Archive for the ‘Devotions’ Category

Crazy question

Posted: December 4, 2012 in Devotions, religion
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This morning I am reading the Gospel of John and there is a passage that always makes my head spin. Jesus is in Jerusalem and goes to the pool at Bethesda. There are many people there that we would refer as disabled. The ESV uses the term invalid, the blind lame and paralyzed. They were waiting for a pool of water to whirl to get in and be healed. This is where this man was. He has had a disability for 38 years. Jesus asks him a question, “Do you want to be healed?”

This is where my head spins. This guy has been an invalid for 38 years and is waiting to be miraculously healed by a pool of water. This to me seems the act of a desperate man begging for normalcy. Why in the world would someone ask him if he “wanted” to be healed. Of course he wants to be healed! Or at least that’s my first impression. Obviously Jesus asked him for a reason.

His response was that no one was there to help him. That someone else gets to the water first. He never actually said yes. This baffles me. If someone asked if I wanted to be healed. If I had been struggling for 38 years. If someone had the nerve to ask such a question, I would want to yell at them of course. Why ask such a crazy question! Or would I?

I also take note that his particular disability is not named. We can infer that it may be something with his legs as he said he needed someone to put him into the water. In reality it’s not mentioned because it’s not important. What is important is that he needs healing.

I think the question,”do you want to be healed?” is a question we do need to ask ourselves. We can all look inside and see some issue we are struggling with. I’m not talking about a physical issue, but an emotional or spiritual issue. Do we really want to be released from our struggle, or as the man at the pool, are we making excuses because we have grown accustomed to the struggle.  That the issue is now the norm and for it to be taken away we may feel as though part of us is leaving?

John 5

The pool of Bethesda.

My wife and I went back to our home town, Winterset. It was the Cover Bridge Festival. I don’t get the big deal but it’s fun none the less. You see people from around the world come to a small town in Iowa. They celebrate John Wayne’s birth and the Bridges of Madison County. (I have not watched more than 5 minutes of the actual movie.) It is a big deal for small town Iowa. It brings excitement and hope for many of the small shops that are still in town.

We have only been gone from that town for about three weeks. It is amazing to see how much God has worked there. I heard stories and saw the direction our church there is headed and it creates a deep excitment. I knew when I left that town that God was moving and moving big. It uplifts me knowing God has the control of that town.

It reminds me that God is the one that controls all growth and change. With the new direction God has called on my life and my families life, it’s encouraging. I am praying through what God might have me do and I realize how it’s His plan and not mine. He is asking me to play a role in His story not mine.

I am reminded that God is in charge of all changes. It could be a new ministry, a new name, a different church, or a new town and it is God that needs to be the director of the change. This takes humbleness. We have to step aside and ask, “What direction do you want?” If we don’t do that we won’t have the oppurtunity to truley see what God wants to do.

Sunday I had the privilege of watching a couple of friends get baptized. They proclaimed Jesus as their savior and made the public profession. It was very encouraging to witness and know their hearts. It’s part of the blessing you receive when serving God and looking towards His glory.

There is a passage that hit me this weekend through Pastor Mike’s teaching. It is John 17:20 “My [Jesus] prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.”  I was taken back and had to reread it a few times. Jesus, back when walking on earth, prayed for me. Through scripture and the testimony of the apostle we join in Jesus’ prayer. He took the time knowing who I am, who you are and prayed for us. Wow!

So what did Jesus pray to his father for us? I don’t know about you but it must be pretty important for us.

That all of them may be one. Jesus prayed for unity, that the family of God in the form of the church would have unity and a straight direction under Christ. God wants you and me to come alongside one another and join together under God and set aside differences. We should be able to unite under the direction of scripture and the purpose God has prepared in advance for us.“May they also be in us (that is in Jesus and God the father.”He also prays for the reason behind this unity, “so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

To see Jesus’ glory. Jesus wants us to see Him as God. We should bring worship and celebration over Christ’s sacrifice and redemption He brought us. We need to realize that God the Father gave this honor to His son Jesus. This also was done before time even began. Is your mind blown? ‘Cause I can’t imagine that. Maybe the biggest way we can see His glory is through service. The apostles saw the work of God more than those that just showed up and listened. When you become active in your walk you begin seeing God work in amazing ways. You won’t help but get excited about the glory of Jesus.

Romans 8:31 puts it this way “If God is for us, who is against us?” Jesus has prayed for us as individuals and as a united body. We should be encouraged and uplifted to continue in our pray to God through Jesus. We shouldn’t be afraid to step up and step out to help those hurting. We need to remember that Jesus loved us so much he not only prayed for us but died for us and for those we meet daily. Let’s share that with them.

God bless.

Waking up

Posted: August 27, 2012 in Devotions, religion
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Good morning! Here are some thoughts to ponder today:

  • What attitude will you choose to show today?
  • In what way would you like to see God work today?
  • Will you take time to reflect on God and His word to actually accomplish anything today?

I find mornings are the hardest. Some mornings you perk up and are ready to take on the world. Other’s, you wake up and would rather climb in a whole and just go back to bed. Take some time and reflect on what God may have for you today. He’s got it planned out, so join Him and find out.

JEREMIAH 29:11-14 (ESV)

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for peace[or welfare] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes andgather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares theLord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.