My Name Is a Man with Leprosy

My Name Is a Man with Leprosy

In Christ, our identity isn’t tied to our past failures. We’re what we’ve become solely by God’s grace. The recipient of grace in this story is described simply as “a man with leprosy” (Mark 1:40), but Christ’s healing touch would transform this individual’s anonymous suffering into a powerful testimony (see Matthew 8:2). Labeling his problem was simple, and obtaining cleansing from Christ was, in his case, immediate (see Mark 1:42). For some, sobriety comes quickly, instantaneously, as soon as they surrender to Jesus. But for others it is a process.

This one-time leper was cured of his disease by the touch of Jesus. But Jesus wasn’t through with him. There were still some steps to take. Our Lord instructed the man to

– keep silent about the miracle
– show himself to the priest
– offer the gift (sacrifice) required by the Mosaic Law
All these steps tie directly to that law. Jesus was careful to do everything according to the law under which he had been born and now lived. The new covenant, which depended on Jesus’ death and resurrection, was still in the future. Under the law, neither the cured man nor Jesus had the authority to publicly declare a leper cleansed. That was work assigned by God to the priests (see Leviticus 14:2-32). Jesus wouldn’t consider breaking the law, and keeping that particular law would make this man a “testimony to them” (Matthew 8:4)—that is, to the priests who would carry out the required rituals.

Jesus wants to transform us, too, into testimonies as we practice the principles that Christ presented (see 5:1-10) during his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. This man’s healing took place as Jesus “came down from the mountainside” after delivering the great sermon that encapsulates the principles of recovery. These principles, combined with God’s power, change our identity. Rather than being an alcoholic, an addict, or an abuse victim, each of us becomes a testimony to God’s grace.

THERE IS GOOD IN YOU

THOUGHT:
When anybody first gives their life back to God it is normal to be overwhelmed with a sense of remorse for all the sinfulness in our lives. That’s called conviction. We are guilt stricken because we are guilty. We realize, maybe for the first time, that we have offended a holy God.

It’s not that you have never done anything good. It just means that your good doing cannot save you. We have all done plenty of good and plenty of bad. But salvation is not based on the merit of our activity. We are saved by God’s grace and we receive His free gift of life.

Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done. It’s all God. Everything we have is because of Jesus. This motivates us to do more good. We do good because God has made us good. We live a good life because God is a good God, and our good works bring pleasure to Him.

We were actually created to do good works. It’s God’s plan that our whole life would change and start to reflect His good character. That we would live lives that serve others and help others.
You have natural desires inside you to help people and to love them. It’s not too difficult for any of us to be moved with compassion for someone. All of us see situations and want to help make them better. That’s normal – because there is good in you.

The more we spend time with God and talk to Him about what is happening around us, the more we will start to see a natural desire to do good. It’s in you to do good. It’s part of being human – to love and to serve and make this place a better place for all.

TIME TO THINK:
What good activity do you find easy to do?
What good do you need extra effort to do?

PRAYER:
Father, thank you that You are a good, good Father. You have created me for good works. You want me to live a life that reflects Your goodness. Help me change from some of the bad things that are in my life. Help me to walk this new life by the power of Your Spirit, in Jesus Name. Amen.

YOU’VE CHANGED

THOUGHT:
God and man experienced an uncomplicated intimate friendship in the garden of Eden. It was the way it was always meant to be. No fear of judgement, no shame, no hindrance. Just a deep loving relationship that was life itself.

Sin changed all that. It severed what was natural and fulfilling. Sin interrupted a natural order and disturbed the peace -globally. For the first time, man was afraid so hid from God. And, well, we have been hiding ever since.

You have changed!

You are part of the human race that has changed and fallen from its original plan and purpose, which is to reflect the image of our Maker. Adam’s sim has affected us all. The whole planet is out of balance. This is the most vivid picture of how our choices today affect our descendants tomorrow.

Thank God for His plan of salvation. That God is reconciling the whole world back to Himself through Jesus Christ. Our only hope of changing back to what God originally made us to be is found in relationship with His Son, Jesus.

TIME TO THINK:
God saves us and restores us for relationship.
What relationships do I need to work on fixing or making better?

PRAYER:
Father, I’m sorry that sin has disconnected us all from You. And I’m sorry for all the sins I have committed against You and others. Thank you for Your love and mercy. Thank you for Your saving grace. Help me walk in Your love with You and others around me. Amen.

We Are Transformed Daily as God Renews Our Minds ~ Romans 12:1-2

Do you want to have greater resistance to temptation, more wisdom in decision-making, and increased influence among your friends? Each of these skills is rooted in your mental patterns and in meditation.

We must remember that rewiring our minds is an ongoing spiritual operation. Though we are redeemed at Calvary, the process of repairing the mind isn’t a onetime event. It’s a process, which is explained in Romans 12:1-2:

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice . . . Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (emphasis mine)

To fulfill God’s good plan and accomplish His will, we must stop thinking the way the world thinks and start thinking the way He does.

How? With biblical meditation. It’s our greatest tool and most effective technique.

As we ponder, picture, and personalize God’s Word, we begin looking at life through His lens, viewing the world from His perspective. Our thoughts become happier and holier and brighter— and so do we.

We practice biblical meditation by noting, quoting, and devoting ourselves to whatever passage of Scripture we’re reading or studying, based on the premise that God’s Word is flawless, faultless, and unfailing. Meditation helps and heals the mind while shoring up the soul. It lessens anxiety, reduces stress, and generates peace.

As we meditate, God guides and changes our thoughts, helps us process our griefs and sorrows, enables us to soak up the wonder of His greatness, and prepares us for what He has planned for us. That’s what He did for the heroes of Scripture, and that’s what He’ll do for us.

Today’s Tip

Use sticky notes to post key verses at your bedside, on the bathroom mirror, on the dashboard of your car, and other places where you’ll have opportunities to ponder them.

It’s a 6, not it’s not, it’s a 9…it’s both!

​#Perception is powerful! Our actions are determined by how we #perceive things; what we think, hear or see. Yet, our perception of events, words, and expecially people can be entirely wrong. Why?

Because through the senses (see hear, taste smell, feel);  there is potential for error. 

Until our mind is completely #renewed our perception has potential for distortion.

Rom 12:2: And do not be #conformed to this world, but be #transformed by the #renewing of your #mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of #God.

Just for fun…when a disagreement comes up in the next 7 days, try leading yourself to the other side of the situation – You might find that they are not wrong – they are just in a different place than YOU!  You are not wrong, you’re in a different place than THEM! 

#LeadByExample #Intentional  #InfluenceOnPurpose #BeOpen #WhatsYourAim #PowerToChange #MentorMe

Being Michelle…OnPurpose♡

A thank you prayer to the LORD

Lord I come before You, desiring to provide thanks.
Father, I have so much to be thankful for, things unseen and seen, that You have done in my life.
Lord, mostly I am thankful for the relationship that I have with You.
Lord, You initiated this relationship, by what Your Son endeavored to accomplish, paying the price for my sin, redeeming and reconciling me.
Dear Heavenly Father, You know the times I have been ungrateful, held ill thoughts toward You and my fellow humans.
You know the times I complain and grumble about life and its circumstances, about suffering, going through what seem endless trials and tribulations.
Even yielding my members to unholy deeds.
Yet God You are and always will be there with me, even when it seems like I am forever in the wilderness, running further and further from You, You, my God are there guiding me back to Your loving arms.
I am thankful Lord for everything that You allow to cross my path.
Thankful for the decisions that You allow me to make and the lessons that come from these decisions.
I’m thankful, Lord, that I do not have to live under condemnation anymore, that You have truly set me free, that I am a new creation that I need not live under the law anymore.
Thankful Lord that You have given me joy unspeakable.
Thankful Lord that You are long suffering, allowing me to mature in You!
Lord, words do not express my thankfulness.
For Your mighty power is at work in me, transforming me, renewing my mind.
To You Lord belong thanks eternal.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
First written 6/17/10 – Michelle
Re-posted 6/17/16 – The Butterfly
#Transformation