“So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” John 5:16-17 The religious leaders just did not like Jesus healing on the Sabbath. It was not just the breaking of the rules. It was just “that is not the way we do things”. We don’t work on the Sabbath so you made this man that had been lame for thirty-eight years; you made him carry his mat. This to me sounds like some of our church leaders today. We see God moving in the church and what do they do? They want to put a stop to that movement. We have never done it this way and we are not going to start now. We have our traditions and the way it should work. It is amazing to me that they think they know how God should work. I am no expert on how God works, but I have found that God doesn’t work in the way we think He should. It is because God’s way is not our way. Just as Jesus said in this scripture, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” This was Jesus saying that He was God. This made the leaders even more angry. How can this poor carpenter from a small town say that He is God? He can because He just healed the man at the pool. The leaders were blind to the work of God. Just as some of our church leaders today they are blind to how God wants to move. I just want to stand back and watch what great things God wants to show us. How about you?
“Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath,” John 5:8-9 Here was a man that had not walked in thirty-eight years and at just the command of Jesus he got up and walked. For some reason he knew that this man Jesus had the power to heal him. He obeyed the words of Jesus Christ. It said instantly he was healed. He did not have to do anything. He did not show that he had faith or follow some ritual to be healed. He just got up and walked. It says that there were many people sick around the pool, but this man was the only one that was healed. At one time in my walk with God, I thought that I understood healing. As I grow in the Lord and my walk with Him, I have learned so much about healing. I have come to realize that there are all kinds of healing. There are physical healings as in this man’s case. He was healed so that he could walk. Some people are healed spiritually. I do believe that spiritual healing is the most important. We live here on earth in our physical bodies, but it is our spirits that will live forever. There is also emotional healing. If we are healed physically and we still have problems spiritually and emotionally, what good is the physical healing? I believe that God always heals. God heals us in the way that brings glory to His name. Think about healing in your life. Has God healed you physically, spiritually or emotionally? Which do you think is the most important?
“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” John 5:7 Doesn’t this sound just like most of us today? We can always find an excuse to put off doing what God wants us to do. This man is not only giving Jesus an excuse, he is also putting blame on someone else. He had no one to put him in the pool and if he did have someone, there is always the one that gets in ahead of him. We just don’t want to accept responsibility for our actions. We always want to have an excuse and someone to blame when we just don’t want to obey what God is telling us to do. I don’t know about you, but I can be the best at finding excuses and blaming others. I have come to the point in my life that I cannot use any more excuses. I must do God’s will. God has called me to write. To write these devotions and to write books. I have found so many excuses over the years why I could not write. The main one is that writing is not my natural gift. I don’t believe that I can write. Maybe as you read my devotions you feel the same way; that I cannot write. It really doesn’t matter if I am a gifted writer or not. All that really matters is that I am being obedient to what God called me to do. It’s God’s responsibility to use what I do for Him. “Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the […]
“One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” John 5:5-6 Strange question; do you want to be healed? Most of us would answer yes to that question, but there are people that really don’t want to be healed. If God healed them, they would not have anything to complain about. This question was one of those questions that Jesus asked in order to reveal one’s heart. This man may have grown accustomed to his disability and would prefer the known pain to the terror of the unknown, with its new responsibilities. Healing is a choice. I have seen more than one person start in our recovery program and then see that they will have to commit to the process of healing and then we never see them again. We need to realize that when God heals us, weather it is instant of it is a process, we have to accept a new responsibility in life. Deep down in our heart and mind, we have to be ready for a change in our lives. Most of us just don’t like to have change in our lives. This man had been coming to the pool for thirty-eight years. If he did not get up every morning and come to the pool, just what would he do? We just don’t want to make a commitment that will change our lives. Think about these questions, do you want to be healed? Do you want God to be number one in your life? Do you want to change your life and have the abundant life that Jesus is offering or are you happy the way you are?
“The official pleaded, “Lord, please come now before my little boy dies.” Then Jesus told him, “Go back home. Your son will live!” And the man believed what Jesus said and started home. While the man was on his way, some of his servants met him with the news that his son was alive and well. He asked them when the boy had begun to get better, and they replied, “Yesterday afternoon at one o’clock his fever suddenly disappeared!” Then the father realized that that was the very time Jesus had told him, “Your son will live.” And he and his entire household believed in Jesus.” John 4:49-53 This was another proof that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. Jesus did not have to be present when the child was healed. It showed that the healings of Jesus happen instantly. All Jesus had to do was speak and it was done. This was a man of great faith. He left Jesus with no doubt that Jesus would do the work in his son’s life. Do we have the faith in Jesus Christ to just accept Him at His word? Just to realize that if Jesus speaks the word it is done. Just to realize that Jesus means what He said when He told us that if we ask anything in His name He will do it. We don’t see the miracles in our life because we don’t have the faith. We don’t have because we don’t ask. This man knew not just in his mind that his son would be healed, but he knew it in his heart. This is our problem, we know all the Words of the Bible in our mind, but they have not yet come in our heart. To have the faith that this man […]
“As he traveled through Galilee, he came to Cana, where he had turned the water into wine. There was a government official in nearby Capernaum whose son was very sick. When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son, who was about to die. Jesus asked, “Will you never believe in me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?” John 4:46-48 I want to see signs and wonders. This is not why I follow Jesus, but I still want to see signs and wonders. I want to see Jesus do what Isaiah tells us that He came to do. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;” (Isaiah 61:1) I have seen Jesus do some amazing things in the years that I have been a disciple of Jesus Christ. I have seen Jesus heal the sick and release prisoners that have been held captive by the sin in their lives. I have seen Him heal the brokenhearted; the ones that think there is no way that God can love me. I have felt the flow of the Holy Spirit in my life when He healed a man’s back and He healed my knees. I have prayed for the healing of a man that I just knew would be healed physically. However, God chose to heal him spiritually rather than physically. I still don’t understand signs and wonders. I don’t believe because of the signs and wonders that I have seen. I believe because Jesus Christ lives […]
“At the end of the two days, Jesus went on to Galilee. He himself had said that a prophet is not honored in his own hometown. Yet the Galileans welcomed him, for they had been in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration and had seen everything he did there.” John 4:43-45 Here we have Jesus as He is leaving a place where He is having great success. He is leaving the success behind going to a place where He has said that He is not honored. There is an important lesson in this scripture for all of God’s servants. It does not matter how successful and popular we may be in a place, we must move on when God has work for us elsewhere. God is the one that has called us and it is Him who determines our actions. Failure must not make us lag behind, nor success urge us to run before. Failure must not determine what we do for God when we feel His leading. Success must not cause us to remain stationary when God tells us to move on. Earlier in this chapter Jesus is telling us that some of us may sow and others reap. This so many times determine whether we feel that we are a success or a failure. If we are not reaping, we feel that we are a failure for God. We feel that we must have the numbers or we may as well not do the work for God. This is the worldly way; not God’s way. Jesus tells us, “The one who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 24:13)
“Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.” John 4:39-42 Many of the Samaritans believed because of the testimony of the woman. Then they heard Jesus personally and more of them believed. After being saved, they wanted to hear more of the teachings of Jesus. They had made a new friend and they wanted to get to know this friend better, so they wanted Him to stay with them. I know how they feel. When I was first saved, I wanted to be as close as I could to Jesus. I wanted to know more about Him and build my relationship with Him. When our spirit touches the Spirit of God, we can feel the life. The life that Jesus Christ our Savior wants to give us. We know that this is the true life, the more abundant life; the life we have been looking for from the beginning. This woman did what we all must do, go tells others about this Savior of the world. We don’t know how many were saved just because of this encounter at the well. Just as with us, we will never know how many lives we touch and because of us, others can have life and live with Jesus forever. The theme of the Gospel of John is to show us that Jesus […]
“I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.” John 4:38 Jesus was telling His disciples that the day would come when they would sow and others would reap. There would be a time when the disciples would go out and form the church and they would never see the harvest. Some of them would die martyrs, but the blood of the martyrs would be the seed of the church. Jesus was saying, “Someday you will labor and you will see nothing for it. Someday you will sow and you will pass from the scene before the harvest is reaped. Never fear! Never be discouraged! The sowing is not in vain, the seed is not wasted! Others will see the harvest which it was not given to you to see. This is something that I have to remind myself of quite often. I write books, devotions and put scripture out most days. I feel at times what I do is just a waste of time. Then I have someone come to me and say, “This was just what I needed today.” I had a lady tell me that I just did not know how many lives that my devotions touched. This helps encourage me. I just have to remember the scripture. “The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” (Matthew 13:23) Remember that someday we will see our rewards. “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)
“Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.” John 4:34 Jesus knew what His mission was here on earth. Jesus came so that we may have life and have it more abundantly. Jesus knew His mission and it was doing the will of God. This mission was what His life was about. It covered not just His work life, but it covered His personal life and His leisure time. Knowing God’s will for His life helped Him focus and determine His activities. When He was doing God’s will, nothing else mattered. I know that when I am in God’s will, life is so much better. I have more peace and contentment. I was called to the ministry over thirty years ago. It would be nice if I could tell you that I followed God’s will all of these years, but that is not true. I have been out of God’s will sometimes; I think more than I have been in His will. “Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21) To be in God’s will all it takes is listening to God. Then you will have the nourishment that will last forever.