Someone involved in handing out Christian literature received permission from the owner to put a tract rack in a small store. A few moments later he looked back and saw one of the employees pull out one of the tracts and start reading it.
He spun around and blurted out, “Don’t read that! Unless you want to change your life.”
The employee, stunned for a moment, answered, “Doesn’t everyone want to change their life?”
Do you want to change your life?
Looking at the history of our world, the goal of change has always been improvement. It may not pan out, but that’s almost always our aim. What improvements do you wish you could see in your life?
When Jesus walked by the pool of Bethesda (John 5:2-9) he saw a man lying there and he basically asked this fellow the same question: “Wilt thou be made whole?” Do you want to change your life or are you happy just lying here watching the world go by and visiting with your cronies? Jesus’ concept of change involved this cripple getting up and walking away from this place, disposing of that grubby old bedroll and rejoining the human race. Getting a job; working every day; making payments on a home.
He could have made shekels rain down from Heaven on the poor unfortunate, but Jesus’ help didn’t involve a cash handout.
If Jesus Christ walked by your house today and you glimpsed him as he was passing, would you run out and talk to him, knowing he’s in the business of miracles? What miracle would you ask for? To win the Lottery? A happy home? A physical healing?
If he sat down with you and talked about changing your life, what would you say about the things you feel need to change? What would He say? Do you already know some things He’d point out? What if He held out to you a package that contained enough power to make this change? Would you take it?
What answer would you and I give today if Jesus asked us, “Wilt thou be made whole?” I’ve been pondering that question for myself. How would I define “change”? In what ways would I qualify or limit the word “whole”? How willing am I for change that would involve giving up certain things?
One day I was talking with a neighbor who was very grieved about her smoking habit. She had already lamented to me at an earlier time, “ This thing has got my life. I’m never free.”
Well, this day I suggested, “I believe God can work a miracle for you and take away your desire to smoke; I know He’s done this for others. Would you be happy if He did? Shall you and I kneel down right now and ask Him to do that for you?”
For whatever reason, she declined my offer.