Friday, November 7, 2014

Who We Are When Touched, Healed, and Delivered

image used under Creative Commons license, courtesy
of commons.wikimedia.org, picture by Wnorbutas
We're at a point in my Exponential West 2014 conference notes where I have snippets and quotes, but not complete speech notes.  That might be a bad thing if they weren't cohesive.  But there's a conference theme.  And what I've shared from the conference, previously, has been a combination of what was shared and my take on the subject.  So, we should still have fun.

Today, we'll be looking at a couple of statements from James Meeks.  James Meeks is the senior pastor and founder of Salem Baptist Church, in Chicago.

“Touched, healed and delivered people serve.”

That's a quote from Pastor James Meeks that was shared by the conference staff as a "take away" thought.  We know there are a lot of people who miss the boat on responding to what they've been given.  Luke 17:11-19 tells us about ten lepers.  Because they asked, Jesus sent them to show themselves to the priests.  As they were going, in outward obedience, they were being healed ogf their leprosy.  When one of them realized it, he immediately got into "party time" mode, reveling in his healing and glorifying God.  And he came back to Jesus, prostrating himself in thanksgiving.

The passage doesn't say if the other nine continued to the temple or not.  But Jesus noted that only one returned to recognized the truth about his healing.  In verse 19, it says, "And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.".  We have to wonder if, by not returning, the others lost their healing.  But certainly, the one recognized his healing and evangelized by his testimony and glorifying God.

John 8:1-11 tells us of the woman caught in adultery.  Jesus kept her from being stoned and forgave her sins.  It's often suggested that this was Mary Magdalene, although there's no Biblical proof of that.  But Mary was delivered from seven demons in Luke 8:2.  Either example is deliverance and we know that Mary Magdalene was transformed from a prostitute into a consistent disciple, serving Jesus and the other disciples.

John 4:4-42 tells us about the woman at Jacob's well in Samaria.  But the time she got done talking to Jesus, she was fully converted from her old lifestyle.  She had been touched.  The result was she told her whole town.  Then they came and were equally touched by Him.  But the woman served God by evangelizing those she knew.

Now, I'm not saying that everyone who is touched or healed or delivered will serve God.  And I'm not saying that all of those in ministry are really serving.  There are both the call of God and our flesh involved.  But those who really serve will be those who have had one or more of those things happen to them.  It will be a "natural" response for the supernatural to take over and create that attitude that's so grateful for what's been given that it has to "share the wealth".  It might be a cup of coffee and a word from God for a homeless person, or it might be visiting and praying with someone suffering with cancer.  It could be a regular children's ministry in a poverty stricken area.  It's up to God what the call is.

There's another statement that struck me enough to write it down.  Pastor Meeks said, "You have to be whoever you are, wherever you are.".  That seems obvious, but it's deeper than it appears. We've all met someone "spiritual" who puts on a good show.  But, somehow, the real them leaks out.  And it may not be pretty.  Jesus never asked us to be anything other than who we are.  What He tells us is that, if we let Him, He'll transform us.  So, who we ought to be is who we'll become.  If we're faking it, it'll show, over time.  But if God's really moving in our lives, that too will show.  And there will be a consistency that goes beyond how we are when we're at church, at a Bible study, or doing some organized outreach.

There's so much in today's thoughts to meditate on that we'll stop right here.  Yes, there's more from the Exponential conference.  We'll continue next time.  But let's think on what's been shared, today.  Have we been touched, healed or delivered by God?  Are we allowing ourselves to recognize that fact and to respond to it?  And are we allowing God to transform us so that the outward display is a reflection of what He's doing with our inner man?

3 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Loved this post Bill. "... so that the outward display is a reflection of what He's doing with our inner man..." that's a powerful sentence. Are we obedient to let Him use it all to His glory, to be used of Him? What an excellent reminder! I struggled with this very issue before I finally started my own blog on faith and chronic D... God had to remind me that what I saw as imperfect, He was already ready to do a good thing with it... if I let Him :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm glad it spoke to you, Christine. It always seems that the things I say or write from the heart have the most impact. What I've internalized from God makes a difference. I'm just glad He continues to use me.

    ReplyDelete