Touch His Robe

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 “…Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around Him.  A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding.  She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better.  In fact, she had gotten worse.  She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind Him through the crowd and touched His robe.  For she thought to herself, ‘If I can just touch His robe, I will be healed.’  Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.  Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from Him, so He turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my robe?‘  His disciples said to Him, ‘Look at this crowd pressing around You.  How can You ask, ‘Who touched Me?’  But He kept on looking around to see who had done it.  Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of Him and told Him what she had done.  And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well.  Go in peace.  Your suffering is over.”  Mark 5:24-34 (NLT)

The crowd stopped abruptly, causing dust to awaken from the ground.  Awkward silence.  Why was the leader stopping?  He was on His way to heal a little girl.  This large crowd was following Him to watch.  But He stopped.

“Who touched my robe?”  He said.

What a ridiculous question!  There were people pressing in all around Him.  A lot of people were touching Him.  Some of His followers echoed the thoughts of everyone who was watching:  “You see the people crowding against You, and Yet You can ask, ‘Who touched Me?'”

Yes, in fact, a crowd was pressing against Him.  But someone had reached out and touched Him IN FAITH.  There was a difference.  It was such a profound difference that Jesus stopped in His tracks.  Where was this woman?  He wanted to look her in her eyes.  The woman had touched Him for healing.  She was, in fact, healed.  She knew it.  Jesus knew it.  Why make the little dying girl wait any longer for her miracle?

Jesus wanted this woman to know He saw her.  He loved her.  She was not just part of the crowd to Him.  She was now His daughter.  The trembling woman fell at His feet and told Him everything.  He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.  Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

We should take notice that the crowd around Him had access to His loving power, but only ONE was reaching out in faith.  Only ONE acted out her belief that Jesus could bring healing into HER OWN life.  The others would follow Him around, a tightly balled up group, to watch Him heal OTHERS.  That was safe enough.  But only ONE reached out to touch His robe.  She thought, “If I only touch His clothes, I WILL be healed.”  She didn’t think, “I might be healed,” or “I hope I’m healed.”  No, “I WILL be healed.”  Just give me a little bit of Jesus, just the edge of His robe, and I know there will be miracles in my life.  Beautiful!

This begs the questions in our own lives:  Are we in the crowd?  Or are we the woman reaching out to Jesus?  Are we content spending most of our lives pressing in close to Jesus, following His teachings and standing back to watch Him work in others’ lives?  Don’t get me wrong, pressing in to Jesus is a good place to be.  Following His steps in obedience is where He desires our hearts to reside.

BUT, He gives us a spirit that hungers for MORE.  Because there IS more.  Scripture says when the woman touched Him, He felt power had ‘gone out from Him.’  Literally, healing and love was ready to pour out onto anyone in the crowd who dared to reach out and touch Him in faith…just TOUCH Him.

What holds us back from reaching out and grabbing hold of His robe?  It can be hard to believe that God wants to heal all areas of our lives.  It can be hard to believe that the Creator of the Universe would take notice of us and say, “Who touched Me?”, when we reach out.  I believe that, if you are reading this, there is something God is asking you to believe He will do for you.

God is asking you to shove your hand through your crowded, complicated life and grab hold of His clothes.  It is time.  God wants to do miracles in your life.

Let’s not be spectators anymore!  Let’s be the woman Jesus is seeking out in a crowd and hear Him say, “Daughter your faith has made you well..  Go in peace.  Your suffering is over.”

Dear LORD,

Help me to lay down the things that stop me from reaching out to touch your robe in faith.  I want your power in my life.  I believe I am your daughter.  I want more of You.  Teach me to trust that You are always Good.  Amen.

by Jenna Masters.

I’d Rather Have Jesus

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 “And this is the way to have eternal life–to know you, the only true God,and Jesus Christ, the One you sent to earth.  I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.  Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.”  John 17:3-5

We are in the Lenten season on the calendar, fast approaching the days of Passover…Good Friday…Easter.  It is a time when we should be reflecting on just what God did for us by giving “His only begotten Son” to die for us on the crude, cruel cross jarringly sunken into the ground atop Calvary’s hill.

Many people like to give up something they cherish for the Lenten period.  I remember my classmates saying, “I gave up Chocolate for Lent, what have you given up?”  Everyone talked about what they gave up, but no one talked about why they gave it up.  The important thing is not what we give up, but Who God gave up…and why He did it.

Eternal God, in the Person of His Son, came to earth to die as the only sacrifice (John 14:6-7}, the only Way for us to know God.  By God’s design, it took that sacrifice to once and for all make it possible for us to be forgiven and called the children of God.

May we take the time every day to see ourselves at the foot of the cross beholding what our Savior has done for us.  May we take the time to listen to God’s voice and let Him show us something important about our lives because of what Jesus has done.  May we be able to say from the deepest part of our hearts, “I’d rather have Jesus than anything.”

I’d Rather Have Jesus
(by Miller, Rhea/George Beverly Shea)

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold
I’d rather be His than have riches untold
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or land
I’d rather be led by His nail-scarred hands

Than to be a king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today

I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause
I’d rather have Jesus than world wide fame
I’d rather be true to His holy name

Than to be a king of a bast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today

by Marilyn Allison

Devotion: Spring Cleaning

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“To everything there is a season and a purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Spring officially arrives this month! Time to begin “Spring Cleaning”! Our homes may look “put together” to the casual observer, but what about our closets, cabinets, and drawers? I am amazed at how quickly mine lose their organized state where I can open them and immediately find what I am looking for! They seem to mysteriously gather things that don’t belong in them. Well, that is not exactly true…they cannot get into this mess without help. And that helper is generally me! So, I’ve made it a point to go through my closets, cabinets, and drawers several times a year because I do like to know where things are and know what needs to finally be parted with or replaced.

One of the worst “offenders” in my home is my kitchen “junk” drawer! Do you have one of these in your kitchen? This is a drawer that seems to accumulate a conglomeration of things because you are just not sure whether you should keep them or not at the time? Actually, as I think about this, I am “blessed” to have FOUR such drawers in my kitchen. When they begin to get crowded, it is definitely time to take inventory and purge out what is cluttering their space! That time is definitely now! Now you know why I must do this as often as I do!

As I begin the task of cleaning out each drawer, I am reminded that I must also take inventory of what has taken up space in my heart and mind. I may look like I have it all together on the outside, but it may be a different story in the hidden places of my heart and mind. What things are not pleasing to my God? Is there anything that I have stored up that is hampering my fellowship with my Lord? Is there anything I have previously cast out and now find it has taken up residence again? Our hearts and minds are funny this way and so we must also periodically ask God to perform a good “cleaning out” time here.

As I remember that He is Potter and I am the clay, I am comforted that He has been waiting for me to come to Him and ask for His expert hands to mold and shape me as He imagines me to be. He works in my heart and my mind, shaping and transforming me into the vessel He has created me for. It is not always comfortable or pleasant, but I know His love for me is good and I can trust Him to do what is necessary. I will yield as the clay in the potter’s hands; even as the child in her Father’s loving hands!

We are His treasure…His workmanship…He is removing the dross, and refining the silver. He is making us ready! A magnificent work of restoration is in progress!

I am reminded of Philippians 4:8:

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is anything virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

Let this be the filter we use to determine what we allow to settle in our hearts and minds. As we yield to the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives and learn to heed His voice, we will find that we are changed. Our desires have changed and our hearts have changed. We will be moving in the direction our Holy Father has provided for us, His children!

We will still need to periodically do a “Spring Cleaning” in ourselves for we live in a sin-filled world. Old habits desire to work their way back into our hearts and minds. Others are eagerly waiting for an opening to enter and we must have our defenses ready to battle them. May we not only address the “Spring Cleaning” that our homes need, but also that of our hearts and minds!

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:18

 

“The Words of the LORD are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified  seven times.” Psalm 12:6

By Pat Tingwall

Many Sauls

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The terrorist, perched upon his horse,
Was suited in haughty pride;
He stayed by vigilantly and mocked
Innocent victims as they died.

These priceless martyrs are jewels in God’s crown,
Children of the day;
We know them as People of the Cross,
Those who’ve chosen “The Way.”

They stood for the truth of Jesus Christ,
Forgiveness and for peace;
The dark one struck them down with intentional force,
delivering their final release.

His resolve was strong,
Educated from birth;
Religion was his god
And his fundamental worth.

Until the day,
As he traveled Damascus Road,
A bright light took him down
And all around him glowed.

His ears were opened to the beholding voice.
“Why do you persecute Me?”
(What are you doing?  Where are you going?
And this your misguided choice?)

“Who are you?”, he pleaded,
Astonished and afraid;
“I am Jesus,” He answered
“The One whom you degrade.”

Immediate surrender
Overcame his blinded heart;
By grace he became a vessel for Jesus,
Holy and set apart.

Thank God for the testimony of my brother,
The apostle known as “Paul”;
It stirs me to pray whole heartedly
for the world’s modern day Sauls.

“Sauls” trapped by hideous terror
In their own deluded minds;
Immersed in evil thinking,
Hearts and souls bound and confined.

Unless the Spirit of Truth is received,
Hearts softened and spirits set free,
Many Sauls will suffer weeping and gnashing of teeth,
The Lake of Fire consuming for all eternity.

The persecutor and the persecuted,
both are made in God’s image and loved
By the One who judges justly
And sends rain down on both from above.

So, let us pray for the “Pauls”, my Sisters,
Then pray for the “Sauls”, as well,
That God, in His infinite mercy,
Might deliver many souls from hell.

“Bless those who persecute you:  bless, and curse not.” Romans 12:14

by Dana Lange

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