This week we are focusing on honoring pastors and their perspective on The Church today. Pastor Gabe and Monica Ahn join the show talking about the importance of community and mentorship in their church.
Christa Black Gifford joins the show, talking about her new book, Heart Made Whole and how much God taught her, as He so lovingly healed her broken heart.
“Amazing grace how sweet the sound.
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now I am found.
Was blind, but now I see.”
There is no such moment as one where I am standing on a stage drenched in sweat having completed a message that God has laid on my heart. I stand most times with my legs trembling begging God for how to challenge the crowd. I know that in the challenge comes a call for action. This is someones moment for freedom. Someone will respond and the message was crafted for that person. There is nothing like being apart of someones moment. Being invited in that moment brings tears to my eyes even as I type. Going to Liberty this year I experienced the same thing. Sitting at Snow Flex the night before begging God to give me a specific word for the girls to come the following day was intense. Only God knows the state of the hearts that attend. He brought me to the following:
And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but THEY CRIED OUT ALL THE MORE, “LORD, HAVE MERCY ON US.” And Jesus stopped and said, “What do you want to do for you?”
They said to Him, “Lord, WE WANT OUR EYES TO BE OPEN. Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.
I got a picture of this for the women of our world. My eyes filled with tears as I knew that the next day the women that attended would have just that…their blind eyes opened.
“Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
and grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
the hour I first believed.”
A couple of things that have leaped out to me about this passage:
- The blind are crying out – The two blind men just caught wind that Jesus was passing by and in their minds they said, “This is our chance.” They begged Him to stop and heal them. They knew they needed His help. No doubt they had tried all the things that modern time had to offer in an effort to be rid of their blindness and NONE OF IT WORKED. Today, the blind are crying out. Some of you may be reading this and thinking I have tried everything and I am at my wits end. No one cares, no one can help, I am overcome with my issues. Jesus, my sweet friend, is YOUR HELP. I have seen it hundred maybe thousands of times. For instance, the issue of porn is rampant not only in the male world, but the female. I remember a girl that couldn’t get a handle on this issue and it was ruling her life. After an event, she made a straight B-line for me and said, she had found freedom from this. NOT BECAUSE OF BLUSH OR WHAT I PREACHED…because our God made her blind eyes see.
- The culture is deadening the need for a touch from Jesus – I’m so sick of seeing sex portrayed all over EVERYTHING. I am so sick of seeing these “Christians” in the media selling their potential for the almighty dollar. Do we really think sex and money are saviors? In this passage the crowd “sternly told them to be quiet.” Our crowd is our culture. This gets me every time…you can meditate in our culture, but not pray. You can be scolded to “not have sex before monogamy” BUT YOU DARE NOT PROCLAIM TO BE ABSTINENT. You can consult mediums, but you dare not consult the POWER OF GOD. The crowd is scolding us to do EVERYTHING BUT find the exact true answer for anything in this life, Jesus. DO NOT LISTEN. The crowd is a pawn to distract you from the WAY. I wept with several homeless women in Columbus that looked at me and said, “Where have you been. We have never heard of the hope that is found in Jesus.” All of those women left Christians with the Tool of the Holy Spirit to guide them out of their dark circumstances. Their crowd has shushed the Answer.
- Jesus asks today, “What can I do for you?” – This is such a beautiful picture of Jesus. He isn’t pointing the finger at the blind people judging them or passing them by because He is mean. He stops for just the two of them and asks, “What can I do for you?” This is a picture of the true Jesus. GUESS WHAT? He is stopped and asking you the same thing. What can I do for you, He asks to each of His creations…YOU are included in that. You are His creation…He is waiting. What an amazing thought, He is standing their waiting for your answer. So what is it? We took communion at the conference at Liberty and I heard of a woman that didn’t want to take the communion because she knew that she wasn’t a believer…she was fidgety because she knew that she wanted to have Jesus in her life. The communion song began and she didn’t know what to do. One of my staff members saw her run up to a prayer counselor and she prayed and received Christ. Right after that she went and took communion. What she needed was Jesus.
- Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes and they regained sight – He was moved at their request. The text doesn’t say why…He just was. When we present our requests to God when we are sincere and desperate our God is moved. The picture our world has painted of God is quite the opposite, but picture this…He is moved with compassion for you and your problem. He sees it, He feels it with you and He wants to fix it. I cannot convey what it feels like when we are leaving a conference and cleaning up. Many times I am talking to ladies for hours hearing of how their lives were changed. I go back to where I am staying and praise God for His power. The thought often crosses my mind…what if we didn’t come. This year I stood and talked to ladies that were interested in talking to me. One came up and her name was Amanda. She had attended the conference last year and she showed me her wrist which was tattooed with the words, “All in.” She explained to me that at the conference last year she decided she was “All in” and the conference changed her life. She gained sight. She was blind and now she sees.
- When touched by Jesus, the once blind followed Jesus – Do you ever wonder why you may not have a passion for Jesus? Could it be that you have never experienced His power? Once He touches you, you cannot be the same…you cannot help but follow Him. When freedom is found no amount of noise from the crowd can sway your decision to follow and worship our Lord. No voice matters but His. I know, because He changed me and continues to change me everyday.
“The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
as long as life endures.”
MY CHAINS ARE GONE, I HAVE BEEN SET FREE.