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Friday, October 15, 2010

Peter Acts on Faith

Okay--here it is, Pastor Shim's sermon from October 3. Sorry it took so long to post.
A little girl was confused by something the preacher said, so she asked her father, “Is it true that God is bigger than we are?”
Her father answered, “Yes.”
“But the pastor said God lives in our hearts. Is that true, too?”
“Yes, that’s true, too.”
The little girl scratched her head. “Then, shouldn’t God show through us?”
Boy, talk about “out of the mouths of babies!” How does God show through your life?
Peter and John were on their way to their prayers in the Temple, entering in by the gate called Beautiful. A cripple sat by the gate, begging for coins. The man was well known to the people there—he’d been begging in the same place for 40 years. Peter told the man, “We don’t have any coins to give you.”
That should have been the end of the story. When people have nothing to give a beggar (or when they don’t want to give anything to one), they just pass the beggars by. No words or actions are necessary. Just ignore the beggar and he will tackle the next person in line.
But Peter went on, “But such as I have, I will give you.” He grabbed the man’s hand. “I order you in the Name of Jesus of Nazareth to rise and walk.” Peter never stopped to think if he might be embarrassed in front of the crowd there if the man didn’t walk. He didn’t ask the guy quietly, politely, to avoid a scene. He didn’t wonder if the crippled man had enough faith for this healing. And the man did rise up and walk. In fact, he not only rose and walked, he jumped. Acts 3:1-6 describes his action as walking and leaping. Peter gave the cripple something better than money.
While Pastor Shim and his wife Misrak were on vacation, he was sitting next to a woman at dinner who asked him what he did for a living. He of course told her he was a pastor, and he asked her if she attended church. She said no, that she’d given up on God, but that she went to a meeting every week with a group of agnostics, atheists, and Christians. Pastor Shim told her a story.
When C.S. Lewis was a boy, his mother died of cancer. He had prayed for her fervently and with faith, but his mother died anyway. He gave up on God. Then, when he was 34 years old, he met a lady from America. They fell in love, and then she got cancer. He decided to marry her so that she would know she was loved. Her cancer went into remission, and C.S. Lewis’s faith in God was restored.
Have you ever noticed that, during pleasure, God’s voice is a whisper, but when we are in distress, God’s voice is loud?
Shim told his dining companion that she might have given up on God, but that God had not given up on her. After that, every time he saw her, she was all smiles.
The Book of Acts talked about huge conversions—5,000 people at one time, 3,000 people at another one. Wouldn’t it be nice if that would happen in Willows, in California, in the U.S.?
People talk about giving up on God because someone wasn’t healed when they asked Him. Do we give up on doctors because our loved ones don’t get well or even die? Or do doctors give up on us because we are sick and we ask them to heal us?
God has refreshment for your soul. Things go wrong in your life, but God has a surprise for you. We have God’s power of attorney to act in His Name—to ask for healing for ourselves or others.
Michael Green told a story about a little girl who was very sick and another girl who was Christian. Every night, the Christian girl would go to the sick girl’s room and minister to her, taking care of her. The sick girl asked her why she was so kind, and the Christian girl said because God is kind to us.
God is just waiting for us to say, “God, can you do this for me?” He is ready to heal us spiritually, emotionally, or physically.
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