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The Lord Your Healer: 

Discover Him and Find His Healing Touch by Paul J. Bucknell

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Discover Him and Find His Healing Touch

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The Bible Teaching Commentary on Genesis: The Book of Foundations

Commentaries that specialize on training the teacher!

Overcoming Anxiety: Finding Peace, Discovering God


Walking with Christ: Abiding in Christ

Impossible Love
Mark 8:1-9

Abiding in Christ: Walking in Jesus

Paul J. Bucknell

I have read this story many many times. But why did I miss the main point?

Impossible Love Mark 8:1-9Perhaps it is because I focused too much on the miracle itself. But the whole event seized my mind as I read it this time. Jesus was trying to teach me about abiding in Him. My quest started off rather simply. I wanted Him to show me how to abide in Him. When I read the words, "I feel compassion...," I knew in my heart that He was going to teach me a powerful lesson.

The disciples were with Jesus on that day. They saw what Jesus saw. The whole crowd was out on the dry barren wilderness intently listening to the teachings of Jesus. The teachings were important.

They were life-changing. We know this by the fact that they went without food the majority of the time. They camped out overnight so they wouldn't miss a thing. Jesus' words captivated their attention. But Jesus knew this grand time had come to an end.

He was thinking about their needs. He was no doubt tired from passionately teaching God's Word to the people for three days, but He thought of their physical needs.

"In those days again, when there was a great multitude and they had nothing to eat, He called His disciples and said to them, "I feel compassion for the multitude because they have remained with Me now three days, and have nothing to eat; and if I send them away hungry to their home, they will faint on the way; and some of them have come from a distance."

And His disciples answered Him, "Where will anyone be able to find enough to satisfy these men with bread here in a desolate place?" And He was asking them, "How many loaves do you have?" And they said, "Seven." And He directed the multitude to sit down on the ground; and taking the seven loaves, He gave thanks and broke them, and started giving them to His disciples to serve to them, and they served them to the multitude. 7 They also had a few small fish; and after He had blessed them, He ordered these to be served as well. And they ate and were satisfied; and they picked up seven large baskets full of what was left over of the broken pieces. And about four thousand were there; and He sent them away."            (Mark 8:1-9, NASB)

Did you notice that Jesus operated out of love? He thought and felt for their needs. Perhaps the disciples had thought about the multitudes too. We don't hear them talking about their own needs. Jesus' response, however, did set Him apart from the disciples, then and now. Jesus responded to their needs. The disciples responded to their resources. Jesus knew God's will was to love one another. The disciples were limiting their ministry by what they thought they could do.

After reading this passage, I could only think about how many times I have judged God's will by what I could figure out rather than what the Lord could do if His heavenly Father joined in and helped. We do not see that Jesus ignored the resources that were there.

He later found some loaves and fish that He could use. While Jesus was putting love into action, the disciples were thinking, "There is no way these few loaves will feed this many people!"

Love shaped Jesus' faith rather than sight. He understood that His Father's love was to be extended to these people. Love after all was the command above commands because it summarized every other command. I realized I need to be retrained in two ways:

    Look for ways to love people

    Trust God for resources to love them.

George Mueller was a man of faith. He was also a man of love. In 1835 he started caring for children born in wedlock and whose parents had both deceased. For over ten years he had been renting houses for orphanage facilities. Renting had numerous advantages such as being able to invest more money into kingdom needs. Something happened though that changed his course of thinking.

Grapes On October 30, 1845, he received a letter from a man living on the street where the four orphanages were located. It was a kind and friendly letter, but he did state how the people of Wilson Street were being variously inconvenienced by the Orphan Houses. He left the affair into Mueller's hands.

For ten years Mr. Mueller did not have any desire to build, but he did begin to think of this situation totally different when he got this letter. He wrote down the reasons to and not to move. In the end, he discerned that it was God's will to move. The primary reason was the inconvenience to the neighbors. Philippians 4:5 affirmed this for him.

"Let your forbearing spirit (yieldingness) be known to all men. The Lord is near."

He felt a great responsibility for the noise of the children and the abuse of the sewerage system (houses weren't built for so many occupants). He tried to think of other solutions but could not think of any. Others conferred he should build. After he prayed for a season, he sensed God was using this occasion to show God's love to the neighbors and better provide for the children. Of course, behind all of this was his concern that people would know of God's great and glorious work.

One might think little of this matter except that he had no money in hand for building. By policy he did not he ask for funds. Furthermore, he would not go into debt. Making a decision to buy ones own place big enough for 300 children was one matter. Anyone could decide to do it. But where would the funds come from? Mr. Mueller was not living by what resources he could plan for but by what God would provide.

Is this not the pattern we saw when Jesus fed the 4000 men and families? Mr. Mueller estimated the cost back then:

  • 2-3,000 pounds for property (6-7 acres) around Bristol, England
  • 6-8,000 pounds for a building (lower estimate)
  • 1,500 pounds for bare furnishings for the 3-400 people using it.

He said, "This is indeed a large sum of money which I need; but my hope is in God. I have not sought after this thing. It has not begun with me. God has altogether unexpectedly, by means of the letter before mentioned, led me to it. Only the day before I received the letter, I had no more thought about building premises for the accommodation of the orphans than I had had during the ten previous years." (Story taken from Autobiography of George Müller, edited by Wayland (pp. 294 ff.)

Love and the glory of God shaped his thinking and firmed up his decision to start on this project. Without asking, 15,784 pounds were sent in and after everything was built and cared for there remained a balance of 776 pounds. This was 1,195 days since he began asking the Lord for the building. 300 orphans were cared for in the new orphanage on Ashley Down.

I am amazed how similar this story is like the one where Jesus fed the multitude. Love should dictate our decisions rather than our resources. We need to be need focused rather than money focused.

Our walk with Jesus will primarily be one made up of miracles. We simply do not have what it takes to meet the needs of the people and situations that God will have us meet up with. Whether it be supplies, healing, wisdom, direction, power, etc., we are to let love move us into faith and let God work out the details. Next

Abiding in Christ: Walking with Jesus Series

Walking with Christ: Abiding in Christ

Paul J. Bucknell

The Beginning
John 15:5

The marvelous way the Lord instigated this series.

Impossible Love
Mark 8:1-9

Jesus responded to their needs. The disciples responded to their resources.

Genuine Friendship
John 15:15-16

I don't want my Heavenly Father to treat me the way I treated my son!

A Vial of Love
Mark 14:1-9

Our relationship with God is to take priority over our works.

Following is Not Easy
Mark 10:46-52

I wanted Jesus to be with me, but I didn't really want to be with Him.

Listening Carefully
Mark 7:17-18

The Lord wants me to sit down and listen to Him.

A Faith that Counts

I was not sure how many prayers I have absolutely wasted.

Staying Focused
Matthew 15:21-28

Jesus found these planned retreats can be rudely interrupted.

Discovering Treasures
Mark 10:21-27

What were they amazed and later astonished at?

Worth it all!
Mark 10:28-31

His disciples would often if not always be required to make a sacrifice of one kind or another.

The Capsizing of Religion
Mark 3:1-6

Many churches just wouldn't want Jesus attend!

Family of Jesus
Mark 03.31-35

If you or I were part of this crowd, wouldn't we do the same thing as they?

(The following chapters are part of the full book which can be purchased separately or as part of the D#3 Digital Library.)

Growing Confidence in Jesus
Mark 7:31-37

What Jesus I am following?

A Word on Christian Suffering
John 15:1-2

We didn't do anything wrong to deserve such pruning! John 15:1-2

Genuine Worship
Mark 12:28-34

Anything not built on this one command is best left in the periphery of life.

Dreams to Dust 911
Mark 13:1-3

Jesus felt compelled to take their dreams to the dust.

A Faith of Action
Mark 11:27-33

The world starts getting concerned when the church starts practicing its faith.

The Felling of Fame
Mark 2:1-2

Stopped in my tracks. Time to deal with my desire for fame.

Perspective on Worry
Luke 12:25-26

We are really surprised at Jesus' comments about our worry.

Overcome Fear of Man
Mark 11:27-39

Outnumbered. Outflanked. Out-educated. Compromise was begging Jesus to conform for acceptance.

Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted: (C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988

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