John 5:6 (ESV) When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time; he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?”

You know, learning to live life as God intended involves learning that much of life is a process, and not a string of disconnected events. Talking to my cousin Aaron the other day, sparked today’s message, we talked about the process of healing, and it is my thinking that it all starts with a decision. To me we all must answer this imperative question, the same question Jesus asked the crippled man at the pool of Bethsaida (John 5:6 ESV) “Do you want to be healed?”

Once you make that decision, then you have steps to take. You have some things to work on. You may have forgiveness to seek; you may have to have a tough conversation to let someone know what you are struggling with or how they have hurt you. You are likely to have to take a step of faith that makes you real uncomfortable. But, whatever it is, it’s the first step on to the path to healing. You have to have people in your life of likeminded faith in the process of Godly healing!

Now, we think of Christmas as an event, or maybe as a time of year. It’s that special morning when kids get excited to open gifts. It’s putting up the tree and the lights and all the decorations. It’s Christmas songs and a candlelight service. It’s all pointed toward that blessed, and expectant, arrival event, “Christ’s birth”. But, Christmas is not an event. Like so much in life, it’s a process. After all, what’s so special about Christmas, the birth of Christ, if Jesus’ perfect life, His death and resurrection didn’t follow? So what’s the process?

Well, first, there’s the announcement. Mary hears from an angel that she will give birth to a child, and not just any child. Then there’s Joseph, Mary’s fiancé. We need some more men like Joseph! I mean his fiancé shows up pregnant and he loves her anyway. Of course, he had a visit from an angel too. But the process starts with a couple of people, selected by God, to fulfill His purpose (Luke 1:26-38).

And the same is true for you people of God today. God has selected you to fulfill a purpose that you, uniquely, are gifted to do. Then there’s the obedience. When the taking of a census is announced, Mary and Joseph travel together at the most inconvenient of times from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. Their method of transportation was walking and riding on the back of a donkey. Just what a woman far along in her pregnancy wants to do. But they were obedient to Caesar, to fulfill their obligation of the census, and in greater spiritual sense, obedient to God to be where God wanted them to be when the baby was born (Luke 2:1-7). Where is God taking you that does not make sense or where you don’t want to go?

Point to Contemplate: Don’t think you’re going through things no one has ever faced before. You can believe that God will see you through anything if you persevere and stay connected to Him. Then there was the arrest, trial and crucifixion. I mention this because along with the resurrection, it’s what completes Christmas. Christmas is followed by the resurrection of Easter! They are inextricably woven together! “It’s Good Friday now, but Sunday’s coming!” God is faithful. The Lord will have the last word, and it will be Divine healing at the end of the process!

For His Kingdom,
Pastor James

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