When Jesus encountered a man who had been afflicted for 38 years, He gave him three commands: Get up; pick up your mat; and walk.
if I make a conscious, deliberate decision to get up, to obey Jesus, to do what Jesus tells me to do, my life will change. It’s a lot easier, and more comfortable sometimes, to remain where we are. To remain in the grasp of a place we don’t want to be, but don’t have the courage, or the faith, to do what Jesus tells us to do.
Like the sick man Jesus encountered, I need to make an effort to change, especially if I’m lounging on a mat of my own creation. I have to want to get well. I need to obey Jesus’ command. The man needed to take action.
Then Jesus told the man to pick up his mat. John 5:9 says, “Immediately the man became well.”
I’d be willing to wager he showed that mat to everyone he met, skipping through the streets testifying to how Jesus had healed him. His mat became his message. God used the man’s 38 years of affliction as his testimony to God’s faithfulness and powers of healing.
Finally, Jesus told the man to walk. It was finally time for him to act. Once Jesus has touched us, impacted our lives and healed us, He wants us to walk out our testimonies. To share our healing with others.
I am a victim of post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. We experienced a homicide in our home November 10, 2013. Following the murder the PTSD set in and it took several months of weekly counseling for me to work through it. When I did, I shared my story in recovery groups, church groups and with others who experienced PTSD. I walked my story out and could tell others, “I know how you feel.” Because I did. I was able to share understanding and compassion with them. And others shared their stories with me as well. We share a bond that others can’t share. But as we walk out our experience, we grow stronger and closer to the Lord. I am forever grateful for all the things God showed me as I lay on that mat.
Maybe someday I’ll write about all that.
If you missed the post, “Get up”, you can read it here.
If you missed the post, “Pick up your mat”, you can read it here.
If you’d like to read about the homicide and the source of my PTSD, You can read the full post here.
CAUTION: Today’s post contains a frank, candid discussion of the state of the bride of Christ. To err on the side of caution, I recommend it for adult readers only.
I volunteer once a week at an elementary school our church adopted as a local mission project. Staff and teachers are wonderful. The kids are wonderful, pleasant and generally well-behaved. Continue reading
The book of Joshua is packed with God’s promises and principles we can take away from studying it. A truth we often hear today, even in secular circles, says, “For every choice we make there’s a consequence.” We see that one happening throughout Scripture. Good consequences for obedience and bad consequences for disobedience. For example, Continue reading
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18
One of Sarah Young’s thoughts in Jesus Calling today seemed appropriate to one of my most aggravating dilemmas. “The curse of this world,” she said, “is over-stimulation of the senses, which blocks our awareness of the unseen world.”
I detest following a semi or an SUV on the road. Both of them block my sight so I can’t see what’s ahead of me. I’m not trying to be the first car. I just want to see the road signs ahead of me. And every time I park at Wal-Mart, I park by little cars. I avoid parking by big trucks or SUV’s. Invariably, when I leave, some big truck or 24-passenger SUV has parked right beside me. I have to crane my neck and back out cautiously and blindly to avoid smashing into someone. Continue reading
I overheard a lady on a commuter van talk about one of her friends who was helping a needy family from her church. The Lady claimed, “She was just trying to be a good Christian.”
Many well-intentioned Christians spend lots of time, energy and resources trying to be good Christians.
The truth of the matter is, however that good Christians just don’t exist. The Bible doesn’t teach that at all. Believing that Christians are somehow good is a lie straight from satan. Evil people with no conscience can do good things and help little old ladies across the street and buy Girl Scout Cookies, give money to the poor and donate to charities. Doing good things for others doesn’t make anyone a good Christian.