I'm writing this post in hopes that you will read it. Let me begin with a question for you...Not them...A question for you.
Do you believe the Bible? Stay with me...Do you really believe that you can completely trust EVERY SINGLE word found in the Bible?
I want to share a couple recent conversations I've had. You may read these examples and think, "Hey, that's a conversation I had with Matt." Then, you would be right. I'm using you as an example:)
#1 - A few weeks ago I'm in the lobby and I stopped to say hello to one of our single young adults. I said, "How are you today?" He responds, "I have a bad headache." So, being a pastor who believes in healing I said, "Would you like me to pray for you? He replied, "No." And walked off to get a free coffee in hopes that it would subdue his aching head.
#2 - A couple weeks back I was talking to a family of our church. During our short conversation they shared how stuff has always and is still breaking all around them. Everywhere they go, it seems bad luck seemed to follow. So, being a pastor who believes Jesus IS shalom (Peace), I said, "How about me and one of our Elders come over to your house and pray over you and your stuff. We will pray for God to bring peace into your home." They laughed my suggestion off.
Here's the deal. James 5:13-16, "Is anyone among you ill? He should summon the elders of the church, and they should pray for him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick and the Lord will raise him up—and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. So confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness."
Do you believe this? If, YES, and then you don't obey...What good has this truth served you?
Here's another thought...And I mentioned it earlier. In the Old Testament, Shalom was a very big deal. Shalom means a lot of things but at the heart of this word is "peace." "Peace" in every AREA of your life! What?...do you believe in some pansy little god who can only give you peace in the easy areas? The entire New Testament is about God sending his only begotten son, Jesus. Jesus is the perfect, not a type, but exact expression of Shalom. Peace has a name and it's Jesus.
Peace is not too far away for you. If you're trying to have peace, there's the problem. You and I can only conjure up so much peace. Some things are beyond our pay grade. This is when you lean on your church family, your Elders to step in with you and pray for and over you.
I'm done...But I want you to know why I'm writing this post. Today I'm really really happy. The kind of happy where you have to hold back tears. Why? Because God just answered a huge healing prayer for someone very special to me. Today, I have seen God be faithful to his own words. Today, God has increased my faith in Himself! So, why do I write as I do? Because I want you to know God more. I want you to feel the way I do right now. I want you to trust that God is true, is good, is for us, is in control,...I could go on and on but I've got to get ready for City Walk.
People of God, trust in the words we read in our Bible. Each word was written ON PURPOSE.