Do we have the faith to allow Jesus to change us?
Chapter 8 of Luke finds Jesus taking his show on the road. In reading about this road trip I am first amazed and then impressed by those listed as his traveling companions.
After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means (Luke 8:1-3)
The most remarkable thing about that group is how remarkably unremarkable they really were. Fishermen, tax collectors, prostitutes, evil people and some who just plain old weren't important enough to have their names remembered.
Yet Jesus took this motley crew on the road. He took them on the road because (though they had a checkered past) they were humble enough, courageous enough and trusted Him enough to allow him to love them, heal them and change them.
Too often we are like a friend of mine who said he kept walking around the mountain in the snow. When he finished the loop he found his footprints and just followed them. Around and around he went and where he wound up was the same place he had already been. He could have taken a new path. But change is hard, it's risky and it is scary. So he stayed where he was.
Jesus wants to heal us and help us. He is ready willing and able. His outstretched arms reach to us. The question is will we put our hand in the hand of the man who stilled the waters. Will we put our hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea?
In chapter 8 verses 4-15, Luke records Jesus' teaching of the Parable of the sower. Understanding and applying two parts of this teaching can help us become what God created us to be.
The first part is found in verse 11, where Jesus says, "The seed is the word of God." There are two Greek words .translated word in the New Testament. One is "rhema," which is the spoken or written word. The Bible is the rhema of God. The other word is "logos" Logos is the expression of something. Logos is the word used in John chapter one for Jesus. "In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God." The seed in the sower parable is logos, "the expression of God". I believe this seed sown in us is The Holy Spirit.
If that is true then the next question has to do with how the Holy Spirit grows in our lives.
It seems to me that verse 15 of Luke 8 offers a three-part strategy to spiritual growth and maturity.
Hear the word. That is hearing with ears that allow the word into the mind and heart.
Have an honest and good heart. That would be a heart that trusts God and wants to learn from him as well as be changed by him.
Hold it fast. This involves consistency and perseverance in doing the right things, such as meeting with other Christians, Bible study, prayer, etc.
God wants to free us from the things that hold us back and help us be all he created us to be.
The question is, do we have the humility, the courage and the faith to do these things and allow Jesus to love us, heal us and change us?
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