Bedtime Stories

Matthew 14: 25

And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.

Do you believe Jesus walked on the water?

Recently, I had a conversation with someone about a well-known preacher who tells good stories. This person did not believe the stories were true. He, like so many others, believes the stories are made up to make a point. The problem with this is that we make the same shift to Bible stories. So, I ask you, is a story a retelling of something that is true and really happened or is it a fabrication?

Allow me to ask another question, please. Were I to witness something marvelous such as Jesus walking on water, how would I convey the experience to others so they know it was an actual experience rather than a made up story? Do words mean what they purport to mean or are they just colors we use to paint a picture? How does one communicate something literal?

So, if you were Matthew and you witnessed this event, how do you tell people about it? I am a believer. I am not a cynic, so I tend to believe the words I read in the Bible. However, you know that many of us translate these events into something imaginative. How then can God ever communicate a literal miracle to us in words we will accept.

When I tell you that I saw the Holy Spirit, are you intrigued and want to hear more or do you think it is a metaphor for something I wish to convey?

My position is this, I don’t think the Bible is a collection of made-up stories compiled so that we can find God. I think it is an instruction manual. I’ve found God. In fact, He wasn’t missing. I was, but He brings in the lost and then gives us the book so that we can grow in faith and in the knowledge of Him. He reveals Himself in the pages and stories of the Bible. However, we will never receive the revelation as long as we think they are only cute, metaphorical stories. Once we embrace the Bible as the living Word of God, accepting is as truth, not fiction, then we can find faith giving strength among its pages.

I challenge you in this. When you read your Bible, see yourself in the writer’s shoes. See the event unfolding before you and imagine what it is to write it down. These folks walked with Jesus. They didn’t need to make up a bunch of stories. They were more concerned with capturing the events for themselves and future generations. Don’t you think you would walk around with a journal if you walked with Jesus. I think we all would.

Embrace the Word. Take it into your heart. Don’t let your brain talk you out of believing. We were called to be believers and it starts here.

Let our coaching team help you:

Hang On

Hebrews 10: 23

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Why must we hold fast to our confession? Because sometimes it takes some time before our answer arrives just as was the case in Daniel chapter 10. First you must have hope. Then hope gives you reason to pray and develop a confession. Without hope, you won’t even pray. Why would you if there was no hope of answered prayer but we always have reason to hope because our God is faithful.

When you pray, you have reason to expect God to answer that prayer. Yet the answer isn’t always on the doorstep the next morning. So, what shall we do? We enter our confession stage. We are to develop a confession (or profession of faith, if you will) which is consistent with our prayer and with the Word of God. For example, if my prayer was for healing an ankle sprain and my ankle still hurt the next morning, I would begin to confess my healing rather than confessing the pain. My confession might sound like, “My ankle is healed because 1 Peter says that by His stripes I was healed.” Then I am going to hold onto that confession until my ankle manifests its healing. I am not going to start speaking doubt and unbelief because I have faith that God, the one who promised, is faithful. The writer of Hebrews tells us to hold fast without wavering. So, we shouldn’t waffle back and forth. Since He who promised is faithful, we just hang onto our confession of faith until our answer arrives.


Psalm 46: 1 – 3

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth should change, and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.

Above the psalmist paints a picture of great natural disasters. I see volcanoes erupting with violent earthquakes. The earth itself is afire while the sea is whipped into a tempest. And yet, through it all we shall not fear for the Lord God is our refuge and our very present help in every time of need.

The Bible is consistent in telling us to “fear not.” Yet there are many times that we do allow fear to persuade our actions. It is not because of disobedience that we fall into fear. It is because we do not have a complete revelation of the power of our God. We are not as connected to his strength as the psalmist was. We have not yet developed our awareness of God as our refuge to the point that we can have unshakeable confidence in His ability to take care of us.

Some have though. During recent calamities there arose stories of the people who were saved because they hid in God. The great and devastating tsunami took many lives but there were those who surfaced to tell us how God protected them. These same kinds of experiences were recounted from survivors of the trade tower attacks and the subway bombings in England. Wherever the forces of evil arise to threaten the children of God, there will be the stories of victory from those who ran into the refuge of their Lord. Let us, therefore, give more attention to the saving strength of our God than to the fear campaign of the wicked. Our God is supreme. His power and love are everlasting. Let us praise and thank Him for all that He is. Let us hide ourselves in Him.

Will He or Won’t He?

Luke 6: 7

And the scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely, to see if He healed on the Sabbath.

On one particular Sabbath Jesus was teaching in the temple. Present was a man with a withered hand. The amazing thing about this scripture to me is that the Pharisees and scribes were not watching to see if Jesus could heal the man with the withered hand. They were watching to see if Jesus would. They were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus.

Interestingly, this is at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. He had not even chosen the twelve apostles at this time. None the less, people were certain of His ability to heal. The fact that no one questioned His ability and willingness to heal is an absolute wonder to me. Verse 19 really speaks to this:

And all the multitude were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all.

They expected Jesus to heal them. People flocked to Him in order to be healed and delivered. Here’s my question. Isn’t this the same Jesus that is our Lord and Savior? Isn’t He still alive today? Even Jesus’ enemies expected Him to heal the sick. Their only question was whether or not He would heal on the Sabbath. Well, we certainly don’t have a problem with Jesus healing on the Sabbath if He is going to heal at all, but do we expect Him to heal us? And what would happen if we really did start expecting Him to touch our lives with His power? What if we showed up to church expecting God to touch us? Has the power that was coming from Jesus expired? No, it is the same Holy Spirit. I think it is just that our believing has waned. Stir yourself up. Stir up your faith in the Jesus that does good works. Let us all invite his power back into our lives and our services. Let’s believe in Him again like the people of old and let us receive His goodness and pass it on to others.

Faith Calls

Luke 18: 40

Jesus stopped and ordered them to bring the man to him.

A funny thing happened on the way from the showers . . .. I was at a bicycle weekend recently. My friends and I were walking back to our campsite after leaving the shower truck and walking by some lovely old homes in Edenton, NC. As we walked past one particular house, there were people sitting on the porch and somehow we began speaking with them. I noticed a crutch leaning against the house and asked to whom it belonged. A woman there said it was hers and without a moment’s hesitation I asked if I could pray for her. I didn’t know her from Adam and didn’t know what her ailment was. I just felt compelled to pray for her, so I did.

As I mounted the porch, she arose telling me she had scoliosis. Well, given one more minute I would have surmised as much for she was bent over. I prayed for her and as I prayed, I felt the Spirit moving. The woman began to pray along with me. I know something happened that day though when I left, she was not standing upright like when Jesus prayed for the woman in Luke 13: 13.

Days later I was thinking about this incident, and something struck me. The two ladies I was walking with each had a need. One has MS and the other has Celiac Disease. I did not have a compulsion to pray for them even though I camped with them all weekend, but I was compelled to pray for a woman I literally was walking by and didn’t know at all. Isn’t that interesting? What was the difference?

Faith calls. Faith pulls. Faith demands. It turns out that the woman with scoliosis, Connie, is a person of faith. In fact, she is the worship leader at her church. The spirit in her sensed the spirit in me and pulled on that anointing whereas the two women with me have no faith for healing.

This was astounding to me. As I pondered this event, I recalled James 5: 14 – 15. It reads, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.” The person who is sick is to call for the elders and the prayer offered in faith shall restore the one who is sick. My friends had no faith, but Connie did. Her faith reached right out to me and stopped me in my tracks the way Jesus was often arrested by faith. Isn’t that amazing?

I think too about the woman with the hemorrhage. She, literally, went and pulled on Jesus. There is a lesson here. Your faith heals. Jesus felt power go out of him. He told the woman, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well,” (Matthew 9: 22). That statement causes me to pause. We know God is the healer, but our faith must connect with that healing power and that is when the miracle happens. Even though Jesus didn’t know the woman was there, her faith reached out and took a miracle. Bless God!

Did you know that Jesus couldn’t always work miracles? Mark 6: 5 reads, “And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them,” (NLV). As crazy as this first sounds, it does make sense when you recall Revelation 12: 11, “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony.” We would think that the blood of the Lamb is sufficient to overcome all obstacles, but we would be wrong and unbiblical. This scripture is very clear in teaching that overcoming is the product of the blood and the “word of their testimony” or, in other words, the words of our mouth. This reality makes us uncomfortable for two reasons. First, it places responsibility on our shoulders when we just want Jesus to make everything alright for us. Second, it defies our theology. We have been taught God is omnipotent and we took that to mean that He acts independently of us. That just isn’t Biblically sound. There is nothing in the Bible that says that. In fact, it says just the opposite. Psalm 115: 16 says, “The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth He has given to the sons of men.” God gave us freewill, and He gave us authority and He will not usurp either.

Well, this devotional might speak to a number of different things for you today. One take away for me is that you never know when God is going to move or when and how He is going to teach you something. I would have never guessed that the blessing of the Lord would manifest while I was walking from a shower truck to my tent with a towel slung over my shoulder, but there He was. Ready to bless someone. Oh, but this touches my spirit. Paul told Timothy to be ready in season and out (2 Timothy 4: 2) and brother, I am glad I was ready. We were also taught to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5: 17). That means even when you are not at church and not dressed up.  Be ready to pray at all times.

You can see the implications for an entire message in each of those scriptures as it relates to this experience. So, be ready at any time to minister but also, stir up your faith for whatever you need. Pull on the anointing in your spiritual leaders. If you aren’t calling me or writing me, you are missing an opportunity for God to minister to your need. Be filled and overflowing in Jesus’ name.

Deliberate Faith

Luke 8: 46            NLV

But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.”

Come on, somebody shout! Man, I don’t know if I can write today’s Word of the Day because I am so excited about this. What is Jesus saying here?

Do you know this story? There was a woman who, for twelve years, suffered with a hemorrhage and none of the physicians were able to help her. However, having heard about Jesus she kept saying to herself, “If I just touch his garments, I shall get well,” (Mark 5: 28). So, although there was a large crowd around him, pressing in on every side, this woman determined that she would touch him and she believed that as soon as she touched even the hem of his garment, she would be healed. She, therefore, pressed her way through the crowd and managed to touch the fringe of his garment. As soon as she did, the hemorrhage dried up and she was healed. Jesus said he felt power go out from him and wanted to know who touched him. His disciples scoffed remarking about the crowd that swamped them. No, Jesus told them, this was different, “Someone deliberately touched me.”

So, what was it about this woman that caused her to be healed? The scriptures record Jesus as saying, “Daughter, your faith has made you well,” (Luke 8: 48). There is a huge revelation in this story if we can mine it out of here, because if we understand what happened here, we can reproduce the result over and over again for ourselves.

First, we need to understand that Jesus didn’t heal her. Don’t believe me? What did he say? “Daughter, your faith has made you well.” So, it was her faith. Second question, what was her faith in, or perhaps whom? She had heard about Jesus and how he was going about healing people so she, apparently, had faith that there was healing power on him or in him. But look, she didn’t need him to pray for her, lay his hands on her or even be aware of her presence. She had a point of contact built up in her mind. It would have still worked if she said, “If I can get within three feet of him, I will be healed.” It was a point at which her faith was released. Just look at the Roman soldier. Jesus didn’t have to go to his house for the man’s servant to be healed. He just asked that Jesus speak the word. That soldier’s point of faith was in Jesus’ word. Jesus replied to him, “‘Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.’ And the servant was healed at that very moment,” (Matthew 8: 13).

Alright, think about this. 1 Peter 2: 24 reads, “By His wounds you were healed,” but Jesus had not been wounded and striped yet. Come on, let that preach to you! What is going on here?

Did we not see verse upon verse from the Old Testament about healing? Jesus is the incarnation of the Word and he never deviated from the Father’s intent. Yahweh had healing in His wings thousands of years before Jesus graced the earth. What does that mean to us? What difference does it make?

The point is that God always had healing available to us. Jesus came to earth teaching and demonstrating. He was here to teach us how to walk in the earth, not to make it harder but to make it easier for us to gain everything the Father has for us. I am telling you that this river of blessing and healing is running through you and imprinted on your DNA. The woman in the story had simply made up her mind that she was going to get healed and Katie, bar the door, because she didn’t care who was between her and Jesus. She intended to touch him and be healed. Jesus said someone touched him deliberately. He was being bumped and crowded on every side, but he recognized when determination reached out to him and drew on the healing power of God. He felt it. Glory to God. That woman has the same Father we have. She was less entitled to healing than we are, yet it worked for her. I think we just need to be more stubborn and more determined. I am making up my mind today that I am going to be healed. I am not going to accept brokenness, injury or sickness in this body, which is, after all, the temple of God. How about you?

Healing Faith

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Yesterday, we saw that faith affects healing. What, though, is faith? We talk about it a lot, but do we assume too much, that everyone understands, truly, what faith is? It is a nebulous term in the mouth of many, but the Bible has a definitive explanation of what it is.

Here is another reading of today’s verse, “Now faith is the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen.” It is the certainty of the things we pray for. It is the proof. The Amplified has this language, “Faith is . . . the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses.” It is a fact, not to be argued. Let me give you an example.

Do you believe in Jesus, that he is the Christ, that he came from the Father, that he is alive? Prove it to me. What if I try to talk you out of it? Is there anything I can say to dissuade you? Even though you have no tangible facts, no verifiable evidence, you believe with all your heart that he is alive and that he is the Christ. There is nothing I can do or say to talk you out of it. That is faith. Jesus is unseen but you are 100% convinced. What if you felt the same way about your healing?

Your healing is assured by the blessing of Abraham. It is every bit as certain as your salvation. It was made absolute at the cross. It is real and it is done. So, why is our healing less sure in our hearts than our salvation? Do you have any doubt about your salvation? Do you feel just as strongly about healing?

The point I am trying to make is that most of us are not absolutely convinced that God will heal us. Frankly, most people are a little afraid even as they pray. We are afraid Father won’t heal us and look, there is some legitimacy to that. How many people do you know who are living testimonies of God’s healing? More of our Christian buddies are hurting than healed. We have, as a body, fallen into a place where it is harder to believe that God still heals. If we ask people to answer, intellectually, about what they think, most will say they think God still heals people today. If, however, we were able to dig down in their hearts, we would find that few have experience with God’s healing power, so they don’t have much belief. The people at church are not experiencing healing; the pastor has stopped talking about much less preaching about healing so as a body, we have descended into this place of doubt. It’s not that we are bad people. It’s just that the actuality of God’s healing is not being manifested in our near environment and that is a problem. It is harder for each of us to believe because we don’t have any nearby examples. So, what do we do?

I am attempting to raise your belief by showing you what God’s word says. The thing is, though, that you have to rehearse it over and over before your heart believes it. Your mind will accept God’s word on the surface, at least most people will. Getting the belief built up so that our faith can call that healing into manifestation is different and for most people, more challenging.

Faith is that ability and the substance down in our hearts that knows that it knows. You do have some experience with that kind of faith as I have shown you. There are other things that you know beyond doubt. My goal here is to get your faith for healing to that point. So, think about it for a moment. What do you believe about healing? Is this a doctrine for past times or does Jesus still heal today? I can give you the scriptural answer, but the answer of your heart is the one that matters. Your healing may be very close at hand. Please go back to these verses and continue to meditate on them. Our Father is faithful and wants to do many great and wonderful things for each of us. Let’s agree with him for great things! Do you want to?