Lent, pt. 20

Traditions. Lent is a tradition.

When I think about what the word tradition means, I realized that it was not clear to me.

So I looked it up.

This what you get when you type ‘tradition definition’ in Google:

tra·di·tion
1. the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.
“every shade of color is fixed by tradition and governed by religious laws”
2. THEOLOGY: a doctrine believed to have divine authority though not in the scriptures.
It was the second portion that caught my attention.
It seems that millions of people observe Lent even though it is not in the bible.
I am going to chew on that for a while.
Initially, I want to say that we should disregard Lent because it is not scriptural.
But the motive behind it seems worthy. Doesn’t every believer want to know Jesus better?

I guess it goes back to motives.

Why?
As we are about to start the second half of Lent, check your motives.
I can say that there have been less-than-noble motives on my part.
I am ready to change some things.
May God grant you peace and mercy during this time.
Thanks for reading and I hope to see you tomorrow.
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Lent, pt. 19

How is Lent going for you?

Tomorrow, day 20, marks the half way point. May the second half be the better half!

I realized earlier today that I did not really connect Lent with the story about the woman who had the issue of blood.

So connect I will!

connection

Above all, the woman had a goal. She wanted to get to Jesus. Sure, there were distractions and setbacks. She was in debt and in massive pain.

Things were not good. But she knew what she needed.

Notice, she knew what she needed and not what she wanted.

Too many times, I base my decisions on what I want.

Is Lent a time for you and I to get what we want? I don’t think so.

I want to be like the woman. She pushed through the pain, she focused amid distraction, and she battled amongst the crowd.

All to get to Jesus.

That sounds like someone I want to be like.

Maybe this year, during Lent, God can change me.

Will I do what it takes? Am I devoted?


So Lent, I think, should be about making time to let God do His thing.

And if that means touching the hem of his garment, then so be it.

Lent, pt. 18

And with a final burst of strength, she extends her arm with fingers grasping until, finally, they close on cloth. The hem of His garment.

hem3

Instantly, she feels whole. Healed. Yes, the pursuit has wrought victory over pain!

Her faith was champion! She pursued and was now devoted.


What a story! It would be great if we all had success stories like this woman. After so much toil and suffering, the end of that season came and she was healed!

There was Pain for 12 years. Lent, pt 14

This led to Desperation. 

But, because she did not go to Jesus first, a Problem arose. Lent, pt. 15

And she became Disillusioned.

People were in her way. Lent, pt. 16

They were potential Distractions.

Nothing would stop her Pursuit. Lent, pt. 17

Her Determination was strong.


As we finish her story, Jesus speaks and this woman is healed.

What was the Product of this journey? Now, fully healed, she was Devoted to Jesus.

Sure, she may have been frightened because she did not ask permission or even speak to Jesus. She just reached out and grabbed his robe!

All of her fears or misgivings were dismissed after speaking with the Lord.

She became a devoted follower of Jesus. At least I think she did. The bible does not give us her story after this encounter. So dream with me…

When Jesus performed other miracles, she would be in the background affirming that Jesus is really doing this and it is not some magic trick.

Was she at the scene during one of the miraculous feedings? Can you imagine her sharing some bread with a friend and explaining her own healing?

Or, she was witnessing the death of her Lord. As he hung on the cross, she would urge those around her that this man is innocent. He is God! He healed me!

Sure, those are just speculations on my part but it is fun to think about the future when we see the present.

What is Jesus doing right now.? Will your future be affected by your present?

Simply put, are you devoted to Him?

I hope my words can spur you on to devotion.

Whatever phase (pain, problem, people, pursuit, or product) you are in, keep moving! Don’t let the devil win. Jesus already won. Just live it out.

As devoted followers of Jesus, we can change our world. After all, Jesus changed us first!

devoted

 

Lent, pt. 17

If you are new to this blog, you can click here to catch up on this Lent series. Thanks!

The woman with a bleeding disorder is finally going to get to Jesus.

Her pain made her desperate.

The problem created disillusionment.

The people distracted her.

And her pursuit is because of her determination.

She has pressed on for so long. She has fought her way through the crowd. The pain has been endured long enough.

She was determined! Nothing was going to stop her any longer.


I go back to the phrase…“when she heard about Jesus…”

The English word ‘heard’ is more than just hearing a sound. It is properly hearing, then listening, and then acting on what has been heard. Our word acoustics comes from this Greek word, akouo.

The next word, ‘about’, means all-around (on every side); encompassing. Our word perimeter comes from this Greek word, peri.

Roughly 25 years ago, I remember hearing the Minnesota Orchestra play music written and directed by John Williams. Some of the titles are pretty famous; Jaws, Superman, Indiana Jones, and Star Wars, to name a few. This picture is of Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis.

orchestra hall

The sound filled the great hall and completely surrounded the audience. That night, I ‘heard about’ this great music. To this day, it is still some of my favorite music.

Our woman from the story ‘heard about’ Jesus and she was hooked. She would not relent in her pursuit until she had him.

She was in Pursuit because of her Determination.

Right now, in your life and mine, what are we pursuing? Are we determined like the woman was?

Tomorrow will conclude this mini-series from Mark 5.

Come back and see the Product of this encounter.

Lent, pt. 16

Lent, pt. 14 was about Pain leading to Desperation.

Lent, pt. 15 dealt with the Problem and how it leads to Disillusionment.

This post, Lent, pt. 16, will show us how People can be a Distraction.


Our main character, the woman, was in Pain which led to the Problem.

Verse 27, in Mark 5, notes a turning point for this woman.

“When she heard about Jesus…”

Was it a neighbor? Perhaps Jesus was in her town and she heard the crowd.

How she heard of Jesus is does not really matter. The fact that she did hear of Him is of utmost importance.

Have you heard about Jesus? What an awesome and life-changing story!!!

Read the gospels. They give eye-witness accounts of His life.

Just reading about the life of Jesus could bring change in your own life. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.

This woman still had the crowd in front of her. She had People to go through.

The People in this story are the Distractions of life.

Distractions could be:

  • temptations
  • work
  • hobbies
  • laundry
  • spouse
  • relationships
  • church
  • etc.

Just about anything could be a distraction.

If the devil is a magician, he is waving his left hand so we cannot see his right hand doing something else.

I believe that distraction is the biggest tool of Satan. That’s why I listed good things on that list along with the negative things.

If we get distracted, we are not as focused on God. If that happens, the door is now open for greater sin to come into our lives.

The woman in our story was focused though.

“…she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak,…”

Meditate on those words. What type of struggle or pain did this woman endure to get to Jesus only to touch is robe?

What will you endure to get to Jesus?

woman with bleeding

Remember, she was desperate.

If you are desperate due to pain, don’t let it become a problem which will disillusion you. Fight your way through the people, which are distractions, until you get to Jesus.

And that is what I want to speak on tomorrow.

What do you call fighting the crowd until you see Jesus? Pursuit.