Love you all, praying for you.
Larry Burkett once told a story about a man who hired a young man at his company. He poured into him, encouraged him, developed him, taught him the business. And in return, this young man quit his job, and started a company in direct competition with his mentor – and instantly was quite successful in stealing his customers. A short while later, it was discovered that this young man’s flagship product contained a serious flaw that threatened the solvency of his company. His mentor instructed the engineers at his own company to purchase his young competitor’s product. They reverse engineered it, discovered the flaw, and the resolution, and sent it back to him with the solution defined and explained. (Wow. What a picture of our Heavenly Father – when we like sheep go astray. When we were enemies of the cross – Christ died for us.) I wonder if the man ever regretted mentoring this young man. Seemed to be more trouble than it was worth. Why bother if that’s the result? Have you ever felt that way - betrayed by someone or people that you literally poured out your life for? God's answer sometimes impacts several levels.
Jesus went to Jerusalem and saw a man at the pool of Bethesda. John 5:5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” I often thought that was a strange question. Why would Jesus ask him that? Cause sometimes when we have been stuck in something for a long time, there’s a reason why… Sometimes that crutch or that sin, or that failure has become comfortable. If the man gets healed, he can’t beg for alms anymore, he’ll probably have to get a job. He won’t be pitied. He will no longer be in his comfortable position – no matter how much it sucks. Sometimes we get used to sucking… Sometimes we can get comfortable – where we are – even when it’s not nearly what God has for us. “Sir, the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Wow! This guy didn’t even answer Jesus’ question? “Yes LORD! More than anything I want to be healed!” But he didn’t say that. The invalid of body, had already become an “invalid of mind.” He first blamed other people who didn’t help him. Then he blamed other people who went in front of him. His victim mentality had him an invalid in his mind – so much worse than being an invalid in his legs. But Jesus healed him anyway!
Verse 8: Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jews said to the man who was healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, “Pick up your mat and walk.” So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. Afterward Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again, stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” This word afterward – means joined in succession. So this was probably later that day or that evening, maybe the next day – but certainly not two years later, Jesus didn’t stay long in any city – he want to every city and village preaching the Gospel. So if Jesus met him later that day, and said stop sinning… how much sinning could this man have done since this morning when He was healed? How many banks could he have robbed? And for 38 years he couldn’t walk, so he wasn’t robbing banks then. Jesus was talking about his heart condition, his thoughts, his words, his heart – his sinning. Again what was this man’s response? "Yes LORD, please forgive me for my sin, I will do as you say from this day forward!" Nope, not this guy, that’s not what he said. This man was way different from Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus when he encountered Jesus – repented, an about face, instantly, he changed course! He said “Here and now I give half of my wealth to the poor and if I have stolen from anyone I will repay them four times!” That is a response of repentance, admitting your sin, changing your mind and changing your course. But this man didn’t say a word. No response to Jesus. What did he do? The very next verse. V 15 – the man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. What a punk, he was a rat, a tattletale. What Jesus just did for him, healed him from 38 years of suffering. He went and told on him. He preferred to honor men, the Pharisees who did nothing for him, over the One who healed him and set him free from a lifetime as a cripple. It wasn’t a testimony he was giving, he wasn’t like the woman at the well who went back to town and told everyone, “Come and see the man who told me everything I ever did!” or the man out of whom Jesus cast the Legion of demons, who went throughout all the Decapolis telling everyone what Jesus had done for him… This guy just went and tattled on Jesus to the Pharisees. So did Jesus regret healing him? Why would he, He just did what His Father in Heaven told him to do.
I find it interesting personally when God reveals something.. what I take from it, what I relate to... I always think I’m the good guy, not the bad guy… But humility and honesty requires me to look at both sides. What we take from something, reflects our heart. Who do we identify with? Have I been healed, but still remain an invalid in mind. God is there an area of my mind, a way of thinking about something or someone that is un-transformed? Do I have a victim mentality, a sin mentality in an area that I don’t realize, refuse to see or admit. Jesus saved me! That’s the greatest healing ever! But we are still responsible for what we feed our mind. Romans 12:2 says “But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” God doesn’t do that, you do that! PRISM is a choice! you gotta be in His Word, otherwise God can save you, but your mind can stay crippled - and if so... more sin will surely follow. Be faithful in PRISM. God will then transform your mind so you are healed in mind, body, soul and spirit!
Next, God reminded me of Seed and Soil. You are responsible for seed not soil. Actually you’re not even responsible for the seed (God gives that) you are just responsible for sowing it – when and where – and into whom the Holy Spirit tells you. Sometimes you will sow seed into those who so appreciate it, and appreciate you, and immediately bear fruit. Other times the Holy Spirit will have you sow seed into those who will be punks, and run and tattle on you. But that’s not your business. You aren’t responsible for the soil, just sowing the seed into whomever God tells you. Pour out your life as the Holy Spirit directs you, let Him worry about the result. But what about the farmer? They work the soil first. Yes, that’s true. The only thing you can do to affect the soil is to plow. You can’t directly plow someone else’s heart – but you can trust God – He holds the hearts of men – even the King’s heart is in the hand of the Lord. Your plowing is Praise! Judah Plows. Your Praise will affect the atmosphere, and God can use it to draw hearts to Him.
Praying for you – that you will never be an invalid of mind, after God has saved and healed you. That you would always choose PRISM every day throughout the day – coming back to that Word that God has for you specifically for today - that over time - transforms your mind. Praying that PiVAT will encourage you to seek God’s specific will for you for tomorrow, and walk in it. He will show you daily where to sow seed. Praying that You will Praise, and leave the results to Him. He is faithful. Praying that you will never let the devil steal your Daily Call – that’s where your overcoming testimony starts! He promised to give seed to the sower and bread to the eater. You can leave the soil to Him. He has seed for you and bread for you – and He is the one that makes seed to be bread for others. Praying that you will love people like Jesus loves them, taking on the mind of Christ – through His Word.
Love you all,
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Daily Huddle -