We do it as a church- coming forward for prayer- coming forward to declare Christ
When you change your location- special things happen for some reason- I can’t explain it
I’ve had God meet me many times when I was willing to come forward
READ Mark 3:1-5
TITLE- Step Forward
God did some amazing things this weekend in the life of our church
Here’s the truth- If you want to experience the best that God has for you in this life- you have to step forward- you can’t stay stationary- you have to MOVE
People who accomplished great things in the Bible were the ones who STEPPED FORWARD
Joshua stepped forward to lead Israel when Moses died, Paul Stepped forward to carry to carry the Gospel, David stepped up to be king
Right now- there are areas of your life that God is imploring you to step forward (take one step forward) Today we talk about a man with a withered hand, but what’s your withered hand this AM? Job? Marriage? Finances? Self worth? Pain from your past? Ministry that God has for you
Here’s the deal about stepping forward- sometimes stepping forward is stepping AWAY from something you don’t need to be near- it SEPERATES you from the group- and moves you TOWARDS The blessings of God
Today- STEP FORWARD
step forward- ignore the crowd
2 So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.
In this story, there is a crowd that is standing around watching Jesus do his ministry, they only have one mission in this- “That they might accuse him”
Interestingly enough- this poor guy who had been infirmed for a long period time apparently didn’t have anyone in this group that cared about his healing- they weren’t helping
They just wanted to use the situation as a means to fulfill their own selfish desires
THEY WERE IN THE SYNAGOGUE- His Church Folk were there doing NOTHING
All they were interested in was to accuse Jesus- and not help this infirmed man
Should have read Proverbs 17:15 He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.
Looking for a way to accuse Jesus doesn’t sound like a good plan
But here’s the deal There is a crowd of people in your life that are more than likely standing around waiting for you to step out and fail- Don’t go to school, Take job, Make life change
I don’t know why its this way- but there always seems to be a group of people in your life that don’t want whats best for you, and are only looking to see you fail
Uncle- Don’t become a pastor- 1998- He had friend started his church in Kent, Boeing, Failed-
Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
If God has told you to do something- IGNORE THE CROWD- don’t listen to the detractors- they aren’t helping- Haven’t we all been raised “ if everyone else jumped off a bridge”
If this guy had paid attention to the crowd? More than likely not healed– “I don’t want them to accuse me- so I’ll just stand here quietly- Don’t want to associate myself with Jesus”
Step forward- you have to move
3 And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.”
I absolutely love Jesus. He’s straight and to the point. “Step forward” – Lets get to this thing
Jesus tells this man with the withered hand to Step Forward
When it comes to the things of God- you must take action- you have to move
Sure, there a verses that say- Wait on the Lord- But I think the lazy love those verses
Usually- God asks the ones who move too much to wait and those that wait too much to move
ZIP Line- Standing on ledge- Jumping out to grab- in harness- You have to MOVE
Matt 17:17 he told peter- “go to the sea, cast in a hook” ACTION
Luke 5:4 he told them “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch” ACTION
John 2:77 Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. ACTION- Jesus FIRST MIRACLE took ACTION
Rarely does God tell you to do something and then do all the work for you
I’ve met many a people that say things like “I’m just waiting on God” but God’s really told them
There are times to wait- of course there is- many places in the bible say
Psalm 37:7Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
But that’s us waiting on GOD that’s not GOD waiting on US when he TELLS us to STEP- STEP
We’re supposed to be steadfast in our BELIEF but MOVABLE upon request!
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
Step forward- listen to Jesus
4 Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent.
I can appreciate that at this moment these guys didn’t know that Jesus was God in the flesh-
Colossians 2:9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
But Jesus is the truth. He speaks the truth. Everything about him is truth
And right here- Jesus is putting these guys in their place- Always using the question technique to get guys and put them in their place
The truth is it IS lawful to do good on the Sabbath. It IS lawful to save a life on the Sabbath
Do you know why? Because Jesus said so!
Matthew 12:8 For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Here’s the truth- When you listen to Jesus- good things happen in your life-
Jesus is trying to instruct these guys- Doing good will produce good in your life- but they don’t want to listen
Here’s whats real
If you own a Bible you have no excuse for not knowing what God wants for your life
John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.
People want to have changes in their life- but they aren’t willing to act on the words of Jesus that they clearly know that are simple to understand and act on
People want to experience these great moves of God, or changes in their life and can’t even listen to the BASICS of what Jesus asks of us
Forgive– Jesus asks us to forgive everyone- every time- in every circumstance
Love- Jesus asks us to love everyone- every time- in every circumstance
Serve– Jesus asks to serve everyone- every time- in every circumstance
Love God with our Whole hearts- Jesus asks us to love God COMPLETELY above ALL
What words of Jesus are you choosing to not listen to? What selective hearing?
I get it- We learn it as a child- pretending we didn’t hear the whole thing
When I was a kid- my mom used to tell us our chores for the day night before
Next day “ Ohhhh I thought you said” we knew Mom couldn’t remember
Next day She wrote it down so that there wouldn’t be any question of what she said
Step forward- Don’t make Jesus Angry
. 5 And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts
Its an interesting verse here- Jesus was angry with these Guy and how they were acting
Did you catch that? “And when he had looked around at them with anger”
Jesus was angry- I constantly draw attention to these types of verses not because I want to play up God’s angry nature as much as I want to show his true nature
Yes- Jesus was the most loving guy to ever walk this earth- but he got ANGRY sometimes
Angry at these guys sin- ANGRY at their hearts
What Jesus more than likely saw- was a bunch of religious folks, that knew the truth- that were choosing to be disobedient and come against God
Make no mistake folks we serve a God who has a propensity for anger and wrath
Isaiah 26:21 For behold, the Lord comes out of His place To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;
Revelation 20:15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
I don’t say this to scare you- I share it to be truthful- God created us as emotional beings- we’re “made in the image of God” our breath is God’s breath in us
And God’s loving nature doesn’t negate his holy wrath
Henry– The sin of sinners is very displeasing to Jesus Christ; and the way to be angry, and not to sin, is it be angry, as Christ was, at nothing but sin
What does it mean to you?
Don’t make Jesus angry! IN this scripture he was angry with these guys for hardness of heart-
Don’t let your heart become hardened!
A hard heart is characterized by an inability to perceive and receive spiritually.
when spiritual things are perceived, a hard heart will keep a person from understanding the few things they can perceive.
They might see what the Lord is trying to show them, but they can’t get a hold of it in a way that they can apply it to their life.
When people are hardhearted toward God, it’s like they are spiritually blind and deaf—they just can’t see spiritual truth or hear the Lord speak to them.
And they can’t remember. Not remembering is a major indication of the condition of their hearts.
Mark 6:45-52 READ
Mark 6:52For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.
Earlier in Jesus ministry- These guys saw the loaves but couldn’t receive the miracle- hardened heart
Has your heart become hard? Have you lost the softness of the scriptures to tenderize your soul
Have you stopped letting the Lord minister to you through worship and the word?
Pray right now- LORD SOFTEN MY HEART- KEEP ME OPEN TO THE THINGS OF YOU
The greatest sin of these guys- was their UNBELIEF IN JESUS ABILITY TO DO MIRACLES
Whatever you fail to consider, your heart becomes hardened to-
step forward- be obedient
He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.
Jesus telling the guy to step forward- he took action- but here’s the part about action- you can take action and not take the RIGHT action
You can be moving and being disobedient
When this guy was obedient to what Jesus told him to do in the way that Jesus told him to do it- he was HEALED
I always love to talk about what the Bible DOESN’T say-
When Jesus said “Stretch out your hand” you would expect the guy to say- “but it hurts- that’s the hand that hurts- why do you want me to stretch it out”
It doesn’t say- I don’t think you can do it Jesus- I just want to stay here being infirmed
NO- The guy is OBEDIENT to Jesus and DOES what he SAYS! No arguing- no questioning
1 John 3:24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him.
John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep[a] My commandments.
What does it mean to you?
Step out! Be Obedient to what God asks you to do!
I have never met a person yet who has lived an obedient life to God who wasn’t blessed
Serving, loving, forgiving, witnessing, giving, tithing, all of it- BLESSED
I’ve met tons of disobedient, rebellious, contentious, half- hearted Christian in name only who are literally living like they are under a curse
These are the people whom Jesus would probably say-
Luke 6:46 “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?
Be obedient- Step FORWARD- See what God does with your life! #Blessed