Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “Actions speaks louder than words.” This saying is embodied in the following verse.
Matt 9:2. “Seeing their faith” a man is forgiven of his sins. Notice Jesus didn’t say the man was healed because of his faith. No, this man was healed because of the other people faith. We don’t know what type of sin this man was forgiven of. We do know that despite his sin, he was forgiven. A contemporary saying is, “God can’t bless you in your mess.” Obviously isn’t portrayed in this event. We should be encouraged to continue to pray for people we know are outside the will of God. His hands aren’t too short that He can’t reach down and touch their lives. Our job is to continue to pray.
Your actions will go a long way in showing people the love of God. Prayerfully, you are using your opportunities to not only tell people about Christ but you are leading them to Christ.
Keep praying my friend…keep bringing people to Christ through your love and actions
“Robert Moffat, a guest preacher at the University of Glasgow, spoke one day to a nearly empty room with one student in the front row. Because of the lack of attendance, Moffat thought he had failed. But that front row student turned out to be medical missionary, David Livingstone, who answered God‘s call.” I’m certain you know the rest of the amazing story of “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?“
My fellow Christians…always speak for Christ. Always live for Christ. You never know who you will affect. Nor will you know how those affected by your life will affect others. It’s about Him, not us.
Our hunger for God will not be confined to our closets. As we know him and delight in all that he is for us in Jesus, our joy in him reaches beyond personal experience on a quest to be reproduced in others. One of the simplest ways we realize this is by taking serious how we pray — by wanting and asking for others the same things we want and ask for ourselves.
It is a beautiful thing — a miracle — when we become as invested in the sanctification of others as we are in our own. And, of course, the best place to start is with our spouses.
So men, here are ten things to want from God (and ask from Him) for your wife:
Be her God — her all-satisfying treasure and all. Make her jealous for your exclusive supremacy over all her affections (Psalm 73:24–25).
Increase her faith — give her a rock-solid confidence that your incomparable power is only always wielded for her absolute good in Christ (Romans 8:28–30).
Intensify her joy — a joy in you that abandons all to the riches of your grace in Jesus and that says firmly, clearly, gladly: “I’ll go anywhere and do anything if you are there” (Exodus 33:14–15).
Soften her heart — rescue her from cynicism and make her tender to your presence in the most complicated details of dirty diapers and a multitude of other needs you’ve called her to meet (Hebrews 1:3).
Make her cherish your church — build relationships into her life that challenge and encourage her to walk in step with the truth of the gospel, and cause her to love corporate gatherings, the Lord’s Table, and the everyday life of the body (Mark 3:35).
Give her wisdom — make her see dimensions of reality that I would overlook and accompany her vision with a gentle, quiet spirit that feels safe and celebrated (1 Peter 3:4).
Sustain her health — continue to speak your gift of health and keep us from presumption; it is by blood-bought grace (Psalm 139:14).
Multiply her influence — encourage and deepen the impact she has on our children. Give her sweet glimpses of it. Pour her out in love for our neighbors and spark creative ways to engage them for Jesus’s sake (John 12:24).
Make her hear your voice — to read the Bible and accept it as it really is, your word… your very word to her where she lives, full of grace and power and everything she needs pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
Overcome her with Jesus — that she is united to him, that she is a new creature in him, that she is your daughter in him. . . No longer in Adam and dead to sin; now in Christ and alive to you, forever (Romans 6:11).
And then a thousand other things. Amen.
(Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a content strategist at Desiring God. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Melissa, and their three children: Elizabeth, Hannah, and Micah. This post was originally published on the Desiring God blog.)
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, by Caravaggio (1601–02) — “Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 2Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:24-29 NIV)
How often do you hear people talk about Doubting Thomas? Often we attribute doubting only to him. This is a bit unfair. I don’t doubt that you are like me in that you have had doubts. To be fair, our doubts probably aren’t about the resurrection of our Savior. I think it’s about time we stop giving Thomas the bad moniker, “Doubting Thomas.” The following Scriptures helps to make the case.
We forget parallel Scriptures of this interaction of Jesus and the Apostles:
Mark 16:14. Jesus “rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.” I can’t recall anyone calling another person a doubting Apostle.
John 1:46. Philip doubted before he met Jesus. Ironically, the general population speak often of Thomas’ doubt but not of Philip’s initial doubt.
Matt 28:17. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. This shows that Thomas wasn’t the only one with doubt.
Other doubters in the bible:
Abraham: Gen 17:17. He had doubts that he’d become a father
Sarah: Gen 18:12. She had doubts she would become a mother in her old age
Moses: Exod 3:10-15. Had doubts about leading the children of Israel out of Egypt
The Israelites: Exodus. The grumbling doubters took 40 years for a 3-day tour. Makes the Gilligan Island 3-hour tour look really short!
Gideon: Judges 6:14-23. Became a judge and leader.
Zechariah (Luke 1:18). Doubted, or questioned the fact that he’d become a father at an old age.
Ok, you’re asking, “What’s In It For Me?” Great question. I just wanted you to be more aware of the fact that there were more doubters in the bible. Now, that you’re armed with this little information, you can help people to know about the other “Doubting Thomases” in the bible. I don’t “doubt” you can help them gain a new-found understanding of this issue.
Recently I was asked the question, “Are there any more Apostle’s?” One of the individuals who questioned the issue of modern-day Apostle’s was upset since two Apostle’s are scheduled to speak at the same event that I will be speaking at.
Let’s look at a few things on Apostle’s. Admittedly, this is a highly debatable issue. There were at least 17 Apostles. The term itself, in simple form means “one sent.”
Our Lord and Savior picked the original 12 Apostles. Take a look at all the Gospels and you’ll find something interesting. If you find it…shoot me an email.
1-12. Jesus originally picked twelve (see Matt 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5:1-11).
13. Matthias was picked over Barsabbas to replace Judas (Acts 1:22-26). Note: Acts 1:21 says, It is therefore necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us – beginning with the baptism of John, until the day that He was taken up from us–one of these should become a witness with us of His resurrection.”
We’ll come back to the point “ones of these should become a witness with us” since this is where Christians typically point to the criteria for someone being an Apostle.
14. Paul became an Apostle, in one sense, by a direction commission from Jesus. (See Acts 9 [Well, this is the time of his conversion. His Apostleship evolved afterwards])
15. Barnabas was noted as an Apostle in Acts 14:14. Go back to Acts 1:23. You’ll see that he is also called Justus and that he wasn’t selected as an Apostle at that time.
16. James, Jesus’ brother (see Galatians 1:19). Josephus and other ancient writers provide a lot of information on the mighty things this Apostle accomplished.
17-18. Andronicus and Junia were Apostles (see Romans 16:7). We don’t know (as far as I’m aware of) much about these two Apostles. Perhaps they were disciples who were elevated to Apostleship.
19? Paul included Apollos as an Apostle in 1 Cor 4:6-9. Well, that’s what it seems to indicate.
20-21? Paul might have been calling Timothy and Silas Apostles in 1 Thes 1 and 1 Thes 2:6. I still need to do more research on #19-22. I’m still not fully convinced Paul is saying they are Apostles.
22?!! This is the tricky one. Mary Magdalene. I believe in the non-canonical writing of Thomas (don’t quote me on this one…need to find my notes), Mary is referred to as the “Apostle to the Apostles.” She even has an order of nuns that follow her. If memory serves me correctly, they’re an off-shoot Catholicism. I don’t believe the Roman Catholic church recognizes them, however.
Some use Heb 3:1 as saying Jesus was an Apostle. I think this is misplaced.
There’s Something About Mary
What about Mary? Scripture says, ” According to 1 Cor. 1:1 & 9, to be an Apostle you must have seen the Lord, and been called to be one directly by Him. Scripture shows that she was used by Jesus and was around for many of the important events?!? Can we say the same about the other individuals?
Oh By The Way:
Some believe the five-fold ministry validates modern-day Apostles. That could be a really good and valid point to consider.
Catholics, Greek-Orthodox and others have some Apostles that aren’t listed in the bible. Just a point to consider and know about….
All-in-all, I can’t give you a definitive answer. Read, research and ask God for guidance on this issue. Let me know if you find more information that what I’ve written here. Thanks.
Do you want to know where your city rates in terms of being “Bible-Minded?” I got this from one of my brothers-in-Christ and wanted to share this with you all.
Barna Research recently release their report and it ranks the most and least “Bible-minded” cities by looking at how people in those cities view the Bible. The study is based on 42,855 interviews conducted nationwide and the analysis of Bible trends was commissioned by American Bible Society.
Individuals who report reading the Bible in a typical week and who strongly assert the Bible is accurate in the principles it teaches are considered to be Bible-minded. This definition captures action and attitude – those who both engage and esteem the Christian scriptures. The rankings thus reflect an overall openness or resistance to the Bible in the country’s largest markets. Below is the link to the report.