March 12 Devotional
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that you just couldn’t stay away. Thank you that when you saw our plight and our struggle you came to walk among us. Thank you that when you saw our desperation and our pain and our need that you couldn’t keep your hands to yourself. Thank you that you were - and still are - willing. Touch us in our places of deepest need. In your name and for your glory. Amen.
Scripture Reading for the Day: Matthew 8:1-4
Journal: How do you feel like the man with leprosy these days? What does it say to you that Jesus was willing to reach out and touch him with his healing touch? Are there any parts of your life or heart that desperately need the healing touch of the Savior? Do you believe he is willing to touch you in those places? Do you truly believe that he cares enough for you to do that?
Reflection: “Lord, if you are willing….” Does that phrase sound familiar to you? It certainly does to me. I’m glad to see that I am not the only who prays it. “Lord, if you are willing, you can take this difficult circumstance away. Lord, if you are willing you can heal this cancer. Lord, if you are willing you can reconcile this broken relationship. Lord, if you are willing, you can help me find the right job. Lord, if you are willing, you can provide for our financial needs. Lord, if you are willing, you can bring back my wayward child.” The list is endless, it seems.
And the answer we get often seems to be different than the one given to the leprous man. But what we always need to remember is that Jesus is willing. Oh maybe he is not always willing give us what we think we need (or want) at any given moment, but he is always willing to give us himself - which is ultimately what we want the most anyway. Even if he is not willing to “take this cup from us” whatever this cup may be, it is only because he has learned firsthand that ultimately God’s will is the one most likely to move us in the direction of who he wants us to become and who he wants us to understand him to be. He is always willing to form us more and more into his image - which is exactly what we were created for. He is always willing to draw near to us when we are brokenhearted. He is always willing to work out what is most in line with his glory, and our ultimate benefit in the long run (see Romans 8:28). And he is always willing to give us his love, which more than we could ever ask for or dream about, but which might come in a rather painful disguise from time to time. He is willing.
Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself
L. and E. serve in a Creative Access country. L. is working to make evangelical literature available to the nations so that people can come to Christ. Pray today for new believers. The biggest struggle is for them to read God’s word daily and get connected to a local fellowship.
Bethany Christian Services is a global organization caring for orphans and vulnerable children on five continents. They manifest the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by protecting and enhancing the lives of children and families through quality social services such as adoption, family support, foster care, pregnancy counseling, refuge services and infertility. Pray today for the staff who are dedicated to facilitating adoptions.
Closing Prayer: O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone! (Jeremiah 17:14, NLT)