The struggle for Potential Pt 1
This is my last day in this mess
Synopsis of Sermon 110109
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
Acts 3:1-11: 1Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. 2And 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; 3Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. 4And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 5And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 6Then 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. 7And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 9And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 10And 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. 11And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.
One thing that we never take for granted is the enormous issues that people bring to church week after week. You would be surprised to know what the person on your row or the person reading this is dealing with. Bishop explains when he wrote the book “Life between Sundays” it was his way of saying that he to discover in a very personal way all the pain and baggage that people show up with each week. We don’t take it for granted. With all the issues we show up with, it is a miracle that we made it here today. We find ourselves in situations and we wonder is today the day our circumstances will turn around. Life will go in a completely different direction than you anticipated sometimes. You will be glad to know that nothing can prevent what God has for your life from happening. No matter how tired you have become, when it is your time, you will see that God has already orchestrated things on your behalf to make room for your miracle. The enemy does not have the last word on your situation. Many pass you by not knowing what God is going to do for your life. God has a way of honoring people who do all they can do. Sometimes when you do all you can do, God steps in and says he will do what you cannot do. The good news is that you didn’t let it break your spirit. It didn’t cause you to give up on life. You just kept showing up. You were frustrated, you kept showing up in your routine hoping that this may be the day that something happens on your behalf. God is sending this word to tell you know that this will be your last day in your mess!
There was man in the text that was lame from his mother’s womb. This means that he never walked nor played with his friends. He did not know what it was like to have normal activity. This man in other words, found himself in an unusual predicament.
I. Unusual predicament
1. They would put this lame man by the gate so he could beg for alms. This meant that the lame man became dependant on people.
2. He has a condition of lameness. He is not moving at the pace he was designed to move. Just like this lame man, even though we are attending church, many of us have been lame.
3. Types of Lameness:
a. We have become lame financially -We have more debt than money. We can’t do what we are supposed to, because we have allowed our finances to cripple our ability to help in the kingdom.
b. We have become lame relationally -Lameness can show up in our relationships. Everyone we meet, the relationship never goes anywhere. We keep meeting knuckle heads or the right kind of women. We wonder why we are not married yet.
c. We have become lame vocationally- We wonder why our job isn’t taking off? We wonder why business not taking off. Where is my clientele?
d. We have become lame spiritually-We don’t feel a connection with God. I can’t pray like I used to
4. When you are lame you become codependent on people taking care of you. We want you to know that Lameness is not the way that this thing will end up. Like the lame man, after reading this sermon, you will get up running, leaping, and praising God.
5. The lame man is in a conflictional situation. He is at the gate called Beautiful. He is in the second temple; the first being the one Solomon built that was destroyed. This second temple was 5 football fields long. There was a particular gate that the women went through, because they were not allowed through certain parts of the temple. This gate was called Beautiful. Even the early Christians, still held to Jewish principles at this time and it was customary to go to temple at the 6th and 9th hour. Because they started their count at 6am, the 6th hr was 12am and 3pm was the 9th hour. Here is this man standing at the gate called Beautiful begging for alms (feeling inadequate or ugly). Have you ever been where everything around you beautiful, but you were feeling ugly or inadequate inside? Ex-Many of us have had a job that was beautiful. We liked it, but the atmosphere was so ugly or so negative that we couldn’t stand it. Maybe you have had a job that you liked, but the boss just didn’t you. In other words, everything around us is good, but we don’t feel good on the inside.
6. Lessons we can get out of this:
a. The lame man settled to live beneath his potential. Your destiny is never to be in the hands of others to take care of you. Your destiny is not to have your hands out. Your destiny is having your hands up giving honor to God.
b. People will let you down, but God is able to handle everything that we need!
c. He is a lame man. In the scripture, the lame man is not named, but instead defined by his situation. You have to know who you are. You are a royal priest hood. You are the head and not the tail. You will not let your situation define you. This lame man has a unique plight.
II. Unique plight
1. God has a way to engage us to get us away from our low place. The job of church is to bring about the work of Jesus Christ. You don’t’ have to put up with this mess another day. Acts 3:3: 3Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
2. God is going to position you for some unusual encounters. Here are two preachers that are fresh from a Pentecostal experience. Acts 2:1: 1And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. Many signs and wonders had already begun to be witnessed. Acts 2:43: 43And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
3. All his life, the lame man held his head down and his cup up. When Peter and John came, they said look on us!
It is about:
a. Our posture-Look like what you are going to, not what you are going through! You got to start positioning yourself to receive. Look up!
b. Our potential-Peter and John said look on them, because what he was about to see was something positive happen.
c. Our Positive-What will people see when they look on you? There ought to be something about you that people can look on and get encouragement. People need to be able to look on you and see that we are someone that can tell them how to make it through a storm.
4. The reason he looked up, he thought he was going to get what he had always gotten. You are not going to get what you have always gotten. Something new is about to happen. Acts 3:5: 5And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.-
5. This was the first time; someone anointed was willing to engage this man. Everyone else would just drop a coin into his cup and keep going. Acts 3:6: 6Then 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. Ex-Bishop explained that he preached somewhere recently and a Deacon testified that he would go by a church and beg and he would get about 20 dollars worth of coins and as a result, he was able to keep his crack habit going because of church folk. Nobody wanted to engage him, so they would pacify him with money and as a result, his issue was not addressed and it was funded by church folk.
6. Peter and John were penniless but they were not powerless preachers. They had just returned from a Pentecostal Experience. Acts 1:8: 8But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
7. Often we think folk need coins. Instead they need Christ. What God has for you, money cannot buy. We got too many people talking about what they don’t have, which is minimizing their relationship with Christ, because they don’t realize what they have in a relationship with God. You have the authority to speak stuff and it will happen in his Jesus’ name. He has enough power in his name to heal your situation and what you are going through. He has several names that illustrate his power in our situations.
JEHOVAH-JIREH: “The Lord will Provide.” Gen. 22:14.
JEHOVAH-SHALOM: “The Lord Our Peace” Judges 6:24.
EHOVAH-NISSI: “The Lord Our Banner.” Ex. 17:15.
EL SHADDAI: God Almighty or “God All Sufficient.” Gen. 17:1, 2.
9. Like verse 6 in the text says, Get up and do what you never did before in the name of Jesus. When something like this happens in your life, it will create an unorthodox praise. Acts 3:6: 6Then 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.
III. Unorthodox praise
1. Acts 3 was the beginning after the manifestation of the Holy Ghost in Acts 2. As a result of this miracle, the persecution of Christians really jumped off. When you empower people to quit being lame, that’s when persecution will really increase.
2. Understand how to stay attached to the anointing. Acts 3:7: 7And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. You can speak it all day (referring to when they told him to rise and walk in verse 6), but faith without works is dead. After he spoke it, Peter stuck his hand out and said take me by the hand!
The exchange is: Peter reached down to the man and the man reached up. Remember Peter was trying to walk on the water one time and when he took his eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink. Jesus took him by the hand and pulled him up. There is something about agreement or exchange (in this case reaching for Jesus and Jesus reaching back for you).
3. Immediately! There is something about touching and agreeing. The lame man was still down, but he knew something had changed, because when Peter told him to take his hand, he told him to rise. In verse 8, we see the man leaped up. Acts 3:8: 8And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. – When you been down all your life and it your time to get up, you are coming up leaping! The lame man leaped up, walked, and entered the temple walking and leaping and praising God!
a. The walking is for our haters, because they said we would never do this.
b. The leaping is for us.
c. Praise is for us and to show the world that God is good.
4. This is really about the power in the name of Jesus. Remember in Acts 1:8, they were going to receive power from the Holy Ghost Acts 1:8: 8But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.; Acts 2:1: 1And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. – The Holy Ghost came in Acts 3, because we needed a manifestation. Jesus said he was not going to leave us powerless. If we come out, we need to know about the power in the name of Jesus.
5. We met a man in the text that was begging and people are dropping coins in his cup. Peter and .John are coming from a Pentecostal Experience. When the lame guy asked for alms from Peter and John, they say they don’t have silver or gold. They say that the lame man is going to get something different from them. They say get up and walk. He gets up walking and leaping and entered into the temple!
6. In verse 9, when the lame man walked into the temple, all the people saw him. What people saw him? It was the people that passed him up when he was begging for alms. Acts 3:9: 9And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
7. They knew it was him, because they used to talk about him as they passed. Acts 3:10: 10And 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.
8. The lame man kept hold of Peter and John. Acts 3:11: 11And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering – The lame man wasn’t about to let go of that anointing! The power of Jesus cannot be localized to just the temple. Look at the text and notice that the lame man was at the gate outside the temple, before he was healed. We have localized the power to just the inside, but Jesus has power on the outside as well. Look at him. Look at him as the lame man is walking after being healed. His healing happened on the outside. Jesus feeds 5000 and it happened on the outside. Guess where the woman with issue of blood got healed? It was on the outside! 10 leapers got healed where? Yes it was on the outside? God doesn’t just have power inside. When the lame man got healed on the outside, he came on the inside. When God shows out on outside, you ought to tell folk on the inside!