By Charles Harris
Today's Scripture: Acts 9:26-43
Central Thought: Jesus heals those with chronic diseases as well as those with acute illnesses and even raises the dead to life again.
Some years ago in Togo, West Africa, two young boys played hide-and-seek near a large of pile of cotton that had just been picked from the nearby field. One boy happened to hide in the pile and suffocated. Learning of the tragedy, adults of the village rescued the body. As they presented the mother's son on a stretcher, she made a strange request of the chief. She said, 'I know you don't believe in my God and have refused those of us who worship Him to erect a church in our town. However, please permit me to pray to Him before you bury my boy.”
As she began to praise the Lord with closed eyes for the few years she had enjoyed with such a wonderful son, those in the assembled crowd vocally registered their astonishment at the sight before them. Restored to life by a sovereign act of the power of the Lord, the young boy sat up on the stretcher! Before long, with full permission of the chief, the host of those who believed on Jesus that day erected a house in that village dedicated to the worship of Christ.
Miracles followed the ministry of Peter as he moved out from Jerusalem to carry the gospel to other parts of the country. At Lydda he encountered a man who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years. In answer to the prayer of the apostle, the Lord raised him up. Those who sometimes pray for a healing over an extended period of time should be encouraged by this miracle.
After this incident a tragedy struck a company of believers at nearby Joppa. A devout Christian, one Dorcas by name, died. She had been a notable worker in the church. Her gifts prepared her for a ministry of providing clothing for the poor, especially to widows and orphans in the congregation. Her loss saddened those in the assembly much. Thus they sent for Peter to come and minister to them. Upon arrival he prayed, and God raised her from the dead! As a result many more believers were added to their number that day.
Devotional Prayer: Lord, help me to have faith in You as the Great Healer and as the One who can restore even the dead to life again.
Today's Bible Reading: 1 Kings 12:20-13:34; Acts 9:26-43; Psalm 132:1-18; Proverbs 17:6