Get On Your Feet
Get On Your Feet
Acts 3:1-10 (NIV)
IT WAS A DAY, JUST A DAY LIKE ANY OTHER DAY.
HIS BROTHERS HAD GOTTEN HIM OUT OF BED AND GOTTEN HIM DRESSED.
AND ON THEIR WAY TO WORK THEY CARRIED HIM TO HIS USUAL SPOT AT THE TEMPLE GATE.
IT WAS JUST A DAY,
THE SKY WASN'T ANY BLUER, THE BIRDS DIDN'T SING ANY LOUDER,
THE SUN DIDN'T SHINE ANY BRIGHTER, IT WAS JUST A DAY.
JUST A DAY, LIKE ANY OTHER DAY.
AND YET BEFORE IT WAS FINISHED IT WOULD BE UNLIKE ANY OTHER DAY IN HIS LIFE.
BUT FOR NOW, IT WAS JUST A DAY.
AND AS HE LAY THERE WITH HIS SHRIVELLED TWISTED LEGS CRUMPLED UNDERNEATH HIM
HE THOUGHT OF ALL THE DAYS THAT HE HAD LAID HERE
IN FRONT OF THE TEMPLE GATE
THOSE DAYS SEEMED TO STRETCH OUT LIKE AN ENDLESS HORIZON BEFORE HIM.
IT WAS JUST A DAY.
AND HE LOOKED DOWN AT HIS USELESS LIMBS THERE ON THE BLANKET.
THEY WERE HIS, BUT THEY WEREN'T REALLY A PART OF HIM,
HE HAD NEVER FELT THEM, HAD NEVER MOVED THEM.
HE NEVER RAN AS A BOY, NEVER WALKED AS A MAN.
AND TODAY WAS JUST A DAY,
NO BETTER AND NO WORSE THEN ALL THE OTHER DAYS THAT HAD MADE UP THE LIMITED LIFE OF THIS POOR CRIPPLED BEGGAR.
BUT UNKNOWN TO HIM AND EVEN, WITHOUT HIS CONSENT
….. TODAY WOULD BECOME
A DAY HE WOULD NEVER FORGET.
TODAY WOULD TAKE HIM FROM BEING A BEGGAR DESTINED FOR AN OBSCURE LIFE AND AN OBSCURE DEATH.
TODAY WOULD PROPEL HIM INTO IMMORTALITY.
WHO WAS THIS MAN?
WE DON'T KNOW HIS NAME.
THE SCRIPTURES TELL US NOTHING ABOUT HIS LIFE UP TO TODAY,
AND WE KNOW NOTHING ABOUT HIS LIFE AFTER TODAY.
BUT TODAY, THIS DAY, THIS ORDINARY DAY
WOULD BE WRITTEN ABOUT BY A DOCTOR
AND READ ABOUT BY MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD.
DOCTOR LUKE WROTE ABOUT THIS MAN AND THIS DAY IN
Acts 3:1-10 (NIV)
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer--at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
WHAT A DAY.
A DAY THAT WOULD NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.
AND THIS MORNING WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT THAT DAY.
Point 1) -FIRST OF ALL, THIS MAN WAS NOT WHOLE. ACTS 3:2
HE WAS A MAN WITH A PROBLEM.
HIS PROBLEM WASN’T OPEN TO DISCUSSION.
IT WASN'T DEBATABLE,
IT WASN'T ABSTRACT OR SOME KIND OF "IFFY CONCEPT",
HE HAD A DEFINITE PROBLEM.
HE WAS A MAN THAT WAS CRIPPLED, AND NOT ONLY THAT BUT HE WAS CRIPPLED FROM BIRTH.
THE TRUTH IS,
IT WASN'T HIS FAULT THAT HE WAS CRIPPLED.
SOMETIMES OUR TROUBLES ARE CAUSED BY SOMEONE.
OFTEN THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE IS OURSELF.
IF YOU SMOKE AND DIE OF LUNG CANCER,
DON'T STAND THERE SHAKING YOUR FIST AT GOD DEMANDING "HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME."
IF YOU ABUSE ALCOHOL AND GET CIRRHOSIS OF THE LIVER.
IF YOU COMMIT ADULTERY AND YOUR SPOUSE LEAVES YOU,
DON'T BLAME EVERYONE ELSE.
THE BLAME RESTS SOLIDLY IN YOUR CORNER.
MY FRIEND; YOU'RE THE ONE THAT'S PADDLING YOUR OWN BOAT.
YOU GET TO CHOOSE WHERE YOU STEER YOUR BOAT
BUT, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU CHOOSE TO DO,
BECAUSE YOUR ACTIONS AFFECT THOSE AROUND YOU TOO.
THERE ARE ALWAYS CONSEQUENCES FOR YOUR ACTIONS. BOTH GOOD OR BAD.
WELL, AS FAR AS WE KNOW IT WASN'T THIS MAN'S FAULT THAT HE WAS A CRIPPLE.
AND IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE IT WAS THE FAULT OF ANYONE ELSE EITHER.
SOMETIMES OTHERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR PROBLEMS.
A SPOUSE THAT BREAKS THE MARRIAGE VOWS AND CAUSES A DIVORCE
HURTS THEIR MATE, THEIR CHILDREN, AND THE REST OF THE SURROUNDING FAMILY AS WELL AS THEMSELVES.
BABIES WHO ARE BORN TO PEOPLE WHO SMOKE OR DRINK, OR TAKE DRUGS DURING THEIR PREGNANCY
ARE MORE APT TO HAVE PROBLEMS THAN OTHER BABIES.
SOMETIMES PHYSICAL ABUSE OCCURS,
OR AN ACCIDENT WILL HAPPEN THAT WAS SOMEONE ELSE'S FAULT.
THERE 'S A MAN NAMED ROD LEWIS. HE'S A CRIPPLE TODAY BECAUSE OF A DOCTOR WHO HAD BEEN OUT PARTYING BEFORE THE DELIVERY AND SEVERED ROD'S SPINAL CORD AS HE WAS PERFORMING THE CAESAREAN SECTION.
SOMETIMES OUR PROBLEMS ARE CAUSED BY OTHER PEOPLE.
BUT WITH THE CRIPPLED MAN IN ACTS 3, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT IT WAS ANYONES FAULT.
ALL WE KNOW IS THAT HE WAS A MAN WHO WASN'T PHYSICALLY WHOLE.
HE WASN'T EVERYTHING THAT PHYSICAL MAN IS SUPPOSED TO BE,
HE WAS A CRIPPLE, A MAN THAT COULDN'T WALK.
IN TODAY'S CLIMATE WHERE EVERYTHING HAS TO BE SAID IN THE POLITICALLY CORRECT WAY
WE WOULD HAVE TO SAY THAT HE WAS
A MAN WHO IS BALD MIGHT SAY THAT HE IS
DOES THAT MEAN THAT SOMEONE WHO IS SHORT IS "VERTICALLY CHALLENGED".
MOST OF US ARE PHYSICALLY WHOLE
THERE ARE VERY FEW OF US WHO HAVE A SERIOUS PHYSICAL HANDICAP.
BUT WE’RE ALL BORN WITH A SERIOUS SPIRITUAL HANDICAP.
PAUL TELLS US IN
Romans 3:23 (NIV)
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
NONE OF US ARE BORN WORTHY TO ENTER INTO GOD’S PRESENCE.
WE'RE BORN WITH A STREAK OF REBELLION INSIDE US
A MILE WIDE.
WE’RE BENT TOWARD SINNING,
WE'RE LIKE A CAR THAT HAS BEEN HIT IN THE SIDE AND THE FRAME HAS BEEN BENT.
IT WANTS TO ALWAYS TURN TO THE LEFT.
IT HAS A HARD TIME GOING STRAIGHT.
WE TRY TO DO GOOD, BUT WE CAN'T QUITE REACH IT
ON OUR OWN, WE FAIL MISERABLY.
EVERY CULTURE HAS A SET OF RULES THEY EXPECT TO BE FOLLOWED.
EVERY GROUP OF PEOPLE ON THIS PLANET HAVE SOUGHT TO JUSTIFY THEMSELVES BEFORE THEIR god OR gods
EVERYONE OF US HAS A GOD SHAPED HOLE INSIDE US, THERE'S AN EMPTYNESS INSIDE THAT WE TRY TO FILL.
PEOPLE DO ALL KINDS OF THINGS TO APPEASE THEIR GUILTY CONSCIENCES.
THE PROPHET ISAIAH SAID IN
Isaiah 64:6 (NIV)
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
OUR RIGHTEOUS ACTS SEEM PRETY GOOD; IN THEMSELVES. WE THINK WE’RE DOING WONDERFUL, BEAUTIFUL, MARVELLOUS THINGS.
AND IF WE COMPARE THEM TO THE WORKS OF OTHER PEOPLE
OUR RIGHTEOUS ACTS MAY VERY WELL LOOK LIKE THE FINEST, WHITE LINEN CLOTH.
AND YET WHEN WE HOLD THEM UP NEXT TO THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD,
THEN THEY'RE JUST DIRTY PIECES OF RAG CLOTH.
THEY CAN'T STAND THE COMPARISON.
AND THAT'S NOT JUST YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS OR MINE,
IT'S BILLY GRAHAMS, RIGHTEOUSNESS
AND MOTHER THERESA’S RIGHTEOUSNESS
AND JOHN WESLEY’S
AND EVERY OTHER PERSON WHO EVER LIVED.
WE AREN'T SPIRITUALLY WHOLE,
WE'RE SPIRITUAL CRIPPLES.
WE'RE “RIGHTEOUSLY CHALLENGED.”
Point 2) THE CRIPPLED MAN WAS HONEST IN HIS EVALUATION.
Acts 3:2 (NIV)
Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts.
HE DIDN'T TRY TO FOOL HIMSELF,
HE KNEW HE WAS A CRIPPLE.
HE'D COME TO GRIPS WITH THAT A LONG TIME AGO.
AND NOT ONLY HAD HE ACCEPTED HIS LOT,
BUT THIS WAS A ROUGH TIME TO BE HANDICAPPED.
THERE WAS NO SOCIAL SECURITY, NO MEDICARE.
IT WAS A TIME AND AN AGE WHEN PHYSICAL PROWESS AND THE QUEST FOR PERFECTION WAS IMPORTANT TO PEOPLE.
THE ROMANS HAD THEIR GLADIATOR CONTESTS
AND THE GREEKS HAD THEIR OLYMPIC GAMES.
THERE WAS NO SYMPATHY AND NO PLACE FOR THOSE WHO WEREN'T PHYSICALLY PERFECT.
NOT EVERY AGE OR CULTURE TAKES CARE OF THE LESS FORTUNATE LIKE WE DO IN AMERICA TODAY.
WHERE ELSE DO THEY TAKE THOSE WHO ARE TOO OLD TO WORK AND UNABLE TO MAKE A MEANINGFUL CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIETY AND APPOINT THEM TO THE SENATE.
THIS MAN KNEW THAT HE HAD LIMITED POTENTIAL,
HE KNEW THAT ALL THE DREAMS AND ALL THE HOPES AND ALL THE ASPIRATIONS IN THE WORLD COULD NOT MAKE HIS DEAD LEGS WORK.
HE HAD ACCEPTED HIS CONDITION, AND NOW HIS FRIENDS WERE TAKING HIM OUT TO BEG.
HE WASN'T EVER GOING TO GO FOR A WALK, OR TAP DANCE OR PLAY BASKET BALL.
HE'D ACCEPTED THE FACTS.
IF HE WAS GOING TO SURVIVE AT ALL IT WOULD HAVE TO BE BY BEGGING.
AND SO HE SOUGHT OUT ONE OF THE MOST PROFITABLE SPOTS AVAILABLE, TO BEG AT.
THE MAIN DOOR TO THE TEMPLE.
THE DEVOUT JEWS WOULD COME HERE AT 9 AM, AT NOON AND AT 3 PM.
THESE PEOPLE WERE COMING TO WORSHIP GOD, AND HE WAS TRYING TO MAKE THEM FEEL GUILTY.
THERE'S A LOT TO BE SAID FOR GUILT, I'VE HEARD THAT THE SALVATION ARMY SOMETIMES SETS UP THEIR CHRISTMAS KETTLES JUST OUTSIDE OF LIQUOR STORES.
JEFF STEINBERG (THE JEFF STORY) DIED AT BIRTH,
THEN ALIVE, MOM'S NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, HOME TO HOME, 4' 4" DRAFTED, WHEN HE WAS A CHILD HE WAS DETERMINED TO RIDE A TRICYCLE. AND HE SPOKE ABOUT THE NUMBERS OF TIMES HE FELL OFF AND GOT BACK ON AGAIN. DETERMINED TO RIDE A TRIKE LIKE A NORMAL CHILD HE TRIED AND TRIED, BUT HE NEVER DID.
Jeff Steinberg sings the song of a true overcomer. He was born with what others would call Handicaps - He has NO arms or hands, and malformed legs. He grew up in a Home for the disabled and has faced personal challenges that would cause many folks to quit. But Jeff refused to quit. He believes that ”...the difficult we do right away, the impossible takes a little longer!” He is living proof that the least likely person can accomplish the most extraordinary things.
RAY CHARLES MAKES BEAUTIFUL MUSIC BUT HE WILL PROBABLY NEVER PAINT A SUNSET.
RICK HANSON WHEELED AROUND THE WORLD IN HIS WHEEL CHAIR BUT HE WAS HONEST AND DIDN'T TRY TO WALK.
MICHAEL J. FOX IS A PRETTY GOOD ACTOR BUT HE'LL ALWAYS BE SHORT.
SOMETIMES WE NEED TO BE HONEST WITH OURSELVES AND ADMIT OUR SHORT COMINGS.
WE'RE NEVER GOING TO GET TO HEAVEN ON OUR OWN.
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER.
WE'LL NEVER BE THAT GOOD, WE'LL NEVER DO ENOUGH GOOD THINGS,
WE'LL NEVER, EVER, DESERVE HEAVEN ON OUR OWN.
AND IT'S ONLY WHEN WE ARE ABLE TO ADMIT THAT,
THAT JESUS CHRIST WILL BE ABLE TO DO ANY GOOD FOR US.
THE ALLEGIENCE HOSPITAL IS A PRETTY NICE PLACE.
IT'S FULL OF PEOPLE WHO ARE SICK, OR AT LEAST THINK THEY ARE.
IT'S LIKE THE GUY WHO CALLED THE DOCTOR AND SAID, "I'M CALLING ABOUT MY UNCLE FRED"
AND THE DOCTOR SAID, "I KEEP TELLING YOU, YOUR UNCLE ONLY THINKS HE'S SICK"
"OH BUT IT'S WORSE NOW" REPLIED THE MAN, "NOW HE THINKS HE'S DEAD."
PEOPLE GO TO THE HOSPITAL FOR ONE OF TWO REASONS,
1) TO GET BETTER, OR
2) TO EASE THEIR SUFFERING.
OTHER THEN THAT THERE IS NO GOOD REASON TO BE IN A HOSPITAL.
THE FOOD MIGHT NOT BE BAD BUT IT AINT GREAT.
THE BEDS AREN'T VERY COMFORTABLE,
AND THE COMPANY IS DOWN RIGHT DEPRESSING.
BUT IF YOU'RE SICK IT IS AN IDEAL PLACE TO BE.
Mark 2:17 (NIV)
On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
IF YOU'RE NOT SICK THEN YOU DON'T NEED A DOCTOR,
AND IF YOU'RE NOT LOST THEN YOU DON'T NEED TO BE FOUND.
SOME PEOPLE HATE TO ADMIT TO BEING LOST. THEY'LL DRIVE AROUND IN A CIRCLE ALL DAY BEFORE THEY'LL SWALLOW THEIR PRIDE AND STOP SOMEONE TO ASK DIRECTIONS AND ADMIT THAT THEY'RE LOST.
UNTIL YOU'RE READY TO ADMIT TO THE FACT THAT YOU'RE LOST.
UNTIL YOU'RE READY TO ADMIT THAT YOU NEED JESUS CHRIST AS LORD AND SAVIOUR HE CAN'T HELP YOU.
Point 3) THE CRIPPLED MAN WAS EXPECTANT
Acts 3:5 (NIV) So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
NOW THAT'S A POSITIVE ATTITUDE.
HE ASKED FOR ALMS AND PETER SAID "LOOK AT US".
I'M TOLD THAT A GOOD SALESMAN CAN TELL WHEN THEY'VE MADE THE SALE.
THERE ARE THINGS THAT ARE SAID OR DONE THAT TELL THEM "YOU'VE GOT THIS ONE IN THE BAG."
IF THE CUSTOMER SAYS;
1. "THIS IS A NICE SUIT DOES IT COME IN BLUE?"
2. "BOY I REALLY LIKE THIS CAR CAN I GET A CASSETTE PUT IN?"
3. "THEY LOOK AT YOU"
WHY IS THEIR LOOKING AT YOU A GOOD SIGN?
THINK ABOUT IT,
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU SEE A SOMEONE ON THE STREET PANHANDLING?
OR YOU GO TO THE MALL AND SOMEONE IS STANDING THERE WITH A BOX COLLECTING MONEY FOR THEIR LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM AND YOU HAVE NO CHANGE? YOU LOOK THE OTHER WAY DON'T YOU?
So this man gave them his attention, -expecting to get something from them.
WHEN WE APPROACH GOD IN PRAYER WE HAVE TO APPROACH EXPECTING AN ANSWER.
Matthew 7:9-10 (NIV) "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?
MOST OF US ARE PUSHOVERS FOR OUR KIDS,
WE LIKE TO GIVE THINGS TO THEM WHEN WE CAN.
AND WHEN WE COME TO GOD IN PRAYER AND ASK THAT OUR SINS BE FORGIVEN WE HAVE TO EXPECT HIM TO FORGIVE THEM.
NOT HOPE THAT HE MIGHT, BUT EXPECT HIM TO.
CHRIST WILL FORGIVE US AND SAVE US AND GIVE US ETERNAL LIFE BUT WE HAVE TO ASK.
WE HAVE TO APPROACH HIM.
THE BEGGAR NEVER WOULD HAVE GOTTEN ANYWHERE IF HE HADN'T ASKED.
CHRIST HAS TO BE APPROACHED WITH A POSITIVE ATTITUDE.
THE BEGGAR PROBABLY DIDN'T SAY "YOU DON'T WANT TO GIVE ME ANYTHING DO YOU?"
Point 4) THE CRIPPLED MAN BELIEVED.
Acts 3:6-7 (NIV)
Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong.
PUT YOURSELF IN HIS SPOT,
EVERYDAY OF HIS ADULT LIFE THIS MAN HAD BEEN CARRIED TO THIS SPOT TO BEG.
RAIN & SHINE, WARM WEATHER AND COLD WEATHER.
HE HAD HAD DAYS WHEN HE HAD COLLECTED NEXT TO NOTHING AND OTHER DAYS WHEN HE HAD TRIPLED HIS USUAL TAKE.
HE HAD TAKEN PHYSICAL AND VERBAL ABUSE FROM CHILDREN, AND TEENAGERS AND ADULTS.
HE HAD BEEN RIDICULED AND SLANDERED.
BUT NEVER HAD HE EVER HEARD ANYTHING LIKE THIS.
HE'D ASKED FOR A CRUMB AND WAS OFFERED A BANQUET,
HE'D ASKED FOR A PITTANCE AND BEEN OFFERED HIS VERY LIFE.
HOW SHOULD HE REACT, WHAT THOUGHTS COURSED THROUGH HIS HEAD.
MAYBE HE THOUGHT;
"TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN JERUSALEM AND I GET A FRUITCAKE."
OR MAYBE IT WAS "OH NO IF I CAN WALK THEN I'LL HAVE TO GET A JOB!"
WHAT WERE HIS INITIAL THOUGHTS?
HAD HE HEARD TELL OF PETER, JOHN, OR JESUS OF NAZARETH?
WE'LL NEVER KNOW UNTIL WE GET TO HEAVEN,
BUT THIS WE DO KNOW, HE BELIEVED PETER.
THE SCRIPTURES SAY TAKING HIM BY HIS RIGHT HAND
HE HELPED HIM UP.
DIDN'T GRAB HIM UNDER HIS ARMS AND LIFT HIM, TOOK HIM BY THE HAND AND HELPED HIM UP.
PETER ASSISTED THE BEGGAR TO HIS FEET, HE HELPED HIM GET UP.
AND THE MAN MUST HAVE HELPED TOO.
HE PUT HIS WEIGHT ON HIS LEGS AND FELT STRENGTH COURSING DOWN HIS THIGHS.
HE DID SOMETHING HE HAD NEVER DONE BEFORE,
HE PUSHED HIMSELF TO A SITTING POSITION
AND THEN GOT TO HIS FEET.
AS HIS MUSCLES BEGAN TO SWELL, AND TINGLE WITH THE UNFAMILIAR TENSIONS AND MOVEMENT HE REALIZED THAT HE WAS DOING THE IMPOSSIBLE,
HE WAS STANDING BY HIMSELF.
AND SLOWLY THE REALIZATION DAWNED ON HIM, THIS WASN'T A PRACTICAL JOKE.
THESE MEN INDEED HAD MORE TO OFFER HIM THEN SILVER AND GOLD.
FOR THEY HAD GIVEN HIM WHAT NATURE HAD DEPRIVED HIM OF,
THEY HAD GIVEN HIM HIS LEGS. BUT ONLY THROUGH HIS OWN BELIEF DID THIS HAPPEN,
AND ONLY BY BELIEVING THE WORDS OF THIS STRANGER WAS HE STANDING.
Point 5) HE WAS MADE WHOLE.
Acts 3:7B (NIV) and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong.
ONE MINUTE HALF A MAN, THE NEXT MINUTE A WHOLE MAN.
ONE MINUTE CRIPPLED THE NEXT MINUTE HEALED.
JUST AS HIS HANDICAP HAD BEEN BEYOND DISPUTE SO WAS HIS HEALING.
NOT EVEN THE SANHEDRIN AND HIGH PRIEST COULD DOUBT OR DISBELIEVE WHAT THEY AND WITNESSED.
HOW DO YOU ARGUE WITH SUCCESS?
HERE WAS A MAN WHO HAD BEEN CRIPPLED BY A CRUEL QUIRK OF NATURE, AND YET NOW HE WAS WHOLE, JUST AS IF HIS HANDICAP HAD NEVER BEEN.
THE SKIN WHICH HAD HUNG LOOSELY, ON USELESS MUSCLES NOW CLUNG TO THE WELL DEFINED SHAPE OF THIGH AND CALF MUSCLES.
THE LEGS THAT HAD NEVER MOVED NOW RESPONDED TO EVERY WHIM,
THE FEET THAT HAD NEVER FELT NOW SENSED THE PEBBLES AND DUST THAT LAY UNDER THEM.
ALTHOUGH WE HAVE A SPIRITUAL HANDICAP WE TOO CAN BE MADE WHOLE.
KING DAVID HAD COMMITTED ADULTERY, MURDER AND TREASON AND YET IN
Psalms 51:7 (NIV) DAVID WRITES- Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
PAUL SAYS CONCERNING SIN IN
Romans 6:23 (NIV) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
WHEN YOU ASK FOR FORGIVENESS YOUR VERY BEING IS TOUCHED
YOU'RE MADE EVERY BIT AS WHOLE AND CLEAN.
IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT THE SIN, JESUS CHRIST IS ABLE TO MAKE YOU WHITER THEN SNOW.
THE VIOLENT MURDERER BECOMES AS INNOCENT AS A NEW BORN BABE.
THE FOULEST PROSTITUTE BECOMES AS PURE AS A VIRGIN.
PAUL SAYS IT BEST IN
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
EVERY SIN, EVERY EVIL, EVERY THOUGHT, WORD, OR DEED,
EVERY HURT, EVERY SCORN, SHALL BE GONE,
IT WON'T EVEN BE HISTORY, BECAUSE HISTORY IS RECORDED.
KING DAVID SAID IN Psalms 103:12 (NIV) as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Point 6) HE WAS FULL OF PRAISE
Acts 3:8 (NIV) He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.
I LIKE THIS, NOBODY HAD TO TELL HIM TO GO TO THE TEMPLE.
NOBODY TOLD HIM HE SHOULD THANK GOD
BUT HE KNEW HE HAD TO.
HIS VERY FIRST ACT WAS ONE OF PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING.
HE WAS ON FIRE AND HE WANTED TO SHARE IT WITH EVERYONE HE MET.
HE DIDN'T CONSIDER IF IT WOULD OFFEND THEM, HE DIDN'T WONDER IF IT WOULD DRIVE THEM AWAY,
HE WANTED TO TELL THEM WHAT HAPPENED IN THE NAME OF JESUS.
I CAN JUST HEAR HIM NOW,
"EXCUSE ME SIR, I DON'T KNOW YOU BUT A FEW MINUTES AGO I WAS A CRIPPLE,
COULDN'T WALK, COULDN'T EVEN MOVE MY TOES,
JUST LAID THERE ON THE STREET
AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT A MAN CAME UP AND SAID, "SILVER AND GOLD HAVE I NONE BUT WHAT I HAVE I GIVE TO YOU, IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH WALK."
AND GUESS WHAT, WELL I SUPPOSE YOU CAN SEE FOR YOURSELF, THAT'S RIGHT I CAN WALK."
IF HE'D BEEN LIKE SOME CHRISTIANS TODAY
HIS FIRST REACTION WOULD HAVE BEEN,
OH NO, NOW I'LL HAVE TO BUY SHOES, OR
GREAT NOW I'LL HAVE TO GET A JOB.
YOU KNOW, IT MIGHT NOT HURT IF WE GOT A LITTLE MORE EXCITED ABOUT OUR FAITH,
AFTER ALL IF YOU WERE DROWNING AND SOMEONE THREW YOU A ROPE YOU'D GET EXCITED.
IF YOU HAD CANCER AND SOMEONE DEVELOPED A CURE YOU'D GET EXCITED.
IF YOUR TEAM WON THE STANLEY CUP, YOU'D GET EXCITED.
IF YOU'VE HAD YOUR SINS FORGIVEN THEN GET ALL EXCITED.
IF YOU'RE STILL LIKE THE CRIPPLED MAN BEFORE GOD HEALED HIM THEN GET HEALED AND THEN GET ALL EXCITED.
WE CHRISTIANS SHOULD BE THE MOST EXCITED, HAPPY FUN LOVING PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.
I GREW UP IN THE OLD TIME NAZARENE CHURCH WHERE PEOPLE WEREN'T AFRAID OF WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THOUGHT.
THEY WERE THRILLED BY THE PRESENCE OF GOD INSIDE THEIR HEART AND SOUL.
THEY SAID AMEN AND HALLELUJAH AND RAISED THEIR HANDS.
THEY WAVED THEIR HANDKERCHIEFS AND CRIED OPENLY AT THE MOVING OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD IN OUR MIDST.
I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT FAKE STUFF.
I'M TALKING ABOUT RESPONDING TO A REAL MOVING OF THE SPIRIT IN OUR HEARTS AND SOULS.