I am the resurrection and life. Whoever believes in me though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”John 11:25-26, ESV
NCFI Cares: Our Great Intercessor
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”Luke 22:31-32
In one evening, Peter experienced the full circle of faith, weariness, fear, and despair. He was in the Upper Room when Jesus washed his feet to indicate service and love (John 13:1-9). When Jesus tells the group that someone will betray him, Peter joined the other disciples in proclaiming, “Surely not I, Lord.” (Matthew 26:21-22). As Jesus prepared the disciples for what was about to transpire, Peter, once again boldly proclaimed, “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away.” (Matthew 26:33). Jesus went further and warned Peter of Satan’s testing. The courageous, bold fisherman will be broken and his faith will be challenged.
The evening continued and Peter was with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane trying to keep his eyes open. Once again, Jesus warned Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mark 14:37-38).
Judas, accompanied by Roman guards and religious leaders, identified Jesus with a kiss and the betrayal was set. In fear and confusion, Peter reacted with earthly strength and cut off an ear. Jesus immediately healed the centurion and reminded Peter of the Father’s will (John 18:11-12).
Suddenly, the world has changed. Disciples fled fleeing while Jesus was arrested. In a matter of a few hours, Peter had experienced a whirlwind of events and emotions. He was dazed, confused and left to wonder at the validity of the Jesus’ claim as the Son of God. He was vulnerable and couldn’t imagine how his world could get worse, but it did. Three denials later, Peter is in despair. In shock and anguish Peter came to the realization that he has spurned his best friend, master, and teacher. The worst part was Jesus knew it would happen!
And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. (Matthew 26:75)
Jesus knew Peter needed to be tested. He needed to experience the betrayal and the subsequent bitter grief. Peter needed to leave fishing behind and come out on the other side as a strong leader. James 1:3-4 says, “for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
What we see today that Peter probably didn’t understand until later, is it could have been worse. Peter could have fallen away and left the new church without a leader. Thankfully, Jesus prayed specifically for Peter’s faith. Yes, Peter would deny Christ. Yes, the experience would leave Peter in despair and sorrow. Yet, Jesus was not done with Peter. He reaffirmed and restored Peter/s faith and their relationship. In Acts 2, Peter is boldly proclaiming the gospel to all in Jerusalem.
We have the same assurance that as Jesus interceded for Peter during one of his most difficult tests, Jesus will intercede for us. We will be tested. Not that God tests us (John 1:3). Instead, God uses difficult times to mature our faith, to increase our trust in Him, and to complete His perfect will (Romans 12:2). Our spiritually wise brother, Peter, poignantly teaches us:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:3-7)
And like Peter we will come out on the other side of the testing perfect, complete and with a steadfast faith.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)
Whatever you are going through you are not alone. Find assurance and strength in knowing Jesus is praying for you!
NCFI Cares: Divine Nourishment
“Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.” (1 Kings 19:7)
Last time we discussed how we need rest and rejuvenation to recover from spiritual and physical exhaustion. Elijah not only slept under the broom tree, but he also received nourishment from Heaven. This was no ordinary angel that ministered to Elijah. Biblical scholars teach that the “angel of the Lord” in this passage is the pre-incarnate Christ. The Eternal Word personally provided Elijah with the following divine nourishment. (1)
- God’s love and grace.
- Elijah was assured of God’s love and grace even when he tried to run from his presence.
- God’s abiding presence.
- In our lowest point of feeling of depression, rejection, and failure, God does not abandon us.
- God’s strength
- The meal the Angel of the Lord prepared energized Elijah to travel 40 days and 40 nights to Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19:8)
- God’s assurance of His plan and our work.
- God was not done with Elijah and would provide for his next mission.
Yet those who wait for the Lord,
Will gain new strength;
You will mount up with wings like eagles,
You will run and not get tired,
You will walk and not become weary. (Isaiah 40:31 personalized with You)
Our divine nourishment is find in the Angel of the Lord/Jesus Christ (Phi 4:19).
(1) The Restoration of Elijah 1 Kings 19:4-18, Keathly III, J. H. https://bible.org/seriespage/16-restoration-elijah-1-kings-195-18
NCFI Cares: Teachings from the Apostle Peter
How useful are the letters of the Apostle Peter in the Bible? Both the first and the second book of Peter give us a guide on how to act as children of God in all areas of our spiritual, social and work life.
As we review the first book, we find the life that we have as believers in Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1: 3 says:
Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy caused us to be reborn for a living hope, for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, for an incorruptible, uncontaminated and untouchable inheritance, reserved in the heavens to you, who are guarded by the power of God through faith, to achieve the salvation that is prepared to be manifested in the last time.
Are you aware of what this verse really means? We have been bought at a price, the blood of the son of GOD, to receive an incorruptible precious inheritance. Thus, in our actions and in our daily walk we show a spiritual poverty by giving of ourselves to our fellow men; then we participate in something that has a tremendous dimension not only materially, but spiritually. The letter also says that these things that were given to us, even the angels long to look (1 Peter 1:12).
We have a living hope that we must share with others: to our colleagues who have no hope; to those who drudge through their daily routine; to the sick who expect a living word through our speech or action; to students who need our support so much; and to the entire health care team.
From chapter 1 verse 13 onwards he tells us about living a life of holiness. With understanding, as obedient children and without conforming to being equal, or behaving as we did before in our ignorance. He is holy. He is our supreme example.
Later in chapter 3: He spoke to us of being merciful, compassionate, friendly, and a blessing to others. Knowing that we were called to inherit blessing. Imagine, how much our hospitals would change if each believer working in them practiced each of these words? The sick would heal faster.
In chapter 4: He speaks of being good stewards, “each one according to the gift he has received, minister to others, as good stewards of the multiform grace of God. ” It is repeated in the letter, “Be sober and watch in prayer.” It does not say sad or boring. Be wise and watchful in prayer, is different. The Spirit of God will lead us to be as God wants us to be. Thus we can praise him, as Peter did:
the God of all grace who called us to His eternal glory in Christ, will himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be the glory and the empire for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:10-11.
Lic. Martha Fernández Moyano
IB Member of NCFI, Argentina
NCFI Cares: Yahweh Roi: The LORD is My Shepherd
This name for God came from David’s Psalm, 23. As David meditated upon the Lord’s guidance and care throughout his life, he called Yahweh, Roi or Shepherd. David was reminded of his younger days when he was a young shepherd boy caring for a flock of sheep.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Noticed how David didn’t just say “The Shepherd” he personalized with “my” communicating the intimate relationship David had with his LORD. Then David goes on to describe all that a shepherd does for his sheep, in comparison to all his LORD had done for him.
As New Testament believers, we are even more intimately acquainted with our shepherd, the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ. He knows us, he calls us by our name, we recognize his voice, and he will lead us (John 10:3, 27).
The beautiful part of Psalm 23 is its familiarity to both Christians and non-Christians. The simplistic verses provide guidance and comfort to even non-believers. Since most people have heard of the passage, it is easy to share with patients and families, colleagues and friends. I encourage you share the timeless truth of Yahweh Roi with others.
Here are a couple options of Psalm 23 to music:
NCFI Cares: Wait, Wait, and Wait, BUT
I am going to share an interesting things here today for all of us. When we go outside for meeting people, we have to take an appointment and have to wait for that time and sometimes need more time even we have given a specific time.
We have to; Wait, Wait and Wait BUT
Interestingly, the Creator of the Universe, the Eternal God, has made Himself available for me or us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Yet I am often preoccupied with lesser activities instead of availing myself to His offer – His presence, His attentive ear, and His guidance. How sad that I/we would ignore so great an opportunity.
Repeatedly, Jesus said to those who would follow Him, “…come…”. (Mark 1:17)
He has made Himself available. Will we join today and this week in availing ourselves to the wonder of God’s Presence? We don’t need to make an appointment. Just take some time and talk to him, tell him our problem and come more close to HIM.
In Bangladesh last few weeks we prayed a lot, many people in many places for LAMB, for our staff safety, for our Bangladesh but that week is not enough for us. As a Christian leader and a Christian person, we have to pray to him all the time even when we are walking on the path, even we meeting with the people, whether we are happy or even sad, can just tell our God, please God blessed us through this meeting and help us to talk nicely, protect us from any evil spirit, keep us healthy, give us your wisdom and peace in our mind, give us whatever we need.
Guest Contributor: Bulbuli Mollick, Bangladesh, NCFI International Board Member
Prayer Point: Every issue of NCFI Cares will come with a prayer point to encourage your prayerful support of nurses around the world.
This month take time to pray for the leaders in your national fellowship. If you are unfamiliar with them, then click on NCFI Website. Look across the top menu and find Regions. Here you will find links and contact information for your national fellowship.
NCFI Cares: My Work Christ’s Home
Jesus said, “If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come into him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14:23)
When I was a brand new baby Christian more than 24 years ago, a fellow believer gave me a novella entitled “My Heart Christ’s Home” written by Robert Boyd Munger (1951). The story is about a new Christian with Christ in his heart, inviting the Lord into all areas of his life through the metaphor of a home. For example, when the new believer shows Christ the library and the recreational room, Christ points out the importance of inviting Christ into our reading and into leisurely activities. We as believers can compartmentalize our Christianity. Meaning we keep Christ on Sunday and our family, but we may be tempted to leave our faith out of our non-Christian relationships, television or movie choices, or our work environment,
As I reflected on the simple, yet powerful truths found in the novella, I thought of nursing. As Christian nurses we seek to live out Christ’s life and teachings in our clinics, schools, and/or hospitals. Christ doesn’t want to just come into the comfortable areas of our work and reside as a guest. Christ wants to dwell in every work relationship, every patient encounter, every project, class and meeting.
I encourage you to take time to allow Christ to walk through each area of nursing. Even though, many of us are mature believers, I am sure each of us will find a locked closet, a dusty cabinet, or even a hidden room that we have kept from his Spirit. The good news is we can always repent. “I saw it in a minute and dropping to my knees, I said, “Lord, You have been a guest and I have been the host. From now on I am going to be the servant. You are going to be the owner and Master and Lord.” (Munger)
Click on the link for free pdf of My Heart Christ Home.
NCFI Cares: Power Up!
As we stand firm in truth, righteousness, and peace we need a protective shield to guard our spirit from the flaming arrows of Satan. Thankfully we have a shield of faith. This is not the strength of our belief or faith as a defense weapon. Nor does it come from our ability to believe it works. Instead it is based on fidelity, “the character of the one who can be relied upon.” Thus, our shield of faith comes from the attributes or character of Christ. Jesus is all powerful, all knowing and demonstrates sovereignty over heaven and earth throughout all of time (Revelation 5:12-13; 22:13).
Outfitted with our nursing uniform for spiritual warfare, we might imagine ourselves as a children’s fictional superhero. Who, when confronted by an evil villain, transforms into a supercharged warrior. Our essential garment includes a helmet to protect our thoughts and we stand secured in the righteousness of our Redeemer. We expertly yield our sword while protecting our self with a shield of faith. We are fastened by truth found in Christ while attuned to where our peaceful sandals leads us (Ephesians 6:13-17)
Next time, we see flaming arrows of Satan locked onto our spirit. We can “power up” our nursing uniform fortified in the power of our Mighty Warrior.
Prayer: Our Lord is faithful to strengthen you and protect you from the evil one while directing your hearts toward his love and the endurance of Christ, amen. (1 Thessalonians 3:3-5)
NCFI Cares: “Come Quickly, Lord”
Our discussion of a heavenly hope and a place without sickness brings us closer to the end of this time—the return of Jesus Christ. This hope is based on the promises made by Jesus Christ to the disciples as recorded in the gospels—“Do not be troubled, I go to prepare a place for you and I will return to take you there to live with me” (John 14:1-3, Matthew 24:29–31). In Christian language we call this event, The Second Coming. Even though the timing of the event is unknown, we have a description of Jesus’ impending arrival:
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
Just like modern day Christians, the believers during Paul’s time were asking, “When will Jesus return?” And like us, the wait seems endless. Especially when violence spreads through our countries and new diseases and plagues continue to inflict suffering and pain upon us and our patients. It is easy to become discouraged. We may fluctuate between impatience with frustrating cries of “WHEN Lord!” versus murmuring in apathy. “Whatever, Lord.”
Paul, the writer to the believers in Thessalonica, knew they needed more than just a reminder, they needed to have hope. Thus, he encouraged them to support one another and to maintain vigilance.
Let’s takes Paul’s advice. As we anticipate and wait for Jesus to return, we can pray and inspire our fellow believers to stay steadfast, while at the same time hasten the Lord to “come” quickly (Revelation 22:17, 20)
We wait for the happy fulfillment of our hope in the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13)
p.s. For those who lost loved ones in the Malaysian Flight MH17, please know our hearts are broken at your loss and our prayers fill the Lord’s chamber with tears and sadness.
Importance of Hope
Hope is the basis of Christianity, for without the death and resurrection of Christ, our faith is meaningless and we are without hope (1 Corinthians 15:4).
- look up each scripture cited in the article
- spend time in prayer and meditation
- seek the Lord to open your heart and mind to the truth contained in the passage
- explore ways to live out hope personally and professionally
- examine your life for areas of insecurity, worry, fear etc (evidences of a lack of hope)
- conclude your time by thanking the Lord for his hope, rooted and found in Him