LUKE 9:2 - Berean Lamp Memory Verse - (Aug 8-15)
The Berean Lamp Memory Verse for this week is:
“And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing” (Luke 9:2).
SERIES INTRO: In this Memory Verse for the Devotional Friday, we're continuing our series looking at the blessings of truth that man credits himself with discovering through his own reasoning in the modern age - but which actually originate from God's Word. It is a poorly illustrated point that the Holy Spirit through the Church has changed the world for the better - as Jesus said He would (John 16:7-8). All the peoples of the world have truly been blessed by the testimony and labors of the Church - it is a remarkable different place since Jesus came into the world. Why then do so many scholars and pundits try to lay only blame and bad reports at the feet of the Church, giving themselves the credit for the good that Christ has brought through His Bride? Increasingly, books, articles, and reports are painting the Church as a terrible blight on the world - a relic of ignorance, superstition, and cruelty - when the opposite is actually true.
THIS WEEK: Where did the western world get the idea that helping the sick and healing disease is a valuable pursuit? Where did the idea of western hospitals and healthcare come from? It was through the Church that the marvels of 20th century medicine came about. The western concept of valuing and helping the sick no matter their economic status came out of Christianity. The Gospel tells us that man's rebellion against God brought all spiritual and physical sickness and disease, but God does not desire this for us and He sent His Son to reconcile us back to Him that we might be restored spiritually and physically. Throughout Scripture, God describes Himself as a spiritual and physical Healer and His Law to Israel contains extensive teaching on cleanliness, disease, sickness, and health, but it is in the New Testament that God as a Healer is personified in Jesus Christ. Everywhere He went, Jesus did two things: preach the Gospel and heal the sick. And He passed this directive on to all Disciples. So it is no surprise that when plagues and illnesses swept through Rome, it was Christians who visited the sick and dying and nursed them back to health, while the pagans shunned them. This was a great testimony to nonbelievers. Even in the so-called Dark Ages, monastic hospitals and nursing for the poor and sick continued to progress. With the Protestant influence in developing universities for research and education, modern medicine began to take form - no longer relying on the dogma of Greek and Roman sources, but applying free inquiry to God's creation. The Gospel mandate spurred Christian men and women to study and develop the fields of biology, chemistry, and medicine, learning about what caused disease and developing ways to treat the sick and infirm. The revivals in America and England during the Great Awakening renewed Christian focus on Christ's mandate to preach the Gospel and heal the sick, bringing a new age of hospitals. Nearly all of the great men and women who laid the foundation of modern medicine were Christians. This is the legacy of God's work in the world through the Church, not the product of secularists, atheists, or enlightened men who today stand on this great body of work and claim Christianity is reserved for the ignorant and foolish. Unfortunately, as the world abandons God, western medicine is sliding towards harmful practices such as abortion, euthanasia, pharmaceutical dependency, managing sexual immorality by offering treatments for sexually transmitted diseases in advance, etc. The harm is growing. May we pray man turns back to God who is the only true Healer.
May we give credit to God before men for the good work His Holy Spirit has done through the Church in offering comfort, nursing, and healing to the poor and downtrodden of the earth. May we all turn to the One who can Heal us and restore us to God - Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Even so, Amen.
Other verses to consider:
“And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer” (Exodus 15:26).
“But you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst” (Exodus 23:25).
“O Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me” (Psalm 30:2).
“The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:2-3).
“Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them; and I will reveal to them an abundance of peace and truth” (Jeremiah 33:6).
“I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick; but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with judgment” (Ezekiel 34:16).
“But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall” (Malachi 4:2).
“Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them” (Matthew 423-24).
“Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness” (Matthew 9:35).
“When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, ‘Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?’ But when Jesus heard this, He said, ‘It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick’” (Matthew 9:11-12).
“Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness...And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, or a bag for your journey, or even two coats, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support” (Matthew 10:1).
“Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to 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, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:14-16).
“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me’” (Matthew 25:31-40).
“And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number, to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them. Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed” (Acts 5:14-16).
“And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all” (Acts 3:16).
“And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus” (Acts 4:29-30).
“And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues” (1 Corinthians 12:28).
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4).