Wed Pm Worship
Text: Acts 16:16-34 (King James Version)
"Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."
Over the years, I have had numerous opportunities to pray for the sick and I am a firm believer in divine healing
Exodus 23:25 ...I will TAKE AWAY SICKNESS from among you.
Psalms 103:2-3 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits --  who forgives all your sins and HEALS ALL your diseases.
Matthew 8:16-17 ...[Jesus] healed all the sick.  This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: "HE TOOK up our infirmities and carried our diseases."
** All these Scriptures and more tell us: God heals! Jesus still heals today!
* Yet many remain sick, despite God's promise of divine healing.
Psalms 30:2 O LORD my God, I CALLED TO YOU FOR HELP and you healed me.
** Call to the doctor...you'll get the doctor's help.
** Call to the LORD...you'll get the LORD's help!
* Call on the Lord for spiritual healing! Healing prayers work!
* Too often we "have not because we ASK NOT."
* The majority of American Christians' faith for healing is in their doctor.
* [King Asa] "Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did NOT seek help from the LORD, but ONLY from the PHYSICIANS. Then in the forty-first year of his reign Asa DIED..." (2 Chr. 16:12f).
** Let your FIRST thought be: "O Lord my God, I CALLED TO YOU for help and you healed me."
Revelation 22:16-17  "... whoever wishes, let him TAKE the FREE GIFT of the water of life."
** "Let him TAKE..."
** Same with divine healing-- reach out to Jesus and TAKE it.
* He TOOK YOUR infirmities and sicknesses.
* Now YOU TAKE His free gift of healing.
** "Holy Lord, I CALL to YOU for healing ... (2) I TAKE it from you as a free gift ... (3) I RECEIVE it gratefully."
Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ASK FOR in prayer, BELIEVE that you HAVE RECEIVED it, and it WILL be yours.
Matthew 21:22. KJV And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, BELIEVING, ye SHALL RECEIVE.
** "BELIEVING, ye shall receive."
* Matthew 9:21-22 [The woman bleeding 12 years] said to herself, "IF I ONLY TOUCH HIS CLOAK, I will be healed."  Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "YOUR FAITH has healed you."
** Prayer to God for healing of the sick gets results!
* Genesis 20:17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave girls so they could have children again.
* Numbers 12:13 So Moses cried out to the LORD, "O God, please heal her!" And God did heal Miriam.
* James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
** You can pray for yourself to be healed, as David did.
** You can pray for others to be healed, as Abraham and Moses did, and as James exhorted us to do.
Acts 3:16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.
** Healing comes "by faith in" something, or more precisely, in someone -- Jesus!
* "...Jesus' Name and the faith that comes through him"
Acts 9:32-34  There [Peter] found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years.  "Aeneas," Peter said to him, "Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat." Immediately Aeneas got up.
** Move beyond formulas. They don't work. Peter understood what brought healing.
* "Aeneas...Jesus Christ heals you."
** We serve a healing God -- "I am the Lord who heals you."
** We serve a healing Savior -- He "healed all the sick" then, and He's the same today! Jesus still heals today.
** "Aeneas, [and each of you] Jesus Christ heals you."
** "BELIEVING, ye shall receive."
* Not just believing in some abstract theory
* Not having "faith in faith"
* No, it's BELIEVING in JESUS your HEALER.
## In sum: CALL to Him ... TAKE the gift from Him ... BELIEVE and RECEIVE ... your healing!
The bible plainly reveals that God heals the sick. His Son Jesus heals today, too. Sick and infirm bodies can be powerfully touched by the Lord our Healer.
Exodus 15:26 "...I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who HEALS you."
** Our God is a healing God! -- "Jehovah-Rapha"
* It's not just what He does, but what He is.
* You serve a "Lord who heals you."
Matthew 4:23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
** We serve a healing Savior, Jesus Christ. Like God the Father, Jesus heals the sick and infirm. And be it established that Jesus heals today, for He "is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).
* His heart of compassion is for "the people."
* Jesus preached and taught, yes. But He also "healed every disease and sickness among the people."
Matthew 8:16-17 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.  This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: "He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases."
** God had this in mind all along. Isaiah spoke of it seven centuries before the New Testament era --
* Jesus would "take up our infirmities."
* Jesus would "carry our diseases."
* Jesus would "heal all the sick ... to fulfill...Isaiah." Don't limit salvation to our sins only. Jesus our Savior is also Jesus our Healer.
* Jesus heals the sick today, as 2,000 years ago, in fulfillment of the prophetic word.
Matthew 14:35-36 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him  and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.
** Our part is to reach out and touch Him for healing.
* "[Bring your] sick to [Jesus].... touch Him." Because then, as now, "all who touched him were healed."
Psalm 103:2-3 Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits --  who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.
** Do not forget -- this is a "benefit" from God to you.
* Just as certainly as forgiveness of sins is for you, so also the Lord is a healer. We serve a healing God!
* We also serve a God who will keep you in good health,
Psalm 30:2 O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.
Many seeking healings overlook another important way of access to God's healing touch -- that is, the mercy of God.
Psalm 6:2 Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony.
** Divine healing is among the most blessed and greatly appreciated promises of God. The Old Testament records many occasions of healing by God's power. While He was on earth, Jesus was an instrument of divine healing to all who looked to Him in faith. Miraculous healings continued to accompany the ministries of the New Testament apostles and other believers who walked in faith in the Lord's promises to heal the sick.
** But as central as faith is to experiencing the Lord's healing touch, there is another biblical approach to receiving divine healing. It does not replace faith; rather, it seems to complement faith for healing by bringing another factor into the equation -- that is, the MERCY of God.
** "Be merciful to me, Lord ... heal me", the Psalmist cried out to God. He understood that the mercy of God is a powerful factor that God is pleased to extend to His people. A brief look in the Gospels will show Jesus healing people often in response to appeals to Him for mercy.
Matthew 9:27-30a As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, "Have mercy on us, Son of David!"  ...he asked them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" "Yes, Lord," they replied. 
Then he touched their eyes and said, "According to your faith will it be done to you"; [30a] and their sight was restored.
** Two blind men came to Jesus and were healed. The Scripture record reveals two factors that were present in this healing scenario:
1) The blind men had faith in the Lord -- "Do you believe? ... Yes, Lord."
2) They also appealed for the mercy of God -- "Have mercy on us, Son of David!"
Matthew 15:22, 26-28 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession" ...  Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
** As noted above, faith is vital in our seeking healing from the Lord. Jesus said to the woman, "You have great faith!"
** But notice also how she approached Jesus for healing: "Lord ... have mercy on me!" It was her appeal to Jesus for mercy that put her in a position to receive healing for her daughter through her faith.
** This Scripture shows us also that our faith-filled appeal to the mercy of God for healing can be made on behalf of another. Here the woman successfully interceded for her daughter's healing.
Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a high priest [Jesus] who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are -- yet was without sin.  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
** In our sinful humanity, we humans are beset with weaknesses of all sorts. Jesus Himself became man and (while remaining without sin) experienced human weaknesses while on earth. The Bible records that Jesus wept in sorrow (John 11:35). He feared (Hebrews 5:7, KJV). He needed sleep (Matthew 8:4) and food (Mark 14:14). And in His humanity He was able to be killed on a cross.
** In light of these experiences, Jesus is able "to sympathize with our weaknesses" (Hebrews 4:15). The biblical encouragement to us, then, is to approach His throne of grace with confidence, to receive His mercy in our times of need (Hebrews 4:16). Feeling weak? down? at wit's end? Come to Jesus, expecting Him out of His mercy to respond graciously and powerfully to your need.
Mark 5:18-19 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him.  Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."
** The mercy of God for healing should be part of our testimony.
** As my pastor told me many years ago -- Darrell Never underestimate the wonderful mercy of God! And you in turn share with others your experiences of that divine mercy. You will see that it will become a powerful part of your personal Christian testimony. Unbelievers need to hear that the God whom we serve is a God of mercy and love for the people of this world -- including them.
Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
** More than just telling people about the mercy of God, we need to be vessels expressing the mercy of God to others.
** You have heard of Jesus telling about the "Good Samaritan" (Luke 10:29-37). That Samaritan man went to the aid of another man who had been robbed, stripped naked, beaten, and cast down by the roadside. In concluding the story, Jesus spoke highly of the Samaritan (vs. 37), because he was the only one "who had mercy on" the man who had been robbed and beaten. He was the only one who stopped to offer aid.
** In the days ahead, I predict that you will find numerous opportunities to be a conduit for the mercy of God by extending mercy to someone around you.
* A friend or neighbor who suffers some tragic loss.
* A woman whose car is broken down by the roadside.
* An elderly man in a store or on the street looking confused and needing directions.
* An exhausted young mother needing a reliable, volunteer babysitter to give her a few hours' break from her stress.
* An ill friend in the hospital, needing an expression of mercy through a visit, as well as a prayer of faith for divine healing.
* The possibilities are nearly endless. Be prepared this week to be an "angel of mercy" to those in need. God promises that you, in turn, will receive mercy because you have been willing to extend mercy to others on His behalf.
Habakkuk 3:2 LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.
** In times of old, the Scriptures record many illustrations of God's mighty deeds. we have focused on examples of God's mighty healings -- both in the Old Testament and in the ministry of Jesus and His followers in the New Testament.
My confident prayer, taken from Habakkuk, is that the Lord will "renew them in our day ... make them known ... remember mercy". My prayerful appeal to the Lord goes like this:
* "Lord, show on earth the awesome mercy of God in the form of divine healings."
* "Lord, healings are shown so often in the Bible as a result of appeals for your mercy. Renew those mercy healings in our day!"
* "And let us be your ambassadors on earth, bringing divine healing to others as gracious and powerful expressions of the magnificent mercy of God."