Summary: Jesus heals our hurts.
Hungry for Healing
Rev. Brian Bill
January 18-19, 2020
There’s a lot of hurt and pain in our world, and in our church. Many of you came in today piled with problems and heavy with hurt. I don’t know who first said it, but it’s certainly true: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
As a way to get a sense of what people are struggling with, Vikki Huisman, our Communications Director, compiled a word cloud containing prayer requests submitted by the people of EBC for every month of 2019. Let’s flip through them quickly…
Here are the four most prominent requests from this past year:
One topic that brings up a lot of pain and hurt today is abortion. On this Sanctity of Life weekend, we affirm, along with thousands of other churches, that every human being, from conception on, is an image bearer of God, stamped with divine dignity and worthy of protection.
Listen to Psalm 139:13-16: “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
Before I go further, I recognize some of you may be struggling with the after-effects of abortion. We hurt with you and want you to know that no one is cut off from the cleansing power of the Cross. No sin is too big to be forgiven by the grace of God. We’ll talk more about hope and healing at the end of the message.
Since Pregnancy Resources is one of our Go Team partners, I’m delighted to share a report of how God used this ministry of life in 2018…
• Over 1,100 individuals served
• 811 pregnancy tests administered
• 434 ultrasounds
• 910 classes attended
• 79 dads served
• 87 new car seats given
• 514 visits to Bella’s Boutique
• 1,006 spiritual discussions/prayer
• Over 2,000 diaper packages given away for free
• The “Forgiven and Set Free” Bible study was offered
• 307 “No Regrets” presentations given in area schools, reaching over 4,000 students with the message of abstinence and sexual purity
Pregnancy Resources has two locations – one in Davenport and one in Moline. They also have the Mobile Medical Van that travels to different communities. BTW, Edgewood raised over $52,000 several years ago towards the purchase of this van.
As you may know, the Moline center moved to a more visible location near South Park Mall over a year ago (the old Mimzi Building). In this new location, overall visits are up 28%!
Last weekend we tackled a tough text from Acts 5:1-11 and discovered that the fear of God will help us be faithful to God. Today we’ll see from verses 12-16 how Jesus heals our hurts.
I’ve asked Edgewood member Pam White to read our passage for today. Pam is married to Ken and is the director of the Moline Pregnancy Resources center.
Listen to Acts 5:12-16: “Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.”
The Book of Acts gives us various snapshots of the early church that help us see what it was like. I see six descriptions in this passage.
1. A sense of the miraculous. Listen to the first part of verse 12: “Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles…” The first thing to notice is this is an answer to the prayer the apostles prayed back in Acts 4:29-30: “And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
The word for “signs” means a “mark or token” given to point people to God. The word “wonders” has to do with the response to these signs. These signs were done by the “hands of the apostles.” While God’s judgment came out of the mouth of an apostle in the previous passage, now we see how healing and mercy come through the hands of the apostles. I’m reminded of Habakkuk 3:2: “O LORD, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O LORD, do I fear. In the midst of the years revive it; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.”