If you’ve heard me teach for very long, you have heard me talk about “the woman with the issue of blood.” She’s one of my favorite people in the Bible, and an incredible inspiration to many.
In Mark 5:25-34 we catch her story. Here she is – a very sick lady. So sick, in fact that she has been going to every specialist she can find, and she has spent all of her money. For her to go to that much trouble, she must have been in great pain.
But she heard…
What did she hear? She heard about Jesus and how He had been healing people who were sick. And the amazing thought came into her mind that maybe – just maybe – He could heal her also.
So she went to where the crowds were gathered and observed His power over sickness and disease. She probably heard others talking about their healings, and she increased in assurance that this time would be different.
The day finally came, and this special lady was going to act.
Can you imagine how nervous she might have been? She was not even supposed to be out in public with her ailment, so her boldness put herself at great risk of punishment. And then think about the embarrassment involved. All of those people would see her erratic behavior… And what if it didn’t work?
All of those thoughts must have roared through her head as she pushed forward to make her claim. Yet she would not be denied the blessing she had come to believe was hers. This woman was determined.
So she pursued, and we know the outcome. Her healing came – not because Jesus had chosen to give it (He didn’t even see her there), but because she reached out with faith and courage.
“Who touched me?” He said – a question which confused His disciples. How could He ask that when the crowd was heavy and many were touching Him?
This was different. Someone had touched Him in a way so that he felt power leaving His body. Though He didn’t see her, Jesus could feel the anointing being transmitted to her. Her faith had pursued the healing available through Jesus, and this faith had appropriated that healing for her.
Okay, so here we are in the present day, and I think that this message should resonate with us now. There are many problems we encounter. Sickness, financial lack, and problems with families.
Perhaps we have gone to every professional and we have tried everything they have recommended. Perhaps we have even spent all that we had in order to find the answer. Yet the problem is still raging – with no solution in sight.
Yet as we think about Jesus, read God’s Word and pray, we begin to focus on a different kind of solution – a heavenly one. God is still working miracles – in the 21st century. He is healing supernaturally, restoring broken lives, and restoring broken families. He is also making a way for provision when there seems to be no way for it to come.
When I find myself facing difficult situations, this woman and her tenacity stir me to take action. I pray and read passages of Scripture or other books to elevate my faith. I have seen many miracles in my own life, and I expect to see many more.
And I know that there are times when you have to be bold as you go for your answers. You must pursue. You have to be determined to press through the crowd of casual believers and receive answers which seem impossible to many.
Then you’ll hear those words, “Who touched Me?” You’ll receive that power that only Jesus and His Holy Spirit can give.
In the last post, we saw how Jesus marveled at the centurion who was so full of faith. This man was a Roman, and had neither been trained in God’s Word nor an understanding of God’s power. Yet he heard about Jesus, and recognized the authority in which He walked. As a result, he was able to receive a miracle.
In the same chapter – Matthew 8 – we see a different story. This time, Jesus and His disciples were in a boat crossing the sea when a great storm arose. The winds were whirling around and the waves were tossing the thee vessel about. Jesus was sleeping soundly in the midst of the storm until His disciples awoke Him. “Save us, Lord, we are perishing,” they cried.
As Jesus woke up and rebuked the winds and the sea, the atmosphere became perfectly calm. Then He rebuked His disciples. “Why are you timid, you men of little faith?”
Stop and think about that. If you had been one of the disciples, how would you have reacted? Would you have been as the disciples, frightened and worried? That seems like a normal reaction, doesn’t it?
Yet if what they were doing was what He expected of them, why did Jesus rebuke them?
There is a level of faith which is far above anything that any of us has attained but which is available to those who seek Him. But it doesn’t come from seeking Him for the faith. It comes from seeking a deeper relationship with Him. (more…)
It takes faith.
It takes faith to live any life with even a modicum of satisfaction. To live a great life which honors God and brings Him glory, takes great faith. We have heard that over and over, yet often this is the very place where we need some work.
Okay, okay, we say. We know that. But how do we get more? And why does it seem to slip away so easily?
The answer to the latter question is simple. The world – the cosmos – the natural way of thinking is enmity against God. His Kingdom operates on such a different plane that we sometimes find it hard to think in Kingdom terms.
For instance, in the world, we say, “You have to see it to believe it.” In the Kingdom, the truth is that “You have to believe it to see it.”
The world says to grab hold of everything you can and hold on to it. God’s Kingdom says, “You have to give to receive.” (more…)
There was a line drawn through the ages, and all of time hinged on that line. After centuries of laying the foundation for His mission, God’s plan of salvation finally came to fruition and all of mankind was absolved from their sin – if they chose to accept the gift.
Finally the time came for Jesus to go to the cross, pay the price for our freedom, descend into hell, on the third day arise from the dead, and ascend into Heaven to sit at the right hand of God. He then sent His Holy Spirit to live in the hearts of those who received Him.
What a miraculous time!
You and I can spend the rest of our lives studying and meditating on this series of miracles, but we will find that there is always more to learn. The more you know, the more you realize that it is better than you thought! (more…)
I once read about a highly successful fitness expert, Bill Phillips, whose training helped many people improve their health and their stamina. Yet he was always amazed at the numbers of out-of-shape people who would approach him and thank him for his books. It’s as if they didn’t realize that he could tell at a glance that they were not implementing his ideas. He began to challenge people to “face the abyss,” that infinite chasm between knowing and doing.
Our western society has become a “spectator society.” We watch our teams win, and we think we have accomplished something. We watch news and our favorite TV series, and we trick ourselves into thinking we are in on the action. (more…)
Have you wondered why God chose Abraham?
We know that God chose Abraham to be the father of the Jews, the people who would eventually bring forth Jesus. But why was he so special? What was there about Abraham that made God choose him?
Something set him apart from others of his day. What was it? (more…)