Summary: God will meet your needs because He cares for you
Text: Acts 9:32-43
1. Illustration: George Muller was born in Prussia on September 27, 1805. His father was a collector of taxes and George seemed to inherit his father’s ability with figures.
When Muller was converted to Christ he was impressed by the many recurring statements of Jesus for us "to ask." At this point in Muller’s life he and his wife launched into a daring experiment. First, they gave away all of their household goods. The next step was even more daring, he refused all regular salary from the small mission he had been serving. He then set out to establish an orphan home to care for the homeless children of England.
The first home was dedicated in a rented building on April 21, 1836. Within a matter of days, 43 orphans were being cared for. Muller and his co-workers decided their experiment would be set up with the following guidelines:
1- No funds would ever be solicited.
2- No debts were ever to be incurred.
3- No money contributed for a specific purpose would ever be used for any other purpose.
4- All accounts would be audited annually.
5- No ego-pandering by the publication of donor’s names.
6- No "names" of prominent people would be sought for the board or to advertise the institution.
7- The success of the orphanage would be measured not by the numbers served or by the amount of money taken in, but by God’s blessing on the work, which Muller expected to be in direct proportion to the time spent in prayer.
When the first building was constructed, Muller and his friends remained true to their convictions. The public was amazed when a second building was opened six months after the first. They kept concentrating on prayer and eventually there were five new buildings, 110 workers, and 2,050 orphans being cared for.
George Muller not only counted on God to provide, but he believed that God would provide abundantly. For over 60 years Muller recorded every specific prayer request and the results. Muller was responsible for the care of 9,500 orphans during his life. These children never went without a meal. Muller never asked for help from anyone but God. $7,500,000 came to him over the course of his life and he vows it was all in answer to believing prayer.
2. George Muller was successful because he trusted God. He believed that God would meet their needs.
3. Why should we believe that God would meet our needs? Because we matter to God. And because we matter to God...
A. He Wants To Heal Our Hurts
B. He Sees The Good You Do
C. He Hears Your Prayers
4. Let's stand together as we read Acts 9:32-43
Proposition: God will meet your needs because He cares for you.
Transition: Because you matter to God...
I. He Wants To Heal Your Hurts (32-35).
A. Jesus Christ Heals You
1. Now that the church is experiencing a time of peace, Peter is able to come out of hiding and move outside of Jerusalem.
2. Luke tells us at the beginning of this section of Acts, "Meanwhile, Peter traveled from place to place, and he came down to visit the believers in the town of Lydda."
A. Luke begins a sequence that leads to Peter's taking the gospel to the Gentiles in Caesarea.
B. Since the conditions in Jerusalem had become peaceful, Peter could leave the city.
C. So he began to travel throughout "Judea, Galilee and Samaria" (v. 31).
D. As he journeyed "he went to visit the believers in Lydda," which was about twenty-four miles northwest of Jerusalem on the road to Joppa (Horton, 191).
E. We are not told how they had become believers. Perhaps they received the gospel from some who were originally at Pentecost, or from some who were forced to flee Jerusalem during the persecution of the Church.
F. But however they came to commit themselves to Jesus as God's Messiah, Peter viewed them as within the sphere of his ministry (Tenney, 381).
3. Once he arrived in Lydda, "There he met a man named Aeneas, who had been paralyzed and bedridden for eight years."
A. At Lydda Peter came upon Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years.
B. Luke does not say that Aeneas was a Jew nationally or a Christian by faith, though presumably, despite his thoroughly Greek name, he was both.
C. It would hardly have been consistent with Luke's purpose to show Peter ministering to a Gentile before his encounter with Cornelius, and the "there" of the sentence points back to the believers at Lydda and not just the city itself (Tenney, The Expositor's Bible Commentary – Volume 9: John and Acts, 381).
D. Luke does not say whether Aeneas was paralyzed due to a stroke, an illness such as polio, or an injury.