Those Who are Sick

The sick need a physician” (Jesus Christ)
The smug criticism of the religious leaders in the first century toward Jesus and his disciples was that they defiled themselves by “eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners”. (See Mark 3 & Luke 5). Apparently, Jesus came to target the segment of society that viewed themselves as spiritual lepers, sinners and outcasts. Remember that Jesus began His famous sermon with the words “blessed are the poor in spirit.” It is commonly agreed that Jesus was referring to those who own their spiritual poverty. Spiritual poverty and spiritual illness are synonyms in the teaching of Jesus. Tax collectors and sinners were marginalized in Jesus day, yet they were the ones who opened their “sick” hearts to the healing words of Jesus. They had sense enough to recognize that they were in the presence of the “Great Physician” Himself. They crowded His waiting room to experience His healing touch.
In essence, Jesus was framing the Gospel that He preached as a medical metaphor. I find the Bible immensely helpful in how practical it is in diagnosing and prescribing healing for the sin sickness of the soul.
  1. Admit you are unwell

The phenomenon of denial is as old as time itself. We refuse to see the evidence that we are leprous. The spiritual malady of sin has infected and affected every part of our lives. We need urgent care for our souls. “God be merciful to me a sinner” is a great place to start your spiritual check-up.

  1. Accept the diagnosis

Did you know that “thousands die from medical errors yearly” according to CBC journalist Lynn Desjardins. Lynn’s article reveals that “in Canada, medical errors account for 28,000 deaths yearly. Errors are said to be the third leading cause of death in Canada after cancer and heart disease, and every minute and 18 seconds someone is injured from unintended harm.”

But God gets it right in every case. The Bible accurately diagnoses our dreaded condition in the book of Romans, chapter three: “As it is written: None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

Our condition is bleak, hopeless in fact, without the healing remedy of Jesus Christ.

  1. Receive His cure
The alarming article that I cited earlier goes on to say that “the most frequent medical errors involve medications. They may include giving a patient either the wrong one or the wrong dose, or an allergy to the drug was on the record but went unnoticed.” Lots of people are taking the wrong medication for their soul diseases too. The admonition to “try harder” stands out among them. The notion that you in fact share in the work of saving your own soul, is one of the most frightening prescriptions offered to the aching heart of mankind.
God’s cure is just that. It’s HIS CURE. Only He can heal the disease of sin that has ravaged your whole being. And His cure is Jesus Christ. He alone can heal you and make you whole again. Here’s how Paul framed it in Romans chapter three:
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
and are justified by his grace as a gift,
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood,
to be received by faith.
Healing for the soul comes through the “redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Faith in the “wounded healer” brings recovery from your chronic spiritual pain. It’s all accomplished by grace. There is no charge or user fee. It’s a free gift.
My youngest brother inherited the gift of life in a new set of lungs over 15 years ago. The process leading up to the double lung transplant was as thorough as the operation itself. The donor recipient needed to understand the value of the organs gifted to them. Similarly, it’s inconceivable that we would receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ and then give it so little attention or care.
The gift of new life in Christ needs to be cared for and developed through spiritual health. Church family, take care of yourself! i.e. the “new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24)
Here’s to your spiritual healing and health,
Pastor Deric

My Biblical Counseling Model

One of the great privileges of being a pastor is that people will often ask me to give them “counsel” on any given number of challenges that they face.  I always clarify that request by reminding people that I am not a psychologist.  I’m a pastor, a theologian.  I’m a “shepherd” in the journey of life.  I consider my place to be pastoral, spiritual and Biblical.   So, my insights and advice will be based on the teaching of the Bible. 

As a result,  I have developed 6 targets in the Biblical counseling model that I follow. 

  1. Truth

In any given struggle that you face, you have to seek truth as the light that will bring clarity to your mind. Of course, as a Christian,  we believe that absolute truth exists, and God wants us to know it in order to be free.  Jesus prayed in John 17:  “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”  The truth can set your free! 

  1. Trust

One of the major contributors to the healing process is the trust that must be gained in order to be heard.  Trust between the counselor and counselee is a vital step in leading people to the healing of their souls.  As I was taught in the days of my youth, “trust must be earned.”  In order for another person to be vulnerable about the pain they are experiencing in their lives, they must believe that you are a trustworthy person. Trust creates safety. 

  1. Talk

There is healing in hearing the truth.  Talking involves verbalizing your thoughts and feelings as a means of bringing clarity to your own understanding.  Talking with another person that you trust brings healing and freedom.  My experience is that some people get trapped in a memory and talking about it will open the door to the mind in the presence of another human being. 

  1. Tears

Learning to feel is a part of learning to heal.  Truth and talk are meant to connect your head and your heart.  Simply knowing something as a fact will not set you free.  Knowledge does not bring power if it is divorced from your feelings.  The process of growing as a human being involves learning to ask yourself two important questions:  What are you thinking about?  And what do you feel?  The mind cannot being fully healed until the heart experiences the feelings that are present.  

  1. Time

Some wounds need lots of time to heal.  People want instant healing but that is seldom possible.  Healing of the soul is  “organic”, i.e. it’s a process that takes time like a plant being exposed to the elements of sunshine, water, and TIME.  Real growth in your life can’t be forced.  Time is in fact “a great healer” when combined with the right elements in relationship with others. 

  1. Tenderness

Compassion from another human being has great power to heal the soul.  Scars that have formed can be healed by a tender-hearted counselor.  Listening with compassion is vital to helping others heal.  Tenderness is the healing touch that many long to experience in their hearts.  Kindness draws out the poison of an abrupt and harsh world. 

All these traits and more are bound up in Jesus our Lord who is described by Isaiah as the “wonderful counselor, the mighty God and the father of eternity.”   He wants to heal your soul.  He can heal your soul. Make an appointment with Him ASAP!

Waiting with you,

Pastor Deric