MAY 16, 2021
TODAYS BIBLE READING:
2 Kings 24-25
Reading Time: 15-20 Minutes
THIS WEEKS MEMORY VERSE:
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. ~John 5:24
TODAY'S WORSHIP SONG:
Give Us Clean Hands
What God desires for us and what we often seek are two separate things. We all mess up. Many who find themselves hurting, either due to poor choices of their own or due to things outside their control, will state that they want their old lives back. But God does not do this. He is not looking to give you back your old ineffective life, He is looking to make you new and better. Billy Graham put it this way, "One of the Bible's greatest truths is that our lives can be different. No matter what our past has been, Christ stands ready to forgive and cleanse us - and then make us new. Only Christ can bring hope to lives that have been turned into ashes by the assaults of our enemy, Satan. And He doesn't just restore us to what we once were; He gives us " a crown of beauty" - the beauty of forgiveness, and the beauty of hope and joy and peace. Who around you is experiencing the ashes of a shattered life? Pray for them, and ask God to use you to point them to Christ" We read in Isaiah 61:1-3, concerning the coming Messiah, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good things 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;...To comfort all who mourn,...To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;...".
We don't know much about the life of the man who was healed in John 5:1-15. We read in 5:5, "Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years." Jesus makes an observation and asks him a simple question in 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?" Jesus redirects his hope from the pool onto Jesus, Himself. We read in 5:8-9, "Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked." Notice that this man didn't argue with Jesus by explaining the impossibility of what Jesus asked him to do. But instead, he responded in obedience to the request, and in faith got up and walked. Notice when Jesus healed him, he didn't walk with a limp or with a cane. No, Jesus made him good as new. Notice Jesus' instructions to him in 5:14, "Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you." Jesus had turned this man's life from ashes to beauty, from a spirit of heaviness into a garment of praise.
Jesus offers us the same thing. He offers so much more than we ask for. He is not in the business of patching up, but in making you better than you were. In reality, when we hear the calamities surrounding the lives of those around us, we often only hear half of the story. Frequently, people will accentuate those things that were done to them, while minimizing their part in it. Therefore, our counsel, when focused on conflict resolution is faulty at best, knowing only part of the story. But God knows all things. He knows the truth from the fabrication. He also knows what people really need, as opposed to us who think we know what ourselves or others need. What everyone needs is Jesus. Can it really be that simple? Yes! This doesn't mean our lives will all be patched up once making this decision, but there will be purpose, real hope, real power, and a real promise of eternity with Him. We settle for trinkets. We simply want that relationship to be patched up, the pain to go away, that job back. We mistakenly believe that those things if given will make us happy. But happiness comes from the word, happenstance, which is based on circumstance. Jesus offers us joy. This joy can not be removed, since it is not based on circumstance. We read in 2 Corinthians, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
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