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Turn to the LIVING GOD! (Captioned)

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TURN TO THE LIVING GOD Hearing the Good News Sharing His Work Let us rise for the reading of this morning's sermon text recorded for us in the Book of Acts where we read from Chapter 14, beginning with Verse 8: IN LYSTRA THERE SAT A MAN CRIPPLED IN HIS FEET, WHO WAS LAME FROM BIRTH AND HAD NEVER WALKED. HE LISTENED TO PAUL AS HE WAS PREACHING (SPEAKING). PAUL LOOKED DIRECTLY AT HIM, SAW THAT HE HAD FAITH TO BE HEALED AND CALLED OUT, "STAND UP ON YOUR FEET!" AT THAT THE MAN JUMPED UP AND BEGAN TO WALK. WHEN THE CROWD SAW WHAT PAUL HAD DONE, THEY SHOUTED IN THE LYCAONIAN LANGUAGE, "THE GODS HAVE COME DOWN TO US IN HUMAN FORM!" BARNABAS THEY CALLED ZEUS, AND PAUL THEY CALLED HERMES BECAUSE HE WAS THE CHIEF SPEAKER. THE PRIEST OF ZEUS, WHOSE TEMPLE WAS JUST OUTSIDE THE CITY, BROUGHT BULLS AND WREATHS TO THE CITY GATES BECAUSE HE AND THE CROWD WANTED TO OFFER SACRIFICES TO THEM. BUT WHEN THE APOSTLES BARNABAS AND PAUL HEARD OF THIS, THEY TORE THEIR CLOTHES AND RUSHED OUT INTO THE CROWD, SHOUTING: "MEN, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? WE TOO ARE ONLY MEN, HUMAN LIKE YOU. WE ARE BRINGING YOU GOOD NEWS, TELLING YOU TO TURN FROM THESE WORTHLESS THINGS TO THE LIVING GOD WHO MADE HEAVEN AND EARTH AND SEA AND EVERYTHING IN THEM. IN THE PAST, HE LET ALL NATIONS GO THEIR OWN WAY. YET HE HAS NOT LEFT HIMSELF WITHOUT TESTIMONY: HE HAS SHOWN KINDNESS BY GIVING YOU RAIN FROM HEAVEN AND CROPS IN THEIR SEASONS; HE PROVIDES YOU WITH PLENTY OF FOOD AND FILLS YOUR HEARTS WITH JOY." EVEN WITH THESE WORDS, THEY HAD DIFFICULTY KEEPING THE CROWD FROM SACRIFICING TO THEM. This is the Word of our Lord. Let us pray: This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Amen. Sermon text taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION 1978 used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Dear Followers of our Lord and Savior ... Jesus Christ. As the Confirmation Class stood before me this morning, once again my thoughts went back to my OWN confirmation. The things that were going through MY head. Those times in my life as a teenager. And I was thinking about ALL of the THINGS that I THOUGHT that I needed. Things that I thought that I absolutely HAD TO HAVE. I was looking forward to confirmation because my parents promised me that they were gonna replace my transistor radio, with an FM radio 8-track combination. One of the things that I thought was going to be such a great invention! When they cut the songs in half from one track to another. But I think it's interesting how we go through life, and the things that we want and the things that we see as important or necessary or needed ... change. Now I would just like us to have some kind of electronic device that played music that is not going to become obsolete again ... in five or ten years. I also want better health and I wasn't concerned about that at all ... at my confirmation. And in our text for this morning, we hear the man who is sitting, in Lystra. And literally been sitting there ... his entire life! Crippled from the time of his birth. He couldn't walk. But yet, as he sat there, he listened to what the Apostle Paul was saying to him. He listened, intently, hearing Paul talk about Jesus, the Lord and Savior of his life. And then when Paul looked at that man and says to him: Stand up! Through faith the man stands up and he walks! The miracles that God performs in people's lives stun us! They stunned those people of Lystra, so much that they thought the gods had come down from heaven and were among them. They thought that Zeus was there, the head of the gods, and Hermes, his messenger. They realized that something TREMENDOUS had occurred in their presence. And they wanted to return with thanks and gratitude for what those gods had done. They went and got wreaths. They were going to make offerings to Zeus, and to Hermes. They had the proper reaction, but totally misguided because they didn't understand who had done the work. They didn't understand who it was who had given and granted healing to that man. Who had truly performed the miracle. And when Paul and Barnabas found out that those people didn't understand it, and thought that they were gods in human form, they immediately went to rectify the situation. They stood among those people and said: Stop this! Stop what you're doing! We are NOT the gods. We want you to TURN from all of these worthless things, to the living God. God ... who performed this miracle. The God who is alive. The God who sent His Son into this world to take care of your greatest needs. Not just those daily needs that He has blessed you with. Not just the fact that He gives you rain for your crops, and sun so that it will grow. Not just that He blesses you every day with life and the things that bring you pleasure and joy, but all of the things of this world are temporal and worthless compared to the things of God. The spiritual gifts that God has given to us. That we are to turn from these worthless things that preoccupy our time, that fill our thoughts. The things that are worthless because they're passing away and have nothing to do with the living and powerful God. The God who lives for us. The God who is active in our lives. The God who is a part of our life each and every day and who has been since He created this world...since He said: Let there be light and it broke forth in the darkness. We have a God who is alive and living and who takes care of us. Whose goal is that all people should come to a knowledge of Him and be saved. And He showers these blessings upon this earth. But the greatest of those blessings is the blessing of forgiveness. The blessing of understanding that we, too, shall live. That death for us is not the end. But it is the pathway to eternal life. That because we have been buried with Christ, with our sins, having those sins (been) removed from us by HIS sacrifice, and HIS gift we, too, will rise with Him in the power and strength of His resurrection and we will live with Him eternally. There is the Good News! And Paul reminds us even this morning to TURN from the worthless things of this world to the wonderful living God. That each and every day we thank the Holy Spirit for the gift of our faith. The knowledge that we have been given. The fact that someone, somewhere, sat down with us and the Word of God and shared it with us. Maybe it was our parents, who from little on taught us how to pray, brought us to God, baptizing us, making us children of God .... who fed and nurtured that faith ... day-in and day-out. Those Sunday School Teachers that we have all had throughout our lives ... who taught us ... the truths of Scripture. The passages that proclaimed the Word of God to us. who taught us our Catechism questions and answers. How PRECIOUS that faith is to us because we realize how much worthless STUFF is in this world. And some of that comes with age, but yet this morning we saw young people excited about their future. Professing that same faith that we share. The unity that we have on the teachings of Scripture. To do that work. To continue to share that message of God, and what He has done, with the world! With the people who are members of this congregation in this church. With the people who also attend our school. To share with them the knowledge that there IS a living God that is ABOVE the worthlessness and passing away of THIS world to things that LAST ETERNALLY. That God has given us that wonderful joy and privilege of having that faith and that knowledge so that we can be the ones to share it. So that we can be the ones to point out the miracles of God in people's lives. So when they see hearts that are thankful, but are misguided 'cuz they don't KNOW God, to be as Paul and Barnabas were. To step in and say: THIS came from our Heavenly Father because He loves you. He cares for you. You can see that each and every day in His creation. This healing comes from Him. This gift came from Him. This joy in your life is a result that He wants to lead you to see His true goodness. His complete love. That love that He showed us SO clearly, in sacrificing His Son so that we could come to Him. That faith is ours. And He's a living God. Not some idol that is dead, not some worthless god that is not a part of our lives, but One who is with us each and every day reminding us of the joys that are ours; showing us a world filled with His love. This morning we remind ourselves of the gift of our faith. How precious it is! We continue to grow in it. We continue to feed it. We continue to nurture it and share it with others. To TURN to the living God. Amen. Let us rise. Now may the peace of God which goes beyond all of our understanding keep your hearts and your minds and especially your lives in the one true faith unto life everlasting. Amen.

Video Details

Duration: 13 minutes and 25 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 104
Posted by: hischild on May 20, 2010

This closed captioned message stesses the importance to not only treasure God's Word and His gift of faith, but to share it, remembering that OUR GOD is a LIVING GOD who expects us to share His Good News! To contact Pastor Dave: www.ziontorrance.info

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