Archive for September, 2010

So I was at my small group meeting one night listening to Drew Thompson pontificate (with great enthusiasm and skill) upon the amazing story of the book of Mark, when I was caught off guard with my own thoughts.  Yes, that happens to me occasionally, please pray for me, it’s a bit scary at times. 

But I digress.  As we listened to Drew describe Jesus’ actions as told in one of his pericopes (hehe – look it up), it occurred to me that change we see as so difficult, is not even a challenge to Jesus.  For example, consider this excerpt from Mark:

 Mark 1:40-42: A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean. Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.

Okay.  I get it.  So Jesus saw a man with leprosy, and he reached out to touch him and he was cured, clean and healthy. Big deal right?  Of course it’s a big deal!!  I mean it is Jesus, so this was no biggie for him of course, but what if you tried it?  Not happening, right?  Leprosy was like the most feared disease you could get in those days. You became an outcast, you could not find work, or food, or see your family or friends since they were forbidden to touch you. So not only would you not be able to cure and clean him, you couldn’t even touch him. But the man in question actually believed Jesus could cure him. Once he demonstrated that and showed his faith, he was cured —- and changed forever.

You get where I am going?  There are so many things we cannot do or control in our own ability, but we have a secret don’t we?  Faith.  One of our best kept Christian secrets (unfortunately).  Just as people around the leper gave up, we do this every day don’t we?  We look at a situation and decide it is just impossible, and is in fact so not possible we will not even try.  All because we do not demonstrate our faith.  

Hardhead. Yep — I am talking to you (yes – and me too). If you really truly want something to change, then focus on your faith.  Faith can connect you to the impossible. If you do not understand faith, come ask me.  I’d love to explain it to you.

Don’t believe me?  Ask the leper.  Then maybe you can look for a positive change you need to make, have some faith, and Jesus will reach out — and make you whole.  Having faith can create incredibly long lasting change.

Try it. Then let me know what happens.  I love a good change story!    

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We do not often ask for change.  A lot of the time when we refer to change we see it as a negative thing, but occasionally we hear ourselves say, “I need a change.”  When I see something in my life I want to change, I try and ask God to help me change it.  I find that when I do that I feel more like God is on my side as I work through whatever efforts are required to make the change happen.  Having God on your side is always a good thing, but it can also increase your own personal accountability.  Accountability is something I always need when doing a difficult task, it seems to make me more aware of the need and hesitant to do wrong or not do right when I need to.  Asking God to help has a way of talking you out of bad change as well.
 
For example,  I made a decision a few months ago to lose some weight.  I got on a scale one day and said, “I GOTTA change.”  So I sat down and God and I talked about it for a bit (to some that would be called a prayer, but most of my talks with God are more chatty in style).  WE (as opposed to just I) decided that I needed to do what it took to lose a few.  So I declared to God that I was going to do it, and He promised to help.  Yep – I made a promise to God, and He promised He would help me with it.  It was at that point that my accountability began to grow.  I became very interested in fulfilling my promise, because I knew He would hold up His end!

Now don’t get me wrong, it was not fun sometimes.  But making a promise to God, AFTER I had asked Him to change me on some way just felt more real, and there really, really is not a way you can fool God, right?  Wow.  That’s accountability.  But guess what?  He did his part very well.  Every time I started to quit, I heard that whispered voice say, “You can do this, and I will help you. Remember our little talk?”

I know – you guys think I am weird, but it was very, very real to me.  Not only was I determined not to disappoint, I felt strongly supported.  God also used my wife and daughter, and some friends and family members to be encouraging and help me on my way.  He supplied what I needed to fulfill my promise.  I did end up losing the weight.  I am proud of my efforts, and honestly can say I grew closer to God in the process.  We call that a win-win!

Psalm 37:5 (NIV): Commit your way to the LORD;  trust in him and he will do this”

Do you want or need to make a change?  Sit down and talk to God about it.  Not only will the accountability help, but the help He can provide is far beyond your own abilities!

Go change something!

 

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