Wed Pm Worship " For God's Great Hour"
Text: Revelation 3:20 and Psalm 90:12 (King James Version)
"Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."
Christianity begins with grace, and then grace follows us throughout our Christian experience.
The Fields are white and the laborers are few!
Acts 3:1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
Acts 3:2 And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
Acts 3:3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
Acts 3:4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
Acts 3:5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
Acts 3:7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
Acts 3:8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
Acts 3:9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
Acts 3:10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.
Here is a story that I believe show how our journey is made better simply by a change in words. A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign, which said: "I am blind, please help." There were only a few coins in the hat. A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words. Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, "Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?" The man said, "I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way." I wrote, "Today is a beautiful day but I cannot see it." Both signs told people that the boy was blind. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people that they were so lucky that they were not blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective? Moral of the Story: Be thankful for what you have. Be creative. Be innovative. Think differently and positively. When life gives you a 100 reasons to cry, show life that you have 1000 reasons to smile.
We see in our text Peter and John going to the temple at
the time of prayer. They are found together often in scripture. Lk. 5 says they
were partners in the fishing business . Lk. 22: together they prepared the Last
Supper in the upper room. Jn. 20: running together to the empty tomb on that 1st
Easter morning. Acts 8: ministering together to the Samaritans.
However, they were quite different from one another..Peter was outgoing and gregarious, always had something to say..never hesitated to give his opinion..sometimes it seemed like the only time he'd open his mouth was to change feet! Very outspoken. But, John was contemplative and reflective..tender, referring to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved! at last supper, he leaned on Jesus' chest.
Some evidence in scripture seems to indicate these 2 didn't always get along. Their personalities were so different that they often had friction.
But now that Jesus has ascended and left these men with His Holy Spirit, they come together..and here they enter the temple together..not competing for greatness not focusing on each other's faults, but striving to work together for God's glory, forbearing one another.
Giving benefit of doubt trying to build the Lord's
church thru unity and teamwork.
It's truly amazing how people come together when they filled with the Spirit!..
you show me a church where people don't get along and I'll show you a church void of the Spirit..
The same holds true with the bonds of marriage, the home he s.s. class You can rest assure in all cases it will be because of a void of the Holy Spirit.
God commands us to be in Unity as a living body made up of many members functioning as ONE!
Ps. 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for
brethren to dwell together in unity!
Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Galatians 5:15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
What is God's will for all mankind! "None should perish" all come to repentane!
But Pastor who is My neighbor?
1. This man in * V. 2 Born crippled/congenital birth defect..Acts 4 says he was over 40 years of age and had never walked a day in his life. Parents knew something was wrong, he'd always be different..other kids would play in the streets, he could only watch. Parents had to carry him as a toddler/little boy/teenager/man! Couldn't work/get job/get ssi/rehab/have a wheelchair..all he could do was to beg for a living. Now he's in his 40s/parents are dead or out of picture/no other family to care for him/so, every day he'd lay by gate where people had to pass by, and he would beg. "Alms for a poor man?" [hoping for a few coins in his little tin cup] This man did not ask to be born this way! Those of us tonight that have the blessings of a roof over our head, food in our cupboards and a place to lay our heads at night under an air conditioned or heated home. We are only one blessing or paycheck away from the same fate as some of our lesser friends. That God loves just as much as he does you and I.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Secular psychology says man is born neutral at worst, and at best, with a spark of divinity! That's not Biblical!
We are all Sinners Saved by Grace.
We need to Re Read the parable of the Rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16 and get a vivid view of how God feels about the poor. The beggars desire was only to be fed by crumbs which fell from the table of the rich man.
Or what about the diet and attire of John the Baptist. Mark 1:6 Locusts and wild honey and dressed in Camel's Hair But Jesus said born of a women there was none greater than John.
What about even Jesus when he stated in Matthew 8:20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
What about the woman caught in adultery in john 8:4
What about the women at the well that had five husbands and the one she was now with wasn't even included in that number!
Or what about the Maniac of Gadara?
Lets talk honestly here for a moment. This type of people would not be welcome in most modern day Churches. They don't dress good enough, they don't look good enough, they don't smell good enough and they certainly cant give good enough.
Yet they cry out to God for souls to be saved, drug addicts and prostitutes to be delivered . But Lord just do it on someone else's watch. Just send us the Upscale folk.
The Bible states in
Hebrews 13:1 Let brotherly love continue.
Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Hebrews 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
Luke 14:11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Luke 14:12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee.
Luke 14:13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
Luke 14:14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
Luke 14:15 And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.
Luke 14:16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
Luke 14:17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
Luke 14:18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
Luke 14:19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
Luke 14:20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I
Luke 14:21 So that servant came, and showed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
Luke 14:22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
Luke 14:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
Luke 14:24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
Historians tell us this Gate in Acts was the eastern gate, it was made of Corinthian brass, overlaid with gold and silver..the sun would rise over the Eastern Mountains. And this entrance to the temple was dazzlingly brilliant! And worth a fortune..but laying at it is this man who is marred, disfigured, distorted, outcast. This gate represents wealth, this man represents woe. Loveliness and lameness
Does this sound like most modern Churches and we wonder
why we are powerless!
Make no mistake, Man can make some things beautiful, However man cannot make himself beautiful..only God can do that!
Oh, you can do some things to the outside..this man could
have cut his hair, shave, dress up..but he still
would have been lame
[same goes with us cleaning up our lives, going to church..but without the Lord coming inside to cleanse and forgive and save, we are still spiritually lame!]
Crime up? Authorities say, "we need more education!"
Educate a thief and you just have a smarter thief [embezzle!]
We don't need any more reformation, we need transformation!
We've seen the men the women an..now let's see the
2. The miracle
* This miracle could not be reasonably denied
v. 11 Every day they the Church would walk right past him, He was a nuisance, He was a problem for the ministry that was causing to good people to find another path. Daily they resented him even being there..and now this man's running, now he's leaping, he's praising God..And the Church in the temple couldn't argue with that!
Peter or John could have given him money, but he still would have been the same man! Peter gave him something much better, a new beginning!
They Chose to Give what the Church was trying to Avoid!
Ephesians 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
Ephesians 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
What are you doing with your gift's How are you reflecting God's Great Love toward all mankind. The Call of the Invitation has been given unto us all. to go and, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
Luke 14:14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee:
for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
Jesus also gave us an illustration of who a neighbor really is!
Luke 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
Luke 10:26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
Luke 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
Luke 10:28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
Luke 10:29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
Luke 10:30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
Luke 10:31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
Luke 10:32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
Luke 10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
Luke 10:34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
Luke 10:35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
Luke 10:36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
Luke 10:37 And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
The Rich man Lifted his eyes in Hell but the beggar was comforted in Abrahams Bosom. It is not a question of how many friends I had but rather to whom was I a true friend.
This Man was not in this condition by choice, He had no other family to turn to.
But thanks be unto God this story didn't end with him dead at the gate.
Somebody, namely Peter and John was the true Church!