Summary: We need to take the month of Jan and pray for a great out pouring of God’s Healing Power to those who need “healing.” This healing encompasses physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and even healings in relationships. The relationships are between us and

Sermon 12 in 2012

Introduction: The new theme and or vision for 2012 for Christian Hills is “12 in 2012.”

Questions: The first question that races across your mind may be this: “12 what in this year of 2012?”

Well most of you know that the year is broken up into 12 months. My mind reflects on my recent message on how important it is for us to allow the River of Life to flow through our church, our lives, our families and our communities this year. We need to make sure that we do not erect dams that hold back the flow of the River of Life.

If we have erected dams that are hindering the flow of the Spirit we need to choose to tear them down. We need to commit to allow God’s healing water to flow through us to heal us and transform our surroundings.

To me one dimension of the 12 has to do with the 12 months – 12 healings or 12 mile markers for the year. Let’s read the passage in Revelation 22:1-7 again:

Revelation 22:1-7: Reminds me of this truth about the River of Life and of God and of the Lamb’s Throne in Heaven: Please read along with me in your Bible’s:

The River of Life:

1Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb

2down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

3No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.

4They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.

5There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever.

6The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”

Jesus Is Coming

7“Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.”

This Scripture text reminds us of what Heaven – the New Jerusalem will be like but it also gives us a glimpse of Heaven today – it tells us that there is a Throne which belongs to God and the Lamb. From this Throne we see life flowing out from it – this life is symbolized by John as the river – the water - and it flows through the Tree of Life – this water’s life giving power comes from the Throne of God and the Lamb. It flows through this Life Giving Tree and it produces life and it produces a crop or a fruit – one crop per month – this fruit which is produced brings healing to the nations- to the people groups of this world. I see the number 12 revealed in this passage of Scripture – as 12 crops – 12 months – or 12 mile markers - pinnacle moments of healing to those who eat of this divine spiritual harvest.

As I have repeatedly and prayerfully read through this text I keep getting a sense in my heart that this New Year 2012 will be a mile marker year for Christian Hills Church and for our community.

I see from our text how the River of Life and the Tree of Life bring healing to the nations – in a sense to the people of God and yes even to this community here in the Southwest Suburbs of Chicago.

In this vision from John through the Spirit he sees the Tree of life bearing 12 crops one each month for the sole purpose of bringing healing to the nations.

There is that pivotal word – or pivotal action from God for anyone who has been hurt, sick or wounded – the action word is “Healing!”

Application to the Congregation: How many here today need some type of healing in your life, your family’s life, your work place, your school, your community and yes even your church?

Have them respond with a show of hands. Have them fill out index cards if they have not already done so.

This word “healing” is the Greek word “ther-ap-i’-ah or therapeuō – The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament defines the Greek word usage and meaning this way:

A much more common use is for "healing," not merely in the sense of medical treatment, but in the sense of the real healing that the Messiah brings. Jesus has power to heal the sick (Lk 7:21ff.). This is no less a part of his ministry than preaching (Mk 4:23). No sickness can resist him. He heals many (Mk 3:10) or all (Mt 12:15), whether they be ill, lame, blind, maimed, or deaf and dumb, and whenever the need arises even though it be on the Sabbath (Mt 12:10 etc.). Driving out demons is one form of healing. This is done by the word in what is sometimes a violent struggle (cf. Lk 4:40-41; Mk 3:10-11). The word also cures ailments or defects, though Jesus will often touch the sick (Mk 1:41), take their hand (1:31), lay on hands (5:23), or perform acts like those of doctors (7:33; cf. Jms 5:14). The sick may simply touch him or his garment (Mk 3:10; 5:28; cf. Peter’s shadow in Ac 5:15 and Paul’s clothing in Ac 19:12). The healing is total as Jesus, initiating the age of salvation, takes away the sicknesses of the people (Mt 8:17; cf. Isa 53:4). The actual processes may have parallels in Greek and Jewish records, but the important point is the demonstration that with Jesus God’s kingdom has already broken into our suffering world. The real miracle, then, is not the breaking of natural law but victory in the conflict for world mastery. Following up this victory, Jesus commands his disciples to heal the sick. The command itself, received in faith, grants them the power (Mt 10:1 etc.). The risen Lord repeats the commission, and in Jesus’ name the apostles heal the sick and demon-possessed (Ac 5:16; cf. Peter in Ac 3:1 ff., Philip in Ac 8:7, Paul in Ac 28:8-9). Healing may be blocked, however, by a false attitude: skepticism in Nazareth (Lk 4:23; Mk 6:5), and the weak faith of the disciples in the case of the epileptic boy (Mt 17:14ff.).

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