Step Forward

step forward

Step Forward

  • Coming forward is a powerful thing-
  • 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
  • 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”
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  • Step forward- you have to move
  • 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 2:7 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
  • 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
  • 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
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