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Summary: Healing

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WHEN CRIPPLE FOLK COME TO CHURCH

TEXT: ACTS 3: 1-8

INTRODUCTION: TO BE CRIPPLED IS TO HAVE A CONDITION THAT IMPEDES ONES LIFE IN A MANNER THAT PREVENTS THEM FROM FUNCTIONING IN WHAT SOCIETY HAS CLASSIFIED AS A NORMAL CAPACITY. THESE CRIPPLING CONDITIONS MAY BE VISIBLE OR INVISIBLE. THEY MAY BE PHYSICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, OR SPIRITUAL. ONE WHO IS CRIPPLED IS OFTEN HELD DOWN, AND HELD BACK BECAUSE OF THE MENTALITY THAT THEY CANNOT DO WHAT NORMAL PEOPLE CAN DO. ONE WHO IS CRIPPLED IN MANY CASES FIND THEMSELVES THE VICTIM OF DISCRIMINATION, HUMILIATION, AND SEGREGATION. YES, HOW MANY TIMES, IF WE ARE HONEST WITH OURSELVES HAVE MADE FUN OF SOMEONE WHO WAS CRIPPLED OR HANDICAPPED? WELL MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS, DON’T BE ALARMED AT WHAT I’M ABOUT TO TELL YOU, BUT MANY OF US IN CHURCH TODAY ARE HELD DOWN AND HELD BACK AS THE RESULT OF SOME CRIPPLING CONDITION IN OUR LIVES; A BAD DISPOSITION, LOW SELF ESTEEM, NO SELF ESTEEM, AN UNFORGIVING SPIRIT, HARBORING HATRED IN OUR HEARTS. THESE CRIPPLING CONDITIONS IMPEDES OUR LIVES IN A MANNER THAT PREVENTS US AS CHURCH FOLK FROM FUNCTIONING AS WE SHOULD; THAT’S WHY I CAN SAY TODAY THAT THERE ARE CRIPPLED FOLK IN THE CHURCH.

I. TEXT

THE TEXT REVEALS THAT PETER AND JOHN WENT TO THE TEMPLE AT THREE O’CLOCK, WHICH WAS DESIGNATED AS ONE OF THE HOURS OF PRAYER WHEN THEY ENCOUNTERED A MAN WITH A CRIPPLED CONDITION. THE MAN LAY AT THE GATE CALLED BEAUTIFUL, WHICH WAS THE BUSIEST ENTRANCE INTO THE CHURCH, A PLACE WHERE HE WAS SURE TO BE SEEN. ALLOW ME TO MOCK TIME MOMENTARILY, MANY CHURCH FOLK WHO HAVE IDENTITY CRISES WILL OFTEN POSITION THEMSELVES IN A PLACE TO BE SEEN BY OTHERS.

THE MAN WAS LAME FROM HIS MOTHER’S WOMB, AND BEGGING WAS HIS SKILLED PROFESSION. HE REQUESTED ALMS OF PETER AND JOHN WITH THE DESIRE OF RECEIVING WHAT HE ASKED FOR. THE MAN RATIONALIZED THAT SURELY GOD’S PEOPLE WHO ARE ON THEIR WAY TO CHURCH WOULD BE GENEROUS TO MAKE A CONTRIBUTION TO A MAN IN NEED. HOWEVER, MUCH TO HIS SURPRISE PETER AND JOHN HAD NO MONEY TO GIVE.( SOUNDS LIKE MY CONDITION).

THEY OFFERED HIM AN ALTERNATIVE THAT MONEY CAN’T BUY; THEY OFFERED HIM SOMETHING THAT IS MORE PRECIOUS THAN GOLD AND SILVER; THEY OFFERED HIM JESUS, ONE WHO COULD FIX HEARTS AND REGULATE MINDS.

II. CHURCH FOLK

I KNOW WHAT YOU MUST BE ASKING YOURSELVES RIGHT NOW, PREACHER WHAT HAS THIS SERMON TO DO WITH ME? I HAVE THE USE AND ACTIVITY OF ALL MY LIMBS, MY EYE SIGHT IS NOT IMPAIRED, HOW AM I CRIPPLED? THERE ARE THREE POINTS THAT WILL LET YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE CRIPPLED.

FIRST, YOU ARE SPIRITUALLY CRIPPLE IF YOU HAVE AN OUGHT AGAINST YOUR BROTHER OR SISTER. YOU GO DOWN ANOTHER ISLE SO YOU WON’T HAVE TO SPEAK TO THEM OR SHAKE THEIR HAND. YOU PROFESS TO LOVE GOD BUT, CAN’T GET ALONG WITH YOUR FELLOWMAN, 1 JOHN 4:20 SAYS,:"If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" SECOND, YOU ARE SPIRITUALLY CRIPPLED IF YOU ARE A HEARER OF GOD’S WORD AND NOT A DOER OF GOD’S WORD. THE BIBLE INSTRUCTS US TO TITHE, TO TREAT OTHERS AS WE WANT TO BE TREATED, TO LOVE OTHERS AS CHRIST HAS LOVED US, TO POSSESS THE MIND OF CHRIST. THIRD, YOU ARE SPIRITUALLY CRIPPLED IF YOUR HEART IS SO COLD AND CALLUSED THAT YOU TURN A DEAF EAR TO WHAT THE PREACHER IS PREACHING, AND YOU LEAVE THE WORSHIP SERVICE THE SAME WAY THAT YOU CAME.


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