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Jan 28 24

The Practical and Spiritual Sides of Healing

by J. M. Farro

   “The prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.”  James 5:15 NASB

   In walking closely with the Lord all these years, I have discovered that, where healing needs are concerned, there is usually a spiritual side, as well as a practical side.  Case in point:  The last time I had serious knee problems, the Lord directed me to see my chiropractor more frequently, as well as to take some homeopathic remedies to reduce inflammation.  That was the practical side.  At the same time, He led me to specific healing promises in His Word that I was to diligently pray and stand on until my healing manifested.  He also showed me which fellow followers of Christ I was to call upon to intercede for me in my time of need.

   The Scripture above reveals a powerful principle with regard to the spiritual side of our healing.  Through the Lord’s mercy, goodness, and grace, faith-filled prayers spoken by God’s people have the power to “restore the one who is sick.”  As a result of these petitions, it is the Lord Himself who will “raise [us] up” again.  I have discovered that praying God’s scriptural promises back to Him is one of the most powerful and effective ways for us to pray.  This is just one more instance of why it is so important for us to have a working knowledge of God’s Word.

   The practical side of healing can be just as important as the spiritual side, because when we pray for the restoration of our health, the Lord will often direct us and expect us to cooperate with the healing process in a practical way.  We see a good example of this principle in Scripture when the prophet Isaiah is sent by God to tell King Hezekiah that he should set his affairs in order because he is going to die. (2 Kings 20:1-7)  When the good king turns his face to the wall and prays for mercy, the Lord graciously decides to extend his life, and He prescribes an ointment of figs to bring about the healing that Hezekiah so desperately needs.  Could God have restored the king to health without the ointment?  No question.  But it was a combination of Hezekiah’s prayer AND a fig ointment that brought about the king’s healing.

   I believe that the Lord has you reading this today because He has a perfect plan for your healing.  If you will lay hold of this message by faith – and apply it to your situation – you will witness the Lord working mightily on your behalf.  Right now, rejoice as good King Hezekiah did:  “Think of it – the Lord is ready to heal me!” (Isaiah 38:20 NLT)

   Lord, I thank You that You have promised to be my Healer. (Exodus 15:26)  Whenever I need healing, please reveal to me the practical side, as well as the spiritual side of my healing.  Make me sensitive and obedient to Your Spirit’s leading in these matters, so that I can walk in divine health, and live the abundant life that You came to give me.  Thank You that as I cooperate with You for my healing, others will see Your favor on my life, and You will be glorified!

   *To order J. M. Farro books on Amazon, please use this link!

   *To purchase J. M. Farro autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with mid-week devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *To contact J. M. Farro by email, please use this address: jmf@jmfarro.com

Jan 21 24

Favor for the Humble

by J. M. Farro

   “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows FAVOR to the humble.’” 1 Peter 5:5 NIV

   When I woke up feeling a bit ill one morning, I immediately sought the Lord.  I sensed in my spirit that mine was not just a physical problem, but a spiritual one.  The Holy Spirit convicted me about how poorly I handled a delicate matter the day before.  Instead of demonstrating humility and respect, I had acted stubbornly and arrogantly.  I repented at once, and the heaviness lifted off of me, and I instantly felt better.

   Scripture instructs us:  “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows FAVOR to the humble.’” (1 Peter 5:5 NIV)  When we sense the absence of God’s favor in our lives and circumstances, it could be that we are not walking in humility toward others.  In that case, the Lord could be “opposing” us, and withholding His blessing and peace.

   Psalm 37:11 (NASB) says: “The humble will inherit the land and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.”  The Bible defines “abundant prosperity” as “unmixed blessedness.”  Think about that.  When we walk humbly before God and in our relationships, we will experience the highest level of divine blessings in our lives.

   The Lord showed me that He doesn’t expect me to be perfect, but He does expect me to be humble.  His Word says, “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.” (Psalm 25:9 NIV)  God richly rewards humble people because they are constantly asking for His direction and help, and He is able to teach them how to receive His best in every area of their lives.  Today, I encourage you to humble yourself before the Lord, and watch what He will do in you, through you, and for you!

   Lord, please help me to enter into a deeper level of humility, so that I can enter into a higher level of divine favor.  Teach me how to humble myself under Your mighty hand, so that You may exalt me at the proper time. (1 Peter 6:7 ESV)  Empower me by Your Spirit to walk in love and compassion in all of my relationships.  Thank You that as I clothe myself with godly humility, I will experience the abundant prosperity and unmixed blessedness that You promise in Your Word!

   *To order J. M. Farro books on Amazon, please use this link!

   *To purchase J. M. Farro autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with mid-week devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *To contact J. M. Farro by email, please use this address: jmf@jmfarro.com

Jan 14 24

Living Well is the Best Revenge

by J. M. Farro

   “All we care about is living well before God.”  Hebrews 13:18 MSG

   I read a quote by George Herbert – the late poet, orator, and Anglican priest – that gave me a new perspective on how to live.  He said, “Living well is the best revenge.”  I discovered that this quote is often used with regard to people who have been wronged, and that it is a plea for them to focus on living good lives, instead of seeking revenge against those who hurt them.

   I am 70 years old now, and I have been married to the same man for more than 48 years.  I have also been a mother for more than 46 years.  You can bet that I have had plenty of chances to get angry, bitter, and offended toward others, including toward my closest loved ones.  I haven’t always been Christlike in my treatment of people that I come in contact with, or that I have been in relationship with, but I am learning that it is best for ME if I refuse to hold grudges against others.  When I am walking in forgiveness, I am truly “living well,” and enjoying the unshakeable peace that my Savior died to give me.

   I have seen enough people NOT living well – and ending up bitter, resentful, and dying a slow death – that I want nothing to do with that kind of lifestyle.  Every time someone hurts me, and I am tempted to strike back or be unforgiving, I think of the people who are bitter and miserable, and it jolts me into giving my wounds over to the Lord, and receiving His comfort and healing.

   The Bible says, “All we care about is living well before God.” (Hebrews 13:18 MSG)  When our goal of “living well” supersedes our desire to “get even” with those who hurt us, we will learn that this kind of “revenge” is indeed the sweetest of all!

   Lord, empower me by Your Spirit to make allowances for other people’s faults, and to forgive anyone who offends me.  Help me to remember that because You have forgiven me, I must forgive others. (Colossians 3:13 NLT)  Don’t ever let me become bitter or unforgiving, and don’t allow me to ever feel comfortable with strife or indignation.  Thank You that as I live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ, the blessings of Your promises will flow unhindered in my life! (Ephesians 5:2 NLT)

    *To order J. M. Farro books on Amazon, please use this link!

   *To purchase J. M. Farro autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with mid-week devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *To contact J. M. Farro by email, please use this address: jmf@jmfarro.com

Jan 7 24

God’s Word Runs Swiftly to You

by J. M. Farro

   “He sends out His command to the earth; His word runs very swiftly.”  Psalm 147:15 NKJV

   This verse of Scripture reveals a powerful truth.  God sends out His Word to accomplish His purposes in the earth, and He does it without delay or difficulty.  As one Bible commentator puts it, “The Lord can deliver His people right speedily, or send them supplies immediately from His courts above.”  When you and I are facing deadlines that have us feeling helpless and hopeless, we can ask and trust the Lord to send whatever we need without delay.

   But there’s much more promise in this verse.  Charles Spurgeon said, “If God’s word runs very swiftly, then it can even overtake those who run away from it.  Not only can the Lord come quickly to those who seek Him, but He can overtake those who hasten away from Him.”  We can pray for our unsaved loved ones, asking God to send His Word to overtake them and draw them to Him.  We have all heard testimonies of people who were “suddenly” captured by the Gospel, and brought into the kingdom of God.

   The Message Bible translation of this verse says, “He launches His promises earthward – how swift and sure they come!”  With thousands of promises in the Bible, every need and desire we will ever face in this life is covered by divine grace.  The Lord is prepared to send His Word and the deliverance, protection, and provision you need today.  Ask Him.  Trust Him.  And watch His promise run swiftly to you!

   Lord, when I am facing needs and deadlines that have me concerned, remind me to ask and trust You to send the perfect provision without delay.  Teach me how to pray for my unsaved loved ones, asking You to send Your Word to overtake them, and to draw them into a deeply intimate and eternal relationship with You.  Thank You for causing Your precious and powerful promises to run very swiftly to supply all of the protection, provision, and deliverances I will ever need!

   *To order J. M. Farro books on Amazon, please use this link!

   *To purchase J. M. Farro autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with mid-week devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *To contact J. M. Farro by email, please use this address: jmf@jmfarro.com

Dec 30 23

Our ‘New Beginning’ God

by J. M. Farro

   “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history.  Be alert, be present.  I’m about to do something brand-new.  It’s bursting out!  Don’t you see it?  There it is!”  Isaiah 43:18-19 MSG  

   When my mother died several years ago, some of my family members were lamenting the fact that her death brought “the end of an era” for our family.  In an effort to encourage them, I began telling them that endings can bring new beginnings.  We weren’t meant to keep looking back.  When we do, we get stuck.  God wants His people continually moving forward.  He wants us constantly looking ahead to the good things He has in front of us.

   This doesn’t mean that the Lord expects us to forget our loved ones when they leave this earth.  Not at all.  We should keep them in remembrance, and even talk about them to others.  But a season of mourning should never become a lifetime of mourning.  We can’t leave one foot in the past and expect to move forward, as the Lord intends for us to do.  When we are driving in our car, if we keep looking in our rearview mirror, we will eventually veer off course, and we will never get where we are supposed to go. 

   Our God is a “new beginning” God.  He desires that we live our lives with great expectations about our future.  The Message Bible puts it this way:  “This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life.  It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike ‘What’s next, Papa?’” (Romans 8:15 MSG)  I am eagerly looking ahead to the amazing new things the Lord has in store.  How about you?

   Lord, when I suffer any kind of loss, help me to turn to You for the deep and lasting comfort, consolation, and healing that can only come from You.  Work in my heart and mind so that I will keep looking forward, and don’t let me get stuck in the past.  Fill me with a sense of hopeful expectation for my future.  Thank You that as I walk closely with You throughout each day, You will lead me along pleasant paths of peace, joy, breakthroughs, and blessings!

   *To order J. M. Farro books on Amazon, please use this link!

   *To purchase J. M. Farro autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with mid-week devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *To contact J. M. Farro by email, please use this address: jmf@jmfarro.com

Dec 24 23

Cast All Your Cares

by J. M. Farro

   “Casting ALL your cares [ALL your anxieties, ALL your worries, and ALL your concerns, once and for ALL] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].”  1 Peter 5:7 AMP

   The verse above is an invitation from Almighty God to release ALL of our cares to Him, rather than trying to carry them ourselves.  Sometimes we withhold certain concerns from the Lord because we don’t want to stop trying to figure them out ourselves.  But in doing so, we shut the door to His loving grace that wants to provide us with a custom-made solution to our problem.

   Here’s something for us to give some serious thought to.  We can worry ourselves sick over what might happen if the worst-case scenario for our problem comes to pass.  And if our fears are realized, we will have to face them feeling ill, weary, and worn out – instead of having a clear sense of direction.

   The Lord longs to carry our cares for us because “He cares about [us] with deepest affection, and watches over [us] very carefully.”  He knows that when we try to handle our concerns ourselves, it can damage our health, ruin our relationships, and cause us to make poor decisions that have far-reaching consequences.

   When we are facing a problem, we can give it over to God by praying something like this:  “Lord, I place this matter in Your very capable hands, and I ask You to not only give me the desires of my heart in this situation, but to do “exceedingly abundantly” above all I ask or imagine!” (Psalm 37:4; Ephesians 3:20 NKJV)

   Today, cast ALL your cares on the Lord – and position yourself to receive His absolute best!

   Lord, please remind me often that You long to be my burden bearer. (Psalm 68:19 NIV)  When I am tempted to hang on to my worries and cares, convict me by Your Spirit, and help me to let go of my concerns once and for all.  Help me to position myself to receive the custom-made solutions to my problems that are Your best for me.  Thank You that as I commit ALL of my cares and anxieties to You, You will cause every problem to work for my good and Your glory!

   *To order J. M. Farro books on Amazon, please use this link!

   *To purchase J. M. Farro autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with mid-week devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *To contact J. M. Farro by email, please use this address: jmf@jmfarro.com

Dec 17 23

Expect God’s Goodness

by J. M. Farro

   “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  James 1:16-17 NIV

   As I write this, those of us in Eastern Pennsylvania are enjoying some spring-like weather with Christmas only a week away.  The fact is, I earnestly prayed for this weather, so as far as I am concerned, it is a gift from God, and I am thanking Him for it.

   Yet, almost every time we are blessed with nice weather in the midst of winter here, someone seems to say, “This is great weather, but we are really going to pay for it!”  So, I have gotten in the habit in recent years of praying that when we are blessed with extraordinary weather, the Lord will neutralize any harm that it would bring us, and make it work for our good.  And you know what?  God has always done exactly that.  Why?  Simply because I asked – and expected – Him to.

   Scripture says:  “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:16-17 NIV)  Contrary to popular opinion, God doesn’t give us a blessing, and then make us suffer for it.  But we can call hardship, disaster, and calamity to us when we speak words of doubt and disbelief – instead of words of gratitude and thanksgiving.  We have to remember that the enemy of our souls is constantly looking for any opportunity to use our own words and ingratitude against us.

   The Bible says: “Watch this: God’s eye is on those who respect Him, the ones who are looking for His love.  He’s ready to come to their rescue in bad times; in lean times He keeps body and soul together.” (Psalm 33:18-19 MSG)  Don’t be deceived, dear one.  Believe that because you belong to Him, the Lord longs to bless you every day of your life with all kinds of spiritual and earthly blessings.  Whatever you are going through right now, begin saying – “Lord, I am expecting You to show me Your goodness in this situation!” – because our God cannot resist an expectant heart!

    Lord, work in my heart so that I will never entertain the notion that when You give us an unexpected blessing, You will eventually make us suffer for it.  Help me to believe with every fiber of my being that You are a good God, and that You have only good gifts for those who are devoted to You.  Teach me how to guard my mouth and my words so that I don’t unwittingly call disaster and hardship to myself through doubt and unbelief.  Thank You that as I always believe the best of You – and continually give You thanks and praise – You will pour on the blessings in every area of my life! 

   *To order J. M. Farro books on Amazon, please use this link!

   *To purchase J. M. Farro autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with mid-week devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *To contact J. M. Farro by email, please use this address: jmf@jmfarro.com

Dec 10 23

Never Stop Praying

by J. M. Farro

   “Never stop praying.”  1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT

   If we look at the apostle Paul’s instructions in the Scripture above, they can seem overwhelming.  How can we as followers of Christ “never stop praying”?  This kind of prayer is not always the kind where we must stop what we are doing and get on our knees to petition God.  It’s the kind where we maintain a running dialog with our Savior throughout our day.

   I like to think of it as being on the phone with God night and day.  We stay on the line continually, and we never hang up the phone!  We constantly keep the lines of communication with Him open.  We wake up conversing with the Lord.  We go to sleep talking to Him.  We share our concerns and deepest secrets with Him.  We pray His promises back to Him.  And we continually give thanks to Him for all things great and small. 

   Since I have been conversing with the Lord nonstop, my anxiety level has decreased dramatically.  As I speak to Him throughout my day, I am reminded that I am never, ever alone.  And I never have to fear anything or anyone, because when I face problems in this life, I am facing them with the help of my Heavenly Father, who is the all-powerful, all-knowing Creator of the Universe, my own personal Protector and Provider.

   The other day, my grandson, William, was telling me about a sermon he heard earlier that day during the chapel service at his school.  A visiting pastor asked the students to think about what they do first each morning.  I told Will that the first thing I do when I awaken – and even when I’m only half awake – is to talk to God.  I don’t even get out of bed until I have covered my loved ones and myself in prayers of faith.  Even though my husband, Joe, and I have been together for 50 years, he is not the first one I speak to each morning – God is.

   When we have this kind of intimate relationship with the Lord, our prayers will have tremendous power.  He will tell us who to pray for, and how to pray for them.  And He will equip us with everything we need to make an eternal difference in people’s lives.  Today, I join with the apostle Paul in urging YOU to “never stop praying!”

   Lord, today I ask You to draw me into a deeply intimate and eternal relationship with You.  I want to know You in every way that You can be known.  Show me how to maintain a running dialog with You throughout each day.  Teach me how to hear and to heed Your voice.  Remind me to talk to You first each morning, before anyone else.  Thank You that as I seek You first each day, my prayers and petitions will have tremendous power!

   *To order J. M. Farro books on Amazon, please use this link!

   *To purchase J. M. Farro autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with mid-week devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *To contact J. M. Farro by email, please use this address: jmf@jmfarro.com

Dec 3 23

Write It Down

by J. M. Farro

   “Thus speaks the Lord God of Israel, saying: ‘Write in a book for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you.’”  Jeremiah 30:2 NKJV

   I have heard many teachers and preachers over the years urging God’s people to keep a daily journal.  And I have done that myself on and off.  Recently, the Lord showed me a verse in the Bible that convinced me that it was time to take this sort of thing more seriously.  “Thus speaks the Lord God of Israel, saying: ‘Write in a book FOR YOURSELF all the words that I have spoken to you.’” (Jeremiah 30:2 NKJV)  This was God’s way of telling me that recording His personal promises and instructions to me was for my own benefit.  And it didn’t take long for Him to prove it to me.

   One morning, as I spent time alone in God’s presence and Word, He showed me some verses about healing.  I had seen them many times before, and I had even memorized them, but I felt strongly that I was supposed to write them down in my journal.  The next day, when I woke up feeling sick, faith and confidence immediately rose up in me as I felt armed with those Scriptures to come against the illness that had come against me.  And I became convinced more than ever that writing down the words and promises that God speaks to me is for my own benefit.

   If you keep a daily journal, then my guess is that you already know the immense value of this spiritual discipline.  If you don’t, I invite you to ask the Lord to show you how you can start doing this very thing – for your own good, and for His glory!

   Lord, speak to my heart about keeping a faith journal of some kind.  Lead me to record “all the words that [You] have spoken to [me],” when it is Your will for me to do so.  Help me to spend regular, consistent time in Your presence and Your Word.  Teach me how to pray the prayers of Your heart for myself and others.  Thank You that as I follow the leading of Your Holy Spirit in these areas, You will reveal Yourself to me in life-changing ways!

   *To order J. M. Farro books on Amazon, please use this link!

   *To purchase J. M. Farro autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with mid-week devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *To contact J. M. Farro by email, please use this address: jmf@jmfarro.com

Nov 26 23

You Are God’s Property

by J. M. Farro

   “Remember [earnestly] also your Creator [that you are not your own, but His property now].”  Ecclesiastes 12:1 AMP

   During my quiet time with the Lord the other day, He showed me a verse in the Amplified Bible that was a sobering reminder for me.  Ecclesiastes 12:1 says: “Remember [earnestly] also your Creator [that you are not your own, but His property now].”  For years, I have been declaring to Satan and his evil cohorts that I am the property of Almighty God, and under His protection.  But if I am honest, there are still times in my everyday life that I don’t behave like a child of the King.

   The apostle Paul reiterates the fact that God’s saved ones belong entirely to Him when he says: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV)  Paul was warning God’s people against sexual immorality, but this principle applies to every area of our life.

   Paul also wrote: “So we make it our goal to please Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:9 NIV)  And here is the bottom line.  In all things, our goal should be to do whatever is most pleasing to the Lord.  When we choose our entertainment, our goal should be to please God.  With our relationships, especially our close relationships, our focus should be on pleasing the Lord.  Even where our eating and drinking habits are concerned, our greatest desire should be to please God.  As Paul writes, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV)

   If we remember that every command and guideline that the Lord gives us in His Word is for our own protection and benefit, it won’t be so difficult for us to do what honors Him most.  And Scripture assures us that we will have God’s divine power working on our behalf the whole time.  As it is written, “God is working in you, giving you the DESIRE and the POWER to do what pleases Him.” (Philippians 2:13 NLT)  Hallelujah!

   Lord, I believe that because of my faith in Christ, I belong to You, and I am Your property.  Remind me often that I am not my own – I was bought with a heavy and precious price – and Your will is for me to honor You with every part of myself, including my body.  Thank You that You have begun a good work in me, and You will continue to perfect and complete it until the day of Christ’s return!  (Philippians 1:6 AMP)

   *To order J. M. Farro books on Amazon, please use this link!

   *To purchase J. M. Farro autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with mid-week devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *To contact J. M. Farro by email, please use this address: jmf@jmfarro.com