You make a difference

Good morning 🙂 I’m praying this morning that Jesus would just show you even more of who you are in him today and who he has made you to be. You make a difference.
“I’m always looking at everyone else having a good time and I’m not.” “I didn’t belong in my family, so why should I feel like I belong anywhere else.” “I may be included but I never really feel like I belong.” These are just a few things sweet younger and older friends have told me recently. They are sad parts of stories, but real. These are the voices of individuals who have shared deep loneliness and isolation—and continue to feel like outsiders. There can be a lot of experiences that we or other people experience in regard to feeling like an outsider, but what can we do as a follower of Jesus, to better include others?
“And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, ‘If you will, you can make me clean.’ Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, ‘I will; be clean.’ And immediately the leprosy left him, and the man was made clean. And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, and said to him, ‘See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for proof to them.’ But he went out and talked freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.” Mark 1:40-45.
In this story of the leper in Mark 1, a leper came and approached Jesus. He was taking a chance that Jesus might walk away as the Scribes and Pharisees did, or that Jesus might cast stones at him or make fun of him like others did. But, he felt that Jesus was different. He felt this man might just be the One who could seriously change his whole life. Man, was he right! Jesus loved this leper, and He took action when nobody else would. Jesus acted when the rest of society dispised and rejected this man. He acted when this man’s religion and the people who also worshipped like he did, ignored him. I wonder how many people in our community are like this leper and they think, “I wonder if those people at this church or in this place are different? I wonder if they will love me, accept me, and help me?” Just as this man came to Jesus, people come to us. 
It’s scary sometimes when people come to you for help because, in that moment we’re almost reminded that we personally have little to offer them. Especially, if we don’t understand their circumstance or feelings. I think that is why we have to have reliance on God through helping others. God is the One who changes hearts, not us. God has the answers and provides ultimate comfort and relief. 
You are so loved. Let that love include someone, make someone feel different about themselves, or even smile today.

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