Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Yield Not To Temptation"1 (Lyrics)
John 5:1-9a Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie — the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 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?" "Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me." 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)
It was a difficult time for me. I was 62 years old when I had major back surgery, which led me to an early retirement from a forty-year career in nursing. What was I going to do with myself?
For several years, I took computer classes at the local junior college, developing an interest in graphic design. I soon discovered, however, that the younger students were surpassing me with their quick aptitude and advanced technical expertise.
Simultaneously, there was a church-wide emphasis given to the question of service. Members were encouraged to be involved in ministry. Unable to endure the physical challenges of being an active member of the choir and chorale, I began looking for a place where I could serve, although I thought, I'm through. All I can do is pray. Yes, I actually thought that. Through Christian friends and the power of the Holy Spirit, I signed up to be part of the e-mail prayer ministry.
During this time, I was subscribed by the leader of my small home group to the PCCWeb Daily Devotional. After several years as a reader, I was led by the Holy Spirit to become a contributing writer and through the encouragement of one of my writer friends of the Daily, I began to write.
Much like the invalid in our passage, I didn't think that there was a chance that I could make it. However, having been led by the Holy Spirit to take computer classes, I was able to get into the ministry of prayer. Furthermore, writing for Him has been responsible for the greatest growth in my spiritual life. Placing limitations on what God can do in our lives and failing to examine our opportunities will make us ineffective followers of Jesus.
What are the opportunities for ministry available to us? Are we acting on these opportunities so that we will grow spiritually? When we follow His leading, we will be able to be of assistance to others in a compelling and meaningful way.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for Your guidance in our lives through the Holy Spirit. We pray that You will help us to follow through with the knowledge and experiences we receive. May many lives be enriched by our willingness to serve You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.