paynestaffBY:  Jason Payne


BIBLE TEXT: (John 5:4-7) For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well? The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”

PERSONAL REFLECTION: I believe as Christians we all have areas in our life where we struggle with things that stand in the way of our spiritual growth and relationship with God. It may be a physical sickness, an addiction, emotions that overwhelm us such as anger and depression, or sinful attitudes like bitterness, lust, or pride. Christians may be saved, and our sins forgiven, but are we set free?

As I read this passage it reminded me of the hot tub we have at home. After a hard day’s work my wife and I enjoy relaxing in it because it brings healing to our aches and pains. But, here is the thing: if I am waiting on someone else to put me in the hot tub I will probably be waiting a long time! See, I have a source of healing outside of my house but if I never take a step towards it and just stay in my house where it is comfortable, I will never reap the benefits it has to offer. Do we not have this same mentality as the Body of Christ? So many of us wait by the hot tub, waiting for the healing to come to us, waiting for someone to do it for us. Don’t get me wrong, we all need people around us to help us to get where God wants us to be.  Just like in our church, for example. We have been talking about “Coming to the Table in True Community,” which is where life changes will happen and healing will take place. I believe the water is stirring in our church right now and the direction we are moving in is right, but difficult. In Matthew 7:14 Jesus says, “But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” Being in true community is hard, but it is vital to your life! You may have to ease into community just like you have to ease into that hot tub when it is too hot. It may have to be a toe at a time and that’s OK. You just have to be willing to take the first step!

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Don’t wait for someone else to put you in the water to receive your healing. Don’t just sit in your house with an aching body, hurting heart, and a messed up mind when relief is right outside. Don’t wait for someone to invite you over for dinner when the table is already set and all you have to do is sit down and eat. The water is stirring and the temperature is right so lets get in!

PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you that I can come to you with every need. I thank you that you are my healer, redeemer, and provider.  Lord, give me the strength to be in real community with the body of Christ.  Help me not to stand by the pool but to be the first one in. Holy Spirit, reveal to me whatever it is that stands between me and God, and in turn, keeps me from the fullness of Christ.  Search me, Oh Lord. You know what is best for me because you are the very one who created me.  I want to be made “Well” in every way, Lord. Thank you for who you are and who I can be through you, Jesus.  AMEN 


I have been married to my beautiful wife, Christy, for 19 years. We have 2 amazing children: Elijah and Kayla. I am  the facilities manager at Life Assembly and have a degree in Christian counseling. I enjoy doing missionary work, playing basketball, boating, watching Alabama football, and eating hot donuts!

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