Sunday, September 30, 2007

Staying humble is critical

It is a good thing to want to be used mightily by God. However, our desire must be focused squarely on God’s glory and never on our own. The temptation is great for our pride and selfishness to creep in.

Sometimes we justify these prideful thoughts and selfish ambitions by thinking that “if we just become more popular, then we will have opportunity for more influence for God”. We must reject these deceitful and dangerous ideas. We must make the decision daily to be the servant and to humble ourselves before God. He will lift us up and use us for his glory.
Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. – Matthew 20:26-28

For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. - Matthew 23:12

Friday, September 28, 2007

"Everything Must Change". Really?

Keeping an eye on the Emerging Church movement, Tim Challies provides an insightful review and summary of Brian McClaren's book "Everything Must Change". Here's a taste, but make sure you read the whole review. Thank you Tim.
It seems increasingly clear that the new kind of Christian McLaren seeks is no kind of Christian at all. The church on the other side of his reinvention is a church devoid of the glorious gospel of Christ’s atoning death. It is a church utterly stripped of its power because it is a church stripped of the gospel message. McLaren’s new gospel is a social gospel, a liberal gospel and, in fact, no gospel at all. This Emerging Church has managed to do something remarkable—it has emerged into something the church has already seen, has already wrestled with, and has already defeated. The Emerging Church has gone suicidal. READ ENTIRE ARTICLE

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Where is our loyalty?

I found the following commentary of Luke 9:59-61 from Oswald Chambers both challenging and right on the money.
He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." - Luke 9:59 .

This man did not want to disappoint Jesus, nor did he want to show a lack of respect for his father. We put our sense of loyalty to our relatives ahead of our loyalty to Jesus Christ, forcing Him to take last place. When your loyalties conflict, always obey Jesus Christ whatever the cost.

Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family." - Luke 9:61 .

The person who says, "Lord, I will follow you, but . . .," is the person who is intensely ready to go, but never goes. This man had reservations about going. The exacting call of Jesus has no room for good-byes; good-byes, as we often use them, are pagan, not Christian, because they divert us from the call. Once the call of God comes to you, start going and never stop. Oswald Chambers: My Utmost for His Highest. September 27th.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Is Jesus just a ticket to heaven?

Jesus is our savior. No man can enter heaven except through Jesus. However, is it appropriate to view him as our “ticket to heaven”? Back in the day, the Jews wouldn’t even speak or write the name of God. They approached God out of sincere humility, extreme reverence and complete respect. In contrast, modern Christianity has reduced Jesus to a ticket. Be a follower of Christ and get your ticket. Do we follow Christ in order to get our ticket - to receive our “get out of hell free” card, or do we follow him because he is who he is? I don’t know about you, but I don’t worship a ticket. Jesus is the Son of God, our Savior, the King of Kings, the Great High Priest, the Lord of Lords, the Almighty, the Messiah…

In light of this, this little trinket that is sold by a Christian retailer (pictured above) just didn’t sit quite right with me.

Here’s something to ponder: are you following Christ only for the ticket? Are you primarily interested in what you can get out of this relationship? Would you follow Jesus if he weren’t the ticket?

Almighty Lord, may I follow you out of a sincere heart of love, humility, reverence, and awe simply for who you are. I always want it to be about you and never about what you can do for me.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Can anything good come from Nazareth? How about from you?

Why should anyone listen to you when you share the gospel? Would anyone put their faith in Christ because of you? What kind of credibility do you have with others? Aren’t you just a regular guy; just like everyone else?

Well, people said a similar thing about Jesus. He was just the son of a carpenter from the small and insignificant town of Nazareth. Nazareth was a backwater village. It was a tiny hick-town. Nothing noteworthy and no one of importance came from Nazareth, definitely not someone worth leaving everything you have to follow - your family, job, and possessions.
Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked. "Come
and see," said Philip. - John 1:45-46
It was when Jesus demonstrated the power of God that his glory was revealed and then the disciples put their faith in him.
This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him. - John 2:11
Do people want to put their faith in Christ because of the way you live your life? Does your life demonstrate the power of God? Is your life changed in real ways? Are your actions and words notably different? Does your life reveal the glory of God? Have you been transformed or are you still just like everyone else?

Our lives need to be a dramatic testimony of God’s transforming and redemptive power. When we submit ourselves to Christ and allow the power of God to thoroughly change us and when the power of God is invited to work through us, people will see the glory of God. Your life will have gone from obscurity to eternal significance for the kingdom of God.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Jake's debut - part 1

My oldest son's very first time leading worship. He's the one on lead guitar and he's only 11. I am a proud Daddy. (check out the guitar solo near the end of the 2nd song)

Here are the links to part 2 and part 3 of his first worship service.

Friday, September 21, 2007

God’s wage – more than we deserve.

Read the parable of the workers in the vineyard – Matthew 20:1-16. Notice that all received the same wage and that the wage was fair. I propose that the wage was more than any of them deserved or really earned. The landowner was generous to all – even to the ones who worked all day.

Have you given your life to Christ? Then rejoice because you are now serving and living in the kingdom of God. You are in the vineyard and in the employ of the ultimate landowner. You are living and working for God himself and in his company. Your time in his employ is not in vain. Did you come to Christ at a young age? That is wonderful because you have come to Christ and your life’s service is for the kingdom. Don’t ever regret your time working in the vineyard serving the landowner. Don’t grumble because you have worked in the vineyard longer than others and therefore think you deserve, or have earned, more than others. Remember, it is only by God’s grace that you are in the vineyard and his wage is much more than any of us deserve – no matter how long or hard we work.

Notice that the workers who started in the morning did not quit at lunchtime because it got to hard. No, they worked until the workday was complete. So, don’t use God’s grace and generosity as an excuse for slacking off, taking a long break, or walking off the jobsite early. If we do not walk off the jobsite and out of the vineyard, we will get the ultimate wage – eternal life in the presence and service of the King of Kings.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bob Dylan Loves Transformed Daily

It's harvest time

There is a time for planting, but also a time for the harvest. We are called to both sow seeds for the kingdom, but also to bring in the harvest.
Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few." - Matt. 9:37
What happens when the crop is neglected and not harvested? What happens when it is left standing in the field too long? It shrivels up and dies. The opportunity has passed. The crop is lost.

Yes, we are called to plant kingdom seeds, but we are also called to harvest. We must be daily working the fields and not allowing the crops to die due to lack of attention or lack of workers. What does harvesting look like? Well, Jesus sent out his 12 disciples to bring in the harvest and told them to touch lives and perform miracles and healings. However, his primary instruction was to preach the kingdom of God and repentance. Harvesting is bringing people into the kingdom of God, into a life of repentance, complete submission to the Lord, and victory in Christ.
They went out and preached that people should repent. - Mark 6:12
As followers of Christ, let’s challenge each to be doers of the Word, not just hearers. Let’s spur each other on to roll up our sleeves and bring in the harvest.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What’s in your tackle box?

If we are a disciple of Christ, we are called to be a fisher of men; an evangelist. So, what’s in your tackle box? What tools of the trade have you acquired in order to be successful at the task of fishing for men?

Fishermen use different techniques and bait based on the conditions, environment, and what they are trying to catch. Sometimes they use a fly, they cast, they troll, or they bobber fish. Lures are often used, but so is live bait. And at times, they even pull out the nets. The good ones come prepared for any condition and are able to adapt as those conditions change.

Paul made sure he had a full and diverse tackle box:
Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under he law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having he law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. – 1 Corinthians 9:19-22
If we are going follow Christ and fish for men, we must fill our evangelism tackle box. We must be trained to recognize the conditions and adapt. We must know when to be patient and when to get aggressive; when to use the bobber and when to use the nets.

Have you spent the time acquiring the tools of the trade? Have you been trained to skillfully use these tools? Do you know how to adapt your techniques?

Fishing is not a game of luck. Serious fishermen do not leave it up to chance. They are prepared, studied, and practiced. The result is consistent success.

So, what’s in your tackle box?

Lord, pour out your grace on me and help me fill my tackle box. Give me a passion for evangelism and the boldness to use the tools you have provided for me as a fisher of men.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Called to fish

Upon calling his disciples, Jesus told them that he was going to make them “fishers of men.” He told them that he was going to make them into evangelists. We clearly see that evangelism was at the heart of Jesus’ call to his disciples.
"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." – Matthew 4:19 & Mark 1:17
"Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men." – Luke 5:10
What does a disciple of Christ look like? Well, Jesus leads with the value of evangelism. If we are in the business of creating true disciples of Christ, then we will be in the business of making fishers of men – evangelists.

Is this a core value of our churches today? I fear that what we see is a modern church, and now a post-modern church, that downplays and distorts the act of making fishers of men. In fact, evangelism often has a negative connotation. Or, it is considered too challenging for the modern American Christian. The modern model often looks like this: instead of us making you a skilled fisher of men, we will simply encourage you to invite people to church and then we will close the deal. You bring them and we will close them. So, instead of making skilled fisherman, churches are using their congregations as lures.

This isn’t the model Jesus used. Central to his model is making disciples into evangelists. He has called us all to be disciples and told us to go into all the world making disciples. Therefore, he wants all of his followers to be evangelists. We are all supposed to be equipped and ready to boldly proclaim the gospel and fish for men.

You are called by Christ himself to fish. Have you been trained to fish? Are you fishing? Are you training others to fish?

Monday, September 17, 2007

What defines your relationship?

“Faith in God and loving him is about a relationship not about religion.” Amen! This statement is so true. It is not about religious performance, tradition, and church rules. However, many have taken this statement way too far and have decided that what is really important are our thoughts about God, our intentions, our desire to be with him, and our emotions toward him. They have created a false reality where relationship is defined almost completely by our thoughts and not our actions. This is a convenient mindset for those who do not want to truly invest their whole lives (mind, body, and spirit) into the Christian relationship.

How long will a relationship last on words and thoughts alone? How long will your marriage last if the love is only in your mind, your thoughts, and words? Saying “I love you”, while at the same time committing adultery, is not an ingredient for a lasting relationship; just like telling Jesus you love him while at the same time you continue to serve your own selfish, fleshly desires.

We fall into a form of Gnosticism when we think following Christ is primarily in the mind and spirit rather than our actions. What we do matters. James said “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey me.” What we do matters tremendously. In fact, our actions and words are evidence of our faith and let us know if we have really surrendered to Christ as his followers. What we say and do to our spouse, children, parents, in-laws, co-workers, and even enemies is a truer measure of our faith and love for Christ than simply our thoughts.

We must not allow ourselves to fall into that perverted theology that following Christ has little to nothing to do with what we do and that belief is all in the mind. So, the next time you hear that catchy phrase, “it’s about a relationship – not about religion”, remember that relationship goes well beyond our thoughts and emotions and has everything to do with our actions. Finally, out of a pure heart turned to Christ in sincere love and repentance will flow deeds and actions of love and obedience.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Are you pouring out your best?

What are you pouring out for Christ? Is it the leftovers? Is it the two or three hours every week that you still might have available after you have served primarily your wants and needs? Jesus doesn’t really get excited about our leftovers. He wants, and definitely deserves, our best.

People thought that the woman who poured the extremely expensive perfume on the head of Jesus was being wasteful and foolish. They said that her money could have been put to better use. Whoa! Jesus rebuked the people who thought this, praised the woman for her devotion to him, and made the statement
“I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her." Mark 14:9
Our love for Jesus should seem like foolishness to others – especially the world. I have a friend and co-worker who quit his successful and lucrative career in the airline industry to serve God full-time in the children’s department at our church. Isn’t this crazy? Couldn’t he have helped more people by continuing to make more money and just giving it to the church and to the poor?

How about the Christian martyr who could have saved her life by just renouncing Christ to her captives. Couldn’t she have done so much more good for God and others if she would have “done whatever she had to in order to live”, instead of dying. God would have understood – right? If she had saved her life, she could have continued to tell people about Jesus. She could have been there to raise her 2 children. Weren’t her actions foolish?

If you look at these situations in the natural, from a non-biblical and non-Christ worldview, you would say that these people made foolish decisions. But, let’s remember that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight.” Out of obedience and love, these individuals made the counter-cultural decision to pour out their best for Christ.

Lord, may I be a fool for you; may I not subscribe to the wisdom of this world in any area of my life; may I never hesitate to pour my best out for you and for you alone.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Greatest Commandment - no problem?

When asked “what is the most important commandment”, Jesus responds with (1) loving God and (2) loving people. Awesome, I can do that. That’s not a problem – right?

Let’s look at what Jesus is really saying here. Here is how it reads in Mark 12:29-31:
"The most important one is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."
Notice that Jesus begins his answer by quoting the text found in Deuteronomy 6 about loving God. He then added the second most important commandment of loving others and tied it to his answer identifying it as an essential component of truly loving God.

What does Jesus really mean when he uses the word “all”? Why does he say all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength? Jesus is laying out what God really requires of us - total devotion. He wants every part of our lives to be completely his. Not just our minds; not just our bodies; not just our hearts; but all of us. He expects to have our whole being.

Does he have our whole mind when we are filling it with worthless knowledge, facts, or worldly filth? Does he have our whole heart when we still have concern for ourselves; when our own comfort, reputation, happiness, and pleasure are still of importance to us? Does he have our whole soul when we are filling it with lust, anger, and jealousy?

Does this statement by Jesus nullify the rest of the commandments? Does it mean that committing the other sins like adultery, gossip, and materialism aren’t as big of a deal? Absolutely not. In Matthew Jesus clarifies that “all of the law and the prophets hang on these two commands”. What does that mean? Well, it means that if you love God and people you will not commit sins against either. When you gossip you are not showing love to people. When you lust and commit adultery you are not showing love to people or to God. When you have a fit of rage, you are not showing love to people. The list definitely goes on and on. Finally, when you commit any sin you are not showing love to God because Jesus himself said “if you love me you will obey what I have commanded”.

So, love is obviously more than a feeling, a desire, a state of mind, or an intention. Love is how we live, our actions, how we treat others, and how we love honor, obey, and respect God.

Lord, may my love be real love that is lived out daily. What I think matters, what I say matters, and what I do matters. Continue to transform me.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Intentional Sin - Ouch!

Do you ever intentionally sin knowing that God will forgive you? This has got to hurt the heart of God tremendously. If this were to happen, and I pray it never will, I think it would be appropriate to ask the question “do I really love God”?

The writer of Hebrews ratchets it up a few notches with the following statement about deliberate and intentional sin:
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law f Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? - Hebrews 10:26-29
Lord, create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. May I daily live with a repentant and humble heart turned to you and away from the world and my flesh. May your desires be my desires. Lord, may the only thing I deliberately do be to daily love, honor, obey and follow you with every fiber of my being.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

What are we feeding our children?

I recently spoke with an acquaintance of mine who was excited to tell me about an experience he had while visiting a church. He essentially coveyed how excited his child (grade-school age) was because they were challenged in the childrens sunday school class. His child was thrilled to get fed some meat (serious biblical and doctrinal teaching) rather than the watered-down children’s Bible stories or school-yard relationship tips that so many churches serve up every weekend.

Why do some churches feel the need to dumb-down the scriptures when teaching children? Or the other popular technique, making Sunday school a big party in an effort to keep them coming back for more games, movies, and loud music. There is nothing inherently wrong with games, movies (God honoring of course), and loud music. However, when they take center stage in lieu of solid biblical teaching and learning we have a problem.

I believe this is one of the things Jesus had in mind when he rebuked his disciples and told them to “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Let’s make sure we are not hindering our children by underestimating their ability to understand the kingdom of God. Let’s not be afraid to serve them up some substantive spiritual food rather than baby food or nutritionally-void snacks. I'm not saying it can't be fun. In fact, it should be. But, let’s stop simply entertaining and make sure that we are really teaching.

As a parent of four wonderful children this topic is near and dear to my heart. And, I feel (know) this responsibility of discipling them and feeding them spiritual meat is ultimately mine. Lord, empower me to raise my children in the fear and admonition of you. May I follow you in love and obedience because I know it is so important for me to be able to tell my kids to "imitate me". Lord, grant me your grace.

Friday, September 07, 2007

What does God say about divorce?

Well, I don’t really want to get into an exhausting study and teaching on divorce right now. I have just been reading, meditating and journaling through the Gospel of Mark. In chapter 10 the topic of divorce surfaces and the words of Jesus seem to be quite clear.
It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law. But at the beginning of creation God “made them male and female.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate. Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery. - Mark 10:5-12
This text taken alone would indicate that God has a rather narrow view of divorce. There is no mention of any extenuating circumstances or other means to justify divorce. In fact, in verse 5 Jesus seems to be making the argument that any prior law (and one could extrapolate any future law) providing justification for divorce was not the preferred plan from God, but rather was created to accommodate mans hardened hearts.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

How seriously do you take sin?

How serious are you about getting rid of sin in your life? How far are you willing to go? Here is what Jesus recommends.
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. - Mark 9:42-47
What result does Jesus say awaits us if we don’t deal with the sin in our lives?
It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where “their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.” Everyone will be salted with fire. "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other." - Mark 9:47-50
Does Jesus think it is important to get rid of the sin in our lives? Yes. Then why don’t we see more Christians getting serious about it? Why do Christians apparently live at peace with such sins as lust, greed, materialism, drunkenness, anger, and gossip? It appears as though the teachings of Jesus are being substituted with a popular "cheap grace" message that says “what we do just really doesn’t matter”. (This is actually a form of false teaching called Gnosticism.)

Christ didn’t teach this aggressively about the need to kill sin our lives for no reason and he didn’t die on the cross in victory over sin so that we could continue sinning. What we do matters. Sin matters. Praise God that through the cross, his grace, and the help of the Holy Spirit we can have the real victory over sin that Jesus very clearly expects.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Are you sure you want to follow Jesus?

Jesus had a large following. Many who liked his teaching, a large number who appreciated his healing ministry, and I am sure many who were just caught up in all of the excitement. So Jesus decided to gather everyone together to keep the excitement rolling and ensure the continued growth of the ministry right? Wrong!

Here is the message Jesus delivered:
If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels. Mark 8:34-38
Following Jesus is not a gravy train. It’s not just about what we get, but also about what we must give. It doesn’t come without a price. It will cost us everything. We no longer live for ourselves or put our cares at the front of the line. Do you really want to follow Jesus? Well, Jesus himself has defined the cost of being his follower – death. The amazing thing is that the result of this death is life.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The comPassion of Jesus

In reading the gospels it is clear that Jesus had a mission – to be the savior of the world; the perfect sacrifice for our sins. The ministry of Jesus was primarily one of preaching the good news, the Kingdom of God, and repentance. However, much of the gospels are filled with examples of Christ’s acts of compassion.

Jesus had compassion. His ministry was to teach the 5,000. However, he had compassion on their physical need to eat and so he fed them. His ministry was to preach repentance, yet he healed the sick and raised the dead. His ministry was to share the good news, yet he freed people from demons. He was sent to the Jews, yet he also delivered the Gentiles. His primary concern was the spiritual health of the people, yet he also ministered to their physical needs as well.

We are commissioned by Jesus himself to go and make disciples, teaching them to obey all he has commanded. However, if you want to be like Jesus, then you had better be displaying real compassion and meeting both the spiritual and physical needs of people.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Three more lessons from Jesus: together, proclaim, repentance

In Mark 6 we read the account of Jesus sending out the disciples two by two for the purpose of reaching the villages. Three things jump out at me when considering this text:

  1. Jesus did not send them out alone even though they could have reached twice as many villages by “dividing and conquering”. Rather, he sent them out in pairs. Jesus felt it was important that they not be alone in this mission. He wanted them to have the support, comfort, encouragement, accountability, and friendship of another. What can we learn from this principle? Is it wise to be Lone Rangers as we follow and serve God? It is important that we are not alone in our Kingdom service.
  2. Jesus told the disciples to move on if they were not welcomed and the if message was not embraced. They weren’t told to persevere and stick with it until the message was finally received. Rather, Jesus told them to “shake the dust off your feet when you leave as a testimony against them.” Is it our responsibility to make people believe and repent? No, Jesus is telling his disciples that they are simply supposed to proclaim the message and the people are responsible for receiving it. Are you comfortable with this? Are you ok walking away?
  3. What message did the disciples preach? Was it “God loves you and has a plan for your life?” Or, “let me tell you how to have your best life now?” No, the message was repent. This was also the message of Jesus: “The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news.” When you have the opportunity to share with others, what do you say? Do you campout on discussing God’s love or do you move on to challenging them with repentance? If not, why? This is what Jesus and his disciples did.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Do you have faith that surprises Jesus?

A few days ago I wrote about the seriously aggressive faith demonstrated by the paralytic and his buddies as they ripped a hole in the roof of a house to get to Jesus. Well, today I am considering the extreme faith demonstrated by the woman who pushed her way through a crowd just so she could touch the clothes of Jesus and be healed.

You know the story, this woman had been bleeding for 12 years and the only thing the doctors could take away from her was her entire bank account. She was worse off than ever and now poor. However, she heard about this man named Jesus who had the power to heal people. She had so much faith that Jesus could heal her that she believed all she had to do was touch his clothes and she would experience healing.

Hearing that he was in town, she rushed out to touch him only to see that a huge crowd had already surrounded him as he walked through the streets. What was she to do? Did she go home and wait for a more convenient time? No. Did she figure that it must not be God’s will for her to be healed today? No. Did she begin to doubt? No. Instead she pressed through the thick crowd with persistence in order to touch Jesus; just a touch, that is all she needed.

Upon reaching Jesus she touched him and the power was released from Jesus to her and she was healed. Here’s an interesting point, Jesus was not even aware of the woman or of her need, yet she was healed. In fact, Jesus stopped and wanted to know who just touched him because he knew the “power had gone out from him”. It was almost like he was caught off guard and surprised by what had happened. The disciples reminded Jesus that crowds were touching him as he walked. But Jesus knew something special had just happened. The woman told Jesus it had been her and Jesus responded to her saying “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering. “

Isn’t it something that Jesus didn’t seek her out? Rather, she sought out Jesus. It wasn’t the touch of Jesus that healed her, instead it was her faith in the healing power of Jesus displayed in her actions to press through the crowd and touch him. She wasn’t healed because she stayed home and just believed that Jesus could heal her. No, she was healed because she put her faith into action and aggressively pressed through to touch Jesus.

Do you have this kind of active faith? Are you pressing through the crowds to touch Jesus or are you just sitting at home passively waiting for Jesus to come touch you? This woman demonstrates that we can go after the power of God. We don’t have to wait around. In fact, serious faith won’t just wait around. Have you surprised Jesus lately with your faith?