Christian Devotionals

"Preach AND Heal"

As you may know from previous devotions and webcasts, I am a firm believer in the healing power of Jesus Christ. In fact my wife Karen and I are regularly attending a Tuesday night healing service in Collinsville where I believe Jesus healed me of Stage IV cancer (on March 13th to be exact). I’m not denigrating medical science or anything, but the doctors had their way with this body of mine for nine months and failed to cure me. They cut things out, stapled loose ends together and injected $144,000 worth of chemotherapy into my veins, only to have new lesions pop up in my lungs. For a while, it looked like medical science would triumph over this insidious disease, but metastasized cancer is one tough hombre and it’s rarely snuffed out completely. Their prognosis is for a lifelong battle where they would strategically and periodically treat me with chemotherapy. Instead of curing me, this would be “managed” as a chronic disease. That may be their prognosis, but God has told me otherwise. I always knew that it would be Him who healed me - whether it be through doctors or by healing prayer - now I know for sure that it would be the latter.

Besides my weekly healing service at that Collinsville church, I had the opportunity to attend a special service where people from multiple Christian churches gathered together to use their gifts of healing. At one point, the main speaker – with a remarkable healing ministry - laid hands on my chest and back and prayed fervently over me. His hands became hot like fire as the healing power of the Holy Spirit penetrated into my body. It’s hard to describe, but God touched me through that servant. In fact, some fifteen minutes after he was done praying over me, I still felt his radiating hands pressing upon my back and chest. Never before had I experienced anything like this. Yet this should come as no surprise to any of us because the Bible is filled with many accounts of supernatural healing. After attending all of these healing services, one striking truth consistently comes through. Jesus Christ came to earth not only to save sinners such as us, He came to heal the sick. This is evident by the actions of our Savior and through His own words. When one of John the Baptist’s followers was sent to see if Jesus was the true Messiah, Jesus had this reply for him:

Matthew 11:4-5 (New International Version)

4 …”Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.”

Healing the sick was at the core of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Whether it be physical diseases, broken hearts or tormented souls, He was in the business of healing people and making them whole. Jesus not only physically healed them, He spiritually healed them with His message of repentance and salvation – the good news. Moreover, Jesus instructed His disciples to go out and do the same. He empowered them to do miraculous things as we read in Mark 6:12-13.

12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

Contrary to popular belief, Jesus didn’t just give this supernatural power to the twelve apostles - Luke 10 tells us that He gave it to seventy-two other disciples - with these instructions:

9Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.'

You might be thinking that all of this healing was done long ago, now Jesus is sitting on the right hand of His Father and those disciples are dead and gone. That’s what Satan would love you to believe. The enemy of our souls uses sickness and death to strike fear into our hearts (he used to have a stronghold on us). That was before Jesus died on the cross for our sins and was resurrected by Almighty God. His death and resurrection ensured that sin, death and Satan would be defeated forever. Sure people will continue to get sick, grow old and die, but it doesn’t end there. Those who have Jesus Christ not only have eternal life, we also have that same supernatural power that Jesus entrusted to His disciples two thousand years ago. That’s right, the same power that was able to raise Christ from the dead is available to all believers through the Holy Spirit. Disciples of Jesus in the here and now are empowered to carry out the same directives that He gave to the disciples in Luke 9:2.

2 and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

The healing minister who laid those fiery hands on me told all of us at that service, “Clergymen today focus only on the “preach the kingdom of God” directive in Luke 9:2 and forsake our Lord’s command to “heal the sick.” He went on to say that our seminaries and churches are raising up too many one-armed clergymen and laypeople. It’s a shame because there are so many sick and hurting people out there who need both sides of Luke 9:2. I for one am grateful that Jesus put me in touch with two such clergymen who exercise their God-given power to preach AND heal.

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