Since January 1, 2018, I asked the Lord to strengthen me with power through His Spirit in my inner being so I may be able to wake up every day at 5:45 a.m, to meet Him through His Word, and prayers. He answered my prayer. Waking up at 5 has been an easy breeze ever since. Leaving a warm bed at dawn is something I struggled with for a while when I tried on my own. But the moment I asked the Lord for help, it became the easiest thing to do no matter how late I went to bed.
Therefore, I wake up every morning with an expectation to receive a Word from the Lord. A Rhema Word, a specific word for either a certain situation or a season I’m at or whatever I am trying to resolve, accomplish or even just growing in the Lord and to be strengthened in my faith. It is a lot of fun to put God first in those precious morning hours. Apparently, He can’t wait for me to get up and talk with Him. I encourage every one of you to get your face in the Word instead of Facebook. You really don’t know what you are missing.
This morning was no different. As usual, my eyes were wide open around at 5 a.m. I had a choice to keep gazing the ceiling or get off the bed. I heard in my spirit this question, “do you love Me more than your bed?” (John 21:15).
The answer was obvious. I got off the bed immediately and entered His gets with thanksgiving and His courts with praise (Psalm 100:4). Then my heart led me to Matthew 8. It turned out to be a land filled with milk and honey. What I learned this morning I haven’t seen all these years of reading Matthew 8.
What I am about to reveal to you is just a foundation. There are more than 8 lessons. I believe there is an inexhaustible supply you can dig from this portion of the scripture however, 8 lessons are enough for you to digest for now.
Whatever you learn from this post, commit yourself to be a doer of the Word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only deceiving (fooling, deluding) yourselves. It sounds harsh but that’s what James 1:22 says.
Are you ready? Let’s Go!
By the way, they are not in any particular order. Grab one lesson: Read it, Meditate on it and Do it. Then grab another lesson, repeat the process. And keep going till you finish all eight.
Or maybe use it to improve areas you are weak. Ask God to strengthen you in those areas. I will tell you where I need to improve as a result of reading this chapter.
Chapter eight in the book of Matthew starts with three verses below. Matthew tells us what happened after Jesus finished preaching a famous sermon on the Mount that started out in chapters 5, 6 and ended on chapter 7. It happened in the early days of His Ministry.
When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him. And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Matthew 8:1-3.
1. lesson One of 8 Lessons I learned From Matthew 8 This Morning is: How to pray prayers that get answers.
In those three verses above, we meet a man who was afflicted with Leprosy. He was considered unclean in that society. Lepers were in general alienated from the community until they were cleaned. You can imagine how desperate he wanted to get healed.
I suppose when you are banished from the society you’ll feel a sense of loneliness, shame, low self-esteem. It was no different with this man. He had no life. He couldn’t work or even beg on the street with his disease. I think he even felt hopeless.
At his low of the lowest state of life, he approached Jesus after He concluded His sermon on the Mount. You need to remember, Jesus didn’t preach about healing. But He preached the Word. He preached about the golden rule, He preached on personal relationships, He preached on giving to the poor, He taught how to pray, He spoke of the Beatitudes, He preached on the cure for anxiety, about the disciples and the world, about a tree and it’s fruits, He also taught on not judging others and two types of foundations to build a house on.
Jesus laid out a lot of ground in regard to the kingdom of God and His righteousness. We are told that when He had finished “these words,” the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes” (Matthew 7:28-29).
That led me to believe a Leper was among those who were moved by what they heard from the Master Himself. One of the effects upon hearing the Word, when it is preached correctly, is its power to change lives as well to build faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).
That Leper got confident in Jesus’ authority over his infirmity. I don’t even know how he came out when he wasn’t allowed to be in public. But this is to show you and me that when you are in a desperate circumstance, a do or die situation, you don’t care about the consequences anymore. Some hard lessons are found in desperation. Read a similar story in 2 Kings 7:3-20.
From the Leper’s story, we will learn how to pray prayers that get answers.
A prayer that will always guarantee you a Yes and Amen has to include all four of the following:
i) Be specific.
God knows your needs and wants. He puts those desires in your heart in first place. He is able to give you anything even before you prayed them, however, He wants you to ask Him for His glory. In the Leper’s case, he wanted to be made clean. He asked Jesus something specific, “You can make me clean.”
ii) Have confidence in His ability or Know who you are asking.
Upon hearing Jesus speak, the Leper’s conviction on Him was built in his spirit. He approached Jesus knowing He is able to cure his disease. He didn’t ask Scribes to pray for him. He didn’t go to Jesus’ disciples. He went straight to Him because he believed in his heart on Jesus’ ability to heal Him.
Sometimes we approach God in prayers second guessing if He is able to bring it to pass. That is double-mindedness. Doubt is a sin (Romans 14:23). You have to know God’s power. And the best way to know God is through His Word.
iii) Ask according to God’s will. He said, “Lord if You are willing.”
He knew God is able, He also knew exactly what to ask for, however, he didn’t know if it is His will for him to be made well.
Some prayers are answered only according to God’s will. I am going to retract this, all prayers are answered according to God’s will.
Before Jesus was crucified, He was in such agony from the weight of the sins of the world. If it was His will He would probably not went to the cross. He asked His Father to let that cup pass from Him only if it was God’s will. Jesus went on the cross. Obviously, it was not God’s will to let that cup pass from Jesus.
We have the privilege of knowing the will of God because He has not hidden from us after the work on the cross was accomplished. In the days of the Leper, the written Word was hidden from them. They couldn’t understand it because their hearts were hardened.
iv) You have to have a deep desire.
No doubt this was his deepest desire of all. He probably had many other problems but this one was big. This one was holding back his life and everything. He had to be cleaned to move forward.
Deepest desires move us to act even when we do not want to act. You get to a place where you say enough is enough. Again, answers to your prayers are always available for you but often times we forget God’s existence in good times.
Look, I am seeking His face in the Bible because I am hungry for His righteousness. I am thirsty. This to me is better than all riches in the world. I don’t need to wait until a disaster knocks to start seeking God. I am doing now in good times. I am learning now so that I can keep those bad times at bay. Beloved, if this doesn’t empower you to start a Bible reading habit, I don’t know what will.
When those four things meet in harmony with each other, God will answer you even before you finish praying.
Jesus answered him, “I am willing, be cleansed.” We are told that “And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” His prayer was answered.
2. Lesson Two of 8 Lessons I learned From Matthew 8 This Morning is: Preach the Word.
If you want to make an impact in your world and win souls for the kingdom then preach the Word. Do not turn to the left or to the right.
There are so many man-made gospels floating around these days. I can name a few: the prosperity gospel, the faith gospel, the poverty gospel, the “God Is Love Only” gospel, moralist gospel, churchless gospel, social-club gospel, therapeutic gospel. Ok, the list is long and detailed at Apply God’s Word.
That’s the reason many believers are more defeated in church than they were in the world– at least momentarily or while on their way to heaven if they were even saved in first place. Listen, There is only one Gospel, the Good News. The Gospel is that Christ DIED on the cross for our sins, and He was BURIED, and He bodily RESURRECTED three days later. BELIEVE!!!. Amen and amen! Don’t get sidetracked by any worldly lusts.
Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else shall be added to you” Matthew 6:33.
Jesus’ word carried power. He knew what He was talking about. He spoke with authority. His word moved people to act in faith as a result many were healed and blessed. We have the same word to speak with authority in our generation. Be careful of these strange gospels we encounter on daily basis. Stick with the word of God and no one will deceive you.
3. Lesson Three of 8 Lessons I learned From Matthew 8 This Morning is: The difference between “great faith” and “little faith”.
Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel (Matthew 8:10).
Great Faith receives answers to a prayer. Great faith is so powerful that you can believe for the benefit other people who are probably not even saved or are weak in faith.
When the centurion saw his servant “lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented” (Matthew 8:6), he went to meet Jesus and asked Him to speak a word believing his servant will be healed. He didn’t say come lay hands on him or anoint him with oil or send You handkerchief to him. No, he said, “I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed” (Matthew 8:8). Jesus was marveled. He sent the Word (Psalm 107:20) and the Centurion’s servant was healed.
We have the ability to have great faith if we are willing. Great Faith enables us to literally believe for our families, our friends, our community, even our country and the world to be delivered from the Devil’s hardships even without them knowing it.
He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Matthew 8:26
Little Faith may receive an answer to a prayer accompanied by a rebuke. Jesus’ disciples were told, “let us depart to the other side of the sea.” They were supposed to trust His Word knowing that’s where they were going no matter what happens because He said so.
When a violent storm arose itself against them, all they had to do was to tell the storm, “we are going to the other side of the sea.” But they didn’t. They were terrified. Their boat was filled with water. Meanwhile, Jesus was taking a nap because He settled in His heart, “I am going the other side of the sea.”
Their little faith made them forget the word when a giant wind showed up. Aren’t we all get distracted by cares of life when God told us to cast all of our cares to Him? Didn’t He say, “be anxious for nothing but in everything with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving present your requests to Me?”
4. Lesson Four of 8 Lessons I learned From Matthew 8 This Morning: Why A centurion’s (a Gentile) Prayer worked?
Here is why:
i) You have to know who you are asking for help. The Centurion knew Jesus had authority over everything including himself. He addressed Jesus as “Lord.” It is the same thing we saw from a Leper.
ii) He offered a prayer, and intercessions for the sake of his servant.
He didn’t ask a selfish prayer (James 4:3). He had a heart for his tormented servant.
Modern preachers’ prayers are about me-me-me. God give me this. God give me that. I heard people asking God, “give me an airplanes Father so I can travel in luxury.” ” Give me a Television Network O Lord.”
Our heavenly Father owns the heaven and the earth. He can give you anything but He probably won’t because you are a selfish, self-centered fool. He won’t listen to you. You can ask these things indirect like Job did. And like Solomon did.
Solomon asked God for Wisdom to lead His (God’s) people. He didn’t ask for wealth, honor or long life. He asked, “Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” 1 Kings 3:9.
We know that Solomon was not only given what he asked for but also God topped it up with riches and honor. The Bible says, “so that there has not been anyone like Solomon before him, nor shall any like Solomon arise after him” 1 King 3:12b.
iii) He knew he was unworthy of any favors from God. Gentiles had no relationship with God at that time. All benefits were for Jews. In fact, Jesus was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
None of us are worthy of any God’s favors. It is His great mercy that He saved us. Our whole life should be a life of thanksgiving and praises for His glory. It is the fruits of our lips.
God exalts the humble and brings down the proud. Live with this truth in your heart and He will bestow a lot favors in your life.
Read also Luke 5:8, Isaiah 6:5, Luke 18:13.
iv) He believed Jesus is able to heal his servant even from distant. His Word was enough for him.
Psalm 107:20 “He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”
God gave us His Word and most of the time we are failing to take hold of it because of unbeliefs. The Centurion didn’t have the Bible yet he believed Jesus’ Word was enough. How much more privileged you and I are today?
This business of traveling to Nigeria or Korea to receive some kind of power from mortal men to me is just unbeliefs. Do you have the Bible? Do you read it?
God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit lives inside of Me. The creator of heaven and earth made His dwelling place in my body. I am literally carrying the Kingdom of heaven wherever I go. Can you grasp this? Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! Psalm 139:6.
5. Lesson Five of 8 Lessons I learned From Matthew 8 This Morning: I learned to appreciate Jesus more and more.
After Jesus healed the Leper, He told him, “See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them” Matthew 8:4.
Please turn to Leviticus 14:2-32. I don’t want to paste the entire passage here however when I read it my head was spinning. The more I read the more I lifted up my hands up to heaven and thank God for Jesus Christ who bore my sins and infirmities. That entire passage consists of rules and regulations hammering a former Leper’s head before being accepted back to the society.
Whenever I under appreciate Jesus I go to the book of Leviticus.
6. Lesson Six of 8 Lessons I learned From Matthew 8 This Morning: Demons not only knows their time but also they know Jesus as Son of God. “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” Matthew 8:29
If demons and spirits know their time why are children of God sleeping? This amazes me every day. If Demons know Jesus is the Son of the Living God why unsaved people don’t believe it?
7. Lesson Seven of 8 Lessons I learned From Matthew 8 This Morning: spirits know how to pray.
Churches are filled with believers in a prayer request line because they don’t know how to pray for themselves. They have the Holy Spirit inside them yet they act like victims. Spirits prayed for their sake, “If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine” (Matthew 8:30). If their request was heard and answered how much more will your prayer be answered?
8. Lesson Eight of 8 Lessons I learned From Matthew 8 This Morning: No matter how good God is to us, some people will always reject Him.
When spirits had come out, they went into the herd of swine. The Bible says, “And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water.”
When the People from that city heard about the swines’ incident, they weren’t thrilled with Jesus’ presence. They cared more about swines’ souls than people’s souls. They begged Jesus to depart from their region” Matthew 8:34. Jesus left.
There you have!!
There are more than 8 lessons for sure. Nonetheless, let us digest these eight and have them as a foundation as we go by our personal devotional.
Rhema Word for me: “Intercession.” Below, please find some of the power and benefits of praying for others.
i)Praying for others brings blessings to you even more.
Job 42:10 “And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”
2 Chronicles 1:11-12 God answered Solomon, “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked for possessions, wealth, honor, or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked for long life, but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may govern my people over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like.”
2 Chronicles 9:22 “So King Solomon became greater than all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.”
ii) Praying for others can spare a City, a State, a nation from the wrath of God. Check out Genesis 18: 23-33, Psalm 106:23.
iii) Praying for others is a command. Disobedience is a sin (1 Samuel 15:23).
1 Timothy 2:1, ” Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,“
iv) Intercession prayers release prisoners
Acts 12:5 “ Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.“
Prison is not just an electrical fenced building with gun carrying guards. There are many people walking on streets are as imprisoned as someone in Guantanamo: fear prison, anxiety prison, brokenness prison, prescription prison, lack of purpose prison, alcohol, porn prisons, Jesus came to free us from all that. Someone with great faith can pray to
A faith-filled person can pray for that alcoholic uncle to be free. He will wake up one day and lose a test of beer. Not that he wanted to stop drink but because you intervened.
Peter was in a high-security prison, chained hands. The Bible says he slept. He probably thought his time to be headed was up. What Peter didn’t know was the church he started was praying for him.
An angel came, woke him up, chain fell off his hands and all doors were opened for him to walk out. Peter was in such deep sleep that he didn’t know all this happening until he found himself in the square. That’ when he came to his senses and realized an angel visited him.
The church prayed for Peter.
v) When you pray for your city you will bring peace while other towns are crying rivers from calamities.
Jeremiah 29:7 “And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.”
Ok, that should motivate you to pray for others. Every soul’s problem is your problem. Take it personally as yours and present them to God in prayers on their behalf. And when the God of love sees your zeal for His children will increase your faith from “little” to “great” so that you’ll do more praying and bring more souls to His kingdom. That’s how you receive not only GREAT FAITH but also personal BLESSINGS.
And that was my RHEMA this morning.
I will be a fool by not applying in my life one or even all lessons I learned today.
– I will start praying for others more starting today moving forward. I asked God to give me the passion for praying effectual prayers. Join me in faith. So be it!
– I will pray prayers that I am confident will be answered. God’s interest comes first before mine.
– Since I know the Devil is working full time to destroy God’s people, this is not the time to rest. We have the entire eternity for that. This is the time to fight the good fight of faith.
What is your RHEMA from 8 Lessons I learned From Matthew 8 This Morning?
Share in the comments below. Also if you need a prayer let me pray for you.
Be blessed. In Jesus name.
great faith, little faith, Matthew 8
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