Friday, 23 October 2020

Choose Life (Part Fifty): Drink From the Waters (Part Five)

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].

More to Jesus than Being Born Again:

A great many are just satisfied with being born again, the first work of grace. Where did they get this satisfaction from? Surely not from the Father, nor the Son, nor the Holy Ghost. So, where did they get this strange satisfaction or doctrine from? Who sowed tares in our field? [Matthew 13:25] The master's mandate is clear. Isn't it? Matthew 28:18-20 reads,
"And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”" Amen. 
Which part of this tells us to be satisfied with a person being born again? Yes, it is a thing of joy. [Luke 15:1-7] Great joy indeed that one would repent and accept Jesus Christ. Great, but that is not the end of the story. The work only just started. The master's commission is to make DISCIPLES, not sheer converts, church members, or believers.

The great commission is commissioning for making disciples, but we have turned it on its head to achieve our own self glorying objectives. We are all about size, bigness, and number. We are fixated on quantity, not quality—membership rather than transformation. We have simply missed Christ, and we are all about blowing our own trumpets. 

Instead of waking up to what is wrong, we are busy further digging ourselves further in. We work tirelessly, trying to protect our own vain names and legacy while off track from the master's mandate. Not being able to prosper in the spirit, we are all about patching things up. Aiden Wilson Tozer, the American Christian pastor, author, magazine editor, and spiritual mentor, rightly deciphers the situation. He wrote, 
“Religion today is not transforming people; rather it is being transformed by the people. It is not raising the moral level of society; it is descending to society’s own level, and congratulating itself that it has scored a victory because society is smilingly accepting its surrender.” ― A.W. Tozer
What a shame. Thanks, be to God; all is not lost yet. Christ's hands are ever extended out to us. He bids us to come. He knocks at the door of our heart if only we will let Him in. We want you to come to have fellowship with us. He longs for koinonia with us. [Revelation 3:20] On our own, we can do nothing. Only in and with Him are we made whole and can begin to fulfill the purpose. [John 15:5]

There is much more to Christ than merely being born again. All being born again affords us is an initiation to begin the journey. It is not the end in and of itself. It is ONLY the beginning. Yet our churches are inundated with it. Choosing to build their tentacles and tabernacles there. They are no different from the Pharisees of old.

Here is what Jesus had and has to say about those. 
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves." (Matthew 23:15, NKJV)
The job is not done just because the person got born again. That is only the beginning. Let us ensure we spread the emphasis and not be lopsided.

Things That Follow Salvation:

And, there is more to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ than the mere salvation of our soul. His sacrifice also affords us a restoration, refreshing, renewal of our soul. [John 3:5, 8:32, 1:12, 10:10; Acts 3:19; Romans 12:2; James 1:21] He that the Son sets free is free indeed - Spirit, Soul, and Body. [John 8:36] Why are we focusing on one at the expense of the other. None of our excuses hold water. They are simply baseless. I love the way C. S. Lewis puts it.
“Of all the tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under the omnipotent moral busybodies."
We have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places. [Ephesians 1:3; 2 Peter 1:3-4] God did not provide them to keep them there. He provided so we can lay claim, lay hold, and bring them into reality for use in this present life, on this side of eternity. It is not only the "Sweet By and By." I need God here, today, in the "Sweet, Now and Today." He is not only the God of Heaven. He is the God of the Earth also. [Psalm 24:1]

© 2017 Akin Akinbodunse

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