Saturday, January 18, 2014

In but not inside

What a lovely day! With nothing more pressing than a few loads of laundry, I've had time to accomplish some long overdue tasks as well as do some of the things I haven't had time for lately. I've sorted and organized, worked on a guest blog, and played with Maggie.

One of the best parts of today is that I've had time to work in my greenhouse!  Lest I lead you astray, I have to tell you that the ground is still not dry, the dirt work has still not been done, and the greenhouse is still in boxes. I have not been inside my greenhouse, but I've been in it. 

A few days ago,we were cleaning out the supply room at the office and Elaine decided we no longer needed some old plastic shelving. "Give me the keys to your car," she said. "Okay, but where are you going?" I asked. "I'm not going anywhere! I'm putting these shelves in your car. They are perfect for your greenhouse!" My first thought was "Yeah. The greenhouse I STILL don't have." I'd begun to develop a grumbly spirit about the delay. 

Today, I finally realized that there is plenty I can do for the inside of my greenhouse without being inside my greenhouse. I cleaned out rooting jars, discarded frozen plants, trimmed and watered the living ones, and organized those plastic pots from the garden supply store. I worked on the inside of my greenhouse. The one I'm gonna have. 

I've had a wonderful time, and there will less to do before I move in, when I finally move in. The funny thing is that, before Elaine gave me the discarded shelving, that greenhouse in the boxes seemed like an impossible dream. When I let go of my grumpiness and started doing my greenhouse work, it seemed like my dream was just around the corner.  

There's something about attitude and waiting, isn't there? When waiting is unavoidable, our tendency (or at least my tendency) is to embrace a bad attitude that serves only to make the waiting harder. A cheerful heart, however, makes even the waiting sweet. I like how The Message says it:

A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful heart fills the day with song. (Proverbs 15:15 MSG)

What kind of day did your attitude make?  

Healing the Paralytic: the Big Picture

They were all struck with astonishment and began glorifying God; and they were filled with fear, saying, "We have seen remarkable things today." (Luke 5:26 NASB)

We have looked at the individual parts of this story but today we are going to look at the big picture. 

Here's how it went. (The Leanna version)

Jesus was just about worn out from the crowds. He loved the crowds. In fact, they were the very people for whom He had come, but He could not get a minute's rest while they were crowded around. It wasn't so much the rest He was missing. He just needed quiet time with His Father. He needed to hear clear direction and that was impossible with the noise of the crowd, so He took a break. 

No one but Jesus thought taking a break just as His fame was spreading made sense, but He knew it did. He went to the wilderness for a prayer retreat, and when He returned, He felt as fresh as a daisy. He knew exactly what to do next, and He headed to Capernaum, where an exciting ministry opportunity awaited. 

That particular day, He stood up to teach and looked around the room. Not every one had come to learn more about God that day. There were skeptics, critics, disciples, and seekers in the room. Most people were seated on the ground, but there were a few people who were in the best seats. He recognized them immediately because of the clothes they were wearing. They were some scribes and Pharisees who had gotten together in a group to investigate the rumors about this new teacher. Some people said He was the Messiah but a lot of what they had heard just sounded like heresy. It was a good day for those skeptics to come, because the power of God in Him was so strong that day, and Jesus had all the power He needed to perform healing. 

There were four men who were bringing a paralyzed man to Jesus on a stretcher. The doorway was so crowded that they couldn't get in, so went through the door from the roof. Those men were determined to get the sick man to Jesus because they knew what Jesus could do for him. The man on the stretcher wasn't so sure, but when they grabbed up his bed and hauled him out of his house, it seemed he didn't have much choice. He probably figured it might not help, but it couldn't hurt to see Jesus. 

It was a surprise to everyone when Jesus looked down at the man brought for healing and forgave his sins. I don't know, but the paralyzed man might have thought, "I'm not worried about sin today. Fix my paralyzed leg and arm!" He certainly didn't say that aloud. The scribes and Pharisees were thinking a lot worse. They were looking around and thinking, "Who does He think He is with this heresy? He's going to get us all struck by lightening!"  Their minds were whirling with questions and opinions. They got haughty and self righteous (and very critical) as quick as a flash, but Jesus saw right through them. 

While they were whispering among themselves, He asked them whether it was easier to say sins were forgiven or to say get up and walk. Everyone got very quiet. They could tell something was about to happen. Jesus looked down at the man on the stretcher and said, "Get your bed, head out of here, and continue on the journey of life God has given you." He didn't waste a minute. When he didn't believe, the faith of those very wonderful four men had been enough to get him to Jesus and to the healing only He could give. He would never get over what those five men (the four friends and the God-man Jesus) had done for him that day. 

What happened next was just as surprising. Everyone in the room was "seized with amazement" and started praising God. What's really so wonderful is that the man was permanently changed by his healing, and all the people in the room were permanently "seized" by amazement because of seeing the healing. We are supposed to be permanently changed by seeing the might hand of God at work, and even the scribes and Pharisees were changed that day. 

This is a wonderful example of Christ at work in the lives of those around Him, but don't lose sight of the fact that the same Jesus is at with in our lives and those we love as well. Pray today that He will move in the lives and hearts of those we love to bring the kind of permanent change to them (and to us) that only He can give.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

lambanō ekstasis: Seized With Amazement

They were all struck with astonishment and began glorifying God; and they were filled with fear, saying, "We have seen remarkable things today." (Luke 5:26 NASB)

Struck with astonishment sounds a little like getting hit by a lightening bolt, and maybe it felt a little like that on this amazing day in Capernaum.  When that former paralytic stood up and started walking, everyone there was "struck with astonishment".  The two Greek words used here, "lambanō" for struck and "ekstasis" for astonishment are worth looking closer.  Lambanō is a prolonged verb form and means to take hold of and not let go. When they were seized, they stayed seized. So should we all. When we are seized by astonishment at the power of Christ, we need to stay seized. 

If we look closely at the word ekstasis, we can see it is the root for our word ecstasy and indicates a kind of "displacement of the mind" in which all one's attention/heart becomes focused on that which has seized it. What a wonderful thing to have our heart completely focused on Christ! It's not likely those people were ever the same again. In fact, "lambanō ekstasis" says they were changed forever. 

Today, pray that we and our loved ones would experience the lambanō ekstasis of Christ and be forever changed. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Anger: More than Grumpy

We were waiting for the nurses to put patients in the rooms and had a few minutes of down time. It wasn't enough time to do medical records, so we had stopped to chat within ear shot of the television. I'm not sure which channel was on, but it had one of those "talking head" programs going. The problems with a prominent country music star caught my eye. There was something about an angry confrontation that didn't end well. The next two stories were about people having angry episodes. Three news stories in a row about angry people. When did anger become trendy and newsworthy?

That triggered a conversation about the futility of anger. I can get as frustrated as the next person, and am probably too easily irritated by trivial things, but I don't remember the last time I was truly angry. That's a good thing, because the Bible has some pretty hard words about anger. 

Just to clarify, I'm not talking about "irritated and grumpy".  Anger is a strong emotion that involves displeasure and hostility and can spiral out of control if left unchecked. We like to justify anger with the "be angry and sin not" verse (Ephesians 4:26), but how many of us actually "sin not" when we are angry?  Sometimes we forget that the rest of that verse says, "Don't let the sun go down on your wrath". Of course that means thst we are not to hold on to anger. We are to let it go. The problem is not anger. The problem is hoarding anger like it was some kind of prize. If it is a prize, it's the booby prize. When we allow anger to take up residence in our lives, it can be deadly. That's what happened in one of those news stories today. Here's what Ecclesiastes 7:9 has to say about anger-in-residence. "Anger resides in the bosom of fools."  Ouch!  Did you get that? If you hang on to anger, you are a fool. I didn't make that up. It's a quote from the Bible!

I've dealt with patients of all kinds for more than thirty years, and I've seen enough angry people to last me a lifetime. I've noticed an odd thing. Both sexes can, and do, get angry. Don't get me wrong about that. It's women, however, who have the business of holding anger down to a fine science. I have seen women hold on to a slight for decades and keep the slight as fresh in their mind as the day it happened because of how often they rehearse it in their minds. ESPN replay has nothing in comparison to an angry woman. 

Ladies, I know you've had your husband ask, "What's wrong?" and given him the standard reply, "Nothing. I am fine." Of course "I am fine" is code for "there is big trouble here and you'd better watch out. A storm is just over the horizon." We laugh about these things, but I have bad news. The Bible says this is not a laughing matter. When we hold on to anger like this, we are fools and the act of holding the anger is sin.  Jesus had to die on the cross to pay for it. 

Well, that changes the perspective a little, doesn't it?  Let's look at anger and the resentment that builds when we hold onto it the same way God does. Of course, if we see it the way God does, we will have to respond the way He wants us to respond, won't we?  Let's release our anger, make a choice to calm ourselves, and demonstrate the sweetness of spirit that draws others to Jesus. What we will find is that, when anger is gone, there's lots more room for love, joy, and peace, and how great is that? 

Let it go!

Shalom. Peace. 

All includes you and me

They were all struck with astonishment and began glorifying God; and they were filled with fear, saying, "We have seen remarkable things today." (Luke 5:26 NASB)

There are so many terrific lessons in this little verse that it is hard to know where to start, but the beginning is always a good place. We will look later at the "what" of this verse, but for today, we are looking at the "who". The verse says "they were all..." The Greek word here is hapas and it means everyone who was there. It does not mean "generally most people", it means "all the people who were  present". 

Looking at the people who were present from the preceding verses, the paralytic was already heading home. Jesus certainly wasn't surprised (unless he was surprised by obedience, which, judging by our behavior at times, could certainly be possible). The only ones "all" could possibly refer to are the others present day, which includes the crowd filling the building, the men who brought the man on the stretcher to Jesus, and those least-likely-to-believe scribes and Pharisees. The power of God was so great that day that, even without booming thunder and flashing lightening, the attention of the least likely was quietly captured. In fact, not only their attention was captured but also their hearts. There was no denying that God had moved, no denying that the power had emanated from Jesus, no denying that the one who spoke of forgiving sin and healing the paralyzed could do what He said. 

Today, pray that we and our loved ones will join the "all", that we will be among those who are not only present for the mighty works of God but also recognize them for what they are - miraculous encounters with The Divine One. Pray for the capture of hearts as well as attention to such a degree that no room for denials will remain. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

True Courage

For some people, climbing into a hyperbaric oxygen chamber is not hard. If it needs to be done to heal the wound, they do it. They are not afraid and, aside from the inconvenience of five-day-a-week treatments, it's not really a big deal.

For one very sweet, gentle woman, however, that chamber opening was as frightening as the deepest, darkest chasm. She wasn't just afraid, she was terrified. The problem was that she had a wound that wouldn't heal. It finally became clear that it would take hyperbaric oxygen treatments to close it, and that's when her true colors became apparent. 

That first day, as we prepared her to roll into the chamber, she kept her eyes tightly shut. My first thought was that the lights were shining in her eyes and bothering her, so I asked. "Are the lights bothering you?"  She just shook her head. Not to be deterred, I delved a little deeper. "If the lights aren't bothering you, why do you have your eyes shut?" I asked. "I'm scared to death and I'm praying," was the quiet reply. Oh. All I could think of to say was, "Good. Keep praying."  She never opened her eyes. 

The nurses rolled her stretcher into the chamber, she stayed her full treatment time of 80 minutes, and we rolled her out. Eyes still shut. As I rested my stethoscope on her chest, with eyes still tightly shut, she asked, "is it over yet?"  I assured her it was - for today, but reminded her that she would have treatments five days a week, and would likely need thirty or forty treatments. Big tears filled her eyes, but she just nodded. 

I didn't really expect to see her the next day. The enormity of her fear was so overwhelming that I couldn't imagine her climbing on that stretcher and going another round. The next day she was back and right on time. It was the same thing all over again. She was terrified, never opened her eyes, and prayed the entire time. The answer to those prayers brought her through another treatment. The next day, and the day after that, and the next we repeated the same scene. Terrified, praying, and getting her treatments anyway, she kept right on coming. 

Before the wound healed, she had a total of 31 terrifying treatments.  She never stopped being afraid of the chamber, but she never let being afraid keep her from doing what must be done, and at the end of her trial, her wound was healed. She was the most courageous woman I have ever known. 

Most of us, in a situation where we were that afraid, would bail out. I have never seen anyone who walked on through their fear to that degree before, but I can tell you this, watching her has changed me. I'm ashamed of the times I've let shyness or uncertainty keep me from doing something I know I should do. I'm mortified of the times I've held back due to fear when that sweet woman faced abject terror every day, did battle with her demons, and never held back. She saw what had to be done and she did it. If you ask her, she would laugh at a description of her as courageous, but that's true courage, being afraid and forging ahead anyway. 

That's what faith is, too. She understood Who would get her through her trial and she understood how to get His strength. She never stopped prayed, and her Lord never let her down. The challenge for the rest of is to rise to this sweet lady's level. Face our fears, cling to our Savior, and keep going. 

Obeying Whether We Want To Or Not

But, so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins," -He said to the paralytic- "I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home." Immediately he got up before them, and picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. (Luke 5:24, 25 NASB)

The paralytic quietly obeyed Jesus, stood up, and went about his business. In the next verse, we will see that it was so wonderful that it triggered a big celebration.  Everyone was glad he obeyed.  What I've been wondering is what if he had NOT obeyed? What if he'd said, "I don't know about getting up. I don't want to fall." Maybe he could've said, "I've been paralyzed for years. Look how stiff these muscles are! I can't get up."  What about simply saying, "Oh, no. I'm too afraid." He could've said either of those and felt justified. 

We hear that and think, "How dumb would that be? Of course he wouldn't look Jesus in the face, tell Him no, and turn down a miracle!" Really? I hear people say those very words all the time. It's never really clear to me why it is sensible not to try, but, for some people, it is. 

Now lest you think you would never do that, let's remind ourselves of what Jesus has already said to us. "When you fast..." "Do not judge... First take the log out of your own eye..." "Deny yourself and follow me"..."forgive those who have wronged you..." " a servant..." Not everything Jesus said is easy, but He didn't list any of it as optional, either. 

Today, pray for obedient hearts. Pray that we will obey everything Jesus has already told us, regardless of whether we want to or not. Pray that our obedience will bear such fruit that it will be unmistakeable in the eyes of our loved ones and they, too, will embrace the ways of Christ. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Problem with Cats

The escaping mama cat

Max and Spike are my barn cats. I was overrun with mice at the barn and just about insane from trying to deal with them, so I decided to hire some cats. For someone who is a dog person, this took considerable investigation. How do you  judge a cat? How can you tell if a kitten will grow up to be a good mouser? There doesn't seem to be much science to it, so I asked several cat lovers. They all assured me that a kitten will be a good mouser if it's parents were. My thought, which I kept to myself, is that cat genetics must be quite a bit different from human genetics or else they were just making it up to humor me.  

Finally, I took the plunge. I found a mama cat with a kitten. The mama cat was guaranteed as a mouse-catching kind of cat. How perfect was that?  I loaded up mama and kitten and carried them to my barn, where things quickly deteriorated. Mama climbed straight up the wall, hit the ceiling, looked back at me, and decided not to come down. She dug her claws into the tack room wall and just hung there. Her poor little kitten was looking around for his mama and he was meowing like crazy. He couldn't figure out why his mama was up in the sky, and he was not happy about it. No amount of coaxing would bring her down. No offers of tasty canned food would entice her. Finally, I settled the baby kitty on a little baby kitty bed, showed it the food and the litter box, and closed the tack room door. I figured she would eventually calm down and come back to the baby. What did I know about cats? Nothing! 

Just about the time I got out the door, I heard a commotion, looked around, and saw mama cat. She had somehow worked her way around the tack room wall, hopped over on top of the upright freezer, and jumped out the open window. I've seen her once since then. She was having a close encounter with a tom cat, but they are both long gone now. 

The little kitty, now known as Spike, was left to figure it out on his own. As far as I can tell, mouse-catching is either not a genetic trait or Spike missed that gene. If he's ever caught a mouse, he's kept it secret from me. When he was abandoned by his heartless mama, I had pity on him and hired another kitten to help. Max was billed as a crippled kitten from good mouse-catching stock. He also had a mouse-catching mama. Supposedly. Max was living inside at his birth house when, somehow, a bed fell down on his arm. Since he was just a kitten, that does seem preposterous, but I didn't argue. If he was crippled, I couldn't tell it. He was free, and I figured he and Spike could be happy together. I settled Max in the barn with Spike. 

What a terrible mistake. Spike had some potential as a barn cat, but Max only wanted to be an inside cat. They stayed at the barn long enough to grow a bit. Once their legs were long enough to make the journey, they headed done the gravel driveway to my house, where they have made their home on my back steps. As far as I can tell, neither of them has ever caught a mouse. One time my dog caught a mole, but the cats don't catch anything but supper time. 

With that history, I should not expect much from these cats, but I am accustomed to Maggie the Wonder Dog, who makes all animals look exceptionally good. Tonight, someone had given my a deer hindquarter. After I processed the meat, I took the bone (with some tender parts of meat still attached) outside to the cats. You may not be surprised by this, but I was astonished. Spike wouldn't even look at the bone. Max took a brief look, turned up his nose and walked away. He wanted cat food. Forget fresh raw meat. 

What is wrong with this cat? When did cats start rejecting meat?  It is no wonder the world is full of dog lovers.  Cats are too unpredictable.   

When Ryan was little, his class at school learned a cute little song that started out "I don't want to be a goat, nope". Tonight, I was thinking, "I don't want to be a cat, nope". I don't want to choose what's only acceptable for me and reject what is better for me. Really how dumb is that?  We do it all the time, though, don't we? We eat dessert but skip our vegetables. We listen to the Bible study video but skip the homework. We make a start but skip the hard part. Even worse, sometimes we are like Max, leading those around us to a place we would do better to avoid. 

Let's try hard this year to be less "Max-like" in our behavior and more like Christ. Let's be the example that leads people in the right direction and be the one who comsistently does what is right and best. Let's be what we were created to be. 

The Quiet Obedience of the Paralytic

Immediately he got up before them, and picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. (Luke 5:25 NASB)

With all the drama preceding the healing of the paralytic, the actual event was really so simple and sweet. Remember that the scribes and Pharisees were very upset with Jesus's comments about forgiving sin. He had stopped in the midst of healing the paralytic to deal with their questions. Turning back, Jesus just spoke a few words, the man stood up, did EXACTLY what Jesus had told him, and went home with his pallet. Along the way, he told everyone he saw about what Jesus had done for him. There was no drama, just quiet obedience and enthusiastic testimony to God's mercy and grace. 

I love drama, and I love to hear the exciting testimony of someone who was dragged from the depths of depravity and turned around in a flashy manner. There is nothing, however, that is sweeter than this scene. Jesus looks down, tells the man to get up and go home, and the man stands and goes. He just quietly obeys. There was no showy trek to the river for mud, just simple standing and going. It's easy to overlook the importance of that kind of obedience, but it is critical to the kingdom of God. 

I wonder what God would do if we just simply stood and went every time Jesus told us. What if we did what He said without questions, whining, or arguing every time? He would change the world with that kind of obedient heart. That's what would happen. More souls would be saved. More lives transformed by the power of God. More prodigals would come home. 

Today, commit to the quiet, simple obedience of the paralytic. Ask God to make His direction so clear that you can obey instantly without question and without fanfare, then do it. No whining or arguing allowed. Pray that our loved ones would see our obedience, hear the testimony that accompanies it, and be drawn to Jesus and that same obedient walk of faith. Pray for faith, and fruit, that lasts. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Eternal investments

One of my patients was telling me about her upcoming trip to the beach. She and her husband plan to spend two months there. They've been going for years and are delighted that they can enjoy yet another few months in the sun and sand. Their daughter was with them, and laughed. "Yeah, they're going to spend my inheritance," she said, "and I'm glad they are!"

That somehow led to a conversation about not being able to "take it with you" when you die. I remembered a story I'd read about a wealthy widow who was asked how much money her husband left behind. Her answer was, "All of it." Yep. I like my stuff, but it's not going with me when I die. 

Not one "thing" we have here on earth will accompany us into eternity. What we can expect to see in heaven from our time on earth are those whose lives were changed by our investment in them, those people who met Jesus because of the way we shared Him with them. What fun it will be to see the fruit of our efforts! It will be like dividends on an eternal investment. 

As you survey the things in your personal kingdom, ask yourself where you are making the greatest investment - in the things you will leave behind or in the lives and faith of those who will greet you in heaven. Make sure your portfolio includes  eternal investments that will stand the test of time.  

Continue Your Journey

But, so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins," -He said to the paralytic- "I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home." (Luke 5:24 NASB)

The proof is in the pudding, you might say. Jesus recognized that words were not enough if He wanted the scribes and Pharisees to believe in Him and His divine authority. "Get up, get your stretcher, and go home," He told the man. The Greek word for go, poreuō, means to pursue the journey on which one has entered. Jesus was telling this man to return to the life he had before Jesus, but be different there. He would be a kind of living Bible to those who knew him, demonstrating with his life what his words spoke about Jesus and His miraculous healing power. 

The Greek word translated as "home" is oikos and does mean home or residence, but it is also used to mean temple. Perhaps this particular word was used because the healed paralytic was to demonstrate the healing power of Christ both at home and at church. 

The people who knew this man before his encounter with Jesus could not fail to recognize that he was a changed man. I wonder, can people who knew us before Jesus see as recognizable a change in us?   

Today, pray that we and our loved ones will demonstrate by our changed lives that the Risen Lord has wrought a mighty work in us. Pray, too, that we (and those believers in our loved ones' lives) would be so clearly transformed by Christ that those around us (especially our loved ones) cannot help but see Christ in us. Pray that they will become shining beacons of Christ's light as well. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Maggie's Birthday Plans

I am Maggie the Wonder Dog and I have a few things to say, but my mama said I could only tell one thing. That's how mamas are, you know. They are IN CHARGE. When your mama knows what to do, like my mama, you can just relax. She will take care of everything. It's great! Except when I want to say a lot and she wants me to say one thing. Guess who wins? But, saying one thing is better than nothing!

Anyway, I want to tell you about my birthday supper. It is not until tomorrow, because tomorrow is my birthday!!!! Woof! Woof! I am only a dog, even if I am a Wonder Dog, so I don't really know what that means, but I do know about eating. I love eating!  When it is your birthday, you can eat anything you want. That's what my mama says. What she really means is I can eat "something" I want. But I can't eat her chickens, and that's what I like best. It doesn't seem quite fair, does it?

My favorite thing to do is to chase the chickens because they squawk and flap their wings. It's a fun way to play chase. I love to catch them and shake them hard, but my mama DOES NOT like that. You better not let her catch you shaking one of her chickens. She will get mad, mad. I don't guess the chickens like it much either, because they never will play with me again after I shake them. Sometimes making friends is really hard. One thing I did learn was that shaking a chicken by the neck is not a good way to make a friend. 

Well I was trying to tell you about my birthday supper before the chickens got in the way. This is what I do not want: lettuce or squash. Those are just terrible tasting. I want meat.  My mama says that is good because you need protein to hold your cells together and meat is protein. I don't know what a cell is, and I don't know about protein. I am only a Wonder Dog. That doesn't seem like anything I need to know. I know about meat, though, and I'm getting some for my supper. I think (but I'm not sure) that I might be getting some duck for supper. My mama loves duck, too, so I'm hoping that's what we are having. 

Oops. We raise cows. I guess I shoulda said eat more beef! 

Well, my mama told me that protein like meat helps you grow and get strong. She said it's like when her breed, the Christians, study their Bibles. It doesn't seem much like meat to me, but she says it's like meat for their hearts. It helps them grow strong. That Bible-meat helps them get wise, too. That might be why my mama is so smart. 

Since it's my birthday, I hope everyone will have some of that protein stuff for their cells and celebrate with me. Hey, that goes together! Cells and celebrate! Anyway, here's the deal. I'm gonna eat the duck.  Since I am too little to read, you can have the Bible-meat. It's gonna make us both strong!! And smart!

The end. From Maggie the Wonder Dog

Get up and walk

Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins have been forgiven you,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'?" (Luke 5:23 NASB)

The amazing thing about this passage is that Jesus responded to the scribes and Pharisees in a way they could understand. There was no way for those Jewish leaders to verify what He had said. They could not prove sins had not been forgiven, but what proof would satisfy them that sins had been forgiven? They were full of questions, and He responded with a terrific question. Even at first glance, the answer was obvious, but with His question, He gave a hint of what He was about to do.  

We have previoualy looked at the forgiveness of this man's sin, so we will not address that again today. The "get up and walk" is a rich phrase. Egeirō is the Greek word translated as "get up". It is usually translated as "arise" and is the same word used to indicate rising from a sickness or from death. It is the word the angel used in the tomb when he said, "He is not here but is risen."  This is a resurrection word. 

The word translated here as "walk" is peripateō and actually means "to go about one's life", to take advantage of opportunities, or to "occupy".  What Jesus was about to tell the man was "Be resurrected, transformed and occupy the life God has given you. Make the most of every opportunity He brings your way."

Those are great words for us today, aren't they? Pray that we and our loved ones will be resurrected, transformed in that resurrection, and that we will occupy the life God has given us. Pray, too, that we will make the most of every opportunity He brings our way.