Characteristics of God, Compassion, Godly Living

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.

Ambitions, Citizen of Heaven, Resident of Earth, Goals

How Will You Prepare for this Transition?

This past week, we have had a great deal of emotions related to the election alone. Some happy. Some sad. Some resolving to be content in a discontented situation. A wide array of emotions. Our actions are just as varied. Complaints. Protests. Violence. Self-isolation. Deleting facebook friends, who are in favor of a different candidate than you are.

We and our world are in dire need of intervention. We need to remember our hope that extends beyond any of today’s politicians’ promises for a better tomorrow. It is time to remember the hope, assurance, and peace that only God can give!

I don’t know (nor do I want to) where you stand in relation to the election. I don’t know anyone’s opinions on the election. But I do want us to do something intentional. There are ten weeks before our next president begins his four year term (along with his cabinet of advisers).

Let’s devote ourselves to search the heart of God intentionally, and just give to God our hearts and our country.

When we give ourselves fully to God, that is when He is going to move mountains like never before! I am setting up a reading plan for myself, over these next ten weeks. I am sharing it, in case this is stirring anyone else’s heart to join me in this pursuit.

I want to see God move mountains.

I want to see God perform miracles like never before.

I want to see what my God can do!

… It all begins with prayer and studying His Word!

… Its starts with us turning from sin and turning our lives fully toward God!

I know God is deeply concerned about our nation, too. God sees everything going on, and He is in tears about everything going on too. He cares about what is going on in the nation, because He lovingly and passionately cares for us. He wants us to begin seeking Him and to start inviting Him to be involved in our lives and our nation as well.

The question is, how will we prepare for our next president?

While we could use this as an opportunity to breed discontentment, gossip, and strife, we have another choice too. And, that is to seek after the heart of God. While I cannot promise you that your deepest fears won’t come true, I can promise you that God loves you personally, deeply concerned for you, and wants to work in your life. And, He is not going to leave your side. He is waiting for us, to begin seeking after Him and allowing Him to be our Faithful Companion and Source of Hope.

You can view the reading plan below –

Citizen of Heaven / / Resident of Earth Reading Plan

~ Stacey

Walking Into The Light (Ephesians)

Fueled by God’s Power {{Week 3 Recap}}

Welcome, friends!

Today, we are going to sit with our journals and ponder the truths we discovered this week.

What has stuck out most to you, this week? Is there one truth that hit home harder than the rest? How are you implimenting the truth, and allowing it to be a catalyst for your life?

Last week, I asked you for your top three. I asked, as I shared my top three. Today, I want you to think about your top three for this week, and be sure to comment below to share them with me.

As I scroll through my printed journal, I have a few of my own to share.

1

{Day 15} God is my good good Father. He gives me an inheritance, but it is done so purposefully. God is rich in His giving. He is determined to provide all I need. And, this is one truth I need to hold onto. I need to trust God to provide, even when I don’t have the slightest idea how things will turn out. God will provide. God has given me an inheritance. He will take care of me on earth, too.

2

{Day 16} The God I serve, changes lives. When I spend time with God, I am allowing Him to work in my life – and – change my life! God is changing me. God is working. God is not calling me to “figure things out” for myself, but He wants to help me work through every single detail of things I face. He wants to help in every decision I make. And, it is counted as an absolute pleasure to God!

3

{Day 18} God wants to fuel my life, by His Awesome power! If I will seek Him, my life could be fueled 100% by God. I wouldn’t have to try and do things in my own strength. I could discern and know His will, plans, and purposes. But, it comes with seeking after God with all my heart. I have to be willing to trust Him!

Learning to Trust

Trusting God definitely feels like a theme for this week!
… which is true. I do need to learn how to place my trust in Jesus versus the things I can see and touch.

God is continuing to remind me of His power. Even this week’s focus Scripture points us to God’s power.

God’s power is unlimited, and that’s what we have access to – as followers of Jesus!

Ephesians 3:20 teaches us that nothing is impossible for God. While we may wonder how God can pull off some things in our lives, we need to trust God and seek to know more about His power.

God is not powerless, far from it. God’s power far exceeds anything we could ever imagine. So, does His passionate love for us!

As we conclude week 3, what is God teaching you? How are you putting it into action the belief that God is all powerful?

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Grace Leads: A Devotional Series on the Power of God’s Grace

Godly Living

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?

New Testament Study

The Confirmation (Mt. 11)

Read Matthew 11.

A lot of times I feel like I can resonate with John the Baptist to some degree. (Note: I am far from being persecuted for the sake of the Gospel. Being persecuted is far worse than any trial we could endure. But even trials, help us to need that confirmation too). I mean, he is sitting in prison. He is awaiting what is going to happen to him. He is probably wondering how long it will last. Yet, he is needing the kind assurance that Jesus is who He says He is.

“When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else (vv. 2-3)?”

Let’s be real: Even if we aren’t in prison, we are facing different circumstances where we are wondering…

  • When will this be over?
  • How will I get through this?
  • What will happen?
  • How will my heart survive this much aching?

We need the calm assurance of Jesus the Christ! We need Jesus to speak His amazing words of truth into our midst. It doesn’t matter what we are facing right now, we all need the healing words of Jesus to spur us on. And how awesome it is that even the forerunner needed confirmation from Jesus too!

In Luke 1, we learn about John and all God designed him to be. He would be used greatly in God’s Kingdom. Yet, he still needed confirmation. It’s okay to ask God to give you reminders of who He is.

It is welcomed, in fact!

The Confirmation

Let’s glean, alongside John the Baptist’s crew and hear what they heard. Jesus told them –

“Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me (vv. 4-6).”

This is the God we serve!

The blind receive sight.

The lame walk.

Those who have leprosy are cleansed.

The deaf hear.

The dead are raised.

The Good News is proclaimed to the poor.

How have you been blessed by the Lord Jesus?

The Message We All Need

In our times of struggle, we need to have this confirmation.

In our times of success, we need to hear this message

It does not matter who you are, because this is one message your spirit desperately needs to hear!

Lord Jesus, fill our hearts with hope even when discouragement surrounds us Even when stuff is going on in our lives… Even when the noise is 100% louder and longer than the silence… Keep reminding us of Your eternal hope. You are the Good News we need to hear about.

When the trials seem unending.

When kids are loud and you crave silence

When your spirit is broken.

When your spirit is excited.

…. We all still need the words of truth that Jesus provides hope for the believer.

For those who plant their trust in Christ, we enter a beautiful place of hope. Jesus’ hope can outshine any circumstance. Even prison. Even illness. Even financial hardships.

Whatever we face, Jesus and His hope is still greater – and can reach us in the deep places of our hearts and lives.

How can you plant your trust in Jesus today, and receive His everlasting hope?

About John and the Kingdom

Jesus describes John the Baptist, as a great man. He was handpicked by God as “the forerunner”. In Malachi (3:1), we are reminded that John was prophesied about beforehand. Jesus knew John was great. Yet… Jesus uses this opportunity to share the Gospel.

“yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he (vv. 11b).”

The Kingdom of God has been subjected to such violence. Many have been killed, because they not only know the truth – but they also proudly declare it to the world. The Gospel is going forth. But, people must decide. How will they respond to the Gospel? How will they respond to the confirmation that Jesus is who He says He is? How will we respond to the Gospel on a daily basis?

“Whoever has ears, let them hear (vv. 15).”

Jesus is the Son of God, who willfully eats with tax collectors and sinners.

We need to really ponder in our hearts how we have respond to Jesus.

We need to consider how we have rejected Jesus Christ as the great Savior of the world! Even when met with miracles powerfully declared by God, folks are rejecting Christ as Lord. They have rejected the One who came to save them from their sins and give them new life – including a love relationship with their Savior Jesus!

In everything Jesus does, He brings glory to God. He does it for God. He is seen living in action about everything the Father has told Him about.

Jesus doesn’t skip a beat. He is there reassuring us of the truth found in our heavenly Father. He is encouraging us and giving us strength for the journey!

We need those truths. We need to remember the Jesus we serve! We need to remember how Jesus ends this chapter.

We are called to come.
We are invited to come running to God through Jesus.

Come, Oh weary soul, and find rest.
Come to Jesus. You don’t need perfect circumstances. You simply need Jesus Christ and the everlasting hope that He provides.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (vv. 28-30).”