This quarter, we focus on healing in our weekly devotional series. This week’s devotional comes from Matthew chapters 15 through 21.
Recently, Chantel was invited to one of our services. The person inviting her said, “You may actually be accepted there.” It was a horrible yet wonderful invitation. Chantel is a transgender who shared with us that she has never felt accepted by a church.
One year later, Chantel is still a part of our community. She has new relationships; she is growing in Christ and enjoyed a birthday party hosted by her new friends—the first ever thrown in her honor.
We recently made recovery the first value of our church. The idea is that we are all in recovery, because we are all broken, and we all have hurts, habits and hang-ups. We believe the church should be a hospital for sinners and not a hotel for saints. Adopting this value has opened our doors—created an environment where all types of people are welcomed into our church.
My observation during this past year is that when we accept that we are all broken and in need of a Savior, the playing field becomes level. When we agree that we are all in need of healing, we eliminate the shock factor when someone like Chantel walks through our doors. She doesn’t feel singled out, because not only does she need spiritual healing, we all do.
It’s just what’s happening around here. It’s what Jesus wants to do with all of us.
In Matthew 16:6 Jesus said, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees” (NKJV); or, in other words, the “I’ve got it all together, why don’t you?” attitude. The slightest amount of this yeast can ruin a whole batch. This yeast says, “I don’t need spiritual healing, but you do.”
I don’t believe we are able to help others receive spiritual healing unless we first recognize our own need for spiritual healing. The more we are honest about our hurts, habits and hang-ups, the more the people around us will feel like they can be honest about theirs. We create a culture of spiritual healing, and it all starts with “me.”
It’s easy for us as pastors and spiritual leaders to become healers and forget about our own conditions. We hand out the medicine but don’t take it ourselves out of fear of what the “patients” might think.
But we are called to be sharers of the cure—not just distributors: “Great blessings belong to those who know they are spiritually in need. God’s kingdom belongs to them” (Matt. 5:3, ERV).
By: Jeremy Pummel, lead pastor of NorthRock Church (Thornton Foursquare Church) in Thornton, Colo.
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