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Month: January 2017

THE POWER OF LOVE

THE POWER OF LOVE

As I read the gospels I am always amazed at how everywhere Jesus went crowds followed Him. People were drawn to Him. I wonder how come people aren’t drawn to His church or to us, His followers today?

Maybe we’re not as much like Jesus as we think we are?

 

In Luke 7, John the Baptist sends some of his disciples to find out if Jesus really is the Savior. Jesus response is clear, “Go back, and tell John what you have seen and heard: Blind people see again, lame people are walking, those with skin diseases are made clean, deaf people hear again, dead people are brought back to life, and poor people hear the Good News.”

 

Jesus provided exactly what the people needed. He healed their physical diseases and drove out evil spirits. And He preached the Good News to the poor. Yes, people were attracted to Him because of what He did for them, but I think there were a lot of people who saw past the “stuff” and were drawn to Jesus because of His genuine compassion and concern for them. He loved people! There was something about this Man that caused hope to arise in them.

 

As Jesus’ followers, I believe we’re called and anointed to love people, meet their needs and bring hope to a hopeless society! In Luke 4:18-19 Jesus says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,  because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”  Jesus read this in the temple that day and then He went out and did it! I believe we are called to do the same thing. The same Spirit has anointed us to do it. It’s time for us to step out in faith and walk in this anointing.

 

We need to make an effort to connect with people around us, recognize their needs and trust God to use us to meet those needs! It doesn’t matter where we are.  Whenever we’re around people, at the mall, in a medical or professional office, on social media, or in our neighborhoods, we should be asking God how we can connect with someone around us. It may be as simple as being available to listen, being a friend or providing some food or cash. It may be to pray for a sickness or disease to be cured or an evil oppressing spirit to be gone. It could be sharing the hope within us that will bring new life and courage to the discouraged and frustrated people around us.

 

If we are willing to step out and love people, they will be drawn to us and we can point them to Jesus. We will be ministers of life, truth, mercy and the power of God. And God’s glory will be seen around us!

 

Let’s step out in faith today, intentionally desiring to connect with people and then as their needs are revealed, to meet them thru the power of God alive in us!

HAVE YOU SEEN JESUS?

HAVE YOU SEEN JESUS?

I was challenged and inspired as I read these musings from my brother-in-law, Jim Roth. He has agreed to let me share them with you. I’m sure you will be equally as challenged and encouraged as you read these thoughts based on Jesus appearance to a couple of His disciples on the road to Emmaus from Luke 24.

 

Did you ever wonder why the disciples were “kept from recognizing Him” when He came along side?

  • Maybe they weren’t ready.
  • Maybe they needed to understand first the veracity of the OT prophecies.
  • Maybe they wouldn’t have really listened if they recognized Jesus right away.
  • Maybe their emotional state at seeing Him needed to be grounded in the Word
  • Maybe they might have missed the deeper meanings of the resurrection when they faced a skeptical church audience later.

 

Jesus met them where they were. Disappointment, consternation, confusion, maybe even unbelief. Jesus gave them space to express that all. He listened carefully as they told Him the events of the past few days.

  • Maybe He knew they also needed to restate their earlier well founded hope and their amazement at the earlier reports of His resurrection.

 

Then as Jesus began to teach and instruct them as to what the Scriptures said about Him, their hearts were warmed. How often we too are warmed by our latest understanding of a new scriptural truth. Or when we read his Word in private devotions.

 

But they were not yet content with that experience. Somehow the Holy Spirit prompted them to seek more. They begged Him to stay with them even though they didn’t yet know who they were with.

  • Maybe their faith was sufficient to believe God is indeed “the rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him.”

Even though Jesus acted like he had a different agenda they convinced him to stay and when they did and He served the bread, they saw Him…their eyes were opened and their joy complete. They became motivated witnesses at that point.

  • Maybe we need to see HIM before we will be effective messengers.
  • Maybe if we asked with passion He would be revealed in all His glory to us today.
  • Maybe He would gladly modify his agenda to meet our real need.

 

Where are we in that story? Obviously on this side of the death and resurrection of Christ!  But…

  • disappointed with our situation/circumstances and dashed hopes?
  • disappointed because our experience has not lined up with our expectation?
  • discouraged by the incompleteness of our own experience or failures?

 

When will we be satisfied?

  •  When our hearts are warmed by a fresh revelation of scripture?
  •  or the promise of more fellowship…?
  • or when our minds are renewed and the eyes of our heart are opened?

When we see Jesus we can’t help but be more inspired messengers and we will know we have a message!