World Communion 10/06/19—Highland—Meute
Psalm 4; Acts 3 (selected)
Pearl: The immense blessings of Jesus Christ and his way.
Function: To lead worshippers in appreciating the vast resources of life in Jesus Christ which we may pass along to others.
Two of Jesus’ disciples, Peter and John, met a “man lame from birth” who was placed by friends at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple so that he could beg for money.
man’s condition was life-long. It was his way of life to be lame. It was his
way of life to beg.
- God bless the lame and the destitute.
- God bless the homeless, the displaced; it could be any of us.
was about to bless this lame man through Peter and John.
- Peter noticed the man. Peter engaged the man saying, “I have no silver or gold but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk!” (Acts 3:6).
- Peter took him by the hand and raised him up. The man found his feet and was quickly jumping and leaping and praising God! Everyone recognized who this was and they were all amazed and full of wonder.
- A homeless man was known by many to be a good and kind fellow. Someone was inspired to bless him. He pretended to have a winning lottery ticket. Actually he used his own money.
The homeless man said, “I’ve been doing this for a long, long time and no one ever did what you did!” This benefactor did have silver and gold and gave a large sum to someone else out of his good and compassionate heart.
- This fellow was easily a follower of Jesus and was motivated from Jesus’ way.
- But the thing is that followers of Jesus Christ have a lot more than money to give to others. You have the abundant resources of the gospel of Jesus Christ!
about those abundant gospel
- Followers of Jesus have a natural compassion for others. Don’t you always struggle walking through a city full of people asking for change? When encountering them on the median strip to beg money from cars stopped in lines of traffic; they capture your attention.
- Followers of Jesus have good listening ears. You are glad and willing to talk to people and to get to know them. This is what Jesus did. He was not swayed by anyone’s lifestyle or station in life. He talked to people. He got to know them. He saw people as unique and made in the image of God. He spent time with people. He did not always talk or preach or teach but he listened so that people knew that he actually cared about them and their unique lives.
- Followers of Jesus pray to the Father in the name of Jesus and through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Followers of Jesus use their time, skills, and talents to lend a hand to others.
- Followers of Jesus believe the best about others and don’t talk behind their back, or spread stories that may well not be true.
of Jesus sacrifice themselves for others. “No
one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”
- Parents demonstrate this kind of sacrifice
for their children.
- They are always giving, caring, praying, thinking of their children; they spend money, time, sweat, and tears. They are always forgiving and forgetting your sins and flaws. They are always hoping the best for you. They sit with you when you are down and out without judging. They always have patience for you.
- They often fail but overall they lay down their lives for their children.
- Followers of Jesus are like that for others!
- Parents demonstrate this kind of sacrifice for their children.
Followers of Jesus have a lot to give from the vast resources of the gospel!
- Think about the storehouse of spiritual resources that followers of Jesus have to share with others?
of Jesus, and people in general, can and do give quite a lot!
- According to 2018 giving statistics in the USA, individual people gave 68% of all dollars; far more than Foundations (18%), Bequests (7%), and Corporations (6%). Individual people gave far more than all of the big giving entities.
is because followers of Jesus are motivated by the abundant and eternal
resources of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- There is no lacking in the gospel bank!
gospel of Jesus Christ is an economy of abundance.
- It is not an economy of scarcity.
- There is no end and no limit to what good can be done. There is always room for more good to be done.
- There is always room for more love and grace.
- There is always more forgiveness to give.
are always enough resources to accomplish what God wants the church to do. As
you seek out knowledge of God’s desires and as you seek creative ways of
demonstrating those desires he provides what yo need to do the job.
- Aware that God’s resources are abundant and eternal and beyond what is being asked for, Peter prayed for this man’s lameness to be withdrawn. They had no money but they knew that they had a lot and that what they had could bless everyone, even a man lame from birth!
and John invoked the “name of Jesus.” This is what they “had.”
- We don’t drop the name around as some kind of magical formula.
and living by the name of Jesus is all about using and living by the way of
- It is about embodying Jesus to others.
- It is about doing and acting as Jesus would act and do.
- It is about thinking like Jesus thinks.
- Jesus did not make an issue about the ways of a woman who was a prostitute. He did not refuse to let her anoint his feet with the expensive oil that could have been sold and a fine sum given to the poor. He did not pull his feet away from her touch, her tears falling down upon them, the use of her hair to dry his feet. He did not recoil when she kissed his feet. He knew who she was. He knew her past. He knew. He knew. //So did the Pharisee owner of the home they were in. He also knew. He wanted to judge. //Jesus insisted on accepting her gestures. More important, Jesus insisted upon accepting her Luke 7: 36-50).
You have the “name of Jesus.” You have the very person and spirit of Jesus. You have the Way of Jesus.
What you have, you can give. It is what the world really needs! Give and don’t worry about running out of any gospel resources: they are without end!
As you give from the gospel resources of Jesus to others, you may very well also hear someone deeply moved say, “I’ve been doing this for a long, long time and no one has ever done what you did!” Jesus equips and empowers you for “abundant, large” living and giving!