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Listen while you read: "Praise The Lord Who Reigns Above"1 (Lyrics)
God brought the saying to my mind; I never imagined anything would come of it.
Every second week, I change the saying on the sign in front of the church that I pastor. Since I tire of trying to find unique sayings — and since we didn't have anything special happening to advertise, I try to listen for God's still, small voice. "Hurting people find healing here" came to mind. Appropriate, I thought. After all, churches should be places where anyone can come for emotional, spiritual, and even physical healing.
A couple in our church who own a construction company had been remodelling our Sunday school area and feverishly trying to finish it before our annual Vacation Bible School. As they worked late one night, a stranger banged on the door. Wary at first to let him in, since the stench of alcohol surrounded him, they eventually decided to open the door. He wanted nothing but to talk. "You may have saved my life," he said later when he left.
Matthew 4:23-24 – Jesus traveled throughout the region of Galilee, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. News about him spread as far as Syria, and people soon began bringing to him all who were sick. And whatever their sickness or disease, or if they were demon possessed or epileptic or paralyzed — he healed them all. (NLT)
But Jesus didn't just heal people Himself, He commissioned His disciples to do the same.
Luke 9:1-2 – One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. (NLT)
As God's representative, I must share His healing power with others who are hurting. The only way I can do this is through tangible acts that touch their lives. Even those incapacitated by health ailments can carry on an active intercessory prayer ministry. Other acts might include supporting an orphaned child, encouraging missionaries serving overseas in dangerous areas, carrying meals to shut-ins, or teaching in a local church.
Opportunities abound, but healing the hurting is a mandate that we can't ignore. Through acts of love, I validate my relationship with Christ to myself and others. When they see love in action, they will be more likely to trust the Saviour Whom I serve.
Let us each think of one way that we can help to heal those who are hurting.
Prayer: Father, motivate us to reach out in love to those who are hurting. Amen.
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As I read your words the thought came to me that that healing includes physical tokens of support as well as words. May we never miss the opportunity to do both.