I was talking to God

ascension

the righteous shall live by faith

by Jack C. Corcoran

I was lying on the bed and I was thinking: yes Lord, it’s easy for the Apostles to have believed. After all, they walked with you; talked with you; ate with you; and watched you pray to the Father.

They watched you die and then; AND THEN, they watched you walk among them; they talked with you after your resurrection; they had a fish breakfast with you on the shore after you arose from the dead; they walked along the road with you after you arose from the dead.

So, of course, it was easy peasy for them to believe.

If any of them had denied talking to you after you died; they would have been lying; if any of them had denied having a meal on the shore with you after you had died, they would have been lying; and if any of them had denied watching you rise up into the clouds, they would have been lying.

It was easy for them, but what about us?

I never ate a meal with you, I never sat down and prayed with you; I never walked along the road with you; so how am I supposed to believe the way they did?

Yes, I actually had that conversation with our heavenly Father as I lay on my bed this afternoon. And He immediately answered me with the words from John 20:29: “And Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’”

Yes, it’s all about faith. That’s how we believe; by faith; Jesus says faith as small as a mustard seed.

Have you ever sat in a court room during a criminal case? I spent a lot of years in law enforcement so I naturally spent a lot of time in court. If two or three people stood up in front of the judge and testified that they saw the man pull the gun, point the gun at the other man and shoot him; would you believe it?

Of course you would; you know you would. It came straight from the mouths of three witnesses. Why wouldn’t you believe it? Well, we have at least 12 men and as possibly as many as 400 witnesses who saw Jesus after he had been crucified and died and was buried. We have 4 men who wrote the gospels and tell the story of his death and resurrection; and his ascension into the clouds.

And then, of course, there’s Peter. During Jesus’ trial, good old Peter denied even knowing him, but look at him 50 days later. He tells the crowd in Acts 2:32, “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.”

And just a few days later, we see Peter talking to the Jewish leaders, the Sanhedrin, when they were forbidden to speak of this Jesus. Peter said, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

And again remember the words of Jesus to Thomas, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Read the 11th chapter of Hebrews. No less than nineteen times the writer of Hebrews uses the phrase “by faith” – by faith, Moses; by faith Abraham; by faith Noah; and on and on through the chapter. It is by faith that we believe.

And faith comes by hearing the word of God says another writer. In order to hear the word of God, you need to read the bible; every day as it says in Acts 17:11.

Oh Lord, fill us with the urgency to read Your holy Words. Amen

Thanksgiving

happy thanksgiving

by J. C. Corcoran

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving

and I have much to be thankful for; most notably the strength in my legs. For several years now, ever since my mini stroke in 2013, I have been unable to get up from the floor without help. If no one was around, I had to crawl to a chair or table and use my arms to push myself up.

But for several days now, I have been noticing a new strength in my legs. A few nights ago I knelt beside my bed to pray. usually I would sit at my desk or pray after I reclined on my bed. But this night, I felt compelled to get on my knees. I knew it was going to hurt but I felt strongly that this was what I needed to do. It hurt but not as bad as I had feared; and I was happy to see how much easier it was for me to get up.

So today, during my exercise, I decided to get down on the floor (flat on my back) and do some things to strengthen my legs and tummy muscles. When I finished, I layed there thinking – do I have to crawl over to that chair or do I dare to just stand up?

Well I dared and, amazingly, I just stood up using my legs only ( the first time in 2 years). And I sit here crying as I write this to think of God’s wonderful grace. He is renewing the strength in my legs according to his promise in Proverbs 3:7-8 “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”

Praise the Lord all you people and thank him for his goodness and grace. Obey his word and you too will receive a blessing(s). His word is truth and all you need do is trust him with all your heart.

Remember this, all of you who live by faith; God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Can I hear an amen?