Substitutions are a standard part of life. We substitute onion rings for fries. We substitute Splenda for sugar. We substitute texting for talking.
We all remember causing mischief when a substitute teacher walked into the classroom, or at least I do. And some of you may even remember when the von Erichs and the Freebirds would face off in wild wrestling melees called tag-team matches. I would watch from the edge of my seat as an injured Kevin would stretch out his hand to tag up with Kerry to get a fresh sub into the fight, and Kerry would explode over the ropes to change the flow of the match.
But, there are some things for which there are no substitutes.
Each of us have been created with a “God-sized hole” in our souls. It’s a missing piece in the puzzle of life that leaves the picture incomplete.
Try as we may to fill the hole, we always come up empty on the other side.
There is no substitute to the presence of God to bring wholeness to our life. Nothing else has ever satisfied, and nothing else ever will.
In John Chapter 5, we read the story of man in need of the wholeness Jesus has to offer.
After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 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?”
7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. (John 5:1-9 NKJV)
In this encounter, we hear one of the greatest questions Jesus ever asked, “Do you want to be made well?”
Jesus never asked a question for His own benefit. Through this question, we see the invitation to abandon the substitutes and discover wholeness through the grace of God.
When you don’t know what you want, it makes it very hard to get. When you want what you don’t need, you’ll pass right by the solution to grab hold of a substitute.
Consider today four substitutes to choosing to be healed:
- I want to be helped. I need someone else to take responsibility for my situation.
- I want to be heard. I want sympathy more than solutions.
- I want to be happy. I chose to settle for the best of a bad situation.
- I wanted to be healed. The pain of life slowly eroded my hope for real wholeness.
The reality is there is no substitute for the wholeness Jesus offers. Many of us have wasted so much time looking other places for other solutions. And we have come up empty every time.
But, the question of Jesus is still echoing through two thousand years of human history. “Do you want to be made well?”
His question today is your invitation to experience the joy of life according to God’s design.
And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. –Romans 5:5
Click here to discover more about the wholeness Jesus offers you today.
Click to listen to “Do You Want to Be Made Well?“
Click here to read stories of those who have been made well through the power and grace of Jesus.
On the Radar
Night of Worship and Art Fusion coming next Wednesday, June 2! The party will start at 7:00pm.
Family Fun Night is scheduled for Wednesday, June 9, at 7 pm. You are invited to join us for this entertaining evening of softball, homemade ice cream, and fellowship at Newman park.
Parents, be sure to check out the Worldchangers website. We align our Bible curriculum from the nursery all the way up to our youth. Access the Family Connection page on the website to bring your children’s Bible lesson home to the kitchen table.
We also have all the info you need about RAMP, our ministry to youth in Sweetwater High School and Middle School and surrounding campuses, as well, at www.efcyouth.com.
You Heard it at EFC
Been trying to remember one of those awesome songs we sang? Here is our worship list from yesterday, for those of you who just absolutely need a copy for yourself. You can usually find them for purchase on itunes.com.
- “Sing to the King”
- “I Have Found” by Kim Walker
- “Healer” Kari Jobe version
- “Awesome God” by Rich Mullins
Sunday, May 30, we will conclude our “Questions Jesus Asked” sermon series. Join us for this final exploration of the questions of our Lord.
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