We’re back and SO excited to get back into our Bible study sessions with YOU! This semester, we pick up where we left off in Seamless, by Angie Smith! Next week, we’ll do a quickie recap of what we covered last fall, so we’re all on the same page. This week, let’s just catch up with who WE are as a ministry and what we’re all about! We’re so glad you’re with us! 🙂 Welcome to our semester called, “Bloom”!
We are SPM Ministries. We stand for SPIRITUAL teaching; PRODUCTS and PROGRAMS that inspire; and MEANINGFUL investment in organizations and events that support women and children in crisis. My current prayer for this ministry is that He would use it to fan that flame so our faith would be evident in all aspects our lives, not just our Sunday (Church Day) lives, Tuesday (Bible Study Day) lives, etc.
Every day, every moment, every decision. So we can say and feel that we are walking well with God. Be able to say “It is well with my soul”. Not just “at the end of the day”, but at the end of EVERY day.
I’m talking about soul-level wellness. Not just a healthy soul – which, of course, is important. But, you see, there’s a difference between health and wellness. Wellness goes deeper, lasts longer, exists on a continuum, and can be difficult to measure. But it means more in the long run than “health”- at least in my own definition of those two words.
I’m a little obsessed with the healing miracles in the Bible. I love all the miracles, of course. But there is something so, so, so comforting and reassuring about the healing ones. This one might be my fave:
One day in one of the villages there was a man covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus he fell down before him in prayer and said, “If you want to, you can cleanse me.”
Jesus put out his hand, touched him, and said, “I want to. Be clean.” Then and there his skin was smooth, the leprosy gone.
“I WANT TO. BE WELL.” YOU GUYS. Jesus wants to make us well. He WANTS it. He’s not just, “Eh, sure. I’ll heal you. Or, “Nah, I’m not feeling it today, man.” He’s like – HECK YEAH I DO. THANKS FOR FINALLY ASKING. I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU TO ASK.
Now, one of the things I want to point out first is that the precursor to healing (regardless what kind) is faith on the part of the one needing healing. Even demons flee out of their victims when Jesus commands them because they KNOW Him and His power and must submit to Him. So, it’s honest belief in who Jesus is that opens the door to the miracle.
The next thing I need to say is that physical healing, in the way we pray for it, does not always come to our bodies here on earth. I don’t know why. And it isn’t fair. But life, this side of heaven, rarely is.
But hear me out on this idea of healing. Especially in the story we read above.
Of course, leprosy is a physical disease. And Jesus provides physical healing there. But what if, and this is pure conjecture on my part, there’s a double meaning with this one?
Leprosy destroys nerve endings and inhibits the ability to feel pain. In other words, the afflicted may not be aware of the effects of her wounds. Infection gets in and runs amok, making things even worse and systemic, and the person is oblivious to the damage.
Why am I telling you this? Because sin works in the same way. Left unchecked, we begin not to notice or feel the effects of it on our spiritual wellness. This, in my humble opinion, is why we are repeatedly called to repent of our sins.
Here’s where this all gets even more interesting. The Hebrew word for repent is shuv, and one translation of it is to physically return to where you came from. It means, “Come home”.
What Jesus demonstrates in this healing is not just a physical healing, but also one of the SOUL. “PLEASE COME HOME,” He says. “I WANT YOU TO.”
Last semester, woven into all the stories we read (and we will continue to see) is this: Man mucks things up. Man grumbles to God. God is merciful and asks man to repent. Atone. And it looked brutal in the Old Testament to us because it’s through altar sacrifice and things that seem certainly foreign at best to us and downright cruel at the worst.
But through Jesus, through the Gospel message, that changes. It’s about coming home. It’s not about doing predetermined penance. (And I’m not trying to step on your toes or belittle your methods if that’s your thing. I respect and have benefitted from the sacramental healing and privilege that comes with it.)
What’s I’m trying to point out is this: It’s about coming home. Asking if He wants to make me well and hearing Him assure me He does. Letting Him reach out, welcome me back, and pull me close. Asking Him to hear me out, forgive my indiscretion and/or indifference. To grant me healing and wellness where I need it, in accordance with His plan and will for me, personally, and my life. Touch my spirit and heal me.
I’m making a daily intention – every day – to come home to Him. While we’ve seen foreshadowing and evidence of Jesus already in this study, we’re about to move into teachings where His presence is going to be in our faces. And the coolest part is that we won’t even wonder who He is or question what He can do when we finish.
If you’re still with me and reading this, then I thank you. Welcome Home. 🙂
See you next week where we pick up where we left off! If you’re doing the Seamless study with us, read over your completed weeks 1-3 in your books! Have a great week, sweet loves!
Peace, love, and SO MUCH JOY!