God Rewards the Faithful

John 7:16-18 WEB

Jesus therefore answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. [17] If anyone desires to do his will, he will know about the teaching, whether it is from God, or if I am speaking from myself. [18] He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.


These verses help us accurately discern the motives of Christian teachers. In the above verse, Jesus said to see who is being glorified. He taught if the glory falls on the teacher, what they are saying is not from God. However, if the glory goes to God, the teacher is trustworthy.  

It is dangerous to take God’s glory. Those who take God’s glory are in imminent danger of the Lord breaking out against them (Isa 10:15, Acts 12:21-23). God jealously guards his glory. Furthermore, God clothes who he wants with his glory, for his own purposes (Isa 48:11). Not that it is some sort of lottery (Heb 11:6). If we want to be chosen for God’s glory, we must bear God’s shame (Mat 16:24-25). Any one of us can pick up our cross and carry it with joy (1 Pet 2:20-21). To rejoice in shame and suffering is a holy thing (Rom 5:2-3). It’s the type of faith that God wants to plant in the hearts of others (Isa 61).

God wants to glorify people who willingly serve without glory (1 Cor 15:43). There are stories in the Old Testament that show people chosen for service in a seemingly random manner (Jud 4:4, 6:14, 13:25,). Take Moses for example, his family showed faith when they saved Moses (Exo 2:1-3). Then, Moses showed great faith when God spoke to him (Exo 3:4). Through faith, Moses’ family won the Levites an inheritance guarding the Lord’s glory (Exo 28:1-3). We can clearly see by the example of Moses and his family, God rewards the faithful (Psa 27:13).


Lord Jesus, please forgive me for talking so much about what I have done and so little about what you have done. Teach me to honor you and give you all the glory. Humble my heart, Lord, that I will joyfully carry my cross. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Healed or Restored?

John 5:4-9 WEB

for an angel went down at certain times into the pool, and stirred up the water. Whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was healed of whatever disease he had. [5] A certain man was there, who had been sick for thirty-eight years. [6] When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been sick for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to be made well?” [7] The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I’m coming, another steps down before me.” [8] Jesus said to him, “Arise, take up your mat, and walk.” [9] Immediately, the man was made well, and took up his mat and walked. Now it was the Sabbath on that day.


Being healed and being restored are two different things. A doctor can heal but they cannot restore. A boss at work or family leader may be able to restore but they cannot heal. In the above text, Jesus healed the man and restored him. Jesus’ admonition to take up his mat and walk deals with the man’s need to be both healed and restored.

When Jesus asks the man if he wants to be healed, the man answers indirectly and says, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool…” Jesus asked a question about the man’s situation and the man immediately blames those around him. So, this is the first thing Jesus deals with in this newly healed man when he says, “Arise, take up your mat, and walk.”

Notice the Lord did not tell someone to help the man to the water. Nor did he reprimand those around for not caring about the man. No one questioned anyone’s motives. Jesus simply challenges the man to walk in the Spirit. He challenges the man to do the impossible, get up.

So, the man got up. He did not wait to be asked again. He did not wait for a full explanation of how he was supposed to get up. The man waiting for 38 years by the pool quickly took ahold of the opportunity the Lord gave him, and he got up and walked.

The opportunity to be healed came with a specific challenge. The man had to pick up his bedroll on the sabbath to obey the Lord. This was direct disobedience to the fathers of the Jewish faith who said a person cannot carry their bed on the sabbath. Yet, obeying the fathers did not get the man healed.

For 38 years the man’s life was bankrupted by his illness. Yet in one simple conversation, Jesus heals him, challenges his faith, restores him, and gives him the opportunity to publicly name Jesus when asked why he is carrying his bedroll. When Jesus heals, he does a complete work. When we try to get people healed without the Spirit of God, the magnitudes of goodness are not there.  On the other hand, the goodness of Jesus’ intervention seeps into all the areas and lives connected to the person being healed.


Lord Jesus, please increase my belief in your willingness to heal. Help me say yes when you ask me hard questions. Help me desire your wholeness more than I desire the world’s acceptance. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.