Ash Wednesday

For today’s Lenten reading, I chose Matthew chapters 7-9. These chapters list several major miracles that Jesus did. I was trying to choose one to discuss here and each of them has one important common thread…great faith! In chapter 8 we read of the centurion who came to Jesus and told Him that his servant was at home, paralyzed and in terrible suffering.  Jesus said to him, “I will go 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 astonished and said to those following Him,”I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.”

In the 23rd verse of the same chapter Jesus got into a boat with His disciples, He was going to take a rest while they crossed to the other side, Without warning, 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 centurion believed Jesus could do the miracle so strongly that he didn’t even need Him to go to his house, just speak the Word! The disciples were with Him every day, SAW Him do all the miracles, starting with turning water into the best wine of the day at a wedding, healing lame, raising dead, opening deaf ears, delivering people from demons, and yet there they were on the boat WITH Him and they were afraid they were going to drown, now I have a problem with that! Of course it happens today also, we get answers to our prayers and when a crisis, large or small, occurs, we panic, “HELP! I don’t know WHAT I am going to do!”

During this rest of this Lenten season let’s try to see ourselves as the centurion, with so much faith that we don’t have to have hands laid on us or be anointed with oil or even be at church (although I highly recommend ALL the above), we can say “God, I need (insert your need, physical, financial, mental) and Jesus died on the cross so that I could approach Your throne boldly, so I am asking you in the name and through the blood of Jesus, to (heal me, supply my need, give me clarity of thought). I can promise you that your faith will not go unanswered. God is faithful. The old hymn says “Great is Thy faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see, all I have needed your hand has provided, Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.”

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