Inauguration Day


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In*au`gu*ra"tion\, n. [L. inauguratio a beginning: cf. F. inauguration.]

  1. The act of inuagurating, or inducting into office with solemnity; investiture by appropriate ceremonies.

2. The formal beginning or initiation of any movement, course of action, etc.; as, the inauguration of a new system, a new condition, etc.
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
Near Sheep Gate in Jerusalem was a pool called Bethesda in Hebrew. It had five porches. Under these porches a large number of sick people—people who were blind, lame, or paralyzed—used to lie. One man, who had been sick for 38 years, was lying there. Jesus saw the man lying there and knew that he had been sick for a long time. So Jesus asked the man, “Would you like to get well?” The sick man answered Jesus, “Sir, I don’t have anyone to put me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I’m trying to get there, someone else steps into the pool ahead of me.” Jesus told the man, “Get up, pick up your cot, and walk.” The man immediately became well, picked up his cot, and walked. John 5:2-9 (GW)

The Pool of Bethesda was located on the eastern side of the city near the Fortress of Antonia. The name Bethesda means "house of mercy."
 
The water source was a nearby spring. Recent archaeological discoveries have confirmed the Biblical account, that there were five porches and the fifth one divided the rectangular pool into two separate compartments. Josephus wrote about the Pool of the Sheep-market.

There is a loud cry of discrimination and inequality being heralded throughout our land. There are those who may feel like this crippled man, that there is no one looking out for them, there is no one to give them a hand out, there is no one to help them attain their goals. So here they sit and wait and complain about being discriminated against.
 
Jesus cuts right to the heart of the matter when he asks. "Would you like to get well?" Do you really want your situation to change? Are you really ready for change? Are you willing to take responsibility for change?
 
The man answered that he had no one to help him. There was no one to enable him. There was no compassion being shown him. No one cared or showed mercy. There were others skipping in line and going before him. His answer should have been YES SIR! I want to be healed. Instead he made excuses. Jesus then commanded him to GET UP! PICK UP YOUR BED! and WALK!
 
There is the simple remedy to life’s ills. Get up, pick up, and start to walk!
 
I have listened to crowds of people cry YES WE CAN, YES WE CAN, YES WE CAN and then come running with their hands out. Now I am not the smartest person on this planet but I am having a hard time understanding how you can say YES WE CAN and then turn around in the next breath and cry NO WE CAN’T.
 
We are about to inaugurate a leader who made us cry YES WE CAN but then says NO YOU CAN’T. Our new leader seems to think that the government has the cure, while simultaneously ignoring the huge pool of opportunity sitting right before us. He promises that all can drink from the public pool of funds collected from those who have been healed by the pool’s waters of opportunity, yet he does not offer to lift anyone into the pool to actually be healed.

The crippled man sat by the pool for 38 years. He had seen a whole generation pass before him into the waters while he was continually passed up. For those who have long been imprisoned with this crippling mindset, I can understand their lack of internal strength, to do whatever it takes to obtain their goals and objectives. There are some in our society who have been put down and overlooked for so long that they have accepted their lot and gave up on their goals. They sit by the wayside of life, day in and day out watching others succeed, and lament their inability to achieve. They have lost the inner desire to achieve.

I do not know how this man actually got to the pool in the first place considering there were no wheel chairs and ADA compliant ramps and entrances. Perhaps someone else would drop him off during the day and pick him up at night. Perhaps he encamped there just close enough to the water to be able to watch others partake of its healing properties but far enough away so as not to get wet himself. How easy it is to point the finger at someone else and ignore our own shortcomings.
This is why I speak to them this way. They see, but they’re blind. They hear, but they don’t listen. They don’t even try to understand. Matthew 13:13 (GW)

There are none so blind as those who refuse to see. There are none as crippled as the person who refuses to be healed. I know those who are indeed handicapped and still they put me to shame in their untiring desire to not be burdensome. They display a ‘can do’ attitude like none I have seen before. They do not wish to be considered handicapped. I admire those who attempt great feats, against overwhelming odds, and come out the victor. Just because they do not display physical  handicaps there are many who are spiritually handicapped and emotionally crippled.
People’s hopes were rising as they all wondered whether John was the Messiah. John replied to all of them, “I baptize you with water. But the one who is more powerful than I is coming. I am not worthy to untie his sandal straps. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Luke 3:15-16 (GW)

Many hopes are rising today as we inaugurate the 44th President of the United States of America. For many they wonder if they made the right choice. They wonder if Obama is ‘the one’ who will relieve them from their suffering. They wonder if Obama will save them from the despair they feel from being kept away from the public pool of opportunity. Obama may be able to dip you into the public watering hole but he is unable to grant you the fire and the desire (spirit) to get up, pick up, and walk! It takes a burning, from within, to cause us to overcome the obstacles that lie without.
 
Those barriers to overcome are not the obstacles placed in front
of us by life, but the obstacles we place within ourselves.
DO YOU WANT TO BE HEALED?

This is the question we need to ask ourselves collectively. America, do you really want to be healed? Do you really want to deal with the problems that are crippling us? Are we willing to face the real reason we are handicapped? Are we willing to be baptized with Spiritual fire? Are we willing to get up, pick up, and walk?
 
We need to take the initial steps toward healing and not remain seated. It is time we take a stand for what we believe. It is time to put feet to our prayers. It is time to walk in the truth that we know. It is time to turn the corner from being spiritually crippled to becoming fully alive in Christ.
 
Our society has been crippled with the belief that we are on our own, that God has abandoned us, or worse, there is no God. Our young people are being raised to believe that it all depends on them, that there is no one looking out for them, they are on their own. How tragic to be handicapped by this mindset. To actually feel that no one cares whether you succeed or fail. A whole generation has been taught to denounce God. All attempts have been made to render mankind self-sufficient and therefore deficient. We have allowed a whole generation of young people to sit by and watch life pass them by. Instead of inaugurating them into the Spiritual Kingdom of God we have relegated them to the kingdom of darkness and despair.

Looking for someone to bring about change from without,
will never cause us to want to change from within.
WHY DO WE JUST SIT THERE?
 
Why do we constantly point to others and bemoan our existence? Why do we just wait for a hand out? Because we have lost our inner fire. The fire of desire has been quenched. Where has that pioneering spirit gone? What has happened to the American ‘can do’ spirit?
Jesus again crossed to the other side of the Sea of Galilee in a boat. A large crowd gathered around him by the seashore. A synagogue leader named Jairus also arrived. When he saw Jesus, he quickly bowed down in front of him. He begged Jesus, “My little daughter is dying. Come, lay your hands on her so that she may get well and live.” Jesus went with the man. A huge crowd followed Jesus and pressed him on every side. In the crowd was a woman who had been suffering from chronic bleeding for twelve years. Although she had been under the care of many doctors and had spent all her money, she had not been helped at all. Actually, she had become worse. Since she had heard about Jesus, she came from behind in the crowd and touched his clothes. She said, “If I can just touch his clothes, I’ll get well.” Her bleeding stopped immediately. She felt cured from her illness. Mark 5:21-29 (GW)

In contrast to the crippled man, we see this lady pressing in against all odds and opposition to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. She was not going to take no for an answer, she was determined to reach her goal. She was not going to be deterred by those who swarmed around her and were attempting to keep her from her objective. She had tried all the conventional means.  She went searching for cures everywhere she could find one. Nothing helped. She had gone bankrupt trying to find help. Finally she decided to reach out to Jesus for an answer to her struggle. Immediately she received what she sought.
At that moment Jesus felt power had gone out of him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” His disciples said to him, “How can you ask, ‘Who touched me,’ when you see the crowd pressing you on all sides?” But he kept looking around to see the woman who had done this. The woman trembled with fear. She knew what had happened to her. So she quickly bowed in front of him and told him the whole truth. Jesus told her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace! Be cured from your illness.” Mark 5:30-34 (GW)

This young lady had been inaugurated into a new way of life. She had selected for herself, leadership that brought about real change. She sought out and found the source of that inner strength. She reconnected with the source of her hope. Jesus confirmed to her that it was the faith she had within that made her well. She chose to inaugurate Jesus as Lord of her situation and thusly received the long sought for healing.
Let us all press into that inauguration. Let us all inaugurate the Lord as our chosen leader. Let us make every effort to press into that baptism of fire that comes from faith in God. Make today your inauguration day.
If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (AMP)

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)


Along for the journey

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