(That night, Paul had a dream. A Macedonian stood on the far shore and called across the sea. “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” The dream gave Paul his map…we knew now for sure that God had called us to preach the good news to the Europeans.) Acts 16.9( The Message )
The world of Paul seems far from mine.
Today, the television brings the world into my living room.
The good news, the bad news and news that isn’t news at all
invades my life
Paul believed God was sending him to preach in Macedonia.
God was calling him.
The planet earth can now be seen from cameras on a satellite
revolving through space.
Through the lens of a camera
carried by a robot,
I can watch as the moon is explored.
With a computer,
a phone line, a connection to the Internet,
I can visit with someone who lives in France or Greece,
send them a picture of myself,
communicate with them.
I will never meet them.
However, it is possible to maintain a friendship with these persons
in far off lands.
One may inhabit an operating room in Australia
through a camera fixed in position
as a human heart is removed,
repaired and replaced
in fine condition,
into the body of a man
who’s name we will never know.
Why would we pay any attention to a dream or a vision
when life in the 21st century
has so much to offer?
As a child I was warned,
“Don’t let your imagination run away with you.”
Learn to be sensible and realistic.
“Keep your feet on the ground”.
Could the God of the Bible become a real part of my life?
The Apostle Paul believed the Holy Spirit could speak to him
through Paul’s own affliction,
his thorn in the flesh.
That was Paul, not me.
Then God’s message began to come to me
through the timely witness of a friend,
the words of a song,
a recommended book,
an inner urge
to learn and experience
this thing call Christianity.
There were new opportunities to serve Him in the church.
There were continuing revelations of an elusive “something more”.
The God of the universe became personal to me.
The good news is that He cares for me.
He knows my name and all about my life.
He knows my deepest and most private thoughts.
He knows the unspoken desires of my heart.
In John 5:1-9 (The Message)
“While Jesus was visiting Jerusalem for one of the Jewish religious holidays,
He came to the Sheep Gate near the Bethesda Pool.
It was here where crowds of sick people waited for a miraculous healing
by entering the stirring waters of the pool.
One of the men by the pool, who had been sick for 38 years,
came into Jesus’ view.
Jesus asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
What an interesting question for Jesus to ask the man.
Hadn’t he been coming to this pool every day
in order to be made whole?
He had been crippled for 38 years;
of course he wanted to be healed.
The man responded that he couldn’t be healed
since he had no one to help him into the pool.
He believed that it was the fault of his friends
who hadn’t helped him,
that he had been unable to be healed.
Jesus said to the man,
“Stand up, roll up you’re sleeping mat and go home.”
Instantly the man was healed.
The word of God became personal and real to him.