Message Notes

Scriptures and Reflections from Sunday

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 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. (John 5:1-9)

A transformation requires a confrontation

1) Jesus has the Authority to Give You a Fresh Start.

Even a man with a debilitating condition for 38 years was no match for the power of Jesus! There is nothing too difficult for God in your life either. (Genesis 18:14)

2) Jesus Always Moves Towards Us Before We Move Toward Him.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

3) A Fresh Start Requires Teamwork.

There was only one place where Jesus did not perform a miracle. It was in his hometown. Their lack of faith (or confidence) in him prevented any miracles from happening. God's power is limitless, but there is always an element of faith that is required on our part to experience a fresh start.

4) Jesus has Moved Toward You. Are You Willing to Move with Him?

Fresh Starts require Action. What is your best next step today?

Fresh Starts require Risk. What is your "mat" that you have leave behind to embrace your fresh start? Jesus did not let the paralytic continue to carry around his mat, his symbol of security and the reminder of his past. We cannot hold onto what made us comfortable; we need to move with God by leaving the past in the past!

so what? our application time

1) Everyone needs a Fresh Start in at least one area in their life. What is the Fresh Start you need right now? (Spiritual? Relational? a Habit? Your Health?)

2) Are you truly willing to let go of the security found in your present situation? We cannot hold onto Jesus and our mat at the same time! A Fresh Start requires a real confrontation!

3) Pick Up Your Mat! Burn the bridge of your past so you can have a clean break and a fresh start. Put an end to a bad habit and give yourself some accountability. Tell a friend if you need to break up with someone so you will follow through. Put a new habit into your calendar, so that you plan for it to become part of your new rhythm.