Jesus heals the Leper.

Jesus heals the Leper.

Matt. 8:1-2, Mark 1:40-45, Luke 5:12-16

Jesus encounters people.

Leprosy was a life changing disease. Emotional, Relational, Social, Physical.

If you had a family, you left them behind and were to live outside the city. No further contact. By Jewish law, you were to keep 6 feet part or if the wind was blowing in their direction 150 feet apart. You were ceremonially unclean and could no longer worship at the temple. Your body began to take on major changes:open sores, your nerve endings would die, you began to lose body parts (fingers, toes), your body began to waste away, you were dying from the outside in, the smell of rotten flesh was beyond belief. You were the walking dead. Dr. Luke tells us that this unnamed man was full of leprosy. His was an advanced case and quite hopeless. He was the untouchable….Until he encounters Jesus. He falls on his face, knowing Jesus can heal him, he just doesn’t know if Jesus is willing. Jesus could have just spoke the word and this man would have been healed. But Jesus did what no one else would do, He reaches out and touches the untouchable. Immediately the man is healed and told to go show yourself to the priests as is custom.

Have you ever felt like you are the untouchable? That you have gone too far, sinned too big, been hurt or have hurt others too deep? Jesus still touches the untouchable. Fall on your face and cry out to the One who knows and loves you more than anyone else. He is waiting to encounter you too. He longs to have relationship with you too. You are the desire of His heart.

Thank You Lord for encountering each of us. For giving Your life for ours, that we can be called Your children.


Jesus encountered people

The woman with the issue of blood.

Luke 8:40-48, Matt. 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34

She wakes each day to the sounds of her little village coming alive, she hears the sounds of those passing by her window on their way to begin their day. She hears the sheep in the distance. The children’s laughter as they play. Footsteps of those busy with the daily chores that need done. She doesn’t have a reason to rise from her mat. She will have no visitors stop by. She spends each day the same as the day before. Alone, weak, anemic, and desperate for a cure. She won’t consult another doctor, she has spent all she had to no avail. It has been 12 long years of suffering, that’s 4,380 days of being quarantined. She is considered unclean by all who know her or have heard about her suffering. She can’t go to the temple and worship. She can have no contact with people. She finally rises from her mat and leans against the window to take in the fresh air and sunshine. Something is different today, people are leaving their daily tasks and are heading in one direction. Voices are stirring as they pass her window, she is hearing whispers…the “Healer” is coming. A father is leading his blind son toward the growing crowd. She opens her door for the first time in many, many years. In the midst of her desperation, she thinks to herself, If I can just touch the hem of His garment, I will be healed. Hope and Faith arise in her heart. She pulls her covering up over her head, her heart is pounding in her chest. She knows to take a step out of her house could cost her very life. She is considered unclean and could be stoned if she is recognized. Her thoughts have become words on her lips, as she repeats them over and over, If I can just touch the hem of His garment, I will be healed. Then she takes the step of faith toward Him. The crowd is large and growing larger. Everyone is pressing in toward Him. She slips around behind Him and with all the strength she can muster reaches out and touches the hem of His garment. Immediately her bleeding stops. She is healed. Jesus asks, Who touched me? His disciples answer, Master many are crowding and pressing against you. But Jesus says, Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me. She knew she could not hide so she came trembling and fell at His feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched Him and how she was instantly healed. Jesus says to her, Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in Peace.

This precious woman stepped out in faith and touched the Great Physician. Her life was changed forever because she had an encounter with Jesus.


Jesus encountered people.

Jesus encountered people.

This statement caught my heart and mind and has lingered there for quite a while. Scripture is a collection of broken people encountering Jesus, and when they do, they are never the same. The Lord has led me to share many of these people with you over the next few weeks. John 4:4-42, the Samaritan Woman:(I wrote this for a women’s retreat many years ago)

It’s noon the hottest part of the day and she thinks it’s probably safe to start her journey to the well. I can imagine this nameless woman looking both ways out her door before stepping out. She quietly walks out into the burning sun. As she does everyday, she makes the journey to the well alone…she’s not really alone. She walks everyday with the same baggage: shame, regrets, loneliness, unaccepted, unloved, resigned to this lifestyle for the rest of her life. Her mind replays it with every step. The weight of it all is almost more than she can bear. She rounds the curve on the hot, dusty trail and see’s a man sitting at the well. Not just any man but a Jewish man. She thinks about turning and heading back to town but she has to get water and very soon the sleepy town will awaken from their nap and she will have to face their stares and wagging tongues, she continues on. As she sits her jar down to start the process of filling it, He speaks to her, asking for a drink. She must have been dumb founded that He would even speak to her. 1St: she is a woman, 2nd: she is a Samaritan, and 3rd: she has a reputation. Let’s stop and remember that she hasn’t had a conversation with someone other than the man she lives with in a very long time. Isn’t it just like our Savior to have the longest one on one conversation recorded in scripture with a woman hungry for someone to talk to. How can You ask me for a drink, she asks. If you knew the gift of God and Who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water. I can see that you have nothing to draw with and where can you get living water? Jesus answers, Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst again. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. Please give me this water so that I don’t have to keep coming here to draw water, she responds. She was only thinking of her physical needs. Jesus was speaking about her spiritual need. Jesus asks her about her past and she confesses it all to Him. All the baggage she carried to well that day was left at the foot of the cross because of the blood of Christ. She realizes what it means to take freely of the living water. She has met the Messiah. What this woman does next is amazing. She leaves her jar, the very reason she made this journey, and runs back to town…the same town that turns their back on her, whispers as she passes by, and can only stare at her day of day. She shares with them what Christ has done for her. They are amazed that this woman with a stained background is standing before them changed from the inside out. They, too, have to come see Jesus. Many believe because of her testimony and many more believe after meeting Him. Can I tell you the most important part of this scripture isn’t just that she received the living water. It is verse 4: Now He HAD to go through Samaria. Why is this important? Because Jews didn’t travel through Samaria, they went around. But our Lord and Savior had to go through…WHY?.. Because He knew there was a lost soul in Samaria, that her life would be changed forever and so would many in her town. When they encountered Jesus, they were never the same. Oh, how many times I think back to the time that He had to go through a small WV town and find me, lost and in need of a Savior. He met me right where I was and offered living water to my thirsty soul. I pray you too have accepted His gift of life. If not, He will meet you wherever you are and change you too from the inside out.

Thank You Jesus for loving us enough to encounter each of us.


The Best Prayer Partner

My Mom and I were just talking about the burden we have for the lost around us and for the believer’s too. Standing in the gap for them in prayer is the only answer. Ezekiel 22:30 I looked for a man(woman) among them that would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.

When you stood or knelt before God in prayer for someone else, you were standing in the gap. You were fulfilling a need for someone who may have been unable to fulfill it themselves. Standing in the gap is our duty, our calling as Christians. God is looking for those who are willing to stand for those who cannot stand for themselves……Are you willing?

Christ is always making intercession for you, will you stand in the gap with Him for your church, your pastor, your county, state, nation, your friends and family?

My dear friend, if you are in need of someone to stand in the gap for you, please let someone know. Please reach out to someone you trust and let them know how to pray for you.

Romans 8:34 Jesus who died-more than that, who is raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

Romans 8:27 the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.

The Holy Spirit is the best prayer partner you will ever have. Welcome Him into your daily prayers and life.

Father, Thank You for the times others have stood in the gap for me. Times I have been too broken to utter the prayers I needed at that time. Help us to stand in the gap for others who are in that same situation. Drop them in our Spirit, bring them to our minds, wake us up to the need to stand in the gap. Amen.


Fragrance of Life

My husband and I spent all day Saturday building fence along the front yard. As we got to the corner I kept getting this wonderful smell that was coming from my forsythia bush. Oh my what a wonderful aroma. The wind would blow and I would soak in that beautiful scent. As I was working and smelling (haha), I was reminded of a verse that is very special to me. Many years ago, I was participating in a Bible Study that asked each person to pray for a verse from the Lord, something just for yourself. A few weeks later the Lord led me to 2 Cor. 2:14-15: But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other the fragrance of life. WOW! Every time I take in a beautiful scent from nature I am reminded that how we treat others is a fragrance to them. Are we kind, loving, gentle? Have we spread the scent of patience to them? You’ve heard the old saying, “You might be the only Bible someone else reads”. When we spread the fragrance of Jesus some will not accept His truth, but to the ones that reach out and grab a hold of His precious gift of life, what an honor to watch them begin to bud and bloom through the Holy Word of God. In this world with so much uncertainty, lets be an aroma to those around us that draw them to Christ. I desire to sit at His feet and take in His fragrance of life. To allow the Holy Spirit to do a work in my heart that blooms and changes me from the inside out, so that it spreads to those He puts me in my path.

Father God, I pray that those around us will catch the aroma of Jesus in our lives. Maybe it’s a smile or a kind word. I have had the blessing of seeing the fragrance of life in others You have placed in my life. Just being with them is like walking through the woods and taking in the richness of nature. Use us, Father, to be that to others.

In Jesus Name,