Be Happy for Them

Mark 14:6   (KJV)   6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.

Mark 14.6 - Be Happy for ThemJesus corrected the people who were trying to trouble or criticize the woman who broke the alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it on His head. For others, there could have been a much better use for that perfume; for Jesus, what she did was commendable.

Our sincere expressions of devotion to our precious Lord will not be understood by others. That’s very much expected from the world; majority of them won’t understand our willingness to be totally broken and fully spilled out for God. The surprise comes when the misunderstanding comes from fellow believers. Worst is when they don’t only comprehend our actions, but they criticize us—especially when they do so in public, where the lost are watching.

It’s a joy for us learning from others. We welcome suggestions and differing opinions. It’s wisdom to have multitude of counselors. We can learn even from criticisms—if we can call it as such—especially the constructive, corrective, non-judgmental, and non-condemnatory kind—gentle words birthed out of love. We understand and humbly admit we’re far from perfection. We will make mistakes; we will miss blind spots. We’re grateful when others see what we fail to see.

On the other hand, sad to point out, there are self-righteous/know-it-all people—at least that’s how they esteem themselves. Instead of being irritated, annoyed, and angry with them, we pray for them. We pray for us as well. As people of grace, we pray that we will be gracious towards everyone—especially our families—in this context, our spiritual families. Obviously, we have different expressions of devotion. We may feel like there are better ways, but they may have reasons we’re not privy to. What they do may be better than our preference. And that’s our position regarding our differences: they may know something we don’t. With that, we can just be happy for their love of our Savior.

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Healing – The Jesus Way

Mark 5:23   (KJV)   “And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.”

Jairus, whose daughter was extremely sick—to the point of death, had faith in Jesus. Interestingly, somehow he found it necessary for our Lord Jesus to lay hands on his Mark 5.23 - Healing - the Jesus Waydaughter. It was through such gesture of our Lord that he believed his daughter will be healed.

I don’t ever want to criticize anyone who does things differently in relation to their ways with the Lord. As long as the bottom-line, necessary, non-negotiable doctrine is on target, we celebrate the differences in the body of Christ. To be clear, I had spiritual traditional beliefs and practices I eventually found out were abominable to God. When I thought I was pleasing God and was getting closer to Him, I was incurring curses upon myself. But among true believers, we believe the same essential doctrines. Often, it’s only the expressions of our beliefs that vary.

The woman with an issue of blood for twelve years believed that if she could only touch the hem of Jesus’ garments, she would be healed, and she got healed after she did it. It differed from Jairus’ perceived effective method. Both of them though anchored their faith on the Person of Jesus. And none of their preferred process was anti-God or anti-Scripture.

Laying on of hands for healing–whew. We feel like if we do, we identify with a denominational persuasion where this practice is common. But why hold back? Let’s celebrate those denominations for getting there ahead of us; they’re not our competition, although, sad to say, others treat them even as enemies. Jesus spoke to sickness; He laid hands on the sick. If He did, I guess there’s nothing wrong with it. In fact, many of us have done it, and we’ve witnessed people getting healed. Our faith is in our Great Physician; and we just employed the simple WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) principle in the right context.

Cleansed and One

Acts 10:15   (KJV)   15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

We can absolutely trust in God because He is dependable; He doesn’t gravitate between two opposing opinions; He knows exactly what’s true and right; He knows exactly what to do. He doesn’t violate His Words; He always does what He says He will do. He doesn’t acts-10-15-cleansed-and-onebreak His promises; all His promises, in Jesus, are “yes” and “amen.” Our God is immutable; He never changes. What may seem as changes are part of His grand design.

God has absolute, irrevocable, and unchangeable commands; He also has dispensational dealings. Although there are myriad discussions regarding this issue, God’s different dealings with His people throughout history is obvious. There’s definitely a big difference between the age of innocence during the time of our very first parents—Adam and Eve, and our present dispensation of grace.

One of the “revealed-as-needed” truths in God’s plan is the oneness of the Jews and Gentiles. The wall of separation has been torn down through our Lord Jesus Christ. God has created ONE new “man.” All of us in Christ are cleansed, and all are one. Jew and Gentile, man and woman, young and old, rich and poor; democrats, independents, libertarians, green party, republicans, etc.; Americans, Europeans, Asians, etc.—all of us who have placed our full dependence on Jesus for our salvation and have bowed our hearts before Him in surrender—with all our differences—are forgiven, cleansed, accepted, and we belong to one spiritual family.

 

Distinctions

Exodus 8:23   (KJV)   23 And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.

There are similarities and differences in the experiences of God’s people and the world. God determines which is which. The world isn’t disqualified from all of God’s blessings exodus-8-23-distinctionsand goodness; God’s people aren’t exempt from tragedies. God makes the sun shine on both; He makes it rain on both. But there is a time when in God’s wisdom, He decides to create a distinction between those who are His own, and those who fight against Him.

Those are so many things believers do that unbelievers do; there are even miracles they can imitate; demonic forces are supernatural beings capable of extra-ordinary feats. But they can only go so far; they have limitations; our God alone is omnipotent. But yes, there’s suffering in the world, and Christians aren’t exempt from suffering. In fact, there are additional sufferings unique to believers; we do get persecuted for our faith.

God has sovereign plans for His people that will be accomplished no matter what. God has sovereign plans for the wicked that will be accomplished no matter what. The godly and the wicked may share the same blessings and experiences here and there, but there’s surely a demarcation line in this. God has a different destiny for the godly, and a different destiny for the ungodly. We’re excitedly waiting for our ultimate “tomorrow” when the difference will be total and final.

Hidden from the “Wise”

matthew-11-25-26-hidden-from-the-wise

Matthew 11:25   (KJV)   25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

The ways of Lord surprise us many times. How can we be thankful when people don’t understand, when people don’t believe? Why would God hide indispensable truths to some; isn’t it best if everyone believes? If it was up to us, we would rather have everyone convinced as we are. But our Lord knows the futility of feeding pearls to swine, and He warns of the worse condition of those who understand and still obstinately refuse to believe.

The world considers many of the unbelieving world as wise; sadly, many of the intellectually gifted are blinded by the same gift. Many of them have bloated minds but malnourished hearts.  We pray for them so they would see that even in their wisest state, their wisdom still fails pathetically short when compared to God’s wisdom. Remember, the highest heights of our wisdom only touch the lowest lows of God’s foolishness.

God’s inscrutable and often unpredictable approaches to situations result in our grateful praises to Him. Repeatedly, He surprises us with ways and strategies that cause us to be even more awed when we see how successfully and wonderfully things turn out. And as always, as difficult as they may be to understand in the beginning, God always does things for His children’s best. Even in the area of understanding and wisdom, what others fail to see, we see; when others disbelieve, we believe; when others can’t see convincing proofs, we see enough and we’re convinced. We see black and white as black and white; we also see gray as gray. We have God’s essential revelations covered, and we graciously agree to disagree in areas where we as brothers and sisters differ. God has deep secrets, but we are humbly satisfied with life-changing and life-guiding truths that He graciously shares to us.