“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’” (John 5:8)
“Jesus gave them this answer, ‘I do not accept glory from human beings…How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?’” (John 5:41, 44)
Jesus goes to a pool (thought to possess special healing power). Instead of helping a paralyzed man into the pool, Jesus tells him to “Get up!”, healing him instantly. The religious leaders rebuke Jesus for working on the Sabbath, and Jesus has to set them straight.
John 5 is a great reminder for me to keep my focus on God and not worldly things. It is very easy for me to look for healing and happiness in the world – getting a certain job, earning more money, wanting a particular candidate or political party to win, etc. I have my peace tied up in the wrong things at times. The world cannot fulfill me physically or mentally, and leads to worry and anxiety (especially these days). God is the only way to true peace. Spending time in the Bible (like this devotional series) puts my focus on God, and quiets the worldly junk.
“Dear Lord, guide me as I review where my time and efforts are being spent. Help me to keep you as my focus and source of peace. Amen.”
Get to a place where you can focus and read the daily Scripture passage several times. From the passage of Scripture you read, highlight one or two verses that stick out. Write them down, and even consider rewriting the verse(s) in your own words.
Make some basic observations about the scripture you just read by asking these questions:
- Why was this written?
- To whom was it originally written?
- What is the author trying to communicate?
- What does the Scripture passage teach me about God and humanity?
After taking some time explaining the highlighted scriptures, begin to think about how they apply to your life. Ask yourself these questions and spend some time writing down your thoughts:
- What do these verses mean today?
- What does this verse(s) mean for my life?
- How does this verse challenge my thinking and actions?
- What changes do I need to make in my life as a result of this passage of Scripture?
Your response to the passage may take on many forms. You may write a call to action. You may describe how you will be different because of what God has said to you through the Bible verses. You may indicate what you are going to do because of what you learned. You may respond by writing out a prayer to God. For example, you may ask God to help you to be more loving, or to give you a desire to be more generous in your giving. Keep in mind that this is your response to what you have just read.