What has the power to change us?

John 5:1-15, The Healing at the Pool

Picture it — a kitchen, garage, or office piled with clutter.  And above it all hangs a well-intentioned sign reading “Bless This Mess!”  It’s a fun way of acknowledging the reality of our messy lives, to be sure.   It might be that when we ask God to bless our mess, we’re really wanting God to excuse or ignore our mess, or maybe somehow wave his divine wand and fix it.

Well, Paul proclaims in Romans 3:23-24, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  And “all” means ALL.  No one’s righteousness exalts them to heaven.  But the good news is that “all” means ALL when it comes to God’s justifying grace, too.  So God does offer a grace that can and will transform our messes.  Having done it in Christ, however, he also expects participation from us.

For reflection:

  1. Think about the phrase: “Bless This Mess.”  Are there any messes in your life that you’d rather have God just “bless” than really transform?
  2. Jesus asked the man at the pool: “Do you want to get well?”  What if Jesus asked you the same thing?  How would you answer?
  3. The man’s healing was 100% God’s grace.  What did the man have to do to participate in that grace?  What can we do today to participate in God’s grace to us?
  4. Later (chapter 5 verse 14) why does Jesus still urge the man to “stop sinning” after his physical healing?

Many blessings,

Pastor Mike

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