Tuesday, August 05, 2014, 4:00 a.m. – the Lord Jesus put the song in mind, “Jesus Paid It All.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Matthew 8 (NIV). The Lord Jesus put this song in my mind this morning. He does this most all mornings prior to me spending time with him in his word. I know that the song is supposed to go with the passage I am reading for that day. Today I saw how each verse of this song went with each section of this chapter, only the Lord Jesus was making spiritual parallels to each of these situations, some (or most) of which were physical in nature. This is what I will share. Change the Leper’s Spots ~ Lord, now indeed I find Thy power and Thine alone, Can change the leper’s spots and melt the heart of stone. ~ When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy… A leper is not just a person who has the physical disease of leprosy, but a leper is defined as one who has “been rejected or ostracized for unacceptable behavior, opinions, character, or the like; anathema; outcast” (Dictionary.com); “someone who is disliked and avoided by other people; a person shunned for moral or social reasons” (Merriam-Webster). Two things come to mind here. First of all, we as humans are born into sin. We are born with a sin nature. Scripture says there is no one righteous. All have sinned and have come up short of attaining the glory of God. Sin is our leprosy. It separates us from relationship with God. Only through the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the cross for our sins, can we have the gift of salvation and the hope of eternal life with God in glory. When we are still dead in our sins, we are not clean. Yet, Jesus Christ died so that we can be clean. He died to free us from slavery to sin, to transform us in heart and mind away from sin and to God, and to give us new lives in Christ so that we can walk in his righteousness and holiness. We receive this gift of salvation by faith. By faith we cooperate with God’s work of grace in our hearts, we submit to his Lordship over our lives, and we leave our lives of sin behind us. The second thing that comes to mind here is that many Christians are treated as though they have leprosy, because of their faith in Jesus Christ, their stand for Christ and his gospel of salvation, and because they have separated themselves from the world of sin - they are unlike and are different from the world - and have been set apart to God and to his service. Many who have chosen to follow Jesus Christ in this manner are outcasts, shunned, ostracized, rejected, disliked (or hated) and/or avoided because of their stand for Christ and for his Word. The sad reality of it all, though, is much of this rejection comes from others who claim to know Christ, and even from the leaders within our churches. And, yet, Jesus Christ has the power to heal our hurts, to comfort us with his love, and even to change the hearts of those who now oppose us, and who stand against us. Amen! Nothing Good Have I ~ For nothing good have I whereby Thy grace to claim, I’ll wash my garments white in the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb. ~ When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment. Even though this man was a military commander and he had servants who obeyed his every command, he showed enormous humility in the presence of Jesus. He realized he was unworthy to have Jesus even come under his roof, yet he had great faith that if Jesus said the word, his servant would be healed. When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, this is the kind of humility we should exemplify. We should acknowledge that we are sinners, and that we are undeserving of God’s grace. There is not anything we can do in ourselves to earn or to deserve our salvation. It is only through the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross for our sins that we can be healed of our sin sickness. We must, thus, come humbly before our Lord, confessing our sin, believing in Jesus Christ and in his gift of grace, turning from our sin, submitting to the cross, and trusting our Lord to cleanse us, to change us, and to give us new lives in Christ Jesus, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (See Eph. 4:17-24). From My Dying Bed ~ When from my dying bed my ransomed soul shall rise, “Jesus died my soul to save,” shall rend the vaulted skies. ~ When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.” Jesus Christ is our healer! Amen! He heals in many different ways – spiritually, emotionally and spiritually. Sometimes our healing comes through death. Spiritually speaking it certainly does. We must die with Christ to our old lives of living for self and sin so that we can be resurrected with Christ Jesus to our new lives in Christ, and so we can now walk by faith, in the Spirit, in true holiness and righteousness, and in the power of the Spirit within us. Jesus Christ bore our sins in his body on the cross so that we could be delivered from slavery to sin and so we could live holy lives pleasing to God, no longer conformed to the pattern of this sinful world, but transformed in our hearts and minds of the Spirit within us. Lay My Trophies Down ~ And when before the throne I stand in Him complete, I’ll lay my trophies down all down at Jesus’ feet. ~ When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” When Jesus calls us to follow him, he wants total commitment. He wants us to leave our lives of sin behind us and our old lives of living for ourselves. We do this by his grace and by cooperating with the work of the Spirit within us in turning us from the darkness of sin to the light of God’s truth and his salvation; in turning us from the power of Satan to God, so that we might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are being sanctified and made holy (See Ac. 26:16-18). Following Jesus is not a part-time job or something we do on the side when it is convenient for us. When Jesus first called his disciples they immediately left everything to follow him. We need to lay it all down. Jesus paid the price for our sins. We owe him our very lives. Whether in the here and now, or when we meet him face to face one day, we must give it all to Jesus! Child of Weakness ~ I hear the Savior say, “Thy strength indeed is small; Child of weakness, watch and pray, Find in Me thine all in all.” ~ Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” Jesus did not call us because of our righteousness and goodness. He didn’t call us because of our own strength and willpower. While we were still dead in our sins he died for us. It is by grace we are saved. In our own flesh we are weak. He is our strength! We get afraid. We sometimes stumble and fall. We physically might not even be up to doing the work of the Lord sometimes. Yet, when we rest in him, and we put our trust in his strength, wisdom, power, love, and sovereignty, he gives us all we need to live for him. Rest in Him! Jesus Paid It All / Elvina M. Hall / John T. Grape … your sins… they shall be as white as snow… Isaiah 1:18 Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.