As we continue in the Spirit of revival The Scriptures call us to recognize God’s ability to heal, restore and make us hole even in the midst of our doubt. You see when we live in the power of God’s anointing God is able to bring forth amazing transformative action.
In todays scriptures doubt and questioning seems to dominate the minds and hearts of those we encounter in the Biblical text Naaman a servant and commander to the king has leprosy, a disease that would consider one unclean and unfit. When told by Elisha the prophet to wash 7 times in the Jordan, he protests. Because the Jordan is muddy, and he considering the rivers of Damascus cleaner, he is unable to see the anointing and blessing that God has in store for him because he cannot see God’s ability to heal and restore from such a simple act. He seeks the extraordinary. And to be restored with no effort of his own.
So to the people of Jesus town of Nazareth they are offended because Jesus reminds them in his teaching that those less likely to be healed who were not of the people had faith in God to be healed restored and blessed. This enrages them because they are not able to be open to God’s ability to restore those they would deem unworthy.
As christians we live and walk with the power for anointing, healing and transformation over our lives. Through our Baptism into Jesus Christ we have the Holy Spirit within us to , to shape us to walk
As for you, the anointing that you received from him remains in you, so that you do not need anyone to teach you. But his anointing teaches you about everything and is true and not false; just as it taught you, remain in him.
This ability for God to work through us and bring about our healing and restoration is always for His glory and bearing to His Kingdom. The anointing and healing is is never solely about us or for us. Of course we may learn and deepen our encounters of God in the process of being used–but it is all for His glory. The healing, and restoration is not given to to just feel good, the anointing does not exist to give us an emotional high but rather brings about the ability to renew our world and eradicate the work of evil that is in this world. It does not require a perfect person. Only a person yielded to God anointing power over their lives.
We are challenged tonight to replace and remove doubt, and be reminded that The Word of God teaches , “WE ARE the righteousness of God IN Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
With the power of the anointing God’s power and ability poured out upon us, we are the righteousness of God. This week be open to God’s ability to do something great with our lives. You and I cannot limit what God can do nor can we limit through whom God might work.
We see only partially
1 Corinthians 13:12
“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
God has given spiritual gifts to the Church but our sight on earth in this age is dim, so our knowledge of God and reality, however great, can only be in part because we experience God’s revelation only in part. The fullness of God’s revelation is in Jesus Christ. Although we know him we don’t know him in His fulness. Remain open to Him, the ability of God working needs our openness.
Naaman had limited God’s healing to how he perceived God worked, with lots of gifts as if God’s anointing and healing could be bought, and upon presenting such riches that God would then be obliged to our bidding and heal and act as we saw fit. What arrogant ignorance on Naaman’s part.
Remain open to God continuing to reveal God’s self and his power, anointing and ability in our lives. The people of Jesus had their own perceptions of how God’s benevolence, mercy and anointing should work. And when Christ challenges this perception they seek to destroy him. God is much bigger and greater that we can imagine. The ability, healing anointing over our lives is not just for us. God’s working a miracle is not only just for us but its for others as well.
Second Night of Revival
So often we have the wrong understanding of prayer. For to many prayer is about giving God your wish list, a quick sign of the cross and were done. We put God back on the shelf and go about our lives. True prayer comes before God in a spirit of humble praise, adoration and Thanksgiving and petition.
This evening as we look at the Book of Daniel we find Azariah praying in the midst of the fiery furnace. I found my self asking who was Azariah, I thought it was Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, well these were not their real names and it is Azariah ie Abednego who is praying. (Daniel 1:7) change of names
There is something about right and proper prayer. It is effective and does great things . In chapter 5: b16 we hear ” The fervent prayer of the righteous availeth much” or is powerful.
As we look at prayer to conversion and conversion to forgiveness take notice of Azariah’s prayer. In the midst of the flames they are first walking around signing, Azariah Blesses God and acknowledges the guilt of the people and recognizes their punishment as just. In right relationship taking ownership for that which was done, and his prayer turns to God seeking mercy. They then sign a great hymn blessing God.
You must read the chapter in its entirety, the end of chapter 3 the evil King Nebuchadnezzar, in seeing that they were not harmed, and noticing a fourth, ”one like the Song of God” stands in their midst, he calls for them to come out. In seeing The power and the most high God’s ability to save them his heart is moved and he blesses the true God.
Our take away here is first the honor and faithfulness to God, the second is fervent prayer and the third is repentance. In the midst of the flames Azariah’s prayer is not only for him and his companions but it is a prayer of repentance on behalf of the entire community. We see in it the communal nature of sin. The King although he blesses the true God he did not have a full conversion.
For us during our Lenten journey we find ourselves called to deeper conversion, that we too might know the forgiving and merciful power of God.
The Gospel from Matthew we encounter a question, as to how often we should be willing to forgive, seven times? Seven is a perfect and Holy number, Jesus says No, seventy times seven.
To demonstrate our point to night while Jesus emphasizes that forgiveness is unending He tells a parable of of a king who has a debtor, at the pleading, or petition, of his servant his heart is converted and he is changed to forgiveness. The same servant had a servant that owed a fraction and instead of having compassion, he throws his servant into jail u till he can pay up.
You see Church the compassion of the king led to his conversion and he forgave the debt. In the midst of our prayer may God guide us to a true conversion of heart that opens for us the door of forgiveness.
Third Night of Revival Reconciliation Service
The Pardon of the Sinful Woman.*
A Pharisee invited him to dine with him, and he entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment,
She stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said.
“Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred days’ wages* and the other owed fifty. Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more?”
Simon said in reply, “The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.” He said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
You did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with ointment.
So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love.* But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”
He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The others at table said to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”But he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD
Tonight we invite Jesus into the homes of hearts in a special way. How do we receive Jesus? Are we truly able to receive what Christ has in store for us? As we journey during this Lenten Season we are invited by Christ and His church to position ourselves for a special grace and mercy that comes to us.
This week during our revival the church has invited us to reflect on Healing, Conversion and Forgiveness. We live in a time where these three spiritual elements are so desperately needed to transform and save a suffering world and reunite a divided nation. This healing, transformation and restoration begins in the human heart.
Let’s look at Gospel chosen for your reflection. Jesus has entered a home, the house of Simon. What happens is Jesus is Invited in, so an invitation extended has certain protocols or cultural practices. Even today upon greeting some you give them a kiss welcome, we see this often in the middle east when men greet each other. The second gesture of hospitality the washing of the feet, having walked on dusty dirty roads one needs to cleanup. Simon who invited Jesus to his home fails in offering the simplest acts of hospitality.
Notice the woman, she first is positioned in a posture of humility and worship, she is bowed down low, kissing his feet, washing them with her tears and drying them with her hair. She even anoints his feet with perfume. And Jesus proclaims her forgiven because of her great love.
Tonight, position yourself to invite and receive Christ a new in your hearts. Like the sinful women, we approach Christ with humility, meekness and true contrition in our hearts. Be ready for that breakthrough, Gid is truly working a miracle for you tonight.
PRAYER BEFORE CONFESSION BY ST. JEROME
“Show me, O Lord, Your mercy, and delight my heart with it. Let me find You whom I so longingly seek. Behold, here is the man whom the robbers seized, manhandled, and left half dead on the road to Jericho. Kind-hearted Samaritan, come to my aid! I am the sheep who wandered into the wilderness. Seek after me and bring me home again to Your fold. Do with me according to Your Will, that I may abide with You all the days of my life, and praise You with all those who are with You in heaven for all eternity. Amen.”
Act of Contrition
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee; and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.