A SPIRITUAL MESSAGE TO A TROUBLED NATION…


Spiritual Blog - Troubled

Isaiah 9:2-7 – “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them. 3 You shall multiply the nation, You shall increase their gladness; they will be glad in Your presence as with the gladness of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 4 For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian. 5 For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, and cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire. 6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.”  NASU

 

 I am fully aware that this is a prophecy concerning the Messiah.  However, as I was in bed the other night, the Spirit of God kept nudging me to read Isaiah 9 and in that reading, I felt that I would see a truth that was liberating.  Immediately, as I began to read verse two I knew what the liberating truth and message were.  It was not only our Hope in Jesus our Messiah but for was a Promise that America can expect providing we look to the Light from our present state of darkness.

At the risk of losing some because I am going to make a statement regarding the state of America – DARKNESS.  I am convinced that much of America is walking in darkness and needs a great light.  In many ways, our beloved nation has become a Dark Land with our rejection of biblical standards and allowing politicians and activist to push us away from biblical principles into modernism and secular humanism.  We have allowed our society to be intimidated by political correctness and demanded that some violate their core convictions to accommodate people who do not believe as they.  It is a violation of all things rational and constitutional to demand that the rights of one transcend another.  It is a violation of sanity to demand that a person is forced to serve and participate in an event that is anathema to their faith.  Yet, that is where we are in America today.  That, in my view, suggests that we are living in the “Last Days” and in “Perilous Times” where men have become lovers of self, more than lovers of God.  We have allowed the unholy to be deemed as normal.  That is a state of darkness that prevents one from seeing the purposes and plan of God.

This text declares that the Light of God is going to shine and all who will reach out and receive the truth of that light will SEE.  The Light of God’s Truth and Love breaks yokes and removes scales from eyes that have formerly been blind.  The Promise is that God will MULTIPLY the nation, INCREASE the gladness and cause people to become Glad to be in the Presence of God and Desire to be in His Presence.  The Economic, Social, Moral, Political, and Spiritual harvest will be incredible IF we run to the Light and allow the Light to shine upon us and guide our footsteps.  The Promise is that God will break the yoke of bondage and lift that burden from our shoulders.  THAT IS A RESTORED NATION. 

I am taking this message of the ministry and government of the Messiah and applying it loosely to the condition of America today.  I have contended for some time that the only hope for America and the world is GOD or Divine Intervention.  I believe that we are in the beginnings of an incredible revival, renewal, and restoration.  I believe that while evil men wax worse and worse, the Grace of God will flow mightily and although everything that can be shaken will be shaken and out of that shaking will come forth THE TRUE CHURCH, the Body of Christ.

Yes, I am longing for the Return of our Lord and the establishment of His eternal kingdom.  But, until that time comes, we live in this present world and should be seeking God’s outpouring and the renewal and restoration of our nation and society.  Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD.  There is no limitation to God’s Blessings if we will submit ourselves to His Rule and Reign.  If will return to Him, He will return to us.

Therefore, I call upon everyone to examine their own hearts and repent where needed.  I call upon every believer to begin to repent for the nation and pray with expectation for the Wind of the Holy Spirit to Blow and the Rain of Revival fall on this land.

God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE CHRISTIAN FARMER…


Spiritual Blog - Farmer

Luke 6:31 – “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.”  NASU

Wait, Roy, your title is “The Christian Farmer” and your text speaks of treating others the way you want them to treat you, is that consistent?  Absolutely, for it speaks of reciprocity or sowing and reaping and that is exactly what a farmer does.  He sows to reap and reaps to sow.  It is a continuous cycle and labor.  If we want a continual harvest, we must have a continual time of planting.  In the natural, there are seasons between planting time and harvest time, but the process is continual.  Each year the farmer prepares the soil and plants his seed with expectation.  Each year the farmer reaps his harvest and from that harvest provides for himself and gains new seed for planting the next year’s crop.

In the life of a believer, there must be sowing in order to have reaping.  The text addresses human relationships and the directive is unmistakable.  If we take the text in the context we discover some incredibly powerful directives and some dire warnings.  Jesus instructed that we are to LOVE our enemies.  We are to DO GOOD to those that hate us.  We are to BLESS those that curse us and take the high road when they attack us and rather than fight back we turn the other cheek.  Then we have this verse inserted between those directives and then his clarifications in the following verses.  If we LOVE those that love us, we have done nothing to exhibit Christian character and Christ to the world.  That’s what the world does and there would be no distinguishing marks between us and them, so why accept our message?  However, if we demonstrate LOVE toward our enemies, doing good to those who seek our harm, lending expecting nothing in return or demonstrating generosity we show a distinct difference between us and them.  Jesus said that this would be an identifier and as we remember his words, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me” we can rejoice.  Yes, that passage was speaking of His crucifixion, but can it not be applied to lifting Him up through a display of His love and character to others?  YES, it can and YES it does!

A farmer is required to prepare his soil if he is to have a proper place to plant good seed and expect to reap a harvest.  A Christian must prepare his heart so that the Love of God can be shed abroad in it and that love can be exhibited and demonstrated before the world so as to produce a harvest.  The apostle Paul told us that we are ‘epistles known and read of men.’  The old saying, “You are the only Bible some people will ever read” should be always in the forefront of our minds as we deal with others.  It is not just the person we are dealing with directly that is affected but those that watch and hear of what we do.

Do you want people to be understanding of you, then sow understanding!  If you want people to be patient with you, then sow patience!  If you want people to come to your aid, then go to the aid of those in need!  In verse 38 of this chapter we find, “Give, and it will be given to you.  They will pour into your lap a good measure – pressed down, shaken together, and running over.  For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”   Most of the time, we attribute the return as coming from God but who does it say will pour into your laps?  MEN!  Other people will respond to you in the way you respond to them.  You sow to your need and your desire and the harvest is IN KIND. 

Let me add one little addendum to this.  What if the person you are kind to is so hard of heart they ignore what you have done?  Will you still receive a harvest?  Yes, God will touch the hearts of others who observed your sowing and sow back to you.  In the Law of Harvest, we need to remind ourselves, of these things: You Reap WHAT you Sow, MORE than you Sow, and LATER than you Sow.  There is a growing time and an interval between the sowing and the reaping.  What you are reaping today may have been sown years before because, in life, unlike in the natural time is not a factor to determine the ripening of the crop, God’s timing is.

Let me conclude by saying, “You are Sowing.”  That is an absolute fact and reality.  You are Sowing!  What you are sowing, may not be what you want to reap but YOU WILL REAP, and the harvest will be in kind of what you have sown.  Therefore, look at your harvest or what is happening in your life and if it is not what you wish would be happening, especially in human relationships – Consider your Sowing and set your heart to Sow Seeds into others that will produce what you wish for yourself.   Simply, begin treating others the same way you want to be treated – ALL THE TIME!

God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Jesus!

YOU BECOME WHAT YOU LISTEN TO…


Spiritual Blog - Listen

Mark 4:21-25 – “And He was saying to them, ” A lamp is not brought to be put under a basket, is it, or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put on the lampstand?  22 ” For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light.  23 ” If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”  24 And He was saying to them, “Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides.  25 ” For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.”  NASU

 

We’ve all heard the sayings:  You are what you eat.  You are what you think.  You are what you watch.  You are what you listen to.  Well, if you haven’t, you have now.  I’ve used this last warning to young people regarding the music they listen to almost incessantly.  Music is an incredibly powerful tool or weapon and has the power to shape moods and lives more than almost anything else we encounter in this life.  It is reported that the average American listens to music more than five hours each day.  I’m an exception to that rule because I do not.  It is not that I don’t like music and unlike some, who need music playing to do virtually anything, I perform better in peace and quiet.  There are times I, like the prophets of old, want music to help shape and set my mood.  I like worship and praise music in Church and in private because it provides a powerful springboard into the presence of God.  However, I do not want mindless repetition, I want substance.  (That is my preference, so don’t assume that I am blasting praise and worship in many churches today, I am not.) 

There are the “Big Five” set of musical preferences researchers discovered among adults.  They grouped them in the following classifications:

  • Sophisticated (classical). These sounds tend to be instrumental, complex, inspiring, intelligent, or basically classical music.
  • Unpretentious. They listed these as nice, simple bluegrass and country.  These tended, according to those polled, to be relaxing, romantic, and even sad.
  • Intense (shredded vocal cords and violent guitar). Identified as the distorted, electric, fast, loud, aggressive sounds of rock music.
  • Mellow (slow jazz). Very relaxing and romantic sounds, sometimes sad but characterized as R&B, Soul, and Soft Rock.  Some even said elevator music.
  • Contemporary. These included electric sounds that dominate a wide variety of genres from rap to electronica.

Do you see what is missing from that survey?  Christian or Gospel Music and its various genres.  How about Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual songs, singing and making melody in our hearts?  How about simply opening your mouth and allowing the Holy Spirit to sing through you?  That was missing because the survey was done by those involved in Psychiatry and Psychology dealing with human behavior.  Have you ever stopped to realize that most of the time we get some very strong impressions of people when we ask them what music they like?  We may be very wrong, but we make judgments or determinations based on music preferences.

What I want to address is the fact that the secular and the religious both acknowledge that “What You Listen to Shapes Who You Are.”  If you listen to the NEGATIVE all the time, your attitude tends to become negative and you find depression creeping in. You become dissatisfied and disillusioned.  You may even find that you become somewhat hostile, quick-tempered, and even excessively judgmental.  On the other hand, if you listen to the POSITIVE all the time, you will likely be more accepting and optimistic.  The danger in that is you may become utopian and fail to face some realities in life that demand rejection of some ideas, actions, and behaviors.  There is a balance in life.

Jesus warned those listening to “Take care or be careful what you listen to.”  His next statement cannot be disassociated because it is directly addressing the formulation of ideas, thoughts, and beliefs.  He said, “By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides.  For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.”   WOW!  What I listen to provides the inspiration, wisdom, knowledge, and shapes my perspective.  It then propels me into action and provides a basis for my evaluation of everything in life.  My knowledge base increases, whether good or bad, through that which I allow to come into my ears, my head, and my heart.  If I follow the directive of the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:8-9 – “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”  I grow rightly and become the person God has designed and desired me to be.

Be Careful What You Listen To because it either provides life or death.  That might mean you have to develop a new set of friends or provide parameters for them in your discussions.  You do not have to be the extreme Pessimist or Optimist but seek for Truth and feed your inner man with things that strengthen and build you up.  Know the evil, address it and know the truth and good and embrace it.

God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!

 

THE POWER OF PRAYER…


Spiritual Blog - Prayer

Matthew 6:1-8 – “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.  2 “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.  3 “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.  5 “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.  6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.  7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.  8 “So do not be like them; for your, Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”  NASU

 

Jesus follows up this discourse with His recommended pattern of prayer known as “The Lord’s Prayer.”  But, back to my thought for today, “The Power of Prayer” or “The Power of Proper Prayer.”  I know some may wonder at that last phrase but consider with me the directive of our LORD regarding this and all matters of life.  MOTIVATION and MOTIVE are key elements in everything we do.  The Why is often as impactful as the What in life.  I not only believe in the power of prayer, but I have also experienced it firsthand in my life.

We have all know people who have or been guilty ourselves of the living out the warning in verse one and put on our religious masks.  Too many people, Christians are not excluded, have a morbid fear of being discovered for who they really are.  There is a conditioning in our society to “hide your flaws” because if people knew the real you, they would not like or accept you.  That happens in dating and some young men and women discover, after the wedding, WHO they married and are troubled by that discovery.  It happens in the world of business to the hurt of many.  It happens in Church too and that is tragic.  If we would remember and keep in the forefront of our minds, “GOD KNOWS” we would be less inclined to pretend and more inclined to reach out to each other for help in overcoming the demons we face in life.

As a minister and pastor (in the past), I have had people tell me, “I’m giving this anonymously” but then would be offended when I did not ‘toot their horn’ for the gift.  If we are living our lives ‘for God’, giving our Gifts ‘to God’, and praying ‘to God’ our lives, our gifts, and our prayers take on a completely different shape, most of the time.  It is not wrong to recognize what others do and not wrong to receive recognition and some accolades but if that is the objective it loses its power and potential.

Jesus instructed us to establish a “prayer closet” and develop the habit of prayer.  I love corporate prayer because, I know the power of agreement and I am frequently encouraged, inspired, and energized by the prayers of others, especially when I sense the genuineness of the heart.  Jesus said, “But you…”  That’s you and me!  “…when you pray…” That should be regularly.  “…go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”  He went on in the next verse and gave warning for the meaninglessness of long flowerily repetitious prayers that are more for those listening than for God’s ears.  I’ve instructed believers, especially new converts, to “keep it simple” in prayer.  Tell God what you want and need.  You don’t have to convince Him or enlighten Him as to your situation – HE KNOWS!  Jesus taught, and I believe that God is far more willing to forgive and answer our prayers than we realize.  Jesus declared in Luke 12:32 that It was His and Our Father’s good pleasure to provide our needs and beyond.  Jesus came to give us ABUNDANT LIFE! 

Prayer, genuine, heartfelt and Bible-based prayer is POWERFUL.  With that in mind consider His pattern of prayer:

“Pray, then, in this way: Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.  10′ Your kingdom come.  Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.  11′ Give us this day our daily bread.  12’And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]  For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  15 “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”

May the LORD bless your richly and inspire you to spend time with Him in your closet of prayer.  Have a fantastic day!

GOD WILL NOT SHARE HIS GLORY…


Spiritual Blog - Glory

Acts 12:20-24 – “Now Herod had been very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; but they came to him with one accord, and having made Blastus the king’s personal aide their friend, they asked for peace, because their country was supplied with food by the king’s country. 21 So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them. 22 And the people kept shouting, “The voice of a god and not of a man!” 23 Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died. 24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.” NKJV

 

            I had a man of God, Kim Clements, stand before me years ago in a public meeting and as he was ministering to people he said over and over, “Flattery, flattery, flattery,” then walked away.  Later I sensed the Holy Spirit saying, “God wants to warn you not to listen to the flattery that people have, are and will give you.  Keep your focus on Me and know that all that you have, all that you are, and all that you will ever be is dependent upon Me – THE LORD!”  I took that to heart and have always grown very uncomfortable when people begin to flatter me.  I know that sometimes it is a genuine expression of respect and they are giving me honor but I NEVER want to take credit for what God does through me.  As the song of old – “Without Him, I could do nothing.  Without Him, I’d surely fail.  Without Him, my life would be hopeless like a ship without a sail.”  I take that as a staple in my life.  I’ve had people tell me you need to learn how to take compliments and maybe I do but I am NEVER comfortable with words directed toward me for things God has done.

I believe the following quote by Vance Havner is totally accurate – “Popularity has slain more prophets of God than persecution ever did.”  I’ve seen preachers, individuals, businessmen, and most assuredly politicians succumb to this type of thing that cost Herod his kingdom and life.

I suppose that is one of the reasons that I have always tried to teach those I have led to “Follow me ONLY as I follow Christ.”  I’ve always told the Churches that I was privileged to lead that if they depend on me they will be disappointed because I am human just like them.  My philosophy has always been to get the focus of every person and congregation upon JESUS, not man.

I confess it is nice to hear complimentary words from time to time but sometimes those words or expressions go beyond what I’m comfortable with and feel that if I allowed them to continue I’d be treading on God’s turf and taking honor to myself that belongs only to Him.  I have great respect for many men and women of God and hold them in high esteem but I always keep in mind that they are human just like I.  I don’t want to find myself or any congregation in the condition of the Corinthian church who were saying, “I’m of Paul, I’m of Apollos, I’m of Peter, or I’m of Christ,” and thereby dividing the Body.  Christ is not divided and only Jesus died for us.  I cannot save anyone God can.  I am a member they are members of the Body of Christ just like everyone else.  Their gift and calling may place them in a position of public recognition but IT IS STILL CHRIST!  So long as we remember that we will be fine!

May God bless you as you go through your day!

THE CHRISTIAN’S DILEMMA REGARDING GOVERNMENT…


Spiritual Blog - Government

I heard this again from the Lord recently.  I again asked the Lord, “What do Christians do when the leaders follow paths that violate your Word?”  He instructed my heart again this way.

SUBJECTION AND PRAYER:

Romans 13:1-7 – “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”  NASU

We are whenever and wherever possible to be subject to and obey the laws of the human government.  God does have all authority and He has a purpose for allowing leaders to be in place and sometimes that is simply to wake up the people from their slumber and apathy as has been the case time after time in Scripture.  Yet, when the laws of man violate the directive of the Lord we have to make a choice understanding the possible consequences from both man and God.

OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MAN:

Acts 5:27-32 – “When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, ” We must obey God rather than men. 30 ” The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. 31 ” He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32 “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”   NASU

 When we have a directive from the Lord and human government instructs us to violate that we must make a choice.  To disobey human government could mean incarceration or possibly death.  But to disobey God is an even greater peril, at least for me. I’m not talking about opinion; I’m talking about a clear directive from the Lord and His word.  If God has directed us, as Christians, we have only one choice and that is obedience no matter the cost or repercussions.   What happens if Caesar asks for something that belongs to God?

RENDER UNTO CAESAR AND RENDER UNTO GOD:

Matthew 22:21-22 – “They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” Then He said to them, ” Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”  22 And hearing this, they were amazed, and leaving Him, they went away.”  NASU

If the government asks us for something that belongs to God how shall we give it?  That would include everything from the above verses as well.  I cannot make government a god that would violate the Ten Commandments and clear directive of God that I have no other gods before Him.  I cannot give honor to something that is dishonorable and violates the sanctity of human life that would violate God’s revealed manner of life and principles.  I may have cause to fear them even if I am doing right because they are opposed to God and His way, therefore, I fear God, not man and the fear I have for God is a reverential fear not one of terror.

WHAT DO WE DO?  We pray for those in leadership.  We pray for their salvation.  We pray that they make the right decisions.  We pray that their decisions bring the people to a place of repentance and returning to God.  We pray that God gives His grace (mercy & divine enablement) to all those who follow Him to walk through the fire and not be burned; to walk through the flood and now drown.  We pray for our brothers and sisters as well as the lost and dying.  We pray for God’s Grace and Mercy to flood the land and maintain our integrity walking in the light of His Word and in total obedience to Him.

As you consider what you must do in life and that includes the physical, emotional, economic, spiritual, and political you MUST place God at the Head and demand that everything else is submissive to His Will, His Word, and His Way.

Matthew 6:25-34 – “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  26 ” Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?  27 “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?  28 “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil, nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.  30 “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!  31 “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’  32 “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  NASU

 Make this the rule of your life and you will NEVER go wrong.  Make this the cornerstone of your life and you will find that you have established a permanent residence in His Presence and He will guard and guide you.

Be Blessed with His Blessings!

JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION…


Spiritual Blog - Question

John 5:6 – “When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”  NKJV

 I never cease to be amazed at both the question and the answer in this account of Jesus healing the man at the Pool of Bethesda.  The account tells us a most amazing account of what took place at the Pool.  Multitudes of sick people would come or be brought there and that included people who were blind, lame, paralyzed and with other maladies.  The reason they were there was not to beg for food or money but because of the miraculous event that would transpire.  At a certain time an “Angel of God” would come down and stir the water and whoever stepped into the pool first after the water began stirring was completely healed.  It was a “first come first served” situation.  I can’t explain why this would be but it was.

We are informed by John that one of those at the pool was a man who had been lame for 38 years.  Now, it would stand to reason that someone brought him to the pool and apparently they would deposit him there and then depart leaving him to fend for himself.  Due to his condition, he was unable to get to the water before people who either had help or were in a more mobile condition so day after day, month after month, and year after year he faced the same disappointment.  The fact that he kept coming suggests that he never fully lost hope but when you listen to the question of Jesus and his response you see some of the problems and these problems translate into issues in many if not most of our lives.

Notice the question of Jesus – “Do you want to be made well?”  WHAT!  Jesus, I’ve been here for 38 years what do you think?  I would have thought that his immediate response would have been ABSOLUTELY but it wasn’t.  He began by making excuses as to why he had not been healed.

John 5:7 – “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I’m coming, another steps down before me.”

Woe is me!  He begins to lay blame on his family, his friends, and turn the focus on his circumstances, environment, and helplessness.  That was not the question.  Jesus didn’t ask and I have no doubt already knew the situation.  The question was simple:  “Do you want to be made well?”  I wonder how many times when God through the Holy Spirit or the Word asks us a similar question we take the approach of the Lame Man and justify, dignify, or excuse away our lack of the miracle.  Maybe it was a mindset that he needed within himself to justify his condition with his lack of help.  Maybe it made him feel better about his condition if he could transfer the blame for his lack of healing to others, conditions, or circumstances.  We do that.  But again, that was not the question.  The question was:  “Do you want to be made well?”

Jesus didn’t acknowledge or respond to his excuses and objections and instead of waiting for any further response said, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”  (v.8)  IMMEDIATELY the man was made well, took up his bed and walked.  The miracle was not celebrated by the establishment of the religious hierarchy because it was on the SABBATH.  Taking up his bed violated the rules – – but what about the miracle of a man who had not been able to walk for 38 years now being able to walk?  SHOULD THAT NOT BE CELEBRATED?  Not to those with Religious Spirits!  You have to keep the rules to the letter of the law and if that meant the man remained a cripple so be it.  That is not compassion or love it is LAW!  It is a man-made ideology rather than a Celebration of God and His Power and Love!

So when the Holy Spirit asks you a question give the right answer don’t try to find all the reasons why it has not or cannot be – – Answer the question according to the very deep cry of your heart!   Say Yes to the Lord!

May the Lord bless you is my prayer!