Summary: Using the "stuff" God has given you to reach people.
This morning I want to talk to you about your “stuff”
I want to make one thing clear
Your “stuff” are those things which God has given you
It is nothing of your own
What are you doing with your “stuff”?
God has given all of us “stuff” to do His work
We are to be His hands
And His mouthpiece
There are people all around who need your “stuff”
And as we will see, there are people who are expecting you to use your "stuff"
Let’s take a look at what is going on in this passage
There was a lame man who was brought to the temple, every day
He was brought there by his “buddies”
They thought they were helping, but were they?
I believe that these “buddies” represent the modern day, secularized church
They wanted all the quirks and perks of going to church
They tried bringing someone to church, but spiritually deserted them
Have you ever brought somebody to church and just left them there to fend for themselves?
This man was lame from birth.
He didn’t know how to walk
All he knew was begging - it was his life
He had become complacent – he was playing “the hand he was dealt” – he thought this is all his life would amount to
Complacency can be crippling
Being complacent is becoming comfortable in an uncomfortable situation or circumstance
This man was a professional beggar
He knew when people would be generous
The temple was packed with people
Passover had just ended
He was looking for someone to give him something to improve his impoverished condition
The church came walking by
How many walked past?
“The church” walked by
Better things to do?
Prayer meetings to go to?
Bible studies to attend?
TV to watch?
Lives to get on with?
We can get so wrapped up in everyday life, we can walk past God opportunities everyday
We miss opportunities to show those who are in need our “stuff”
God’s timing is incredible
Jesus often visited the temple in His time on Earth
Have you ever wondered why Jesus never healed this man?
Walked right past Him regularly
But God had a greater plan in mind
He wanted to demonstrate His power through a temperamental fisherman
The people of Jerusalem knew who Peter was
This is evident when Christ was tried, and there were those who recognized him as a follower of Christ
They saw him then as Simon – the fisherman
On this occasion, they saw Peter – the rock
God wanted to show all those "religious" people at the temple that He can use anybody
He wanted Peter to show his "stuff"
When people look at you, what do they see?
Peter told the lame man to look at him
The Bible tells us that the lame man looked at Peter expecting something
There are people today who are looking at you and they are expecting to see something
What do they see?
Stereotypical image of Church?
Says one thing and does another
Looks down on others with a pious attitude
Their lives demonstrate a whole lot of self and a lot less of Jesus
Those who passed this lame man by was an image of a stereotypical church
Child of God?
Someone who reaches out with the love of Christ
Peter and John demonstrates the true nature of being a child of God because they gave their “stuff”