Archive for the ‘The Touch of Christ’ Category

I love the stories in the Bible. But I’m constantly reminding myself that they are more than nice stories; they are history, the true accounts of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit impacting lives for thousands of years.

In 2 Kings 13:20-21 is one of the most amazing stories I’ve ever read. But what really trips me out… (oops, I slipped back into the ‘70s for a moment) But what I think is really amazing is the casual way this miracle is stated. The writer of 2 Kings uses two short verses to tell the story then moves on, as if this was no big deal. Maybe to God its not a big deal, after all; all things are possible for God. Here’s the story as I see it:

Elisha dies and is buried, not in a coffin, the body was completely wrapped in grave clothes. The clothes were probably similar to what he usually wore, tightly wrapped, and the head was wrapped separately then placed in a tomb. Another guy dies (his name is not mentioned) and at his funeral his friends saw some bad guys (Moabite raiders… I feel a joke coming on). They got so scared that they threw the man into Elisha’s tomb and took off running! When the dead man lands on Elisha’s bones he immediately comes back to life and stands up. WOW! There was resurrection power still in Elisha. Did you notice that the man landed on his BONES? Can you say decomposed?  One scholar says Elisha was dead for a full year!

What does that means to us?

First, this shows that Elisha did not perform his miracles by any powers of his own, but by the power of God! Second, it should challenge us to believe for the power of God to work through us. I think we do ourselves and others a disservice when we focus on the power of God FOR us instead of asking for the power of God to work THROUGH us. Third, the Bible says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. The Bible also says that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to us who believe. (Eph. 1:18-20) Never limit the power of God, even to raise the dead. Why not? Jesus said even greater things we will do because He was going back to the Father. Are you ready for the resurrection power of God to flow through your life? I am, or least I want to be ready.

One last thought, wouldn’t it be wonderful if the things we did for God were so pleasing to Him and so filled with His power that He would anoint those things to change lives even after we have left this earth?

I pray that He does.

PEACE

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I have always felt that physical touch is very important to our emotional health and wellbeing. The power of touch to heal has been documented through many studies. There have been over a hundred studies on the subject published by the Touch Research Institute alone. Recently a team of neuroscientists stumbled on a very low-tech way to completely prevent stroke damage in rats: tickle their whiskers. (Who comes up with these things?) I know I feel better when my grandchildren tickle my whiskers!

There is no greater touch than the touch of Christ upon our lives. The greatest experiences I’ve ever had in my life came through two ways; God’s touch and God’s voice (I include God’s Word in the category of His voice). In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus demonstrates the power of His touch. Matthew 8:1-4 (NCV) 1 When Jesus came down from the hill, great crowds followed him. 2 Then a man with a skin disease came to Jesus. The man bowed down before him and said, “Lord, you can heal me if you will.“ 3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man and said, “I will. Be healed!“ And immediately the man was healed from his disease. 4 Then Jesus said to him, “Don’t tell anyone about this. But go and show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded for people who are made well. This will show the people what I have done.“

There very important concepts we need to embrace so we can experience the power of Christ’s touch in our lives and in the lives God leads us to touch with His love:
1. We must humble ourselves and ask Jesus to touch us! The man bowed, a symbol of submission and humility. Then he spoke directly to Jesus, not letting the great crowds that surrounded Jesus discourage him.
2. We must be still until we know Jesus touched us. I see so many Christians running around trying get healed, or get their problems solved, or get their hurts cared for, when the most important thing for us to do is to be still in His presence. Busyness can be a sign of fear or unbelief. The man didn’t get up until he was healed. I admit it’s a lot easier to be still when Jesus heals immediately like He did here in this story. Sometimes Jesus heals immediately, sometimes He heals gradually, and sometimes He heals naturally, through doctors and medication.
In the early 1980’s we were living in Lindsay CA. and were attending the First Baptist church. I had been suffering from constant headaches; if I was awake I was in pain. The Bible says in James if anyone is sick to go to the elders of the church for prayer; so that’s what I did. I showed up to a Board meeting and asked them to pray for me. They sat me down and laid hands on me and began to pray. Within minutes, (its seemed like seconds) the Holy Spirit fell on me big time and I began to speak in tongues! The Holy Spirit, Tongues, Baptists? YES!!! That touch from God was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had with the Holy Spirit. Did I get healed? It took about 2 weeks, everyday I felt better until the headaches completely stopped, never to return, AMEN!
3. We must always make Jesus the focus of the touch. Jesus instructed how he was to respond to the Touch. When God touches you share your story with the pastoral staff of your church. Talk about how your story can show the people what Jesus has done. Make sure you offer your thanks and praise to God Almighty. Then let the people know how God touched you and how God can touch them as well.

PEACE

I’ve been praying about a series of teachings for my blog. The Spirit of God led me to a very interesting and powerful subject, the touch of God upon our lives. We’ve all experienced the touch of God on our lives at one time or another. My goal is to give us insight on how to continue in that touch, to continue experiencing God’s hand on us every day, all day! We will always have those special moments when God touches us with an undeniable, glorious power. I love that! I look forward to that every day. But quite frankly, for most people, those times are few and far between. The first question that comes to mind is “Why don’t we experience God’s presence everyday? Why can’t I feel God” (I stopped asking the “Why” questions a long time ago.) If you insist on asking that question I will answer it for you; Why?… because He’s God and He can do whatever He wants! Okay, now for those who are more sensitive… God knows what’s best for us even when we don’t understand. And there will be some things we will never understand this side of Heaven. One more for my macho men of God… BECAUSE GOD SAID SO NOW GET OVER IT! (he, he, he)

Why is really the wrong question to ask, if God wants us to know why He will tell us. “What” is a much better question. In the early 1980’s Michelle and I were involved with an inner city church that ministered to gang members and drug addicts. One evening I was at a rehearsal for a play that we were putting on as part of our evangelism outreach. When the rehearsal was over I walked out to my 1974 Super Beetle only to find that it had been broken into and my stereo cassette player had been stolen! Why? Why? Why? Then the question changed… what, what was God about to teach me? The lesson was a good one. I didn’t realize that as a young Christian I still had a love… okay… a lust for material things, LIKE STEREO CASSETTE PLAYERS! With no Christian music playing in my VW I had no other choice but to talk to God. Riding home in my ’74 Super Beetle I experienced a holy visitation, and at that moment God set me free from lusting after things. Being in God’s presence in my VW was greater than any stereo, or nice car, or anything else. Don’t get me wrong, I still like nice things, but having nice things is not important to me, being in God’s presence is!

That holy encounter changed my life. Can you think of a time when in God’s presence you know without a doubt that He changed you right on the spot? Cherish those times and share them with others to encourage them. Most of the changes that God makes in our lived are slow daily processes that make us more like Jesus. But it’s so awesome when we experience a holy, powerful visitation of God. My heart cries out for more of God’s presence in my life, my family, and my church.

PEACE