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THE ERASER

1 JOHN 3:5

“You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.”

There was nothing better than a good eraser when I was in grade school. In fact, my mom used to buy us extra erasers. We loved the kind that went on the end of your pencil. You were really cool if you had some kind of cartoon figure eraser. But we also had those big, pink rectangle-shaped erasers. Those could last a long time. Erasers were essential when I was in school.

Jesus is our sin eraser. Because He knew no sin, only He was qualified to be that sin eraser. One definition of the Greek word for “take away” is to sail away. I like that. Our sins simply sail away. They have weighed anchor. They are no longer here. Jesus makes them vanish. How great is that?

APPLICATION

Get your kids to try out some different erasers with different writing instruments. Start out with a sharpie. Have them try to erase it. Then try an ink pen. Finally, give them a pencil. Some marks we make cannot be erased with a plain eraser. They are pretty much permanent.

Ask your children how they erase their own mistakes, their own sins. They may say they ask someone to forgive them. They may say they promise to never do that again. Those are like the sharpie and pen marks. Our efforts to erase our sins just don’t work. Only through Jesus can we get the forgiveness we need. Teach your kids to confess their sins daily. A clean slate is always good.

Does your slate need cleaning? Go the One who can erase all your mistakes. He can forgive you and give you the cleansing you need. All you have to do is confess. That may be a little painful, but it is the only way. Make it right with Him and experience the joy of walking in forgiveness.

Lord, I need Your eraser in my life. I confess to You today the ways I have fallen short. Cleanse me now.

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MAKE YOUR BED

ACTS 9:32-35

“32 Now as Peter was traveling through all those regions, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years, for he was paralyzed. 34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed.” Immediately he got up. 35 And all who lived at Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.”

When I read this passage my eye was drawn to that phrase, “make your bed.” I literally laughed out loud. Here’s a guy who has been in his bed for eight years, and the first thing he’s told to do when he gets healed and stands up is to make his bed. Wow! I know a lot of folks who are completely healthy and never make their bed, lol.

I wonder why Peter told him that. Do you think it was a symbolic move? That bed hadn’t been made in eight years. Aeneas lived in it. Making that bed symbolized a finish to the bedridden state. He no longer was confined to that bed. I bet Aeneas did not mind at all making that bed. In fact, I bet he enjoyed standing and seeing it made. He was out of it!

APPLICATION

When our kids come to Christ, they need to be taught that their former life is DONE. They have a new life in Christ. They are no longer paralyzed by sin. They are no longer bedridden by guilt and shame. They are free to walk and stand with Jesus. They can make that bed. Well, don’t tell them that, lol.

Seriously, making our bed sends a signal to the brain. We are no longer sleeping or slumbering. We are awake and about our Father’s business. Teach your kids to make their beds but tell them why they are doing it. It’s not just about making their room look neat. There’s a purpose behind it. It ends one thing and begins another.

Are you a bed maker? I like my bed made each day. Do I do that? Well…to be honest, there are days when my wife and I just pull up the sheet and go about our day. But when the bed is made it looks so nice. I want to begin each day afresh, ready to serve my Master. How about you? Then get up and make your bed.

I am ready to serve You, Lord. I want a fresh start today. I don’t want yesterday’s troubles to follow me into the new day.

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MISPLACED FAITH

ACTS 5:14-16

“14 And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number, 15 to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them. 16 Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed.”

Peter’s reputation as a miracle worker and healer had spread. People were clamoring to get to him to be healed of their diseases or impairments. However, the crowds were so big they couldn’t get close enough. So, they resorted to lying in the streets where Peter might pass with the hope that his shadow might fall on them and heal them.

I must quickly say that there is no evidence this happened. We have no record of anyone being healed by his shadow. Nevertheless, the people believed it could. Strong faith in the wrong thing does not make things right. You may believe passionately in something, only to find out you were passionately wrong.

APPLICATION

One of the hardest things to do as a parent is to redirect your child when you know they are headed in the wrong direction. Your child may have some strong beliefs about some things in our culture. It’s happening more and more. While we want them to hold strongly to their beliefs, we also want those beliefs to be biblically based.

The only way you can redirect them is to go to Scripture. If a belief is not backed up by the Word of God, it’s not a true belief. Now listen to me. Satan loves to disguise his lies with a little truth. This can be so confusing to a young believer. That’s why you, Mom and Dad, must be grounded in the Word and able to show them in Scripture what God says.

Have you taken a good look at your beliefs? Why do you believe what you do? We all need to do a self-check every so often. It is so easy to bring in traditions or church practices and consider them doctrine. Let me encourage you today to reevaluate your beliefs. Check them out with the Word before you start betting your life on them.

Your Word is clear to me, Lord. I will put my trust in what You teach me there and check out other teachings that are put before me.

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GETTING MORE THAN YOU ASK FOR

ACTS 3:6

“But Peter said, ‘I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!’”

I love this story in Acts 3. If you read verses 1-10, you will get the full picture of what happens here. A lame beggar is lying outside the Temple asking for money from anyone entering the Temple. He sees Peter and John and asks them for some. All he is expecting is a few coins to perhaps buy some bread or other food for the day. What he gets surprises him.

Peter and John look at him as he hollers at them passing by. Peter, being led of the Spirit, offers him healing instead of money. Notice he heals him in the name of Jesus, not himself. Peter knows where the healing comes from and wanted this beggar and anyone else listening to know also. This beggar got so much more than money. He got his legs for the first time.

APPLICATION

Have you ever given your child more than they asked for? I bet you have. They asked for something simple for Christmas, but you blessed them with the newest game system. Isn’t it just as exciting for you? You can’t wait for them to open up that gift under the tree.

I bet Peter and John were just as excited to see this man jump up and walk as the man was. This is Peter’s first recorded miracle. Let your children think about that for a second. How would they have reacted to the beggar by the Temple? Ignore him? Step around him? Tell him to be quiet? Not Peter. In the boldness of his newly indwelt Spirit, he commands healing.

Do you realize that the same Spirit that indwelt Peter indwells us? We have the same power. Do you believe that? God wants to use you to do great things for Him today. God’s miracle working power is still present in today’s world. The problem is we don’t believe He can do those things today. Let God work through you as He desires.

I want to be used by You to do things that can only be explained as coming from You. I vow to give You all the credit and point others to You.

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EARLESS

JOHN 18:10-11

“10 Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. 11So Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?’”

This story is one of the few that is told in all four gospels. It is interesting, though, that only Luke, who was a physician, tells us that Jesus touched Malchus and healed him. Of course, a doctor would record that. And only here in John are the sword bearer and the servant identified.

But my thoughts are on Malchus. Don’t you want to know what happened to him? I mean, you came with the crowd to arrest this man whom everyone claimed to be a threat to your faith. You have your ear cut off, nearly having your throat cut. Then this man named Jesus reaches out and touches the spot where your ear used to be and restores it. Malchus’ life had to be changed.

APPLICATION

Ask your children what they think about this story. Ask them how they would have felt if Jesus had basically put their ear back on. When they get hurt and need some medical attention from mom or dad, how do they feel afterwards? Grateful? Thankful?

Perhaps Malchus believed in Jesus afterwards. One day we will find out. When I get to heaven I think I will ask Jesus if Malchus is there. Then I want to meet him and hear his account of the story. If he is there, don’t you know he will have quite a story to tell.

Guess what? So do you. You may not have had your ear cut off and restored. But you have had your hard heart replaced with a soft, pliable one. Jesus performed heart surgery on you. You have been healed from a sure death sentence. Don’t you have a story to tell? You had better believe it. Start telling it.

Jesus, You are the healer of my soul. I thank You for healing my broken heart. I will share my story as You give me opportunities.

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EYE WITNESS

LUKE 8:51

“When He came to the house, He did not allow anyone to enter with Him, except Peter and John and James, and the girl’s father and mother.”

Once again, we see Jesus choose Peter, James and John to witness something the other disciples didn’t. In this case, He wanted them to witness His healing powers. Everyone in the house told Him the little girl was dead. She probably was, but what is death to God?

Put yourself in Peter’s sandals. What would you have been thinking? Come on, Jesus. I know You have powers, but raising from the dead? This would not be the only time they would witness this, culminating with His own victory over death.

APPLICATION

I don’t expect you to show your children how to raise the dead. So, what is the message from this verse? Simple! God can do whatever He chooses to do whenever He chooses to do it. Your children need to know that. They need to know they can trust Him to work in their lives to protect and defend them.

But there is another message. Perhaps, the Lord will allow them to be an eyewitness to His workings in someone’s life. He may choose to use their prayers to heal someone. Now, hear me clearly. God heals, but He uses us to encourage and comfort. And those experiences build our faith.

Would you want to be an eyewitness? I would and I have been. I have seen people healed who should have died. In order to see those healings, you must believe. Believe God is good and desires only the best for each of His children. Let Him use you to comfort others. You may be surprised at what He allows you to see.

Father, use me as Your tool. If that means in healing, so be it. Just use me to accomplish Your desires.

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JUST A TOUCH

LUKE 8:45

“And Jesus said, ‘Who is it that touched me?’ And when all denied, Peter said, and they that were with him, ‘Master, the multitudes press thee and crush thee.’”

Have you ever been in a huge crowd where you are being pressed from all sides? I always keep my hands on my wallet and keys because I am afraid of getting robbed. Lol. Here Jesus and the disciples are going through a crowd and someone touches Him. Jesus wants to know who touched Him and Peter says Are you kidding me?

The point wasn’t being touched. The point was someone touched Him intentionally to be healed. Jesus wanted that person to acknowledge their touch. Don’t you think He knew who touched Him? Of course, He did. Her faith was on display for all.

APPLICATION

Have you ever played tag with your children? I bet you have. Well, this “tag” is nothing like that game. In the game you are trying to touch someone to get rid of something. This woman was touching Jesus to receive something.

The next time you play tag give everyone several good things everyone else wants. Make little tags to pin to their clothes. The only rule is each time they get tagged, they have to give up one of their tags. Now at the end, you can decide who the winner is. Is it the one who gives all his good things to others or is the one who gains the most tags? It really depends on your perspective.

Think about it for a second. Did Jesus ever pursue getting things from others or was He constantly giving away? We have the same ability through the Holy Spirit if we will just stop being so selfish. Share your blessings. Give to others. Let others “touch” you. You will be blessed in the end.

I am so thankful You fill me with blessings I can share. I know they are given for that purpose. Put others in my path today, Lord, whom You would have me bless.

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