The Man I Met {You Can Meet Him Too}

Today, I am met with a man. A man who probably isn’t that much different from me. In Luke 5, we meet a man who is covered with leprosy. The disease has ran its course, and reached its capacity.

. . . And, he is sicker than he has ever been.

The Emotions

 It so happened that, as Jesus was in one particular town, there was a man whose body was riddled with a virulent skin disease. When he saw Jesus, he fell on his face. ‘Lord,’ he begged, ‘if you want, you can make me clean.’ – Luke 5:12

Illness brings heavy emotions, difficulty thinking, and crazy sleeping patterns, which admittedly is on top of the “typical” symptoms of our health issue.

While emotions can be beautiful and exhilarating, it can be a heavy burden to carry as well.

The emotions might be worse than the actual medical condition. It sticks to our side like glue, and reminds us of what we do not have. It reminds us of the past we cannot go back to, where we once had our family/friends and a place to call home.

. . . This is what this leper faced, and the reality for many of us on a daily basis. 

The life we once knew is – dissolved. Our new life is confusing. And, rarely understood by those nearest to us. They know not the debilitating emotions we struggle with. Even if it is suffocating, others often do not see the enormous burden we carry.

. . . But there is One who knows exactly what we face, as He is the only One who can carry us through this mess!

The Jesus I Know

I appreciate this man who is known only by his debilitating condition, because he knew the struggle, experienced the heavy emotions, and went running to King Jesus! He ran until he reached Jesus, because he knew Jesus is the answer.

. . . Jesus loved him {and us} and delights in taking care of us {just as He delighted in caring for this broken man}.

This Jesus is the same one who holds my heart. Jesus came, went to the cross, died and rose again to be with me. So, I may have peace with my Father.

My heart is safely held by Jesus, even on my worst day.

. . . He is my Protector, Comforter, and Friend.


This man encountered Jesus, and was changed.

Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘I do want to,’ he said. ‘Be clean.’ And the skin disease disappeared immediately. – Luke 5:13

Honestly, this is enough to bring me to my knees. The man ran to Jesus, and was wholly welcomed as he was. We are, too.


Our Invitation

Just as Jesus welcomed this man, we are welcomed and invited to come running to Him right now. We don’t have to wait until x, y, and z resolves itself. We can come to Jesus right now.

. . . Jesus invites us to come to Him. Weariness, heavy circumstances, and all, we are invited to simply come to Him.

Finding Captivating Love {Devotion}

While this post is over a year old, it is worth making sure its contents are shared with all of you – my lovely readers who are dearly loved by our heavenly Father. Allow it to soak into your spirit, help you draw nearer to Jesus Christ, our King, and ponder the truths of our great God and His Word!


Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance (1 Peter 1:1-2).

In 1 Peter 1:2, we learn a few interesting things.

  • God has a purpose regarding us.
  • We are chosen.
  • We have been made holy.
  • We have been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb (that is, Jesus Christ).
  • Grace and peace are ours in full measure.

The question I want us to answer today is….

How are you at living out these basic precepts that make up the Christian faith? It can take some of us many years to finally grasp the fact that we are –

  • on God’s mind (that He has a purpose for us!)
  • chosen by God alone (and it has nothing to do with our works)
  • cleansed (really cleansed) by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus, the Messiah!)
  • God’s grace and peace are completely poured onto every aspect of our lives, if we will allow God to do it!

What would our lives look like if we really grasped these truths? What would my life look like, if I really knew that I was loved by my Savior? Not a conditional kind of love that is based on what I do or don’t do, what expectations I completely miss by a long-shot, and any other human measure I can concoct in my mind.

Jesus loves, really loves, me and you. To such an extent that He came to earth.

Think about what kind of longing that would take.

“I am going to earth, to redeem them.”

“I will be forsaken, unloved, hated in fact, punished for what THEY did (for our sin, and He did it with such amazing love), and I am going to BRING them back. I am going to FIX our broken relationship, because I dearly love them and created them.”

This is true, friends.
Our reality.

God’s love is passionate. He is absolutely for us! And, this is the kind of love that God has for each one of us.

There is this song I reheard at a conference, but it took on a whole new meaning while there. “Live Like You’re Loved (Hawk Nelson)”. What would it take for me to live like God loves me? Not on some mini-level. We are talking about a football stadium, out of this world, full blown confidence, kind of love that God has for each of us.

The love of God is beyond anything we could ever comprehend.

We could take all of the oceans of the world, line them up next to each other, and it still wouldn’t even come close to the greatness of God’s love for us. All He wants is to be with us. To spend time with us. It’s a relationship!

Week 3: 1 Thessalonians 3:7

Welcome, my friends, to week 3 of our study! I am so glad you are here. Thank you for taking a few moments out of your day to read today’s blog entry in your email or possibly on the website. You will not regret taking this time to invest in your relationship with God through Jesus Christ. He is the source of all hope and comfort.

The Scripture –

While I am limited in sharing at this moment due to circumstances, I want to be able to share with you our new weekly memory verse.

In the middle of our trouble and hard times here, just knowing how you’re doing keeps us going. Knowing that your faith is alive keeps us alive (1 Thess. 3:7, MSG).

The Truth Revealed –

As I face my own troubles, I can relate a bit with Paul. Honestly, the great “longing exchange” (where the longing for a close friend is mutual) is a tremendous comfort in hard times. When you are in desperate need and alone, quality companionship is one of the top desires one troubled friend could have.

When we are going through hard times, we just need someone to be there for us. . . someone who will lead us straight to Jesus Christ. It’s the exact medicine we need.

We learn a few things about Paul and the Thessalonians –

  • Paul’s Heart: Longed for the Thessalonians, and bombarded with troubles.
  • The Thessalonians’ Heart: Longed for Paul, and continually sought Christ. . . resulting in much spiritual growth even during persecution.
  • Resulting in much comfort, especially for Paul in his time of need.

Hearing others’ stories of faith in Christ makes everything much better. While the circumstances may not change, our heart are uplifted versus drowning. Our perspective changes – because we receive comfort from friends. . . friends who treat our friendship in a godly way. Encouraging us to keep pressing into Jesus, praying over our circumstances, and helping us to hold onto our faith in Jesus and His Good News.

Biblical Friendship

While we may not choose our times of suffering, God can use this time to be encouraged (or encourage others) by others’ faith and show us the kind of friends we have (or are).

The Thessalonians and Paul had biblical friendships. They sought the Lord Jesus to be honored in their lives. They wanted to help encourage one another, pray together, and continue to live out their faith in Christ.

Biblical friendships are hard to find, but are what makes the lasting change in our spiritual lives.

Jonathan and David are a classic example of biblical friendship (see 1 Samuel 23:15-18). They loved each other in a godly friendship; Jonathan made sure to be there when David needed him the most (click here to listen to a sermon on the topic). Likewise, the Thessalonians would have send word back conveying how much they care for Paul and miss him.

Biblical friendships make the difference in our Christian walk, and an important tool in our transformation.

“[Thessalonians’] steadfastness was a great source of comfort to [Paul] in his trials. . . In the inevitable trials of the ministerial office there is no source of comfort more rich and pure than this (Albert Barnes Commentary).”

When Our Strength Runs Out {{Five Loaves and Two Fish}}

(Disclaimer: I am referring to chronic illness, but God wants to take every single symptom of every single problem we have…. and do something incredible in the midst of the stuff of our lives. Will we allow Him to?)

Sometimes, it isn’t about the pretty little filters, make-up, or hair products used in effort to disfigure the symptoms…

It is just about getting up for another day and giving it all you got.

Trusting God to stretch what you do have available.

Trusting Him to take the “five loaves and two fish” of our strength, hope, and best laid plans… And stand… And watch Him multiply it in crazy amounts.

Amounts that go beyond anything we could ever imagine.

All because we chose to give it to Him. To Jesus.

To Jesus, I give this day.
To Jesus, I give my strength.

I know, in Mark, Jesus is multiplying actual fish and loaves of bread. But, one problem we have – is our ability to limit God. The God we envision is not the God we see and come to experience in the Bible.

God wants to do so much more in our lives, friends! He wants us to enable us to use His power, which we are given access to from the moment we say “yes” to Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, to overcome all kinds of crazy obstacles!

What would happen in our lives, if we would give God our little bit? Even though it is “five loaves and two fish,” what if we gave it over to God as our genuine offering? How could that not only be transformed into something more, but it could be an instrument in our love relationship with Jesus Christ?

The truth is – God wants to give us far more than we have settled for!

Life has a way of turning everything upside down, and we just want the roller coaster to settle down. So, we settle. But, we need to keep our spiritual ears open to what God could do in our midst.

Let’s read and soak up the truth found in this Scripture –

“Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish. A total of 5,000 men and their families were fed (Mark 6:41-44).”

This passage of Scripture offers us beautiful hope!

God can take our little, and make it into so much more. But, we have to come to Him. We have to come to Jesus. Bring our little to Jesus, and share it with Him!

We will come away with Jesus, gaining far more than we had when we first came to Him. What are we waiting for?

Living, Breathing Offering

“Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable
to God, which is your spiritual service. Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God (Rom. 12:1-2).”

Our bodies are collectively what makes up the Church. We are called to give our bodies as a living, breathing offering. A living sacrifice. A sacrifice is how people in the OT met with God. They gave God sacrificial offerings, that would cover their sins. Because of the mercies of God. Because of Jesus Christ. We can give a different kind of offering. We can give ourselves. This is our spiritual service. This is how we operate in the Church. We are to give our hands and feet. To give all we are, knowing how much God has given up on our behalf.

“Before we trusted Christ, we used our bodies for sinful pleasures and purposes, but now that we belong to Him, we want to use our bodies for His glory. The Christian’s body is God’s temple (1 Cor. 6:19-20) because the Spirit of God dwells within him (Rom. 8:9). It is our privilege to glorify Christ in our bodies and magnify Christ in our bodies (Phil. 1:20-21) (Warren Wiersbe).”

In addition to our bodies, we need to give our minds and wills to God. This is the point in our relationship with God, where we seriously just get before His face and seek after the things of God.

Get to Know Him!

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires (Ps. 37:4).”

When we are in a relationship, we will want to get to know that person.

Have you ever spent so much time around someone, that you become more like them?

Your character begins to reflect theirs. Their habits become your own. We feed off our time with our Savior, just like we feed off our best friend. We become like Him, the more time we spend with Him!

Time Well-Spent

“[T]he LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend… [others] saw that his (Moses) face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD (Ex. 33:11, 34:35).”

We need to get to know our great Savior and allow ourselves to be transformed as we fill up our minds with the “things of God” and trade in our old desires for the will of God. This is the key to unlock Proverbs 37:4 where we are taught that if we take delight in the Lord, then He will give us “the desires of our heart.”

Why would God allow us to go back to where we once were? He knows that place is no good for us. This is a whole new dimension to living.

When we seek after God, we will change as we spend time with Him. As we get to know Him, our hearts change. Our emotions change. The things we once clung to, we cling to no more. When we take the time to give ourselves before the Lord as a living offering, others will notice how we are changing. The same sin we got caught up on before, is no longer a hindrance. We can run past that scene of temptation, where we once lingered and couldn’t find a way to get away.

As we come away to be with Jesus, we begin to change. Step-by-step. Day-by-day. We begin to undergo a big transformation, and it begins the moment we say “yes” to Christ. It begins the moment we resolve to break out our Bibles and turn off our phones or the tv.

Application: How can I take the next step to make my Jesus time count? It may be limiting distractions, getting up early, etc. How can I make my time spent with Jesus a higher priority?