Will you run after Jesus?

Sea of Galilee

 
 
 
The Sea of Galilee

And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves. The people saw them going, and many recognized them and ran there together on foot from all the cities, and got there ahead of them. Mark 6:31-33

So much need, no time to eat.

When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things. Mark 6:34

Matthew Henry writes:

they seemed to be well-inclined, and manageable as sheep, and willing to be taught, but they had no shepherd, none to lead and guide them in the right way, none to feed them with good doctrine: and therefore, in compassion to them, he not only healed their sick, as it is in Matthew, but he taught them many things, and we may be sure that they were all true and good, and fit for them to learn.

Even though Jesus and the disciples were weary and needed to rest, they ministered to the people who were hungry for guidance … hungry for the spiritual food that only Jesus could give.

They ran to Jesus and would not leave Him until He fed them spiritual food as well as earthly food. Not until this multitude of 5,000 men, not including women and children, were full did Jesus send them away.

I’ve been as desperate as these people were. I’ve run after Jesus, not letting Him out of my sight until He filled me with His healing touch, His spiritual food, and His earthly provisions. Nothing else really mattered.

Only Jesus mattered.

Looking upon that desperation, Jesus had compassion, for He is the Good Shepherd. He filled every need beyond any human expectations.

He wants to fill your every need. Won’t you run after Jesus, sit at His feet, drink in His teachings, receive His healing, eat His bread?

He’s looking upon you with compassion.

My prayer for you

Our Good Shepherd, we long for Your guidance, Your touch, Your filling. Lead us by Your staff, set a table before us in the presence of our enemies, anoint our heads with your healing oil, and walk us through the valleys as we dwell in Your presence forever.

Has Jesus told you to do the impossible?

Pastor Chuck Israel

Overlooking the Sea of Galilee as Pastor Chuck Smith teaches from the Sermon on the Mount Scripture.

When Jesus found out that John the Baptist had been beheaded, He withdrew to be alone. However, the crowds followed Him. He looked at the crowds and had compassion on them and healed their sick.

Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” Matthew 14:15-16

“We have only five loaves here and two fish.”

Three questions about the disciples’ choices

  1. They told Jesus what He should do. Jesus was the Teacher. He was the Healer. Did Jesus need instruction?
  2. They scanned the crowd for food before they went to Jesus. Did they know the nature of Jesus would not allow Him to send the people away hungry?
  3. They responded in weakness, only five small loaves of bread and two small fish. Was anything impossible for Jesus?

Jesus’ compassion

And He said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. Matthew 14:18-21

Jesus chose to take the little food that the disciples had found, bless it, break it, multiply it, and give it to the disciples to distribute to the crowds.

The disciples did feed the crowds with the little that they had when they surrendered it to Jesus.

Each time I have read this story, I have concentrated on the compassion that Jesus had on the crowds. I think that there may be a greater compassion that Jesus had on the disciples.

Jesus gave the disciples an impossible task to do in their own strength. I can imagine Jesus taking a long breath, smiling, and looking at them in love as He said, “Bring them here to me.”

He looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.

Here was the example. Jesus looked to heaven. He prayed.

Jesus multiplied the little that the disciples had and gave it back to them to feed the crowds.

And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. Matthew 14:20

Out of surrender came empowerment.

Out of little came abundance.

Out of prayer came a miracle.

Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. Matthew 14:22

Out of obedience came another assignment.

This is the only miracle of Jesus that is recorded in all four Gospels. The Holy Spirit has much to teach us about the nature of Jesus, total surrender, and the Christian walk through this miracle.

My prayer for you

Compassionate Father, grant Your perfect wisdom to Your children as You teach us the truths in this miracle of provision, this miracle of total surrender, this miracle of taking little and growing it to abundance. We bring what little we have to You. Multiply it and empower us to bless others with abundance and service. Thank You for Your compassion on Your followers and the world.

One touch of faith, many healed

Nicole C. Mullen – One Touch from 2nafish on GodTube.

And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognized him, they sent around to all that region and brought to him all who were sick and implored him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well. Matthew: 14:34-36

Jesus fed the 5,000, sent the disciples to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, walked on water, saved Peter from drowning in the stormy sea, and now walked in Gennesaret.

“Look, there’s Jesus. He healed her when she touched the hem of His cloak. Bring the sick.”

Matthew Henry tells us that the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years was from this area. She had squeezed through the tight throng of people around Him, reached out and touched the hem of His cloak. Power rushed through her veins, and she was healed, changed forever.

“Daughter, your faith has made you whole.”

Maybe these men saw it. Maybe she was so changed, that she spent the rest of her days telling people and glorifying God.

This twisted piece of wool that the people so desperately wanted to touch hung from the mantle or cloak of Jewish men and reminded them of the Law. Here was a man who had kept the Law perfectly. Here was a man who would hang on the cross and take on God’s wrath for them. Here was a man who came to fulfill the Law, Matthew 5:17.

In faith, the sick reached out to touch the man who healed all who came to Him, who provided food from a few fish and loaves of bread, who walked on the stormy Sea of Galilee, who taught about the Kingdom of God. They reached out to touch the God of the Law, the God of Grace … and they were healed.

One woman’s touch of faith brought the healing of many as they saw the change in her.

When we mix faith with the word, apply it to ourselves, depend upon it, and submit to its influences and commands, then we touch the hem of Christ’s garment. Matthew Henry

God is waiting for you to reach out to touch Him. How do you want God to work in your life?

My prayer for you:

Father of Righteousness and Grace, we reach out to touch the fringe of Your mantle. We long to feel the power of Your Spirit flow through our veins. Renew our strength, so that we will mount up as on wings of eagles. Empower us to soar in Your grace as we glorify You. May our healing bring many to You.

He is Risen!

Garden Tomb

He is not here, for he has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay.  Matthew 28:6

From the Garden of Gethsemane to Golgotha,
From the cross to the tomb,
From the empty tomb to the right hand of God,
Our Lord reigns!
May the passion of Jesus as He contemplated
the cross grip your soul.
May you comprehend the love of Jesus as He took on the sin of the world
for the joy that was set before Him.
May you walk in the power of the resurrection and the joy set before you.

Wishing you a blessed Easter.

Surrender all, possess your inheritance, your healing

I surrender all

Look! For so many years I have been serving you, and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a kid that I might be merry with my friends; but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with harlots, you killed the fattened calf for him.

My son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. Luke 15:29-31

Jesus told a parable to demonstrate His statement, “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10 It was the parable of the Prodigal Son.

The younger son demanded that his father divide his wealth between the two sons and give the younger son his portion, instead of waiting until the father died.

The younger son left the family and squandered his wealth. When he found himself in a pig pen longing for what the pigs were eating, he realized that his father’s servants were better off than he was, and he decided to return to his father and ask to become a servant.

The father saw the son in the distance and ran towards him, embracing and kissing him. The father put a robe and ring on the returned son and called for a party.

The older son heard about it and confronted the father.

Look! For so many years I have been serving you, and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a kid that I might be merry with my friends; but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with harlots, you killed the fattened calf for him. Luke 15:29-30

That would be my retort.

My son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. Luke 15:31

The older son already had the fattened calf. He could have killed the calf and celebrated with his friends any time, but he did not take advantage of what he had.

Heirs of the Inheritance

  1. God’s children are heirs of His kingdom. Both sons were heirs. The younger son chose to leave the father, take his monetary inheritance with him and squander it. The older son chose to stay with the father, work in the estate, and build it.
  2. In His presence, God’s children can possess all that the Father hasThe older son worked hard for the Father, serving him. The older son does not speak of the joy of remaining with the Father, of experiencing his inheritance.

Possessing the Kingdom

Before the Lord healed me of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, I meditated on these Scriptures and wondered about my inheritance.

Was my inheritance a life filled with pain and fatigue?

What if I were like the older son in the parable, thinking of my life with the Father as a life of hard work and service rather than basking in the presence of the Father?

But we had to be merry and rejoice,  for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found. Luke 15:32

The younger son spent his inheritance, but he began to live  when he realized his hopelessness and returned to his father, asking to be treated as a servant. That’s when the celebration began, and he entered into the joy of the father. He surrendered all.

Broken, destitute, empty. No hope within the younger son, himself.

No hope within me. The doctors could no longer help me, I had run out of magical cures and ideas of what I could do to make myself better.

The Father healed me when I came to Him as a completely broken woman, telling Him that all I wanted was more of Him, more of His presence.

In His presence is fullness of joy, the fullness of the inheritance of the kingdom.

My prayer for you

Heavenly Father, may we enter Your Presence with abandon. We want to possess all that You have for us. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and guide us as we serve You with gladness and joy.

Won’t you share how you are possessing your inheritance in the Kingdom of God?

2 choices when Jesus asks, “Do you want to be healed?”

Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.”  John 5:8

Jesus walks through the blind, lame, and paralyzed to one man and asks him if he wants to be healed. The man gives an excuse rather than the answer “Yes!”

“Get up, take up your bed, and walk.”

The man has two choices

  1. Make another excuse,

“That’s impossible!”

2. Place both hands on the ground, swing both legs around, roll up on knees, curl toes under, force legs up, straighten the back, fix eyes on Jesus.

“With Jesus, the impossible is possible!”

It takes courage to obey Jesus and attempt the impossible. When the man decided to do what Jesus commanded him to do, strength surged through his legs and straightened his back, so that he could fix his eyes on Jesus.

And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath. John 5:9

It took courage to take up his bed and walk in health. This man had to discount what men would think and exclusively focus upon the walk Jesus had given him.

What is your impossibility? It’s possible with Jesus.

My prayer for you:

Thank you, Jesus, for stretching our faith, so that we have to step into the possibilities that only You can create. It’s Your power, Your love, and Your wisdom that equip us and renew our minds, our bodies, and our spirits. Transform us, renew our minds, and renew our bodies, so that in all we do, we point people to You.