April 11

Deuteronomy 18:14-15 (NIV) 14The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so. 15The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.

The world seeks to know of the spiritual through the evil side. That way they are able to be 'spiritual' and yet indulge their evil nature. It is the same with New Age. There is no demand from a holy God to give up their immorality. There is no standard of a righteous God to which they must conform.

God told the Israelites through Moses that we were not to be like them. Instead they were to watch for the prophet that God was going to raise up. This prophet was going to show us truth of the spiritual realm without compromising with evil. This prophet would be like Moses. Moses was a deliverer. Moses was meek. Moses heard from God and brought God's word to the people.

God raised up that prophet, Jesus, from the Jewish nation. We must listen to Him. He has the words of eternal life. But unlike the worldly spiritual ways of self-indulgence, He says we must take up our cross daily and follow Him. He tells us that if we try to save our life we will lose it. No wonder people flock to other ways, ways that lead to death.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the prophet that Moses said God would bring. We must listen to Him. His way is death to self that leads to life. The way of the sorcerer and diviner promises life, encourages indulgence in what it calls 'life', but leads to death.

Meditation: I must listen to Jesus.

April 11

Mark 2:4-5 (NIV) 4Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. 5When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

Jesus spent time out in the wilderness areas so that He could minister to those who had desperate needs. They are the ones that would make the journey out to meet with Him. On one return visit to Capernaum, the crowd was so thick that some men broke open the roof to lower their paralyzed friend down to Jesus, who was teaching inside.

Jesus saw the faith of this man's friends and told him his sins were forgiven. Immediately Jesus sensed the religious leaders unbelief in His ability to forgive sin. Sins are offenses against God. Only the one offended has the right to forgive. To help the crowd understand that He had the power to forgive, He asked them which was easier, to forgive sins, or to say to a paralyzed man, "Stand and walk"? Then He declared that it was so they would know He had power to forgive sins that He told the man to rise and walk.

I can imagine the sense of anticipation in the room. The crowd had probably seen this man for years, lying on his mat. Then the wonder of him getting up must have put them in total awe. The passage says they were amazed and praised God. Now they had to face a religious paradigm shift. They had looked to sacrifices, all their lives, as the means to God's forgiveness. The man standing before them says it is in His power to forgive, making them right with God. When Jesus shows up in our life, a lot of our theology goes out the window, and we realize it is all about Him. He has the authority to make me right with God. He is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. I need only come to Him in faith.

Consider: I hope this encourages you to take others to Him in faith. When He sees your faith in what He can do for your friend, He will forgive them, too.