Prayer Targets: Christmas Evans; The Resurrection of Jesus; Health Care; The Lord that Healeth thee
April 12, 2017
He is not here; for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. (Matthew 28:6)
Dear Praying Friends,
Christmas Evans (1766-1838) was born in South Wales (U.K.) on Christmas Day. His poor cobbler father died when he was nine years old. As a teen, he ran with a bad crowd and came near death on several occasions. Wholly uneducated, Evans received Christ in 1783. Former friends assaulted Evans and put out his right eye. Yet he taught himself to read and write, mastered Greek and Hebrew, and became a successful itinerate preacher, preaching in both Welsh and English. Spurgeon called him “the John Bunyan of Wales.” Immersed in biblical theology, Evans took bold positions on the issues of his day and his sermons are among the greatest in history. These excerpts are from his sermon, "The Resurrection of Jesus":
The celebrated Jonathan Edwards of America begins his History of Redemption with an account of the Lord’s visit to Adam and Eve at the cool of the day in Eden. All the wonderful works of God toward the children of men, since the seed of the woman was promised to bruise the serpent’s head, are to be considered as so many parts of the same great machinery of providence, whose wheels, like those of Ezekiel’s vision, all move in majestic harmony, though their thousand revolutions may seem to us discordant and confused. The chief design of all the Divine manifestations recorded in the Old Testament was to prepare the way for the Redeemer's appearance upon earth.
Jehovah often suffered his people to be in great distress and perplexity; he lengthened the chain of Satan and his angels, allowed a partial success of their infernal schemes, and permitted them to prevail for a season against his people, and pride themselves in their power and their skill, in order to make their defeat the more signal, and gather more glory to himself from their final overthrow. During the engagement, the victory often seemed to be on the side of the enemy; but when the smoke of battle cleared away, the pillar of God was seen upon the camp of Israel. If his people are besieged between Pi-hahiroth and Baal-zephon, he raises the siege by dividing the sea, and making a highway through the deep, while the waters rise up in a solid wall on the right and the left, and roll back in ruin on the pursuing foe. If an army comes to arrest Elisha on Carmel, the mountain is covered with celestial warriors, and the surrounding heavens teem with horsemen and chariots of fire, and the enemy are smitten with blindness, and taken captive by the prophet...
But when Messiah was slain and buried, the enemies of God boasted more than ever in their crafty and malicious schemes. This was the great decisive engagement between Heaven and hell. The enemy imagined “the Captain of our salvation” vanquished and destroyed. But his fall was no defeat. He yielded to the powers of darkness apparently, that he might triumph over them openly. He suffered himself to be taken prisoner by death, that he might seize the tyrant on his throne, demolish his empire, and deliver his captives. And if none of his friends on earth had courage to proclaim his resurrection, a preacher descended from heaven to announce the joyful fact: “He is not here; for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
Wonderful message, and wonderful messenger! On the morning of the third day after his crucifixion, Jesus revived in his tomb, and the sound of the earthquake reached the heaven of heavens, and a mighty angel, swifter than the light, descended straight to the new grave in Joseph’s garden... instantly rolled away the stone from the door, and sat upon it, and made it his pulpit, from which he preached to the women the doctrine of our Lord’s resurrection...
“The angel said to the women, Go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him; lo! I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulcher, with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word” (Mt 28:7).
Brethren! followers of Jesus! be ye also preachers of a risen Savior! Go quickly “there is no time for delay” and publish the glad tidings to sinners! Tell them that Christ died for their sins, and rose again for their justification, and ascended to the right hand of the Father to make intercession for them, and is now able to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by him!
And you, impenitent and unbelieving men! hear this blessed message of salvation! Do you intend ever to embrace the proffered mercy of the gospel? Make haste! Procrastination is ruin! Now is the accepted time! O, fly to the throne of grace! Time is hastening; you will soon be swallowed up in eternity! May the Lord have mercy upon you, and rouse you from your indifference and sloth! It is my delight to invite you to Christ; but I feel more pleasure and more confidence in praying for you to God. I have besought and entreated you, by every argument and every motive in my power; but you are yet in your sins, and rushing on toward hell. Yet I will not give you up in despair. If I cannot persuade you to flee from the wrath to come, I will intercede with God to have mercy upon you for the sake of his beloved Son. If I cannot prevail in the pulpit, I will try to prevail at the throne! (Read the entire sermon at the Classic Sermon Library.)
As Christians worldwide participate in the annual remembrance of the passion, death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, the historical fact that is the core of the gospel message, may believers everywhere take stock of our God-given commission to preach the gospel to every creature. The Barna update on the current “State of Evangelism” in the U.S. (see 3/29/17 Prayer Targets) should cause each of us take inventory of our own faithfulness to share the gospel with others and to support those who are doing so with effectiveness. We cannot hope to see a turnaround in our nation and our public policy without a growing number of vital disciples of our Risen Lord leading the way!
“Repeal and Replace” Obamacare is Going Forward – Congress is out for two weeks for the Easter recess, but the key leaders are hard at work to produce a bill to reduce the rising costs of medical care and ensure that no abortions are funded. Obamacare has been disastrous for most Americans. Not only have their choices been reduced, but they have endured six years of radically rising costs – in addition to mandates and fines for noncompliance including requiring that people buy “Cadillac” insurance policies with coverages they neither need nor want. U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) is Chairman of the 32-member House Freedom Caucus. Caucus members opposed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) which led to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) pulling the bill from the floor without a vote. Caucus members simply could not support a bill, which 1) Retained too much of Obamacare, and 2) Would increase (NOT lower) health insurance premiums for the first two years.
Since then, Rep. Meadows has been working with the Caucus and the White House non-stop and will continue to do so through the recess. He told Breitbart News “that he expects House Republicans will unite around common principles and pass an Obamacare repeal and replace bill that lowers premiums for Americans soon—delivering President Donald Trump a major victory in the Congress’s lower chamber.” He went on to say, “I can tell you the president has communicated to me on more than four different occasions that he wants the very best bill possible for the American people and that he believes that not only will we get a better bill but with everyone’s input—not just conservative members, but conservatives, moderates and those that are in between—that we’ll get a better bill and we’ll shock the American people when they actually see their healthcare insurance premiums come down” (see Meadows Confidant, Obamacare Massive; Perkins: Meadows Mows down Costs).
- May we repent on behalf of our nation for turning from God and looking to Big Government to be our lawgiver, judge, and king and provider, rather than our Jealous God, who alone has the power to heal, prosper, bless, and guide ours or any nation. May God give our president, Speaker Paul Ryan, Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, the entire GOP majority in both Houses, and the Democrats who are willing to work with the majority, wisdom, patience, guidance, and the ability to come to united agreement over this initiative. May God work miracles in our legislative branch to heal the breach between the parties and personalities, and allow enough cooperation for our nation to move forward. (Ex 15:26; 20:5; 34:14; 1 Sam 8:4-22; Ps 133:1-3; Ec 4:9-12; Mk 3:25; Acts 5:16; 10:38; 1 Pet 2:24)
- May God move mightily during this Resurrection Day weekend. May our churches be filled! May the presence of the Lord arrest backsliders and seekers alike! May the preaching be powerful. may multitudes turn to him who is able to save individuals and families, revive his church, and awaken nations, drawing them to himself. May we look to him who is our Great Physician and see him heal our land in our generation. May we trade in all bitterness, woundedness, disappointment, anger, lethargy, and apathy and get to work, laboring to build up our families, our churches, our communities and our nation energized by our Lord and under his watchful care. May God’s churches be called Houses of Prayer for all people! (2 Chr 5:14; 7:14; Neh 2:18; 4:14; Is 56:7; 58:12; Mt 21:13; Heb 12:13; Rev 22:2)
Jesus made a way through His death, burial, and resurrection for citizens of our nation and all nations to know peace and for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. May your Holy Week and Resurrection Sunday be filled with awe, a deeper fellowship with God than ever before, and a rededication of your all to Jesus, who gave his all for each of us. Thank you for praying!