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Posts Tagged ‘John 5’

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:

  1. I want to be helped.  I need someone else to take responsibility for my situation.
  2. I want to be heard.  I want sympathy more than solutions.
  3. I want to be happy.  I chose to settle for the best of a bad situation.
  4. 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. 

Podcast

Click to listen to “Do You Want to Be Made Well?

Links

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.

Family Connection

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.

  1. “Sing to the King”
  2. “I Have Found” by Kim Walker
  3. “Healer” Kari Jobe version
  4. “Awesome God” by Rich Mullins

Sunday Preview

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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My King - Bethesda Cover jpgYesterdy, we looked at the encounter Jesus had with the lame man at the Pool of Bethesda.  The man had been there, knocked down, alone, and broken for 38 years, or to put it into perspective 13,870 days.  That’s a long time to suffer!  But then Jesus came.  (Don’t you love that sentence?)  Upon arriving at the scene, Jesus spoke two sentences and the man was made whole.

All of us have areas of our lives that have been knocked down and broken.  All of us have felt alone.  All of us have cried out for the “But then” moment with Jesus.  Wherever you find yourself today, know that Jesus has the ability to change your situation in the space of two sentences.  He is the kindest man you’ll ever know, and He changes everything when He enters the room.

If you have a need and would like someone to stand with you in prayer, drop me a line today at efcsweetwater@aol.com.  Let’s pray together for your “But then” encounter with Jesus.

Podcast

Follow the link to access this Sunday’s message “Healing at the Pool” from John Chapter 5.

Links

Want to see a picture of the Pool of Bethesda?  Archaeologists believe they have found it.  You can check it out by clicking HERE.

Our first Kid’s School of Worship was an over the top radical event.  Many thanks to Pastor Lolo and the 30+ volunteers who gave their time, talent, and sweat to put together such an amazing school for our children.   You can catch a play by play recap of the School of Worship on the Beauty of the Bible weblog.  Click here to check out Night 1, Night 2, and Night 3.

On the Radar

Our Baptism service venue has changed!  We will now meet at First Christian Church on Hailey Street this Wednesday, August 5th, at 7 pm.  I hope you will come celebrate with us as our friends in Christ are baptized!  On a personal note, my heart is ecstatic as I look forward to baptizing my daughter, Brenna Grace, as my sister in the Lord this Wednesday!  You can contact me by email if you desire to be baptized this Wednesday.

The youth are leaving for Six Flags this Thursday, August 6th!  We will meet at the church at 7:00 am and be back home around midnight, with a fun-packed day in between!

School is just around the corner, and Sweetwater Aglow will be hosting their annual Back To School Prayer Walk on Tuesday, August 11, 6:30 pm, at Lighthouse Assembly (on Newman Street).  Make plans to come pray for our schools!

Are you a new member at EFC?  Interested in joining and partnering with us?  We invite you to attend a Membership Dessert on Monday, August 17, at 7:00 pm.  Childcare will be available.

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 find them for purchase on itunes.com.

  1. “Dancing Generation” by Matt Redmand
  2. “I Have Found” by Kim Walker
  3. “The More I Seek You” by Kari Jobe
  4. “When I Think About The Lord” by Shane and Shane

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, we will continue our series “That’s My King!” from the book of John.

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