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Do You See Me Sitting Here?

(197)

Sermon shared by Aaron Burgess

August 2002
Summary: This sermon was preached at a combined service of two churches (Oak Hills Christian and Bridgetown Church of Christ). It looks at what Peter and John did in Acts 3 and how we are called to do the same to the "crippled" people in our lives.
Denomination: Independent/Bible
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
Do You See Me Sitting Here?
Acts 3:1-10

Chuck Swindoll tells about a man who went to see a psychiatrist because he was extremely depressed. The psychiatrist just could not get him to snap out of it. So he said to the man, “Tonight I want you to go to the circus in town because they have a clown named the Great Rinaldi, he is the funniest clown I have ever seen. Whenever I go to see the Great Rinaldi it always lifts my spirits.” The man responded. “You don’t understand doctor, I am the Great Rinaldi.”

This world is full of Great Rinaldis, who are empty. They are desperate and can find no relief not even in the comedy of a clown. They may put on masks of happiness, to appear fine to everyone, but when they return to their homes at night they cry themselves to sleep because their life is pointless and they long to find something in life to make them happy and give them a sense of meaning. They look at their lives and wonder what it is all about. Life must have more to offer me than this, they say.

Billy Joel in his hit song Piano Man examines all the miserable people who come into his bar and it’s his job to help them forget about life for awhile. You know, this culture is full of miserable people who would like to forget about life forever.

God has given us the responsibility as Christians and as churches to reach these hurting people. The church above all else is a place for people who have problems. The church was designed for the single mother who works two jobs to support her kids. Church is for the drug addict who can’t stop his habit. Church is for the man who can’t stay away from pornography on the internet. Church is for the young person who struggles with self esteem. The church is for the young couple who lives together and doesn’t know its not the best way to build a home. The church is for the alcoholic who is ready to admit he needs help. Ezekiel 34:16 instructs, “Search for the lost, bring back those that stray away, put bandages on those that are hurt, and make the weak strong."

But you know the problem with so many of our churches is that we often pass by the hurting souls in our world and ignore them and in doing so we miss an amazing opportunity to lead them to Christ. Because it is often hurting souls that make the best converts to Christ. They are broken and they have nowhere to turn and Jesus is the visible answer to their predicament. We need to be perceptive enough as Christians to notice the hurt in people and give them what they need and that is Jesus.

I. THE EXPOSITION
In Acts chapter 3 we read a hurting soul that was brought into the church. Acts 3 is an account of a crippled beggar who Peter and John, two disciples met one day outside the temple in Jerusalem. This beggar was hurting deeply. He had sat near the temple everyday and no one noticed him sitting there? To me this crippled beggar represents exactly the kind of person the church is trying to reach. Those who have been crippled by life’s circumstances. From this story I think we can learn some valuable lessons about how to minister to those people around our churches who are hurting like this crippled beggar. Acts 3:1.

Verse 1, “One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer at three in the afternoon.” Let’s stop here and keep in mind that this is at the beginning of the church and so
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