6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: A sermon on "doing" the word, not just hearing it. From a series on developing spiritual depth.

Take Action = there is something required by the person who is

receiving input

 It is not enough that we come to church and hear a sermon

James 1:22

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Daniel 11:32 -- the people who know their God will do great exploits

 This story is one of my favorite

 Because Jesus discerns between pity and power

o We want to feel sorry for this guy and give him pity

o But Jesus wants him to recognize the power by taking action


1. Social

2. Systems

3. Struggles

...That produces an unhealthy fruit

I. SOCIAL (vs. 3)

* Great number of disabled people

* Birds of a feather flock together

* These individuals were segregated and isolated to live with like people

* They were stuck in a social environment

* That prevented them from seeing a healthy way

* I believe the social environment that you live in, hang out in

o Has a lot to do with your ability to have a breakthrough

o And produce fruit

* When people are serious about changing their lives

* They eventually have to consider their social structure

* Yes, open the circle of love

o But you can't have all of one kind of person around you

o And expect to be different

* It's not just the drug that has you...

o It's the culture

* It's dangerous to only have those like you...

o Struggling and fighting the same things you are

* You eventually have to get around someone:

 Smarter

 Faster

 Healthier

o If you want to learn to be a contender...

o Hang out with some champions!

* If everyone around you is:

o Sick

o Depressed

o Angry

o Egotistical

o Etc

* It's easy to stay that way

* Because the abnormal looks normal

o Even church folks (bubble)

* You become what you gaze at.

Blind = no vision

Lame = no forward progress

Paralyzed = no action

* Put strangers in a room

o And eventually all the people will gather under the same colonnade

* It's hard to get out -- get healed

* Because everyone is in your same mindset

* If you have a problem with anger

o Don't hang out with mean, ready-to-fight people

o They will only empower your sickness!

* As a parent...

o I even want to arrange certain people and places to influence my kids

* I want to go to a church that:

 Challenges me

 Inspires me

 Changes me

* I want that environment / atmosphere / culture

 To be alive

 Filled with contenders

* This man needed a miracle

o But the people he was around prevented an atmosphere for miracles

* Because the atmosphere of expectancy is the breeding ground for miracles!

* A shark will only grow to the size of its aquarium

* It's time to get a bigger tank!!

* A better social atmosphere

* You will become just like those you hang out with!

II. SYSTEMS (vs. 7)

* The man begins to tell Jesus the system he was in

* We all wait

* Once a year or so

* The angel stirs the water

* The first one in gets healed

o The fastest

o The most alert

o The one with friends

o The best positioned

* This is our system / a cycle

* There is a problem with this system.

* 364 days we are waiting

* There comes a time when you've got to stop waiting for change

* Break out of the system mindset

* 38 years waiting / hoping

* Growing

o Bitter

o Hopeless

o Filled with excuses

* Systems -- root systems

* Everyone thinking when all the planets line up

* You got to change your system

* You're...

o Waiting on a bad system

o Waiting for someone to believe in you

o Waiting on everyone to agree

* This guy's system was too small

o I can't wait 38 years

* I declare I won't wait

o I will change a system

* Pastors who tell me they won't change anything for a year

* Wonder why they can't get anything done!

* I can't wait by a pool hoping

* I need a miracle now!

* The words Households \ represent systems

Kingdoms /

* System = A procedure or a process that produces an end or objective

= An order or method that produces an objective

* The House of David replaces the House of Saul

Saul = system of religion -- man chosen

David = system of religion -- God chosen

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