Saturday 8 August 2020

Choose Life (Part Forty-Seven): Drink From the Waters (Part Two)

Lay Down Your Heavy Burden
Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 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?  
― John 5:5-6, NKJV
We continue this week with the story of the sick man healed at the Pool of Bethesda. [John 5:1-15].

Love Does What Love Does:

By the power of free agency, God CANNOT force you to accept His Son. He CANNOT force you to receive the sacrifice He has provided. He gave up His right to force you, all because He loves you. He loves you enough to believe you will do right. He took the chance on you. He wants pure, free-flowing love, not influenced, forced, supposed love. God wants all or nothing; first place or no place at all. [Matthew 10:34-39, 22:36-40] Can you deal? Only those who deal can enter into His rest. [Hebrews 4]  

Jesus says, "come unto me all ye who are weak and heaven laden." [Matthew 11:28] Rather than coming to Him, our unfortunate response is, "Lord, we are satisfied with just the spiritual blessings." Really? Unfortunately, He cannot force the blessing on us. No wonder many are impoverished, calling their own foolishness the cross of Discipleship. [ref.: Mark 2:17]

Jesus says, "He comes that we might have life in its fullest measure." [John 10:10] Our response is, "That is only spiritually." Really? Where in the text do we see that? Did God send you a special telegram and somehow forgot to send it to us all?

Lazy Minds, Lazy Hearts, and Lazy Hands:

Selective Participation
Those who give these excuses [that our blessings are only spiritual] are seeking to add to the word what is not there in a bid to excuse themselves from pressing into all the word provides for. They are simply lazy - lazy heads, lazy hearts, and lazy hands. “Lazy is such an ugly word. I prefer to call it selective participation.” (Anonymous) If they did this for themselves only, that will be excusable, but not only are they not entering, they are preventing others from entering. [Matthew 23:13; Luke 11:52] 

Modern-day scribes and Pharisees, their woes are no less than that prescribed to their fathers in Jesus' day. It is easy to put a spiritual label on everything. Then it leaves you with no obligations or responsibility. If it works you share some of the shine with God. If it doesn't you can easily explain it away with some Christianese jargon. So, you think you have saved face. Really? Is that how we are taught of Christ? Is that the example he showed us? Is that how the people perceived him?

Matthew 7:28-29 reads,
"And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes."
We see the same in Mark 1:21-22; John 7:26. In Acts 4:13, 9:27-29, 14:3, 19:8; Romans 15:15; Ephesians 6:19-20; Philippians 1:20 we see it replicated in the Apostles. That is the example we are so taught of Christ and His Church, which is "the pillar and ground of the truth." [1 Timothy 3:15]

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