“Self limiting” why would we want to limit ourselves? Maybe we need to protect ourselves. Boundaries are a very necessary thing in this life. I’ve lived with very few boundaries, it’s dangerous. Life is better with boundaries, humanly speaking. However there is one area of life that I believe we should not have boundaries – that is our belief in God. God and God alone has no boundaries. It’s a part of my life mission to learn this lesson and to help others learn it too. My friend Arlin Sorenson addresses this issue below in his June 5th e-mail. What do you think? Do you put God in a box?
John 5 talks a bit about Jesus ministry of healing and then a lot about the truth of salvation. Jesus is in the city by the pool where the invalids spent their day and comes upon a man who has been an invalid for 38 years. That is a long time to be unable to walk. Jesus comes to him and asks “do you want to be healed”? Seems like a rather obvious question – but Jesus asks. Interestingly, the man responds with a self limiting answer – sort of the yes I would love to be healed but I don’t see how that can happen – put God in the box that he knew. Jesus is not contained by our box. Jesus is not limited by what we think or believe. Jesus tells the paralytic to get up and walk. And he did. This happens on the Sabbath and when this healed guy shows up the religious leaders get all bent out of shape. You can’t get up on the Sabbath. Why is it that we try and prevent people from experiencing the power of Jesus in their lives? We are guilty of it today – for different reasons – but we want to control and be able to explain what happens and keep things inside the box. Don’t we? It gets uncomfortable when we lose the ability to explain what is happening. The religious leaders were in that box squarely and they wanted to keep everyone there with them.
Three times in this chapter Jesus begins His words with “truly, truly”. I have learned that when we see these – it is time to sit up and pay attention. Let’s look at what He says. Truly, truly I say to you….
– “the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing
– whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life
– an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live”
Jesus lets the religious leaders have a full dose of truth. Jesus only can do what the Father is doing. Salvation comes from Jesus alone. Those who hear the truth will live. Three rather simple truths but all of them outside the religious leaders box – way outside the box. So they begin their plan to get rid of this perceived problem rather than even consider the reality that Jesus just might be the long awaited fulfillment to their prophecy. They were unwilling to even consider it – Jesus shared the truth and the circumstances bore witness to Him – “yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life”. So many still struggle with that same response today. Jesus has come and prepared the way for eternal life. There are a few things we need to do – repent and receive His gift of grace – and yet so many will not take those simple steps to be granted the greatest gift of all time. Don’t make that mistake. Seek the truth, receive the gift, accept God’s eternal offer of life! (emphasis mine)
If you’d like to connect with Arlin you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org He writes an e-mail 6 days a week called “Thoughts From the Farm”. As you can see it’s just good “real life” stuff.