Matthew 10:7-8

"And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Somewhere along the way and many years ago I think the church forgot how to teach people as to what their position in Christ should look like or be like. Things started to somehow get watered down. Even I have lived most of my life not realizing just how involved Jesus really wanted to be in my life. I never realized the full potential I have in Christ. Actually I still haven't fully realized it, but I keep growing, stretching and experiencing more of that potential. I never want to stop, either. At one time I never understood the authority that God wants to give us when we go deep in the Word, absorb the Word and live by His Word. To realize the benefits of a deep desire to experience God. I never understood the power that is supposed to come with a life that is lived for Christ. I used to believe that God wanted to just help us Christians along in this life, finding ways to just make it through our simple lives until one day we would reach glory. Don't get upset. I'm not mocking. Jesus is there; Holy Spirit is there to help us get through this life. To make it through our trials. BUT............there is so much more than that!

Over the last several years and especially over the last 4, I've decided to take the Bible more literally. Now when I think of how Christ lives in me, I think of how Jesus could command demons to obey Him. How He was compelling to the broken and weak and how they were captivated by His love and compassion. I think of Jesus was moved with compassion when a very diseased man knelt before Him, poured out his heart to Him with hope beyond hope. "If You are willing, You can make me clean." Jesus reaction was not to stop and pray. It was not to ask the Father if it was His will to make the man clean or to leave him in his current state. No, Jesus, immediately moved with compassion answered, "I am willing; be cleansed." (Mark 1:40-42)

It is that Jesus who lives in me. And if you have determined to follow the Christ, it is that Jesus who lives in you. Understand with me also that we have the Spirit; the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead living inside of us. (Romans 8:11) That Spirit didn't bring about just some feel good with milk on corn flakes in the morning to satisfy the belly kind of a moment. When Jesus was raised from the dead there was an indescribable explosion of power. It is THAT Spirit which lives in us. When those two things add up, our lives should be much more than just making it through the day. Life passes quickly. With Christ in us we should never underestimate the power of a single day. We can't afford to. There needs to be boldness and strength that we present to the world around us. I didn't say cockiness and arrogance, but instead a controlled meekness just like Jesus carried.

Jesus also found favor with God. Do you understand what it means to find favor with God? And once you have it how God desires to maintain and wants to keep His favor upon you? How you can ask God for favor when you are about to buy a car, a house, or when you are about to go to the hospital to pray over the sick, or even just make an important decision? Maybe you begin to understand that it's okay to pray for favor when say...... you are praying with your son while on your way to a hockey game and then suddenly add to your prayer, "Lord, I really felt a desire to surprise my son in this way, but you know that we just paid rent, so it sure would be nice if when we get to the arena that there would be someone who would just happen to be there who would offer us tickets." (Yes, that did happen and yes I did add that to my prayers on the way to the game and YES, when we walked inside Quicken Loans arena in Cleveland there was a lady suddenly asking me how many were in my party. When I pointed to my son and said, "Just me and my son," YES, she looked at me and said, "Here you go," with a smile. Those seats were much better than I would have paid for, by the way.)

The favor of God when your heart is sold out to Him. I don't abuse that favor, but I know that in certain instances it is more than okay with God to ask for it and to simply expect it. A Father who wants to simply bless and do special things for His kids just because He can. I am reminded of how recently Father timed it out for me to run into special friends who live 730 miles away in North Carolina at a small gas station/convenience store. How they had just arrived in town and how the wife wanted to stop and get a coffee from a place where she would often stop when she lived here. How I had suddenly decided to stop and get gas at a place where I seldom stop. How when pumping gas, I was reminded how thirsty I was and that maybe I would go ahead and get a cold fountain drink. Something that I would never normally do at that location. Sure enough, as I was about to walk in that store there were two beeps from a horn and after the second I turned around and with wide eyes and a leaping spirit was suddenly looking at my two friends. Friends that I love with a passion and share a kindred spirit with. What a most excellent gift from God that day.

God doing things like that just because He can. "For His anger is but for a moment, His FAVOR is for life.................." (Psalm 30:5) We are reminded in Proverbs that "He who earnestly seeks good will find favor" and "a good man obtains favor from the Lord."

If you are feeling that I have some special connection to God and you don't, it may simply be that you have just not discovered or understood the potential that God is trying to develop in you. Maybe you just haven't understood how intimate God wants to be in your life. How He longs to be involved in even the smallest details of your day. Maybe you just haven't realized the favor that God wants to shower you with. God desires to dance over you when you aren't even aware of His presence. (Zephaniah 3:17)

And walk according to your position in Christ. You are His disciple, His friend and His chosen one. Under the title of my blog I have Matthew 10:8 written out as a reminder. "HEAL THE SICK, CLEANSE THE LEPERS, RAISE THE DEAD, CAST OUT DEMONS. FREELY YOU HAVE RECEIVED, FREELY GIVE."

Just do it! According to scripture we are already viewed as being made to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Should we therefore not be bringing more of heaven to earth? So, just do it!!!! Or start practicing doing it. It's like anything else. The more you practice the more you understand and the better you will get at just doing it. Remember, it's not really you, though. It's Christ in you. He gets the credit. He gets the glory.

And that part about raising the dead? Well, let's just say................I'm working on it!!!!! Care to join me?

Blessings, love and everything that goes with it,

Mark S.

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