Christian Life

30 Pieces of Silver Changed the World

Much like the vantage point of the photograph, Judas Iscariot had an obstructed view of all the potential Jesus had in mind for him.

In Matthew 26, we see how this man was overcome by satanic influence. It seems that there was greed, jealousy, bitterness and hatred afoot. He chose the dark side rather than to pursue the calling that would have been pleasing to the Lord.

When he went to seek out a price to betray the Lord, he was granted 30 pieces of silver. He was so bold to plot and plan and look for the first opportunity to betray Jesus.

When the time came, he went up to Jesus and gave him a kiss on the cheek. All the while, Jesus calmly still called him friend. I truly believe that if he had repented at that time, he would have been saved. None of us were there at his last moments and there is possibility that as he was preparing to hang himself he cried out in anguish asking for forgiveness. I’m not here to debate one way or the other on that. We do know that the Bible tells us it would have been better for the man that betrayed the Son of God to have never been born. And we know that God loves each and everyone of us.

We also know that the Word tells us that some vessels were created for clean and some for unclean purposes. It also states that the Father doesn’t want anyone to perish but to find eternal life through Jesus His son.

And clearly, we read that Christ could have called down armies of angels and spared him the agony of the cross.

But, I want us to evaluate the impact that one choice can make. One selfish, fleshly decision, was part of an event that changed the whole world. Even though Judas later felt remorse and threw the 30 pieces of silver back into the temple, the dye was already cast.

So may we walk as wise, not as fools, especially as this segment of time and opportunity is rapidly coming to a close. We will all be accountable for the good and the bad that we have done. May we remember to be quick to repent when necessary. May we be readily kind and show forth God’s grace to a world in need.

He said that whatever we do to even the very least, we have done it unto Him. Quite a sobering thought.

Christian Life

Your Healing Isn’t Just for You

As we approach Independence Day here in the United States, I am inspired by the Lord this evening as I read Luke chapter 8 verses 26 through 39.

For those of you familiar with the passage, you will remember Jesus and his disciples going across the lake from Galilee and a demon-possessed man meeting them there. Some things that really stood out to me through the Holy Spirit this time but I really hadn’t processed before, I’m going to share with you, here.

In II Timothy 1:7, God tells us that he does not give us, “a spirit of fear but of love, power and a sound mind.” The man they encountered was not of sound mind. He was absolutely tormented by the multitude of demons that had taken up residence within his soul. Satan only comes to steal, kill and destroy according to John 10:10. But the Lord gives us life, an abundant life. Yes, with Him we have a robust, full, ample life filled with His joy.

Notice too how the man was found naked and homeless. Working in the behavioral health field, many of the clients that we see are found naked, not in their right mind and are homeless. Very striking.

We also see that he was living among the tombs. How many of us are really merely existing on death’s front porch? This man was animate in the midst of the inanimate. Yet, he was not truly living.

It says, in verse 29, that, “he had been driven by the demon into solitary places.” Isn’t that just like the enemy? He tries to rob you of your peace and your mental health and get you alone where he can rain down his fear upon you. For some of us this has come in the form of psychological, physical and/or sexual violence. For many, it may come through addictions, generational curses or behavior patterns or other means.

And I find it so fascinating that the townspeople asked Jesus, The Liberator of The Afflicted Man to leave because they were afraid of Him and what He had done. I don’t mean that I judge these people, for I, as many of you, have run from the very Giver of Life. Somehow, sometimes we seem to prefer the base and treacherous known, versus allowing ourselves to experience and become familiar with that which can save us from ourselves, from the enemy…

Notice all that Jesus restored to this man. Not only did He give him a sound mind but He dressed him or had his disciples do so. The passage doesn’t clearly state that point. What does the dressing represent? I believe it has many dimensions. In the literal, it gave him dignity to have his body covered and allowed him some privacy. It also is reminiscent of the prodigal son having a robe put on him by his adoring father that wants to care for him. Further, it reminds us of the robes the martyrs will one day get recieve (Revelation 6:11). It also represents the complete opposite of what the enemy offered. Instead of lack, the need was met by Love Himself. Nakedness also represent a vulnerability and an exposure that can leave someone in a very fear-riddled state. But God said, “perfect Love casts out fear” (I John 4:18).

After he was changed and healed, he became Christ’s witness to those around him. So please remember, your healing isn’t just about or for you. What tombs or dead areas have you walked out of in order to have the opportunity to proclaim His goodness today?