Many years ago, my husband and I went to the Philippines where I preached to a large congregation. I remember how during the sermon the Holy Spirit urged me to repeat again and again, “Jesus saves! Jesus heals! Jesus saves! Jesus heals! Jesus saves! Jesus heals!” Then I suddenly stopped. My husband looked at me and whispered, “Leslie, say something else.” I replied, “Kevin, Jesus saves! Jesus heals!”
Suddenly something started happening—the kind of things that Jesus did when He was here on earth, as it is written in the Scriptures: “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people” (Matthew 9:35). Suddenly, a woman shouted, “I can see! Jesus heals! He healed my eyes! I was blind and now I can see!”
“My tumor has disappeared!” another woman shouted. Someone else cried out, “I can hear! God opened my ears! For the first time in my life I can hear my child’s voice!”
Nobody touched them! Nobody laid hands on them! But GOD was present at that place. HE was there. He touched people and healed every sickness and disease.
God does not play favorites, He loves everybody. Those people in the Philippines are the same as you. God healed them, and He wants to heal you!
How do you picture God? Do you envision Him as distant? Angry? Vengeful? Cruel? In truth, He is none of these. God is good. Our God is a God of joy, a God of love. He wants all people to know that He is alive and desires to heal everyone.
We have hosted tent festivals in many cities of Eurasia and Africa and have seen thousands of people being healed. God wants all people to be healthy and that is why He not only desires but also is ready to heal any sickness. God’s Word says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, God delivers you from sins and sickness. God loves all people equally and He does not have favorites. The Scriptures tell us that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that each person would be saved (John 3:16). This applies to every one of us.
No matter what your problem is or what it is that you need, God sent His Son Jesus so that you and I could receive life!
Can there be a more important decision than the one that determines where we spend eternity? Every other decision seems trivial at best when compared with this one. Yet billions, myself included, have made assumptions about salvation that we would never make about any other decision!
Here are three mistakes you can make:
- Not reading the contract for yourself. For 22 years I assumed that the leader of my church had everything under control. He read the contract for us and told us what to do. He read it but never signed it himself or had any of us sign it. We were never told what was required to guarantee a relationship with God and ensure us a place in heaven.
- Not understanding the conditions. I was told I was a good guy, so I assumed I was going to heaven. I presumed that was enough. Millions of people compare themselves with others and believe they are not so bad, so they think they will make it to heaven. I belonged to a big church, so I supposed they could not all be wrong. I thought my church membership would get me in! This is folly. Without a relationship with the living God, you cannot be sure that you are going to heaven.
- The third mistake people make regarding salvation is not knowing a clear path to God exists. My last assumption was that no one could personally know for sure where he or she would spend eternity. Now I realize that if you do not know, you will not go! My greatest moment in life came under an elm tree at Michigan State University in June of 1978. That’s when I made my connection with God. For the first time I knew my past was forgiven and my future in heaven was secure. If I never knew anything else, that alone was enough to enable me to die a happy man!
There is a choice to make.
The power of choice determines your future. Though God loves you and has provided you with a wonderful life on earth and in the time to come, accepting what He has provided is still your choice. Even though God knew you before you were born and provided a purpose and provision for your life, He cannot choose that for you. You must choose it for yourself.
James says we show our faith by our actions (James 2:18–26). In our great meetings we have seen over and over that it was after a person got up and began to move, talk, see, hear that symptoms of deafness, blindness, and paralyzing weakness left.
In Chaco, Argentina, there was a young man sitting in his wheelchair way out on the very edge of the festival grounds. When we challenged the people to do what had been impossible for them to do, he slowly pushed himself up, then took 45 minutes to walk to the platform. To my surprise he did not testify but just walked slowly back. I didn’t understand it until the next night when he walked up the steps and told everyone of his 30 years of paralysis from polio. When I asked why he did not testify the night before, he said that he felt he could walk on ground but not on steps. He practiced steps during the day so he could testify!
We encourage everyone to act. Move! Stretch! Bend! Walk! Look! Talk! Do something to connect with your desire. My friend, your future is in your hands. God has already cast His vote for you. He paid for it all. He believes in you and is in you to see your miracle come to pass. He had a plan and picture of your destiny from the foundation of the earth.
Your faith decision mixed with His wonderful, unmerited, undeserved favor will bring it to pass. It is not based on what life throws at you, and the devil cannot stop you!
This question can be one of the most informative or one of the most destructive questions we can ask. When it comes to discovery, this question has opened the door to fabulous inventions and modern technologies; however, when it comes to life and death the question “WHY” causes many a soul to sink to levels of depression never before experienced. Some aspects of the question “WHY” which pertain to death, dying and destruction will never be resolved until one day when we stand before the creator of humanity.
How do we come to grasp with these issues of “Why?”? First, understand that God is not the creator of evil, but it issues forth from the heart of humanity that is separated from God by sin. Second, recognize that from the very beginning of time there has been a force of evil (Satan) determined to destroy the very creation that God holds as the apple of his eye. Third, realize that it was only the deepest love that created humans different from all creation giving us the faculties of reason, will, humor, imagination, words and decision-making capabilities—and with these abilities come great responsibilities for life, family, country and even our earth.
So today let’s turn our Whys in life into a Why Not?—turning the negativity of depression into the positivity of expression! If you’re down and don’t understand, choose to release this situation to the Lord and find the good that remains in the life or lives around you!
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit (Prov 18:21 NIV).
There was a street sweeper named Boris in Far East Russia that came to one of our meetings. The doors had been open and he was outside the building sweeping in the bitter cold. He heard English being spoken and came in out of curiosity.
As he sat there listening he thought about the very serious decision he had made—the decision that today was going to be his last day to live. He had been thinking about all the Communist government had taken away from him, and then sent him to Siberia to sweep the streets. It was too much! “Who am I?” he asked himself, “What reason do I have to live? Today when I go home I am going to end my life.”
Then he heard the words being spoken to the crowd by my husband, Kevin. “Maybe you are a street sweeper, and maybe the government has told you that you have no hope, no future. But God has sent me to tell you that you have a hope and a future in Him!”
We didn’t know Boris was there, but we saw him at the end of the meeting when he came forward crying and smiling. He told us he was going to write books and be an author. “God told me today that I can write books!” We both thought, that’s the strangest thing I’ve ever heard—you come to receive Jesus and the first thing you say is that you’re going to write books?
Fifteen years later we ran into Boris on the metro in Moscow where he told us that he had gone on to Bible College. Since that meeting we learned that he has become the head of a very large ministry and has, in fact, written several books!
All you need is one idea from God to change your life. He says, come to me for my burden is light and my yoke is easy (Matthew 11:30). Stop working in the strength of your own flesh, and work in His strength instead!
I can think of many testimonies where women have been delivered from the bondage of shame and fear. When I was in Kazakhstan we were conducting a very large woman’s conference, and at the end of the meeting this very little lady came up to me holding a gold chain. She grabbed my hand and put the chain in it saying, “Leslie, my husband is in prison for sharing his faith and I am all alone in my home. I have three small children and I have come from far away. I felt so ashamed and so alone—they closed up the church and the government is against us. I have always asked myself, what did I do to cause this to happen? What sin did I commit that might have sent my husband to prison? But today you have given me hope and reminded me that it is the blood of Jesus that paid the price, and what my husband and I are doing we are doing because Jesus Christ has come to us. Now I know I do not have to be ashamed, I am not the cause of this! I now can come before God with an open face, and I am giving this chain to you to remind you that the women of Uzbekistan will never forget that they have been created in the image of God, and we can come boldly into His presence.”
She ended by saying, “Now I return to my country and I will lift up my head, for I am not ashamed that I am a Christian created in the image of God!”
Faith does not rely on feelings, but it absolutely does foster them. It is what we feel strongly about that happens in our lives. Only in the realm of strong conviction can we weather storms that arise. Our beliefs and our strong feelings must be intertwined to form a powerful seed for change.
Strong feelings could accurately be described as passion. Passion is a mixture of what a person loves and what he hates. Sometimes it’s a love of something that drives his passion to change the world, but at other times, it’s what angers or disappoints him about the world that leads to a passion to change it. All great achievements must be maintained through passion; otherwise, criticisms, setbacks, and pressures will eventually wear achievers down. In order for passion to exist you must be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right.
Without passion you will never stick it out when the going gets tough. It’s passion that keeps you going in the face of insurmountable odds, and it is the same passion that keeps one refusing to quit no matter how painful the journey to the top is. It is the energy that commits to a goal and stays with it.
Jesus gave a Roman centurion—a man who had no covenant with God—a higher compliment than He gave to any of God’s covenant people. Jesus told His disciples that He had not seen greater faith in all of Israel than what He saw in this man (Matt. 8:10). What caused this centurion to receive such a compliment from God? He had evaluated the similarity of authority that He and Jesus carried, and told Jesus to speak the Word only and his servant would be healed.
This soldier’s understanding of how his own word of authority operated in the natural realm gave him perfect understanding of how Jesus’ words operated in the spiritual realm. This centurion had a revelation that words controlled both realms! If that is the case—and Jesus has given us the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 16:19)—then what we say is the road map to our future. We are our own prophet; we declare our own future.
Can this power be abused? Yes. But it was intended to be used by people with a new, God-filled heart to bring about the desires of that heart.
I was once in the city of Ufa and had been preaching there for probably two weeks. At the end of one of my meetings a grandmother came marching up to the front of the platform. She was frustrated. “Pray for me,” she said bluntly. “I have pain in my legs; I’ve been coming to a lot of these meetings, and I still have pain. Pray for me!”
I smiled at her and said, “Babushka [that is grandmother in Russian], what will happen when I pray for you?” She kind of shook her head and said, “Well, I don’t know. Whatever God wants.”
“Babushka, the question has already been decided.” I pointed to her neck. “What’s that hanging on your neck?” She lifted it up and said “A crucifix. A cross with Christ on it.” I said, “Do you see that cross behind me? Do you see that cross at the back of the platform? I walked all the way to the very back of the platform and said, “Babushka, do you see this cross? There is no one hanging on it. Do you know why?” Her eyes got real big and she looked at me.
I continued, “Jesus isn’t there anymore because He already paid the price two thousand years ago, and He has risen from the dead showing you that your sins, your sicknesses, and the devil have been defeated. Do you understand that it happened two thousand years ago?”
I walked back to the front of the platform and looked at her. As I got close to her I said, “Babushka, when were you healed?” She looked up at me with big eyes and said, “Two thousand years ago?” “That’s right,” I replied, “Now do you want me to pray for you?”
Before I could pray a word, she lifted her hands to heaven and began dancing, saying “Oh, oh, I’m healed; two thousand years ago Jesus healed me. You don’t have to pray for me, the pain is gone; I’m healed!!”