Sunday, February 15, 2009

Does Ricky Want To Get Better?

  • Spiritual life is about choices
  • It’s one of the ways in which dignifies humanity in a way that no over being in the Lord’s creation enjoy---he gives us choices.
  • Adam and Eve had a choice, Abraham had a choice, David had a choice, and Jesus had a choice.

    Synonym: satisfaction.

    Contentment is rooted in appreciation. Complacency is rooted in comfort.

    ►Therefore, complacency is being satisfied with things that Jesus is upset by!
    Complacency = satisfaction with something other than Jesus!! It’s settling.

    –noun, plural -cies.
    a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.

    ►We must fight complacency with a sense of holy discontent.

    Scriptural Text (John 5:1-14)
    Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days.

    2Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. 3Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. 4

    5One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years.

    6When Jesus saw him and knew how long he had been ill, he asked him, "Would you like to get well?"
  • Contrary to our beliefs, no one suffers without Jesus noticing
  • 38 years is a long time to be sick. It’s an even longer time to lose hope
  • Jesus’ question was meant to be shocking!
  • Complacency needs a shock if change is gonna come!!
  • The assumption is that everyone who is sick wants to get better…
  • Everyone who is down and out wants to be up and in
  • Jesus loves us but coddling us doesn’t honor us…or God.
  • He told the man to do something…for himself!
  • Something that required obedience to God, but no obligation to man.

    7"I can't, sir," the sick man said, "for I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I am trying to get there, someone else always gets in ahead of me."

  • Ricky defends his own complacency. It’s precious and it needs our protection.
  • This man gave power away! He put his stock in what others could do for him
  • He didn’t position himself for change
  • Jesus knew that Ricky couldn’t walk to Him, that’s why Jesus approached him.
  • However, Jesus did expect Ricky to walk away from him!!

    8Jesus told him, "Stand up, pick up your sleeping mat, and walk!"

    9Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up the mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath day. 10So the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, "You can't work on the Sabbath! It's illegal to carry that sleeping mat!"

    · Your breakthrough is going to upset somebody
    o You shouldn’t laugh…
    o You shouldn’t celebrate…
    o You shouldn’t try so hard…

    · The Mishnah/Jewish law stated that it was legal to be carried on your mat, but you couldn’t carry your own mat.

11He replied, "The man who healed me said to me, 'Pick up your sleeping mat and walk.' "

· I’ve never noticed before, but Ricky’s legs are healthy but his mind is still enslaved. He cowers to the men rather than celebrating his healing

o “It’s not my fault!”
o “I’m so sorry that my new legs upset you. I’ll go sit by behind down right away, sir!”

o “I would’ve never thought to insult the religious order by accepting a healing by the hand of God!”

o “Thanks a lot, Jesus!” rather than “Thank you, Jesus!”

o Ricky is healed, but he ain’t healthy. He’s a walking victim
§ He still isn’t responsible or his actions. It’s someone else’s fault/problem.
§ He is still so used to his fate being determined by others…
· A lie: your fate is NEVER determined by others.

12"Who said such a thing as that?" they demanded.

· They were still talking to Ricky like he was a beggar.
o And Ricky was still talking to them like they had something to offer him.
o They ignored him while he begged at the pool, only to “see” him now that Jesus caused him to walk upright.

13The man didn't know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. 14But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, "Now you are well; so stop sinning or something even worse may happen to you."

· “You look good!! Stop sinning and you’re continue to be alright”
· Here comes come the troubler again.
o …and more demands! Stand up. Walk. Have dignity. Pick up your feet. Lift your legs.
o Whatever!
· We don’t know that the sinning is, however, Ricky’s actions help us to understand what the sinning might have been

John 5:15-16
Then the man went to find the Jewish leaders and told them it was Jesus who had healed him.
16So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules.

o Ricky is a rat! He turns Jesus in!

I think Ricky’s sin was complacency and his dependence upon the pity of others.

►Jesus showed up to take Ricky’s pain and sorry and helplessness and complacency away and all Ricky wanted to talk about was what others hadn’t done for him.

►Jesus today is more than all of the pains of yesterday combined.

When will Jesus be enough?

I think that is there really are questions asked of us as we stand before God, one of the big ones will be: “Why wasn’t I enough for you?”

Self-Victimization: Isn’t merely being wronged; it is a reshaping of reality and identity based upon that wrong. Victimization is the subtly-evil attempt to shape identity based upon circumstances rather than the plan of God concerning you.

Self-Victimization leads to complacency…
Your Complacency shapes
Your Perception, which shapes
Your Attitude, which shapes
Your Energy, which shapes
Your Morale, which shapes
Your Relationships, which shape
Your Accountability, which shapes
Your Expectations, which shape
Your Viable Options, which shape
Your Choices, which shape
Your Fate, which shapes
Your Reality.

So… when we pray and ask Jesus to change our reality what are we really asking?

Can we ask this of Jesus without Jesus challenging our:

Complacency, Perception, Attitude, Energy, Awareness to viable options, choices

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