Treasures New & Old – by Geoff Waugh

Treasures New & Old

Message by Geoff Waugh – 40 minutes
Sunday, October 30, 2022, at Riverlife Baptist Church in Brisbane, Australia

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Message – 40 minutes:


Link: A one-minute clip from the message
Link: Message: 40 minutes

These notes are a resource accompanying the message rather than a sermon outline.
That allowed me to hoist a sail to try and catch the wind/breath/Spirit of God.

Introduction: Discovering treasures new and old as we all obey our Lord’s command to love one another, e.g. across all ages, grandparents to children and grandchildren.

love one another – John 13:34;  15:12, 17;  Romans 12:10;  13:8;  1 Thessalonians 4:9;  1 Peter 1:22;  1 John 3:11, 23;  4:7, 11, 12;  2 John 5
serve one another – Galatians 5:21;  1 Peter 5:5
accept one another – Romans 15:7
strengthen one another – Romans 14:19
help one another – Hebrews 3:13;  10:24
encourage one another – Hebrews 10:25
forgive one another – Ephesians 4:32;  Colossians 3:13
submit to one another – Ephesians 5:21
carry one another’s burdens – Galatians 6:2
be tolerant with one another – Ephesians 4:2;  Colossians 3:13
be concerned for one another – Hebrews 10:24
be kind and tender-hearted to one another – Ephesians 4:32

From the Introduction to the free PDF book EnCOURAGE: https://renewaljournal.com/2020/08/03/encourage-love-one-another/

Two quick, simple ways to do that, e.g. in a home group, or any group.
(1) In pairs or threes, say what you appreciate or admire about the other person.
(2) Pray a blessing for the other person (many of you will get an inspired word).

Treasures New & Old

He said to them, ‘Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.’ (Matthew 13:52 NIV)

The Amplified Version calls those treasures the fresh as well as the familiar.

Jesus is the best example of revealing both new and old treasures, as shown in the rest of the passage from Matthew 13:53-58.

Here are some examples of the new transforming the old.

The old transformed

Jesus knew the old and familiar better than anyone, and constantly demonstrated the new fresh treasures of the kingdom, fulfilling and completing the old in himself.

Prayer. The Old Testament is full of examples and commands to pray (e.g. 2 Chronicles 7:14; Jeremiah 33:3). Jesus taught us to pray from the heart, not just lots of words (e.g. Matthew 6:5-15) because God already knows all we need. He taught us to pray, “Our Father …” Intimate and personal, as he prayed.

The Ten Commandments were familiar but Jesus gave them fresh new meaning and fulfilled them, as in the Sermon on the Mount (e.g. Matthew 6:17-48). Jesus loved the rich young ruler who had obeyed all the commandments from his youth, but challenged him to forsake everything and take up his cross and follow Jesus (Mark 10:17-22).

The familiar Palm 23 has fresh meaning when we see it fulfilled in Jesus: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).

Jesus fulfilled the Servant Songs in Isaiah (Isaiah 42:1–4; Isaiah 49:1–6; Isaiah 50:4–11; and Isaiah 52:13–53:12) giving them dramatic new meaning. The Ethiopian officer in charge of the Queen’s treasury found Jesus in Isaiah 53 and was baptized (Acts 8:26-40).

Jesus gave new meaning to the familiar passage in Isaiah 61:1-2 in his home village in the synagogue at Nazareth after his baptism in water and in the Spirit. He declared and demonstrated it.

‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
     to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ (Lk 4:18-19 NIV)

Jesus declared and demonstrated God’s kingdom. He still does, including in and through us. That’s in the Riverlife mission statement: “We are a family embracing the Father’s presence, releasing empowered people who declare and demonstrate Christ’s kingdom.”

The new transforming us

Faith in Jesus, and faith in God, transform us. God’s Spirit is with us and within us to enable us to demonstrate Christ’s Kingdom. Even Jesus said, “By myself I can do nothing” (John 5:30).

People in Nazareth found it hard to believe in God’s power in Jesus. They saw him as the local carpenter, not as God’s Son.

Matthew and Mark tell how amazed Jesus was at their unbelief. Luke tells us how furious the people were (Mt 13:54-58; Mk 6:1-6; Lk 4:16-30).

The Gospels record two times when Jesus was amazed. This was one. He was amazed at their lack of faith, their unbelief. Their unbelief prevented him from doing mighty miracles (Mt 13:58; Mark 6:6).

In contrast, Jesus was amazed by the faith he saw in a Gentile centurion who understood authority:  “Just say the word, and my servant will be healed” (Mt 8:10; Lk 7:9).

We live in a time when millions of believers are discovering the new treasures of God’s kingdom. I want to give you examples. This can build faith for us to believe for more of God’s kingdom to come among us all.

Some biblical & current examples

(1) Jerusalem – Acts 2. Filled with the Spirit in a prayer meeting.
Example: Prayer meeting on Elcho Island led to revival in Australian communities.
https://renewaljournal.com/2016/02/27/pentecost-in-arnhem-land-bydjiniyini-gondarra/

(2) Samaria – Acts 8.  Leaders prayed for believers to receive God’s Spirit.
Example: Solomon Island pastors prayed for Enga Baptist pastors and revival spread.
https://renewaljournal.com/2014/04/28/mid-twentieth-century-revivals-healing-evangelism-revivals/#1973E

(3) Damascus – Acts 9. A believer prayed for a new convert to be filled with the Spirit and healed.
Example: South Pacific Law students were prayed for and became involved in revival missions.
https://renewaljournal.com/2013/05/13/21st-century-revivals-in-the-south-pacific-by-geoff-waugh/

(4) Caesarea – Acts 10. Filled with the Spirit in a meeting during preaching.
Example: Solomon Islands youth filled and empowered in a national conference.
https://renewaljournal.com/2013/05/13/21st-century-revivals-in-the-south-pacific-by-geoff-waugh/

(5) Ephesus – Acts 19. 12 people were baptized and prayed for and filled with God’s Spirit.
Example: I baptized a friend in a creek at a church camp and he was also Spirit-filled and drunk or overwhelmed in the Spirit.

Those current examples, and more, are described in the Revivals Index of renewaljournal.com: https://renewaljournal.com/revivals-index/.

We can, and need to respond in faith and glad obedience (e.g. expectant, obedient dog wagging its tail).

We too can pray, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). That’s our way into blessing, and to bless others in the power of God’s Spirit.

Here’s a comment from the Introduction to The Life of Jesus (with a free PDF). A trinity of three physical metaphors helps me to be constantly aware of, and grateful for, God’s presence with us always:

(1) Light surrounds you. By it you can read this. The sun always shines, even when it’s hidden from us. Light shines around us though we may be unaware of it. God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. We can live in his light.

(2) Blood pumps through your body right now, cleansing and healing. We may be unaware of it until reactions like alarm alerts us to our beating heart. Jesus’ blood cleanses from all sin, always. We can trust him for he is with us.

(3) We may breathe without being aware of it, or we can be aware and take deep breaths, as you may have done just now! Breath purifies our lungs and body. God is Spirit and like breath or fresh breeze, he can purify us.

A prayer, from the Preface to The Life of Jesus (free on renewaljournal.com):
Thank you Lord for all you’ve done.
Forgive me for any wrong in my life.
I trust in you and give my life to you.

Discussion Questions

For personal reflection or to select some for a small group discussion and prayer.

  1. What Old Testament treasures especially inspire or encourage you?
    Examples: Psalm 23; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Jeremiah 33:3.
  2. What Old Testament treasures really challenge you?
    Examples: Exodus 20; Psalm 51.
  3. What New Testament treasures especially inspire or encourage you?
    Examples: John 3:16-18; Luke 11:9-13.
  4. What New Testament treasures really challenge you?
    Examples: 1 John 3:16-18; John 7:37-39.
  5. What old or familiar traditions do you still appreciate?
    Examples: Psalms; hymns.
  6. What new or fresh traditions to you really appreciate?
    Examples: Scripture in Song; using spiritual gifts.
  7. What does being filled with the Spirit mean for you?
    Examples: Luke 4:14-30; Ephesians 5:18-20.

 

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The Story of Jesus

The Story of Jesus

History’s Great Love Story

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The Story of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – PDF

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The Life of Jesus with extra Bible passages included
The same Contents and Chapters with more detail added
Page 4 of the PDF lists the additional passages

The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story –  PDF


WestBow Press version – The Life of Jesus – Blog
The Life of Jesus – WestBow Press – PDF

WestBow Press link – The Life of Jesus
Softcover, Hardcover, & E-Book $3.99


Renewal Journal version – The Life of Jesus – Blog
The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story –  PDF

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Amazon Links: I’d love to see your positive review comment there!

Review Comments

* This is a very informative, amazing, and powerful book. Thanks to the author for investing hours of research, expressed with his masterful command of language. ~ Alex Johnson (5-stars)
Be enriched. A most helpful telling of the life of Jesus using the biblical text and adding some background and charts. Anyone using this book will be enriched.
~ Rev Dr John Olley (Amazon 5-stars)
* This is a wonderful book and can be read over and over. Thank you. ~ Kerry Rawson
* Good clear language for a seeker to read and understand the life of Jesus. ~ Duncan Gibb
* Geoff Waugh has written a very helpful devotional book about the Saviour of the world who is also the loving presence in believers. Having known Geoff for over sixty years I can testify that every word written proceeds from his own heart of love for Jesus and for all God’s children. Geoff has avoided trying to manufacture some theory or new twist to make the book more colourful. He has used Scripture as his main source and has been faithful to both the divinity and humanity of Jesus as expressed in the Gospels. His use of chronology for headings and the many sub-headings makes the book simpler to absorb, even for an enquirer or new believer. It reminds me a little of Leon Morris’s beautiful book The Lord from Heaven. I warmly commend this book. ~ Rev Dr Tony Cupit, Former Director of the Baptist World Alliance.
* I keep this book with my Bible. It is especially helpful when reading through the Gospels. ~ Cathy Hartwig
* This book is for those who question Jesus’ reality as the Son of God, and for those who search for the details of His amazing life on this earth. ~ Judith Abrey
* The book is beautifully written and I have learned and understood a lot. I am recommending this book. ~ Kattie Mayson (Amazon 5-stars)
* I read your book last night. This is a great book. Thanks for writing this for all of us. ~ Nabeel Sharoon from Pakistan, now translating it into five languages: Urdu, Hindi, Pakistani Punjabi, Indian Punjabi, and Sindhi. A gifted translator, Nabeel works on his phone, so if you can donate towards him serving God with a laptop, add a comment.
Other Translations in preparation.
The Life of Jesus in Sindhi, Pakistani Punjabi, and Indian Punjabi.
 
Video

The Life of Jesus provides a brief overview of history’s great love story. It gives a summary of the birth and boyhood of Jesus and describes his ministry through three Passover Festivals.
The book includes a detailed chart of a chronology of Jesus’ life and ministry and examines why such a popular, loving, and compassionate young leader would encounter intense hostility and opposition causing his crucifixion.
The mystery and wonder deepen because his resurrection transformed his followers and millions of lives. We date our diaries and calendars from the time of his birth.

Contents

Preface [see below]
Introduction [see below]
1 Birth and Boyhood
2 Ministry Begins
3 First to Second Passover
4 Second to Third Passover
5 Passover to Pentecost
Conclusion
Discussion Questions [see below]
Appendix 1: Chronology Chart
Appendix 2: The Feast Days
Appendix 3: The Gospels
Appendix 4: Alternative Chronology 
Appendix 5: The Shroud of Turin 
Appendix 6: Publications   

Model of Jerusalem in Jesus’ time

Preface

Why would such a good man who loved so profoundly and helped so many people be killed? Why did he provoke opposition?

If God walked among us in the person of his Son, why would people want to kill him? Why did so many vehemently oppose him?

That puzzled me as a boy. It still does.

The greatest love story the world has ever seen led to the excruciating death of crucifixion.

Many people have given their lives for other people as soldiers do in war. They die for others, defending home and country. But Jesus’ death was different. God’s Son chose to die for us because of his immense love for us. He took our place. His death gives us life. He is the perfect, sinless, eternal sacrifice for us. His blood cleanses us from all our sin as we trust in him. We are forgiven.

But why did so many good people, good religious people, hate him? That puzzled and fascinated me, so I explore that mystery in this book. I wanted to write a summary overview that people of all ages could read.

I always believed in Jesus. Even as a small boy I loved to hear and then read stories about him. He was so unique, so different. I believed his story as a boy and trusted in him. I still do and I hope you do too.

Jesus did what was good. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, set people free from addictions and evil, performed miracles, and even raised dead people. Huge crowds followed him and wanted him to be their king.

Now billions follow him, captivated by his love, the greatest love story of all. You can do that also. I invite you to simply pray something like this: Thank you Lord for all you’ve done. Forgive me for any wrong in my life. I trust in you and give my life to you.

Introduction

The year on our calendar or diary reminds us of when Jesus was born, approximately. We count the years from his arrival. So when you look at your diary or calendar you can be reminded again of Jesus.

They called him Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus) of Nazareth, the same name as Moses’ famous general who led God’s people into their Promised Land. Yeshua means God saves, or God is salvation.

That name comes to us in English through many translations from Yeshua or Y’shua in Hebrew and Aramaic, then translated into Iesous in Greek, then to IESVS in Latin and later as IESUS as printed in the first edition of the King James Bible in 1611. Later that century ‘J’ replaced the ‘I’ so the English name became Jesu (vocative) and Jesus (nominative) but eventually just Jesus in English. Other languages have translations such as Jesu, Yesu, and Isa.

English translations of the Bible used the name Jesus for Joshua/Jesus of Nazareth, and the name Joshua for others with that same name.[1]  So in English, the name Jesus became unique and sacred for Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world. The angel Gabriel announced his name before his birth to both Mary his mother and to Joseph who married Mary.[2] Gabriel explained that Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus) had that name because he would save his people from their sins.

The great love story had begun. Jesus came to save us and give us eternal life.

His followers recorded that story of his life and his love in the good news of the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The rest of the New Testament explores the mystery and wonder of that amazing life and love.

Scholars have a bewildering array of theories about the Bible and about who wrote what, and when, and where, and why. I’m content to run with traditional explanations that have been used throughout most of history.

Jesus’ unique and wonderful life, his brutal death for us, and his powerful resurrection, all reveal his and God’s eternal love for us all. You could pause and thank him right now even as you read this.

John’s Gospel emphasizes God’s eternal love revealed in Jesus. It includes the most famous passage in the Bible:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17, NKJV).

That love, powerfully shown on the cross, has transformed billions of lives, restoring believers to an intimate and eternal relationship with God and with others.

Three physical metaphors help me to be constantly aware of, and grateful for, God’s presence with us always:

(1) Light surrounds you. By it you can read this. The sun always shines, even when it’s hidden from us. Light shines around us though we may be unaware of it. God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. We can live in his light.

(2) Blood pumps through your body right now, cleansing and healing. We may be unaware of it until reactions like alarm alert us to our beating heart. Jesus’ blood cleanses from all sin, always. We can trust him for he is with us.

(3) We may breathe without being aware of it, or we can be aware and take deep breaths, as you may have done just now! Breath purifies our lungs and body. God is Spirit and like breath or fresh breeze, he can purify us.

May the light of God’s love breathe life in you right now.

We’ve been made in God’s image to have an eternal, loving relationship with him that even transcends death. We can know and experience God’s unconditional love no matter how far we stray from him. Those who stray most are often the most grateful for his forgiveness and love. We all stray in many ways and we all need forgiveness and we can and should be truly grateful.

God knows and loves us as we are. That makes praying or talking to him easy because he already knows our failures and struggles and welcomes us just as we are. The more honestly we come to him the more he can transform us.

If we have trouble believing we can at least say, “God, if you’re there, help me.”

Some thoughts may get in the way when we pray or want to talk to God. Just give him those thoughts. He already knows all about it and loves us as we are.

If we reject God’s love and mercy by ignoring him and going our own way, we condemn ourselves to eternal darkness away from his light and love.

If we accept his love and forgiveness by believing in him, by trusting him, he gives us life, his eternal life. That makes us new. We are transformed.

Vast numbers of people worldwide of all faiths, and of none, have prayed the prayer in the popular hymn by Charlotte Elliot, ‘Just as I am’ which includes these adapted verses:

Just as I am, without one plea
But that Your blood was shed for me
And that You bid me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fighting and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

God welcomes us and we can all pray that prayer. A title for Jesus, as in that song, is the sacrificial Lamb of God who takes away our sin.

The Life of Jesus is a vast topic with millions of books written about it. I hope my small contribution gives you a helpful overview. I quote from the New Revised Standard Version unless indicated otherwise, and include many footnotes that you can explore to discover more.

Best of all, of course, are the inspired Gospels now in over 700 different languages in Bible translations and a further 3,500 languages have Bible portions, especially the Gospels. Read and respond to those Gospels.

[1] Iesous (Yeshua) is translated as Joshua in these verses: Luke 3:29; Acts 7:45; Hebrews 4:8.

[2] Luke 1:31; Matthew 1:21.

Start of Chapter 1

It began at the beginning, this great love story, for “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”[1]

Why did he do that?  For us.

He did it for you. He loved you so much he created you to know and enjoy him now as you read this, and forever. He offers you intimate, infinite love. He created you through the wondrous union of your parents’ ecstasy.

He made the earth for us to inhabit and care for and rule. He made the heavens (plural) for us to inherit, the physical firmament and also the realms of vast, eternal glory prepared especially for us.[2]

He created us free to accept or reject his astounding love. Sadly we went our own way. We all, like sheep, went astray. We all turned to our own way. So God laid on his Servant, his Son, all our iniquity.[3] God saves us through his Son in their great love for us all. You could pause and thank him now as you read this.

In the beginning, Adam and Eve enjoyed intimate, unashamed relationship with God and each other. Then, like us, they believed lies and went their own way, losing Paradise. But God still blessed and sustained them and their descendants who chose to love him and live for him. Sadly only a few did.

Noah and his family loved and obeyed God and he rescued them from the great flood. People ridiculed him for obeying God and building a huge boat on dry ground – not even in a dry dock. The rainbow became the sign of God’s covenant to Noah and his descendants including us.

Abram, a wealthy sheik from the wide fertile Tigris and Euphrates valleys in western Asia, north-west of the Arabian Peninsula (now Iraq), loved and obeyed God. Renamed Abraham (God’s friend) he journeyed to the Promised Land, now called Israel, from the name given to his grandson who wrestled with an angel or with the Lord.[4] Circumcision became the covenant sign for them and for their descendants through whom God would provide his salvation for us all.

Abraham and his descendants walked that verdant Promised Land, as did Jesus and his followers. So did our family for a month in December-January, 1981-82.[5]

[1] Genesis 1:1.

[2] John 14:1-6; 1 Corinthians 2:9.

[3] Isaiah 53:6. See Isaiah 52:13-53:12, the fourth Servant Song, along with Isaiah 42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-7.

[4] Genesis 17:5; 32:28; 35:9-10.

[5] See Exploring Israel in General Books and Biography on renewaljournal.com

 

Conclusion

The life of Jesus is history’s great love story. The overview in this brief book points you to the great good news of who Jesus is and what he did. That story is told best in the Bible, God’s inspired word.

I hope this brief commentary points you again to that God-breathed living word. It gave me fresh insights as I researched the harmonized story of these gospels.

Many writers discuss the popular five love languages: affirmation, service, gifts, time, and touch. Jesus demonstrated all these in various ways.

He affirmed and admired faith, especially faith in him for healing and help.
He served daily and showed it dramatically by washing his disciples’ feet.
He gave his life for us and ultimately he gives eternal life to all who believe.
His three years of quality time with his followers prepared them to serve.
His touch brought physical and spiritual healing and freedom to multitudes.

I love the way John summed up the reason for writing his Gospel: “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)

That is my prayer for you, my reader. Here is my echoing sonnet, penned over fifty years ago.

Sin stalks the soul, and permeates the whole
Of life lived here where we, while bound by fear,
Hunt far and near for freedom to appear
From pole to pole with our minds in control.
That worthy goal seems mockery.  Sin stole
Our freedom dear, left pain and woe to sear
Each life, a mere heartache, or sob, or tear,
Like a lost mole, blind, dirty in its hole.
God’s love stepped in to fight and conquer sin
Through Christ who bled and died and rose as Head
Supreme of all who claim Him Lord.  Our fall,
Clamour and din may end in Him.  We win
Release from dread, freedom, life from the dead,
Unbound from gall, in answer to His call.

        

Discussion Questions (for use in groups)

Chapter 1: Birth and Boyhood
1. What is one of your favourite Christmas carols and why?
2. What surprises you most about the Christmas story?
3. What challenges you about the boyhood and youth of Jesus?
What would you like people to pray about for you?

Chapter 2: Ministry Begins
1. Why do you think Jesus’ public ministry began after his baptism?
2. What puzzles you most about Jesus’ ministry? (eg casting out spirits)
3. What challenges you about being a disciple of Jesus?
What prayer would you appreciate receiving?

Chapter 3: First to Second Passovers
1. Why do you think John 3:16 is so popular and well known?
2. Who can you identify with in Jesus’ early ministry (eg Nicodemus, Samaritan woman, disciples, religious leaders)
3. What do you think challenged Jesus’ disciples?
What prayer would encourage you just now?

Chapter 4: Second to Third Passovers
1. What impresses you most about Jesus?
2. What challenges you most about Jesus?
3. What surprises you most about Jesus?
What prayer would help you just now?

Chapter 5: Passover to Pentecost
1. What shocks you most about the crucifixion?
2. What helps or challenges you about Jesus’ death and resurrection?
3. What interests you most about the Holy Spirit?
What prayer support would you like now?

Map in the book

See also Devotional Books

A 7 Lion
(7) The Lion of Judah – Blog
The Lion of Judah – PDF
6 books in one volume
READ SAMPLE
* Looking for a great book to help you meditate on the wonder of Jesus in all his richness and grandeur and love? Geoff Waugh has helpfully and thoughtfully brought together wide-ranging biblical passages… Read this book prayerfully and you will not be the same! ~ John Olley.
* This book is full of information, biblical information. I have learned so much from it … If you want to learn more from the Bible, this is the book to read.
 ~ A. Aldridge

*
Crucified and Risen – Blog
Crucified & Risen – PDF
The Easter Story
READ SAMPLE

A Holy Week, Passover & Resurrection All1
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection – Blog
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection
– PDF
3 books in 1
READ SAMPLE

A Christian Passover All
Christian Passover Service – Blog
Christian Passover Service – PDF
A Retelling of the Last Supper
READ SAMPLE


RISEN: long version – Blog
Risen! –_PDF
12 resurrection appearances
READ SAMPLE

0 A Mysterious Month All3
Mysterious Month – Blog
Mysterious Month – PDF
Jesus’ resurrection appearances & our month in Israel
READ SAMPLE

A Kingdom Life
Kingdom Life in The Gospels – Blog
Kingdom Life in The Gospels – PDF
4 books in 1
READ SAMPLE

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Popular Books – by Geoff Waugh

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GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 4: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS & VIDEOS)

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The Story of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story
The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story expanded
Renewal Journal – a chronicle of renewal and revival:
www.renewaljournal.com

The Life of Jesus  –  in English and Urdu

The Life of Jesus  –  in English and Urdu

History’s Great Love Story

 

The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – PDF – English

The Life of Jesus in Urdu with English Headings – PDF

The Life of Jesus Anthology with Urdu – PDF 

Nabeel Sharoon from Pakistan is translating it into five languages: Urdu (completed), Hindi (completed), Indian Punjabi (completed), Pakistani Punjabi, and Sindhi. Nabeel does it all on his phone, so if you can donate towards him serving God with a laptop, email me at geoffwaugh2@gmail.com.
The Urdu translation reads right to left. This photo includes the Introduction. The top lines say:
                                   The Life of Jesus
                   History’s Great Love Story
                                   A Brief Overview

This photo includes the Introduction in Urdu
Nabeel Sharoon, Translator
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WestBow Press – The Life of Jesus

* This is a very informative, amazing, and powerful book. Thanks to the author for investing hours of research, expressed with his masterful command of language. ~ Alex Johnson (5-stars)
Be enriched. A most helpful telling of the life of Jesus using the biblical text and adding some background and charts. Anyone using this book will be enriched.
~ Rev Dr John Olley (Amazon 5-stars)
* Geoff Waugh has written a very helpful devotional book about the Saviour of the world who is also the loving presence in believers. Having known Geoff for over sixty years I can testify that every word written proceeds from his own heart of love for Jesus and for all God’s children. Geoff has avoided trying to manufacture some theory or new twist to make the book more colourful. He has used Scripture as his main source and has been faithful to both the divinity and humanity of Jesus as expressed in the Gospels. His use of chronology for headings and the many sub-headings makes the book simpler to absorb, even for an enquirer or new believer. It reminds me a little of Leon Morris’s beautiful book The Lord from Heaven. I warmly commend this book. ~ Rev Dr Tony Cupit, Former Director of the Baptist World Alliance.
* The book is beautifully written and I have learned and understood a lot. I am recommending this book. ~ Kattie Mayson (Amazon 5-stars)
* I read your book last night. This is a great book. Thanks for writing this for all of us. ~ Nabeel Sharoon (Pakistan)

Facebook Links:
https://www.facebook.com/LifeofJesus.GeoffWaugh
https://www.facebook.com/HistorysGreatLoveStory

The Life of Jesus provides a brief overview of history’s great love story. It gives a summary of the birth and boyhood of Jesus and describes his ministry through three Passover Festivals.
The book includes a detailed chart of a chronology of Jesus’ life and ministry and examines why such a popular, loving, and compassionate young leader would encounter intense hostility and opposition causing his crucifixion.
The mystery and wonder deepen because his resurrection transformed his followers and millions of lives. We date our diaries and calendars from the time of his birth.

Contents

Preface [see below]
Introduction [see below]
1 Birth and Boyhood
2 Ministry Begins
3 First to Second Passover
4 Second to Third Passover
5 Passover to Pentecost
Conclusion
Discussion Questions [see below]
Appendix 1: Chronology Chart
Appendix 2: The Feast Days
Appendix 3: The Gospels
Appendix 4: Alternative Chronology 
Appendix 5: The Shroud of Turin 
Appendix 6: Publications   

Model of Jerusalem in Jesus’ time

Preface

Why would such a good man who loved so profoundly and helped so many people be killed? Why did he provoke opposition?

If God walked among us in the person of his Son, why would people want to kill him? Why did so many vehemently oppose him?

That puzzled me as a boy. It still does.

The greatest love story the world has ever seen led to the excruciating death of crucifixion.

Many people have given their lives for other people as soldiers do in war. They die for others, defending home and country. But Jesus’ death was different. God’s Son chose to die for us because of his immense love for us. He took our place. His death gives us life. He is the perfect, sinless, eternal sacrifice for us. His blood cleanses us from all our sin as we trust in him. We are forgiven.

But why did so many good people, good religious people, hate him? That puzzled and fascinated me, so I explore that mystery in this book. I wanted to write a summary overview that people of all ages could read.

I always believed in Jesus. Even as a small boy I loved to hear and then read stories about him. He was so unique, so different. I believed his story as a boy and trusted in him. I still do and I hope you do too.

Jesus did what was good. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, set people free from addictions and evil, performed miracles, and even raised dead people. Huge crowds followed him and wanted him to be their king.

Now billions follow him, captivated by his love, the greatest love story of all. You can do that also. I invite you to simply pray something like this: Thank you Lord for all you’ve done. Forgive me for any wrong in my life. I trust in you and give my life to you.

Introduction

The year on our calendar or diary reminds us of when Jesus was born, approximately. We count the years from his arrival. So when you look at your diary or calendar you can be reminded again of Jesus.

They called him Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus) of Nazareth, the same name as Moses’ famous general who led God’s people into their Promised Land. Yeshua means God saves, or God is salvation.

That name comes to us in English through many translations from Yeshua or Y’shua in Hebrew and Aramaic, then translated into Iesous in Greek, then to IESVS in Latin and later as IESUS as printed in the first edition of the King James Bible in 1611. Later that century ‘J’ replaced the ‘I’ so the English name became Jesu (vocative) and Jesus (nominative) but eventually just Jesus in English. Other languages have translations such as Jesu, Yesu, and Isa.

English translations of the Bible used the name Jesus for Joshua/Jesus of Nazareth, and the name Joshua for others with that same name.[1]  So in English, the name Jesus became unique and sacred for Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world. The angel Gabriel announced his name before his birth to both Mary his mother and to Joseph who married Mary.[2] Gabriel explained that Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus) had that name because he would save his people from their sins.

The great love story had begun. Jesus came to save us and give us eternal life.

His followers recorded that story of his life and his love in the good news of the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The rest of the New Testament explores the mystery and wonder of that amazing life and love.

Scholars have a bewildering array of theories about the Bible and about who wrote what, and when, and where, and why. I’m content to run with traditional explanations that have been used throughout most of history.

Jesus’ unique and wonderful life, his brutal death for us, and his powerful resurrection, all reveal his and God’s eternal love for us all. You could pause and thank him right now even as you read this.

John’s Gospel emphasizes God’s eternal love revealed in Jesus. It includes the most famous passage in the Bible:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17, NKJV).

That love, powerfully shown on the cross, has transformed billions of lives, restoring believers to an intimate and eternal relationship with God and with others.

Three physical metaphors help me to be constantly aware of, and grateful for, God’s presence with us always:

(1) Light surrounds you. By it you can read this. The sun always shines, even when it’s hidden from us. Light shines around us though we may be unaware of it. God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. We can live in his light.

(2) Blood pumps through your body right now, cleansing and healing. We may be unaware of it until reactions like alarm alert us to our beating heart. Jesus’ blood cleanses from all sin, always. We can trust him for he is with us.

(3) We may breathe without being aware of it, or we can be aware and take deep breaths, as you may have done just now! Breath purifies our lungs and body. God is Spirit and like breath or fresh breeze, he can purify us.

May the light of God’s love breathe life in you right now.

We’ve been made in God’s image to have an eternal, loving relationship with him that even transcends death. We can know and experience God’s unconditional love no matter how far we stray from him. Those who stray most are often the most grateful for his forgiveness and love. We all stray in many ways and we all need forgiveness and we can and should be truly grateful.

God knows and loves us as we are. That makes praying or talking to him easy because he already knows our failures and struggles and welcomes us just as we are. The more honestly we come to him the more he can transform us.

If we have trouble believing we can at least say, “God, if you’re there, help me.”

Some thoughts may get in the way when we pray or want to talk to God. Just give him those thoughts. He already knows all about it and loves us as we are.

If we reject God’s love and mercy by ignoring him and going our own way, we condemn ourselves to eternal darkness away from his light and love.

If we accept his love and forgiveness by believing in him, by trusting him, he gives us life, his eternal life. That makes us new. We are transformed.

Vast numbers of people worldwide of all faiths, and of none, have prayed the prayer in the popular hymn by Charlotte Elliot, ‘Just as I am’ which includes these adapted verses:

Just as I am, without one plea
But that Your blood was shed for me
And that You bid me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fighting and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

God welcomes us and we can all pray that prayer. A title for Jesus, as in that song, is the sacrificial Lamb of God who takes away our sin.

The Life of Jesus is a vast topic with millions of books written about it. I hope my small contribution gives you a helpful overview. I quote from the New Revised Standard Version unless indicated otherwise, and include many footnotes that you can explore to discover more.

Best of all, of course, are the inspired Gospels now in over 700 different languages in Bible translations and a further 3,500 languages have Bible portions, especially the Gospels. Read and respond to those Gospels.

[1] Iesous (Yeshua) is translated as Joshua in these verses: Luke 3:29; Acts 7:45; Hebrews 4:8.

[2] Luke 1:31; Matthew 1:21.

Start of Chapter 1

It began at the beginning, this great love story, for “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”[1]

Why did he do that?  For us.

He did it for you. He loved you so much he created you to know and enjoy him now as you read this, and forever. He offers you intimate, infinite love. He created you through the wondrous union of your parents’ ecstasy.

He made the earth for us to inhabit and care for and rule. He made the heavens (plural) for us to inherit, the physical firmament and also the realms of vast, eternal glory prepared especially for us.[2]

He created us free to accept or reject his astounding love. Sadly we went our own way. We all, like sheep, went astray. We all turned to our own way. So God laid on his Servant, his Son, all our iniquity.[3] God saves us through his Son in their great love for us all. You could pause and thank him now as you read this.

In the beginning, Adam and Eve enjoyed intimate, unashamed relationship with God and each other. Then, like us, they believed lies and went their own way, losing Paradise. But God still blessed and sustained them and their descendants who chose to love him and live for him. Sadly only a few did.

Noah and his family loved and obeyed God and he rescued them from the great flood. People ridiculed him for obeying God and building a huge boat on dry ground – not even in a dry dock. The rainbow became the sign of God’s covenant to Noah and his descendants including us.

Abram, a wealthy sheik from the wide fertile Tigris and Euphrates valleys in western Asia, north-west of the Arabian Peninsula (now Iraq), loved and obeyed God. Renamed Abraham (God’s friend) he journeyed to the Promised Land, now called Israel, from the name given to his grandson who wrestled with an angel or with the Lord.[4] Circumcision became the covenant sign for them and for their descendants through whom God would provide his salvation for us all.

Abraham and his descendants walked that verdant Promised Land, as did Jesus and his followers. So did our family for a month in December-January, 1981-82.[5]

[1] Genesis 1:1.

[2] John 14:1-6; 1 Corinthians 2:9.

[3] Isaiah 53:6. See Isaiah 52:13-53:12, the fourth Servant Song, along with Isaiah 42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-7.

[4] Genesis 17:5; 32:28; 35:9-10.

[5] See Exploring Israel in General Books and Biography on renewaljournal.com

 

Conclusion

The life of Jesus is history’s great love story. The overview in this brief book points you to the great good news of who Jesus is and what he did. That story is told best in the Bible, God’s inspired word.

I hope this brief commentary points you again to that God-breathed living word. It gave me fresh insights as I researched the harmonized story of these gospels.

Many writers discuss the popular five love languages: affirmation, service, gifts, time, and touch. Jesus demonstrated all these in various ways.

He affirmed and admired faith, especially faith in him for healing and help.
He served daily and showed it dramatically by washing his disciples’ feet.
He gave his life for us and ultimately he gives eternal life to all who believe.
His three years of quality time with his followers prepared them to serve.
His touch brought physical and spiritual healing and freedom to multitudes.

I love the way John summed up the reason for writing his Gospel: “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)

That is my prayer for you, my reader. Here is my echoing sonnet, penned over fifty years ago.

Sin stalks the soul, and permeates the whole
Of life lived here where we, while bound by fear,
Hunt far and near for freedom to appear
From pole to pole with our minds in control.
That worthy goal seems mockery.  Sin stole
Our freedom dear, left pain and woe to sear
Each life, a mere heartache, or sob, or tear,
Like a lost mole, blind, dirty in its hole.
God’s love stepped in to fight and conquer sin
Through Christ who bled and died and rose as Head
Supreme of all who claim Him Lord.  Our fall,
Clamour and din may end in Him.  We win
Release from dread, freedom, life from the dead,
Unbound from gall, in answer to His call.

        

Discussion Questions (for use in groups)

Chapter 1: Birth and Boyhood
1. What is one of your favourite Christmas carols and why?
2. What surprises you most about the Christmas story?
3. What challenges you about the boyhood and youth of Jesus?
What would you like people to pray about for you?

Chapter 2: Ministry Begins
1. Why do you think Jesus’ public ministry began after his baptism?
2. What puzzles you most about Jesus’ ministry? (eg casting out spirits)
3. What challenges you about being a disciple of Jesus?
What prayer would you appreciate receiving?

Chapter 3: First to Second Passovers
1. Why do you think John 3:16 is so popular and well known?
2. Who can you identify with in Jesus’ early ministry (eg Nicodemus, Samaritan woman, disciples, religious leaders)
3. What do you think challenged Jesus’ disciples?
What prayer would encourage you just now?

Chapter 4: Second to Third Passovers
1. What impresses you most about Jesus?
2. What challenges you most about Jesus?
3. What surprises you most about Jesus?
What prayer would help you just now?

Chapter 5: Passover to Pentecost
1. What shocks you most about the crucifixion?
2. What helps or challenges you about Jesus’ death and resurrection?
3. What interests you most about the Holy Spirit?
What prayer support would you like now?

Map in the book

See also Devotional Books

A 7 Lion
(7) The Lion of Judah – Blog
The Lion of Judah – PDF
6 books in one volume
READ SAMPLE
* Looking for a great book to help you meditate on the wonder of Jesus in all his richness and grandeur and love? Geoff Waugh has helpfully and thoughtfully brought together wide-ranging biblical passages… Read this book prayerfully and you will not be the same! ~ John Olley.
* This book is full of information, biblical information. I have learned so much from it … If you want to learn more from the Bible, this is the book to read.
 ~ A. Aldridge

*
Crucified and Risen – Blog
Crucified & Risen – PDF
The Easter Story
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A Holy Week, Passover & Resurrection All1
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection – Blog
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection
– PDF
3 books in 1
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A Christian Passover All
Christian Passover Service – Blog
Christian Passover Service – PDF
A Retelling of the Last Supper
READ SAMPLE


RISEN: long version – Blog
Risen! –_PDF
12 resurrection appearances
READ SAMPLE

0 A Mysterious Month All3
Mysterious Month – Blog
Mysterious Month – PDF
Jesus’ resurrection appearances & our month in Israel
READ SAMPLE

A Kingdom Life
Kingdom Life in The Gospels – Blog
Kingdom Life in The Gospels – PDF
4 books in 1
READ SAMPLE

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The Life of Jesus – in English and Urdu
The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story
Renewal Journal – a chronicle of renewal and revival:
www.renewaljournal.com

The Healing Power of Prayer

The Healing Power of Prayer

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Renewal Journal 4: Healing:
https://renewaljournal.com/2014/12/02/healing/

The Healing Power of Prayer

These Articles are now added to Renewal Journal 4: Healing

The Stunning Science behind the Healing Power of Prayer

Article written by Dr. Don Colbert.  Dr Colbert graduated from Oral Roberts Medical School in 1984. Dr. Colbert has practiced medicine in Central Florida and has been board certified in Family Practice for over 25 years.

Even a mere 30 seconds of prayer, acknowledging God and giving thanks for all the blessings in your life, can have a powerful effect on your body, mind, and spirit.

If you have a regular practice of prayer, then you are well aware that benefits are very real and wide-ranging. Many people who engage in these activities report psychological and spiritual benefits such as a sense of greater clarity, purpose, gratitude, presence, sense of connection, and overall well-being. However, these sorts of subjective benefits can be hard to measure scientifically. Interestingly, despite the difficulty in quantifying the spiritual effects of prayer, there have been many studies looking at the physical benefits of this ancient practice. A 2013 Pew Research Poll estimated that over half of Americans pray daily.

A University of Rochester study found that over 85% of people dealing with a major illness turn to prayer.

Every religion or spiritual belief system has a form of prayer or meditation as a foundational principle. This shows that prayer is not merely a cultural phenomenon but a fundamental aspect of the human experience. Yet, many people still struggle to reconcile belief in the power of prayer with a scientific worldview. Duke University’s Harold G. Koenig, M.D, author of several books on faith and healing, says “studies have shown prayer can prevent people from getting sick, and when they do get sick, prayer can help them get better faster. So how does that happen? Harvard Medical School cardiovascular specialist Dr. Herbert Benson discovered what is called the “relaxation response.”

This is the physiological state that occurs during prayer. It involves the autonomic (automatic) nervous system shifting over to a parasympathetic (rest and digest) dominant state, as opposed to the sympathetic (fight, flight, freeze) state that most of us spend the majority of the day in. The act of prayer has shown to increase certain helpful neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, which help promote a state of relaxation, focus, motivation, and well-being. But the effects are not confined to momentary relaxation. Long-term prayer can actually rewire and rebuild the brain! With the ability to scan the brain using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), researchers have been able to note the physiological changes that occur in the brains of those who pray regularly.

Lisa Miller, professor and director of Clinical Psychology and director of the Spirituality Mind Body Institute at Teachers College, Columbia University conducted a study on 103 people who were at a high risk of depression. Using MRI, she found that those who prayed regularly tended to have a thicker cerebral cortex which has been associated with less depression and anxiety. Another study has shown that urban children with asthma cope better when incorporating prayer into their lives. Prayer is also good for your heart. Christians have been shown to have lower average blood pressure than non-believers. Prayer also is correlated to less heart attacks and quicker recovery from heart surgery. There is even evidence to suggest that regular prayer will help you live longer! So with all these benefits, you should consider incorporating prayer as part of your daily regimen.

A study published in the journal Sociology of Religion titled “Prayer, Attachment to God, and Symptoms of Anxiety-Related Disorders among U.S. Adults,” looked at the data of 1,714 volunteers. What they found is that those who pray with a loving and protective conception of God experience a more dramatic reduction in anxiety related symptoms compared to those who pray without the expectation of comfort or protection. This shows us just how important faith actually is! The publishers believe that the emotional and spiritual comfort from prayer to a loving and compassionate God offers a sense of hope and security while praying with a more judgmental conception of God breeds resentment, rejection, and detachment. So understanding the character of your God is important.

The most beautiful thing about all of this research is not only that it validates the ancient wisdom behind prayer, but it also shows us how incredibly easy it can be to implement powerful healing practices into our lives. With so many benefits on the physical, psychological, and spiritual levels, there is really no reason to not pray or meditate every single day!

The best times of day are first thing in the morning and right before bed. However you can pray in the car on the way to work, in line at the grocery store, sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, or before you eat your meals. Even a mere 30 seconds of prayer, acknowledging God and giving thanks for all the blessings in your life, can have a powerful effect on your body, mind, and spirit. So what do you think? Have you been inspired to reinvigorate the prayer in your life?

Source: Breaking Christian News (bold font added)

Israeli Research Shows Prayer is Good for the Body as Well as the Soul

An Israeli study has found that praying regularly can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 50%. The study, which was funded by the National Institute of Health in Washington, D.C., found that women, who have a significantly larger chance of developing forms of dementia, could stave off the disease through prayer. The findings confirm earlier studies that indicated religion can play a positive role. “We found that people with higher levels of spiritual well-being had a significantly slower progression of Alzheimer’s disease,” Yakir Kaufman, the head of the neuropsychiatric department at Herzog hospital in Jerusalem said.

The Israeli organization Melabev has ten centres serving about 600 Alzheimer’s patients for whom prayer is part of the daily routine. “If prayer is done in a centre or a religious facility, it is communal and there is a social aspect,” Susan Sachs, the director of public relations and development at Melabev said. “It gives hope and perspective, and for many people it helps retain their dignity. They’re doing something that they did all their lives.” Melabev provides an alternative to institutionalizing Alzheimer’s patients by providing a full day of activities. Sachs estimates there are 100,000 people suffering from the disease in Israel.

The centres provide them with laminated cards with the most popular prayers printed in large type, although many of the patients rely on memory, which also helps strengthen their cognitive function. While prayer has some cognitive elements, it strengthens emotional functioning even more. As the patient’s cognitive function declines, his or her emotional function may be strengthened, according to Leah Abramowitz, the head of the Institute for the Study of Aging at Melabev. She said that, “It’s like a baby who can feel his mother’s emotions and will start crying if she is angry or tense. It’s like the person who is fully blind having more acute hearing.”

Prayer can also lower stress levels – one of the risk factors for Alzheimer’s. Other risk factors include high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. As people live longer, there is more chance that they will develop dementia. Israel’s life expectancy – 80 years for men and 84.2 for women – is the world’s fourth-highest, exceeded only by Japan, Hong Kong and Switzerland. Professor Rivka Inzelberg of Tel Aviv University, who led the research, told a conference that the study indicated that 50% more women than men suffer memory impairments. She said “rituals, like prayer, are especially comforting to Alzheimer’s patients. Prayer is something that went into their long term memory many years ago. It is a ritual that is very comforting for them.”

Source: The Media Line
Renewal Journal, 2017

How I Learned to Pray for the Sick

This article is a result of my search for effective ways of praying for the sick. I found it produced results after persisting in hope and faith.  At first, it was mostly in hope. I know that God answers prayer, but we don’t always know how. Gradually my faith grew as I persisted in faith, believing that God answers prayer and that God heals. The tide changed and waves of healing blessings flowed more fully.

When I was young, we prayed for the sick in general terms, such as “Please God, heal Mr or Mrs So-and-so. Amen.”  Generally the people we prayed for seemed to improve and sometimes we saw rapid improvement.

Then I discovered intimacy with God and the power of his Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus, in new ways. Jesus told us to seek this: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13). We all need to ask, seek and knock, and Jesus promises that we will receive, find and have the door opened (Matthew 7:7-8).

So my journey in praying for others, including praying for the sick, began to change as I allowed the Holy Spirit to guide me more fully. Instead of praying the same old way, “Please God, heal that sick person,” I began praying the way I was led by the Spirit.

As I read about Jesus and his disciples, I realized that they rarely or never prayed this way, “Please God heal that sick person.” Mostly they commanded healing, and Jesus’ followers always did so in Jesus’ name. Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth, and we have authority as we serve him and pray in his name, on his behalf.

That gradually opened new horizons for me! I began listening more to the still, small voice in my mind and heart, and found I was praying with more authority, in Jesus’ name. Increasingly I found myself led to pray, “Be healed, in Jesus’ name.

As I persisted, the Holy Spirit quietly prompted me to take authority over attacks against the person. Sometimes (not automatically and not always) I was led to pray something like “Infirmity, get out in Jesus’ name.

Increasingly I found more people reported that pain had gone or that they felt significantly improved. So then I realized that it helped to ask the person being prayed for how they felt. If some pain remained, I was often led to pray for them again, sometimes more than once more.

As first I was reluctant to ask how the person felt, in case there was little or no improvement! Then, gradually I realized that asking how they felt actually gave more opportunity to pray more if that was needed. When we persisted, we often saw improvement right there and then. A simple way to check is to ask, “How much pain do you have on a sale of 10 to 1?”

Blockages

Many blockages in my thinking stopped me from praying with authority. Here are a few.

  1. Not good enough. That can stop us. We think we’re not good enough for God to work in and through us. “No one is good but One, that is, God” (Mark 10:18). If you wait till you’re perfect, you’ll be in heaven! Confess sin quickly and gratefully move on, because the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, goes on cleansing us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
  2. Fear of failure. What if the person is not healed? That is a common blockage because sometimes there is no evidence of immediate healing. I began saying, “We’ll keep on trusting God for more healing, however it may come.” As we persisted in faith, there seemed to be more healing, more often.
  3. No healing gift. There are many gifts of healings (1 Corinthians 12:9), and some people have a gift of faith for healing – they just expect it. I think I had more hope than faith. But we can all pray for healing, even if we don’t have healing gifts.
  4. We all experience disappointment sometimes when we pray for healing. Healing does not always happen, or it may be slow in coming. But we can persist, just as we do with medical treatments. We persist till healing comes.
  5. No leading. What if you have no leading on how to pray? That happens at times. You can still pray in faith, knowing God hears and will answer in his way and in his time.

What helped me to overcome blockages?

God’s Word helped me most. The more I read about Jesus and his followers the more my faith grew. God’s Spirit speaks his word into our hearts and lives. We believe it and act on it.

Listening more for the leading of God’s Spirit helped me enormously. Note that “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing” (John 6:63) and that “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Cor. 3:6). Often, a ‘hunch’ turned out to be a ‘leading’.

One night I prayed for a young relative who had been getting migraines. Medications had helped, but migraines persisted. I had a hunch we were dealing with an attack, so I was led to gently place my hand on his head and pray, “Affliction, get out in Jesus’ name.” I felt it go, and my young relative felt fine and has not needed medication for that since then. We don’t always ‘feel’ something, but we can pray in faith.

Why lay on hands?

Why do we lay hands on the sick to pray for them? It’s biblical. See Mark 6:5; 7:32; 10:16; 16:18; Luke 4:40; 13:13; Acts 28:8. It’s also a natural way to express care and concern.  All parents know that touch brings comfort when a child is hurt.

Biblical passages taught me to persist. Here are some: Matthew 7:7-11; Luke 11:5-10; 18:1-8; 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Jesus occasionally prayed for or commanded healing more than once, as for the blind man at Bethsaida (Mark 8:22-25) and the wild man of Gadara (Luke 8:26-39).

Ultimate healing and the only total healing is in heaven. Meanwhile, in this broken world we can show compassion and care in many ways, including praying for healing. I know the pain of praying for a loved one’s healing, who died. Sometimes the healing is not here, but hereafter.

Sometimes God may surprise you, as you persist in simple faith. A nurse in one of our prayer groups was led to place her hand on a lady’s back and pray, “L4 be healed, in Jesus’ name.” The pain left immediately. Apparently the problem was in the lumbar (L4 region) of the spine.

A doctor, and my college class, once prayed for and laid hands on a lady student who was scheduled for an operation to remove a growth in her abdomen. Later that same day her specialist could find no growth, so they cancelled the operation.

Recently we prayed as a small group for a man with diabetes problems. When he had a blood test it registered normal, so he testified in church and gave thanks to God.

Healing is not always so quick. But it’s always a blessing to pray for one another. Sometimes it helps to pray in a believing group where those praying contribute their different spiritual gifts and insights. You can pray in the Spirit and often receive the Spirit’s leading on how to pray with authority in Jesus’ name.

Many people discover that God is real and personal, and they believe in him because someone prayed cared and prayed for their healing. We pray – God heals.

I pray that you will find peace and joy as you pray in faith for others, led and empowered by God’s Spirit. Just bless them in Jesus’ name.

Geoff Waugh, Renewal Journal, 2017

Now added to Renewal Journal 4: Healing renewaljournal.com

rj-04-healing-1
Renewal Journal 4: Healing

Isa 40,31
Prayer ~ Good for the Body as well as the Soul

Mt 7,7 A S K
How I Learned to Pray for the Sick

See Also


The Lion of Judah: The Ministry of Jesus


Prayer and Miracles


The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – Blog
The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – PDF
Jesus healed, as did his followers.

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Queen Elizabeth II describes the significance of Christmas & Easter
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Hundreds of ideas for Christians
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EnCOURAGE: Love One Another


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Previously published as The Leader’s Goldmine (now updated and expanded)

Hundreds of Ideas for Christian groups

Hundreds of ideas for Christian groups with a wealth of activities, studies, prayers and resources for groups of all ages. Contents are: Ideas for integrated Bible studies; Ideas for Bible studies and prayers; Ideas for church activities – devotional, educational, creative, serving, social, sporting; Ideas for all ages together; Ideas for building relationships.

This book offers a huge range of activities, arranged according to group activities. It provides a wide range of activities for many different kinds of groups. The first section, Ideas for Integrated Bible Studies, gives you four group studies on each of the themes or topics.

Contents:

How to use this book

Ideas for integrated Bibles studies
The Great Experiment
Prayer
Relationship
Good News
The Church
Mission
Finding New Life
Living New Life
Faith Alive
Great Chapters – Old Testament
Great Chapters – New Testament
Jesus

Ideas for Bible studies and prayers
Bible passages
Bible study methods
Bible reading and relationship building
Bible readings and prayers

Ideas for church activities
Program emphases: Devotional, Educational, Creative, Serving, Social, Sporting
Witness and Sharing Weekend
Survey Questionnaire
Commitment Indicator
Interests Indicator
Gifts Check List

Ideas for all ages together
Activities involving young children and others
Activities involving older children and others
Family and church family questionnaires
Useful teaching activities
ABC of resource ideas
Simulation activities. Simulation Game: Build my Church

Ideas for building relationships
Deep – ideas and attitudes
Deeper – ideals and values
Deepest – ideologies and commitments


What is your main love language?

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Short Words Shed Light

Short Words Shed Light

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Many great texts in Scripture use short, sharp words

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.  And God saw that the light was good … (Genesis 1:3-4).

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1).

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son … (John 3:16)

Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. (Mark 12:29-30)

Many mottos and proverbs have short words

In God we trust

If it is to be, it is up to me (William Johnson).

You are what you think about all day long (Robert Schuller)

Do no harm (Hippocratic Oath)

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

A stitch in time saves nine.

Spare the rod and spoil the child.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Rome was not built in a day.

One thing at a time.

Eyes on the prize.

Seize the day. (Carpe Diem)

Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can. (John Wesley)

 

The Case for Short Words

When you speak and write, no law says you have to use big words.  Short words are as good as long ones, and short, old words – like sun and grass and home – are best of all.  A lot of small words, more than you might think, can meet your needs with a strength, grace and charm that large words do not have.

Big words can make the way dark for those who read what you write and hear what you say.  Small words cast their clear light on big things – night and day, love and hate, war and peace, and life and death.  Big words at times seem strange to the eye and the ear and the mind and the heart.  They add fat to your prose.  Small words are the ones we seem to have known from the time we were born.  They are like the hearth fire that warms the home.

Short words are bright, like sparks that glow in the night, prompt like the dawn that greets the day, sharp like the blade of a knife, hot like salt tears that scald the cheek, quick like moths that flit from flame to flame, and terse like the dart and sting of a bee.

Here is a sound rule:  Use small, old words where you can.  If a long word says just what you want, do not fear to use it.  But know that our tongue is rich in crisp, brisk, swift, short words.  Make them the spine and the heart of what you speak and write.  Short words are like fast friends.  They will not let you down. 

From: Richard Lederer, 1991, The Miracle of Language. New York: Pocket Books, pp 30-31.
I used this quote often in my work as a teacher to help students be more clear in their work!

 

 

Added to  BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL

Revivals Index

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Ex-Muslim pastor credits Jesus for saving Aeromexico plane

Ex-Muslim pastor credits Jesus for saving Aeromexico plane

By Mark Ellis —

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1

Ramin Parsa, recuperating after crash

Curiously, one of the passengers aboard that ill-fated Aeroméxico plane that crashed after take-off on Tuesday, July 31, was a former Shiite Muslim from Iran. Now a Christian, he credits Jesus with saving all 103 people on that flight.

Ramin Parsa also happened to be the only one recording video of the takeoff from his window when the plane fell from the sky in heavy rain and hail and crashed into a field in Durango, Mexico.

As the plane crashed, Parsa began praying loudly to Jesus.

“People are screaming, and I was praying – I was praying to the name of Jesus, the name of Jesus, so Jesus saved our lives,” Parsa told NBC News.

He posted this on Twitter: “Jesus Christ is alive. He saved me from a plane crash. Forever I’m grateful to Him.”

Miraculously, no one was killed, and many walked from the plane without injury before it exploded into flames.

Parsa was born into a large Shiite Muslim family shortly following the Iranian Revolution. “My family was greatly impacted by the revolution,” he notes on his website. “One of my brothers was killed, and most of our family’s possessions were taken.”

2

 

Like many other young people in Iran, he was raised under the strict religious traditions of Islam.

But his family ran afoul of the revolutionaries that grabbed power. “Perhaps because of my family’s history and notoriety, I was tortured multiple times under suspicion of violating these strict religious laws and traditions,” he notes.

After his father died suddenly of a heart attack when he was 19, Parsa began to question his faith in Islam. He descended into a black hole of grief and despair.

“I had no hope or purpose in life and so I became suicidal,” he notes.

As he walked through the valley of the shadow of death, he heard the message of the gospel for the first time on satellite T.V. At first, he rejected what he was hearing, but God continued to draw his heart.

Unsure what to believe, he prayed a simple prayer: “JESUS, IF YOU ARE GOD’S SON, COME INTO MY HEART, HELP ME, AND SAVE ME.”

Then something remarkable happened. “Immediately after the words left my mouth, I felt a heat through my hand and started to cry. At the same time, a powerful joy and peace came upon me. All my hopelessness, guilt, and shame were suddenly gone.

Parsa was born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit.

3

 

His mother was sick at the time and he decided he would go to her house and tell her what happened. “I laid my still warm hand on her while she lay in bed and she was healed instantly!

From that day forward, he felt the call to take the message of the Gospel to his unsaved brothers and sisters in the Middle East and the rest of the world. “I believe the only hope for any individual or nation is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ,” he says.

Eight months after his salvation he was stabbed by an unknown assailant. After a painful recuperation, he fled Iran and began to serve God at a church in a neighboring country.

Later, he came to the U.S. and attended Rhema Bible Training College. After his graduation in 2011, he moved to Los Angeles, where he serves as a pastor with Redemptive Love Ministries International.

If you want to know more about a personal relationship with God, go here

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BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Discovering ASLAN – Endorsements

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Endorsements for Discovering ASLAN
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Discovering Aslan – PDF

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Discovering Aslan – High King above all kings in Narnia.
Exploring the Story within the stories  by CS Lewis.
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* A remarkable work – quite unique
This is a remarkable work and something quite unique that I’ve not come across before (and believe me I’ve seen most ideas). There is a huge appetite for devotional type books and I’m sure that this one will appeal to many people.  Russ Burg (USA)

* Most wonderful devotional from Narnia
One of the most interesting devotionals ever! As a huge fan of all things Narnia, I am so grateful for this deeper aspect of the truths in C.S. Lewis’ stories. Geoff Waugh did a great job in crafting such a book as this. What a wonderful addition to any collection, and an inspiration to know Jesus more deeply.  Belinda S. (Amazon Customer)

* Enhance your wonder and love of Christ
You can read the Narnia tales as just good stories, but CS Lewis wanted people to see more. This book will help you see the many links with Jesus, the Lion of Judah. Use this to enhance your wonder and love of Christ.  Dr John Olley (Perth, Australia)

* Best companion work I know of
Many people have fallen in love with the timeless classics of the Narnia series. Yet few stop to think how closely the story is a parallel universe to the real world in which we live. If you want a serious and detailed look at how this works in Lewis’s work then I cannot think of any other resource of this calibre. Either for a young person who is interested in exploring more, or as a resource on a pastor’s desk, it is an invaluable companion to the original series.

* Fantastic
Fantastic, thought provoking read.  Melissa Waugh (Sydney, Australia)

* A deeper understanding of Christianity
Great study that gives a deeper understanding of Christianity. Would make a great home group Bible study.  Lyn Haack (Manilla, Australia)

* An unusual and fascinating book
Geoff Waugh explores fascinating layers of meaning in C. S. Lewis’s children’s classic. Aslan, the triumphant lion, is revealed as a reflection of Jesus. The book includes devotional meditations using Bible references.  (Amazon Customer)

* Worth your time – rich teaching
Whether you are familiar with Narnia teachings, or this is new to you, Geoff Waugh faithfully puts together the many layers of meaning in the significance of the Lion Aslan as portrayed in each of the books of the series. This is a great companion when you read, and is a stand-alone teaching on the depths of teaching that C.S. Lewis weaves into Aslan’s character. Definitely worth your time.  Steve Loopstra (USA)

* I like it
I like it. I especially like the simplicity of expression. These days, with surface thoughts the order of the day, to be guided to look for depth of thought is an invaluable prompt to search for satisfying meaning.  Lilian Fleming (Sydney, Australia)

* An invaluable companion
As a child I fell in love with the classic children’s book “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis. It is good that it seems just as popular today. Yet many people miss the deeper references that Lewis constantly alludes to in the plot of this book. This is where the book by Geoff Waugh proves to be an invaluable companion. He shows how at nearly every step the hidden story Lewis was alluding to takes shape. If you are not familiar with the Christian background details you will be endlessly fascinated.  Rev
Philip Waugh (Springwood, Australia)

*  A great devotional
This was a great devotional that I loved reading. It goes deeper into the parallels between the Bible and the Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis. The book first starts with some back story about C. S. Lewis, then goes on to break down each individual book one at a time in order.
This book was written very well. I think this was a great book that a lot of Narnia fans would enjoy reading just as much as I did.  Caleb (Goodreads)

* A study of Aslan
This is a terrific comparison of Aslan, the Beloved Lion of Narnia to Jesus, the Lion of Judah. The author uses many passages of Scripture to point the reader to Christ. Every time I read The Chronicles of Narnia I fall in love with Aslan and long to know my saviour more intimately. This book is a help in that direction.  Audrey (Goodreads)

* Determined to read
I have never read any of Narnia and am not a good reader but I read this book and have determined to read the Narnia series.  Stan Beattie (Rockhampton, Australia)

* Good!
Everything he writes is good! 
Myrna Moore (Amazon Customer)

* Unique and inspirational
For many children and adults alike, the stories written by C.S. Lewis, and featuring the magical land of Narnia and its incredible inhabitants, are something which have been a part of growing up for generations. Now, the stories told in the books are shown in a new light in an exciting new book, Discovering Aslan, High King Above all Kings in Narnia.
Inside this unique and inspirational book you will find a devotional commentary which describes the background to the stories and the way in which the Lion of Judah is reflected in them, through Aslan. Through references to many Bible passages, a light is shone upon the hidden story which has been concealed within the Narnia tales. The references directly correlate to passages within the Bible and are striking in their similarity.

Discovering Aslan, High King Above all Kings in Narnia is a rare look inside two of the world’s most popular stories – Narnia and the Bible.  The messages are as clear today as they were when first written, so take a journey of enlightenment and new understanding and get your copy of this amazing book today.  Russ Burg (USA)

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a-discovering-aslan-0-all

**********
C. S. Lewis wrote:
The whole Narnian story is about Christ …

The whole series works out like this.
The Magician’s Nephew tells the Creation and how evil entered Narnia.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the Crucifixion and Resurrection.
Prince Caspian, restoration of the true religion after corruption.
The Horse and His Boy, the calling and conversion of a heathen.
The Voyage of the ‘Dawn Treader’, the spiritual life.
The Silver Chair, the continuing war with the powers of darkness.
The Last Battle, the coming of the Antichrist, the end of the world and the Last Judgment.

From the book’s Introduction:
The triumphant Lion of Judah features this way in these stories:
Creator and Sustainer in The Magician’s Nephew.
Saviour and Redeemer in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
The Way, the Truth and the Life in The Horse and His Boy.
Restorer and Commander in Prince Caspian.
Guide and Guardian in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
Revealer and Victor in The Silver Chair.
Judge and Conqueror in The Last Battle.

From the Prologue:

He is the High King above all kings, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

He is the son of the Great Emperor beyond the sea, beyond the world. He spoke and sang before the creation of the world and brought the world into being.

He commands legions of creatures and people in many worlds.  Some creatures loyal to him may seem strange to us, and many of them fly.  They worship him and serve him wholeheartedly.

His word is always true.  You can depend on him totally. He never lies.

He appears unexpectedly and makes things right.  He gave his life to conquer evil and ransom the guilty rebel.  He rose again by dawn and appeared first to loving, caring young women.

He has enemies in this world and in other worlds but he defeated them and they are doomed. They tremble at the sound of his name.

All who trust in him are forgiven and set free.  He breathes life into hearts of stone.  His breath gives life.

He reveals himself to those who choose to follow and obey him, and the more they know him the more they love him.  The more you know him the bigger he becomes to you. He loves you with unending love.

He chose Peter to lead under his authority and to reign with his royal family.  They failed him at times, as we all do, but he always sets things right when anyone asks for his help, trusts him and follows him.

He has all authority in this world and in other worlds. Multitudes love and serve him now and forever. We can talk to him now and always. 

He is the subject of this book and many other books.  He calls us to respond to him, to believe in him, to love him and to live for him.

He is the Lion of Judah.

0-7-lion-of-judah-the_victory_roar_of_the_lion_of_judah
Artwork: The Lion of Judah series by Rebecca Brogan, Tasmania, Australia

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Book Trailer

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Type Discovering Aslan in Amazon & Kindle and The Book Depository (free airmail worldwide) to find the books.

ALSO – Individual books for each of the Narnia stories:
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a-discovering-aslan-1-lww          a-discovering-aslan-1-lww-gift
Discovering ASLAN in ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’

a-discovering-aslan-2-pc          a-discovering-aslan-2-pc-gift     
Discovering ASLAN in ‘Prince Caspian’ – The Lion of Judah

a-discovering-aslan-3-dt          a-discovering-aslan-3-dt-gift
Discovering ASLAN in ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’

a-discovering-aslan-4-sc          a-discovering-aslan-4-sc-gift
Discovering ASLAN in ‘The Silver Chair’

a-discovering-aslan-5-hb          a-discovering-aslan-5-hb-gift
Discovering ASLAN in ‘The Horse and His Boy’

a-discovering-aslan-6-mn          a-discovering-aslan-6-mn-gift
Discovering ASLAN in ‘The Magician’s Nephew’

a-discovering-aslan-7-lb          a-discovering-aslan-7-lb-gift
Discovering ASLAN in ‘The Last Battle’

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BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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