Charisma Magazine | Informing Christians from Spirit-filled Perspective.

In the Gospels, Jesus showed compelling love. Are we ready to do that?
In the Gospels, Jesus showed compelling love. Are we ready to do that? (Lightstock)

"He asked his father, 'How long has it been since it came to him?' He said, 'From childhood. Often it has thrown him into the fire and into the water to kill him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us'" (Mark 9:21-22).

Jesus helps children. You see that in the Gospel of Mark. He raised from death the 12-year-old daughter of Jairus (5:35-43), and healed the little daughter of a Greek woman (7:24-30). Now, for the third time in this Gospel, a desperate parent has come to Jesus with concern for his child.

Jesus' question to the dad is a curious one: "How long has he been like this?" Didn't Jesus already know? I suspect He did. The onlookers, however, did not. When the father identified the possession as one of long standing, the crowd realized the severity of the problem. Additionally, the father volunteered that the demon had tried to kill the boy by throwing him into fire and water.

What a nightmare this must have been for the dad. He had to constantly watch over his son, helpless when the boy went into convulsions but ever vigilant to rescue him from burning or drowning. The fact that the father said his son had suffered this condition from childhood suggests that now this boy may be in his teenage years or older.

The father's love is compelling. It speaks volumes to all parents who have severely disabled children, children who require constant, watchful care. Here before us is a parent who loves his child deeply even though the son's condition severely impinged on the father's own daily life and schedule. Absent from the story is the mother. Is it possible that, like so many parents, she could no longer deal with the disabled son and left the home and marriage?

The father doesn't know if Jesus can do anything. His question is a pitiful plea, "If you can do anything ... help us."

Jesus is not physically present today, but we, His church, are.

How do we respond to the terribly hurtful adversities children suffer? The neglect and abuse of children has reached epidemic proportions in our culture.

Can we help even one foster child, one son or daughter of a prisoner, one malnourished or poverty-stricken child, a disabled boy or girl, a child used for human trafficking? Are we willing to help a single parent?

We can so easily allow our crowded schedules and busy routines to wall us off from the needs of children. We must hear their cries and the plea also of a distressed parent, "If you can do anything ... help us."

I like the story of the old man walking the beach at daybreak. He was throwing back into the surf starfish that had washed up on the sand. A smarty teenager followed him and said, "Old man, what are you doing? There are millions of starfish on this beach, and they're going to die when the sun comes out. What difference does it make what you do?"

The old man held a starfish in his hand and, as he tossed it back into the water, replied, "It matters to this one."

Indeed, we may not be able to do everything, but we can always do something! It matters to this one.

A Prayer: Lord Jesus, the father's plea haunts me. It calls me to listen to the cries of others. May I not remain passive or impotent in meeting the needs of others, especially children, who come to me this day.

George O. Wood is the general superintendent of the Assemblies of God. For the original article, visit georgeowood.com.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

  • Rev. Samuel Rodriguez was the first Hispanic pastor in history to pray at a presidential inauguration.

    At Trump Inauguration, Charismatic Leaders Pray Boldly in Jesus' Name. Is This Foreshadowing a New Day in America?

    It was an amazing day to let religious freedom ring in America.

  • Pastor Jim Garlow in a file photo shown praying.

    Conservative Christian Leaders Gather in DC, Calling Trump's Election an Answer to Prayer

    "Although the news media is predicting protests, what I'm seeing is that everyone is abuzz ...

  • Donald Trump certainly needs your prayers.

    Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump

    Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly.

  • When I flew into D.C. yesterday, there were so many Secret Servicemen on the plane I wondered what was going on!

    Jennifer LeClaire Releases Urgent Prophetic Warning Over Washington, D.C.

    When I flew into D.C. yesterday, there were so many Secret Servicemen on the plane I wondered what ...

  • Here's a prophetic word for Washington, D.C.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Raising Up Daniels in DC

    I believe we're on the precipice of a Third Great Awakening the Lord spoke to my heart about in ...

  • Does any of this reflect what's going on in your marriage?

    9 Characteristics of a Healthy Sexual Relationship for a Believer

    A healthy sexual relationship for a Christian couple takes effort, and it's worth working for.

  • Churches don't address this topic affecting women.

    The Secret Sorrow Women Carry

    This woman breaks the silence about a taboo subject to help restore many women.

  • Bishop Eddie Long died at 63.

    Bishop Eddie Long Dead at 63

    "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate ...

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit