Acts 3:1-10

The wound is the place where healing light enters. 13th century poet.

Thousands believe in Jesus based on the actions of Peter and John. But this is just another day in Jerusalem. No one would’ve expected anything different to happen that day. This man is laid by the water to receive his alms. He is at the mercy of those who pass by. Life is totally beyond his control.

Or so it seems.

Peter and John know it is not the money that this man needs. He needs something more, he needs Jesus.

This is an amazing event. This man had been lame since birth. He had never walked, not ever. And yet Peter picks him up and he not only walks, he leaps, and he praises God.

They probably never considered their own brokenness, but Peter is going to change that. We can take a lesson from this and realize we may have our own brokenness. Without wounds, there is no place for the healing light to enter. When we convince ourselves we are just fine, we may feel like we don’t need Jesus. The light shines through in broken places, if we allow it. It is at these times we realize how desperately we need the Lord.

The true power in the story is what happens next. Peter takes this occasion to point out the brokenness of everyone around this man. Most of our wounds, our deepest wounds, are hidden. His deepest wounds were his sins, not his lameness. Most of our wounds are mental, or emotional or spiritual. Fear is one of the reasons we won’t share our wounds. Maybe, though, when we open up to others and admit our deepest wounds, that’s when healing becomes possible.

Faith brings healing. Not the “faith healing” so commonly portrayed today. Peter and John know they will heal this man, there is no doubt, that takes faith. Peter is the agent of healing for Jesus. And of course we cannot do the miraculous today as Peter did. But we can lift people up emotionally or spiritually by our words and by our actions.

So we need to ask ourselves where is my wound? Where am I broken? What do I need help with? It will be different for each of us. But we all have wounds. And the longer we resist admitting it, the longer it will takes for Jesus to enter our life to help us.

Maybe it’s because our version of God isn’t big enough. Maybe we limit what God can actually do. We have to realize God's plans are not our plans and that’s okay. Any limiting factor we see is not God. The answer is not that no bad things will ever happen to believers. The power of this story is that Jesus is the way to real life. The power is found in Acts 4:4 - 5000 souls were saved for eternity. The message is not that a lame man is healed, it is that lame souls are saved.

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Matt 1:18-25 - an unexpected birth; God-orchestrated, meticulously planned.

The promised Emanuel - Isaiah 7:10-16. verse 14. Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold a virgin will be with child and bear a son and she shall call his name Immanuel. We know what this means now but what did it mean to Ahaz? If there was only one text in the Bible to point to that bolsters my conviction, that causes me to conclude without a shadow of doubt that this message is from God, that I need to listen to this message and respond accordingly, it would be this text, Isaiah 7:14. God is faithful to His covenant despite the foolishness of His people and their leaders. We will be talking about stability in unstable times. Matthew chapter 1 is the reality, the miraculous conception. This context in Isaiah is different. What is the context then? Look at verse 3 - then the Lord said to Isaiah, go out to meet Ahaz, you and your son, Shear-jashub at the end of the conduit of the pool, on the highway to the fuller’s field What is this point of naming his son? His name means something. It is a sign. His name means a remnant shall return. That is important for us to know. Ahaz and his people are in the predicament they are because they need to return to the Lord. (Read verses 1-9 to get the whole context.) In the midst of this turmoil and uncertainty involving Ahaz and Isiah, there is this prophecy given to assure them. Our God is awesome and reliable. Preliminary conclusions: 1. Stability in unstable times 2. We spend way too much time thinking about what we’re going to do and not nearly enough time thinking about what God can do. That was Ahaz’s problem. The message to Ahaz - and to us - you’re thinking about only what you can do. Focus on what God can do. This is the point of Hebrews, we have a high priest who has passed through the heavens, who intercedes on our behalf. We can go to him in times of need. When we can say “I got nothing” we can go to Him. Heb. 4:14-16. 3. We need to accept Gods story. Healing and hope are always in Immanuel. We need a God-orchestrated life. 2 Cor. 4:13-14. That is our destiny as children of God, to be raised up with Jesus. What about in the meantime? Life has it’s challenges. Read verse 7-12.

What is your purpose here? It is to be the life of Jesus manifested in our bodies. We carry about in our bodies the dieing of Jesus. That will mean sacrifice. But there are positive results that comes from this sacrifice. We exalt Jesus in our mortal bodies. We do not lose heart. Though our bodies are decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day for momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal light of glory far beyond all comparison. Our afflictions are only momentary. We do not look at the things that are seen but the things which are unseen.

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Mark 8:31-9:1

Ever had a time when you corrected someone and then found out you were wrong? Pretty embarrassing. Peter has just such an embarrassing moment where he corrects someone and then turns out to be wrong himself. That someone was Jesus and Peter rebuked Him for what He had said about being killed and rising again. Jesus reply - get behind me Satan. You are not setting your mind on God’s interests but on man’s. Peter did not yet understand fully even though he had just called Jesus the Son of God. And Jesus uses some very strong language here to rebuke him. If we are going to set our minds in the things of God, set our minds on things above we will have to do certain things:

1. Accept God’s story. God’s ways are very often different than ours and we struggle to understand. We view things from our own human, finite perspective, just as Peter did here. We may think that things will be better if we just do them our way. Saul did that on several occasions, as did others in the Bible. Peter’s possibly thinking, stop talking like that Jesus, you’re scaring everyone. None of us would ever have dreamed up the story of Jesus. A lowly carpenter being the Savior of the world?  Christianity changed how stories were told from ancient times, when heroes were conquering kings, going about subduing enemies by force. Jesus changed the world by defeating death and be raised from the grave - this is God’s story, not man’s.

2. Seek honor from God. The cross means death, horrible, shameful death. No one in the first century would’ve said I want to follow someone who died on a cross. It was a well known instrument of shame in the eyes of the world. Jesus wants us to see it’s not about the honor of men, it’s about the honor and glory you get from God, by denying self and taking up the cross.  Jesus turns the concept of shame around. What really matters is how God views you, not the world. If you do take up your cross and follow Him, you will be viewed as dishonorable in the eyes of the world. So you have a choice. Who’s honor do you want to seek and receive?

3. Part of that choice involves trusting in the “unbelievable.” It did with Peter. What? You’re going to die and be raised again? That’s unbelievable to Peter. Throughout the Bible, God’s people struggle to understand the miraculous events they have witnessed and to have a faith that endures following those events they have just witnessed. Can we trust in the things that seem impossible? So many stories in the Bible that we would deem impossible, unbelievable. That’s where our faith comes in. We choose to believe in the unbelievable. Taking up the cross means understanding what life is worth saving.

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Welcome and thank you for visiting. We hope you can come and be with us as we give praise and honor to the Father above and His Son as we assemble as Christ's church in the Tomball and Magnolia area.

Decker Prairie church of Christ

25903 Hardin Store Rd

Magnolia, TX 77354

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T: 281.259.2797


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