I’m excited to host a guest post and giveaway of Kathy Collard Miller‘s new book, Pure Hearted. Kathy’s earlier book “When Counting to 10 Isn’t Enough” was a life changing for me when I was a young mom struggling with anger. This post is powerful. Read, enter, and win!
At a women’s retreat, a woman named Allison asked me, “What should I do when my husband says …?”
I gently responded, “If I gave you a formula to follow, how would that leave out God?”
At first, she was startled. “I just want to know how to head off a fight. What’s so bad about that?”
“I understand that, but how would that leave out God?”
After a few moments, she replied, “Well, I guess I could just depend upon the formula rather than looking to God.”
“That’s right. You would miss an opportunity to abide. Jesus said he only did what the Father told him to do. Do you think Jesus followed a formula? Was he always predictable?”
These thoughts were almost shocking to Allison. Since then I’ve begun making a list of the different ways Jesus responded as he abided in the Holy Spirit’s power. Wanting to do what his Father wanted him to do brought glory to God. Jesus’ varied responses reveal his care, love, and attention to the details of each person’s life.
He knows them and is inviting them to know him. Here are examples from the book of Mark.
- invited fishermen to become fishers of men (1:17)
- rebuked demons (1:25)
- took a sick woman’s hand (1:31)
- healed the paralytic with a word of forgiveness (2:5)
- reasoned with scribes who were reasoning … within themselves (Mark 2:8)
- called Matthew with words Follow me! (2:14)
- used parables to touch any receptive hearts (4:9)
- hushed a storm (4:39)
- allowed healing by a woman touching his hem (5:30)
- invited disciples to participate in the provision of food (6:37)
- walked on the sea to give peace and courage (6:50)
- seemed like he was rejecting a Gentile woman before healing her daughter (7:27)
Additionally, in Luke 5:15-16, he left needy people behind to have a private time with the Father.
But my favorite example is Jesus’ sensitive response to the needs of a deaf and dumb man through sign language (Mark 7:31-37). Initially the way Jesus responds to this man seems weird but we couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Theologian Sinclair Ferguson comments:
The man could not hear Jesus and he was also incapable of verbal communication. So Jesus “spoke” to him in the language he could understand—sign language. The fingers placed in his ears and then removed meant, ‘I am going to remove the blockage in your hearing.’ The spitting and the touching of the man’s tongue meant, ‘I am going to remove the blockage in your mouth.’ The glance up to heaven meant, ‘It is God alone who is able to do this for you.’ Jesus wanted the man to understand that it was not magic but God’s grace that healed him.
Jesus doesn’t respond with “one size fits all” actions. He chooses what’s best for each one.
I would challenge you to make your own study of the different and unique ways God responds throughout the Bible. You’ll see his heart of love, grace, and other beautiful attributes. Remember, when you “see” Jesus in the New Testament, you are “seeing” God the Father.
This guest blog is adapted from Pure-Hearted: The Blessings of Living Out God’s Glory. Order Pure-Hearted at: http://amzn.to/2jzYdWi.
Enter the Giveaway for Kathy’s book!
Kathy is making a copy of Pure-Hearted available to the winner of a book drawing. Enter by win by commenting below on ways you’ve experience Jesus through the Bible. The winner will be drawn on January 9, 2018. (US addresses only can win.)
Kathy Collard Miller is an award-winning author of over 50 books that include Christian living topics, women’s Bible studies, and Bible commentaries. She is a speaker who has shared in 8 foreign countries and over 30 US states. Kathy and Larry have been married for 47 years and are the parents of 2 and grandparents of 2. They live in Southern California and often write and speak together. Visit her at www.KathyCollardMiller.com. She would love to hear from you.
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