The Power of a Touch!

Matthew 9:20-22; Luke 8:43-48

Based on the writings of David Brandt Berg

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As Jesus taught the multitudes by the Sea of Galilee, a prominent leader of the local synagogue named Jairus came pushing through the crowd, and falling down before Him, pleaded for Jesus to heal his little daughter. “She’s at the point of death!” he cried in desperation! “Please, come and TOUCH her and make her LIVE!”

Jesus, full of compassion, agreed to go with him, and the crowd pressed behind Him. In the midst of the throng was a woman who had been sick for 12 years with a terrible bleeding haemorrhage. All this time she had gone from one doctor to another, but never with any success. She’d spent every bit of her money on doctors’ bills and suffered much from all their treatments, but still the bleeding continued.

Desperate, the woman thought, “Oh, if I could only TOUCH Him, I KNOW I could be healed!” Then, seeing Jesus afar off, she began anxiously making her way towards Him. It wasn’t easy to get through the pushing, shoving mob of onlookers who were trying to get close to Jesus, but that one thought compelled her: She had to TOUCH Him, even if only the hem of His garment!

Finally she came within reach, and stretching out her hand she was able to barely TOUCH His robe with her fingertips. No sooner had she touched Him than the bleeding stopped completely! A warm and wonderful feeling of health and well-being swept through her body and she knew that after all these years of pain and suffering, she was healed at last! Jesus paused for a moment, having felt that healing POWER had gone out from Him. Turning to the crowd He asked, “Who touched Me?” His disciples looked at Him with astonishment, saying, “With all this great crowd pressing around You, You ask who TOUCHED You?” But Jesus, knowing already who had touched Him, smiled and silently, knowingly turned to look upon the astonished woman.

Still trembling at the realisation of what had happened, she came and fell at His feet, telling Him what had happened to her. And Jesus lovingly, tenderly as a father would speak to his child, said to her, “Daughter, thy FAITH has made thee WHOLE! Go in peace and be healed of your disease.” Jesus was making it clear to all the crowd that touching His clothes was not what had healed the woman, but it was “her FAITH in Him that had made her whole”!

That woman had put her tiny grain of faith into action, and the result has echoed throughout the centuries: “Thy FAITH hath made thee WHOLE!”

There is a lesson to be learned from this story which we can APPLY to OUR lives NOW, today. Though many people thronged about Jesus, why was it that only ONE received that powerful healing touch from God? Many had gone to see Jesus out of mere curiosity, they were more interested in the sight of the man. Yet this woman, as soon as she heard of Him, BELIEVED in her heart that He could really help her, when all else had failed. So she pressed toward Him, full of faith, never giving up until she made that divine CONTACT with the Lord!

What an illustration of how PRAYER works! It’s not how LONG you pray or how MUCH you pray, but how much you BELIEVE! It’s like tuning in a radio station on your receiver. When you finally make the right contact, the signal booms in loud and clear and strong! Prayer is making contact between our human needs and God’s divine resources. All we’re doing when we pray is presenting our need and BELIEVING that God will do it. And if you are doing your best to trust the Lord and follow His Word, He will help you in your hour of need!

Anything wonderful can happen in that little margin of time when you don’t give up, but keep on believing and keep on praying! That frail sickly woman had only enough strength to draw close to Jesus, but when she ACTED on her little seed of faith, she made contact with the Lord.

What a blessing it is when we learn to contact God’s power through prayer. It is a spiritual seeking of that contact with His Spirit through OBEDIENCE to the Word of God that gets results!

It’s a shame that so many Christians today find their faith stronger in the men of medicine than in the Great Physician Himself, Jesus Christ. Actually, they haven’t lost FAITH, but they’ve just TRANSFERRED that faith to the MEDICAL profession! It’s not that doctors are bad, but they are not always necessary, or cannot help.

So often one will run to the medicine cabinet for one little ailment, ache or pain, without even considering that a simple prayer of faith could save them all that trouble! Even for a little HEADACHE, just a little faith in God can HEAL you! There’s nothing wrong with taking an aspirin, but why not give God a chance? PRAY that you may be healed, and He can not only HEAL you, but He can even show you what CAUSED it and how to avoid it or correct it!

One of the greatest of healing factors is FAITH, to know that God LOVES you and is going to take care of you no matter what happens. And did you know that faith not only heals, but it eliminates one of the greatest causes of disease and ill health? And that is fear and tension!

God is very willing to HEAL you and HELP you WHENEVER you need it! All you have to do is ASK! He says, “I am the God of all flesh; is there ANYTHING too hard for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:37) Jesus said, “If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, you can ask what you will and it shall be done unto you!” (John 15:7) Have you asked the Lord for His healing power in your life?

* * *

  • Prayer is not only CHEAPER than medicine, but it is SURER too!
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  • TRUSTING GOD for your healing keeps you close to the LORD, but trusting the DOCTOR for healing keeps you close to the DOCTOR –and BROKE!
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  • Jesus MADE us, so He can FIX us!

 

 

 

Source: The Power of a Touch!
 

 

 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

Healing in His Wings!

Compiled from the writings of David Brandt Berg

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The day of miracles is not past and the things of the Lord can still happen TODAY! God is still alive, well, and working just as powerfully as ever amongst those who trust in Him! He says, “I am the Lord, I CHANGE NOT” and “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever!” (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8).

Jesus promised, “He that BELIEVETH on Me, the works that I do shall HE do also; and GREATER works than these shall he do, because I go unto My Father. And these signs shall follow them that believe…they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (John 14:12; Mark 16:17,18). God is still in the business of transforming the bodies that need it, as well as the hearts, the minds and the spirits.

To heal is a small thing for Him, the God of all Creation! If He can CREATE the body, He can certainly REPAIR it! The One Who made us can certainly fix us! He tells us, “Unto you that fear My Name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with HEALING in His wings!” (Malachi 4:2).

 
TROUBLES, TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS–WHY?

The Lord never said that His children would never have any illnesses or afflictions, but He did say that He would DELIVER us out of them all! For “MANY are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord DELIVERETH him out of them ALL!” (Psalm 34:19).

Naturally, we usually wonder WHY sicknesses and troubles happen, but God ALWAYS has a reason, and nothing happens by accident to one of His children. I’ve found in my own life, and that of many others, that He always has a PURPOSE for them, although sometimes it is not always revealed immediately!

The Lord often uses afflictions, sicknesses and so on to TEST us and to cause us to draw closer to Him and cry out to Him and really seek Him in prayer. Otherwise we would have a tendency to just rock along. So sometimes things happen just to keep you close to the Lord, humble and more dependent on Him. Sometimes things happen to draw you closer to OTHERS. Sometimes they happen to make you PRAY. There are all kinds of reasons why He even allows us to have troubles, and it’s all a part of our TRAINING.

Sometimes these things happen for even more mysterious and remarkable reasons, like the blind man in the Bible whom Jesus said was blind NOT because of his own sins, “but that the works of God should be made manifest in him”–whereupon He promptly healed him to prove the point! (see John chapter 9). So sometimes we’re sick so that God can do a miracle and heal us and it will be a TESTIMONY, to show that He CAN heal and to demonstrate His power.

But whatever the reason, always remember that WHAT EVER God does, He does it in LOVE. And “ALL things work together for GOOD to them that love the Lord.” (Romans 8:28). God is not going to let anything happen to you, His child who loves Him, except what is for your GOOD. You may say, “But a lot of things happen that don’t seem good to me!” Well I daresay you finally found out sooner or later that somehow or another it WAS good for you. Or you will YET!

King David said, “It is GOOD for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn Thy statutes. BEFORE I was afflicted I went astray: But NOW (AFTER he was afflicted) have I kept Thy Word.” (Psalm 119:71,67). So even troubles and tribulations can be good for us. And although it sometimes may take weeks, months or even years before you know why, the time will come, and you’ll know God was right and did the right thing!

 
HEALING IS FOR YOU!

Although “Many are the afflictions of the righteous”, the Lord is going to “deliver you out of them all” (Psalm 34:19)–no matter how many or what! A-L-L, ALL!–Not just some or a few or most or many, but ALL! So you can expect God to deliver you according to His Own Word!

The provision is there for you! There are LOTS of Scriptures on healing throughout the entire Bible, God’s personal Word to each of us. He has made PROMISES in His Word, promises which we can CLAIM and EXPECT Him to FULFILL. “There are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: That by THESE (His promises) ye might be partakers of the Divine Nature.” (2Peter 1:4).

This is also where your FAITH will come from. Faith grows by hearing the Word of God. “For faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17). That’s the law of faith. Faith is built on the Word, so read it prayerfully and ask God to strengthen your faith.

In His Word, you’ll find that God not only CAN heal you, but that He WANTS to heal you! When the poor leper came to Jesus and said, “Lord, IF THOU WILT, Thou canst make me clean”, the Scripture says that “Jesus put forth His hand and touched him, saying, `I WILL, be thou clean!’ And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” (Matthew 8:2,3). He’s more willing to give than we are to receive!

All He asks from us is that we honour Him with FAITH, by believing His Word and His promises. “Without FAITH it is impossible to please Him: For he that cometh to God must BELIEVE that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him!” (Hebrews 11:6). So trust the Lord! “He has NEVER failed in one of all His good promises!” (1Kings 8:56).

Jesus, the Great Physician, has already paid for your healing. Just as His BLOOD was shed for the SALVATION of our SPIRITS, His BODY was broken for the HEALING of our BODIES. He DIED for your SALVATION, but He SUFFERED for your HEALING. “He Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses in His Own body on the tree. For with His STRIPES we are HEALED.” (Matthew 8:17; 1Peter 2:24; Isaiah 53:5).

The original Hebrew word translated in this passage as “stripes” literally means “bruise, hurt, stripe, wound”. So there is a form of atonement, even for our diseases. He PAID for it by His physical suffering. So we can CLAIM it as a part of His atonement, as a part of what He paid for. It’s yours ALREADY for the asking!

 
PRAYER POWER!

“The PRAYER OF FAITH shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up, and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” (James 5:15). Prayer is POWERFUL! When we pray, things will happen and things will be different! God will ANSWER prayer.

If you’re really desperate and crying with your whole heart and asking Him, He’ll answer! He says, “Ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with ALL your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13). And, “Call unto Me and I WILL answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.” (Jeremiah 33:3).

Remember, you’ve got all the promises in the whole Bible on your side! “Exceeding GREAT and PRECIOUS PROMISES!” (2Peter 1:4). So when you pray, always bring those promises with you to remind God of His Word. Doing this shows you have faith in it, and it’s this positive declaration of your faith and your knowledge of the Word which pleases Him.

He says, “PROVE ME now, and see if I will not pour out such a blessing that there will not be room enough to hold it!” (Malachi 3:10). You don’t see the blessing, His healing, yet. You’ve only got His Word for it, so how do you know He’s going to pour it out? You’ve got to PROVE Him! You’ve got to literally test it. You have to challenge God.

He even tells us, “Concerning the work of My hands, COMMAND YE ME!” (Isaiah 45:11). So hold Him to His Word! Demand and expect an answer! He has promised it! Put your faith in the Lord and quote and claim Scriptures, just like Jesus did during His temptation. (See Matthew 4.) He is bound by His Word! So remind Him of it, cling to His promises, memorise and quote them continually, and never doubt for a moment that God is going to answer–and He WILL! He HAS to! He WANTS to! Trust Him!

Jesus says, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe THAT YE RECEIVE them, and ye SHALL have them.” (Mark 11:24). “And this is the CONFIDENCE that we have in Him, that if we ask ANYTHING according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we HAVE the petitions that we desired of Him.” (1John 5:14,15). All we have to do is believe His promises and pray, and expect Him to answer.

 
THE “FIERY FURNACE”

But sometimes the Lord does not always answer us right away, which tests our faith and draws us closer to Him in Spirit as we are driven to Him and His Word, to Whom and which we might not otherwise give so much time and attention.

He often tests our faith and willingness to obey BEFORE He’s going to heal us, and He wants to see if we’ll believe and obey Him even if we think we may NEVER get healed! Why should He honour us with healing if we don’t honour Him with faith? We’ve got to believe and obey the Lord even if He never heals us!

Like the three Hebrew children who were thrown into the fiery furnace for refusing to renounce their faith and bow down to the King of Babylon’s idol: They told him, “Our God, Whom we serve, is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thy hand… But if NOT, be it know unto thee, O King, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship thy golden image!” And it looked like the end, because into the furnace they went, and the flames were so hot they even killed their executioners! But because of their FAITH and OBEDIENCE, God was with them, and they came out without even the smell of smoke on them! (See Daniel 3.)

FAITH and OBEDIENCE come FIRST, THEN God answers prayer! “For the trying of your FAITH is more precious than GOLD, yea, than much fine gold! For behold,” He says, “I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” So “think it not strange concerning the fiery TRIAL which is to try you!” (1Peter 1:7; Isaiah 48:10; IPeter 4:12). By His miracle-working power, things that seem do not have to be–just like with the three Hebrew children. You may have to go THROUGH the fire, but the Lord is easily able to bring you out without even smelling of smoke!

Afflictions and illnesses usually are a real test, but sad to say, they often end in bitterness and murmuring and some people even hold it against God because He doesn’t heal them! “If He’d do it, then I’d serve Him. But He doesn’t love me, He doesn’t care, He won’t heal me!”

Such doubt, fear, discouragement and murmuring KILL! Look at all that murmuring older generation of Israel who died in the Wilderness for their lack of faith! They “suffered so many things in vain”! (Galatians 3:4). They did all the suffering and never got to enjoy the benefits because they complained! Those who complain about the battle and then quit just before the victory’s won never get to enjoy it! How sad!

But faith, trust, courage and praising the Lord maketh ALIVE! If you wanna knock the Devil for a loop, just start praising the Lord no matter WHAT’S happening! He just can’t stand it! He turns tail and runs! “Resist the Enemy and he shall flee from thee, for perfect love casteth out fear. God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind! Therefore, Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee!” Hallelujah! (James 4:7; 1John 4:18; 2Timothy 1:7; Isaiah 26:3).

God gets His greatest victories out of seeming defeat, and He often brings them along the neglected path of PRAISE! So when things look darkest, don’t look down! LOOK UP! Don’t murmur and complain! Start praising the Lord, and you’ll often praise your way right out of the pit into which the Devil is trying to cast you! PRAISE is the VOICE of FAITH!

MORE CONDITIONS FOR GETTING HEALED–AND STAYING HEALED!

Our happiness and our health and our blessings in this life depend on our obedience to God. If we’re not willing to pay the price God requires for healing, He won’t heal us! Only the OBEDIENT get healing. It’s a REWARD for the obedient. Health is a special BLESSING of God, and we can only demand it if we’re obedient.

God can and wants to heal us, but we must first be willing and yielded to Him and make the decision that we want to be delivered without reservations! We must first correct any SPIRITUAL problems of disobedience, unyieldedness, etc., and then trust God utterly in prayer and obedience and we’re bound to get results!

Sometimes that’s why we get sick in the first place: Because God is chastening or spanking us, punishing us for something–not always, but sometimes. It hurts Him to see us being bad, because He loves us, and He knows our badness hurts us and others, so He tries to correct us and make us see the light and cause us to turn and repent and confess.

So even God’s spankings are PROOF of His great LOVE for us! “For whom the Lord LOVETH He CHASTENETH, and scourgeth EVERY SON whom He receiveth!” (Hebrews 12:6). And even when we get sick because of our sins, the Bible says in the 13th verse of this same chapter, “rather let it be HEALED”.

God is a LOVING God, a MERCIFUL God. “As the Heaven is high above the Earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him! Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him. For He knoweth our frame, He remembereth that we are dust. He doth NOT afflict WILLINGLY, nor grieve the children of men.” (Psalm 103:11 14; Lamentations 3:33).

So when we have learned the lesson God is trying to teach us, or the conditions are ready for the result God wants to bring, He says, “rather let it be healed.” (Hebrews 12:13). God PREFERS to heal–IF we can be TRUSTED with it and have learned what He is trying to show us.

This same principle also applies to us AFTER we’ve received His healing. If we do NOT OBEY and STAY in God’s will and continually give HIM the glory for our healing and continue to trust Him for it, He may let the illness or affliction come back because of our ingratitude and disobedience. Of course if we repent, He can forgive and heal us again, “for His mercy endureth forever.” (Psalm 136).

His healing is a special blessing, a priceless privilege which, unlike Salvation, He can take away if you don’t keep trusting Him for it and giving Him all the glory. So if you want to KEEP it, you’d best OBEY Him and STAY close to Him and do the things that He healed you for. Use that strength that God gives you in healing for His glory!

Of course, one of the greatest of healing factors is FAITH, just knowing that God loves you and cares for you and is going to take care of you no matter what happens. Faith even eliminates one of the GREATEST CAUSES of disease and ill health–fear and tension. Because if you have faith, then you have peace of mind, and you know that He’s going to take care of everything! Faith and trust in God give you a feeling of rest of body, peace of mind, contentment of heart and spiritual well-being, which all tend to greatly improve your overall state of well-being.

Do YOU have faith in God and His Love? Have you personally met the Great Physician–He Who has “healing in His wings”? If not, all you have to do is RECEIVE JESUS, God’s Son, as your Saviour by asking Him into your heart! You can do it right NOW, if you want God’s answer to all of your problems and His love and happiness to fill your heart and life “with joy unspeakable and full of glory”! (1Peter 1:8).

“Wilt THOU be made WHOLE?” (John 5:6).–In BODY, MIND and SPIRIT? Then receive Jesus NOW! Simply recognise and confess your need for a Saviour from your sins, and personally receive the Spirit of Jesus Christ Himself into your heart. He says, “Behold, I stand at the door (of your heart) and knock: If any man hear My voice and open the door, I WILL come into him.” (Revelation 3:20).

And please remember, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and a stitch in time saves nine!” It’s better to STAY healthy than to have to be HEALED. So do your best to PREVENT illness by KEEPING GOD’S HEALTH LAWS: Proper diet, proper exercise, proper rest and proper living. But if and when you do need His healing, remember, it’s THERE for YOU! All you have to do is reach out your hand of faith and receive it, accept it. “He healeth ALL our diseases!” (Psalm 103:3). No exceptions! He can heal ANYTHING! EXPECT MIRACLES! And in Jesus’ name you’ll get them!

“The prayer of faith shall save the sick and the Lord shall raise him up!” (James 5:15). God BLESS you with His Love, Truth, Health and Happiness NOW and FOREVER!

 
 
 
Source: http://freebiblestudiesonline.org/healing-in-his-wings/
 
 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

God’s Healing Power Is For You!

Eight power-packed questions and answers about God’s healing power!–How YOU can expect God to perform miracles for you if you’ll simply have faith in His Word!

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Q: DO YOU BELIEVE THAT GOD CAN HEAL ME WHEN I’M SICK?

A: Yes! The One Who MADE us can certainly FIX us and HEAL us! After all, if He’s God at all, He’s a God of MIRACLES. If He can MAKE our body, He can REPAIR it. If He can create the entire Universe, He can fix US. He is the great Healer, the mighty Renewer, the all-powerful Restorer! And He can FIX us and HEAL us when we are sick!

 
Q: BUT I THOUGHT THAT GOD’S HEALING WAS ONLY FOR BIBLE DAYS, NOT FOR MODERN TIMES.

A: The day of miracles is NOT past! God is STILL in the business of healing the bodies that need it! Many skeptics, when they read the Bible stories of Jesus and His Disciples, think, “Well, yes, God healed people once upon a time, but that was long ago in the days of the Apostles. You couldn’t expect anything like that NOW.”

But the miracles of the Lord CAN and DO happen today! God is still alive, well, and working just as powerfully as ever amongst those who trust in Him! And He can STILL heal today, just like He did in Bible times! He WANTS to, because He LOVES you!

And if you love Him and have given your heart and life to Him, YOU can pray and EXPECT God to heal you and your loved ones also! He says, “I am the Lord, I CHANGE NOT!” (Malachi 3:6) And “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever”! (Hebrews 13:8) If Jesus could do those miracles back THEN, He can still do them NOW! JESUS is the One Who does the healing miracles, and if we have HIM in our hearts, we have His POWER! “The works (miracles) that I do,” Jesus promised, “shall YOU do ALSO!” (John 14:12)

 
Q: I LOVE JESUS, AND HAVE RECEIVED HIM IN MY HEART, BUT HOW DO I GET THE FAITH THAT I NEED FOR HEALING?

A: Romans 10:17 says that “faith comes by hearing the WORD of GOD”! As we read and study His Word, our FAITH will automatically grow. The Lord has made many specific PROMISES in His Word that He WILL heal us, so when we pray, we should REMIND Him of those promises, and quote them to Him! He CAN heal us, but we have to do OUR part and “take Him at His Word”–BELIEVE His promises and EXPECT Him to fulfill His promises!

 
Q: DOES GOD SOMETIMES NOT HEAL US WHEN WE ASK HIM TO?–AND IF SO, WHY?

A: God does not always answer all of our prayers exactly as we would LIKE Him to. We should not, for example, insist that He heal our 75-year-old ailing Grandmother when He is wanting to take her Home to Heaven. Also, if we pray for something out of SELFISH motives, we can’t really expect Him to answer. As James 4:3 says, “You ASK, and receive NOT, because you ask AMISS (for the wrong reasons).” And sometimes we just lack the FAITH that we need to get answers to prayer!

However, 1John 5:14-15 says, “This is the CONFIDENCE that we have: If we ask anything ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, He HEARS us. And if we know that He HEARS us, then we know that we HAVE the petitions that we desired of Him.” So if you LOVE God, and are doing your best to OBEY Him, it most likely IS well within His Will for you to be healed if you are sick! Just trust that He’ll heal you, and He WILL!

 
Q: IF “FAITH HEALING” IS FOR TODAY, WHY ARE MIRACLES OF HEALING SO RARE?

A: Miracles of healing are being performed EVERY DAY!–Right NOW!–By ordinary people like you and me, who, like the Early Christians of old, simply believe God’s Word, that He will answer sincere prayer and deliver them from their sicknesses. If you are His saved child, you ALSO can claim His healing power! God loves you so much that He has made that provision for you! Not only Salvation for your spirit, but healing for your body! What wonderful love! If you’ll simply BELIEVE, trust God, and pray for healing and EXPECT miracles, YOU will have miracles of healing too! God is still a God of miracles and it CAN still be done! If you will believe Him and trust in Him!

 
Q: BUT I DON’T FEEL LIKE I HAVE GREAT FAITH LIKE JESUS’ DISCIPLES DID. SO HOW CAN HE HEAL ME?

A: You don’t have to be some kind of a “spiritual giant” or healing evangelist or a religious fanatic to believe that God answers PRAYER! All you need is just enough faith to take God at His Word, and believe that when He said something or made a specific healing promise in His Word, that He MEANT it. Do you believe the Scriptures which say, “I am the Lord that HEALS you”, and “Jesus Christ makes you WHOLE”? (Exodus 15:26; Acts 9:34)

Do you BELIEVE that those promises apply to YOU personally? If so, that is enough faith to claim the miraculous power of God’s healing! You may not have the faith right now to raise someone from the dead like Jesus did, or heal the lame like Peter and Paul did, but surely you can trust God’s healing power enough for Him to heal you of a headache or an upset stomach or some minor illness.

 
Q: I WANT TO HAVE FAITH, BUT I REALLY DON’T HAVE MUCH. HOW CAN I GET MORE FAITH?

A: Just cry out to the Lord honestly in prayer and ask Him to give you more faith, like the man of old who pled, “Lord, I BELIEVE, HELP my UNbelief!” Or like Jesus’ disciples who said, “Lord, INCREASE our faith!” (Mark 9:24; Luke 17:5) And He WILL! The FIRST thing that He will probably do to increase your faith is to remind you to read His WORD, because FAITH comes from the WORD! “For faith cometh by hearing the Word of God!” (Romans 10:17)

Faith COMES, it GROWS, slowly and surely, by HEARING the WORD OF GOD! It’s NOT usually a sudden boom, just a flash of revelation and suddenly you have faith. But faith is BUILT, patiently and prayerfully, as you read, study and absorb God’s Word into your heart. So if you feel like, “Oh, I just don’t have much faith for God to heal me!”–The reason is probably because you don’t know the WORD OF GOD well enough!–Because THAT is where our FAITH comes from!
So often a lack of faith is due to a lack of reading and claiming God’s Word. The Lord has made many great and precious promises in His Word, and if you read them with an open receptive heart–if you do as Jesus said, and “Let these sayings sink down into your ears” (Luke 9:44)–then your faith will increase. But if you neglect to read God’s Word, if you do not study and believe it, you will never have the confidence to put His promises to the test and ask God to work for you in your times of need!

2Peter 1:4 says, “There are given unto us exceeding GREAT and PRECIOUS PROMISES, that by THESE (His promises) we might be PARTAKERS of the Divine Nature.” In other words, that we might have the faith to partake of God’s Divine power in our lives, whether it be for healing or whatever!

 
Q: YOU MEAN, IF I SINCERELY BELIEVE, I CAN CLAIM A VERSE FROM THE BIBLE AND SAY, “JESUS, IN THIS VERSE YOU PROMISED TO HEAL ME, SO I’M HOLDING YOU TO YOUR WORD”?

A: Exactly! And if you HAVE the faith, if you are asking sincerely and for the right motives, He HAS to answer! You also have to be OBEDIENT to His common-sense health rules and give Him some cooperation. For example, you could hardly expect God to heal you from a bad cold if you don’t do anything to take care of yourself and continue to expose yourself to the conditions that brought on your cold in the first place. Nor should you expect God to heal you from stomach disorders or skin problems if you eat “junk food” all day long.

The Lord definitely can and does heal, but you will notice in the case of Lazarus, that though Jesus did the miraculous supernatural act of raising him from the dead–something the people obviously COULDN’T do–He FIRST asked THEM to do what they COULD do!–To remove the stone that sealed the tomb. He said, “YOU roll away the stone!” (John 11:39) If you obey God and do what YOU can do, then, knowing that you have done YOUR part, you can trust in GOD to do the MIRACLE, the thing you CAN’T do!

All of God’s mighty power is just as real and present today as it was in the past to back up His Word and every promise He’s made. “He has NEVER failed in ONE of ALL His good promises!” (1Kings 8:56) All the resources and riches of Heaven are at our disposal! So let us take advantage of them by taking God at His Word and believing that He WILL answer our prayers when we have a need!

Do YOU need healing? Philippians 4:19 says, “My God shall supply ALL your need according to His RICHES in Glory by Christ Jesus!” Not only CAN God heal us, but He WANTS to! When the poor leper came to Jesus and said, “Lord, IF THOU WILT, Thou canst make me clean,” the Scripture says that “Jesus put forth His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I WILL, be thou clean!’–And immediately his leprosy was cleansed!” (Matthew 8:2,3) He’s more willing to GIVE than we are to RECEIVE!

All He asks from us is that we honour Him with FAITH, by BELIEVING His Word and His promises. “For without faith, it is impossible to please Him: For he that comes to God must BELIEVE that He IS, and that He is a REWARDER of them that DILIGENTLY seek Him!” (Hebrews 11:6) In other words, to get answers to prayer, you must, first of all, “believe that God IS”, that He is real. And secondly, you must believe that if you PRAY and sincerely seek Him, that He will reward you with an ANSWER to your prayers!

Remember, faith–the faith that you need for healing and for answers to prayer–is built on the WORD, so read it prayerfully and ask God to strengthen your faith. And He WILL!

 
PROMISES TO CLAIM FROM GOD’S WORD (for Healing):

“I WILL restore health unto you, and I WILL heal you of your wounds, saith the Lord.”
–Jeremiah 30:17a

“God, Who forgives all your iniquities, Who HEALS all your DISEASES.”
–Psalms 103:3

“And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things which are pleasing in His sight.”
–1John 3:22

 
 
 
Source: http://freebiblestudiesonline.org/gods-healing-power-is-for-you/
 
 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

The Advantage Of A Handicap!

Compiled from the writings of David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-the-advantage-of-a-handicap

During his last great political campaign, the American President, Theodore Roosevelt, was shot by a would-be assassin. The surgeon who was treating his wound handed him his steel spectacle case, telling him that it had saved his life. The case, which he had been carrying in his pocket, had broken the force of the bullet, and deflected it from hitting his heart! “Well, now, that’s strange,” said Roosevelt, as he took the case with the shattered spectacles, “I’ve always considered my glasses a handicap, and now they have turned out to be the means of saving my life!”

We may not ALWAYS know in this life the reasons for the handicaps with which we may be afflicted, but we can be certain that they are often blessings in disguise! You say, “Well, needing to wear glasses is no great handicap! What about people who are crippled, deaf or blind? What kind of an advantage is there in having a serious disability like THAT?”

Well, being a cripple didn’t stop Shakespeare from writing the World’s finest plays! Being blind didn’t stop John Milton from writing England’s greatest poem, “Paradise Lost!” Being stone deaf didn’t stop Beethoven from composing some of the most beautiful music ever written! In fact, history is FULL of great people who accomplished great things in spite of serious handicaps! Alexander the Great was a hunchback. Homer was a blind minstrel. Renoir painted some of his finest masterpieces with his fingers twisted by rheumatism, his artist’s brush strapped to his hand. Handel’s right side was paralysed when he composed his greatest work, “The Hallelujah Chorus!” Edison was deaf when he invented the phonograph.

But you say, “Couldn’t these people have accomplished so much more if they HADN’T been handicapped?”–Not necessarily. It’s like the ancient account of a Greek soldier who had a painful disease that was likely at any time to kill him. So, because he expected to die at any time, he became completely fearless in battle! He had nothing to lose. His General, Antigonus, so admired his bravery that he had him cured of his disease by the best physicians. But from then on, the once-valiant soldier was no longer seen at the front! He avoided danger and tried his best to PROTECT his life instead of RISKING it! His affliction had made him fight well, but health and comfort destroyed his usefulness as a soldier!

So often handicaps bring out the best in people and cause them to fight against the odds and achieve heights of accomplishment that they otherwise might NEVER have striven for! The poet Myra Brooks Welch, who wrote the masterpiece, “The Touch of the Master’s Hand”, used to pat the arm of her wheelchair and say, “And I THANK GOD for this!” Imagine being thankful for a wheelchair! But her tremendous talent lay undiscovered prior to her wheelchair days! And NOW her poems have blessed the whole World!

Handicaps can either make you BETTER or BITTER. The English poets Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott were both cripples. Byron was very bitter about his lameness, and was always moody and self-conscious about it in public. Scott, on the other hand, was never heard to complain or speak one bitter word about his handicap, not even to his dearest friend! Is it surprising then that Scott once received a letter from Byron, in which he said, “Ah, Scott, I would give all of my fame to have your happiness!”

Charles Elliot, one of the greatest presidents of Harvard College, felt terribly bitter as a boy about the serious facial disfigurement with which he was born.–Until one day his mother gave him this advice which changed his life!: She told him, “My son, we have consulted the best surgeons and they say that it is not possible for you to get rid of this handicap! But it IS possible, with GOD’S help, to grow a MIND & SOUL so BIG, that people will forget to look at your face!”–And he DID!

Like Charles Elliot and Sir Walter Scott, little 8-year-old Fanny Crosby-blinded shortly after birth–made up HER mind that she too would never allow her handicap to make her bitter. That was when she wrote her first poem–

“O what a happy soul am I
Although I cannot see.
I am resolved that in this World,
Contented I will be!

How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don’t!
To weep and sigh because I’m blind,
I cannot, and I WON’T!”

To compensate for her lack of eyesight, the Lord blessed her with many OTHER gifts. In her lifetime she wrote more than 6,000 hymns, including some of the most famous and best-loved Christian songs of all time! On her 90th birthday she told her friends, “If before birth I had been able to make one request, it would have been that I should be BORN blind!–Because when I get to Heaven the FIRST face that shall ever gladden my sight, will be that of my Saviour, Jesus!”

And who hasn’t heard of Helen Keller? She was deaf, dumb AND blind! But because of the love and dedication of a sweet Christian nurse, Annie Sullivan, she learned not only to write but to TALK! She became a World-famous poet, writer and public speaker, and was a tremendous encouragement to millions of deaf, dumb and blind people throughout the World! She gave them HOPE that they didn’t have to get discouraged and give up and be useless just because they had such severe handicaps! She once said, “I thank God for my handicaps, for through them, I have found myself, my work and my God!”

God’s ways are sometimes mysterious, and we don’t always understand the reasons behind everything He does. But one thing we can be sure of is that the Lord ALWAYS has a reason and a purpose, and that “ALL things work together for GOOD to them that love the Lord!” (Romans 8:28)–Even though it may not always SEEM like it.

Jesus has the power to heal or deliver us from ANY handicap or affliction, but sometimes He DOESN’T deliver us from our handicaps because He knows that, for some reason or other, it’s good for us to have them.–Perhaps if you ask Him, He’ll show you why!

Let’s face it, EVERY ONE of us has some real or imagined defect of one kind or another! We’re ALL handicapped with shortcomings, weaknesses, failures and mistakes–SPIRITUAL handicaps–which can be much more serious than mere physical ones! That’s why JESUS had to die for us, because we’re ALL handicapped with SIN! But whether our handicaps are physical or spiritual, big or small, we can’t spend our lives feeling sorry for ourselves and wishing to be something we’re not! The LORD is happy with the way He made you, so why shouldn’t YOU be happy with the way you are? There are certain physical afflictions and handicaps He heals us from when they have served their purpose and taught us necessary lessons, but there are others, which, in His infinite wisdom, He allows us to HAVE for our whole life. Sometimes we have to simply accept such defects, make the best of them and move on!

Most important of all, whatever our handicap or weakness, we should never allow it to stop us from being a WITNESS for JESUS in whatever way we can! Victoria is a missionary in South America and her story is another good example of how someone turned their handicap into an advantage. She writes: “When I was two years old I got polio and since then I’ve had a half-paralysed leg so that I have to use crutches. One day, I met a group of young Christians on the street who prayed with me to receive Jesus, and from that moment on, my life changed! They told me Jesus needed me to help reach others, and this broke my heart, as nobody had ever needed me before!

“The doctors had always told me not to get too tired and to walk very little, and that I could not live the same life as other people! But as soon as I started going witnessing and telling others about Jesus, instead of getting weak and tired, I got stronger and more liberated and happier!

“That was 9 years ago!–And since then the Lord has blessed me with a husband and a beautiful baby boy and a place of service as a fulltime missionary in South America! Now I don’t have to ask God why I have to use crutches, because HE uses them greatly! Very few people say no when I offer them the Gospel, and I am often able to witness to more people than the able-bodied ones! Also, when other handicapped people see me, it gives THEM faith that they TOO can be happy and can serve the Lord! NOW I KNOW why the Lord wants me to be this way, and He has NEVER failed to give me the strength to keep on going! Praise God!”

So never underestimate the ADVANTAGE of a handicap!–“When we are WEAK, we are STRONG, for then HIS strength has a chance to be made perfect in OUR weakness, that the excellency of the power may be of GOD and NOT of US!” (2Corinthians 12:10; 4:7). God LOVES to help weak people, broken people, the handicapped, people who KNOW they ARE nothing and HAVE nothing, for then He can show HIS power and strength! So your handicap need not be the END, but only the BEGINNING of a wonderful new life of reaching out to others with the Love of the Lord! “We comfort others with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted of GOD.” (2Corinthians 1:4).

Dale and Roy Rogers, the famous cowboy movie stars, had a little mongoloid girl. Dale even wrote a book about her called “Angel Unaware”, all about what a tremendous change that girl wrought in their lives and how she was a tremendously good influence on them both, bringing them closer to the Lord!

In fact, this is true of nearly all families in which there is an afflicted child. It usually has a very GOOD effect on the whole family! The pity and love for the child is increased and amplified by the child’s affliction, and it causes the whole family to be more humble, loving, kind and understanding! It usually draws them all closer to the Lord and is an enriching experience which strengthens faith, deepens love, lengthens patience and teaches humility and many other lessons which otherwise might not have been learned!

Mongoloid children stay children their whole lives, so they avoid many of the problems of growing up and becoming adults, that cause many other people to stray AWAY from the Lord! These children STAY childlike and believing and faithful and loving and kind and gentle and help keep their whole family that way as well! And after all, that’s one of the main reasons for living: To learn to be more LOVING!

So God has His purposes in these things! HIS ways are above OUR ways, “as high as the Heaven is above the Earth!” (Isaiah 55:8,9). God often works in very mysterious ways His wonders of love to perform!–So TRUST Him! The Lord LOVES you, CARES for you and “is TOUCHED with the FEELING of your INFIRMITIES.” (Hebrews 4:15). Learn the ADVANTAGE of YOUR handicap!–And let it make you BETTER, not bitter! Amen? God bless you!

 
 
 
Source: http://freebiblestudiesonline.org/the-advantage-of-a-handicap/
 
 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

Activated

The Power of Happiness

By Maria Fontaine, adapted

free-bible-studies-online-activated-the-power-of-happiness

In the course of our lives as followers of Jesus, there are always ways to minister to others, either occasionally or regularly. The common denominator in each such activity or scenario is that the goal is to convey love and kindness.

Giving of your time above and beyond what is expected has a cost—often, only known to you and Jesus. But He doesn’t ask us to make that extra effort of time or strength or whatever it takes lightly. He knows that the results in the lives of others are worth the extra cost and may have a greater impact than we expect.

I was recently moved by a short video presentation of some Christian workers ministering in an orphanage. These folks were obviously having a wonderful effect on the children as they lovingly and positively interacted with them, teaching them songs, giving them hugs, and providing opportunities for fun and laughter, creating memorable experiences for all of them. I could feel their lives being touched in a tangible way. God’s love shone through them.

Of course, the greatest and most permanent happiness comes through accepting Jesus and getting to know Him, and we will want to share Him with others and lead them to receive Him. But even when that’s not practical or feasible, He can still use our loving, kind, and caring actions to brighten the lives of those around us. These loving, caring actions are a manifestation of God’s Spirit that attracts people and helps them feel happy and loved.

Following are a few things that can bring peace and happiness to someone. This is a big subject and I’m just touching lightly on a few of the positive effects, but you can do your own research and find extraordinary benefits that have been discovered as a result of medical and scientific studies in these areas.

 
1. The benefits of laughter

As Solomon wrote in the book of Proverbs, “A merry heart does good, like medicine.” (Proverbs 17:22) He didn’t have all the scientific studies to back him up, but he sure did “hit the nail on the head” through the Spirit of God.

Sharing laughter and fun can foster empathy, compassion, trust, and intimacy with others. Besides that, laughter has been shown in many cases to:

Decrease stress

Alleviate pain

Reduce aggression

Boost your immune system

Boost your social skills

Impact blood sugar levels

Exercise many muscles in your body

Enhance your coping skills

(Jennifer Welsh and LiveScience, “Why Laughter May Be the Best Pain Medicine,”Scientific American, September 14, 2011; Melanie Winderlich, “10 Reasons Why Laughing Is Good for You,” Curiosity–Discovery Channel)

 
2. The value of touch

Besides benefiting the immune system, many studies have shown that touch can lower depression and hostility and even boost survival rates of patients with some diseases. Neurologist Shekar Raman, in Richmond, Virginia, explains: “A hug, pat on the back, and even a friendly handshake are processed by the reward center in the central nervous system, which is why it can have a powerful impact on the human psyche, making us feel happiness and joy. And it doesn’t matter if you’re the toucher or touchee. The more you connect with others—on even the smallest physical level—the happier you’ll be.” Research suggests that touch is fundamental to human communication, bonding, and health.

Dacher Keltner, PhD, when speaking of the benefits of touch said: “The benefits start from the moment we’re born. A review of research, conducted by Tiffany Field, a leader in the field of touch, found that preterm newborns who received just three 15-minute sessions of touch therapy each day for 5–10 days gained 47 percent more weight than premature infants who’d received standard medical treatment.”

Studies show that touching patients with Alzheimer’s can have huge effects on helping them to relax, make emotional connections with others, and reduce their symptoms of depression.

(http://www.exhibithealth.com/general-health/health-benefits-of-human-touch-1345, http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/hands_on_research)

 
3. The power of listening

Listening to someone can have a powerful impact on their health, attitude, sense of self-worth, and whole perspective on life. You can show that you care by taking the time to listen, to understand someone’s heart, and that can do so much!

Listening is a sign of respect.

Listening makes people feel valued.

Listening is a sign of love.

Listening provides opportunity for change.

Listening validates people.

Listening breaks down barriers and draws people together.

Listening can provide emotional healing.

Listening to people can motivate them to get up and try again.

 
4. The impact of music

Listening to uplifting music can have many physical healing elements, as well as make positive changes in a person’s emotional and mental state. (http://www.emedexpert.com/tips/music.shtml#ref29) There are even many advantages to singing. (http://www.businessballs.com/singing.htm#singing-introduction)

 
5. The benefits of human/animal bonding

Sharing your pet with someone who is depressed or anxious can, in some cases, do much to help them. There is quite a body of study now by medical science about the multiple benefits of pet therapy and “human-animal bonding to promote child development, to aid elderly care, mental illness, physical impairment, dementia, abuse and trauma recovery, and the rehabilitation of incarcerated youth and adults.” (https://suite.io/laura-owens/48ej266)

A professional man who was no longer working due to a heart surgery followed by the onset of a chronic and debilitating disease revealed the protective role of his two Siamese cats. He said:

“When I wake up in so much pain, I really wonder what’s the point of going on? Then I’ll see one of the cats or they will jump across the bed and I’ll think, They give us so much joy. They are so wonderful and I am their guardian. I am responsible to keep them alive and safe and happy.” (http://blogs.psychcentral.com/healing-together/2010/11/the-power-of-pets-in-the-recovery-from-trauma)

 
6. The joy of creating something from scratch

Manual work—painting, knitting, woodworking, gardening, and any other activity that involves making or constructing things—is a useful tool for decreasing stress, relieving anxiety, and helping with depression. These types of activities can lead people to an improved state of mind and greater contentment. It has been said that busy hands can lead to spontaneous, joyful, creative thoughts. (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-creativity-cure/201205/creativity-happiness-and-your-own-two-hands)

 
7. The value of play

Here are a few interesting highlights from some of those who have studied play. Playing with children and even adults bonds people together. An article in Psychology Today, reviewing the studies of the value of play, said, “[Play] also provides a state of mind that, in adults as well as children, is uniquely suited for high-level reasoning, insightful problem solving, and all sorts of creative endeavors.” (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/200811/the-value-play-i-the-definition-play-gives-insights)

“It is through play that children first learn how to make decisions, solve problems, exert self-control, and follow rules. … Most importantly, play is a source of happiness.” (http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2011/10/all-work-and-no-play-why-your-kids-are-more-anxious-depressed/246422)

Play for adults can relieve stress, promote an overall sense of well-being, and can even temporarily relieve pain. Playful activities with family and friends can also help ward off stress and depression, stimulate the mind, and boost creativity. Playing can boost your energy and vitality and even improve your resistance to disease, helping you feel your best. (http://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/benefits-of-play-for-adults.htm)

 
8. The healing power of nature

There are numerous mental, emotional, and physical benefits in experiencing nature: It can encourage imagination and creativity, cognitive and intellectual development, and social relationships. As well, it can help to restore the mind when it’s fatigued from work and studies, contributing to improved performance and satisfaction. (http://depts.washington.edu/hhwb/Thm_Mental.html#brain, http://heapro.oxfordjournals.org/content/21/1/45.full#sec-1)

Whatever methods you implement to manifest God’s love for others, He can work through them to provide something priceless. God cares for the whole person and has provided many different methods for His Spirit to touch them through your words and actions. Therefore, “Let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 CEB)

 
 

Copyright © Activated Magazine. All rights reserved.

Amazing Abby — A Legacy of Hope

Bible Stories

The Power of a Touch!

(Matthew 9:20-22; Luke 8:43-48)

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As Jesus taught the multitudes by the Sea of Galilee, a prominent leader of the local synagogue named Jairus came pushing through the crowd, and falling down before Him, pleaded for Jesus to heal his little daughter. “She’s at the point of death!” he cried in desperation! “Please, come and TOUCH her and make her LIVE!”

Jesus, full of compassion, agreed to go with him, and the crowd pressed behind Him. In the midst of the throng was a woman who had been sick for 12 years with a terrible bleeding haemorrhage. All this time she had gone from one doctor to another, but never with any success. She’d spent every bit of her money on doctors’ bills and suffered much from all their treatments, but still the bleeding continued.

Desperate, the woman thought, “Oh, if I could only TOUCH Him, I KNOW I could be healed!” Then, seeing Jesus afar off, she began anxiously making her way towards Him. It wasn’t easy to get through the pushing, shoving mob of onlookers who were trying to get close to Jesus, but that one thought compelled her: She had to TOUCH Him, even if only the hem of His garment!

Finally she came within reach, and stretching out her hand she was able to barely TOUCH His robe with her fingertips. No sooner had she touched Him than the bleeding stopped completely! A warm and wonderful feeling of health and well-being swept through her body and she knew that after all these years of pain and suffering, she was healed at last! Jesus paused for a moment, having felt that healing POWER had gone out from Him. Turning to the crowd He asked, “Who touched Me?” His disciples looked at Him with astonishment, saying, “With all this great crowd pressing around You, You ask who TOUCHED You?” But Jesus, knowing already who had touched Him, smiled and silently, knowingly turned to look upon the astonished woman.

Still trembling at the realisation of what had happened, she came and fell at His feet, telling Him what had happened to her. And Jesus lovingly, tenderly as a father would speak to his child, said to her, “Daughter, thy FAITH has made thee WHOLE! Go in peace and be healed of your disease.” Jesus was making it clear to all the crowd that touching His clothes was not what had healed the woman, but it was “her FAITH in Him that had made her whole”!

That woman had put her tiny grain of faith into action, and the result has echoed throughout the centuries: “Thy FAITH hath made thee WHOLE!”

*

There is a lesson to be learned from this story which we can APPLY to OUR lives NOW, today. Though many people thronged about Jesus, why was it that only ONE received that powerful healing touch from God? Many had gone to see Jesus out of mere curiosity, they were more interested in the sight of the man. Yet this woman, as soon as she heard of Him, BELIEVED in her heart that He could really help her, when all else had failed. So she pressed toward Him, full of faith, never giving up until she made that divine CONTACT with the Lord!

What an illustration of how PRAYER works! It’s not how LONG you pray or how MUCH you pray, but how much you BELIEVE! It’s like tuning in a radio station on your receiver. When you finally make the right contact, the signal booms in loud and clear and strong! Prayer is making contact between our human needs and God’s divine resources. All we’re doing when we pray is presenting our need and BELIEVING that God will do it. And if you are doing your best to trust the Lord and follow His Word, He will help you in your hour of need!

Anything wonderful can happen in that little margin of time when you don’t give up, but keep on believing and keep on praying! That frail sickly woman had only enough strength to draw close to Jesus, but when she ACTED on her little seed of faith, she made contact with the Lord.

What a blessing it is when we learn to contact God’s power through prayer. It is a spiritual seeking of that contact with His Spirit through OBEDIENCE to the Word of God that gets results!

It’s a shame that so many Christians today find their faith stronger in the men of medicine than in the Great Physician Himself, Jesus Christ. Actually, they haven’t lost FAITH, but they’ve just TRANSFERRED that faith to the MEDICAL profession! It’s not that doctors are bad, but they are not always necessary, or cannot help.

So often one will run to the medicine cabinet for one little ailment, ache or pain, without even considering that a simple prayer of faith could save them all that trouble! Even for a little HEADACHE, just a little faith in God can HEAL you! There’s nothing wrong with taking an aspirin, but why not give God a chance? PRAY that you may be healed, and He can not only HEAL you, but He can even show you what CAUSED it and how to avoid it or correct it!

One of the greatest of healing factors is FAITH, to know that God LOVES you and is going to take care of you no matter what happens. And did you know that faith not only heals, but it eliminates one of the greatest causes of disease and ill health?–And that is fear and tension!

God is very willing to HEAL you and HELP you WHENEVER you need it! All you have to do is ASK! He says, “I am the God of all flesh; is there ANYTHING too hard for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:37) Jesus said, “If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, you can ask what you will and it shall be done unto you!” (John 15:7) Have you asked the Lord for His healing power in your life?

Prayer is not only CHEAPER than medicine, but it is SURER too!

TRUSTING GOD for your healing keeps you close to the LORD, but trusting the DOCTOR for healing keeps you close to the DOCTOR –and BROKE!

Jesus MADE us, so He can FIX us!

 

 

 

Source: The Power of a Touch!
 

 

 

Copyright © The Family International. All Rights Reserved.

Activated

Answers to Your Questions: Starting an exercise program

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Q: I want to get in better shape, but don’t know where to start. How much exercise is enough? What type of exercise is best, and how much time do I need to spend on it?

A: The answers to those questions depend on a number of factors, including your age, general health, present fitness level, and metabolism. There are, however, a few general guidelines for a successful exercise program.

  • Find one or more forms of exercise that you enjoy, because then you’re more likely to stick with it.
  • Start slow, with modest goals, and build up gradually. You can’t become fit from one day to the next. Expecting too much too soon is likely to result in injury and discouragement.
  • Your program should combine cardiovascular exercise* to strengthen the respiratory system with resistance exercise** to strengthen muscles and bones.
  • It needs to be regular (at least four times a week).
  • It needs to be for an extended period of time (build up to 40-60 minutes).
  • It needs to be vigorous enough to get your heart pumping and make you break a sweat.
  • Warm up at the beginning of your exercise routine, and cool down at the end.
  • Inform yourself. Understand the benefits and potential risks of the specific exercises you’d like to do. Get your information from respected sources, shy away from sources that advocate extremes, and balance the advice given by several sources, when possible.
  • Have a plan. Choose your forms of exercise, make a realistic plan, and stick to it.
  • Change your routine from time to time. Your body adapts to any form of exercise over time, and then that exercise loses some of its benefits.
  • If you are over 40, seriously overweight or out of shape, or suffering from a medical condition, consult your doctor before starting on a new exercise program.

 

 

  • Cardiovascular exercise, also called aerobic exercise or “cardio” for short, is any activity that gets your heart beating at 60-80% of its maximum rate for a period of time—at least 20 minutes, as a general rule. To calculate your maximum heart rate on the safe side, subtract your age from 220.

 

** Resistance exercise is any activity that brings weight to bear on your muscles, bones, and joints by means of weight-training equipment (barbells, dumbbells, weight machines, etc.) or body weight (pushups, pull-ups, sit-ups, etc.). Resistance exercise is even more important when you get older and bone and muscle loss occur naturally, if not combated. Choose exercises that target each major muscle group once or twice each week. Unless you have special needs or are an amateur or professional bodybuilder, three 20- to 30-minute routines each week is enough to strengthen bones and tone muscles.
 

 

 

Answers to Your Questions…

Copyright © Activated Magazine. All rights reserved.

Activated

Healthy Living

By Maria Fontaine

free-bible-studies-online-activated-healthy-living

Staying healthy doesn’t happen automatically; it takes both conscious and physical effort. It also usually involves some sacrifice, some reordering of priorities and forgoing certain things that would be enjoyable but not good for us. Long-term health is a lifelong investment, but it’s the wise thing to do. Better to invest a little each day in strengthening our bodies than to neglect them and suffer serious health problems.

In health matters, as with many other things in life, God won’t do for us what we can and should do ourselves. He expects us to take care of our bodies, and He usually won’t override the negative consequences when we could have made healthier choices but didn’t.

 
Ground rules

We’re either building up or tearing down our health daily, according to our choices. There are a host of little things that we do each day, often without really thinking about them, which add up and make a big difference in our current and long-term health.

Thankfully, God has laid out some pretty straightforward rules for staying healthy. These fall into three main categories: spiritual, emotional, and physical. The key to the spiritual aspect is in staying right with Him, in finding and following His plan for our lives as best we can. The key to the emotional aspect is in maintaining a positive attitude, which reduces stress, worry, fear, and other negative emotions, all of which take a toll on our health and happiness. The physical aspect is pretty much summed up in “Eat right, sleep right, exercise right.” Some health experts refer to these as the three pillars of physical health.

“Eat right” comes down to following a few fairly simple guidelines (see “Eat Right” Made Simple below)—simple, but not always easy. Changing poor eating habits takes determination and planning, but you’ll probably be surprised at how quickly you develop an appetite for the right kinds of food and lose your appetite for the wrong ones.

“Sleep right” may sound easy enough, but many people these days try to operate with a sleep deficit. It’s true that some people need less sleep than others and that most of us need less sleep as we get older, but the real and perceived pressures of modern living push many of us to try to pack more into our days by sleeping less than the seven or eight hours our bodies need to be in top health. That’s being shortsighted, because we get more out of our waking hours when we’re rested. Plenty of sound, restful sleep stimulates the production and release of the hormone that combats aging.

For people who aren’t in the habit of exercising regularly, that is easy to neglect. It’s hardest to dismiss the need for sleep, because the effects of trying to go without sleep are felt immediately. On the other hand, much like the effects of a poor diet, the bad effects of insufficient exercise can be slower in coming, but without a doubt they will come. Exercise keeps our bodies capable of cleansing and repairing themselves. It also strengthens muscles, bones, and internal organs, and boosts our immune systems. There is scarcely a living cell in our bodies that doesn’t benefit from the right kind of exercise on a regular basis.

 
The physical/spiritual connection

Even despite our best efforts, we’re bound to get sick sometimes. Sickness is a natural part of life. Putting the physical aspect aside, sickness is something God sometimes uses to strengthen us spiritually, because when we’re weak, we’re more likely to turn to Him for help and thereby be strengthened in spirit and character. When that happens, sickness can actually be the best thing for us at the time.

Usually, however, God wants us to be healthy and will do all He can to make it so. About the hardest thing for Him to protect us from, it seems, is ourselves. Sometimes we bring sickness upon ourselves by our choices, particularly choices to disregard His health rules. He is all-powerful, but He usually allows nature to run its course. Those are the times when, even though He can still bring some good out of that sickness, we suffer unnecessarily. He hopes, of course, that we will learn from the mistake and not repeat it.

If we’re doing our part to stay healthy by eating right, sleeping right, exercising right, and not overdoing in other areas, and we still get sick, we can be sure that God has allowed it for some good reason‚ to accomplish a specific purpose or to teach us some other lesson. We should always ask Him about it in prayer, because when we have His perspective, we’re not only in a much better position to correct the underlying problem, but once we get that squared away with Him, we can have more faith when we ask Him to heal us.

 
Personalized program

The ground rules are universal, but because of the aging process and because body types and personal preferences vary greatly, what will work best also varies from person to person. Each person’s needs also change over time and as other factors enter in. So how do you know what’s right for you? Many “authorities” offer conflicting information and advice, and sometimes a certain kind of diet or exercise is widely acclaimed for a time, but discredited later. Whose program do you follow? Only your Creator truly knows what’s best for you, and He wants to work with you toward optimum health.

One way He has of speaking to you is through your body, so learn to listen to it. For example, that soreness that gets a little worse each day could be a sign of overdoing or not performing an exercise correctly; avoid injury by switching to another form of exercise until the soreness goes away and you’ve corrected what you were doing wrong.

God will also give you personalized counsel when you take your questions to Him in prayer. He doesn’t normally speak in an audible voice, but He can and will put thoughts in your mind or give you intuitive knowledge. For example, if you have a weak area—your knees, let’s say—He can suggest forms of exercise that don’t exacerbate the problem, while working to strengthen that area gradually. He may speak directly to your mind, or He may lead you to the information you need and show you how to apply it.

(Editor’s note: If you would like to learn more about how to receive answers from God, read Hearing from Heaven.)

 
Keeping fit is a lifestyle

The goal should be to make getting a proper diet, sleep, and exercise lifelong habits—not just something we do for a few days or a few weeks until we lose a few inches from our waist or drop a dress size or two. Unless we correct the bad habits that brought on those extra inches, they will soon be back. This is why diets and exercise programs that promise quick results are largely unsuccessful: They focus on the short-term instead of lifestyle choices that bring long-term changes. In some cases, you might need to undertake a short-term program to get healthier or lose weight, but then you need to build new long-term health habits if you want to hold on to the ground you’ve gained.

If you’re serious about switching to a healthier lifestyle, the first questions to ask are: “How can I make eating, sleeping, and exercising right my daily norms? What changes do I need to make in my mindset or lifestyle?” and, “What specific program is best for me?”

Replacing poor health habits with good ones takes determination, study, and planning at first, but the payoff in greater vitality soon makes it self-sustaining; we feel so much better that we want to keep doing the things that make us feel that way.

* * *

“Eat Right” Made Simple

  • Eat a balanced diet—carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, in the correct proportions.
  • Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, including raw vegetables.
  • Eat whole grains, rather than refined ones (brown rice or foods made from whole wheat flour, for example, as opposed to polished rice and foods made from white flour).
  • Get protein from a variety of sources, such as beans, whole grains, nuts, fish, eggs, dairy, poultry, and meat. (Meat and poultry are often not as healthy as they used to be, due to how livestock and poultry are being raised.)
  • Prepare your food in a healthy way. Some general guidelines are: Keep foods as close to their natural state as possible, and minimize the use of processed additives.
  • Choose natural, fresh, whole foods over refined, processed, and artificially enhanced foods, when possible.
  • Severely limit intake of sugar, and avoid white sugar and sugar substitutes. Use (or choose products that use) raw sugar (unbleached/unrefined) or honey.

 

 

 

Healthy Living

Copyright © Activated Magazine. All rights reserved.

Activated

Ruminations on Our Amazing Bodies

By Richard Johnston

free-bible-studies-online-activated-ruminations-on-our-amazing-bodies

I’m decidedly squeamish, so when the Psalmist tells me that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14), I’m inclined to take his word for it. Let what goes on beneath my skin remain unseen and largely forgotten, I say, while I go about my business in blissful ignorance. Not everyone is so inclined. In the past two or three hundred years—about three thousand years after ancient Israel’s awestruck King David sang those praises to his Creator—some more inquisitive and decidedly less squeamish types have made some amazing discoveries that give us reason to exclaim with David, “How precious are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well” (Psalm 139:17,14).

According to the Bible’s book of Genesis, we humans are unique in that we were created in God’s own image. God shaped the first man from a pile of dust, and when He gave that inanimate figure the kiss of life—voilà!—Adam became a living soul. Realizing that Adam would be lonely, and finding that he had a rib that he could spare for a while, God took a rib and made Eve. Skeptics have long derided that account, but modern medicine gives it some credence.

When an accident victim needs reconstructive surgery, thoracic (chest) surgeons routinely remove ribs to use for bone grafting. The periosteum is a membrane that covers all bone surfaces except at joints, and it contains cells that can manufacture new bone. Rib periosteum has an extraordinary ability to regenerate, especially in young people. When a rib is removed, leaving the periosteum in place and as intact as possible, the rib often grows back, as Adam’s may have. A major reason why the rib is the ideal situation for such regeneration is that the attached intercostal muscles provide it with a good blood supply. God’s pretty smart.

Our bodies have many other features that are tributes to our Creator’s forethought and ingenuity. Here is a small sampling:

  • The human skeleton is a dynamic, flexible, self-maintaining framework of bone and cartilage with hinges and joints. To cut down harmful friction, the body lubricates itself by manufacturing a jelly-like substance at each place it is needed.
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  • The body has an amazingly complex and efficient chemical plant that changes the food we eat into living tissue. It not only causes the growth of flesh, blood, bones, and teeth, but it also has a remarkable ability to repair itself when parts are damaged by accident or disease.
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  • The human body has an automatic thermostat that takes care of both our heating and cooling systems, keeping body temperature at about 36.8°C (98.6°F). A tiny device within the hypothalamus in the brain sends a regular signal about ideal body temperature to another part of the brain that compares that to messages it receives from other parts of the body about its actual temperature. If the body is found to be too hot, a message is sent to yet another control center in the brain that tells sweat glands to carry moisture to the surface of the skin. Latent heat is lost as the sweat evaporates, which has a cooling effect. The process is augmented by a second message to expand the blood vessels in the skin, which brings more over-heated blood closer to the surface. That “flushed” look is a sign that the body is flushing extra heat. However, if the temperature control center determines that the body is too cold, messages are sent to shrink the blood vessels, which moves more blood away from the skin to reduce surface heat loss, causing a pale or “blue” look. Meanwhile, muscles are instructed to vibrate to generate warmth; the body shivers, but it begins to warm up.
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  • We are able to detect and differentiate sounds thanks to a tiny, intricate instrument inside the ear. Sound waves go down the auditory canal, and are converted to vibrations by the eardrum. Now in the middle ear, the vibrations are picked up by the ossicles (the three tiniest, most delicate bones in the body), and passed along to the cochlea, or inner ear, which is rolled up like a tiny sea shell and is filled with liquid. The vibrations set the liquid in wave-like motion that is detected by microscopic hairs, also in the cochlea, creating nerve signals that the brain understands as sound and interprets.
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  • The heart pumps blood through tens of thousands of miles of blood vessels, carrying food and oxygen to every part of the body. The blood vessels are not only remarkably flexible and durable, but arteries have a slight corkscrew twist to their interior walls that allows the blood to flow more easily than it would through straight pipes. The smoother the flow of blood, the less strain it puts on the heart. That’s a small but important extra, considering that heart will need to pump an average of about six liters (one and half gallons) of blood every minute for a lifetime.

Werner Gitt, a former professor at Germany’s Federal Institute of Physics and Technology, wrote: “Without a doubt, the most complex information-processing system in existence is the human body.” He estimated that the total information that each of our bodies deals with each day—all the information involved in conscious processes such as language and voluntary movements, plus the information used in the unconscious functions of the organs and various systems—is about 1024 bits. To put this astronomically high figure in more relatable terms, that’s about one million times greater than the total human knowledge stored in all the world’s libraries.

We are wonderfully made indeed!

 
(The author acknowledges the writings of Joseph Paturi and Carl Wieland as sources for this article.)

 
 

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