Friday, January 23, 2009

Believing God

South Bay Church is on Day 5 of a 21 day emphasis on prayer and Bible reading as we lead up to our Grand Opening on February 8th. We have asked everyone on our Launch Team to spend 15 minutes a day in prayer for the church and to read one chapter of the book of John each day. We are keeping a blog of our reflections from our Scripture reading. Today it was my turn to share my reflections on chapter 5 so I will just copy what I wrote below. If you would like to join us in this focused time of prayer or in reading the gospel of John, check out the blog here.

I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24

Did you realize that the word "believe" is used seven times in John chapter 5? Believing God is what the entire Christian life is built upon...believing what God says about himself and believing what God says about us! Not just a vague and general acceptance of the truth, but a present, active, all or nothing kind of belief upon which you're determined to build your life.

At the beginning of John 5, Jesus interacts with a man who has been an "invalid" (most likely paralyzed) for 38 years. 38 years! That's longer than I've been alive. 38 years of watching others walk around him and not being able to move himself. 38 years of being completely dependant on other people to get him where he needed to go, to feed him meals, to help him to the restroom, to change his clothes...38 years of frustration and pain and embarrassment, and the only hope that he had that his life could ever change was to lay by this pool of water that was said to have healing powers.

Then, one unsuspecting day, Jesus walked by and changes everything.

When Jesus saw the man laying there he asked him a question with a seemingly obvious answer. He asked, "Do you want to get well?"

The strange thing is, the man does not respond with a resounding, "YES!" He responds with an excuse for why it could never happen.

What an incredible parallel to many of our lives! We're paralyzed by fear, in bondage to sin, suffering from a chronic case of "I need to change but can't." And when the Healer walks by offering us a chance at freedom, we offer him some pathetic excuse for why we're stuck in our current condition.

Can I just be blunt? When the Healer asks you if you want to be healed, you should say YES!!! Don't offer him your lame excuses and uncertainties. Don't question if He has the power or means by which to set you free. BELIEVE HIM!

Jesus, right now, as you read this post, is offering you abundant life. He's offering you peace in the midst of uncertainty, hope for all of eternity, and joy even during trials and hard times. Will you allow Him to step into your circumstance and bring the healing and life that only He can give? Will you BELIEVE?

Dear Jesus, I pray that you would give each of us the faith to BELIEVE you are who you say you are and will do what you say you will do! We want to live the lives that You have intended for us to live.

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