Pick Up Your Mat

April 12, 2000
by Bill Russell

John 5:6 – When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?" (NIV)

In our retirement community, we have a clubhouse that houses an indoor swimming pool. Adjacent to the pool is a heated whirlpool, with steps that lead down into the water, which is kept at 103 degrees F.

Many people eventually find themselves drawn to this whirlpool to obtain relief from muscle pains and bone aches. It is a time to relax one's body.

When I see these people in the pool, it reminds me of the story in the Bible where an invalid man waited for thirty-eight years to get into the pool and be healed. Jesus said to him, "Get up and walk." The man picked up his mat and walked.

I wonder if you know someone who has been waiting for a long time for someone to call them, or pick them up for church and introduce them to our brothers and sisters? Or are there people in church who have been coming for many years, but no one has asked them to join a Bible Study or prayer group, or to sing in the choir?

God may be asking us to help these people to pick up their mat and walk in faith. In asking the same question that Jesus asked, we may lead them to the wonderful love of Jesus Christ and encourage them to repent of their sins.

John 5:8-9 – Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. (NIV)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to be message-centred and not method-centred, by making us your ambassadors, so that we will be able to encourage others to accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Amen.

About the author:

Bill Russell <billrussell@rogers.com>
Brampton, Ontario, Canada

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