Summary: This sermon isd about realizing you are in the front row witnessing a miracle, what God is doing right in front of you!
Today’s text is a story about some of the miraculous healing of Jesus. Peter’s mother-in-law is laying sick with a high fever. Little to no medical care was available. And then Jesus begins healing, one after another, speaking only a word many were cured of illness of all sorts. Three things I want to say about this text:
1. Be present with Jesus – Mary was at the feet of Jesus (Remember he said she had "chosen the better part"). Know that Jesus is with you, and that you are with Jesus. Recently I went night fishing with a friend at lake O.H. Ivy. It is a man made lake, and in places tree tops still extend in thirty to forty feet of water. In the middle of the night, a storm came up….
Trying to beat the storm we raced, and I mean raced, back towards the boat dock, mostly we could see the lake and any obstacles because of the moonlight in front of us, though dark clouds were moving in fast behind us. Lightning in our rear view. Some small rain drops beginning to fall on us as we were just on the front edge of the quick moving clouds. Normally you would travel slow and illuminating the water with some sort of latern or flashlight.
It looked like we had outrun the storm. The light of the boat dock was now in the distance was we were firmly on that side of the lake. My friend said, "Let's try and fish a few minutes ahead of the storm". We no sooner cast our lines when the temperature plummetted. Rain began heavily pelting us. The waters turned choppy. We could no longer see the moonlight illuminating our path and we could barely see the light at the boat dock. We struggled to raise the canopy top on the boat. Reeled in our lines, started the engine and away we went with me holding the light to try and illuminate our path. My friend, driving the boat was going way to fast, but necessary as the waves were pushing us away from the boat dock, when "WHAM!" we hit a tree ripping the canopy and tossing it and its mangled frame into the water behind us. The engine stalled. I wasn't sure if there was damage to the boat or not.
I began shivering, as my now wet body was reacting to the extreme drop in temperature and no longer was I feeling the usual Texas hot summer night! We reeled in the carange of the canopy and frame and thank God the boat motor started. I now had to wipe spray from my face, hold the light, hold on to the boat, all while trying to hold down the canopy, while also watching for trees and continually shouting to my friend "Slow down"! And don't forget praying! I was certainly doing that! We made it shore; tied up the boat and ran for my friend's truck where we started the car heater to try and keep warm.
Later my friend said “I wasn’t worried, Jesus was in the boat with us!”. ( Although I jokingly said, I'm pretty sure he got out right before you hit that tree). However it was clear, Jesus must have been in that boat with us! Expect that Jesus is in the boat! Be present with Jesus!
2. Be in the front row – or at least a good seat. How many of us want a good seat? Most of the time, even at the Theater, we take a middle seat or we move to the back! O' and we can't mention the back pew at church (enough said about that!) But if Jesus were the object of what we wanted to see, then move closer; press in; try to get the best seat in the house to be present.
Remember the story of the friends who brought the paralytic to Jesus! The crowd was so great, they went up on the roof and tore open a hole in the roof to lower their friend right in front of Jesus. Getting a good seat, or pushing in to where Jesus is, is always a great way to place yourself in the area where miracles will happen!
3. Expect something to happen – Someone once told another person, “Nothing happens in my pastor’s sermons”. The other person then said “Were you praying for something to happen?” Are you expecting it? Believe in it! Expect to see it! This morning, as I was getting ready for you to arrive, an e-mail from our D.S. Bob Allen popped in, and among his words he wrote this:
“…Remember to take thou authority in the name of Jesus Christ. Someone needs to be healed today! Someone needs demons cast out! Someone is looking for a Word. When they say, hey preacher, what's the good word, they aren't looking for the latest update on the Dallas Cowboys, ESPN can do that. They want to hear what Jesus says to their life situation. They want a word of hope and encouragement. Not just a funny story from the Reader's Digest article but a Word of inspiration….”