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JOHN 5:1-9 (Kent Smith notes 2/18/24)

THE HEALING AT BETHESDA

John 5:1-9

(The Third Sign)

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First sign: Turning water into wine

Second Sign:  Healing the Nobleman’s Son

Third Sign:  Healing a man ill for 38 years.

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THE MAN IN NEED

  • The pool at Bethesda

  • The “angel of the Lord” stirred the waters

  • The first person who made it into the water was healed

  • The man who was ill for 38 years was unable to get into the water first

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What is your need?

What struggles have you faced that you have not been able to conquer?

What is that you have asked of God that He has not fixed?

What reasons are there that your circumstances have not improved?

What is it that you cannot do, overcome, conquer?

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THE MOMENT OF DECISION

DO YOU WISH TO BE MADE WELL?

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I want to camp out here a bit:


First let’s consider the man’s response:  It’s not my fault!

I don’t want to be this way, but I cannot do anything to fix it.


Sometimes we get comfortable in our difficulties as it provides an excuse for our failures of obedience.

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DIFFICULTIES MAY LEAD US TO A FALSE UNDERSTANDING OF OURSELVES

HOWEVER

OUR DIFFICULTIES DO NOT DETERMINE WHO WE TRULY ARE.

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When God has not yet resolved your difficulties…

When God has not delivered you from your challenges, suffering and storms…

Do you begin to identify as a victim?  Are you angry at God that He made you this way?

Frustrated that God isn’t making things easier for you?


Some people become so consumed with their storms and struggles, that their personal challenges become their identity.


They become so fixated on their challenges, that it becomes all they see.  It begins to define them.


OUR DIFFICULTIES DO NOT DETERMINE OUR IDENTITY!

OUR PAST DOES NOT DETERMINE OUR FUTURE.

The world may call you a felon In Christ God calls you forgiven

The world may call you an adulterer In Christ God calls you His bride

The world may call you homosexual In Christ God calls you holy

The world may call you worthless In God’s opinion you are “to die for.”

The world may call you a sinner In Christ God calls you a saint.


Do Not let your difficulties define you!


Who would you be if you were paralyzed from the neck down?  Would you identify as a cripple?

Perhaps instead you could be an author, or an artist, or poet, or CEO of an international ministry, or sought after motivational speaker, or a disability activist: Joni Erickson Tada


The world loves to tag us with its opinion of our worth, it’s opinion of what we can or cannot do – often this is based on the superficiality of how we look, how we dress, who we know, how much money or fame we acquire, or what skill we have of any popular merit.


BUT You cannot know who you truly are…until you have heard God speak!


You are NOT DEFINED BY WHAT YOU CANNOT DO – YOU WILL BE KNOWN FOR WHAT YOU DO!

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JESUS SPOKE INTO THE MAN’S LIFE

  • Get up

  • Act in fairy as God empowers you to do that very thing that “you know you cannot do.”

  • Pick up your pallet

  • Determine to move forward and leave the past behind. You are not coming back here!

  • Walk

  • Begin the journey of faithful obedience.

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Now back to the story of the man healed by Jesus.


Get up:  

Don’t wallow any longer in your difficult circumstances.  Get up!

Don’t make excuses for why you cannot change.  Get up!

Don’t look at what you cannot do.  Do what you can: Get up!


Jesus spoke to the man saying, “Get up!”    

Act in faith as God empowers you to do the very thing you “know you cannot do.”

Start small.  Start with any act of obedience! Do something that God is calling you to do!

Don’t make excuses!  Do what He calls you to do.


Pick up your pallet.  Determine to move forward.  

You are not staying here, and you are not returning to this spot of defeat.


Walk.  Take the first steps of obedience no matter how small.  Every great journey begins with the first step.


Don’t focus on what you cannot do, but rather embrace what God has enabled you to do for His glory.


I have often quoted Hebrews 12:2 “to run the race set before you”  the verse goes on to say to run it with endurance.


The race God has given you to run may not be what you wanted, may not be what you like, but it is the race He chose for you because He loves you and knows the plans He has for you.


EMBRACE YOUR RACE.

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DO YOU WISH TO GET WELL?

GET UP

LEAVE YOUR PLACE OF COMFORT

TAKE THE FIRST STEP OF OBEDIENCE

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EMBRACE YOUR RACE / THE RACE GOD HAS SET BEFORE YOU

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