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home : religion : religion July 23, 2019

5/5/2019 8:29:00 AM
Get Up Or Shut Up
Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is  10% what happens to you and  90% how you react to it.'

Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is 
10% what happens to you and 
90% how you react to it.'

Rev. Susan Smith Walker
Emanuel Reformed Church

In the Gospel of John 5:1-18, we see the passage where Jesus encounters the man who has been lying by the pool of Bethesda for 38 years, waiting to get in first when the water was stirred.

John 5:8-9
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was healed; he picked up his mat and walked.

Using my sanctified imagination I think Jesus read the man’s mind and saw that he already had everything he needed to get up. He just hadn’t done it yet. He knew what he wanted to do but he was stuck between the decision to change and actually changing. Its one thing to decide to change, but it’s another to actually do something new.

For 38 years the man said things like “Next time I’ll be quicker. Next time I’ll be paying more attention. Next time I’ll be ready. Soon I’m going to get up and get in the pool first.” He was ready to change but not doing anything except talk about it.

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So what did Jesus do? He didn’t touch him, pray for him, or drive out any demons. All Jesus did was tell him to get up, and because he did, the man began to realize the dreams he had lived in while laying on the mat.

Some of us are like this man. We have decided what we want to do, and we have what we need to do it. We have made a decision to take our life to the next level but we’re laying on our mat, sitting on our potential. We’re stuck in the middle between complacency and evolution. We’ve thought about it enough. We’ve talked about it enough. We know what we need to do. We have what we need to get started. It’s time for us to get up or shut up. The Lord is not interested in our excuses – He wants to see some action.

We need Jesus to tell us to get up and get on with our dreams. We need to experience the power of his command to jump start us into action.

Jesus said he came so that we would have life and have it more abundantly. Lying on our mat dreaming about what we want to do someday is getting us nowhere. Someday is not a day of the week. The time is for living is now. The time for realizing our full potential in life is today.

The great psychologist Abraham Maslov said we crave fulfillment in life. “What a man can be, he must be. This need we call self actualization.”

The Russian writer Fyodor Dostoesky said that to the extent men and women are not living up to their potential – to that same extent they will abuse drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with the boredom and frustration of living below their potential. Many people today are addicted because they are bored and frustrated, living below their potential.

Is Jesus telling you to get up? Start where you are. Stop talking about your dreams and start living them today. When Jesus tells you to get up and get on with your life he will also give you resurrection power to do more than you ever imagined possible.

Don’t forget to RSVP for the luncheon on May 23, 2019 at noon at Emanuel Reformed Church for the readers of this column. You have blessed me with your support and now I want to bless you back!

Rev. Walker is the pastor of Emanuel Reformed Church

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