Dessert or Banquet?

“Heal the sick that are therein and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.” Luke 10:9 (KJV)
“Heal the sick and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you now.'” Luke 10:9 (NLT)

As I was reading this yesterday, I realized there was so much more to this verse than I had ever seen before. Yes, we are commanded to heal the sick, not just pray for them. I had read a short piece another minister had written on healing, and they had brought this point home to me… how Jesus didn’t tell us to pray for the sick, he commanded us to heal the sick. You may say, how do ‘we’ heal the sick? We don’t, it is the Christ in us, we are just his instruments. Also in Luke 9:2 it says that Jesus sent them out to heal the sick and tell everyone about the Kingdom of God. What really struck me though, in reading verse 9 in Luke 10 was where it says the kingdom is “near” you. What I get out of this is that we are to share not only in healing them, but to share with them the power of transformation that is attainable through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Healing is there for everyone and a transformed life is there for everyone. Their healing could be the first step into a power-filled life and walk with our Lord and Savior. It is like a taste of what they could be experiencing.

How many walk away with ‘only’ a healing? How many who heal others only heal and never offer more? It is like giving someone a dessert and not the full banquet. While that may be really good, wouldn’t you rather experience the whole banquet? Because, just getting the dessert, will leave you with a sugar high, it won’t last. You need the full banquet. You need all the courses to satisfy! You need the meat and marrow, the starch, the bread, you need to eat from the five food groups… you get my point? Don’t just give them a taste, offer them all. We need to train them in everything, not just leave them with a glimpse of God’s glory… Offer them the whole banquet! We can do this by showing them the whole kingdom of God. The whole kingdom of God is the corporate expression of the body of Christ working in unity. As it says in Romans 12:6-16, we all have different gifts and we should use them together. If we as Christians could operate with the same unity that those under the rule of Solomon operated, we could touch more people than he did in his day. And our king is wiser than Solomon. Where did Solomon gain his wisdom? Do you remember how impressed the Queen of Sheba was at how organized, wise, and prosperous King Solomon was? 1 King 10:1-9 She attributed it all to God. Do people attribute our knowledge, choices, and relationships to God? Hopefully the life we live is an example of wisdom, unity, love, compassion, and prosperity; which all points to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Hopefully, it shows a life that has been completely healed in body, soul, and spirit, because we must also be healed to be effective. See Mark 2:17 & Luke 5:31-32

In that healing, humbleness, and repentance, we have come in contact with the kingdom of God. What is the kingdom of God? It is the Power of the Holy Spirit, the Power of the Christ working through a body of believers, carrying out what we have been commanded to do. See Matthew 10:7-8Luke 9:2 & 10:9

Was Lazarus’ sickness in vain? No! It was so the Glory of the Son of God could be shown! See John 11:4 & John 11:40

So, those who believe in the healing power of God and see his healing power ministered, are a witness to the glory of the Son of God. If only we would believe in Him and his healing and do as we have been commanded what greater things we would See and Do! 

As long as we ask for things that are in line with the will of our Heavenly Father, He will do them. 

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” John 14:12-14

In Jerusalem, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
    will spread a wonderful feast
    for all the people of the world.
It will be a delicious banquet
    with clear, well-aged wine and choice meat.
There he will remove the cloud of gloom,
    the shadow of death that hangs over the earth.
He will swallow up death forever!
    The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears.
He will remove forever all insults and mockery
    against his land and people.
    The Lord has spoken! Isaiah 25:6-8 (NLT)

Seasons and Senses

Oh to be like…

A floating Autumn leaf…

Windswept with the breeze,

Gliding gracefully through the world.

A lacy wintry snowflake…

Softly caressing,

Touching everything with enchantment.

A Spring blossom…

Hued in pastels,

Delighting the eyes in love.

A cool Summer stream…

Gently babbling,

Quenching thirsts and refreshing souls.

Oh yes! I hope…

To whisper words of comfort,

So others might hear.

To touch with hands of healing,

So others might feel.

To imbue the colors of this world,

So others may see.

To provide water for the thirsty,

So others can taste.

But may I always be…

A gentle fragrance, an enticing aroma,

Of all the seasons and senses wrapped into one.

— Kimberly Alligood (8-2012)

Sensual Thanksgiving

As I ruminated this week on what I have to be thankful for, I was thanking God for my five senses; sight, taste, smell, hearing, and touch. While I pondered on each sense, I began to think of how blessed I am. We take our senses for granted.

Without my vision, I could not be a photographer. I would never know the beauty surrounding me in a visual perception. I would not be able to see the glorious colors and the uniqueness of every plant, each person, every food, and the nature that I hold captive through my lens.

I also thought how monotonous eating and cooking would be without the sense of taste! I love to create in the kitchen, to blend savory spices and make wonderful culinary inventions. There is sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami! I particularly like the umami (savoriness) in home grown vine-ripened tomatoes! Whatever the flavor, the consumption of food would be rather humdrum without the sense of taste. My grandmother blessed me by teaching me the fundamentals of cooking. I’ve grown and expounded from the principles she shared.

How would I enjoy those palatable delicacies without a keen sense of smell? It is a glorious thing to walk in the kitchen and smell the aroma of apples and cinnamon baking. Then there’s the fresh scent of my grandkids after a bath, all cuddly and loving. Aromas elicit memories. I can open a bottle of talc my great-grandmother used to wear, which I have, and be flooded with a plethora of memories! Oh, how she would sing all the time or whistle! She was such a happy person.

I remember walks with her down the quarter-mile path to our house on a crisp autumn day. I loved the smell of our pecan orchard, a bonfire burning in the field, moist fall leaves exuding fragrance, and the perfume of the woodsy breeze which surrounded us. She would always have a song to sing and the thought of being able to hear her delightful melodies brings a smile to my face. I reveled in listening to her stories of how she grew up and the jokes she shared. How different my memories would be without having her voice to reflect back on. Often at this time of year, I think of the folk songs and hymns she sang and how they have enriched my life. She was white-haired, blue-eyed, ample-busted, slightly rotund, diminutive in height, and constantly smiling!  Furthermore, she was a very loving person who had to have a hug every time she saw you, even if it was just later in the same day. I relish those hugs from long ago and I try to pass them on to my grandkids.

To cuddle, to enjoy snuggling up with one of my grandkids sitting on my lap while I read them a bedtime story or sing them a lullaby is delectable! I miss the feeling of touch when I am separated from those I love. A hug from one of my kids or family can really brighten my day. I love walking hand in hand with my husband on our treks into the woods to hike or capture nature. To feel his hand touching mine and be comforted by the fact that he is near brings contentment to my heart. A gentle loving touch is so important! When we hug someone or touch their hand to let them know we care, we impart love.

   

Embrace the senses you are blessed with and Thank God for blessing you. May your Thanksgiving be a visible, delicious, aromatic, and euphonious caress of all your senses. If you lack any of the five senses, I pray that God blesses you more abundantly in those you do have. Relish that God made you Uniquely you! I wish I could share a hug or gentle touch with all who are reading this!

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; 
      you formed me in my mother’s womb. 
   I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! 
      Body and soul, I am marvelously made! 
      I worship in adoration—what a creation! 
   You know me inside and out, 
      you know every bone in my body; 
   You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, 
      how I was sculpted from nothing into something. 
   Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; 
      all the stages of my life were spread out before you, 
   The days of my life all prepared 
      before I’d even lived one day. Psalm 139:13-14