Summary: Don’t settle just to be in the Lord’s presence reach out for His power.
May 6, 2001
Sand Flat Baptist Church
“From an Awful to a God-full Life”
A lady who had a small house on the seashore of Ireland at the turn of the century was quite wealthy but also quite frugal. The people were surprised, then, when she decided to be among the first to have electricity in her home. Several weeks after the installation, a meter reader appeared at her door. He asked if her electricity was working well, and she assured him it was. “I’m wondering if you can explain something to me,” he said. “Your meter shows scarcely any usage. Are you using your power?” “Certainly,” she answered. “Each evening when the sun sets, I turn on my lights just long enough to light my candles; then I turn them off.”
She’s tapped into the power but doesn’t use it. Her house is connected but not altered. Don’t we make the same mistake? We, too-with our souls saved but our hearts unchanged – are connected but not altered. Trusting Christ for salvation but resisting transformation. We occasionally flip the switch, but most of the time we settle for shadows. (“Just Like Jesus”; Max Lucado)
10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
What does “have it to the full” mean? I think I can come closer to explaining what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean we’ll never have any problems, or that we’ll always be happy, or feel good, or even act right. It doesn’t necessarily mean we will have a busy life full of activities. Then what does Jesus mean by “full life”? It’s a life full of God. To some of us that seems impossible. Our lives are full of worries, hassles, distractions, deadlines, and angry people. A life full of God seems like something just for monks in a distant monastery somewhere in the secluded mountains of some foreign country. How can I in the middle of my hectic life that’s already too full have a life full of God? I mean that’s just for preachers and retired folks who aren’t busy like me.
1. It’s the location of your heart not your body. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. (v24)
8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. NIV
a) The kingdom of God is not a physical place, but it’s a spiritual realm. The kingdom of God is the place where God rules. If God rules your heart, then that’s were you find the kingdom of God, in your heart.
2. It’s for those who desire it, not deserve it. (v.25-28)
a). She had been an outcast for twelve years. Unable to touch her husband, to bear children, anything she touched was considered unclean, and she was not allowed to enter the temple. Her situation was real, we don’t know her name, but don’t think of this as just some fairy tail this is history, it really happened.
b). She had exhausted all of resources (money, emotions, and all her human efforts) and only got worse. At the end of her rope she lived a life that no one wanted. When she heard of Jesus, she thought of making a last ditch effort for help. Maybe someone here this morning is giving church, or God, or religion one more try.
c.) Only one thing stood between her and Jesus, a crowd. A crowd of clean people, whole people, who didn’t understand her suffering. They didn’t know what it was like to be “unclean”. Many people have gone to church in need of a touch from the savior only to find a crowd of “good” people.
3. It’s for those who seek not only His presence but also His power. (v. 29-34)
a). (v. 30) The power went out of Jesus before He knew what happened. The power left automatically and instantaneously. The power of God is always available to anyone who reaches out in faith.
b). (v. 31) The disciples are dumbfounded by Jesus’ question. It’s more like, who didn’t touch you? But of all the people who were in His presence only one reached out for His power. Was she the only one who needed a touch from Jesus?
Illustration: Help me to realize that it was not the healthy who reached out to you. They bunched up in crowds, but it was those who suffered greatly who reached out to grasp you. It was the people in the streets, not in the sitting rooms of society that groped for your garment. It was needy people. People with out stretched arms. People with empty hands. People who had nothing to offer but the faith that you could make them whole. I confess, O Lord, how often I have followed in the crowd pressed around you. Yet how few times have those brushes with you changed my life? I have touched you, but only in the rush hour of religious activity. Sunday after Sunday I take my part in the crowd as I sit through the service. I sing the hymns, hear the sermon. I read my Bible, say my prayers, give my money. I attend the right seminars, tune in to the right programs, read the right books. How could I be so close your presence yet so far from your power? Could it be that my arms are folded? Could it be that my hands are full? I pray that if my arms are complacent, you would unfold them in outstretched longing for you. And if my hands are full, I pray that you would empty them so that I might cling only to you. (“Intimate Moments with the Savior”; Ken Gire)