Tuesday, April 28, 2015

“Stop! Thief!

Tuesday 4-28-15 (Gaiman IBP, Argentina)
Scripture reading:  2 Sam 3      1 Chron 12       Matt 15

S.  Matt 15:30-31 A vast crowd brought him the lame, blind, crippled, mute, and many others with physical difficulties, and they laid them before Jesus. And he healed them all. The crowd was amazed! Those who hadn't been able to speak were talking, the crippled were made well, the lame were walking around, and those who had been blind could see again!  NLT

O.  In the synagogue in His home town of Nazareth Jesus had announced his ministry by reading Isaiah 61:1-3 as seen in Luke 4:18-19.  The description included ministry to the poor and miracles of healing.  He closed the scroll and said, “This is being fulfilled today.” In other words, “This was written about me.”  It was equivalent of saying, “Behold!  I am Your Messiah!”  They booed Him out of town.  Now on a hillside next to the Lake of Galilee He performed many miracles.  The crowds were amazed.

I was not present at the Tommy Hicks crusades in Argentina in 1954.  But I heard the accounts of miracles directly from many who personally witnessed and experienced these miracles.  Carlos Naranjo, who was present and participating in the crusade told me this story:  

Because of the overflowing crowds in the stadium, thieves were taking advantage of people grabbing their purses and snatching valuables.  Extra policemen were added to control this problem.  On a street corner just outside the stadium a policeman was controlling traffic when a man came running down the street with a crowd of yelling people running after him.  The policeman thought it was a thief who had stolen someone’s purse and joined in the chase.  But the people screamed, “Don’t stop him!  Don’t stop him!  He is a paralytic that was just healed!”

A.  Okay, I wasn’t there to see it, but I saw the long-term results of many of those healings.  Antonio Regge was a successful business man that had been dying with bleeding ulcers.  He was instantly saved and healed.  He returned to his neighborhood in Olivos and because of his miracle he attracted a lot of attention.  He started praying in the name of Jesus and laying hands on all kinds of sick people and many were instantly healed.  This story of miraculous healings in the Tommy Hicks meeting was repeated over and over… and many of our churches in the greater Buenos Aires area are a direct result of one of these remarkable miracles.

Pastor Regge never studied in a seminary, but became a great pastor of more than two thousand people, including my daughter in law and her mother.  Jesus, the Healer, still responds to child-like faith in Him.

P.  Lord, it is thrilling to be part of Your team.  You are still the great Healer and Savior.  Your ministry described in Isaiah 61 is being repeated over and again through Your faithful servants in many places around the world.  Tonight I minister in a growing, glowing church in Rawson, capital of Chubut Province.  I do not go alone.  I dare not go alone!  You go with me!  What a blessing!  What a joy to serve alongside of my Savior and Healer, Jesus!   Amen.


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