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Are You Available?

Are You Available?
Are You Willing?

Now it came to pass, as Peter went through all parts of the country, that he also came down to the saints who dwelt in Lydda. There he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years and was paralyzed. And Peter said to him, Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed. Then he arose immediately. So all who dwelt at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. Acts 9:32-35 (NKJV)

I've made a lot of visits to the hospital over the last few years and have been able to pray for a lot of folks who are in need.  If there is one thing I've learned from all the visits it would be, God heals.  Oh, sure, it may be through the use of medicine, or by the knife of the surgeon, but it is always God who ultimately does the healing.  It may be a fast healing, or one that takes time - they're all different, and God is doing a work in all of the people. God can choose to heal at anytime, at any place, or in anyway.  Each time it is a miracle.

Another common denominator in every healing I have seen during my visits is that I have been a part of every one of them.  No, I didn't heal anyone, nor am I attempting to draw attention to myself - All glory is to be given to God!  What I am saying, is I was there praying for each person for healing, protection, peace to guard their heart and mind, and ultimately for God's will to be done in each of their lives and circumstances.  

These were not weak, feeble, "Oh what ever you want to do Lord" type prayers.  These were the fervent prayers of a righteous man.

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16 (NKJV)

And my being righteous is not an arrogant or pious claim because of my position as Pastor, or any work I've done.  I am righteous only by the cleansing blood of Christ (See Rom. 5:18).  Every person who places their faith in Christ as savior is declared righteous, and as such, each has been given access through Him to the Father (See John 14:6) and can intercede in powerful prayer.  

Every Christian can be used in ministry, and in fact, every Christian is called to serve in ministry.  It is an attribute of being Christ-like - to have a servant's heart.  We are to be imitators of God (Eph 5:1), and Christ did not come here to earth to be served, but to serve (Matt. 20:28).  

We are told in God's Word, our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in us, and we are not our own.  We have been bought at a price - Christ's death - therefore glorify God in our body and in our spirit (See 1 Cor. 6:19-20).  We are also told this is a reasonable request from God based on His mercy upon our lives as sinners.  We are not to be like those who are being transformed by this world - we are to be transformed like Christ.  This is exactly what the Apostle Paul was saying to the Christian believers in Rome.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)

This leaves but one question for each of us who claim to be followers of Jesus.

Q:    Am I willing to be used by God in serving others - Am I available?

Hey, we are living in the last days - we are very close to getting out of here.  We are seeing a crazy economy that is affecting everyone at some level.  We might not have a job at some point in our life, but we will always have work to be done.  We can be a part of the problem, or a part of the solution.  We can be used by Satan to pass around discouragement, or be used by God to pass around hope.  We can sit by idly and do nothing, or be used by God in the lives of those in need.

Take the time to help another who is in need - perhaps the elderly or the sick, or even someone less fortunate.  And be willing to do the work of the ministry by praying for those in need, and visiting those in the hospital, and in prison.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the Scriptures contained within this devotional with regard to our willingness to be used by God?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you allowing God to use you?  Are you involved in ministry opportunities?  Are you joining others in Bible study and praying for their personal needs and encouraging them, or are you isolating yourself and taking care of your own needs?

APPLICATION: Ask God to lead you to opportunities.  Pray about this daily.  Seek to be used in every life that comes by you and to be what God has called you to be - a minister of light.  

Father, Thank You for opening my eyes with Your Word.  Thank You for bringing me opportunities to invest into others.  Help me to see the opportunities today, and give me the words or abilities to share and help others.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000