April 13

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NIV) 19This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Blessings and life or curses and death, those are our choices. There is no middle ground. We must choose one or the other. Heaven and earth will bear witness to the choice we make. Our choice is visible to all created realms.

It is a wonder that Almighty God gives us such a privilege. Considering the horrible consequences to others if we make the wrong choice. It is a wonder that we get to choose at all. But God is not after robots. He wants relational, volitional creatures. He is looking for those who will desire Him and His goodness of their own free will.

In these verses we find that the choice of life that we make effects our children, our love for God, our ability to hear His voice, and our endurance in the faith. It effects the length of our lives. When the choice is laid out so clearly, and the consequences made so plain, who would choose curses and death? Sadly many still do. It is easy to believe the lie that other things can deliver these benefits to our lives, when that choice lines up with our fleshly desire.

The LORD is our life. We may think our life is wrapped up in things and family and friends, but all those are from the LORD. He is life itself. He breathed into us the breath of life.

Meditation: Have I recognized that Jesus is life?

April 13

Mark 5:27-29 (NIV) 27When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." 29Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering

There is more going on here than meets the Western eye. This woman had a case of perpetual bleeding. Not only was it debilitating, but according to the Jewish law she was considered unclean and supposed to shout out that fact when she was in public. Jesus was in a packed crowd, but this woman was desperate. She had spent her living on doctors that had not helped her. She had gone without human contact for years and was physically and emotionally drained. Jesus was her last hope.

The Jews had the idea that when the Messiah came, the tassel that hung from the corner of His cloak would heal those who touched it. It is not clear in Mark that this is what she was touching, but the word is clear in Matthew. It is the word that is translated 'hem' or 'tassel' in NIV. Jesus told the Pharisees that they made this part of their garments long. (Matthew 23:5) It is as if they were saying, "Perhaps I am the Messiah." When the woman thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed", she was expressing her conviction that Jesus was the Messiah.

Many people were touching Jesus in that crowd, jostling up against Him. Jesus stopped and said that someone had touched Him. He perceived power flow from Him. What was the difference between this woman's touch and the crowds' touch? She had faith. Faith grounded her like a lightening rod. Everyone else was insulated by unbelief. The believing touch drew the power that made her whole.

Remember: When you go to Jesus in prayer, reach out in faith and touch Him. Pound your lightening rod of faith deep into the earth, grab hold and with the other hand touch the Savior. Then, look out! The power will flow.