Preaching the gospel, laying hands on the sick and casting out demons - this is the work of the Christian. When Jesus sent the 12 he sent them to do these things in the villages that they came to. When he sent out the 72 he got them to do the same. He now also sends us, how do we know - because of the great commission found in Matthew 28. We also read this in John 14:12-14:
"I tell you the truth, anyone who who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. They will see even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."
When he says these things he is saying, I preached the good news, laid hands on the sick and I cast out demons - go and do these things - yes do this with love and compassion, without compromising or watering anything down, but go and do what I have been doing. Why? So he can continue doing what he has been doing, but all over the place by the power of his Holy Spirit as we step out in faith.
This weekend, I had the privilege of speaking at Sutton Family Church. On the morning there were 5 responses to the good news - 3 recommitments and two unsure whether it was the first time or not. Whatever the details were, 5 people stood and aligned themselves with Jesus asking them to be Lord of their lives and to relinquish the hold they have on their own lives.
On that same morning several people were prayed for for healing. One lady's neck was healed even before hands were laid on or a prayer was answered. Another lady sent this testimony to the leader of the church in Sutton on Monday morning:
"I felt very strongly that I was going to be healed on Sunday morning. In fact I quickly realised that I could stand with very little pain during the worship. I was leading the Whiz kids class so I’d asked Colin and Mary to come and collect me when the time came. I went to the front and Mary, Pete and Scott all prayed for me. At the time I cannot say that I felt totally pain free but immediately I walked away I realised that for the first time in months I wasn’t limping or dragging my foot.
During the rest of the day I was fine – I was climbing stairs without relying heavily on the banister rail and even ran up the top flight of four. By bedtime I made a deliberate decision not to take my nightly dose of painkillers. I did not wake up in pain during the night and when I got up this morning I was pain free and mobile! I still am! I have told three people at work so far.
Praise God - I am so elated I can’t stop smiling! "
There were other stories of an older lady who could march on the spot where before Arthritis had subdued her movement. Another lady was overwhelmed by the Spirit and we are awaiting news as to whether her thyroid problem has been rectified.
I tell these stories because Jesus is still doing his work through his people by the power of his Holy Spirit. At his name, people are saved, they are healed and at his name demons do flee. We truly have an amazing God and as we build up now for Alpha starting next week and our healing meeting on May 17th, let's be praying that our God will do extraordinary things here in Reading.