Luke 9:11, NIV
“Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need.”
I must have read this verse on many, many occasions before it jumped out of the page of my Bible and hit me between the eyeballs! At the time I was praying into the future work that God had called me into and was asking Him what we should teach on the Healing Retreats that would take place at our Centre when it was opened. I was looking for God’s strategy for the ministry and not my own good ideas.
It was as if the Holy Spirit arrested me and made me go back and read that particular verse time and time again – until it had become so much a part of me that I would never forget it. And the more I read it the more I realised that here, in this almost throw away comment in the story of the feeding of the five thousand, was the key to my own life’s calling.
To Welcome (show love), Teach (about the Kingdom of God) and to bring Healing to people in need, is not just the foundation stone of Ellel Ministries, but should be the essence of what ‘Church’ is wherever Christians gather together in fellowship. These three things are at the very heart of the Gospel. Love is the eternal magnet which draws the heart of man to the heart of God. It is only when people feel loved, safe and secure that they will really listen with their hearts to the teaching they receive. And it is only when they have received and understood the teaching that they can really apply it in their lives.
It is exactly twenty five years ago today that we first opened the doors of Ellel Grange and began to welcome those in need of healing through our doors My heart is full of gratitude to the Lord for all He has done in so many lives across the years and across the nations. But no matter how far the work spreads I will never forget that moment when God electrified Luke 9:11 and taught me the most important lesson of my Christian life – a lesson which is still bringing hope and restoration to people across the world today.
When you read the Word of God, always be open in your spirit for that ‘electrified’ moment, when God grips your heart with vital truth. Be ready to let God change the direction of your life as you learn to trust Him and His Word.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that You are always ready to speak to me through Your Word. Help me to always have my spiritual ears open to listen to your voice so that I won’t miss important lessons that you want me to hear, understand and live out day by day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.