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When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matthew 14:14

Sometimes we have to read between the lines when we read the Bible. Sometimes just looking at print doesn’t tell us the whole story. Sometimes, we need to remember that what we call stories in the Bible are much more than mere stories, they are life events. Disney, the Grimm Brothers, Pixar and others tell stories. The Bible talks about life events of people like you and I who are just trying to make the journey as painlessly as possible.

Forget for a moment that Jesus was son of God; that he was deity; that the creator was living among the created as one of them. He just received word that his cousin had been brutally murdered by a lust-filled king because of a stupid promise made during a drunken stupor. They were only a few months apart. They held the same passion for God, the same message for the people. Now John was gone.

Jesus got into a boat to get away from the crowds that were pressing against him. There motives were self-absorbed. They had sick and crippled children; they were the blind, the lame, and the demon-possessed. They had needs and saw Jesus as the fulfillment of those needs.

Jesus’ escape, so to speak was much-needed. Nothing like a boat ride on a quiet lake to give you time to think, time to remember, time to worship. Time alone with your God is never a bad thing, but especially when you are hurting.

His trip was short and when he arrived on the other side another crowd was waiting for him. If it were me, even though I love being with people I’m quite sure I’d look at the crowd on shore and drop anchor. Although he was man, he knew these people. He knew that some would not even say ‘thank you’. He knew that NONE of them were deserving. He knew that some of them were simply there to see a good ole’ fashioned healing service.

In the midst of his sorrow and grief, in spite of the things he knew about the crowd, Jesus had compassion. Read that again. He had compassion. It wasn’t compassion built on the status of the people; it was compassion because of the character of God.

Jesus hasn’t changed. Although he is in heaven at the right hand of his Father he still sees your need. He doesn’t look at whether you deserve healing. He isn’t concerned about how you got to where you are on the journey. He isn’t expecting any payment in return. He may not choose to heal you physically, but his touch can give you the strength to endure. He’s not interested in your ‘get me out of this one and I’ll …” promises. He only wants to make you whole.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. When I read this story I am once again reminded of your great love. What a wonderful Savior who reaches out to us in your own sorrow to lift us from despair. Thank you for loving me. Touch me with your hand of grace and mercy. Empower me to live free of the inner pain I’m in. In your name I pray, Amen.


For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. Romans 8:14 (NLT)

What does a person who is being led by the Spirit of God look like? To some he/she is a person who exhibits certain external gifts. To others a person led by God’s Spirit is someone who avoids certain places, words or activities. Some will try to put limitations on how the Spirit works in our day, thus limiting his power to express himself freely.

Spirit led people don’t worship in a particular way. They can worship quietly and solemnly or actively and loudly. Spirit led isn’t an action. Spirit led is an attitude of heart. When we decide how God’s Spirit leads us, it’s our spirit we are following not God’s. When that happens we limit God’s power to our own understanding and our own limitations.

Jesus says that the Spirit of God is one that will lead us to an understanding of what God is like. So to answer the question about what a Spirit-led person looks like we need to answer the question, “What does God look like?” The answer to that question, in my opinion is: “How do you describe God?” His word says that each of us is created in his image. Do we all look alike? NO! Do we all act alike? Definitely not! Do we all have the same likes & dislikes? Ridiculous. God didn’t create robots. We weren’t stamped from the same mold.

So then, Spirit-led people are people who exhibit best what God has made them to be. The Spirit of God empowers us to live to the fullest potential God intended for us. As Max Lucado says in his book “When God Whispers Your Name”, the Holy Spirit helps us in three directions-inwardly (by granting us the gifts of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-24), upwardly by praying for us (Romans 8:26), and outwardly by pouring God’s love into us (Romans 5:5.

The Spirit-led person then, isn’t defined by a particular style of worship songs and actions. He’s not defined by a particular spiritual gift (or the lack thereof). He isn’t defined by the name of the church he attends. The spirit-led person exhibits the image of God in their lives through their thoughts, their words and their actions.

My God, Jehovah God is a God of passion. He’s a God of creativity and diversity. He shows himself in the power of the severe storm with thunder and lightning. He shows himself in the silence of falling snow.

He shows his creativity in the sunrise and sunset and in the birth of a new-born child. My God, Jehovah God isn’t bound by the limitations of time or human nature. Nor is he affected by the decisions of political regimes or religious dogmas.

Because I am human and Jehovah God has given me free will, I will, at times, fail to live by the power his Spirit has given me. But because of Jesus I can be forgiven if I repent of my sin. I can brush off the dirt from my falling, be healed by Jesus blood, and continue on because of His mercy and grace.

PRAYER: Father God. I praise you for your creativity and passion. I thank you that even though I stumble and fall, and sometimes I fail miserably, you are always there to forgive me, and help me back to my feet. I pray that you would empower me live according to your Spirit and not the interpretations of man. May others see you in my actions, words and attitude. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

 

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