Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Asks and then Answers the question.

“Now What Do I Do?”

February 25, 2007

Have you ever been in a situation where you asked yourself, “What do I do now?” I think that was just the situation that Sandy found herself in last week when she found herself hanging upside down in a turned over car. She couldn’t get the seatbelt unlatched. Frank was lying on the bottom of the car with Zeus, all 160 pounds, lying on top of him. They were both probably asking themselves, “What do I do now?” Zeus, poor dog, probably was also thinking, “What’s WRONG with you people!”

That question, “Now What Do I Do?” is a pretty common question. We all ask ourselves it pretty often. If we don’t – we should! Sometimes it’s pretty traumatic – like when we lose our job or can’t pay our bills or a relationship falls apart. Who wouldn’t ask, “Now what do I do?” Mostly we ask ourselves that question when we come to an end of something or when we don’t know what to do next. Julie probably gets tired of hearing that question in her art classes. “I did this – NOW what do I do?”

Sometimes if you don’t ask the question it indicates that you just don’t care or that you are lazy or irresponsible. If nothing else, asking “What do I do now?” shows that you are motivated and you are thinking.

This morning I want to share some situations where people in the Bible probably asked that question and then how it was answered. Maybe as we think about it we may find some direction for our own lives.

The first situation is found in Mark 1:29-31. The Bible says,

“As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.”

Can you visualize the situation here? Jesus and the disciples were at church. Following the service, Peter, being impetuous and so spontaneous, probably invited the whole gang home, not even considering his sick mother-in-law. I don’t know where Peter’s wife was, but either she wasn’t help enough or she went visiting when she saw the gang coming. Maybe Jesus got there and Peter didn’t know that mom was sick in bed with a fever. Whatever the reason, Jesus was told about it. Being a man of action and one who met needs, Jesus went to the poor sick woman, took her hand, and helped her up.

I think it is interesting that nothing happened up to this point. But when the woman responded in obedience to Jesus and even though she was sick she struggled to get up as Jesus suggested to her – and it was then and only then that the fever left her.

There is a little lesson here, isn’t there? Sometimes Jesus asks us to do things we really don’t feel like doing. Sometimes we really aren’t capable of doing as He asks. But if we will obey in faith, He will take care of the rest. That’s how it was when He called me to preach. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have the ability to speak publicly. I wasn’t educated. No one would listen to me. I didn’t realize that Jesus doesn’t call the equipped – He equips the called. When I responded in obedience – He prepared me and equipped me and educated me. And now – John may not be listening – but most of you are!

The point is that if Jesus is asking you to do something – or to stop doing something – you will never do it; you will never find healing and help until you respond in faith and obedience.

But that’s not the lesson I wanted to originally get from this incident in the life of Jesus. What I wanted you to get was Peter’s mother-in-law’s question when she was healed. Picture the situation again. Mom’s sick in bed, Jesus heals her. She stands up – fever gone- feeling fantastic! You know she was! Jesus heals completely. And as she stands, she asks herself, or maybe even asks Jesus, “Now what do I do?”

The answer is simple. You are healed to help. You are saved to serve. She got up and began to wait on those men. Begrudgingly? Angrily? With a bitter attitude? No, I don’t think so. I think it was with joy. I think she had an energy she never experienced before. I think she felt privileged to serve.

What’s the lesson for you and me? Maybe one lesson is that we are healed to help. Someone said that most Churches are like football games. There are 100,000 overweight, lazy, fans watching 22 exhausted men doing all the work. I think it would be wonderful if we had 22 overworked people, don’t you? The fact of the matter is that each one of us is given gifts and abilities to use for the Lord. Every day you and I ought to be using our talents for building the Kingdom. Jesus taught that truth in Matthew 25 in the parable of the talents. He revealed that it will not go well for the one who doesn’t use what he has been given – but the one who uses whatever ability he has will be wonderfully blessed. We will be given even more responsibility. We will experience the joy of the Lord like we can’t even imagine. Let me say it again as clearly as I can. You are healed to help. It’s not about you. It’s about Jesus. It’s not about your will – it’s about the Lord’s will. It’s not about life pleasing you – it’s about you living your life to please the Lord. And if you will respond in faith, I promise you, you will experience more joy; more reward; more living; than you ever dreamed of.

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