WITH JESUS THERE’S ALWAYS GOOD FOR YOU, BUT DO YOU WANT IT?

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WITH JESUS THERE’S ALWAYS GOOD FOR YOU, BUT DO YOU WANT IT?

I was musing just the other day about how there seems to be a positive correlation between the spatial concentration of good-looking people and the spatial concentration of jobs that pay a high salary. It’s true, isn’t it? In places where people earn the most, they seem to look their best too.

And its observations like these that give rise to all those axioms rolling off the tongues of image consultants;

‘Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.’

‘Dress for how much you think you’re worth, not how much you are paid.’

Well, sad to say, in this materialistic and superficial world, this is the reality. Business owners, decision makers and employers are more likely to take a well-dressed individual more seriously than one who stumbles into a meeting in jeans and a T shirt; unless of course, your last name is Jobs or Zukerberg.

But you know, this really isn’t such a bad thing. After all, being looking good is all a matter of desire. All you need to look good is the desire to want to look good.

Now, I know I just opened a can of worms here, because some will argue that natural beauty is endowed, genetic. You are either born with it or you are not. And there are others, I’m sure, who will argue that good looking clothes are expensive; so income, and lack thereof, already predisposes one to either looking good or not.

However, that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. I don’t intend to argue one way or the other about the relationship between income and dress. What I want to talk about instead is the desire to want good for yourself. Whether it be wanting to look good or live well, it is without doubt that the fundamental foundation behind all the good that you want to happen for yourself is the desire to want good for yourself. Wanting to be in that state of ‘goodness’ is the very first step before anything can happen.

I mean think about it, if you are a little tubby, you must first ‘want’ to exercise to lose weight. If your clothes are a little shabby, you must first ‘want’ to change your wardrobe. And if you are unwell, you must first ‘want’ to be well.

I know what you’re thinking. Who doesn’t want ‘good’? Everybody wants good for themselves, don’t they? Well, by way of illustration, indulge me.

The next time you are at your wardrobe, take a good long look at all your clothes. Do they all make you look good? Not all of them, do they? What are you prepared to do about the ones that don’t make you look good? What do you ‘want’ to do with them or to them so that they are once again ‘good’ for you?

And there’s the rub.

Recently, I got injured in a traffic accident. And one of the injuries I sustained, was a contusion to the knee.

Now, it was just a contusion, not a fracture. I still had full range of motion in that knee and it was fully load bearing as well. But like how all contusions are, the joint becomes stiff and it hurts to move it. So could it, physiologically, be moved? Yes. But did I want to move it? No, not really.

Also, my right wrist was in a cast. The doctors only suspected that the Scaphoid bone was fractured. There was no proof that it was. Now I could realistically take the cast off without aggravating the injury. But given the amount of sympathy I was getting from everyone everywhere I went, I was in no hurry to remove it. So again, removing the cast meant that I could go back to being ‘normal’. Which is a good thing right? But I didn’t want to.

Look, I know you all understand the sentiment that I’m trying to get at. We’ve all been there. We know what’s good but for one reason or another, we don’t want to take that option. Strange, isn’t it?

Now at this juncture, I’d like us to think about how our relationship with our Heavenly Father is like when we are faced with challenges. Do we thank Him for putting us in that situation? Or do we still blame Him for letting that happen to us, even though there’s a part of us that doesn’t really want to get out of it?

This reminds me of the man at the pool of Bethesda.

“Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.” John 5:5

Here was a man who was in a bit of a predicament. But, it is this next bit that I love;

“When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time,” John 5:6

When we find ourselves in a predicament; we lost our jobs, we got into an accident or our spouse left us; our first thought is ‘God doesn’t know’, or ‘God doesn’t care’. But here the Bible is very clear, when Jesus saw him lying there, He knew. So when Jesus casts His gaze on us His beloved creation, when our Father looks at us His beloved children, there is no pain, there is no hurt, there is no situation that we can ever be in that He won’t know.

And just in case you are thinking that the man in question for today was special, pay attention to how he was referenced. ‘A certain man’, that’s all he was, a certain man. So if Jesus paid attention to ‘a certain man’ and knew his problems the moment He saw Him, how much more does He know your problems, beloved child of God?

But that’s not all, because there’s still more to verse 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?”” John 5:6

Jesus not only knows what our problems are, the first thing He does is ask us if we want to be well. Notice where He puts the importance? It’s not a case of whether He wants to heal us or whether He wants us to be well. That’s already a constant, a given. All He wants to know is if we want to be well.

At this juncture then, we have two choices. We can either choose to wallow in the pity that we are receiving, like I did, or allow Jesus to heal us. And don’t think that Jesus is limited by earthly means either because this is how He healed that man.

“Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.” John 5:8-9

Now this wasn’t the way things were supposed to be because the pool’s mode of healing was this.

“…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.” John 5:4

With things of this earth, there are rules, there are conditions. But with Jesus, those rules don’t apply, because He is the creator of all things. The only condition He places is that we must want to be well.

You know, for far too long, we have always allowed ourselves to be hoodwinked into thinking that ‘good’ was only for the good. If we weren’t good, we don’t deserve to receive good.

But from the life of the man who lay by the pool at Bethesda, we can see Jesus living out these words of Paul.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2

And because you have been set free from the law of sin and death, you have been set free from its consequetial punishment as well for

“Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Romans 8:33-34

So since “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32

Now then, beloved child of God, are you looking for a miracle? Are you looking for God to deliver good into your life? Are you wondering if God really wants to bless you? Wonder no further. He does. The question is, do you really want the ‘good’ to come into your life?

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