Sermons

Summary: Even though you may feel low, a brakthrough is always within reach.

REACH FOR THE SKY?

ACTS 28:11-16

RAGNAR ARLANDER WAS AN AUTHOR…….AND FOR MONTHS HE AND SOME FRIENDS DECIDED TO SCALE MT. RAINIER…..

WHEN THEY REACHED THE PLATEAU…..THE GROUP DECIDED THEY HAD GONE FAR ENOUGH….

THEY HAD REACHED A BEAUTIFUL SPOT AND THEY WANTED TO STAY THERE.

BUT ARLANDER DECIDED TO KEEP GOING……AND CATCH UP WITH ONE OF HIS FRIENDS THAT HAD GONE FURTHER……

IT WAS NO TOO LONG BEFORE ARLANDER CAUGHT UP WITH HIS FRIEND…..JUST SITTING DOWN AND RESTING….

BUT HE WAS LOOKING AND A BEAUTIFUL SITE….HE WAS GAZING AT A TREMENDOUS…BEAUTIFUL GLACIER,

THE SCENERY AT THIS SPOT WAS MUCH BETTER THAN THE ONE WHERE HIS FRIENDS HAD DECIDED TO STOP.

NOW THE FRIEND WAS GETTING READY TO GET UP AND HEAD BACK….

HE THOUGHT HE HAD SEEN IT ALL…..BUT WHEN HE SAW ARLANDER APPROACHING…HE JUMPED UP AND SAID…..SINCE YOU’VE COME…LET’S GO HIGHER….

AND THEY DID…AND THEY SAW AN EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL SIGHT THAN THEY HAD BEFORE.

AND THAT’S THE EXPERIENCE THAT PAUL HAD WHEN HE WAS TRAVELING TO ROME…

HE MET SOME FELLOW BELIEVERS…AND AS IT SAYS IN VERSE 15.…

“…..WHEN PAUL SAW THEM, HE THANKED GOD AND TOOK COURAGE.”

AND THAT IS HOW WE SHOULD BE.

WHEN YOU HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH BELIEVERS….YOU GAIN STRENGTH.

YOU’VE HEARD THE TERM “STRENGTH IN NUMBERS.”?

IT’S TRUE…..WHEN YOU HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRISTIANS……IT MAKES IT EASIER TO GET THROUGH THE OTHER SIDE WHEN YOU HAVE TO CROSS TROUBLE.

YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY HELP YOU THROUGH.

WHY CAN THEY DO IT?

BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE LOVE OF OUR HEAVINLY FATHER.

THEY HAVE THE STRENGTH OF CHRIST TO GET THEM THROUGH….AND SO DO YOU.

MORE TIMES THAN NOT…THEY HAVE PROBABLY BEEN IN THE SAME BOAT AS YOU.

I KNOW JESUS HAS.

NOW YOU SAY, COME ON……I JUST LOST MY FATHER…..JESUS STILL HAS HIS…..

NOT HIS EARTHLY FATHER….JOSEPH DIED WHILE JESUS WAS ALIVE…

YOUR EARTHLY FATHER MAY BE GONE….BUT JUST LIKE JESUS…YOUR SUPER-NATURAL…HEAVENLY FATHER IS STILL TAKING CARE OF YOU.

JESUS LOST A LOVED ONE TOO….

JOHN THE BAPTIST WAS BE-HEADED….

LAZARUS…..JESUS CRIED WHEN HE HEARD THAT HIS FRIEND LAZARUS WAS DEAD.

HE EVEN BECAME ANGRY…..JOHN 11:33 “….A DEEP ANGER WELDED UP WITHIN HIM.”

BUT JESUS YOU SAY…”JESUS RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD.”

YOU KNOW WHAT…..EVERYONE GETS RAISED FROM THE DEAD….THE QUESTION IS WHER DO THEY END UP?

WELL, THAT ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT WE RECEIVE….

JOHN WESLEY SAID: “ RECEIVE EVERY INWARD AND OUTWARD TROUBLE…EVERY DISAPPOINTMENT…PAIN…UNEASINESS… TEMPTATION…DARKNESS….AND DESOLATION WITH BOTH HANDS….

…..AS A TRUE OPPORTUNITY AND BLESSED OCCASION OF DYING TO SELF AND ENTERING INTO A FULLER FELLOWSHIP…WITH THY SELF-DENYING…SUFFERING SAVIOR.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN….?

THAT MEANS WE HAVE TO GO THROUGH TROUBLES TO GET CLOSER TO THE MAN UPSTAIRS.

HIS SON WENT THROUGH IT ALL FIRST……SO WE COULD HANDLE OURS AND COME OUT ON THE OTHERSIDE IN VICTORY.

NOW YOU MAY BE SAYING…“JESUS NEVER HAD A MEAN BROTHER.”

MAYBE NOT…BUT HE HAD A JUDAS…..

YOU SAY “PEOPLE ALWAYS ARE MAKING FUN OF ME AND PICKING ON ME AT SCHOOL“….OR….”WHEN I WAS GROWING UP, THE OTHER KIDS AT SCHOOL WERE ALWAYS TEASING ME…BEING BULLIES.”

ONE DAY PEOPLE WERE HAPPY THAT JESUS CAME TO THEIR CITY….A FEW DAYS LATER…THOSE SAME PEOPLE WERE SCREAMING FOR HIS DEATH….HIS CRUCIFIXION….

THE SPAT ON HIM….WHIPPED HIM…THREW ROCKS AT HIM…CURSED HIM…AND HIS FAMILY….

THEY THREATENED THE LIFE OF HIS BROTHERS IN MINISTRY…HIS DECIPILES….

BUT JESUS WENT THROUGH IT FIRST.

IM ALWAYS BEING PRESSURED TO DO THINGS FROM MY FRIENDS…IT’S NOT EASY.

THE DEVIL TEMPTED JESUS……

THE FACT IS…..THERE IS NOTHING THAT YOU CAN COME UP WITH….THAT JESUS DIDN’T GO THROUGH FIRST.

WITH THE EXCEPTION OF SIN.

HE WAS PERFECT….BUT GOD KNEW THAT WE COULD NEVER BE…

SO THAT IS WHY…JESUS…WENT THROUGH IT FIRST…

HE DIDN’T WANT YOU TO GO THROUGH THE THINGS YOU DO ON YOUR OWN.

HE WANTED YOU TO KNOW……THAT YOU WERE MADE TO BE BETTER…AND BETTER OFF…THAN WHAT YOU ARE NOW.

SO YOU SAY…”SHAWN….I LIVE A GOOD LIFE…I’M KIND…DO GOOD…BUT I JUST DON’T FEEL LIKE GOD LISTENS TO ME.”

WELL…HAVE YOU TRIED LISTENING TO HIM? REALLY TRIED.

KIRK CAMERON…OF THE TV SHOW….THE WAY OF THE MASTER…. SAID: “I THANK GOD THAT I AM SAVED BY THE GRACE ALONE. “

KIRK KNOWS THAT AS HUMANS…WE CANNOT GUARANTEE ANYTHING…ESPECIALLY TRUE HAPPINESS…WITH-OUT THE LOVING SAVING GRACE BY GOD…AND GOD ALONE.

SCRIPTURE SAYS IN TITUS 3:5 “NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH WE HAVE DONE, BUT ACCORDING TO HIS MERCY…HE SAVED US.”

NOW THAT…IS A LOVING GOD.

A GOD WHO WANTS YOU TO PROSPER…A GOD WHO SAYS…I DIDN’T MAKE YOU TO FEEL DEPRESSED.

I DIDN’T DESIGN YOU TO FEEL LIKE THE WHOLE WORLD IS AGAINST YOU.

I DIDN’T CREATE YOU TO “JUST GET BY”

MY PLANS FOR YOU ARE NOT TO BE ALONE….NOT TO BE DISCOURAGED WHEN TROUBLE COMES.

MY PLANS FOR YOU ARE TO BE GREAT.

WHEN I WAS YOUNGER…I HAD A HONDA CIVIC…

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