Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Don’t return to life of sin

Good morning. This is a devotional for single adults from Parenting Solo, but the message also applies to single adults without children who may one day marry a single parent and be a step-parent. Feel Free to forward it to a friend.

Scripture: John 5:15-17 (The Message) The man went back and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. That is why the Jews were out to get Jesus – because he did this kind of thing on the Sabbath. But Jesus defended himself. “My Father is working straight through even on the Sabbath. So am I.”

Hundreds of sick people were hanging out at the pools of Bethseda, near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem. People believed that there were healing powers when the waters “stirred.” They were blind, crippled, and paralyzed, looking for hope. There, Jesus sees a man stretched out. He had been an invalid for 38 years. When Jesus sees him, he asks if he wants to get well. The crippled man replies that when the waters stir, he has no one to help him get in the water. Jesus tells him to pick up his bedroll and walk. He is healed instantly.

Great story of how Jesus’ miraculous healing powers work, except for one thing: The Jews got wind of the healing on the Sabbath and are ticked. They confront the man. “You can’t carry your bedroll around,” they respond. “It’s against the rules.” The man tells them that it was Jesus who healed him and who told him to grab his bedroll and go home. The Jews are incredulous at Jesus’ healing on the Sabbath – right in the open, in front of a big crowd. The nerve of that guy showing everybody up. Jesus had to sneak off to hide from the Jews.

But Jesus isn’t done. A short while later, Jesus finds the man again, this time in the Temple. “Don’t return to a sinning life or something worse will happen,” he tells the man. Even after Jesus performs miraculous healings on us, we can still return to a life of sin. Jesus warns us that the consequences will be even worse the second time. The temptation we all face is that after we are healed and are strengthened, we begin to think that we can do it on our own. Then we fall away from our faith life and stumble. The second fall is always harder.

This is an important message for single parents who find healing after their life crisis, whether it be divorce, having a child out of wedlock, or a spouse dying. After things settle down and we find peace, we sometimes slip up and stumble again. Maybe we think we’re ready to date when we really need to focus on our kids. Our fall prey to flattery and get burned in an unhealthy relationship. Jesus wants us to know that he is there for us, 24/7, even on the Sabbath, even after we stumble. We can always count on his healing powers. Do you want to be healed?

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, help me to stay on the right path. Help me to draw near your healing powers and let you do your thing. Help me not to lean on my own strength. Amen

Doug Mead
Parenting Solo

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Vol. 3, No. 157

This week’s reading plan can be found at http:/www.oneyearbibleonline.com/november.asp?version=51

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