As a man thinketh

Welcome to the Renew blog, a Six Step Bible Study.

We are a united group of Ladies from the UK, who believe in the transforming power of the Word of God for our lives. We meet every Wednesday at Create church, (part of Rising Brook) in Huntington and would love to see you if you live local. Our Church Website

This week, Rachael will be taking us through John Chapter 4 Verse 43  through to John Chapter 5 verse 15, where we will study two very different, yet profound examples of healing.

But first, lets have a bit of a re-cap………

Throughout the last couple of weeks, we’ve been looking at the book of John.

We began our journey in John Chapter 2, looking at Jesus’ first miracle, where He turned water into wine. See Post – Say to Cheers to endless joy We likened the wine to our joy in Christ and the water was representative of the law, a tasteless and meaningless way of religion.

Click here to listen to our YouTube Study on John Chapter 2.

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Our next post, Modern Modesty,  was centred around John Chapter 3, where we examined modesty and humility and how this applies to our own lives. As we studied the conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus, Nicodemus was so caught up and blinded by religion, that he couldn’t even begin to understand the revelation of what Jesus was trying to say that you must be ‘born again’.

Click here to listen to our YouTube Study on John Chapter 3.

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Last week we looked at John Chapter 4 and the woman at the well in our post, Chuck in the bucket. Once again, Jesus exposed religion and explained to this lady that it is not important where we worship because it is the heart that the Father looks at.

Click here to listen to our YouTube Study on John Chapter 4.

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All three chapters, as reflected in our posts, have had a common theme of ‘religion’ running through them. In this week’s study, Rachael will be continuing on from this as we look at two powerful accounts of healing found in John Chapter 4:43 – 5:15.

Study

We begin at John Chapter 4:43 where we see Jesus return to Galilee where he was raised. The bible talks of ‘a prophet never been honoured in their home town’, however we read in Verse 45 that Jesus was in fact welcomed with open arms. Many of the people had been in Jerusalem during the Passover festival and had witnessed His miracles first- hand.

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We then see the interaction between a Government Official and Jesus. This man had heard of the miracles that Jesus had performed and in desperation to save his dying son, he walked 20 miles to find him! I imagine that was a powerful walk, maybe even a sprint!

The conversation in John 4:48 – 50 is recorded as this:

When he found Jesus he begged him, “You must come with me to Capernaum and heal my son!”

48 So Jesus said to him, “You never believe unless you see signs and wonders.”

49 But the man continued to plead, “You have to come with me to Capernaum before my little boy dies!”

50 Then Jesus looked him in the eyes and said, “Go back home now. I promise you, your son will live and not die.”

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Let us imagine for a moment….. the desperation of this noble man and also the heart of Jesus in this situation. I imagine the Official to be on his knees in mercy, pleading with Jesus to heal his son and take away his pain. Those of us with children will know there is nothing worse than seeing them suffer.  This man is asking Jesus with all his heart to save his son.

Let us now reflect on Jesus’ first response in verse 48,

“You never believe unless you see signs and wonders.”

These words from Jesus are interesting because they refer to what we were studying last week in John Chapter 4:1-30. The Samaritans that Jesus had been with, before returning to Cana, had all come to believe in Him without seeing any miracles.

They believed based upon the wisdom He shared.

Which brings me to my first point and question, What do we believe in our heart? 

Rachael’s testimony

Not long after I first came to know Jesus, I had an amazing encounter with the Holy Spirit.

I’d arrived at a church following one of the worst weeks of my life. I was extremely depressed and in fact, I would go as far to say that I was suicidal! Following a car accident, I now recognise I was suffering from PTSD.

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I’d only been to the church twice before and was still feeling very much like the woman at the well – confused.

I walked into church that morning filled with shame and feeling hungover. Ashamed because of the screaming fit I’d just thrown at my husband, in front of my five and three year old children, on the journey to church and hungover following the three bottles of wine I’d consumed on my own, the night before.

I walked into the church, took my seat and found myself sobbing uncontrollably in this room full of strangers! I met with Jesus that day,  He came and placed His loving arms around me and poured out a beautiful shower of the Holy Spirit.

I can only describe this encounter as being saturated in His love, soaked through to the heart. I sobbed, as He healed my broken and twisted heart.

Jesus invited me that day on a journey and I gladly accepted His invitation.

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Because of this beautiful encounter, much like the woman at the well, I am now on fire for Jesus! I love to speak about the healing I’ve received in my life and I’d love nothing more than to see that happen in the lives of those around me. This has now become my life’s mission.

I do understand though that not everyone is in that place. All of our experiences with the Holy Spirit are different. Maybe you haven’t reached that point yet, maybe your still in that confusion stage like the woman at the well, or maybe you can identify with the Government Official and you’ve passed the stage of confusion but are begging for a miracle.

Whatever point you’re at, allow me encourage you today as we continue with the rest of this story……

John Chapter 4 Verse 51 – 54

The man believed in his heart the words of Jesus and set off for home. 51 When he was still a distance from Capernaum, his servants met him on the road and told him the good news, “Your son is healed! He’s alive!”

52 Overjoyed, the father asked his servants, “When did my son begin to recover?”

“Yesterday,” they said, “at one in the afternoon. All at once his fever broke—and now he’s well!”

53 Then the father realized that it was at that very same hour that Jesus spoke the words to him, “Your son will live and not die.” So from that day forward, the man and all his family and servants believed. 54 This was Jesus’ second extraordinary miracle in Galilee after coming from Judea.

This guy is here on his knees, begging for Jesus to heal his son, twice he pleads with him after walking 20 miles, (that’s like one of us walking from Cannock to Birmingham City Centre by the way!) And Jesus says as casually as you like “Go back home now.  I promise you, your son will live not die”

Wow! This man believed in his heart, the words of Jesus and set off for home. He had received the gift of faith. I wonder what was going through his mind on that journey home? I would have been analysing the conversation, I think I’d be excited to get there and see. 

What this man did was key to his son’s healing…..

He made a decision.

The decision was made to ‘believe in his heart’. We don’t know why or how he felt when the decision was made, it could have been a supernatural peace that brought him to that decision or it could have been plain old human logic and that he had no other alternative but to believe in his heart.

This now brings me to my second point, What decisions are we making?

Are we believing the word of Jesus Or are we stuck in religious thinking? Is the devil whispering to you that you aren’t worthy, you’re not a Christian, you can’t be healed, you’ll never change, you’re good for nothing? 

Let’s now move on as we find encouragement from the next story found in John Chapter 5 Verses 1-5.

The Healing at Bethesda

Then Jesus returned to Jerusalem to observe one of the Jewish holy days.  2Inside the city near the Sheep Gate there is a pool called in Aramaic, The House of Loving Kindness. And this pool is surrounded by five covered porches. Hundreds of sick people were lying there on the porches—the paralyzed, the blind, and the crippled, all of them waiting for their healing. For an angel of God would periodically descend into the pool to stir the waters, and the first one who stepped into the pool after the waters swirled would instantly be healed. Now there was a man who had been disabled for thirty-eight years lying among the multitude of the sick. When Jesus saw him lying there, he knew that the man had been crippled for a long time. So Jesus said to him, “Do you truly long to be healed?”

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Here we have a very unfortunate man that has been lying here for 38 years! It’s interesting to read the footnotes in this portion of scripture as it references the five covered porches as being representative of religion. These five porches relate to the first five books of the bible – ‘The Torah’ which dictates the law. The sick people, along with this man, that are lying helpless at this pool are lying helpless and unhealed under religion.

Jesus asks this man out of hundreds of other sick people,

“Do you long to be healed?”

Another interesting fact from the footnotes of The Passion Translation is, that in this statement, the Greek phrase ‘Genesthai’ is not a future tense, it indicates something that has already been accomplished.

Jesus is asking this man if he is ready to abandon how he sees himself and receive faith for his healing.

With this in mind, we see that we do not necessarily receive the healing first, Jesus gives us the faith in order to receive the healing. 

Faith over fear! – But only if we are prepared to accept it. I don’t think this man was ready to accept it judging by his response:

The sick man answered him, “Sir, there’s no way I can get healed, for I have no one who will lower me into the water when the angel comes. As soon as I try to crawl to the edge of the pool, someone else jumps in ahead of me.”

It’s no wonder he’s been lying there for 38 years with that negative attitude! Which brings me to my third and final point, what are we speaking over our lives? 

Are we lying around in pity telling ourselves that we always be what we’ve always been? Or worse, are we negatively feeding into the lives of others and pointing our pain in to their hurt, giving advice that’s our opinion and not aligned to the word of God because we’ve lay around thinking we aren’t needing the healing that’s so readily available for us?

Do we really long to be healed? Are we daring enough to receive the faith the Holy Spirit wants to pour in to our lives to live in such a way the word teaches us? Or are we wrapped up in the promise it’s done so I don’t need to do anything? 

Both of these men had to activate their faith in order to receive their miracle, the woman at the well we talked about last week had to move although she was confused.

We must search our hearts and discover the roots in which we need healing then submit these to the Lord.

We first receive the faith in order to believe that we are healed, then do as we are instructed, in the accounts of both the woman at the well and the healing of the cripple Jesus tells them to go and sin no more. 

We must be vigilant and guard our hearts, continually searching for sin in our lives, renewing our mind in order to detect rogue thinking. The Bible tells us that the enemy is prowling around like a lion, awaiting a crack in our lives to creep in. If we do not fill ourselves with the word of Jesus and receive the faith that activates His instruction, we are left wide open to the devil for him to kill, steal and destroy all of the blessing we are to inherit.

We have a God of mercy and although this man was negative Jesus poured grace upon him and allowed his healing. He will with us too.

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Then Jesus said to him, “Stand up! Pick up your sleeping mat and you will walk!” Immediately he stood up—he was healed! So he rolled up his mat and walked again! Now this miracle took place on the Jewish Sabbath.

10 When the Jewish leaders saw the man walking along carrying his sleeping mat,[p] they objected and said, “What are you doing carrying that? Don’t you know it’s the Sabbath? It’s not lawful for you to carry things on the Sabbath!”

11 He answered them, “The man who healed me told me to pick it up and walk.”

12 “What man?” they asked him. “Who was this man who ordered you to carry something on a Sabbath?”[q] 13 But the healed man couldn’t give them an answer, for he didn’t yet know who it was since Jesus had already slipped away into the crowd.

14 A short time later, Jesus found the man at the temple and said to him, “Look at you now! You’re healed! Walk away from your sin[r] so that nothing worse will happen to you.”

15 Then the man went to the Jewish leaders to inform them, “It was Jesus who healed me!”

Let us continue to our study and whilst journaling the remove step mull over these questions:

  1. What are we believing in our hearts?
  2. What decisions are we making?
  3. What are we speaking over our lives?

This week’s study scripture for is: 

Proverbs 23:7 The Passion Translation (TPT)

For as he thinks within himself, so is he. He will grudgingly say, “Go ahead and eat all you want,” but in his heart he resents the fact that he has to pay for your meal.

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For more information on the 6 R’s Bible Study CLICK HERE to watch the how to video.

We believe that the word of God is powerful and life changing. When the word of God is applied to your life, you will be renewed!

Click here to join Rachael, Katie and Hayley with the study in this week’s YouTube video.

20 thoughts on “As a man thinketh

  1. I love how you ladies take your time and break down it down making it easier for us to understand. Also, I’ve been enjoying the YouTube studies. God bless.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, we’re really enjoying the book of John. There’s so much to take from it and learn.
      It’s amazing that it spoke to your heart about why you write! 😀
      Everything we ever need to know is in the word of God! It’s life changing stuff.
      Hayley ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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