Day 14: He Knows Us Personally

Mark 5:

24 And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.
25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

This story has always been one I could vividly visualize!  Even in my minimal struggles, I know the toll that physical afflictions can take on a body and finances.  It can be so overwhelming!  I can imagine myself as this woman, physically afflicted and yearning for healing.  Wanting healing so badly that I would crawl through a crowd of people to Jesus.  Her faith was so great!  She was so certain if she could just His clothes, she would be healed.  It must have taken immense effort.  She had so much hope in the reaching out.  And immediately when she touched the hem of his clothing, she could feel the change come over her.  She knew the effort had been worth it!

I can only imagine the fear that came over her when Jesus stopped and asked who had touched Him.  I imagine she suddenly had a knot in the pit of her stomach wondering if she had done something wrong, if He would be mad at her.  I admire her so much for her courage to speak up and take ownership of her actions, especially not knowing how tender His response would be.

I admit I giggle a little each time I read the very confused response of Christ’s disciples when He asks who touched Him.  The saw the size of the crowd.  There were being pressed on every side by it.  They probably were feeling very lucky not to lose the Savior amongst the mess of people.  But Christ’s alertness and sensitivity is so profound to me.  He knew someone had reached out to Him with intent.  He knew that His power had healed someone.  I am absolutely certain that He knew exactly who it was as well.  But He gave her the opportunity to connect with Him.  He allowed her the precious knowledge that what she had done would have been freely given to her.  She never needed to feel guilty about the power she had tapped into.  He knew her.  He knew her struggles. He knew her yearnings.  He knew her faith.  And He blessed her for these things, for her efforts.  It is such a witness to me that He knows the same things about us and that He also wants to offer us His power and His blessings.  We just have to make the effort to reach out!

Song:

Known

Talk:

One Among the Crowd

http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2008/04/one-among-the-crowd?lang=eng

Soul Searching Question: What can you do to reach out to the Lord? How can you show faith that He knows you individually and desires to help you?

Be Kindly Affectioned One to Another with Brotherly Love

Ponder these verses:

Hebrews 6:

10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

Galatians 5:

13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

1 Peter 4:

8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Matthew 20:

26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Romans 12:

9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Matthew 25:

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

What do these verses teach us about how God wants us to care for one another?

Service – Day 11 on a14 Day Walk with Christ

The wise men put great time and effort into serving the Lord. It took them years to get to where He was so that they might worship Him.

Matthew 2:

1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judæa in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11 ¶ And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

Service is something that helps us in so many ways! It gets us out of ourselves and puts our trials in perspective. It fills us with love and light as we show love to others. It draws us closer to God as we act as His hands on earth.

Sure we all have opportunities for service projects and intentionally seeking ways to serve is very important, but there is another way to serve I had never given much thought to, or maybe always thought of as acts too insignificant to count as service. As we have focused on ministering this year it finally dawned on me how Jesus served one by one as situations of need arose as He went about His daily tasks.

This realization has become so significant in my life. It has made me desire to be more aware of the needs around me, to not be so busy that I don’t notice a need or that I use my busyness as an excuse not to serve where the Lord needs me. Sometimes it is as simple as acting on a prompting to send a text to someone to let them know I’m thinking of them. Sometimes it is putting a project aside to spend an hour listening to a friend vent. Sometimes it is making a special gesture for one of my family members because they have been having a hard time. But most importantly it is about noticing the people around us, paying attention to heavenly inspirations, and being willing to invest love and time where the Lord wants us to, one by one.

Song: Adore Him by Kari Jobe

Challenge: Will you watch for ways to serve as you go about your day today?

Kindness – Day 2 on a 14 Day Walk with Christ

I think Joseph was such an amazing example of this characteristic!

Matthew 1: 18-25

18 ¶ Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.

From the very time we are introduced to Joseph we are told that when he found (or thought) his espoused wife had been unfaithful to him he did not desire her to be humiliated as he could have requested, rather he planned to have her put away privily. When I think of the human ego and how much we naturally desire vindication, I think this says so much about Joseph’s kindness.

Then when the angel visited him he immediately did as he was told and took Mary as his wife. Then putting aside his own needs as a husband he became her greatest mortal partner and support.

This song brought me to tears as I thought about this kind man’s role in the nativity story.

Challenge: Put aside your human tendencies and in kindness reach out to someone else today.

(I changed my mind because I felt inspired to reinvent the wheel and make our walk a more Christmas focused than the original blog I was going to follow. But I’m still going to use the artwork found on her blog http://www.jedicraftgirl.com)