The Right Outcome

If you want the right outcome, the right position and the right action are vital.

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Mark 3:5 – And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

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I don’t know of any sane person who is not interested in having a right outcome; not just a good one, but the right one.  in the story we examine through our Text for Today.  We’ve already looked at the necessity of the right position.  It is whatever God calls upon you to do and the place He expects you to be.  We’ve also looked at the right action, and that in two arenas.  First, the action of the believer to walk in obedience to that which the Word prescribes, and second, the action the Lord takes, knowing we can fully embrace the truth that any action He takes will surely be the right action. 

It is that which brings us to the right outcome.  Do you recall when Peter walked on the water to come to Jesus.  He was in the right position (out of the boat and on the water), and he was taking the right action (walking on the water to go to Jesus).  Because of that, even though Peter let his eyes stray from Jesus, when he cried out for Jesus to help him after he began to sink, Jesus was faithful to perform the right action at that moment, precisely when it was needed.  He reached out and took Peter by the hand, raising him up from sinking, and walking, along with Peter, back to the boat from which Peter came.  That was the right outcome.

For the man in our story for today, he, too, was blessed with the right outcome.  He was in the right position.  He had been in a place in the tabernacle to hear the instruction of Jesus to, “Stand forth.”  Herein are two important points.  Jesus wanted the man in a position to be seen, and He wanted the man to stand, indicating an attitude of victory over his circumstances, even before he could see it.  With the obedience of the man, Jesus took the right action.  He exposed the evil of the darkness, pointed to the righteousness of the light, both of which set Him in position to produce the right outcome.  And there, too, we see response from the man.  His hand was withered.  Jesus told him to “Stretch forth thine hand.”  And he did what he was told, producing an outcome of the finest sort.  His withered hand was made whole like his other hand.  With the aim being right outcome, both right position and right action need to be in place.

Manna for Today – Mark 3:1-5; Acts 10:38; 1 John 5:3; Hebrews 11:1 & 6; Galatians 5:6; Isaiah 1:19;     3 John 2; Psalm 84:11; 1 Corinthians 14:40

The Right Action

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Mark 3:4 – And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.

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Often in the past I have written of what many call “God’s timing,” clearly stating that concerning all covenant matters, His timing is already established through the work of faith.  And that is “NOW.”  Father has stated clearly in His Word that He withholds “no good thing” from those who walk uprightly.  The “timing” of the Lord can be summed up in simple terms.  WHEN you are obedient, ready, prepared, and in the right position, Father is ready.  Father needs no preparation; He is NOW – the I AM.  He is EVER ready.  He is ALWAYS compliant with His Word. 

I am a leadership trainer.  I work to prepare leaders in the principles of Christian leadership.  In the realm of leadership, there is what we call the “law of timing” (John Maxwell – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership).  In the realm of human leadership, men can, and do, make judgment errors.  We can make both right and wrong actions, and we are capable of doing both at right and wrong times.  The pattern is as follows.

  • Wrong Action + Wrong Time = Disaster
  • Right Action + Wrong Time = Resistance
  • Wrong Action + Right Time = Mistake
  • Right Action + Right Time = Success

But these calculations are all human based.  With God, as it was with Jesus in our Text for Today, there is NEVER Wrong ActionONLY Right Action.  And with God, He is perfectly aware of the self-preparation and obedience that makes the Time Perfect.  In the events around our Text for Today, Jesus’s action was perfect, which means it was surely “good.”  And that is precisely the point He made when addressing the religious minds that stood about Him.  The answer to Jesus’s question is a simple one.  It is ALWAYSlawful,” or RIGHT, to do good, not only on the Sabbath, but ANY and EVERY day.  And Father does all things “decently and in order,” as we have likewise been commanded to do.  The indication is that Father wants all things to be properly arranged, even the “suddenlies” of life.  We should commit ourselves to do WHATEVER the Lord commands, WHENEVER He commands it, WHEREVER He commands it, and HOWEVER He commands it, for His actions are ALWAYS right, and obedience to Him is ALWAYS right, as well.

Manna for Today – Mark 3:1-5; Acts 10:38; 1 John 5:3; Hebrews 11:1 & 6; Galatians 5:6; Isaiah 1:19;     3 John 2; Psalm 84:11; 1 Corinthians 14:40

The Right Position

Have you ever heard of being in the right place at the right time?

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Mark 3:3 – And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.

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Jesus is Lord.  As Lord, He responsible for all those who, in truth, call Him Lord.  Just as a father is responsible for the complete well-being of his minor children, so is anyone who is lord over another person.  Anyone who is submitted to a lord is submitted in such a manner as to be totally dependent upon that lord.  So, when we speak of Jesus Who is King of kings and Lord of lords, we are referring to the only being in existence Who is able to be completely protect you from all evil and provide every need and heart’s desire.  And He does so because of His great love for you.

Once again, take a moment to read our Text for Today.  Consider the scene that is portrayed.  It is a Sabbath day.  Jesus is in the synagogue of Capernaum.  We know Jesus was where He needed to be; He always did what pleased Father.  In the synagogue were Pharisees and Herodians who were looking for a way to stop Jesus. And in the synagogue was one more key person; the man with a “withered hand.” 

With that imagery in mind, consider the following.  What would have happened if Jesus had been intimidated in the slightest by the religious leaders who were present?  NO miracle.  But then, we know that Jesus NEVER operated in any kind of fear, but always did those things that pleased Father, because He always operated in faith.  Now consider this.  What would have happened if the man with the withered hand had not obeyed the command of the Lord to “stand forth,” and then, moments later, “stretch forth thine hand”?  Once again, NO miracle.  You see, obedience is required for faith to work, and it was faith that made the man whole.

With that in mind, allow me to address two terms; “right time,” and “right place.”  When is the “right time?”  “NOW!”  Always remember, “Now, faith is.”  Faith is NOT tomorrow, nor is it yesterday.  It is ALWAYS NOW!  I often hear people say God will heal them in His time.  This is spiritual error.  Jesus took care of that 2,000 years ago.  Health belongs to every believer NOW!  And what about the “right place.”  It is that place where you choose to obey God with a willing and loving heart, for it is the “willing and obedient” who will eat the “good of the land.”  And of the “good of the land,” prosperity and healing are at the top of the list for His children.  When the man with the withered hand chose to obey the Lord, regardless of the kinds of pressure that may have been against him, he set the time and place for the work to happen.

Manna for Today – Mark 3:1-5; 1 John 5:3; Hebrews 11:1 & 6; Galatians 5:6; Isaiah 1:19; 3 John 2

Power at Every Level – Part 5

There is a name above all names, in every arena, in heaven, in earth, and beneath the earth . . . Jesus!

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Luke 5:24 – But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.

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In this closing entry on our look into Jesus healing the palsied man carried by four men, we make a brief examination of the central figure in all our lives – Jesus.  The words of our Text for Today are, I believe, crucial to understanding our focus on the power of God being manifest in every level of life.  At this point, allow me to ask one question.  Do you believe that Jesus Christ suffered and died to redeem you from sin?  I do, and I’m sure you do, too.  That being said, if we are true to our profession, we must, by default, believe that we have been completely redeemed from the curse of the law, and that includes redemption from sickness, disease, poverty, lack, and any emotional/intellectual attack the enemy would attempt to bring against us.  The reason for such a statement is that all those things I have named have come on mankind because of Adam’s original sin.  And if by one man, Adam, sin and all those destructive elements have come on mankind, then by one man, Jesus, redemption, complete redemption, is made available to each and every human being who will believe it, confess it, and accept it.

Take time to read our Manna for Today, especially the passage from which our Text for Today arises.  When the palsied man was lowered to the floor before Jesus, the first issue He addressed was the sin issue.  You see, Jesus knew that when the sin issue was defeated, so were all the other issues, including palsy.  Then He dealt with the soulish issues plaguing the minds of all the onlookers.  And He concluded His dealing with the soulish issues with the statement, “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins,” and from that statement moved to the physical man saying, “I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.”  It should be clear to the reader that in a matter of a few moments, Jesus spoke to the issue of the divine power in which He walked at every level of life; spirit, soul, and body. 

On a personal note, I am convinced that when Jesus spoke the first time saying, “Son, thy sins are forgiven thee,” that the healing of the palsied man took place at the same moment.  I believe every element of the palsy left his body immediately.  I am likewise convinced that the man had lived so long in that condition, that in his own mind, his expectancy was the nothing had changed in his body, and that it was not until Jesus told him to rise and go home that he realized he was, indeed, completely healed.  If you will, please note closely, that Jesus NEVER said to the man to be healed.  All Jesus ever addressed to him was that his sins were forgiven, and that he should arise and go home.  Just a thought.

Manna for Today – Mark 2:1-12; Mark 11:22-24; Matthew 18:19-20; Deuteronomy 32:30; John 14:12-14; John 17:18; John 20:21; Luke 5:17-26; Galatians 3:13;  Romans 10:9-10-17

Power at Every Level – Part 4

The plain truth is this; you cannot please God without faith.

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Luke 5:17 – And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.

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Take a moment to re-read the final phrase of our Text for Today.  It declares “the power of the Lord was present to heal them.”  When you consider those words in the light of the rest of Scripture as it clearly defines the will of God for healing, we see that it was evidently the desire of the Lord Jesus to heal every person present in the meeting described here.  The simple truth is this; God wants you well.

So why don’t we read about others being healed in that meeting?  That would include the Pharisees, doctors of the law, and all the others, many of whom were, no doubt, devout followers of Jesus.  Jesus, the Word made flesh, was present.  He (the Word) was sent to heal.  So why only the palsied man?  Jesus went about doing good, healing all that were oppressed of the devil.  So why only the palsied man?  Though He was anointed to heal, He could do no might works in His own hometown except for healing a few folks of minor ailments.  Could it be that same kind of unbelief was at where that day?  What we DO know is that Jesus went to work “when He saw their (the men who carried the palsied man) faith.”

Always keep in mind here that the “power of the Lord was present to heal them.”  And that means “ALL” of them.  But Jesus only moved in the healing operation where He saw faith being released.  We should learn a very valuable lesson from our observations here.  The power of God alone is not what puts healing into operation.  Being a disciple of Jesus alone is not what puts healing into operation.  God’s desire to heal alone does not put healing into operation.  The need of the person who is sick alone does not put healing into operation.  All these factors may be present, but alone, they do not put healing into operation.  And the truth of the matter is that all these factors were certainly present in the incident herein described.  But none of them alone, or even collectively, put healing into operation.  Something else was needed.

What was needed was faith.  It was not seen in the Pharisees, the doctors of the law, the other followers of Jesus, or the palsied man.  The needed key, faith, was seen in the men who carried the palsied man, who took him to the roof, who tore away the ceiling, and who lowered him before Jesus.  And “when Jesus saw their faith,” He went to work.

Manna for Today – Mark 2:1-12; Mark 11:22-24; Matthew 18:19-20; Deuteronomy 32:30; John 14:12-14; John 17:18; John 20:21; Luke 5:17-26; 3 John 2; Psalm 107:20

Power at Every Level – Part 3

No one, not even critically religious people, are irredeemable.

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Luke 5:17 – And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.

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Today we’re still considering the story of the palsied man carried by four other men who lowered him through the roof to get him before Jesus.  As this story is related, even before the palsied man is introduced into the story, we read the words of our Text for Today.  we know according to our Manna for Today that the house where Jesus was teaching was full, that there was no more room inside, and apparently, the crowd outside was so pressing that those carrying the palsied man could not even get near the door.  Look again at our Text for Today.  It appears likely that a large part of the crowd that filled the house were “Pharisees and doctors of the law.”  And more than that, they weren’t just from one location.  They were from “every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem.”  That’s a lot of towns!  Most of the maps I’ve examined of that region in the time of Jesus indicate there were at least 40 towns or cities.  If there were one (1) Pharisee and one (1) doctor of the law from each of those, that would put at least 80 people in the house that were there to hear what Jesus said.  And when you consider his disciples and the many others who followed Jesus closely, the house was surely packed with people inside, and quite a crowd outside.  It is there quite understandable why men on a mission would go up on the roof to complete their mission.

Now take a moment and examine the final phrase of our Text for Today.  We read “the power of the Lord was present to heal them.”  The power of God was not there just for the palsied man.  Nor was it there just for those who supported Jesus and His ministry.  It was there for those who opposed Jesus, for those who were looking for anything they could find to accuse Jesus, for those were spoke harshly to, of, and about Jesus.  This statement verifies John 3:16-17 completely.  It clearly verifies the truth that “God is love.”   It makes no difference what relationship a person has with Jesus, He loves them, He wants them to be redeemed, and a major part of that redemption it their healing.  That is why it is so necessary for us to know that God is a faith God.  Faith moves God, NOT need.  Faith moves God, NOT His desire.  And in this situation, Jesus “saw their (the men who carried the palsied man) faith.” 

Manna for Today – Mark 2:1-12; Mark 11:22-24; Matthew 18:19-20; Deuteronomy 32:30; John 14:12-14; John 17:18; John 20:21; Luke 5:17-26

Power at Every Level – Part 2

No matter the severity of the problem, Jesus is always more than enough.

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Mark 2:3 – And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

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Today, let’s consider the man who was afflicted by palsy.  A few things should be quite evident.

  • He had palsy; a disabling, crippling, killing disease. 
  • Having this disease, you can only live as long as there is someone to take care of you.
  • It frequently attacks one’s ability to walk, to have full functionality of the hands, and diminishing one’s ability to speak, and possible even to reason.
  • It often attacks a person some years after birth, when they will begin to stumble, fall, and lose their mobility.
  • When this happens as a child, other children, in their ignorant cruelty, will blame such a person for things they didn’t do. 
  • Fear of the pain of falling and the blame for damaging things, often grips the palsied mind, crippling them even further.

Now with all those things in mind, can you imagine the terror in the palsied man’s mind as he is taken from his home, carried through strange areas, lifted high above the ground to the roof of a house, all the while fearing that he may be dropped or blamed for damage to the roof.  I can only imagine the depth of fear and torment that must have been coursing through his being.  The only thing he had was whatever trust he had in those who carried him; those four men, four acquaintances, four friends, for men of faith, for it was their faith that moved Jesus. 

I have often meditated upon the scene inside that house.  Picture it with me.  This man had been plagued by palsy, likely most of his life.  He was accustomed to the shaking, immobility, slurred speech, and total dependence upon other.  He had mentally trained himself most of his life to live in such a condition without thought; after all, there was no cure for him.  Lying on the floor before Jesus, the first words he hears are that his sins are forgiven.  You and I know that sickness and disease in the fruitfulness of sin, and that if sin is conquered, so is sickness, disease, poverty, and all that goes with them.  Because of the known connection, I am convinced that as soon as Jesus told him his sins were forgiven, all manifestations of the palsy that afflicted him, ceased to operate, and it was not until Jesus told him to get up, take his bed, and go home, that he realized he was healed.  Many times, we do not know a miracle or healing has taken place until we are challenged to do something we don’t think we can do.  Such a statement challenges our thinking in such a way as to cause us to recognize the current reality that is different from our past.  Let God’s Word do that for you today.

Manna for Today – Mark 2:1-12; Mark 11:22-24; Matthew 18:19-20; Deuteronomy 32:30; John 14:12-14; John 17:18; John 20:21

Power at Every Level – Part 1

What Jesus lived and demonstrated now belongs to the child of God.  Learn to use it; then use it.

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Power at Every Level – Part 1

Mark 2:3 – And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

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The incident surrounding our Text for Today is one of the most powerful pictures of being redeemed that exists in the Scriptures.  And it likewise paints a picture of the power of Biblical agreement.  Let’s examine it regarding participants, today’s being a look at the four men who carried the palsied man to Jesus.  Some things about them should be obvious. 

  • They had heard of Jesus, and knowing where He was, agreed together on a plan.
  • They believed Jesus could do something for the palsied man.
  • They loved the palsied man, putting their own testimony at risk with their plan.
  • They were willing to take a risk in their actions to tear away the roof over Jesus’s head.
  • They were mutually determined to carry out the plan.

Though nothing is mentioned of the men once their friend was lowered before Jesus, it stands to reason that these were men who believed in covenant with God, and believed in the ability and willingness of the Lord to heal their friend.  I can only imagine how they had to coordinate their efforts to achieve this task.  They had to put their own life on hold, at least for a few hours.  They carried their friend who had palsy, over various kinds of terrain, through streets, around buildings, perhaps some miles to get him to where Jesus was.  Then arriving where Jesus was, they could not get to Jesus because the crowd was too great.  Seeing their plans being stopped, they decided to lift him to the roof, tear away part of the ceiling, and let him down before Jesus inside the house.  I have witnessed people with various kinds of palsy, and those who cannot get around on their own are very leery of falling, or being dropped, especially in places where their movement is difficult.  Can you imagine the terror of the palsied man as they lifted him skyward to the roof?  These men had to deal with that, I am sure, reassuring him throughout the process.  Often, in ministering to people who have great insecurities, constant reassurance is necessary, and can be very taxing on those who are trying to help.  Yet these men persisted. 

While we can be relatively assured that they witnessed the complete healing of their friend, they are no longer mentioned.  But the only notice of them that really mattered is in the words of what drew the attention of Jesus to them.  “When He (Jesus) saw their faith, He said unto the sick of the palsy…”  Do you see the importance of these words in verse 5?  As soon as Jesus saw their faith, He went to work.  He hasn’t changed.  Show Him your faith.  He stands ready to day to honor your faith, immediately.

Manna for Today – Mark 2:1-12; Mark 11:22-24; Matthew 18:19-20; Deuteronomy 32:30; John 14:12-14; John 17:18; John 20

Desire Manifest

No question should exist concerning God’s will for your healing and health.

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Mark 1:41 – And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.

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One of my favorite statements in ministry and leadership training is, “If God said it, that settles it!”  I really can’t make a more powerful statement relating to the final authority of God’s Word.  We know that it is impossible for God to lie.  Based on that great Biblical truth, my statement, “If God said it, that settles it,” should end all other discussion of that matter.  Time and again through the Scriptures we are directed, ordered, and commanded by God that we should humble ourselves under His hand, under His authority.  And for the child of God, there is no more authoritative manifestation of God’s authority than His Word, especially His written Word. 

Take a moment to read the Mark passage of our Manna for Today.  Leprosy was one of the most horrible diseases of Jesus’s day.  They had no cure but God.  It is evident that the leper in question had heard of Jesus and His healing power.  It is likewise evident that while he knew Jesus could heal him, he was not sure that it was the Lord’s will to do so.  But when Jesus heard the passionate request of a desperate man, He ended all questions of this matter.  Look closely at the words of Jesus.  He said plainly, “I will; be thou clean.”  Two Biblical statements serve as framing statements for these words of Jesus, establishing them as being true in all situation regarding healing, especially towards those who have covenant with Him.  Each of those statements are themselves quite brief. 

First, we know that God is no respecter of persons.  He does not exalt one above another.  It is faith that moves God, not one’s status in life arising from any element.  Secondly, the Scriptures declare that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Clearly, we can see that Jesus did not cleanse the leper because of some special favor, and in reality, His healing power has never flowed from that perspective, nor will it ever, for He never changes.

Take hold of this truth, my friend.  Do you need healing in your body?  Jesus has provided it, and wants you to have it.  He wants you to have it so much that you can live without the need for healing by living a life of health.  That is, in truth, the covenant in which we live that we call the New Covenant.  It was paid for by the blood of Jesus, brought into power by the death of Jesus, and backed up with full heavenly authority by the resurrection, ascension, and seating of Jesus on the right hand of the Father.  That is His covenant with us for this hour.  Believe it, embrace it, and live in it.

Manna for Today – Mark 1:40-45; 3 John 2; John 14:12-14; John 17:18; John 20:21; Acts 10:34; Hebrews 13:8

By Force

Some things must be forcefully done to establish a kingdom.

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Matthew 8:17 – That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.

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Our Text for Today is a critically powerful statement in how the kingdom of God operates.  It is the focal point of Jesus’s ministry of healing to Peter’s mother-in-law.  When Jesus came into Peter’s house, He saw the mother-in-law sick of a fever. His touch alone caused the fever to lift from her, and she was refreshed, got up, and ministered to the guests present.  Now, for a moment, read our Text for Today once again and think on it for a moment.  We read that Jesus “bare our sicknesses.”  That is a powerful and all-encompassing statement.  It does not say that Jesus “bare some of our sicknesses,” but that He “bare our sicknesses.”  It plainly states that Jesus “bare our (all) sicknesses.”

But I urge you to take time also and consider the other half of that great statement.  It states, once again very clearly, that “Himself took our infirmities.”  Do you see the forcefulness of that statement?  To “bare” our sicknesses reveals a loving willingness to sacrifice for us.  But that He “took” our infirmities indicates an urgency and strong desire on the part of Jesus. 

Imagine yourself holding a deed in your hands.  That is the deed to all your infirmities, sicknesses, and diseases.  Now see Jesus stepping forth, not to ASK for the deed, though I’m sure most people would gladly give it up, but to TAKE the deed from you without asking, without your permission, or asking any person’s by-your-leave.  And once again, keep in mind that this is ALL your infirmities, sicknesses, and diseases. 

Now carry your thought yet forward.  Someone comes to you with a piece of paper that looks exactly like the deed Jesus took.  He stops before you and offers that document to you.  What do you do?  Sadly, most Christians seem to remember nothing of their covenant, and simply accept it as though it belonged to them.  Now stop!  What did Jesus do?  He “tookyour sicknesses and infirmities.  Here, emphasize “your.”  If Jesus “took” your sicknesses and infirmities, then what are you doing accepting something that looks just like them?  DO NOT accept that which is given to you by anyone when Jesus has bourne and taken what formerly belonged to you.  It does not belong to you.  You are being offered a lie, a counterfeit.  At that moment, as you would with any testing of your faith, draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Refuse to accept that which is not your own.

Manna for Today – Matthew 8:14-17; Mark 1:29-34; John 14:12-14; John 17:18; John 20:21;       Matthew 11:12