Personal Touch

  • Hello everyone. I've been traveling a bit lately, so haven't had much chance to put up any posts. Good to be home for awhile. Hope you enjoy this post.

    Why is it important to give someone a personal touch? By that I don’t necessarily mean a physical hands on touch. Maybe it’s just time spent in person with them, or a phone call to someone in need where you just listen. Maybe it’s going out of your way to pick something up for someone and bringing it to them.

    Jesus is perfect theology and He is our example. If what people demand of you, or what you think you must DO cannot be found in Jesus, then it’s not truth. So we see that throughout the Gospels Jesus was very personal in what He did for others. Take for instance the story in Matthew 8:1–3.

    1 Large crowds followed Jesus as he came down the mountainside. Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. “Lord,” the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”

    On the surface, if you just read this story to this point, you’ll miss what is really going on in this man’s life. Take a moment and wonder what this leper must have been enduring. He must have been desperate. He not only broke the law when he left the leper colony to look for Jesus, but he was also risking his life. He broke the law and because of that, he could have been stoned to death.

    When the leper met Jesus, he worshipped Him and said, “Lord,” the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.” The leper was convinced that Jesus could heal him and make him clean. There was no question in his mind about that. The question he put forth is if Jesus was willing.

    Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared.

    Not only is Jesus willing, but He is able. The law demanded this man be stoned to death. Under the law and the old covenant, if a leper touched you, you became unclean. However, under the new covenant of grace, if you touch a leper the leper becomes clean (Bill Johnson). Those that Jesus touched became healed and clean. Even those who touched Him became healed and made whole (woman with the issue of blood).

    Jesus didn’t deal with him according to the demands of the law. He didn’t say, “How dare you break the rabbinical law and come out into the open? You’re a sinner! You’re unclean! Get lost before the people stone you to death!” No, His grace was flowing abundantly toward the man. His supply of healing was there for the taking.

    It was Jesus’ nature to show compassion and love. He did the same thing with the woman caught in the very act of adultery. She needed a personal touch of grace and acceptance. Suffice it to say He didn’t call her a whore, a hooker, a rotten sinner, but instead He gave her the gift of “no condemnation”. Then He empowered her to go live a life free of bondage to the jaded life-style that plagued her.

    In this story of the leper, Jesus was so filled with compassion and unconditional love, that He put out His hand and touched the leper, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately, the man was healed.

    Notice that Jesus touched the leper first before He healed him. Now, why is this significant? Jesus alone understood that he had not just been sick, but also alienated and dehumanized. Imagine being cast out of society because of an illness you have. Being removed and expelled from the human race.

    What we see here is that love gave the man more than just health. Jesus knew that the leper needed more than just physical healing. Jesus gave him back his dignity and the joy of being able to embrace and be embraced by his friends and loved ones.

    By simply looking beyond what the natural world shows you about someone and seeing deeper into their needs, you will discover what they need is not just some hurried prayer, but a personal touch of assurance. Assurance that they are needed, wanted, loved, useful, and of great importance to the Kingdom.

    Now this story from Mark 7:31-35.

    31 Jesus left Tyre and went up to Sidon before going back to the Sea of Galilee and the region of the Ten Towns.

    32 A deaf man with a speech impediment was brought to him, and the people begged Jesus to lay his hands on the man to heal him.

    33 Jesus led him away from the crowd so they could be alone. He put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then, spitting on his own fingers, he touched the man’s tongue.

    34 Looking up to heaven, he sighed and said, “Ephphatha,” which means, “Be opened!”

    35 Instantly the man could hear perfectly, and his tongue was freed so he could speak plainly!

    Again we see that Jesus used a personal touch on this man, and then the healing took place. Now don’t think I’m advocating that you must physically touch anyone who needs healing before it occurs. There are many stories where the persons faith made them whole and Jesus never touched them. The point is to be sensitive to the Spirit. There are those who are in a precarious position and just need a personal touch.

    Also, in this dispensation of grace, on the back side of Calvary, we know that healing has already been provided. All we are seeking is the manifestation of that healing.

    How about Peter and John in Acts 3:1-7.

    1 Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service. As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money. Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened.

    Peter gave this man a personal touch. It says Peter took the lame man by the right hand and HELPED him up. Do we help people up? I don’t mean just physically, but emotionally as well. Many times people need a personal touch to help them out of discouragement or despair. Maybe they are depressed and about to give up. Just a personal gesture, a sign of goodwill, a touch of praise will help them.

    Yes but what if I am in a funk. How can I be helpful to them at that time? What if the setting isn’t “right”? There’s no anointed worship music playing in the background. I’m the one who needs prayer. We’re right in the middle of the grocery store. This is not exactly conducive to praying for someone. “You want me to minister here? Now?”

    What we need to understand is that it’s His anointing, His supply, His provision, not ours. So our prayer is a prayer of thanksgiving about all that He is (see my teaching entitled “Telling God He’s God&rdquo. So it’s a prayer that is modeled similar to “Lord, I just thank You for Your supply of grace. I thank You that this situation is taken care of in Jesus’ name.” No fanfare, no feeling holy goose bumps running up and down my arms, just a simple, honest prayer. A personal touch and obedience to His provision is all it takes, regardless of how you’re feeling.

    It’s all about His ridiculous, radical, inexhaustible grace and love for us. Joseph Prince said “Grace supplies, love gives, faith takes”. What does faith do? Faith takes. That’s our part as believers. Just remember, we are not changed by the promises we make to God. We are changed by the promises He makes to us.

    Man, this is just getting really good. Don't miss part 2. There is much more to come. Grace and Peace.