Like Pulling a Pet From a Pit: Healing

I. Healing: Like Pulling a Pet From a Pit

 

Have you fallen in a pit?

Well, God wants you out of it!

It’s an awful place to sit.

So, if you’ve taken a hit,

Read the gospels and you’ll see:

It is God’s will to make you free.

He wants you to be whole

(In spirit, body and soul).

Jesus compares healing to saving a life and to pulling a pet from a pit. See the following examples:

I. The Man With the Withered Hand

One time in a synagogue He saw a man with a withered hand. The Pharisees asked him if it was lawful to heal on the sabbath. They wanted to accuse him. (see Matthew 12:10.

Jesus answered by asking what they’d do if their sheep fell into a pit on the sabbath. Wouldn’t he lift it out? He then adds (in verse 12) that a man is better than a sheep and that it is lawful to do well on the sabbath. Jesus then had the man stretch his hand out and it was made whole.

(In Mark 3:4 Jesus knows their thoughts and equates healing with doing good and saving lives.

 

II. The Man With Dropsy (Edema)

The second time where Jesus compares healing a man to pulling an animal from a pit is in Luke 14:1-5

In this case, a chief Pharisee had invited him to his house to eat bread on the sabbath day. There was a man there who had  “the dropsy” (edema). In this case, Jesus asked the lawyers and Pharisees if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath. They didn’t say anything. Jesus healed the man and let him go. Then he answered his own question concerning the healing by asking what they’d do if their ass or ox fell into a pit on the Sabbath day. Wouldn’t they pull it out right away?

(Methinks the answer be “yes”)

 

So, we see that healing is compared to pulling an animal out of a pit. It is also compared to saving a life, rather than killing it. Jesus is all about saving lives, not killing them.

Do you find yourself in a pit,

(And you know it doesn’t fit)?

Despair may be its name.

Getting out is no game.

But there are steps you can take

To get a faster “break.”

 

To get out of the pit, you must know God wants you out of it. He doesn’t want you depressed, defeated, or gripped with despair. Take a look around and see:

 

I. Recognize That This Pit Does Not Define You

Not much light gets down into the bottom of a pit. You can’t really see much of anything down there. Any reflection bouncing off those bumpy walls is bound to be distorted. This pit is not a magic mirror. It can’t show you who you are. Anything you see in there is bound in misery: a mind set on the flesh and all its failings.

For to be carnally minded (focused on the flesh) is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace (Romans 8:6).

When you focus on yourself, you tend to see the bad stuff. And focusing on the bad just leads you deeper into that pit. How can you climb out if you’re focused on how bad you are?

That attitude, I believe, is what causes talents to get buried. That’s what happens when you let your pit define you. But Jesus wants you out of that pit, which brings us to the next step:

 

II. Know You Can’t Get Out the Same Way You Got In

People fall and/or get thrown into pits. I doubt that few decide to jump in, but those that do cannot get out that way. The force of gravity makes it easy to slide, fall or leap into a pit. Doubt and discouragement do the pushing. Gravity does the pulling. To get out of the pit requires that you resist all those things. Resistance involves work, a true fight of faith. Are you up for the challenge?

The faith you need to wage that sort of resistance comes from God’s promises, as written in His Word. This brings us to the next step:

 

III. Get a Vision for Overcoming

Proverbs 29:18 tells us that “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” The best vision we can have, of course, is that of Jesus. Hebrews 12:2 instructs us to keep our eyes on Him who is the author and finisher of our faith.

“For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son (Jesus), that whosoever believes in him (Jesus) should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

I John 5:4-5 For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Our faith in Jesus is the vision that enables us to overcomes the world!

When King Jesus Swoops In

How John the Baptist Set the Stage for Grace

I. John the Baptist calls Some People Vipers

John the Baptist is an interesting Bible character, known for preaching a baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins. Yet the picture that probably sticks in some people’s minds is him calling Pharisees and Sadducees a brood of vipers. “Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Matthew 4:7)

It was a scary message for them, but was it his main message? Does John the Baptist seem to paint a picture of an angry God? Is his a condemning message or does it set the stage for grace?

Let’s start by asking this question: What sort of repentance did John the Baptist preach?

II. John Says Share (Show Grace to the Less Fortunate)

Try this on for size: “He that has two coats, let him impart to him that has none; and he that has meat, let him do likewise.” (Luke 3:11) In other words, show grace and share with those in need. This could be a Christmas message, Charles Dickens style: Let the self-centered Scrooge learn to love his neighbor as himself.

To the publicans (tax collectors) John said, “Exact no more than that which is appointed you.” In other words, do your job and don’t be greedy. In a world where people sometimes cheat for fear of not having enough, John the Baptist promotes self-control, a fruit of the Holy Spirit and gift of God’s grace which enables believers to keep God’s seventh command “Don’t steal.”

III. John Says Don’t Be Violent; Be Content

To soldiers, John the Baptist said, “Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.” Boy, does our world need that message! We see violence almost everywhere: especially on TV; also via the Internet and even on our phones. Violence is a form of murder, addressed by the sixth command “Don’t kill.” Showing grace and mercy is the opposite of murder.

As for false accusation, it has become the latest rage on social media. God calls it “bearing false witness against your neighbor” (lying or “fake news”). False accusation is mean. God doesn’t like it. Thank God for John the Baptist who struck a blow for telling the truth! Doing God’s will is not drudgery. It’s all about His grace.

Finally, being content with one’s wages is the opposite of coveting and touches on the very last commandment, which is about not envying other people’s stuff. To be content is a positive thing, made possible through Jesus through whom grace and mercy flow. “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John declares in John 1:29.

In so doing, he sets the stage for grace.

God Save the King Who Saves Us!

“God save the king!” whispered the three people who knew about it,

Yet they had to be extremely careful not to shout it.

For at the time, a very wicked queen ruled Judah’s land.

She put her grandchildren to death so she could rule as planned.

 

Death and destruction overtook the country known as “Praise.”

As evil screamed for recognition, death ruled many days.

Meanwhile, sequestered in a room until six years had passed,

One boy remained protected from the bad queen’s vicious blast.

 

“God save the king!” whispered the three people who knew about him.

Of course, to save him from the queen, they dared not shout about him.

The little king was very much alive, that much they knew.

His whereabouts stayed veiled to all, except the chosen few.

 

The king would live as long as he remained obscure, unknown

Until the day arrived for him to sit upon the throne.

That’s when a larger group convened to help protect the king.

Before a larger audience His praises they would sing.

 

When finally, they fetched him, shielded well on every side,

And placed him in the temple, evil found no place to hide.

The trumpets blew. “God save the king!” his subjects now declared.

The mean queen’s ears picked up on it. Soon she was running scared.

 

She rushed into the temple, tore her clothes, and yelled “Unfair!”

“It’s treason!” she announced to see the true king standing there.

“It’s like a resurrection, but of course it can’t be real.

I killed them all. No one survived. Before me all must kneel!”

 

The priest who oversaw the celebration told his men

To drag her from God’s house, never to enter it again.

Out by the horse’s gate they went and slew her with the sword.

Deliverance took place that day as they obeyed the LORD.

 

And that’s how evil Athaliah finally met her doom.

Because the king still lived, her deadly reign had no more room,

For as the crowd rejoiced in him, the fear of her did cease,

Replaced by shouts of joy and unimaginable peace.

 

The story in II Kings chapter 11 tells how young King Joash escaped the murderous clutches of his evil grandmother. He remained hidden in God’s house for six years while Athaliah ruled the land, just as King Jesus remained hidden from Herod who tried to have him killed.

We live in an information age where keeping secrets has become very difficult. It can tempt  us to share too much of what we know. But sometimes truths need to be kept hidden for a while, until the time is right to share them.

In some ways, the truth of Jesus’ resurrection has been hidden from the church – not in the sense that His followers don’t believe He rose from the dead but in the sense that they don’t act as if He’s truly alive. Rather than expecting Him to empower them the way He empowered the early church, they reason that God no longer does the same miracles He did back then. They have allowed the spirit of death epitomized in Athaliah to dash their hopes and kill their faith. To them the true identity of the real king remains hidden.

But as the time of deliverance draws near, those of us who know our king will be strong and do exploits (Daniel 11:32). We will share the awesome truths God shows to us with those who are willing to help us defend it, just as Jehoiada gathered numerous commanders to guard the young king. The difference is, we don’t need to cry “God save the king!” because King Jesus doesn’t need saving. He gave His life to save us. As we lift our hands and rejoice in Him, the devils in our lives will exposed themselves just as Athaliah heard the people’s praise and exposed herself. That’s because Satan wants to be worshiped and will always complain when we worship Jesus, who IS the resurrection and the life (John 11:25).

A sword of metal killed Athaliah. To cast out devils, we have God’s Word, the truth that’s found in Christ. The Holy Spirit makes His resurrection power real to us. (Acts 1:8; Romans 8:11)

There’s nothing to worry about because Jesus has won the victory for us.

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetimes subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)

 

https://miracle-times.com/resurrection/when-life-stinks/