift of our three children and now we have 4 grandchildren and 3 step grandchildren. What a blessing from the Lord! Carole as an only child had really appreciated our growing family.

As our friends in Florida often said”God is good, all the time!” That was so even when Carole’s health began to deteriorate in recent years. In His goodness she was able to receive the best of attention at our local hospital and she knew His healing as she went through operations, radiation and chemotherapy over several years. When chemo no longer worked and the cancer advanced through her body I saw how the Lord strengthened Carole in her final days as she continued reading out aloud passages of the Bible as she maintained her close relationship with Him. Never did she ever doubt His love for her and her final days were full of peace for her. It made it so much easier for us when He took her home to Himself in October 2019.

So throughout the 58 years since Carole said “Yes, of course!” to my marriage proposal we have experienced this truth in Romans 8:28 that God works all things together for good for those who love Him! What a privilege it has been to marry my very best friend ever and to share in ministry together for all those years to so many people. What a privilege if has been to share together in bringing 3 wonderful children into the world and through them to share the joy of being grandparents. What a privilege it has been for Carole and me to be used as part of the good things He was working in the lives of so many people.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Praise Him all creatures here below! For He is the God who does work all things together for good for those who love Him! Eternally grateful!!!

Blog No. 394 posted on Friday 21st January 2022. (Just one day before Carole and I would have celebrated 56 years of a blessed marriage!)

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393. SOME CHRISTMAS ARTICLES TO READ AND LATER LISTEN TO ON SPOTIFY

I found that I had written a number of articles regarding Christmas over the last few years and thought that what I had written might be helpful for others to look at in their own preparation for the Christmas season. For example, many preachers preparing sermons for their Christmas services at the busy time leading up to Christmas. Or some folk might like to share the articles with family and friends this season.

So what I have done is to put them all on the one page in this article with a link to each of the articles to click on to open.

I am hoping I might get time also to post them on Spotify as audio files that anyone can listen to freely. So here they are:-

May the Lord Jesus Christ of Christmas bless you richly as you read or listen to these articles.

Blog No.393. Posted on Sunday 06 December 2021

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392. How God Sees Us As His Children. 2Thessalonians 2.

This is also available as an audio talk on the free plat

When Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica he wrote to assure them that Jesus had not yet returned to the earth. He wrote to assure them they had not missed out on Jesus’ coming which was still in the future, but they would have to go through trials and persecution until that time.

In the letter he recognised that their faith was growing and their love for one other was increasing. In fact he told them he boasted about them in God’s churches about their perseverance in faith in all the persecutions they were enduring.

As he encouraged them to stand firm in their faith, he reminded them of what God had already done in bringing them to Himself. 

A Thanksgiving To God For His Work In Them. 13-14. 

13. But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 

  • God loved them, “brothers and sisters loved by the Lord”. They were growing in love for one another but that was motivated by the incredible truth that God’s love had touched their lives and that they were all recipients of God’s undeserved love and grace.
  • He had chosen them to belong to Himself, “because God chose you.” As Paul reminded the Ephesian believers, Eph1:4, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” Chosen by God to belong to Him before the world was even made! That’s grace!
  • They were chosen to be “first fruits to be saved.”  The believers in Thessalonica had been among the first to respond to Paul’s preaching of the gospel and had been saved as they responded to the message in faith. 

God’s Method In Calling Them To Himself. 13

Through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14. He called you to this through our gospel.  

  • They were to remember that God had taken the initiative in calling them  to belong to Him. That call came to them as they heard the preaching of the good news of the gospel. They had realised that God was offering them forgiveness and a new life if they believed in the truth of the gospel message about Jesus. They had believed.
  • But the love and grace of God was also to be seen in their acceptance of the gospel message. It had been the ministry of the Holy Spirit in opening their eyes to the truth about Jesus. He had “sanctified” them.  The word “sanctify” from hagiasmos, ἁγιασμός means the process of making holy but it also refers to the fact that God by His Spirit had “set them apart” from the unbelieving world, to be saved as they believed in the gospel message.  What amazing grace they had experienced in the whole process as they responded to the gospel. 

God’s Purpose In Calling Them To Himself. 

“that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

  • God’s grace was not only to get them saved but something much deeper. They were to share in the glory of the Lord Jesus. The word here for “share” is peripoiēsis, περιποίησις from peri meaning around and poieo to make or do. That is, “to make around oneself” or to “purchase” or “preserve.” They had obtained for themselves Christ’s glory. As Paul wrote to the Ephesian believers, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18. That glory they had received could increase as they were more and more transformed by the Holy Spirit. 

The Exhortation To Stand Firm. Vs 15.

15. “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.”

  • “Stand firm” is from stēkō; στήκω and is in the perfect tense of the verb. That is, you are already standing firm, but keep on standing firm!
  • “hold fast to the teachings.” “Hold fast” is from krateō; κρατέω meaning to seize, take hold of,  retain and is present tense, “keep on holding fast.”  
  • “Teachings” here is from paradosis; παράδοσις meaning that which is handed over, such as tradition or a body of teaching. 
  • “Passed on” is from didaskō; διδάσκω to teach. 
  • Paul is commending the Thessalonian believers for their firm stand for the Lord but encouraging them to continue on in the teaching they had brought to them by word or by epistle.
  • He then turns to prayer as he prays that the Lord would encourage and strengthen them in their faith.

The prayer for encouragement. 16-17.

Paul describes God as “God our Father who loved us.“ Not only that but he again refers to God’s grace in giving them eternal encouragement  and good hope. 16. “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope” God’s grace is not just His unmerited favour towards us but is also His enabling us to do the things we want to do. He is able to do it eternally and because of that we have a good and sure hope. 

The prayer concludes with Paul writing, 17. [May our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father] –“encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”

He is praying that God would continue to do what He had already done in bringing them encouragement and strength in everything they said and did. 

It is a shame that a magnificent passage such as this one is often overlooked as we read the Bible. But it reminds us of so much of our Christian faith. For in it we see the wonderful love that God has for His children and the effort He made in Christ to bring them to Himself in His mercy and grace.

How great it is to realise that God had an eternal purpose for us before we were born, that we should be saved and come to share in the glory of Christ.

How humbling to know that our hearing and responding to the gospel message was only made possible through the ministry of the Holy Spirit in setting us apart from the unbelieving world in order that we might believe and enter into the Christian family.

How blessed we are to know that God will not leave us alone as we seek to live for Him but will keep on strengthening us in His eternal grace and love in our every good deed and word.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!

Blog No.392. Posted on Wednesday 01 December 2021

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391.Thoughts on Remembrance [Armistice] Day 2021

[This can be found in audio format on Spotify under Jim Holbeck]

Over the years I have often had sad thoughts on Remembrance Day as I thought about the very young men and women who went to war for Australia and for other nations and who never returned home. Such a tragic loss for so many families around the world. Oh, why don’t people seek peace rather than resort to the stupidity of war! No wonder Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Mat 5:9. I suppose that saying of Jesus has motivated me to attempt to be a peace-maker throughout my life.

Just 2 years ago today [11thNovember] it was an especially sad Remembrance Day for me because at 11am the Thanksgiving funeral service for my late wife Carole was about to begin at St Thomas Anglican church in Port Macquarie NSW.  That was the exact time the nation stops to remember those brave men and women who served our nation during so many military conflicts. 

The Rector had arranged for someone to take part at the beginning of the service who led us in prayer for those who had served in military service. My mind went to my father who at 19 years of age had sailed to England in 1916 to fight in the trenches of France and Belgium in World War 1. A fine man, humorous, hardworking and fair. I remembered thinking of Carole’s uncle who had travelled from India to also fight in that war in the British army. With just a few days to go before the war ended, he had been fatally shot by a sniper and never returned home to India. He was never to know that his much younger brother [and Carole’s father] would become a legend in field hockey history with 2 Olympic Gold medals and perhaps the best in his position ever. In front of me in the church was my nephew who had served 2 tours of military duty in the Australian Army as a medical doctor in Afghanistan and praise God, had survived those battles. 

Then my mind returned in the thanksgiving service for my wife beloved Carole. She had passed away from a long bout with cancer just 11 days before. They had been very sad days missing her so much after 53 years of a wonderful fulfilling marriage for both of us. I realised as tributes were read to her which had come from all over the world, that she had been admired and loved by so many people. She in turn had poured out her love to a multitude of people in different situations. I had been the recipient of her very special love and I had begun to feel the emptiness of my life without her. She had been the most special person in my life for over 55 years and it was difficult to imagine living without her. However we had produced 3 wonderful children who had loved her so much and were there with me in the service. 

The world changed on that Remembrance Day 2 years ago. Many people had been unable to get to the funeral service because the disastrous bush fires had cut off access to the town for people outside our area. When the fires ceased there had been a massive flood and it not long after that, that the Covid 19 virus arrived forcing people to isolate. We have been living in a different world since then with little access to friends and family. Now we are beginning to live with Covid 19 in the world but I think I will find it still hard to live without my beloved Carole as we get back to “normal.” But I do so with a tremendous sense of gratitude to God for having brought her all the way from her birthplace Kharagpur in India to meet and marry me in Australia, to enrich my life and the lives of so many people for so many years. 

Memories are often wonderful and humbling as we remember the love and graciousness of our God in His blessings to us. I can identify with King David as he wrote in Psalm 143:5, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands. I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.” What wonderful memories so many of us have, as we reflect on the Lord’s loving kindness to us throughout our lives!

Blog No.391. Posted on Friday 12 November 2021.

Posted in Bible verses. Comments, Coping With Personal Grief, Creation, Evangelism, Faithfulness, Glorification, Healing, Mental Health, Prayer, Real Life Stories, Salvation, TOPICS, Tributes | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

390. A SERMON ON JOHN 14:12-14.  God can fulfil His promises. [The text of a sermon I preached at a healing service in St Andrew’s Cathedral. Sydney probably in the early 2000’s.]

[This can be found in audio format on Spotify under Jim Holbeck.}

“It sounds just too good to be true.”

We may have often thought something like that when we heard something that sounded really exciting. It sounded unbelievable. Surely it couldn’t be as good as it sounded.

It may have been an advertisement we heard that promised something valuable for almost nothing. But we were disappointed as we later read the small print, and found the promise wasn’t so good after all.

When we first start to read about God’s promises in the Bible, they sound almost too good to be true.  Jesus’ promise in Jn 14:13,14 is like that.

Tonight let’s face up to His promises to us in His word, and the conditions that might apply for the receiving of those promises.

  1. We must have faith and ask in Jesus’ name.

(John 14:12)  “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I  have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going  to the Father.”(John 14:13) “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may  bring glory to the Father.”(John 14:14)  “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

The promise is that God will do for us whatever we ask for, or anything we ask for.  But the condition is that we need to have faith in Jesus (14:12), and that we ask in His name.

In other words, the promise is for those who have received Christ into their lives by an act of faith, and who trust in Him as their Saviour and Lord.  Then as they ask in His name, the answers come.

We need to understand what it means to ask “in His name.”

In the Bible the “name” is important. It represents all that the person is, and all that the person has done. So as we come to ask in Jesus’ name, it is on the basis of Who He is, as the Son of God, the Creator, and the Lord of the universe.

It is also on the basis of all He has done as our Redeemer; in dying on the cross to take away our sins and our infirmities, griefs and diseases.  Because of that, forgiveness and healing are now available.

It’s on the basis that He is risen from the dead, that He is alive, and has given us the gift of His own Spirit to live in us to enable us to know Him and His word and His will, that we might know and act on His promises.

  1. Lack of faith hinders God’s power

Jesus and His disciples were in a boat at night when a storm arose and the boat began to sink. They were filled with fear, and surprised that Jesus remained asleep in the boat.

When they woke Him, He not only rebuked the wind and the waves and told them to be still, but He rebuked them for their little faith. (Mark 4:40)  “He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” There was no need for fear when He was present with them.

Jesus returned to His own hometown having accomplished many healings and miracles in other places. But we read of Nazareth in (Mk 5,6, “He could not do any miracles there, except lay His hands on a few sick people and heal them. And He was amazed at their lack of faith.” Many healings and miracles could have taken place, but the people of Nazareth refused to act in faith towards Him and they missed out on what they could have received.

Peter was moved to ask Jesus to bid him to walk on the water to Jesus.  Jesus told him to do so, and he stepped out in faith and began walking on the water. But he looked away from Jesus and as he looked at the storm about him, fear entered in and he began to sink.

I would have thought it was a great effort to begin to walk on the water, a gigantic step of faith. But Jesus rebuked Peter, (Mat 14:31) “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”” He could have walked to Jesus if he had trusted in Jesus’ promise to him, but doubt entered in and he sank. How often do we take our focus off Jesus and begin to focus on the difficulties around us? Doubt is so unnecessary in the light of Jesus’ promises and power!

  1. Doubt hinders the reception of answers to prayer.

The disciples were standing amazed as they looked at a fig tree that Jesus had cursed the night before, and now it was withered up. They had seen a demonstration of His power.  He encouraged them to act on His power as He said to them, (Mark 11:23) “”I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.” (Mark 11:24) “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

As we face the mountains of life, those seemingly impossible situations, we can invite Jesus to manifest His power in removing those mountains, and by asking Him to give us what we need.  Having asked in faith, we are then to believe that we have received what we need in Him.

A father had brought his son to be set free of an evil spirit which was trying to kill the boy. Jesus’ disciples hadn’t been able to help the boy, so the father brought him to Jesus.  He asked Jesus to heal the boy, “If you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.”. Jesus’ reply was a challenge to the father and to us.  He said, “If you can? Everything is possible to him who believes. ”

The father began to exercise more faith as he replied, (Mark 9:24)  “Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” He had approached Jesus in faith for his son to be healed, but he wanted to be free of all pockets of unbelief so that more might happen for his son.

You and I may have faith for God to work in some situations, but we need to let Him deal with those areas in which we find it hard to believe that God can intervene and work a miracle. We could well pray, “Help me overcome my unbelief.” That is an acknowledgement that none of us has perfect faith. It is a further step of faith to ask that God might remove all pockets of unbelief that HE sees in us.

James wrote about prayer, that if we need wisdom from God, we should ask God to give it to us, expecting that He will.  But he qualified it by writing, (James 1:6-8) “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who  doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double minded man. unstable in all his ways.”

Doubt says, “I’m asking for it Lord, but I don’t expect to get it.” That’s double-mindedness. Faith says, “I ask in faith trusting in Your promise, and I thank you that I have received it.”

  1. An active faith brings the answers.

Jesus says to His people in all ages, that if they believe and act on His promises, they will receive the answers they need. (Mat 7:7-8, cf., Lk 11:9-10) “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

He concludes those sayings by stating, “If you then (as earthly fathers) who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts (Lk. the Holy Spirit) to those who ask Him? ”

Jesus stressed the need for Christians to be united in prayer, and promised, (Mat 18:19) “”Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about  anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.”

The Ruler of the synagogue Jairus came to Jesus to get Him to go to his home where his daughter was dying.  As they journeyed, servants came from the home to tell the father that her daughter was dead. We read in (Luke 8:50)  “Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just  believe, and she will be healed.””

They continued on their journey in faith, and Jesus restored the daughter to life.

A Roman Centurion had a servant who was seriously ill. He asked Jesus to come to his home and heal the servant.  When Jesus replied that He would, the Centurion showed incredible faith by suggesting to Jesus that if Jesus just spoke the word of healing his servant would be healed.

Jesus was astonished at such faith in a Gentile, and told His hearers, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” Then He told the Centurion, (Mat 8:13) “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” The result? “And his servant was healed at that very hour.” Sometimes it is the most unlikely people who have the greater faith in the Lord!

Two blind men were following Jesus. They asked Him to heal them. He replied, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” He called for their affirmation of faith in His ability to bring them the healing they needed.  When they responded, “ Yes, Lord” He brought them the healing they had asked for.

Paul reminded the Galatian believers of what God was doing in their midst as they responded to Him in faith. (Gal 3:5) “Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?”  It was because they had faith in the power of God that they saw Him perform His miracles and healings.

John reminded believers of all ages, that we need to respond to God in faith and obedience.

(1 John 3:22) “and [we] receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his  commands and do what pleases him.”

God’s people were to act on His promise that they were to pray for the sick.  If they did so, then, “the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.” (James 5:15.) The prayer offered in faith can open any situation to the power of God.

The principle of faith at work. What faith does.

(Heb 11:1) “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what  we  do not see.”   ie., Faith brings substance to our hopes. That is, we learn about the promises of God in His word, and they inspire hope within us. As we claim those promises in prayer before the Lord, He brings them to pass; the hoped-for thing becomes substance (reality) in our experience.

  1. God can do more than we ask or imagine.

The promises of God are truth, not fiction. They seem to be way out of this world, almost unbelievable. They seem to be too good to be true. But God loves people who will take Him at His word, and who claim His promises, expecting them to come true in their experience.

But let me encourage you with this final truth that God can do more than we can ever ask for. He can do far more than we can ever imagine. As Paul wrote, (Eph 3:20)  “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,”

Tonight as you prepare to receive prayer for your needs, or for the needs of a loved one, come trusting in the promises of God. Come:-

  1. In faith, asking in the name of Jesus.
  2. Confessing your need for your faith to grow, and
  3. Asking God to remove doubt from your mind about His promises.
  4. Come with an active faith, and come
  5. Expectantly, knowing God can do far more than you can ever ask or think.

Blog No.390 posted on Wednesday 10 November 2021

Posted in Forgiveness | 1 Comment

389. God Works Through His People. John 14. [No2 in a series of 2]

[This can be heard in audio format on Jim Holbeck on Spotify]

God loves to work through people. *

  • He began with  Adam and Eve to form the human race. He could have manufactured millions of people at once and breathed life into them, but He began with just 2 individuals. 
  • God used an individual, Moses to prepare the people of Israel to leave their bondage in Egypt.  He could have saved His people by making a sign in the sky, “All Israelites must flee immediately towards the Red Sea, while I kill all the Egyptians”, but He used Moses to lead His people out of Egypt. 
  • Moses received the law at Mt Sinai.  God could have engraved 2 tablets with the commandments without Moses having to go up on the mountain, but He used Moses to receive His law.  
  • He used Joshua as a military leader to lead them into the promised Land. 
  • He used Kings like Saul and David to lead their armies to defeat God’s enemies.  God could have destroyed them directly by natural disasters and plagues, but He used people to fight for Him.
  • When Jesus became a human, He didn’t suddenly appear on earth as an adult human, but He was born as a dependant baby to a human mother. 

God loves to work through people.   

1. GOD WORKED THROUGH HIS SON JESUS. 

I think we often have a wrong picture of Jesus as He ministered on earth.  We think rightly that He was the Son of God, Who created the universe before He came to earth. But we may be thinking incorrectly when we think that He did all His miracles on earth by using His supernatural power to do so. 

St Paul reminds us that Jesus laid aside all His divine privileges, when He came to earth, so that he might become true man, and live by faith in His Heavenly Father.  He lived as humans should live,  in an intimate relationship with God for every moment of His life, and so God was able to work unhindered through Him.

That’s what Jesus said about His ministry in John 14 and other places. 

  • Early in His ministry, Jesus said that God was working through Him. (John 5:17)  “Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very  day, and I, too, am working.” and (John 5:36)  … the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the  Father has sent me. What God wanted to do through Jesus, He was able to do, because of Jesus’ perfect commitment to Him. 
  • In Jn 14, Philip said he wanted to see the Father, and Jesus rebuked him saying, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been  among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:10)  “Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is  in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.” John 14:9-10)  
  • When people saw Jesus, they saw God in Him. When they heard Jesus speak, they heard the words of God through Him. Jesus taught, The words I say to you are not just my own. Jn 14:10.
  • When they saw the works He did in healings and miracles, they saw God at work through His human instrument Jesus. “Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.” Jn 14:10. 

In other words, Jesus saw the origin of His teaching, and the origin of His miracles, as being in God the Father. The Father was the source of the teaching and the miracles, Jesus was the willing perfect instrument He used. 

Jesus affirmed that in John 14:11, when He said that the miracles were the sign of the perfect unity He had with the Father, so that the Father could do His work through His Son.  “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.” In other words, “In me you see God at work.” 

2. GOD WORKED THROUGH HIS PEOPLE IN THE EARLY CHURCH. 

Jesus promised His followers that God would work through them.  (John 14:12)  “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I  have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

Jesus meant that after He had died and ascended back to heaven, He would send His Spirit to come and live in the lives of all His people, so that they too might be able to be used by God as His human instruments to do His work on earth. 

They would be able to do the things that He had done, and as He said, even “greater things”. 

They would be able to pray prayers of power that would accomplish great things. eg., (Mat 21:21)  “Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not  doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say  to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.”

The apostles testified that God was working through them.  Paul and Barnabas had been sent out by the Holy Spirit, and by the church in Antioch, and when they returned to Antioch they told the church about all “that God had done through them and how He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.” (Acts 14:27)  They had preached the gospel and been used in healing, but it was really God at work through them.

Paul wrote of his ministry and that of Peter in these words, (Gal 2:8)  “For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to  the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles.” Different ministries to different people, by Paul and Peter but it was really God at work through both of them. 

He reminded the Galatian Christians that it was God who gave them the Spirit and it was God who kept on working miracles among them. “Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith—”[Gal 3:5.]

Paul summed up his ministry in his letter to the Romans when he said,  “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done, by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Rom 15:18. Paul had done the preaching and the ministry, but it was God Himself who had worked powerfully through him through the power of the Spirit 

Peter wrote of the need for Christians to exercise their gifts for the sake of the body of Christ, especially as the day of the Lord drew closer. (1 Pet 4:10) “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: “ They would do the ministry, but God would pour out His grace into the lives of those to whom they ministered.  

Those with gifts of speaking or serving were to be God’s instruments through whom He worked. “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”(1 Pet 4:11)ƒ.  The origin of the teaching and of the power was God Himself. They would be His instruments through whom He worked.  

3. GOD WORKS THROUGH HIS PEOPLE TODAY. 

The promises of God are eternal, applicable to His people in every generation.  Let’s look again at those in Jn 14. 

i. The first is in verse 12 where Jesus promised to work through His people to exercise the healing ministry He had on earth.  (John 14:12)  “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I  have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

In the 37 years that the Healing Ministry has been operating in this Cathedral, it would be true to say that people have experienced the power of the risen Christ in wonderful healings.  People  who have prayed for others have claimed that promise of Jesus, and have asked in faith for God to work through them, and the prayers have been answered, as the healings came. 

Cancers have disappeared, tumours have gone, arthritis has been healed, curved spines have been

straightened, hard hearts have been softened, empty lives have been filled, broken hearts have been mended, spiritually dead people have come alive, and spiritual renewal has taken place.  These and many other things have happened in answer to believing prayer as believers trusted God to work in answer to prayer. 

ii. The promise is that as we minister in Christ’s name, praying with the prayer of faith, it allows Christ to do His work through us.  Jesus said, (John 14:13)  “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may  bring glory to the Father.”(John 14:14)  “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” We do the asking in faith, as we pray for people, but the Risen Christ works through His body, His people, to do what is prayed for. As He said, “I will do it.”  

Again it is the same principle we have seen throughout the Bible.  God loves to minister through His people.

We do the praying, but He does the healing and the blessing. He is the origin of every healing and every blessing. But we have the privilege of often being the human instruments He uses to impart His blessings.  

We want to be involved in what he is doing, because He has give us the desire to do so, eg., Phil 2:12-13)  “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in  my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your  salvation with fear and trembling, for God is at work in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure. ” As we seek to work out our salvation, it is God at work in us who gives us the willingness and the ability to do what He wants to do through us.  Our expectancy for God to work in and through us grows as we turn away from our own weakness, and learn to depend on His strength. 

Paul’s doxology in Ephesians 3:20 reminds us of the mighty power of God that can exceed all we can ask for in believing prayer, or even in the realm of our great imagination. (Eph 3:20)  “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or  imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” Our expectancy is based on His promise and His power. 

So the basis of the Healing Ministry is that God has called us to respond to the needs of people, and we offer our ministry on the basis that we have nothing to offer, other than what God can do through us.  Even with the faith we have, we have to humbly admit that He can do in and through us, even more than we can ever ask or imagine. 

What a privilege it is to be used by the Lord in fulfilling His healing and loving purposes for the benefit of, and among our fellow humans. BUT it needs a total commitment to Him on our part to 

be His effective instruments through whom He can achieve His loving and gracious purposes.

  • [This is a republishing of a sermon I preached as the Leader of the Healing Ministry in a healing service in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney, in 1997.]

Blog No.389 posted on Wednesday 10 November 2021.

Posted in BIBLE PASSAGE OUTLINES, Bible verses. Comments, Creation, Evangelism, Faithfulness, Forgiveness, Healing, HEALING MINISTRY Core Teaching, Holy Spirit, Justification, New Covenant, Prayer, Salvation, Sanctification, Sermons on John's Gospel, TOPICS | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

388. The Basis of a Healing Ministry. [A sermon I preached in a healing service in St Andrew’s Cathedral in1997.] No1 in a series of 2.

[ This can be heard in audio format under Jim Holbeck on Spotify.]

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JESUS.  

One of the reasons why God has blessed this healing ministry over 37 years is the place we have given to Jesus Christ in the ministry. We recognise and welcome the presence of the Risen Christ amongst us as we gather together, and we pray in His name for our prayers to be answered.

What’s so important about Jesus that we focus on Him, and pray in His name? 

The passage for tonight gives us the reason. Jesus had been preparing His followers for His departure from them. It would be through death by crucifixion. He speaks to comfort them.  “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in  me. {2} In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have  told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. {3} And if I go and  prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you  also may be where I am. {4} You know the way to the place where I am going.” {5} Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can  we know the way?” 

Jesus’ reply is one of the most concise and important statements He ever made about Himself,  as He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by Me.”

Let’s see the significance of what He said. 

1. JESUS IS THE WAY 

i.   He is the truth about the Way to God.

All of us have had wrong views of how one can get right with God. Some people think it’s by belonging to a Christian family that gets you accepted. 

* Others think it’s by doing more good things than bad things that tips the scales in your favour, and so you are entitled to entry into heaven.

* Some think it’s by trying to be good, and by trying to obey the law, that gets you there. 

* Others haven’t got a clue on how to get to heaven, and are just hoping for the best. 

But Jesus said, No one comes to the Father but by Me.

When Jesus died on the cross, He was bearing in His own body the sin of all the world.  It meant that the barrier of sin that stood between God and ourselves was broken down, and forgiveness was now available to humans in Christ. Now as the writer to the Hebrews puts it, He is the new and living way through whom we can come to God. 

ii. He is the pattern of the way to live, by faith in God.

From the beginning of His life, He lived by faith in God, so that at the age of 12 as he remained behind in Jerusalem after the feast, he explained to His mother Mary and Joseph, Don’t you know that I must be about my Father’s business.

Throughout his life, He expressed His dependence on God for the things He said and did. 

As he prayed He often looked up to heaven or prayed, and then healed the sick or did something else like feeding 5,000 people, that showed that the answer was coming from God in answer to His prayers. 

In Gethsemane, as He decided to go ahead with the last part of His life of perfect obedience to God’s will, which meant going to the cross and being made sin for us, He prayed, Father remove this cup from Me. Nevertheless not my will, but your will be done. 

At the end of His life He could affirm to His Father in heaven, “Father I have accomplished all You have given me to do.”

At His death, He committed His spirit to God in faith. Father into Your hands I commit my spirit.

2. JESUS IS THE TRUTH.

i.  He is the truth  about God.

Jn 14:8} Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for  us.” {9} Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been  among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How  can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? {10} Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.

* The truth about God was expressed in the words Jesus spoke.

* The truth about God was seen in the works that Jesus performed, which he said, was the evidence that the Father was working through Him. 

*  The truths about God’s love and mercy were seen in His healing of the sick, and in setting people free of evil spirits.

*  The truth about God’s power was seen in the nature miracles and other signs Jesus performed in His ministry, which He attributed to His Father in heaven.   Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. John 14:10.““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““`

ii. He is the truth about being human. 

* In Jesus we see how humans should live by faith in God, and in dependence of Him. 

* In Jesus we see what it means for humans to love God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. 

* In Jesus we see how we are meant to live in a deep intimacy of relationship with God. 

* In Jesus we see His perfect obedience to God for every moment of His life, so that He always did what the Father wanted Him to do. 

* In Jesus we see how humans are meant to be able to show the appropriate emotions, and not be emotionally crippled, or live with giant hang-ups. 

He  wept when confronted with the grief of Mary and Martha, at their brother Lazarus’ death. 

He wept in anguish as he saw that Jerusalem would suffer destruction because of their rejection of God in rejecting Him.

He was angry at the money changers and merchants who had set up their tables in the place reserved for the Gentiles to come and pray and seek after God.  

He rejoiced when His disciples returned after preaching and healing in His name, rejoicing because of what God had done through them. He told them not to rejoice so much in what they had done, but on their status as God’s children, Luke 10: 20  However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke records in Lk 10:21,  At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. He was delighted with their delight at being used by God in His healing purposes. 

No one is perfectly emotionally whole, but Jesus as a human was, and His emotions were always

appropriate in every situation. Part of becoming more like Him, is learning from Him how to have the appropriate emotions at all times, and not living as we do as emotional cripples.  

3. JESUS IS THE LIFE. 

He is the Creator of all things, responsible for all creation, for all life. Through Him all things were made,  without Him nothing was made that has been made.  In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.  Jn 1:3,4. He is the sustainer of the universe.  Col 1:17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.  He can do things in His universe, for “He’s got the whole world in His hands”. He can do things in answer to our prayers. 

  • He revealed the life of God. Life was manifest in the life of Jesus. “The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to  us.” (1John 1:2) Jn 1. (John 14:7)  “If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
  • He imparts the life of God.  Eternal life to be found in Christ. To receive Christ as Saviour and Lord into one’s life, is to receive eternal life. In Him.  1 Jn 5:11-13. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life. He has not the Son, has not life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Eternal life, the life of God begins in us from the moment we ask Christ to come and live in our lives. Life begins anew. We are born again people, new creatures in Christ, with the old things passing away and all things becoming new. 

WHY WE PRAY IN FAITH IN JESUS’ NAME.  

As we come to God in prayer, we’re not praying to Him on the basis of our goodness, our status, or even on the basis of all the things we have achieved in life. 

Rather we come on the basis of who Jesus is as Creator and Redeemer, and on the basis of all He’s done for us on the cross, and in His death and resurrection, and in His being seated at the right hand of God in glory and honour. Rom 8: 34 says that Jesus who died and who was raised to life is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 

That’s why we can pray with confidence, knowing that He will hear us, and that He can do something about any situation for which we pray. 

{Then came the invitation to raise one’s hand to receive prayer for healing or God’s blessing and trained pray-ers would go those people and ask “What would you like the Lord to do for you?” Then they would lay hands on them and pray in faith accordingly.]

388. Posted on http://www.jimholbeck.blog on Tuesday 09 November 2021

Posted in Bible verses. Comments, Creation, Evangelism, Faithfulness, Forgiveness, Glorification, Healing, HEALING MINISTRY Core Teaching, Holy Spirit, New Covenant, Prayer, Salvation, Second coming of Jesus, Sermons on John's Gospel, TOPICS | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

387. THE UNIQUENESS OF JESUS CHRIST! He cannot be ignored!

I thought it might be helpful to put a link to the articles on the 4 recent topics on the one page so that folk might be able to tap on a gIven link and open up any of the 4 articles they wish to look at.

Jesus Christ is unique in history. He cannot be ignored! He must be accepted as Saviour and Lord of every human life! Those who refuse to do so miss out on receiving His love and grace in this life and face eternal separation from God for eternity.

God wants every single person to humble themselves in repentance and to invite Jesus into their lives to be their personal Saviour from the penalty of sin and to be the Lord and Master of every aspect of their lives from that time onwards.

1]. Jesus the CREATOR.

https://holbeck.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=8231&action=edit

2]. Jesus is the SAVIOUR!

https://jimholbeck.blog/2021/10/14/384-topic-2-jesus-the-saviour-topic-2-of-4-on-jesus-as-creator-saviour-lord-and-judge

3]. Jesus is the Lord of the universe and of the church.

https://jimholbeck.blog/2021/10/26/385-topic-3-of-4-jesus-is-lord/

4]. Jesus will be the JUDGE OF ALL THE EARTH AND ALL PEOPLES.

https://jimholbeck.blog/2021/10/27/385-topic-4-of-4-jesus-the-judge/

Blog 387 posted on Thursday 04 November 2021

Posted in Bible verses. Comments, Creation, Evangelism, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Judgement, Justification, Prayer, Salvation, TOPICS | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment