Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

The Willing Heart of Jesus

LUKE 5:12-13 – While he was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him.”

THEME OF THE DAY: THE WILLING HEART OF JESUS.  Let’s put on the shoes of the leper and walk in them for a little while.  Desperation fills his heart. He has an incurable disease and knows it. He also may have heard about Jesus who went about curing the incurable. Deep down inside of his heart a glimmer of hope began to swell. We can hear him pleading, “Lord, if You will, You can make me clean.” Yet, something else was competing in his heart against the hope of the Lord’s healing.

The leper has a war raging in his heart.  First, there was faith.  He did not question the power of Jesus to heal him. His plea did not say, “Lord, if You can, heal me,” No, this common man with a common disease exercised uncommon faith. He sought Jesus out with complete confidence in His ability to heal him.  But the other thing present in his heart was the painful thought about the Lord’s willingness to heal him.  Let’s look at the battle in his heart.  There was rock solid faith in the Lord’s ability.  Then there was the sickening feeling wondering if the Lord would heal him.  Well, the story has a great ending!  The Lord’s ability also came with the Lord’s willingness and the result was the healing of the leper.

How does this story of physical healing apply to us?  Who has not felt just like the leper after we have sinned for the umpteenth time, maybe the same sin committed over and over?  The floodgate of accusations from the devil and conscience is open.  In unison they whisper to our wounded souls, “Look at you. All you do is sin.  How could God possibly forgive you again.  Yes, He could but He won’t. You have exhausted His grace.”

Friends, this battle is real.  We would never doubt the power of the Lord to forgive and restore us, but we may be tempted to question His willingness.  When such a temptation comes, stop, and remember two things.  First, God is love, unchanging in His nature, and such love ensures His willingness to reach out to us in our greatest need is sure.  His willingness is as certain as His ability.

The second thing to remember when doubt of the Lord’s willingness to forgive and restore us comes upon us is His delight to show us mercy.  He not only is willing but takes pleasure in showering us with healing blessings – Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love (Micah 7:18).

So lean on the Lord’s ability and His willingness to meet our greatest needs!

PRAYER: “Lord, I praise You that You are always willing to meet my greatest needs.”

QUOTE: “All the promises in Christ are yes, and they come from a willing heart.”

In the affection of Christ Jesus,

Pastor Jim