One More Step

O

ne Sore Step

 

Acts 3:1-10 ESV

 

One afternoon Peter andJohn went to the temple for the three o’clock prayer.[a] As they came to the entrance called theBeautiful Gate,[b] they were captured bythe sight of a man crippled from birth being carried and placed at the entrance to the temple. He was often brought there to beg for money from those going into worship. When he noticed Peter andJohn going into the temple, he begged them for money.

Peter and John, looking straight into the eyes of the crippled man, said, “Look at us!” Expecting a gift, he readily gave them his attention. Then Peter said, “I don’t have money, but I’ll give you this—by the power of the name of Jesus Christ ofNazareth, stand up and walk!”

7–8 Peter held out his righthand to the crippled man. As he pulled the man to his feet, suddenly power surged into his crippled feet and ankles. The man jumped up, stood therefor a moment stunned, and then began to walk around! As he went into the temple courts with Peter and John, he leapt for joy and shouted praises to God.

When all the people saw him jumping up and down and heard him glorifying God, 10 they realized it was the crippled beggar they had passed by in front of the Beautiful Gate. Astonishment swept over the crowd, for they were amazed over what had happened to him.

 

Pray

 

One step away, just missing one thing

Getting home to find the house is locked, and I don’t have keys

Right at the door but you’re still missing one thing

 

The man is carried to the gate of the temple(church) by people he more than likely knew and is left there, just outside the temple, just outside the church, just outside the one place he actually needs to be

Friendships and relationships are great but we as the body of Christ need to understand that only I can encounter God for ME, friends and family, coworkers and relationships can get me here to the house of God but they can’t encounter God for me

This mans friends brought him as far as they could, but even their best was still one step away, one thing away from God’s plan for him

 

And its not the friends fault, either, they brought the man AS FAR as they could, to bring him into the temple was to break the law, because someone who was sick or crippled was considered unclean according to Jewish  and what was unclean could not enter into the temple that would’ve been unlawful in this time and in this context

 

Religious duty told them, that person can’t come in here, but we will do our good duty our good deed and bring him as close as we can get him, and for the people who were carrying him I’m sure it made them “feel good” or “justified” doing their religious duty but in all reality all they were doing was just making themselves feel better and notREALLY helping this guy at all

What if instead of “praying for the lost” or praying for the hurting or dying in our community we actually did something more than comment on a Facebook post saying that we are praying for someone, what if WHILE we are praying we got up cooked them a meal, sat with them at lunch, talked to them about their family, talked to them about their kids, talked to them about their situation and show them the truth of the character of Jesus in that he is a friend that sticks closer than a brother, and when you call upon his name he will do more than just fix the situation he will be there in the situation

John11:35 “Jesus Wept”

Mary andMartha didn’t need more people to cry with them at the tomb but they needed someone to fix the problem of their brother who had died

Jesus came to do both, to work the miracle AND to just to be there with us when everything falls apart, because Jesus knows he is about to fix everything, but he still takes time to be with them in their moment

 

·     Religion says just do enough to cover the feeling that something is wrong before you come to me (Old Testament Sacrifice)

·     Relationship says if you start to feel like something is wrong come to me before you do anything else(New Testament Grace)

 

If the people had carried him one more step they wouldn’t have to bother with carrying him another day in his life, what if the annoyances and frustrations caused by the people closest to you aren’t a cue for you to just carry them where they want to go, but actually where they need to go

 

What if instead of giving people what they want in the moment, we actually gave them what they needed for life, and maybe that’s what could actually sustain them in life and actually see real life change for good and not just a momentary relief

What happens when helping not only hurts you but them

 

This man is so conditioned to only being helped for a momentary problem that when 2 people come who can help him not with his symptoms but with his condition, he doesn’t look for the solution he looks for something to help him in the moment

 

He notices peter and john going into the temple and asks them for money, a temporary need, and they say“look at us” the man expects a gift, expects money, expects, them to treat him like every other person in the world and just throw some money over to him to alleviate their current feeling of guilt

The church must rise up from a place of putting TEMPORARY importance on issues, only to solve our MOMENTARY feelings of Guilt and moving on with regularly scheduled programs a week later

 

What do you do whenRELIGION carries you to a door that only a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus can open?

 

You start to beg for whatever you can get where you are at..

And that’s what happened to this man

 

He is just looking for anything he can get, where he is at

And this is where a lot ofCHURCH people are.. begging where they are because religion left them at the door

 

We have to give the lost what they don’t even know they want yet, the power of God

And when the world gets to experience the power of God we have to be there for them in the step of faith

 

Notice that in the bible it says

AS HE PULLED THE MAN TO HIS FEET

If the man had stayed down, he would’ve never received his miracle, listen there is faith in the step, there is faith in getting up, and there’s even faith in staying down

Your response reveals where your faith is found

 

If the man had stayed down his faith would’ve been in his circumstance

But by faith he took a step into what relationship with Jesus looks like

Where is your faith today?Because your response to this message won’t dictate it but it will reveal it