Summary: a sermon examining the importance of waiting on the Lord.
It is said that Americans are the most time-conscious people in the world. We are always in a hurry. When we get our oil changed it is "quick lube". Our packages are delivered by "Federal Express". Our food is "fast". Our rice only takes 1 minute. Our coffee is "instant". We drive on "expressways". When you need a loan you want "instant approval". Our computers and phones are equipped with "instant messenger". Someone said "Americans are people who shout at their microwave ovens to hurry up".
We don't like delays. Delays are at best inconvenient, most of the time they are irritating and often they are down right infuriating. Think of road construction for a moment. Because of the work the speed limit has been reduced to 35 miles and hour, you are going to the store and it takes 10 minutes longer than normal... that is inconvenient. You are headed to work and the traffic is down to one lane and you are 10 minutes late for work... that is irritating. You are taking the kids to school and traffic is stopped, 5 men are standing around watching one man work and you are 20 minutes behind schedule... that can be infuriating.
On February 12, 2009 David Becony missed a flight from Newark-Liberty International Airport to Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Bad weather had delayed his earlier flight from New Orleans to Newark. This had to be a frustrating situation for Becony. Not only was he late, he was unable to get another flight. Even worse he could not find a hotel room near the airport. As a result he decided to camp out on a seat in the terminal. Becony's frustration turned to relief when he learned that the flight he missed ...Continental Connection Flight 3407 crashed outside Buffalo, and killed all 49 people on board. As he watched television reports on the crash and its fiery aftermath he said "It could have been me," ..."My wife would have been with all those families who had loved ones on the plane". He later proclaimed "I'm still in shock, really,"...."God was looking over me."
Many times we allow delays to ruin our day. But if we knew what we may have encountered if we had been on time we would be eternally grateful. Have you ever called on the Lord to move in your life and He did not respond when or how you wanted Him to? Perhaps this caused you to be angry, frustrated and even doubtful.
Our selected text covers the story of a man who was lame from birth. When other babies took their first steps he did not. When the other kids were running and playing he could not. When the teenagers began to work in the fields he was not able to help. And as a grown man he could not do what was needed to support himself. Because of his condition, he was a poor beggar who sat at the gate of the temple and asked for "alms" of those who passed by. But one great day he encountered two men who would point him to the One who would change his life forever!
Most of you have seen the commercial for J.G Wentworth where the people yell "It's my money and I want it now! Many times this is how we pray! We find ourselves in need of a miracle and like spoiled children we tell the Lord "it is my miracle and I want it now!! It doesn't take long to learn that regardless of our impatience, the Lord moves in His own way and in His own time! I hope that through this message we will see the importance of waiting on the Lord. As we consider the story of this lame man I want to preach on the thought... "Delayed Miracles". Look with me to verses 1- as we see that:
I. You May Request A Miracle Today - Everyone here has needs, wants and desires. But there are some who seek a mighty move of God. We encounter those situations that are so severe that it is clear that God is our only hope! For those who are in that situation today....
A. There Is A Desire - v1 ¶Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. 2 And 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; 3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
As Peter and John approach the temple, they encounter a man with a certain request. He asked them for "an alms". This is defined as money or food given to poor people. This was a simple request and it was how he spent each day of his life. But it is safe to assume that this man possessed a much greater desire. He had condition that prevented him from walking. He was unable to live as others lived and to do what other did. Being lame was an issue that greatly impacted his life.