As we reflect on this year I think we all can agree that we have seen some strange things from the government being in chaos to family dysfunction. Sickness, death, frustration and if we be honest for just a moment some of us have asked the question God what is going on? What are you up to in all of this mess? How do we properly understand the loss, the dysfunction, and the lack? Needless to say that when the clock turns 12:00 the New Year rings in but the problems are still there. How do we come to grips with the reality of our present situation but yet still maintain that God is still good?
The woman who is one of the main characters in our scripture had seen twelve New Year’s but yet still had the same problem. She had a condition that did not end when the New Year came but it persisted despite her going to the doctors, despite her persistence her problem did not go away. Many of us are fooled to believe that a new year will wipe away old problems. That is not true because Jesus told us that in this world we will have tribulations but He also gave us hope “He said be of good cheer because I have overcome the world.” Meaning we are going to have some problems but rest assure that greater resides in us so we do not have to fret because in the end we win.
Year after year this woman did the same thing over and over again so what changed this year? I believe her mind changed, she decided to do something different. Mark 5:26-27 gives us a clearer picture of the events. She tried the doctors, she spent all of her money nothing worked for her, it wasn’t until she changed her mind to try Jesus that her situation changed. May I share with you that you will not see a change in your problem until you change your mind. The bible tells us in Romans to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. That word renewing is continuous, daily. We cannot expect new things when we are stuck in cycles of failure. Cycles start in your mind.
If we are going to break cycles of failure we must stay in the press. When I say the press I am talking about being persistent to chase after God. The Greek work for press is “apothlibo” it means to press on all sides, squeeze, press hard. Like pressing out grapes and olives. In this new year I want you to press hard into the presence of God, squeeze on him just like this woman and crowd around her. The pressed on Jesus until they got what they needed.
Here are a couple of points I want to leave with you.
Stay close to God. Deepen your relationship with God. Fast more, pray more, read and study more, in this season you will need and rely God has never before. This woman had to realize that she tried everything else the only way to break this cycle was to get close to God.
Train your ear to hear God clearly and then do what He says. Mark 5:27 tell us “she heard about Jesus.” You can no longer rely on yourself to make decisions. If you want to see change and learn how to deal with issues you need your ear glued to the mouth of God. “Lean not to your own understanding but acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” No longer can we afford to operate in our flesh. Our flesh is emotional, flesh is fickle it is not a good indicator of reality. We have to rely on Holy Spirit if we are going to see change in our lives. If she had not followed the leading of her ear she would have still been bleeding. But she heard and she followed. Whatever God tells you to do that even if it is strange to others do it.
Despite the naysayers press forward: The woman was unclean and embarrassed but she pressed forward. No doubt if she had told anyone they would have stopped her from going after her healing because it didn’t make sense. There were so many people pressing him, seeking His attention, how will he notice her? May I share with you that a touch of faith could not be hidden from Jesus. So because of her faith the physician quickly saw the patient and she was healed.
Family I want you to know that there is great reward in your obedience. Your faith will be tested but press forward, the crowd may be large but press forward; you may feel non-existent but continue to press. Your healing is in your press; breakthrough is in your press. God knows your touch, He knows the sound of your voice, he knows the softness of your skin, and he knows your tears from anyone else’s. He knows what you are going through, He cares, and He is coming to your rescue. In this New Year you have to do something different. Change your thinking, stay close to God, hear is instructions and do what He tells you to do. Stay in the press.
Have you ever felt alone in the middle of a room full of a sea of people? The room is full to capacity with laughter and conversation. People are talking, catching up like old friends but no one is talking to you. You have a feeling of being out of place but yet you are called to be there. There are times in my life where I have been alone but people were around me. I felt that the people did not understand me or even like me but yet this is place that I have been called to serve. I have asked God how do I serve in a place when I feel so alone? How do you serve but yet you are in exile? This was hard for me I battled with my feelings of rejection, sadness and aloneness but yet I was called to serve and still held accountable to uphold the assignment.
The Bible tells us that to be a disciple that we have to take up our cross and follow after Jesus. In no way shape or form did Jesus say that following him would be easy. In fact He said that we would be persecuted for His sake and that tribulations would come but the good things is that Jesus has overcome the world. Meaning that everything that we face Jesus has overcome it for us. Jesus was exiled for a purpose when he went to the garden to pray the disciples went with him but yet he was alone because they could not even stay awake long enough to pray with him never mind pray for him. The cross was exiled the disciples left him during the hardest fight of his life but yet he endured because of the assignment he was called to. At His point of pain and despair He still had to serve. My friend just because you are in a place of exile right now the assignment does not stop. No my friend you have to push forward, wipe away the tears from your eyes and do the work.
What I learned during this time was that God was dealing with me about me. I had some problems it was not the place of serving it was I. I had to deal with old hurts and not infer my pain on those whom I served. I had to mature and realize that I am the vessel in which God has chosen to use for this time but if I didn’t get myself together I would miss out on the joy of serving with an grateful heart.
Beloved know that your purpose will always outweigh the trials. If you are feeling alone, maybe God has you in this place to work on you. Or he wants you to be in a place where it is just you and He alone in a room so that you can hear clear directions. There are some things in life that we may loose but know that God will always provide what is best for us and what is applicable to fulfill purpose. Sometimes we think we are loosing but we are actually gaining something beautiful. My friend please be encouraged and know that God has graced you to handle the exile. The time of exile is perfecting, establishing and making you better in order to fulfill purpose.
November 16 2015 I began a new chapter in my life. I opened my own business GraceDays Boutique. Grace is an online Christian gift store. I sell Christian t-shirts, books, jewelry and all kinds of gifts. I love the concept of the store. I visit stores like mine all the time to buy gifts for my family and friends. So when I was thinking of a business to open it made clear sense to combine the two things I loved Jesus and gifts. So I embarked on making this store a success. I learned all that I could, tax laws, marketing, how to set up the website and who to buy quality merchandise from. I learned how to ship the merchandise by trial and error. I have put in countless hours to make Grace successful. I also started blogging consistently every week. Needless to say I have been busy. Did you notice how many I’s are in this paragraph?
I have been praying to God to bless my business since the conception. He has been faithful to me in my request. Recently I had to realize that I was not going be able to do all that I do by myself nor do I want to any longer. I heard a message last week by Lysa Terkeurst called “God is Good.” In her message she talked about how good God is but there was one statement that she made that helped me with my situation. She said, “God is good at being God”!!!!!!!!!!! God is good at being God, He does not need me to be worried, overworked or stressed. He just needs me to rest in Him to do what He says He will do.
You see God is the one who will do the ultimate work not us. He uses us to be His messengers in the earth. We are just that messengers. In Exodus 6 God demonstrates that He is good at being God. God tells Moses I am God. He states He will be the one to deliver Israel from Pharaoh; Moses is the messenger not the deliverer. It is God that will perform the miracles; it is God that will take Israel to the promise land not Moses. So what I am saying? Anything that we do we have to trust God to handle His part. He is faithful, trustworthy and good at being God He does not need our help in being God. God just needs us to be the messenger.
When it comes to Grace I have to trust that God is working as I continue to be the messenger. That is my part to do what He tells me to do and trust Him for the outcome. I pray that you will be empowered to release your dreams, hopes, families, jobs, business and ministries to God and let Him be good at what He does in your life.
6 Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 7 I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the Lord
Have you ever wondered why things happen the way they do? Circumstances that should be one way but the results are such that you just cannot explain how it happened, whether good or bad. Have you ever had a Joseph experience where the enemy meant one thing but God turned it around for your good? Or when you look back over your life and you wonder God after all the things that I have done how can it be that you did not allow my past to overtake my future? Despite my mistakes God continues to bless me. The cultures standards say that because of my background I am not suppose to be in the place that I am today. When I reflect upon my past I am in awe of how God continues to amaze me.
We all have felt the weight of sin, the guilt and shame has made us feel that we are not worthy to lift our hands to the one who is Holy. Many people feel unworthy to serve God. I know I have felt this way, where the burden of not being perfect made me feel inadequate to serve God in the capacity in which He has called me to serve. My life story has not been perfect I have done some things that I am not proud of . Shame caused me not to own my past.
But here is some encouragement. God loves us unconditionally. He does not hold our past sin against us. When we come to Christ He forgives our sins to never remember them again. The great news about amazing grace is that you do not have to bear the weight of sin. God has taken the weight for us, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. He took our sin to the Cross and now we are free from sin. Jesus pleaded our case, he righted our wrongs, and he broke the chains so that we could be free.
Why would he do that? Why would he give His life for ours? Love is the answer. God so loved us that He gave His Son for us. I want to encourage you today that you do not have to carry the burden of your past, when I look back at my life I have had to ask this questions many times and I sit in awe of my life now. Certain things that have happen in my life according to the world’s standards I am suppose to be a high school drop out, living in poverty but that is not my story. In recent years have gotten to a place where I own my past but understand that yes I was not perfect and I made some mistakes but my past does not negate who I am now. My past experiences have helped shape who I am today. Jesus justified me and made me righteous GRACE IS ALL HE SEES now.
Grace is your answer Jesus does not see your sin anymore, but He sees the Grace that He has poured over you. Do not be broken by the weight of your past let it go. Accept the free gift of GRACE. My prayer for you today is that you always stay in awe of God’s mercy never forget what He has done for you but don’t let your past guilt you out of what God wants to do for you now. “You are highly favored and blessed of God.”
Lately I have been trying to find a balance in my life. Between work, being a wife, mother, working in the ministry and now seminary I have found that my life can be very hectic. So I am learning to make God my priority and everything else will line up.
So many time we do things backwards we put everything ahead of God and then we wonder why our lives are spinning out if control and it’s not that activities are bad they are just out of place. But Jesus gave us a way out of the madness he said come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and He will give us rest. Then He tells us to seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all other things shall be added to you.
You see the missing principle is putting God first. God wants to the center of attention in our lives not obligations. I am not saying not to have things to do but I am saying that if we learn to put God first He will give us the grace to handle everything else.
So if your spinning out of control with all of your activities and obligations make God your priority, make time for Him and everything else will fall into place.
Have you ever felt alone and rejected? Like no one gets you or even want to understand you. Sometimes I feel alone and rejected on this journey called life. I went through rejection, I feel all of my teenaged and adult life for reasons I cannot explain and because I have felt the sting of rejection I have built this huge wall of protection around me. I am like a fortified city within myself because rejection hurts and I refuse to set myself up for pain and relational failure. This morning during my devotion time I was reading Psalms 118 verse 22 and it prompted me to write this blog it reads “the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone., vs 23 this was the Lord’s doing it is marvelous in our eyes”. WOW I had a tadah moment when I read it the word REJECTION stuck out like a sore thumb because this verse is talking about JESUS being REJECTED, yes I said it JESUS felt the sting of rejection, he experienced the hurt of not being liked, or accepted. Jesus experienced being talked about, lied on and alienated by people who are suppose to love you.
But look at what is interesting in this scripture “THIS WAS THE LORD’S DOING” Jesus rejection was all apart of God’s master plan of salvation. Jesus had to be rejected in order for him to get to the cross, had they loved him, accepted him he would not had endured the cross. The cross had to take place in order for us to saved. The bible tells us that Jesus experienced everything that we would ever experience but he did not sin. Everything we would ever suffer Jesus suffered it first. Let’s look at Jesus example to learn how to handle rejection. Jesus healed the sick, clothed the poor, preached the gospel of love to a people who did not receive him fully, they looked at him simply as Joseph the carpenter son and nothing more. The sought to kill him but Jesus sought to love them unconditionally. Instead of building a wall of protection Jesus vowed to love those who hated and persecuted him even on the cross Jesus asked the Father to forgive those who had done this devilish deed because “they know not of what they do”. He blamed there deed on ignorance instead of hatred.
So what do we learn from Jesus? If Jesus was rejected do not expect any different in your own life. People will not always love or treat you right, but your response to their actions is critical to your happiness. Your response should be LOVE, yes you got it LOVE. Jesus loved this world even when the world did not love HIM, it was apart of the plan. So do not be surprised when someone rejects you, it is a part of the plan, everyone will not go with you and for where God is taking you they would probably be more of a hindrance than a help so bid them farewell and safe travels and thank God for shielding you from what could have been a disaster. The next lesson you need to learn from Jesus’ rejection was that he knew who he was and his purpose. When you know who you are in God and the purpose that he has for you rejection will not bother you. We are the children of the most high God, we are peculiar adopted kids into the kingdom, our daddy is God over the universe. When your father is the most powerful person in the world you can’t help but be secure in Him. Rest in who God has made you, he created you in His divine image, you are beautifully, wonderfully made. So do not allow the negativity of rejection to penetrate your mind to make you feel less than who you are. Be secure in the fact that you belong to God and he does not make mistakes. Trust that His plan for you is perfect. You cannot allow the naysayers to get you off track. Know your purpose and pursue it, Jesus knew his purpose on the earth and he did not allow the rejecters nor his closest friends to deter him from the destiny that was at hand.
Look at the scripture again vs23 “this is the Lord’s doing it is marvelous in our eyes” your rejection is for your good and what will come out of it will be marvelous in the eyes of others. Do not despise the process that it takes to get you where God is trying to take you. Become a fortified city of LOVE and pursue your destiny. Rejection is a hard thing for anyone to experience but the results will be marvelous once God turn it around in your favor.
Love yourself and beauty that God has made you to be. Rejection makes you stronger it will give you the motivation to pursue purpose with vigor. Receive the GRACE to heal from rejection.