Tag Archives: faith

One reason we don’t receive

She struggled her way through the dense crowd which engulfed Jesus. She approachedTeen Acquainted with Grief - girl purposefully from behind not wanting to draw attention. Her goal was simple, reaching Jesus. Accomplishing it could be life threatening but this was a life or death action. She could not wait. Successfully reached Jesus unnoticed, she stretched her hand and touched his robe.

She had bled for over 12 years exhausting her resources without answers. This Jesus was known to heal. He was on his way to heal. It was what he did. She knew, deep in her heart, if she could just touch his robe. This was her chance. She did not need eye contact. Who was she anyway? She was nobody, she was shunned by everyone else, she was unclean. But Jesus, she knew that Jesus could heal her. A touch was all she needed.

She reached, “If I just touch his clothes,” flit through her mind boosting her courage. Fingers grazed the fabric and immediately her bleeding stopped. She knew she was freed from her suffering. (Mark 5:28-29) The surge of this power stopped her in her tracks as she embraced the sensation, allowing it to fill her and empty out – push out – all that was impure in the face of pure holiness.

The crowd flowed past but only for a split second before everyone stopped. She glanced up, He had turned and was looking straight at her. She diverted her eyes not wanting attention drawn to her, wanting to be invisible.

He spoke, “Who touched me?”

“Master, the crowds are hemming you in and pressing against you.” One of His disciples said.

Jesus was insistent, “Who touched me? I know power has gone out from me.”

The woman felt a finger pointed directly at her though not a hand was raised.

She fell at his feet feeling equally grateful and exposed. Without raising her head she told her story. In His deep compassion He tenderly slid his hand below her chin lifting her face, “Daughter, your faith has healed you, go in peace.”

Jesus was surrounded by people “hemmed in” people constantly bumped into Him. Why didn’t power flow into everyone? Why her? There was enough power that left He knew someone was healed. He stopped. I think He wanted to make full contact, not just ignore her like everyone else had. He knew who had touched Him – He wanted her to speak, to say out loud what she needed to acknowledge, her need for His healing.

No one else was healed. Many may have needed His touch but didn’t ask. Maybe out of fear or they were unsure He would, or could do it. Whatever was the cause they didn’t ask, so they didn’t receive, “You do not have because you do not ask.” James 4:2. It was her faith that brought healing. She asked, by her action, with full expectation of being healed.

Ask and it will be given to you.” Matthew 7:7

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

What do you need that only Christ can supply?                           What is keeping you from asking?

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What is your fragrance?

3 columbines on TorreysThere are many synonyms for fragrance; aroma, odor, cologne, perfume, and smell to name a few. Each word brings a picture to mind. Cologne may spark a memory of hugging your grandmother whereas aroma could bring a flood of Thanksgiving feast memories of turkey cooking and homemade pumpkin pie.

One of the most pungent scents I can think of is the smell of a campfire. Sitting around the fire ring on a camping trip is packed with family memoires from storytelling to marshmallow roasts to make sh’mores. You couldn’t stay put in one chair or even designate a log as yours for the smoke was so unpredictable shifting constantly. As soon as you’d move it would change direction.

The time eventually came to pack up camp and head home. As soon as the clothing bag entered the laundry room and was opened I could smell the campfire. The smoke had permeated every square inch of every item bringing a smile to my face each time. I love the smell of a campfire; I guess it is because of the memories.

Fragrance brings a totally different picture; it is of colorful gardens, floral shops and flower arrangements. Each flower carries its own fragrance and some fragrances are so light our sense of smell cannot even detect it. Fragrances can be spicy or musky, sweet or sour, each is unique to particular flowers. My favorite is lilies with roses not far behind but with roses each bred has a fragrance which is slightly different. For flowers to release their fragrance they must first open up and be vulnerable. If the bud stays tight we would never smell its unique fragrance. Only when the flower dies and is crushed does it release its full potential.

The mint leaf had only a little fragrance until it dies, is dried and crushed. Then the fragrance is so potent it can overwhelm many other smells. At the Celestial Seasons tea company in Boulder Colorado they produce mint tea. To be able to do it though they had to give mint its own room, the mint room, which is sealed off from all other areas of production. If they didn’t do this it would weave its way into all the other flavors of tea.

2 Corinthians 2:14-15 tells us “through us God spreads everywhere the fragrance of the floral displayknowledge of Him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved.” Fragrance, like mint and campfire smoke, lingers after you have left the mint room or camp ground. We are a fragrance, our lives our words, our actions should be remembered by those whose lives we touch.

My daughter Beth was a wonderful example of being the fragrance of Christ, when her name came up in conversation or on an invitation list people spoke only well of her and her love for God. On her swim team she was given the title “Social Butterfly”. To her there were no clicks. When she saw a team mate standing alone she would draw them into the circle. What had first started as the ‘popular’ group, we all know what that means, and the ‘outcasts’ became “The swim team”. No one was left out when Beth was around. She would light up a room by simply entering for her attitude was always one of love and joy, Christ’s fragrance.

We are all created as individuals; the fragrance of Christ will ‘smell’ different for each of us. There is one common ingredient we all need though, a willingness to be His aroma.

What aroma do you want to remain when you leave?

A life fragrance is our reputation. Our lives may be the only sermon some people may ever hear.