Preachings

Discipling Part 2 -What does it mean to be a part of the family of God?

By Ay Nee Ng

Folks, when you think of redecorating your home, what comes to mind? Cost and style! How many us do find that we are always prone to overestimate the benefits of things we desire and to underestimate the price involved? Committing to a small redecorating project normally becomes a far bigger commitment than we anticipated –this happened when we undertook to renovate SGC.

This is also a danger in the matter of discipleship. There are lots more to the cost of being His disciples than you may know but also loads of benefits. If we truly desire to be followers of our Lord along the path of discipleship, it is imperative that we first heed the words of our Lord and count the cost of discipleship, lest we become falsely discouraged or disillusioned.

I always say this to anyone: “When you undertake something in life, don’t go into things blindly.” So, with this understanding, we should also weigh these costs against the benefits of being a follower of Jesus. Only in this way, we can make an intelligent decision in this decisive matter of discipleship.

Discipleship is taking a believer who has confessed Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour from being a new believer, desiring milk in the Word, to a matured Christian, who desires meat in the Word, knows God and is growing in the ways of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is about bringing a value added change in each believer’s life.

Making disciples is the commission of our Lord Jesus Christ before He was taken up into heaven (Mt. 28:18-20). It is laying down principles from the Word of God to every believer of Christ in order to be equipped to discern what is right and morally wrong, to be corrected, directed and instructed in the ways of our Lord Jesus Christ and to bring an understanding of who we are in Christ Jesus.

The Church of Jesus Christ is the Bride of Christ, a hospital, the Body of believers serving together to build His kingdom, having kingdom dynamics, a family, and an army. Let us start with the understanding that we belong to this family of believers. Our church is a family.

Now, do you each have a family? Some do and some don’t.  Do you feel you are part of that family? Do you belong?  Some do and some don’t.  What is good in your church family that you can reproduce in your own family and community? What about if you are orphaned, alone and longing for a family? A family is there for each other; through thick and thin, there is care and concern. In God’s family, we have this unquestionable love of God to carry us through. He will never let us down.

Being a Family of God
The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ and the Father are One and that He is also the only begotten Son of God.

Read John 1:1-4.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

Read Hebrews 1:1-5
1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. 5 For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son.”

This filial term indicates God regards Jesus as a family member.  This is a principle of God to all born again believers. We too are members of this family (Rom. 9:8; 1 Jn. 3:1-2).

1. How do we become a part of the family of God?

To become a part of any family, you are either born into that family or adopted into the family. When we hear the gospel, confess our sins, and place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, we are at that moment born again into God’s kingdom as His children.

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (Jn. 1:12-13) and “become heirs with Him for eternity” (Rom. 8:14-17).

While Jesus Christ is referred to as the only begotten Son of God, believers are referred to as children born again into God’s family. As well as being born again into the family of God, we, as sons and heirs, are adopted into His family (Gal. 4:4-7), and need to grow and mature in our faith (Eph. 4:11-16), mentoring other believers in the ways of God, releasing the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This is what discipleship is all about.

God’s infinite grace and mercy are revealed in Ephesians 1:5-6, which says He redeems sinners, whom He has “adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”

2. What does being part of the family of God mean?                            

a. Being identified with Christ Jesus-God as our Father. We are His children. He is our heavenly Father. Church, if you do not have a good image of your earthly father, picture this, you have an awesome heavenly Father.

Church, do you think that God is the Father of everyone? No, Scripture teaches us that this is not the case. Since the fall of Adam and Eve, all mankind has been born in sin and therefore alienated from God (Ps. 51:5; Eph. 2:12; 4:18; Col. 1:21), and we belong to the father of lies, Satan (Jn. 8:44). While God is the Creator of all, He is not the Father of all. Only those who through the powerful working of the Spirit of God believe upon and receive Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for their sins are reconciled to God and adopted into His family (Jn. 1:12–13; Rom. 5:10; 8:15–17; Eph. 1:5; Gal. 4:4–7).

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (Jn. 1:12-13). The only way to have God as one’s Father is to have Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and Saviour.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (Jn. 14:6).

“No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.” (1 Jn. 2:23).

Read 1 Peter 2:9-12.
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”

b. Being loved unconditionally by God and experiencing His love. Knowing that I can call the only eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, ever present Creator of the universe “Father” or even “Abba ” (the English equivalent “Daddy”) is one of the greatest blessings of what it means to be part of God’s family. He is not million miles away nor untouchable. He is near at hand and lives in me. I can also experience His sacrificial love. He did it for me! He tore down the wall of sin and hostility that separated us from God through dying on the cross (Eph. 2:15).

“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood” (Rev. 1:5).

His love abounds when He resurrected. Because of His resurrection, we can overcome sin and deat, are now at peace with God and can experience the full breadth, length, height, and depth of His love (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 3:17–19).

c. Being cared for (having our needs met). He gave us direct access to Him in prayer. We have a hotline to God (Jer. 3:33). God has given us everything we need, not only to live, but to live godly lives (Mt. 6:31–33; 2 Pet. 1:3).

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).

“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).

d. Kingdom mentality of belonging to a large and loving family. Those who have received Jesus Christ have Him not only as Lord and Saviour but also as the firstborn in the family (Heb. 1:6; Rev. 1:5). This is the time that we belong to a community of believers, not just our church, but a wider networking of all believers in Christ Jesus, our brothers and sisters in Christ.

“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Rom. 8:29).

“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation […]. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy (Col. 1:15, 18).

Although some believers have had to leave or have been forsaken by their blood relatives because of their faith in Christ, they have received a hundred times as many brothers and sisters in Christ (Mt. 19:29).

Read 1 Peter 2:9-12.
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.  11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”

e. Being significant and purposeful in this life that has eternal significance. As part of God’s family, we are given spiritual gifts that we can use to grow and strengthen the family, which is the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12) and to live Godly lives (1 Pet. 2:11-12)

Read 1 Peter 4:10-11.
10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

As members of the family we have the responsibility and privilege to share and extend the invitation to others to believe in Christ and enjoy being in God’s family (Mt. 28:19–20).

f. Being secured and having an eternal inheritance. Most of us will receive some kind of inheritance from our earthly or natural parents which is a temporal material inheritance, but believers in Christ will receive an imperishable, unfading, eternal inheritance from our Father in heaven (Eph. 1:11; Col. 1:12; Heb. 9:15; 1 Pet. 1:4).

Those who have received Christ and can therefore call God “Father or Abba Father” will inherit eternal life in a resurrected body on a new earth (Phil. 3:20–21; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1). The crown jewel of this inheritance will be the eternal delight of dwelling in the presence of and in loving fellowship with the Lamb of God, the Light of this World, and the Lamp of the World to Come, Jesus Christ (Rev. 21:22–23).

g. Being assured of reaching out to the lost, poor, sick, and needy. It means we can include others into the family of God. It is not all-inclusive. As members of the family we have the responsibility and privilege to share and extend the invitation to others to believe in Christ and enjoy being in God’s family (Mt. 28:19–20).

Conclusion
Discipleship is taking every believer in understand the power in the Word of God and growing to reproduce who we are in Christ Jesus. Discipleship is a shift in the ways we used to think and do things to a change in our attitudes and perception that there is a value added purpose in our lives. We are to multiply. It is about counting the cost and knowing that Jesus Christ is coming back again for a spotless bride.

Read Luke 14:25-33.

25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

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SGC 9th Anniversary

By Pastor Ay Nee Ng

We celebrate God’s goodness and faithfulness to us these past nine years (and more years to come) as we look to the manifold blessings of His joy, faithfulness, grace, mercy, goodness and power released upon us for His Kingdom works ahead.

The prayer of thanksgiving is singing praises to His name and giving Him all the glory for the great things He has done in our lives and those that are yet to come because He doesn’t stop there; He pours out more of His blessings. Church, it is for us to walk in these blessings.

Nine years ago this church started by faith, fasting, and prayers offered to know His timing for setting up church and calling His people together. One way or another God has placed you here for His purpose of reaching out to the lost, poor, sick and needy. He has called you to build our church strong for His purposes as He is the head of this church. We are all caretakers and yet dreamers for Him.

Dream big dreams for SGC and let us unite to gather momentum to reach out to the lost, poor, sick and needy and build the church strong and healthy for Jesus our Lord!

When we come to give thanks, praise His name and pray, we are communicating with God for who He is in our lives. Prayer changes everything. Prayer is simple communication to God with your heart where you share your thoughts, fears and thanksgiving as you are emotionally stirred.

The purest form of prayer, that is, the purest form of communication with God is praise and worship. It is pure because when we praise God, we take the focus off of ourselves and places it entirely on Him; we revert back to God. He becomes our centre again. Praise draws us close to God and communicates our love and adoration for Him, and when we praise and worship God, that is the closest we can get to Him. The truth is that you become what you worship and the more you worship God, the more we become like God.

Psalm 22:2-4 says: “O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; and by night, but I have no rest. Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel. In You our fathers trusted; They trusted and You delivered them.”

These verses tell us that He dwells in the praises of His people. That means that every time we praise God, His presence comes to dwell in our lives in a greater measure, and the amazing thing is that in His presence things always change. Hearts change, minds change, attitudes change, our lives change; and our church changes. You will change every time you praise God. You can’t stay the same. Your circumstances change because you can’t touch the presence of God and not be changed. You are coming into contact with who God is: all powerful, all knowing, and ever present.

This truth will affect all that we are; that is why praise is the prayer that changes everything.

The hidden power of praising God is that there are certain blessings that God wants to give us that will only come into our lives as we worship Him. Worship becomes the very means for God to pour Himself into us. So church, let us return thanks and praise God for the great things He has done in our lives: the people He has brought into our lives, our job, our home, our family, our community, our church, and more to come.

Let us now rededicate ourselves, once again, and this place to the Lord by worshipping God with the following songs. .

“I Love Lord” by Petra
I love you, Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship You
Oh, my soul, rejoice!

Take joy my King
In what You hear
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
In Your ear.

“Jesus We Enthrone You” by Don Moen
Jesus, we enthrone You
We proclaim You are King
Standing here, in the midst of us
We raise You up with our praise

And as we worship build Your throne
And as we worship build Your throne
And as we worship build Your throne
Come Lord Jesus and take Your place

Let’s pray.

Lord, we humbly praise and worship You, give You all the glory for the things You are doing in our lives these past nine years and give thanks for Your great measure of love to us. Lord Jesus Christ, we humbly ask that You, Lord, be our Lord God Almighty, our loving Saviour, Restorer and Keeper of our lives. Have full reigns over our lives, Lord. We believe that You are better at taking care of our lives than we are. Please forgive us, Lord, and have grace and mercy upon us. Guide us to make right choices and have your wisdom. Bring us back into your arms. We are rededicating ourselves to You Lord. Thank you for receiving us.

We dedicate this place, Sydney Gateway Church, to you, our altar where we praise and worship you for lives to change and the pulpit where messages are shared for Your word to ring out with Your Spirit and reshape the lives of all who listen. May we overcome the powers of darkness, sin and sickness in the power of Your Holy Spirit. We dedicate our PA and sound systems to work to its full capacity, our pastors, council and team builders, our serving volunteers, and our church family and congregation that our lives will never be the same but change to understand more of Your love, goodness and holiness in our lives. May Your Word and Spirit unite us for the call of making disciples, growing SGC, setting captives free and bringing hope with the gospel of salvation to lost and needy souls.

We thank you for the greater release of your power and manifestations of Your Holy Spirit upon us, Your Church, that we exercise Your gifts and the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We thank You, Jesus, that in Your name, You bind us in Your love and unity to build Your Kingdom and do Kingdom works. We love You, Lord Jesus Christ, and return thanks for all the goodness and manifold blessings of good health, love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, and mercy in our lives.

We give thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ and pray this in Jesus’ most mighty name. AMEN!

What Do We Understand About God Healing Us?

By Pastor Ay Nee Ng

Let’s read Psalm 103:1-5 (ESV).

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, 3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

How do we understand healing reading from Psalm 103? God does provide healing and He has benefits/blessings for us to claim. How does God heal? He  heals all our diseases and forgives our sins. So what is Christian healing ministry?

All these questions are raised by today’s reading and by the many healing stories witnessed in the Gospels, in our Bible.

Healing can certainly be much misunderstood, undervalued, or overstressed in Christian life. It has certainly been approached differently at different times in Christian history. In the earliest Christian communities of the New Testament for example, healing was understood as very much at the heart of the Church’s life. In the Old Testament, the priest was called to pray over the sick and anoint leaders and kings with oil which represents the work of the Holy Spirit-God.

How Does Our Church View Healing?
When a need arises, we like to come, pray and intercede for you. Is that something you would like?

Church, at some point in your church life with us, you would have received a text message to urgently pray for someone undergoing operation or in need of prayer and intercession. When you receive it, I urge you to send a quick prayer immediately out to Jesus for that poor soul needing prayers and throughout the day be prayerful for that poor soul. When you pray, God hears and sends angels to protect that person. Just imagine: what if it was you who needed prayers?

Let’s read Romans 8:26-28.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

It is so important to pray in the Spirit because as we intercede, the Spirit turns our prayer according to God’s will.

Margaret is a friend of ours for about several years, and when Brandon was unwell, she asked for prayers for him in our previous healing service (April 2016). We had some opportunities to discuss spiritual issues and concerns with Brandon—though not in depth. We knew she had attended church later on her life but not quite for her husband; still, we weren’t sure if this offer to pray for him would be outside his comfort zone. Yet, he wanted prayers then. When he was diagnosed with aggressive cancer and needed surgery, we were called to pray and intercede for him.

Also, we have only known Davies 3-4 years now since his daughter Elizabeth joined our church. When he needed an open heart by-pass surgery in London on the 22nd August, 2017, we did not stop praying and interceding until he was well out of recovery. To God be the glory!

Our church, SGC, has a customary practice of praying for healing. If someone is sick, people in the congregation know they can ask for prayers just as James 5 recommends. We practice the laying on of hands as in Mark 16 and exercise authority in Jesus name in Luke 10:19-20.

Let’s read James 5:13-17 on The Prayer of Faith.

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 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. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.

Let’s also read Mark 16:17-18.

17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.

Let’s read Luke 10:19-20.

19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.

Church, on many occasions we have been called to gather with other council members, team builders, Life Groups members, and our prayer partners to pray for people with chronic, acute or terminal illnesses and for those oppressed and depressed.

The situation with the “Brandons” or “Davieses” was a bit different in that they weren’t members of our church but we still prayed and interceded for them. So when you are in need, please allow us to visit and pray for you. If you don’t ask, we don’t know if you want us to visit. We love making house calls!

What Is Praying for the Sick and Needy All About?
Praying for healing is not magic, a regurgitation of some incantations, or manipulation of God to tell Him what to do. We aren’t God. He is. He is all powerful, all knowing and ever present. Nonetheless, we know that God loves, cares for, and wants His best for us. So we can come to God confidently with our requests for He is our healer.

1. Know that God is our healer. In Exodus 15:26 God said: “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”

2. He has provided us with healing. God forgives all our iniquity, heals all our diseases, and redeems our life from the pit (Ps. 103:3-4). Psalm 107:19-20 says: “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. 20 He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.” We call these verses: healing seeds.

3. God doesn’t change. As He heals in the past, so He does in the present and the future. Let’s read Malachi 3:6-10.

6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ 8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

4. Methods we practice as a church. We practice using the “oil and laying on of hands and deliverance”. We use ordinary olive oil. It can be any oil you have in your house. James 5:14 says that when elders pray for the sick, they should anoint with oil. In Mark 6:13, the disciples anoint the sick and heal them. Oil is often used as a symbol for the Holy Spirit in the Bible as in the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (Mt. 25:1-13). Church, remember Christians have the Spirit who leads us into all truth and “anoints” us continually with His grace and comfort. “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth” (1 Jn. 2:20).

One day we received a call from our church member from the Baptist church who was then in Penang. She said she didn’t have olive oil but Chinese oil. I told her it is good enough to anoint a member of her family who was dying. She prayed for her, who was later discharged from ICU.

In the Old Testament, oil is a sign of health, joy and God’s blessing. Anointing oil, mentioned 20 times in Scripture, was used in the Old Testament for pouring on the head of the high priest and his descendants and sprinkling the tabernacle and its furnishings to mark them as holy and set apart to the Lord (Ex. 25:6; Lev. 8:30; Num. 4:16). What we do is just put a drop of oil on your forehead to anoint you as we pray, lay hands, and take command to cast whatever spirits that may linger(Mk. 16:17-18).

5. God designed us to be whole sozo people— spirit, soul and body set apart for Him. He cares about the totality of who we are, not just our spiritual side. He is the one who gave us bodies, after all; and all He created He declared to be good (Gen. 1:31). The health of our bodies matters to him; He knows and cares when we’re down and out and physically and mentally sick.

6. There are several factors that affect our health.

  • Physical factors. Accidents (like broken arms) and sickness (infections, disorders, common cold and flu virus, food poisoning) can have physical causes that require physical treatment.
  • Lifestyle-related factors. The food and amount of it we put into our bodies, the amount of exercise we get, and the place we live can also affect health.
  • Emotional and mental instability factors. Some of them are stress at work, disappointments in our relationships, death in the family, job loss, anxieties, worries, and being unable to sleep for a prolonged time.
  • Sin and spiritual attack are deterrents in our healing. They may be connected to our lifestyle choices and our relationships. For example, when Peter told Cornelius about Jesus, he described “how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil” (Acts 10:38).

Notice, though, that James does not explicitly say that sin causes illness. He is very careful in how he puts it in James 5:15: “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.” James says “if the sick person has sinned”.

Church, it is entirely possible to be sick and not have an issue of sin to deal with. This suggests that we should be alert to the possibility of a connection but never presume one. It is just a common cold and flu virus we caught! For example, in John 9, Jesus says the man’s blindness was not caused by sin. Likewise Job’s troubles were not caused by his sin either.

7. Some healing takes place miraculously and instantaneously. When Jesus healed the paralytic, the man got up and walked (Mk. 2:12). When he healed the demoniac who was possessed by a legion of demons, the man sat clothed and in his right mind (Mk. 5:15).

8. When praying for the sick, some may not be healed immediately and symptoms may remain. If the symptoms remain, we are not healed. So if the doctor says we still have diabetes, please do not stop taking your insulin. Just like this, when you visit a doctor for a bad cold, the doctor would prescribe antibiotics and/or cold medication. You go home, take it for a couple of days, but if you are still not well, you don’t stay away from the doctor. You actually make another appointment to get another dose of antibiotics and medication, which you happily take it for the next few days hoping that this time run you will be well.

Well, prayer is like this. You send the prayer to Dr. Jesus. He prescribes you medication of the Word of God, praise, and goodwill. You take it religiously for a few days but getting better but not 100% so back to praying to Dr. Jesus. It goes back and forth but you believe that the prescription of the Word of God, comfort, peace and rest through the power of the Holy Spirit. You find solace and healing of a different kind upon your spirit, soul and body in God.

Let us read God’s medicine bottle from Proverbs 4:20-23.

20 My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. 21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; 22 for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. 23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Church, healing has commenced but may not be the way we want it. It may not be physically straightaway but emotionally and mentally so we are stable and comforted, knowing we have someone to lean on. Thus, we will have less anxious thoughts and worries and be comforted and at peace with our circumstances. Jesus Christ is there to ride with us through the valley of shadow of death and covering by His blood, the blood of the Lamb.

Face facts! If you have been diagnosed with cancer, don’t deny you have cancer but now you can look to God as your great physician. Then check if there is sin in your life as it can be a barrier to your prayer. Finally, check if you have asked and believed that God can heal you.

James 4:2-3 says that “you do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” Even Paul tells in 2 Corinthians 12:7-8 that his thorn in the flesh was not healed—something we certainly can’t attribute to the apostle’s lack of faith. So continue to believe and trust God for your healing. Don’t give up!

What, then, does James mean when he says that “the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well”? First, he is affirming, as he is throughout James 5:13-18, that we should pray. The word “pray” or some form of it is found in every single verse in this section. Second, he is affirming that God can and does heal. Third, he is affirming that God works in concert with our prayers. Fourth, he makes clear that we don’t heal. God is the one who “will raise up” the sick person.

Conclusion
What do we understand about God healing us? God does provide healing as He declares that He is the Lord our Healer. He is Jehovah Rophe/Rapha (Ex. 15:26; Ps. 103:1-5).

How do our church view healing? Our church, SGC, has a customary practice of praying for healing. If someone is sick, people in the congregation know they can ask for prayers, just as James 5:14 recommends. We also practice the laying on of hands as in Mark 16 and exercise authority in Jesus name (Luke 10:19-20).

Church, there will come a time, given the evidence in Scripture and in our own experience that everyone (good or bad, Christian or not, full of faith or full of fear) does eventually die. Obviously, there are times when healing doesn’t take place completely the way we want. While we can be confident that God’s will for us is to be whole people—body, soul and spirit—we should not be arrogant in assuming that we know what God’s total will is in particular situations. Perfect healing is when we meet Jesus Christ face to face in heaven.

We humbly seek God’s will, we confidently ask that God’s will be done, but we leave it to God to do His will as He pleases and when He pleases, and continue to allow God to be glorified in all that we do. We all have ups and downs emotionally, physically, and spiritually. We continue to call, text, visit, if possible, and pray for those in need. In all this, we hold to our faith in God’s love, grace and mercy now and forever. God heals yesterday, today and forever!

Let’s ask our Lord Jesus Christ to be our healer now. Bring your needs to Him as we commit this time to our Lord.

Lord, we thank you for your great measure of love flowing out towards us. Whatever our fears, ailments, and discomfort, we offer them up to you for Your healing balm of comfort and peace upon our spirit, soul and body. Some may need that miraculous touch of workings of miracles and some need that healing touch. Touch us, Lord Jesus Christ, today. Grant us that gift of faith to believe in deeper works by the power of the Holy Spirit and through the blood of the Lamb that overcame the works of darkness as we give thanks for Your great and mighty works upon our spirit, soul and body. We thank you, Lord, and praise Your mighty name through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.