Really??

 

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14356713

I am going to really age myself here…………………..oh, well it is a fact I have crossed over the top of the hill.  When I was a pre-teen I loved to go to camp for two weeks in the summer and live in a tent, hike, swim in the lake, canoe, sail, make new friends, and be away from three younger siblings.  (I would have made a great only child!  Not proud of this.  It is just the truth if I ever told it.)  While at camp, I could receive packages in the mail and my Mamma would send homemade chocolate chip cookies, gum, letters, and comic books.  Yes, I said comic books.  My favorite was Blondie and Dagwood comics by Chic Young.  This comic is still published in newspapers today if you can find a newspaper in print form.  The thing about this comic is the way the character of Dagwood Bumstead would always state the painfully obvious facts.  Today, we ask the question: “Are you that dense?”  “Like what about the situation do you not get?”  or “Really?”   Sometimes we just shake our heads because those around us like Dagwood just are missing the point.  It can be quite exasperating, can it not?

In Mark’s gospel, a verse in the sixth chapter reads: “And He marvelled because of their unbelief.  And went round about the villages teaching.”  (Mark 6:6)  The Greek for marvelled is thaumazo which is also defined as amazed at, astonished, and surprised.  Jesus is scratching His head because people are not “getting” who He is and what He is trying to do.  This may exhibit His humanity more than any other response we have seen!   The verse just prior tells us He could not do any of His mighty works except in a few cases of healing the sick because He was not even welcomed in His own house, among His own family, or in His own country!  (Mark 6:5)

Can you even begin to imagine the frustration this trial must have caused.  Yes! You can!  We have all known those people who just cannot see the cold, hard facts of a situation because they have already made up their minds about a person, a situation, or an event.  Just like people calling Jesus a demon because He cast out demons.  Now this does not even make sense!  (Matthew 12:24)

Instead of getting mad (my general response to in my mind what is apparent stupidity and “in our family we don’t do stupid”) Jesus, on the other hand, simply left and went somewhere else to serve and teach and heal and bring relief from the oppression of religion and the evil of a fallen world to those looking for Him.  (Matthew 9:35)  He did so because of His heart of compassion for people.  All people not just His people.   His prayer was for others to come alongside Him and spread the love and the message of the kingdom. (Matthew 9:38)   Note to self:  mad is not helpful, moving on is!  Jesus did not beg and plead and try to please and impress.  He did not try to shove His message down their blinded throats.  He just went where people were looking for Him and the answers to the prayers of their desperate hearts He could answer.

Are you standing on your head to have someone “come to Jesus?”  Maybe, we should follow Jesus example.  Have you prayed for someone for so long you cannot even remember how long it has been?  Are you thinking the Father is deaf?  Are you frantic because you feel misunderstood?  Are you tired of jumping through the religious hoops of visitation, church attendance awards, living a prescribed life so everyone recognizes you “are a Christian”?  Can I like Dagwood state the painfully obvious to myself?  THIS IS NOT NECESSARY OR NEEDED!

Jesus said, “whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.”  (Matthew 10:14)

Today, may we break the chain of performance based religion and just follow Jesus.  Really?  Yes, really!  It is ALL He asked us to do.  Follow me.  (Matthew 4:19)  BTW this was more for me than anyone!  I am legally Blondie!  May we not cause the Savior to shake His head at our unbelief.

Treading with the Bumsteads,

https://youtu.be/GYXJmnJCPG0

With All I Am by Hillsong

 

Brokenness

 

House Romanian Old Village Traditional Museum

When I made my first trip to Romania on a medical mission, I was beyond frustrated and feeling inadequate does not even begin to describe my emotional state.  The needs were enormous and the resources pitifully scarce.  What was I even doing there?  Who was I to think I could bring hope and healing?  How were a few over-the-counter drugs going to alleviate the ills of these precious, humble, grateful people?  The numbers of people lined up in the freezing cold and damp air for just a vital signs and blood sugar check were mind boggling.  Visits into the homes of those unable to come to find their one room abodes without windows, indoor plumbing, and hardly any heat was heart wrenching for this more than affluent Southern belle.

I have never been so cold in my life and I had on my snow ski gear!  From early morning to late afternoon they came and waited patiently.  Not a cross word said.  Mothers holding small children.  Old men.  Middle age women.  Farmers.  Slugging their way through mud and muck to see the “medical” help.  Me!  I am a nurse!  I am not a doctor, I am not a healer, and I had no experience “laying on hands.”  “Sweet Jesus, what am I doing here?” was my heart cry for those days.  Oh and did I forget to mention, I do not have a clue how to speak Romanian?  So I needed an interpreter which only slowed the entire process.

The brokenness all around me was overwhelming.  I cried myself to sleep at night.  I was super frustrated with my own inadequacies.  I was mad they lived like paupers and I would be going home to live like a queen with a kingdom and a prince and princess to indulge.  These people, many were the outcasts (gypsies) in even the villages with its extreme poverty, were so grateful for everything but when told they needed to see a physician due to the state of their condition I might as well have been a sister telling a poor family member to be go and be filled and offering no bread to eat.  (James 2:16)

Just a casual reading through the gospel of Mark shows all the brokenness Jesus encountered on a daily basis.  (Mark 1:23-3:23 to get an idea)  I do not know how He handled the emotional toll.  He was filled with compassion and mercy and He felt “it” every time He touched someone or they touched Him for healing, for release from oppression, or to be raised to new life.  (Mark 5:25–34, Matthew 9:20–22, Luke 8:43–48).  The physical expenditures must have been exhausting because I know how tired I was after just three days.

Brokenness is required for new life.  It has been said “all new life comes out of the dark places.”  Jesus said, a seed must fall to the ground and DIE to make many seeds (John 12:24)  We grow the most through dying to self.  (Romans 6:4-8)  I was a broken soul when I got on the plane for Romania.  I was grieving the loss of the officer and gentleman.   I left with more anxiety than I had ever known!  Anxiety is the fear of failure!  I came home from Romania knowing if anything had been accomplished, I was not responsible.  I saw miracles happen.  I saw prayers answered.  I saw light in eyes that were dull.  I saw God that week.  I saw the image of God we were created in: in every single person I encountered I was seeing something I could not quite put my finger on, would discover was this image of God in each and every soul.    Jesus does feel our weaknesses!  He was physically and emotionally challenged every day.  He did grow weary.  He did experience power leave His body as He ministered to others.  The difference in me and Christ–He did so in the power of the Holy Spirit doing and saying ONLY what He saw and heard from the Father, (John 5:19) and all too often I attempt to “serve” in my own strength.  Mercy and compassion see the needs and must be accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit.  This is how the LOVE of Christ is manifested: one heart reaching out to another heart; one hand touching another hand.  It is this love that takes our brokenness and brings forth new life as we share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

https://youtu.be/F4DK7arkztw
When Love Sees You by Mac Powell

http://www.thefabricofhope.com
Fabric of Hope is a Romanian Ministry

Treading in Thanks for brokenness,

Yvonne Jones

Interruptions!!

 

“The Truth is, of course, that what one regards as interruptions are precisely one’s life.”
C.S. Lewis

How are you at interruptions?  Do you take them in stride?  I did not think so.  Me either.  If I have an agenda, I want to “get ‘er done!”  I love a check mark on my TO DO LIST.  I allow just enough time to get to appointments on time with no more than five or ten minutes to spare.  Late is not in my vocabulary.  Soooooo, traffic backed up on the interstate for miles and miles and not moving is not my idea of a great day.  As a nurse, when I take care of patients, I must be flexible BUT let’s be real, my responsibilities up against the time clock do not leave time for “wrenches thrown into the cogwheel” of my shift.  I have a routine!  This is why my favorite patients to care for are the sickest.  Then I am only juggling one or two families: their questions, concerns, and needs against the needs of who I am there for THE PATIENT!

Jesus was both the interrupter and the interrupted.  Oh, did I forget to acknowledge I too can interrupt others?  Hmmmmmm.  Well, I have things to do!  (Yes, I realize that is selfish!  I am working on it!)

When Jesus came to earth He interrupted the life of two families:  Mary’s and Joseph’s.  His birth interrupted the night of the shepherds and the year of the wise men.  When Jesus began His ministry He interrupted the lives of twelve men He called to follow Him for the next three years and then into eternity.  On the road to Damascus, Jesus interrupted a conversation about His death, burial and resurrection.  And, maybe the most astonishing interruption of all was that of Saul the persecutor of believers.  Divine interruptions changed lives.   If Christ interrupts your life, it will change.  No doubt about it.

Interruptions are a temptation.  They can cause us to sin.  They are inconvenient, untimely, unwanted, and costly.  Jesus faced many an interruption.  Just a casual read through Matthew 8-9 and 14-15 reveal just how often Jesus was interrupted while He was pursuing His divine agenda.  Let’s take a quick glance at who and why He was interrupted.
A leper for healing, (Matthew 8:2) a centurion wanted a servant healed, (Matthew 8:5) Peter’s mother-in-law needed healing before dinner, (Matthew 8:1) a possessed man needed freedom from demons, (Matthew 8:16) a scribe with questions and a disciple wanting time, (Matthew 8:19, 21) a storm interrupted His sleep, (Matthew 8:24) a man with palsy wanted the shaking to stop, (Matthew 9:2) a ruler wanted his daughter raised from the dead, (Matthew 9:18) a woman with bleeding crawled to touch Him and interrupted His journey toward the little girl needing to be raised from the dead, (Matthew 9:20), the blind and dumb wanted sight and a voice, (Matthew 9:28, 32) His mother and brothers wanted to intervene and take the “delusional son and brother” home, (Matthew 12:46) the crowds were constantly under foot, (Matthew 14:13) the Pharisees had questions and accusations (Matthew 15:1) and a Canaanite woman wanted to be as important as the Jews to Jesus. (Matthew 15:22)  Does this make you want to weep or scream in aggravation?

Jesus “was moved with compassion” and healed all of them!  (Matthew 9:36 and 14:14)  He answered the questions, touched gently, restored life, and woke up from much needed rest to deal with fear and faithlessness.  Not a cross word.  Not a bit of disgust.  No franticness.  It was as if each one who came was the only one around and they had His undivided attention.  Life being lived in slow motion.  He leaned into the moment and saw it as divine.  A divine appointment for both He and the ones who came.

Do we grasp He was on a timeclock?  He only had so much time to get His mission accomplished.  Yet, He saw each interruption as a gift:  Worthy of attention.  He saw each interruption as from the Father and He saw the “image of God” in each one.  (Genesis 1:27)

Priscilla Shirer has a study on the book of Jonah.  It is about a life interrupted.  I recommend it!  Can we begin to follow the example of Christ Jesus and see each interruption in our life as an invitation to look at the image of the invisible God present in another, an invitation to slow down and see or be fully seen, an invitation to stop and worship?  Are we missing the best life by trying to have a good life?  It is a question we need to answer and begin to practice.  We like Jesus have an expiration date.  We each only have a specific number of days. (Psalm 139:16, Job 14:15)  We can waste them in busyness or we can walk as Jesus walked receiving the life God brings to us as we are going our way. (Psalm 90:12)
http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=DG7YZLNX
Jesus did not see these as an interruptions.  All these individuals and we are the reason He came.  You are not an interruption to Jesus.  He is making His way toward you and walking at just the right pace to intersect with you when you decide to come to Him!  He deeply desires to meet your needs!  He will change your life and it will never be the same!  This is how we discover God’s purpose for our one amazing life meant only for you and me.

“We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.”  (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)  Jesus too was interrupted by His Father.
(As I wrote this article, unknown to either Freda or I we were both writing on time and the song by Jim Croce, Time in a Bottle came to mind.  Time is a valuable commodity.  Listen again to this classic but this time, listen to the lyrics as if sung to you by the Lord Himself.  He is inviting us to spend eternity with Him!)

https://youtu.be/AnWWj6xOleY

Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce

Treading in slow motion,

Yvonne Jones

 

Popularity

I Need A Hero by Bonnie Taylor
https://youtu.be/OBwS66EBUcY
Have you ever noticed how people act around someone who is well-known?  People pay extra to get front row seats so they can possibly just get to “touch” the celebrity.  The behavior is like teenage girls at a concert with the current heart-throb.  Just to be near is a “high.”  The crowds wear their tee shirts pledging allegiance,  ticket stubs are saved, framed, and pictures are taken to prove attendance; we purchase posters to hang on our walls.  No sacrifice is too great to be where this icon is.  Body guards are needed to protect the “hero” and their privacy.  We are all in need of a hero!  We need someone larger than life.  We are looking for an escape not redemption?

Matthew 3:23-25, 33-35

Mark 1:23-28; Mark 2:1-2

Luke 4:42-44  And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them.
43 And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.  44 And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.

Jesus has been preaching and healing in and around Galilee early in HIs ministry.  He started in Nazareth and then moved on to Capernaum.  His healing ministry is gaining Him much notoriety.  People are intent on finding Jesus wherever He is.  They have “issues” and they want Jesus to “fix” them.   He cannot get away for even a few minutes alone.

This is the situation Jesus finds Himself facing:  Crowds clamoring for His attention.  Begging Him to meet their needs.  They are wanting Him to set up a corporate headquarters and bring in tourist dollars.  Jesus is the man of the hour:  Popular among the masses.  He had a message and He had a product–healing.  He is the current “larger than life” hero.

Would this be a temptation to the average man?  Of course it would.  Who among us has not longed for fame and popularity as teens or adults for that matter: Wanted the coveted spot on a cheer squad, sports team, or become a member of a sorority/fraternity/club, or the cheers of crowds of fans?  We even sing karaoke for applause.   In Jesus day and in our own, the “circus” coming to town could be a lucrative endeavor for everyone.   People would come from miles around to “see and hear the new preacher with the magic touch.”  Souvenir sales, food sales, synagogue traffic with sacrifice sales.  This is a win-win-win.

Jesus desires to heal all but He was human and needed rest for He was on a mission.  He must strike a balance between meeting needs, maintaining His own health,  and “preaching the Kingdom of God” in all of Judea and insure completion of the mission He came to earth to accomplish.  The struggle for our Savior was the longing to restore desperate individuals to health and wholeness vs insuring the salvation of the entire world.  He was more interested in our redemption than our rescue from temporal discomforts.

Jesus did not fall into the popularity trap meant to distract Him from the purpose for which He was sent.  He understood His popularity was fleeting!  People are fickle and tomorrow another “hero” would capture their heart.  Remember a thief called Barabbas?  Have Mercy!

Jesus is our hero!  He just refused to present Himself as “King of the world” until He was the Savior of all mankind.  Thank you is not really sufficient.

Even today, we see many believers who start out well.  God uses them, blesses them, and then the acclaim of man takes precedence over the favor of God.  Jesus put HIs mission before the accolades of man.    (Psalm 89:15, John 7:18, John 5:44)  His journey continued.  He loved His fellow man but He loved His Father supremely and was obedient.  A lesson for us!  Let’s keep our eyes on the Master and the mission.  The FAME is His alone.

The King of the World by Natalie Grant

https://youtu.be/r6NfOJl26F4

Treading in wait for the King

Yvonne Jones

 

Frustration

 

Jesus is known for HIs patience.  So, did He ever get frustrated like the rest of all mankind?  The answer is a resounding, YES!  There are more than a half dozen Scriptures revealing His frustration but none more emphatic than Matthew 17:17 which reads:  “Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.”  Wow!  How would you like to be looking into the face of the Savior and have Him say this to you?  I would NOT!  Calling me faithless, perverse, and telling me I am insufferable.  All of this is truth, but to have Him verbalize it in front of others?  Some days I cannot even muster a mustard seed of faith, I let profanity flow out of my mouth, and I repeat the same sins over and over.

What causes frustration in the Lord the most?  Unbelief?  Lack of faith?  The Pharisees acting like a pack of hyenas?  Peter’s lack of self control?  Thomas’ doubt?  A quick journey through the gospels may give us the insight we need to not be the cause of His frustration today.   I personally do not want to be standing in front of Him when the Sword comes out of His mouth (Revelation 1:16)  I prefer to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  (Matthew 25:23)

Matthew 8:26, Mark 9:19, & Luke 9:41   But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.

Matthew 11:20-24  Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be[a] brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”

Hang in there with me.  Just a few more scriptures.  They really are important to chew on.

Matthew 16:8-11  But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread?[c] 9 Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? 10 Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up? 11 How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread?—but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Matthew 16:22-23   Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”
23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Luke 11:29  And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, “This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.[a]

Do you see, it is not our failures that frustrate Him.  It is not our lack of knowledge.  It is not our slow growth into maturity.  What frustrates Jesus is our lack of FAITH and being more interested in the miracles than the miracle worker.  Jesus wants us to TRUST Him!  He cannot help us if we doubt Him and will not let Him be our Lord.

We are a generation of spiritual Alzheimer’s sufferers.  We fail to REMEMBER!  We do not count our blessings and recall all He has done in the past.  We cannot look back and see how He has carried us through many a dark day.  WE are just like the Israelites.   We forget He is a Creator of good out of nothing!  Just reread Genesis 1.  He speaks and it is GOOD!

What frustrates you?  Really frustrates you?  Get down to the heart of the matter.  Aren’t you frustrated by others not believing in you?  Not trusting you?  Not obeying you (if you are a teacher or parent or boss)?  We are created in HIS image!  He breathed life into us and gives us air to breathe every minute of every day.  Jesus in His humanity was like we are!  And, by His life He proves we can be like HIM!  We can grow into His perfection by the choices we make.

Ann Voskamp in her book One Thousand Gifts says writing down just three things every day you are thankful for will bring joy and reduce anxiety by 25%!  Who could not use less stress!  Just three a day equals one thousand a year and our eyes open to the goodness of God even in the midst of suffering.  Psychology Today, Apr 3, 2015  reports:  Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.   And Brene’ Brown says when we practice gratitude we dissolve the one of the consequences of the “critics in our arena”–scarcity:  The fear of “not enoughness.”

Do you wonder like I do, why am I just now learning this?   II Corinthians 4:4 states, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”  This is why believing in Jesus is so vital to our well being.  It is not just about eternity.  It is for NOW!  I Thessalonians 5:18 reminds us “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.“  Giving thanks keeps my eyes on Him and reduces His frustration in me!  I be needing some of this!

Jesus got frustrated and stated His frustration to help His followers learn what He expected.  This is ALL He asked them for:  Faith.  His frustration was channeled into the right direction:  training, encouragement, and conviction.  He did not condemn.  He did not belittle.  He did not walk away.    He stays with us every step of the way………….He carries us.

Yes, I am seeing, Jesus is in all ways tempted like as we are.  (Hebrews 4:15)  He does feel our weaknesses.  It is okay to be frustrated!  It is how I handle it that will make a difference in my life and the lives of those I intersect with as I walk through life.

Leona Lewis singing Footprints in the Sand

https://youtu.be/oWdJ68t4tTw

When I remember You upon my bed, and meditate on You in the watches of the night; for You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I will sing for joy.  My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.  Psalm 63:6-8  Matt Chandler writes in his book, To Live Is Christ, To Die Is Gain, “David and the other biblical figures who wrote and spoke this way were not pursuing experiences—they were pursuing God.”  This is the cry of their heart.  This does not frustrate our Father.  (emphasis mine)

Live Like You’re Loved
Hawk Nelson
Treading in His Pursuit
Yvonne Jones

Lonely and Alone in a Crowd

 

 

As we have followed the early life of Jesus and seen some of the challenges He faced from childhood through His teen years and to the beginning of His ministry, you might think we have covered the fact that He might have felt lonely.  Many experiences in life leave us with multiple emotions to process and challenges to overcome simultaneously.  Fear can be accompanied by loneliness, as can the feelings of rejection, isolation, our search for significance and identity, and spiritual battles.  But today, we will look at an issue we all face at one time or another just as Jesus did- being alone.  “Alone in a crowd” is also a situation which makes us avoid activities, for is there any lonelier time?  “Loneliness is one of the most crushing human emotions.”  It can lead to devastating behaviors.  It leaves us lonely while touching shoulders with fellow loners.  No wonder Jesus “withdrew to a lonely place to pray” so often (Luke 5:16).

Can we as Lysa TerKeurst suggests “look for the gift of being lonely, to develop in us [you] a deeper sense of compassion…” Let’s dig deep into Scripture and see if Jesus experienced this depth of loneliness and especially the feeling of being alone in a crowd.  Just right off I bet if you know anything about the Word, you are thinking of His experience in the Garden of Gethsemane when even His closest followers could not stay awake while He prayed (Mark 14:32,39, 41, 50). And the times He went away alone to pray during His ministry (Matthew 12-13a, 23) and when He cries out from the cross due to feelings of abandonment (Mark 15:34).  But, today, I want us to explore in the life of the Savior this idea so beautifully stated by Lysa TerKeurst: “There is something wonderfully sacred that happens when a girl (and for us, Jesus) chooses to look past being set aside to see God’s call for her (HIM) to be set apart.”

I Corinthians 10:13 is our reminder and Christ is our proof positive:  “ No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”   And King David penned these words that adequately express the feelings of everyone of us as we stand alone in a crowd:

Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me,

For I am desolate and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart have enlarged;
Bring me out of my distresses!  (Psalm 25:16-17).

Let’s dig in and see what the life of Christ can teach us about how to choose to fight the enemy’s lie that we have been set aside and embrace the reality of being set apart. (Thank you Lysa TerKerust for the challenge!)

John 6:2,5, 15b, 25-66  and 7:11-15 are the scriptures to dig into.  Get a highlighter and highlight every time you see the word crowd.  Go ahead, we’ll wait while you dive into the Word.  Now, notice what not who the crowd was interested in.  Sad.  Jesus was not the source of their interest.  It was what He could do for them.  The crowds chased Him down, not to be near Him and His teachings, but to get a blessing  (food, healing, get a demon out, or have Jesus raise a loved one from the dead) or to harass Him!  Have you ever really noticed this before?  Yea, me either.  I was always looking at how I wished I could have been there in the crowd to get a healing for myself or someone I love.  I am as guilty as the crowd- more interested in what this God-man could do for me than a relationship with Him and what I might do for Him.  Without RELATIONSHIP it is just a bunch of people in the same place, at the same time, and with the same purpose.  Might as well be at a football game, alone in a crowd.

Jesus discerned the motives!  He knew their hearts.  He was aware He was laughed at and scorned (Mark 5:40a).  The people just wanted a touch (Luke 6:19) and He knew they would soon cry out for His blood (Luke 23:18-25).  Feeling used and abused is an understatement here don’t you think?

How did he cope?  Hebrews 12:2 and Philippians 3:14 tell us.  He kept His eye on the prize.  Do you realize YOU are the prize?  Jesus was our example of 1 John 2:15-16  “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the world.”

Hebrews 10:10  says, “We have been set apart as holy because Jesus Christ did what God wanted him to do by sacrificing his body once and for all.”  Jesus was set apart as a sacrifice!

What has the Lord of Glory set you apart to do?  Yes, you may feel alone in the crowd.  You are in very good company—-the Savior.   The only response to the call of God is “Yes, Lord!”  Was the call of Christ easy?  Absolutely not. It was the hardest assignment any human being ever received.  He was fully human and He has indeed “been tempted in all points as we are,” and yet could He have been any more compassionate?  I do not think so.  The Word said, “He healed all” (Matthew 15:30).

Living among men, He was lonely. In his time of dying He was alone. Buried in a tomb He lay alone. RISING He stood alone, and when He returns He will return on the clouds alone and every eye shall see Him for who He is!  Because of this we need never be alone for He has given us His Holy Spirit to accompany us in relationship through our darkest days.   His sacred purpose fulfilled!  Thank you, Jesus.

https://youtu.be/VXp6xcY5IqU

Glorious Day by Casting Crowds
Treading on alone in a crowd

Yvonne Jones