Is God Your BFF? Part 3 Getting to Know the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit, God IN You

He is one of God’s greatest gifts to us, the power of God, living right inside you. How well developed is your relationship with the Holy Spirit? Do you know who He is, what His purpose is, or that He is your constant helper? This week is most definitely my favorite of the series. I can’t wait to share more with you about this incredible Power you have been given.

We’ve been talking this month about fully developing our relationship with God. We’ve learned that the way to do that is by cultivating the key qualities that make any good friendship last: quality time, good communication, and knowing Him FULLY as Father, Spirit, and Son.

Today we’ll dive in to the final part of a  3 part series helping us understand why quality time and communication with each member of the Trinity is important. 

During week 1, we talked about cultivating a relationship with God the Father, check it out here. Week 2 we explored exactly who Jesus is and how to grow your relationship with Him, read that here. Finally, this week we get to dive into developing a mighty friendship with God living right inside you, the Holy Spirit!

The Holy Spirit

He is your personal counselor, your teacher, and constant helper. The magnificent gift of God, poured out on you.

So why get to know Him better? Because He is God’s most personal gift to you, His own mighty power living in you! He’s your all access pass to all of the fullness and glory of God. He embodies God’s strength, might, comfort and rest, all at your fingertips. When you become a born again, spirit filled Christian, then the Holy Spirit takes up residence right inside you. He is with you wherever you go, doing whatever you do. Seeing everything you see, hearing everything you hear, feeling everything you feel.

Have you ever been in a situation where you had a roomate? Maybe as a kid you shared a room with a sibling, or had a roommate in college? If you’re married, you have a lifelong roommate in your spouse. To have a successful relationship with your roommate, you need to talk, interact, and cooperate. Imagine how lonely or outcast you would feel if your roommate never acknowledged your presence? What if they never talked, interacted, or consulted with you, but instead just lived every moment as if you weren’t even there?

How would that make you feel? I’m guessing pretty lonely. Maybe even useless, or unloved?

That’s exactly what we do to the Holy Spirit when we live our lives apart from Him! When you have the literal ability to tap into the Supreme Power of God, anywhere, any time, why would you ignore it?

How to Spend Quality Time with the Holy Spirit

  • First and foremost, acknowledge His presence! EVERY DAY!
  • Talk to Him. Ask His opinion about things you encounter.
  • Listen to His promptings, and follow His leading.
  • Consult Him with your day to day choices.
  • Seek comfort in Him in your daily troubles.
  • Celebrate with Him in your daily triumphs.
  • Pray with Him, tapping into His power.
  • Be purposeful to include Him in your day to day, minute to minute life.
  • Treat Him like He’s like the best friend you’ve ever had, because He is.

How to Have Good Communication with the Holy Spirit

  • Read the Word and learn to recognize His voice as He speaks to you.
  • As you’re seeking to include Him everyday, listen to His promptings. Part of His job is to quicken your spirit to make you aware of the things of God.
  • Seek counsel in Him, and heed his advice. Just like you would do with an earthly counselor, lay out your troubles and trust Him to help you.
  • Let Him teach you the ways of God. He holds all of God’s wisdom and is ready and able to share it with you.
  • Let Him pray for you. You have your own unique spiritual language, and when you don’t know what to pray, He will take over and pray for you.
  • Trust that the Holy Spirit will always lead you in the direction of God’s will for your life, and follow where He leads.

Scriptures to Help You Get to Know the Holy Spirit

Click here for a printable list of these Scriptures.

Walking hand in hand with the Holy Spirit every day will bring you so much closer to the life God intended you to live. I hope you are feeling empowered and ready to embrace all that God has for you!

Blessings and love,

Tiffany

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Is God Your BFF? Part 2 Getting to Know Jesus

How well do you know Jesus?

Is He your best friend and constant companion? Do you think of Him as Messiah, teacher, Savior? Or is He just some really nice guy that lived a long time ago? Maybe you’ve heard He’s the Son of God, but don’t know much more? Whether you’re a curious bystander, a fence straddler, or someone totally sold out for Jesus, this week’s message about developing that relationship has something for you. So let’s jump in because I can’t wait to share it!

We’re talking this month about fully developing our relationship with God. And in order to do that we have to cultivate the key qualities that make any good friendship last: quality time, good communication, and knowing Him FULLY as Father, Spirit, and Son.

To fully develop a relationship with God, cultivate quality time and good communication with each member of the Trinity. How well do you know Jesus?

You’re joining me today for the second part of a  3 part series to understand why quality time and communication with each member of the Trinity is important. Stick around to get practical tips for developing each one of these relationships.

Last week we talked about cultivating a relationship with God the Father, if you missed it, check it out here. Then next week we’ll dive into developing a mighty friendship with God living right inside you, the Holy Spirit! As for today, I am so excited to explore just who Jesus is with you, while we work on developing a personal relationship with Him.

Jesus, the Son

Jesus Christ, Messiah, the anointed one. He is the long awaited, prophesied promise of a deliverer and Savior.

Fully God, and fully man. Born of a miraculous hypostatic union between a teenage girl and the Holy Spirit. Finally, God made flesh! Its awe inspiring, and completely unique to the Christian faith, that God would lower Himself and take on the form of a man. But Praise God, He did, and He did it to save us all.

So, why do we need to know Him and develop a personal relationship with Him?

Because He is the ONLY way to God. Knowing and accepting Jesus as your Savior is the ONLY way to seal your eternity in Heaven. He became a man so that by living a sinless life, something no other man is capable of, He could forever wipe our slate clean. Because of Him we are made right with God. We can connect with God the Father again through the sacrifice of Jesus. He’s our redemption, our Savior.

We also find our hope in Him and in the example He set for us. Every possible situation we find ourselves in, every emotion we experience, every trial we face, every joy we celebrate brings us closer to Him because He has been there too. He’s experienced our pain, shared in our joy, and drown in our sorrows. The Rock is our strength when we have nothing left. Emmanuel, “God with us” carries us through our valleys. Our Victor lifts us up on our mountain tops. And the Unwavering One stays with us everywhere in between.

Getting to know Jesus is, has been, and always will be the best experience of your life.To fully develop a relationship with God, cultivate quality time and good communication with each member of the Trinity. How well do you know Jesus?

How to spend quality time with Jesus

Get in the Word! The book of John states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1, 14, emphasis mine)

Jesus IS the Word! Your Bible IS Jesus right in your hands. Read it! Jesus is revealed in every book, in every chapter, and on every single page.

The absolute best way to spend quality time getting to know Jesus is to read the Word.

See Him revealed in every book of the Bible

In Genesis He is the Creator & promised Redeemer, in Exodus the Passover Lamb, Leviticus the High Priest, Numbers the water in the desert, and in Deuteronomy He becomes the curse for us. Then in Joshua He is the Commander of the army of the Lord, in Judges He delivers us from injustice, in Ruth He is our Kinsman-Redeemer, 1 Samuel all in one, He is the Prophet/Priest/King, 2 Samuel He is the King of grace & love. 1 Kings He is a Ruler greater than Solomon, 2 Kings the powerful prophet, 1 Chronicles the Son of David that is coming to rule, 2 Chronicles the King who reigns eternally.

In Ezra He is the Priest proclaiming freedom, Nehemiah the One who restores what is broken down, Esther the Protector of his people. Job shows Him as the Mediator between God and man, Psalms our song in the morning and in the night, in Proverbs He is our wisdom, Ecclesiastes our meaning for life, Song of Solomon the Author of faithful love. Isaiah calls him Suffering Servant, Jeremiah the weeping Messiah, Lamentations He assumes God’s wrath for us, in Ezekiel He is the Son of Man.

In Daniel He is the stranger in the fire with us, in Hosea a faithful husband even when we run away, Joel He is sending His Spirit to His people, Amos He delivers justice to the oppressed. Obadiah He is the Judge of those who do evil, in Jonah the greatest missionary, in Micah He casts our sin into the sea of forgetfulness, and in Nahum He proclaims future world peace we cannot even imagine.

Through Habakkuk He crushes injustice, Zephaniah He is the Warrior who saves, Haggai He restores our worship, Zechariah prophesies a Messiah pierced for us, and in Malachi He is the sun of righteousness who brings healing.

And on into the New Testament

Matthew calls Him the Messiah who is King, Mark the Messiah who is a Servant, Luke the Messiah who is a Deliverer, and John the Messiah who is God in the flesh. Acts says He is the Spirit who dwells in His people, Romans calls Him the righteousness of God, 1 Corinthians He is the power and love of God, 2 Corinthians He is the down payment of what’s to come. In Galatians He is our very life, Ephesians the unity of our church, Philippians the joy of our life, Colossians He holds the supreme position in all things.

1 Thessalonians calls Him our comfort in the last days, 2 Thessalonians He is our returning King, 1 Timothy the Savior of the worst sinners, 2 Timothy the leader of the leaders, Titus the foundation of truth, and Philemon our Mediator. In Hebrews He is our High Priest, James He matures our faith, 1 Peter He is our hope in times of suffering, 2 Peter He is the One who guards us from false teaching. In 1 John He is the source of all fellowship, 2 John God in the flesh, 3 John the source of all truth, Jude He protects us from stumbling, and finally Revelation reveals Him as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, The Alpha and the Omega, The Beginning and the End, He is coming again and the One who makes all things new.

How to have good communication with Jesus

  • recognize who He is in your life, and give thanks continually
  • praise Him as your Holy Intercessor (*Did you know that God knows your requests before you even ask? And Jesus is sitting at His right hand right now praying for YOU. Before you even mutter a word, Jesus has already pleaded before God on your behalf! If you’ve ever felt like no-one was praying for you, you couldn’t have been more wrong. The most powerful prayer warrior in the history of the world has taken up your cause, and He prays with out ceasing. Be thankful unto Him!
  • live, move, and have your entire being in Him, as if you are locked inside the person of Jesus Christ. Going where He wants you to go, saying what He wants you to say, believing what He wants you to believe, doing what He wants you to do, being who He wants you to be, praying what He wants you to pray.

Scriptures to help you get to know Jesus

Click here for a printable list of these Scriptures.

Getting to know Jesus personally is the best decision you’ll ever make, I hope you’ve got some great ideas for cultivating your greatest relationship. Let me know how your journey is going and any other helpful tips you might have in the comments below!

Blessings and love,

Tiffany

Join our Facebook community and draw closer to God with a unique challenge, starting January 1! Follow the Facebook page, and then  sign up below for more information about “Opening Your Whole Life to God – 21 Day Challenge, 16 Hours at a Time”.

Is God Your BFF? Part 1, Getting to Know God the Father

Have you ever met someone that you really liked?

How about your best friend? Did y’all have an instant connection? Or maybe you had a rocky start? Have you been friends for a long time, or is your relationship still in that new “honeymoon” phase? No matter what your story is, I’m quite sure that you didn’t become bff’s with that special person from just one meeting. While every friendship story is unique, I bet they all have at least one thing in common. You must have made a choice and a commitment to take the time to get to know each other, resulting in an ever-growing, blossoming, and lasting relationship.

To be blessed with the kind of friendship you have, you must have cultivated your relationship. You’ve made time for each other, you do things together, you talk frequently, you share important details about your lives, you help each other, you support each other, you depend on each other. There’s no doubt that quality time and good communication have become the foundation of your relationship.

One other key thing to note about your bff… you probably don’t know just one side of them. You know them completely. You know them at work, at home, at play. You know every side to their personality. The good, the bad, and everything in between, you know, you accept, and you love.

To fully develop a relationship with God, you must cultivate quality time and good communication with each member of the Trinity. First up, God the Father.

Our relationship with God is no different! The key to cultivating a great relationship with God is found in quality time, good communication, and knowing Him FULLY, every part of Him.

Enter the Godhead, or the Holy Trinity

Its a concept that can be really hard to grasp, and the truth is, I fully believe this is one of those things that our finite minds just cannot fully comprehend. The best way for me to explain the trinity is to think of it like a family. For example, the Young family is ONE family, with 7 members (mom, dad, and 5 kids). Each individual person uniquely equipped with their own gifts, talents, and personalities, but all connected, acting together as a single family unit. The Trinity, is ONE God, manifested in 3 separate and unique persons, all acting together as a single unit.

To fully develop our relationship with God, we have to take time to cultivate a relationship with all three persons of the Godhead; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

To fully develop a relationship with God, you must cultivate quality time and good communication with each member of the Trinity. First up, God the Father.

 

Join me for this 3 part series to understand why quality time and communication with each member of the Trinity is important. And get practical tips for developing each one of these relationships.

Today, we’ll talk about cultivating a relationship with God the Father. Next week we’ll explore just who Jesus is, and work on developing a personal relationship with Him. And in two weeks, we’ll dive into developing a mighty friendship with God living right inside you, the Holy Spirit!

God, the Father

We call Him the Creator, Almighty God, Powerful One, Abba, Father, Alpha and Omega.

He spoke creation into existence, He is a planner, He loves unconditionally, and He forgives completely. His holiness, His power, and His love transcend time and space. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, His ways higher than our ways. The Bible declares there is no one good except God, not even one!  He upholds us with His righteous right hand, gives us promises of protection and blessings, passes out grace freely, curses those who curse us, and calls us His own.

Why do we need to know Him and develop a personal relationship with Him?

Because He created you! He knew you before you were ever conceived, and set you apart with a plan and a purpose. His promises of blessing are waiting to be lavished on you. He wants to be your Shield and your Protector, and He wants to lead you into His righteousness, to show you how you can live in His presence from here to eternity. His love for you is unconditional, He fights for you, He wants what’s best for you.

Do you want to know who you really are, and what your purpose in this world is? Why not get to know the one who created you and find out?

To fully develop a relationship with God, you must cultivate quality time and good communication with each member of the Trinity. First up, God the Father.

Ways to spend quality time with God the Father

  • reading the Word
  • worshiping Him for who He is
  • practicing gratitude to Him
  • quiet time spent listening to His voice
  • daily devotionals
  • prayer

Ways to practice good communication with God the Father

  • pray without ceasing
  • present every request to Him
  • praise Him in every circumstance
  • be still before Him, listening to His still small voice
  • listen as He speaks through the Word
  • listen as He speaks through others
  • obey His commands

Scriptures to help you get to know God the Father

Click here for a printable list of these Scriptures.

I hope you’ve got some great ideas now for how to cultivate a personal relationship with God the Father. Let me know how your journey is going and any other helpful tips you might have in the comments below!

Blessings and Love,

Tiffany

Join our Facebook community and draw closer to God with a unique challenge, starting January 1! Follow the Facebook page, and then  sign up below for more information about “Opening Your Whole Life to God – 21 Day Challenge, 16 Hours at a Time”.

How to Make the Most Out of Your Daily Bible Study

daily Bible study, spiritual growth

**this post contains affiliate links, for more information see my affiliate disclosures page

I LOVE to do a daily Bible study

I love to just jump in and read the Bible.  I can get so lost in the incredible stories!  It truly is my favorite book.

BUT, as much as I love to read it, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to read, or that the information always sticks.  Some parts of the Bible are incredibly tricky for me to understand, and some parts are so loaded with important information that I feel like I need to meditate on one Scripture for a week before moving on.

Quite often I like to work through scripted daily Bible studies, do daily devotionals, and read other books about the Bible to aid in my learning and growth.  These kinds of things are great tools to really enhance your understanding of God’s Word.

But it’s also vitally important to read through the Word on your own.

For me, this is the time when I feel God speak to me the most.  I am not on a quest to “read the Bible in a year,” or “get 20 minutes a day” in, I am on a quest to intimately know my King.

I don’t read just to say I did it, I read to draw nearer to the one who created me, the lover of my soul, the creator of the universe.  [bctt tweet=”Read the Bible to draw nearer to your creator, the lover of your soul, the creator of the Universe.” via=”no”]

So, today I want to share with you how I am currently studying my Bible and making the most out of what I am learning.

Bible Color-Coding!

daily Bible study, spiritual growth

There are lots of ideas out there for how to color code your Bible and why you should do it.  Many of them lead you on a quest to find Scriptures on a specific topic and highlight them all.  I do study like this occasionally, when I need information on one specific subject, but I think if you always study like this you miss the bigger picture and you can easily take things out of context.

I like to keep it simple and let God really minister to my heart.

By reading just a short bit and then taking the time to thoroughly dissect it, I can really let it just soak in, penetrate my mind and my heart, and ultimately transform me into the person God created me to be.

After I have color-coded the passage, then I jot down the things that really stood out to me in my study journal.  I am a visual learner so my journal is pretty colorful, that’s helpful to me later on when I re-read it.

Studying like this has taken my quiet time to a whole new level, by building up my own confidence.  I’m no longer relying on the studies that other people have done (as good as they may be), instead I’m allowing God to create a perfect Bible study, uniquely designed for me and only me.

The lessons He is teaching me are completely unique to my season in life, to my circumstances, to my gifts, and to my struggles.

And at the same time I am growing deeper in my relationship with God as He reveals His nature and His character to me.  I’ll never find another study that is that perfect for me, and neither will you!

Here is how you can begin your own unique and completely customized daily Bible study:

daily Bible study, spiritual growth

  1. Create a color-code chart, assigning a different color or highlighter to each category.  Think about what kind of things are you looking for in your study time.  You can make this as simple or as complex as you like.  I have seen some lists with only 3-4 things and I have seen some that are a few pages long!  Mine currently has 18 categories; it didn’t start with that many but as I find things that I feel are relevant and don’t really fit within my current categories, then I just add new ones.  My current categories look like this…
    1. Meaningful to me as a Christian
    2. Meaningful to me as a wife
    3. Meaningful to me as a mom
    4. Meaningful to me as a teacher (school-related)
    5. Meaningful to me as an encourager (blog-related)
    6. Sin!  Danger!  Stop!  Warnings!
    7. Characteristics of God
    8. Prayer references
    9. Financial references
    10. FAITH!!!!!!
    11. “In Christ” Scriptures
    12. Relationship references
    13. God’s words
    14. God’s commands
    15. God’s promises
    16. Desirable traits to have/copy
    17. Instructions for right living
    18. Healing/health
  2. Decide where you want to dive in.  There is no perfect design or a specific guided reading plan for this type of study.  Start reading wherever you want to.  I am currently working my way through the Psalms, doing only one Psalm at a time, but if I sit down tomorrow and suddenly have the urge to be in Hebrews, I have the freedom to do that!  You can read wherever you choose to and you can do as much or as little as you like.  If you want to do an entire book, one chapter, or just one verse it’s completely up to you.  Let God speak to your heart to help you decide.  (If you are brand new to the Bible, a great place to start in is the New Testament in the book of John, followed by James.)
  3. Read through your selection.  Then re-read it, paying special attention to every word, phrase, and idea.  Carefully dissect it and highlight/color/underline each part according to your color-code chart.  Sometimes a particular section may fall in line with several of your categories.  When that happens to me, I just get creative and make a way to use each color I need.  (Remember, I’m visual and this works for me!)
  4. Use the post-its and your pens to jot down anything important enough that you want to have a quick reference right in your Bible.
  5. Read your passage again!  Notice each individual part that you have highlighted and allow God to really let it sink in.  When you hear that still small voice inside, telling you “Hey, this is important, maybe you should be paying attention here,”  that’s the voice of God calling out to you.  LISTEN TO IT!!
  6. Use your notebook to jot down important notes about the things you have learned.  I like to write a few notes about each highlight I’ve made, that is my way to go deeper and let the truth of God’s word minister to my heart and mind.  I also like to make my notebook very colorful (it’s that visual learning thing again) to help important things stand out, and to make for quick reference for me in the future.  If you have nevertriedjournaling your Bible study time, the SOAP Method may be very helpful to you.  It works like this:
    1. Scripture– write a Scripture or passage that was meaningful to you.
    2. Observation– write down what stuck out to you about this passage.  What is God saying?  What did you learn from it?
    3. Application– write down a way that you can make this passage personal.  Is there something you can do to begin applying what you learned to your life today?
    4. Prayer– write out a personal prayer stemming from what you have read.  You can ask for help in the application, ask for deeper revelation regarding this topic, ask for ways to share what you have learned with others, or just pray the Scriptures over yourself and others.
  7. Finally, never allow yourself to feel rushed!!!  If you can’t finish all of these steps in one sitting then put it aside and come back to it later.  Life happens, give yourself a break.  Reading God’s Word should be a time of rejuvenation for your soul, it shouldn’t feel stressful.  Give yourself time to really reflect and seek God so that He can reveal His truth to you.  Sometimes it may take me several days to finish up all of these steps for just one passage, and that is the beauty of studying like this!  I’m never rushed, I never feel guilty for not keeping up with someone else’s timeline because I am studying according to my own timeline.  You will never feel pressured to finish by a certain date when you allow God to take control of your study time and gently lead you to where He wants you to be.

Now go, be encouraged, get your crayons and get creative with God!

“Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  2 Timothy 2:15

Blessings and love,

Tiffany

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Who Is Jesus Christ? 5 Things Everyone Needs to Know

who is Jesus Christ, spiritual growth, crazy faith

Do you ever wonder just exactly who is Jesus Christ?

Maybe you know Him as the Son of God…

Maybe you know Him as your Savior…

Maybe you know Him as your Teacher…

Maybe He’s your Healer…

Maybe He’s just some guy that lived a long time ago…

Whoever He is to you, your going to want to stick around and read this post!  Hopefully you will have a fresh perspective and renewed revelation about exactly who Jesus Christ is.  Let’s get going!

I always love reading through the book of Mark.

It’s such a fast paced book though, that sometimes I can get so caught up in the constant movement that I forget to stop and reflect on the lessons God is trying to teach me.  After reflecting on this particular passage for a while, I have been truly blessed by what I’ve learned.

God has completely renewed in me a love for who Jesus is and re-ignited my faith in Him.

Today I’m going to share these 5 things that everyone should know about Jesus with all of you.  I pray that you will be encouraged by it.

[bctt tweet=”Read about these 5 things everyone should know about Jesus!”]

Here’s the passage for today’s message:

Mark 1:40-45

“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.  Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning.  ‘See that you don’t tell this to anyone.  But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing as a testimony to them.’  Instead, he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news.  As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places.  Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.”

1.  Jesus always has compassion for hurting people

“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!’

Here is a man, most likely a social outcast because of his ailment, in desperate need of help.  Jesus is so filled with compassion for him, that He immediately takes action and heals him, no questions asked.

Jesus isn’t afraid to touch this diseased and contagious man, he just reaches right out and offers his help.  And then the man is instantly cured!  What a great picture of Jesus’ ministry.

He never judged people’s situation, He just offered them compassion and truth, which led them to victory. [bctt tweet=”Jesus never judged people’s situation; instead, He offered them compassion and truth.”]

Over and over in the Word it says that Jesus was “moved with compassion” because of His great love for people.

If Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, then just as He was moved with compassion for this man, He is also moved with compassion for you.  No matter what you have done in your past, no matter what you are burdened with, no matter how ugly you may appear to the world, He LOVES you!  And the instant you come to Him, He is moved with compassion for you and acts on your behalf.

[bctt tweet=”The instant you #ComeToHim, He is moved with compassion for you and acts on your behalf.”]

We serve a good God!

Who else in the world can ever have that kind of love for you or for me?  

No one, that’s who.

Only God can truly love us unconditionally.  And the good news about unconditional love is just that… its unconditional, without conditions!

There are no limits to God’s love!

He doesn’t just love you if you are acting right, he loves you through all of the wrongs.  He doesn’t just love you when you are clean and pure, he loves you in the dirtiest, messiest, mess.  He doesn’t just love you when you are humble and just, he loves you when you are selfish and cruel!

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you came from, He loves you right where you are! God doesn’t love you because of what you’ve done, He loves you because of who HE is!!!  He IS love.  And He is moved with compassion for you.

That’s good news!

2.  Jesus is our ultimate healer

After Jesus tells the man to be clean, it says “immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.”

Notice though, what it does not say.  It doesn’t say that all of the symptoms left him, it also does not say that he felt any different.

I don’t know if all of the visual or physical symptoms of leprosy instantly disappeared or not.  But the Scripture does say that the leprosy left him and he was cured.

I know from my own experience that healing can feel like a tricky thing.  There have been so many times when I have prayed for healing, and believed in my heart that I had received it…  but then I didn’t feel better.

So, I just wallowed in my sickness a little longer, speaking it over myself and accepting that I had it.

But if I accept the symptoms of sickness, then I’m not really believing in my heart that I am healed, am I?

The lesson here is that we live by faith, not by sight!  [bctt tweet=”We live by faith, not by sight.”]

Jesus said the man was clean and he believed it.  It doesn’t really matter  if his symptoms left him in that moment or not because he was healed, regardless of what he saw or felt.

Jesus said it, he believed it, period.

It is God’s will for us to be healed.  3 John 2 says, “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.”  The Bible tells of quite a few different ways healing comes, but the most important thing to understand is this…  It is His will!

And the Word says that if we pray according to His will, we know we have the petitions that we ask for.  Just like that!

I am not going to put my full faith and confidence in a doctor’s report or in the symptoms that may be displaying in my body.  I am going to put my faith in God’s Word that if we (who are filled with God’s Holy Spirit) lay our hands on the sick, they shall be healed (Mark 16:18).

That’s it.  Jesus said I’m healed and that’s what I believe.

Healing comes through many different avenues, but the point I’m making here is that we have to get in agreement with the Word.  He says I’m healed, so I say I’m healed! AMEN!

[bctt tweet=”We have to get into agreement with the Word #SpeakTruth”]

3.  Disobedience is still disobedience, no matter what your motive is

“Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning:  “See that you don’t tell this to anyone.  But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”  Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news.”

Jesus told this man not to tell anyone what had happened but instead to go show himself to the priests.

On the surface, this verse puzzles me.  Why wouldn’t Jesus want the man to tell of the miraculous healing God had given him?

Well, truthfully, I have no idea!  But I think that is precisely the point.

Maybe the man in this Scripture thought he was doing something good for Jesus by spreading his news?

Or maybe he just plain and simply didn’t care what God said now that he had received his healing.

Again, I really don’t know the reason.

But what I do know is this, Jesus gave him a direct command, and he disobeyed.  The reason why really doesn’t matter.

The Bible clearly says there is a way that seems right to man but in the end it leads to death.  DEATH!!!  That’s not just talking about death in your body, which happens to every living being; it’s so much worse than that.

It is talking about spiritual death which is eternal separation from God.  That’s the worst possible condition a man could suffer from.

I certainly don’t want to head down that path that seems right.  Instead, I want to travel down the straight and narrow path that I know is right.

Now don’t miss what I’m saying here.  I’m not talking about the mistakes we make.

We all fall short of the glory of God and that is why we need a Savior.

I’m talking about willful disobedience, knowing the right thing to do, and choosing not to do it. James 4:7 makes it plain and clear:

“Anyone who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”

Craig Groeschel wrote a great book dealing with this called The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living as if He Doesn’t Exist.  You should check it out!

Sometimes we are given commands in the Bible that are hard to understand and even harder to follow.  It can be really easy to “rationalize” the Word with human reasoning.

Its even easier to  just throw the Word right out the window in tough situations in exchange for a “feel good” alternative, courtesy of the internet.

But here’s the kicker, 1 Corinthians 3:19: “the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.”  Never turn to the world for an answer God has already given you.  [bctt tweet=”Never turn to the world for an answer God has already given you.”]

The Bible is like our user manual for life.  Its full of wisdom from above and great promises of prosperity for our lives.

But we can’t just choose the things that make us feel good, and ignore the rest.

That’s just not the way it works with God.

With God, we choose all or nothing.

Jesus says in Revelation, “because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

Gross!!!  If we only obey the Word when it suits us, or when its easy, or when it makes us feel good, then we are acting “lukewarm”.

And that makes Jesus want to vomit!

I NEVER want to act in a way so dishonoring to God that it makes Him want to vomit!!!

4.  Disobedience isolates Jesus

“As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places.”

As a direct result of the man’s disobedience, the Scripture says “Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places.”  That’s a pretty loaded verse containing a very sad, but very real result of disobedience toward the Lord.

Here’s some food for thought… as Christians, when we disobey by “loosely following God’s Word” we are actually pushing Jesus out of the places that need Him and isolating Him from communion with His people!

That’s a seriously sobering idea to me.

When I willingly choose to disobey God’s word for my own selfish fulfillment, I am pushing Him away from communing with me, and quite possibly pushing Him away from someone around me that desperately needs an encounter with Him.

God’s ways are mysterious and there is so much about His plan that our finite human minds just cannot comprehend.

I wonder how many times I have hindered myself because I isolated Jesus?

I wonder how many times I have stopped someone else from finding Jesus because I didn’t obey something that I knew I should have?

I wonder how many times I have directly stood in God’s way and have allowed myself to become a stumbling block to someone else?

Paul teaches that we should not cause someone who is weak to stumble because of our choices. (1 Corinthians 8:9).

And again, in Romans 14:13, he says, “make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.”  

As Christians, we are called to a higher standard of living.  People around us are always watching us to see what we do.

Is that fair?

Not really, but that’s the way it is.

If others are constantly watching us, then we should live our lives in such a way that it makes them doubt their  unbelief.

[bctt tweet=”Live your life in such a way that it makes others doubt their unbelief in God.”]

5.  God’s plan will always make a way

Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.”

Willful disobedience is wrong.

It hurts us…

It isolates us from fellowship with Jesus…

It turns others who are lost and in need of an experience with their Savior away from Him.  

We can really mess things up by willfully disobeying the Word of God.

Thankfully, He is never surprised by our willful disobedience.

Hebrews 4:13 says, “nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.  Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

God has given us a wonderful (although, sometimes it doesn’t feel that way) gift called free will.

God will not control us.  He has given us His Word, our rule book for life, and now its our choice whether we learn it and obey it, or not.

So what is the good news of this lesson?

If my willful disobedience has pushed someone away from God, can they ever find their way back?

YES they can!!  The good news is that God always has a plan!  

In the Scripture in Mark, the man willfully disobeyed Jesus, causing Jesus to be isolated, yet people still came out of the woodwork to find Him!

God is always drawing us to Him in one way or another.

John 6:44 says “no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him,” and 2 Peter 3:9 says, “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

He seeks all people out, He speaks to every one of us as that still small voice inside, then He waits so patiently for us to listen and respond to Him.

God reveals himself to the world through creation and He calls out to us constantly.

Even when we push him away, run from Him, deny Him, persecute Him…  He still pursues us!!

He knows we are going to mess up and yet He still calls us to Him!  

He knows we can never live up to His glory, but instead of just wiping us off the planet, He gave us a Savior.  

He knew we would never “get it” on our own, so He authored the greatest book ever written and freely gave it to us to navigate through this life!

God is GOOD!!!  

Be encouraged!

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:6-8

Blessings and love,

Tiffany

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