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Something Better Than Gold Acts 3 1 11

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Something Better Than Gold; NV 11/16/03 a.m.

OS: A B C Text – Acts 3:1-11

I.       D Like Peter and John, we probably pass men and women on our way to church every Sunday whose need for help is as real and urgent as the lame man in our text.

A.     Not necessarily Physical illness, or poverty stricken – far deeper needs.

B.     Lame man

                       1.       Silver and Gold – Most obvious need.

                       2.       He didn’t ask for anything more.

                       3.       People evidently responded only to the most obvious need for over 40 years (4:22)

                       4.       40 years and He still remained the same. Silver and Gold he had received all this time and it left him as he was – a helpless, hopeless cripple, carried by others, begging for life.

                       5.       Jesus had much more to give this man through Peter and John.

II.    Like Peter and John, we have resources for meeting the deepest need of every person.

A.     The resources I’m speaking of involve more than just material things.

                       1.       Spiritual

                       2.       Ours by the Grace of God.

                       3.       We are just as bound to share them as the apostles.

B.     The Apostles went to the temple at the hour of prayer.

                       1.       Like Jesus, who went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day. (Luke 4:16 “custom”)

                       2.       Church going Christians are the hope of the world.

                       3.       One Sunday morning Mother decided to play a joke on my sister by phone. Dialing the number, she heard someone pick up the receiver, her cue to say in a deep voice, "This is God speaking. Why aren't you in church?" To Mom's horror, she had dialed the wrong number.

C.     Peter and John looked upon this man with compassion.

                       1.       They had learned from Jesus who saw the crowds, as we considered last week, and had compassion on them because they were like sheep with out a shepherd.

                       2.       They had seen Jesus heal the sick, and heard Him teach and tell parables like The Good Samaritan, and they knew they just couldn’t walk by.

                       3.       The influence of Jesus on their life was evident by how they treated other people – E Acts 4 13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

III.  F This text is important to me because it reiterates what really matters in this life.

A.     Maybe you are here this morning and you feel like your life is just going nowhere fast – Be reminded this morning that you have something far better than gold to share with others.

                       1.       To make a positive difference in the life of someone else is your greatest calling in life – that is what makes life count.

                       2.       As individuals and as a church that is how we bring glory to God by sharing Jesus with others. Allowing Him to enter their life and give them what is far better than gold.

B.     Maybe you are here this morning and you can identify with the cripple man because you have such deep hurts. You are sitting in the midst of healing. We together, are the body of Christ. Allow the body to share those burdens in prayer – that opportunity will be offered at the conclusion of our lesson.

TS] By their Christ-like example, the apostles have left us three simple rules of Christian Sharing: What does God want me to do in regard to this text?

I.       G Share What You Have (vs. 6)

A.     Attitude of Sharing  H 1 Timothy 6 17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.  18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

B.     Peter and John could have stopped and said, “If the Lord had blessed us with Silver and Gold we would gladly help you, but we will keep our ears open for someone blessed in such a way.”

                       1.       Some people are unsure what to ask for, or what they really need.

                       2.       Isn’t it interesting, after all the news of Jesus and the healing that had gone on the past three years that the man didn’t ask for healing.

C.     I Giving and sharing is a primary need we are born with, but struggle to learn. In Run with the Horses, Eugene Peterson tells how he saw a family of birds teaching their young to fly. Three young swallows were perched on a dead branch that stretched out over a lake. "One adult swallow got alongside the chicks and started shoving them out toward the end of the branch--pushing, pushing, pushing. The end one fell off. Somewhere between the branch and the water four feet below, the wings started working, and the fledgling was off on his own. Then the second one. "The third was not to be bullied. At the last possible moment his grip on the branch loosened just enough so that he swung downward, then tightened again, bulldog tenacious. The parent was without sentiment. He pecked at the desperately clinging talons until it was more painful for the poor chick to hang on than risk the insecurities of flying. The grip was released, and the inexperienced wings began pumping. The mature swallow knew what the chick did not--that it would fly--that there was no danger in making it do what it was perfectly designed to do. "Birds have feet and can walk. Birds have talons and can grasp a branch securely. They can walk; they can cling. But flying is their characteristic action, and not until they fly are they living at their best, gracefully and beautifully. "Giving is what we do best. It is the air into which we were born. It is the action that was designed into us before our birth. ... Some of us try desperately to hold on to ourselves, to live for ourselves. We look so bedraggled and pathetic doing it, hanging on to the dead branch of a bank account for dear life, afraid to risk ourselves on the untried wings of giving. We don't think we can live generously because we have never tried. But the sooner we start, the better, for we are going to have to give up our lives finally, and the longer we wait, the less time we have for the soaring and swooping life of grace."

D.     Share what you have. Take the example here of Peter and John, and the example of Jesus who 100% shared Himself with people.

II.    J Share what you have in the name of Jesus.

A.     It is the name of Jesus that makes what we share really count.

                       1.       K Mark 9 41 I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.

                       2.       L Mark 10 21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

                       3.       M Principle: In the sight of God motive determines the value of what we share.

                       4.       To Share in the name of Jesus is to do so for His glory, and because of His Lordship over our lives. When we do good things we don’t do them because we are so good, but because He is our Lord.

B.     Everything we do as a church or as an individual Christian must be due to Jesus Christ being our Lord.

                       1.       It would be much easier to make our mission as a church to hold services.

                       2.       It would be much easier to make our mission as a Christian to come to church.

                       3.       We can’t – Jesus is our Lord - Cross

III.  N Share more than just Silver and Gold.

A.     Share what you have – What you have is a life of experience with God and His people. Share that! Let me share with you what God has done in my life…

                       1.       O Galatians 6 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

                       2.       P Colossians 4 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

B.     Q What we have to share is not just a message, but a person, a real Lord who lives today and desires to provide for those deepest needs of people.

                       1.       So many are hopeless – we have hope

                       2.       So many are without purpose, and meaning in their life, and have no real authentic reason to live.

C.     So many have guilt and sin that are just weighing them down into deep depression, and we have cleansing, forgiveness, and freedom.

D.     We have the healing our world needs, and we share that when we turn loose of our grip on the limb and fly – sharing our lives with others.

E.      We also possess the healing and stability and security that we each need. Our small groups are designed to allow that opportunity to have more to do with each other than just go to church Sunday.

                       1.       Together we share our hurts and struggles (sorrows)

                       2.       Together we share our joys.

Closing Story: R

Not long after my six-month-old daughter Hope died, I was at a cosmetics counter buying some mascara. "Will this mascara run down my face when I cry?" I asked.

The girl behind the counter assured me it wouldn't and asked with a laugh in her voice, "Are you going to be crying?"

"Yes," I answered. "I am."

We had Hope for 199 days. We loved her. We enjoyed her richly and shared her with everyone we could. We held her during her seizures. Then we let her go.

The day after we buried Hope, my husband said to me, "You know, I think we expected our faith to make this hurt less, but it doesn't. Our faith gave us an incredible amount of strength and encouragement while we had Hope, and we are comforted by the knowledge that she is in heaven. Our faith keeps us from being swallowed by despair. But I don't think it makes our loss hurt any less."

It is only natural that people around me often ask searchingly, "How are you?" And for much of the first year after Hope's death, my answer was, "I'm deeply and profoundly sad." I've been blessed with many people who have been willing to share my sorrow, to just be sad with me. Others, however, seem to want to rush me through my sadness. They want to fix me. But I lost someone I loved dearly, and I'm sad.

Ours is not a culture that is comfortable with sadness. Sadness is awkward. It is unsettling. It ebbs and flows and takes its own shape. It beckons to be shared. It comes out in tears, and we don't quite know what to do with those tears.

Many people are afraid to bring up my loss. They don't want to upset me. But my tears are the only way I have to release the deep sorrow I feel. I tell people, "Don't worry about crying in front of me, and don't be afraid that you will make me cry! Your tears tell me you care, and my tears tell you that you've touched me in a place that is meaningful to me—and I will never forget your willingness to share my grief."

Let us be people who share what we have, share it in the name of Jesus, and share more than just silver and Gold – Let’s share our lives, and share Jesus with our neighbor.

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