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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, March 4, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
After 38 years, this man’s problem had become a way of life. No one had ever helped him. He had no hope of ever being healed and no desire to help himself. The man’s situation looked hopeless. But not matter how trapped you feel in our infirmities, God can minister to your deepest needs. Don’t let a problem or hardship cause you to lose hope. God may have special work for you to do in spite of your condition, or even because of it. Many have ministered effectively to hurting people because they have triumphed over their own hurts. (NLT)
John 5:1-9 – Afterword Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew how long he had been ill, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I am trying to get there, someone else always gets in ahead of me.”
Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your sleeping mat, and walk!”
Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up the mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath day.
Stephanie Marker (Missouri) titled her story “MAKING EXCUSES;” here is a portion of Stephanie’s story:
“The man in today’s reading had been sick for 38 years. . . . He had suffered all that time hoping for a cure – or just wanting a friend to lift him into the healing waters that he thought could make him well. . . . Instead, he gave an explanation for why he hadn’t been made well up to this point.
“We also may try to explain or even make excuses: why we were late to work, didn’t finish a project on time, or can’t change something in our lives. We can come up with a million excuses for why we can’t follow God. For me, those excuses include: I don’t have enough time, I’m too busy, I don’t’ have enough money, or I’m too afraid. Sometimes it seems we can’t even imagine the ways God can change us.
“. . . When we come to Jesus and ask to change, to be made well, we can lay down our excuses. And then we can begin to walk side by side with Jesus in a life more abundant than we could ever imagine.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God is patiently drawing me closer.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for listening to us and calling us to change in ways we cannot now imagine. Amen.
Prayer Focus: THOSE STRUGGLING IN THEIR FAITH
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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