Matthew 9:35-38

In these verses we read that Christ had compassion on the multitude. Compassion is one of the key ingredients of the church and we are going to begin today to look at what is available to everyone through the church. 

C= COMPASSION
Compassion is found in the church and is defined as concern or kindness. The best definition is "love." There are many today that say that the church and Christainity are intolerant and do not love people. That is entirely incorrect. The church and Christianity have a mandate from the Lord Jesus Christ to show the same kind of love and compassion that he did. 

The problem today is that disagreement is labeled as hate. In the multitudes that Jesus ministered to, no doubt there were all types of individuals represented--hurting people, hopeless people and helpless people. There would have also been those who were successful, busy, religious, fearful, happy, sad, addicted, pretenders, sinners--you name it, they were probably there. Despite all the circumstance they may have had in their lives, Jesus never told people what they wanted to hear. He always told them what they needed to hear, the truth. The truth about how they should live, what is required to get to heaven, what is acceptable to God and what is not, etc. He told them the truth because he loved them.

Would you like for your doctor to lie to you? Do you want them to tell you that everything is ok when it's not? Do you want them to overlook any obvious symptoms and tell you to just keep on like you've been doing--everything is fine or do you want them to tell you the truth so you can make any necessary changes to ensure your good health?

Do you want the church to lie to you? Do you want ministers to stand behind the pulpit and tell you everything is fine--do what you want, live any way you want to, there is no God, there is no heaven or hell, etc? 

No one would think it's right for a doctor to do that, why would anyone want the church to? Which shows true compassion and love--the lies or the truth? We may not always like what the Bible says or the correction it gives, but God does it out of his great love for us.  GOD LOVES YOU and that is great news my friend. You can learn more about his love for you in the Bible and in a church that preaches and teaches the truth of the word of God. There are a lot of those to be found--ask God to lead you to the one he wants you to attend.



 

John 5:1-9

We are using the word "church" as an acronym for what you can find in church. In our last lesson we looked at the compassion of the church. In this lesson we will look at the letter "H."
H=Help

You can find help in the church.
The setting for this text is in Bethesda. It means "House of God or House of Mercy."
This is an incredible place—Some try to attribute the healings here to some explainable method. Certain minerals or chemicals would seep from the earth and bubble up in the pool and people would be healed. Really?
            The healing took place only when the waters were troubled.
            The healing was instantaneous.
            Only the first person in the water received their healing.
            No matter what the disease or sickness the individual had—they were immediately                      healed.
            It only happened at certain times.
When the water was troubled, the first one in was healed.
            Isn’t it funny how trouble changes things?
The man's situation was a difficult one. He did not have the ability to get into the water before someone else did. He stated the reason for not receiving his healing as—I have no help.
He operates by logic. He operates by his own thinking. He has faith in his sight—he can see when the water is troubled. He has faith in people—if I only had someone who could put me in the water.
The healer is right beside him, talking to him, asking him if he would like to be healed and he is still looking elsewhere.
            Why do we overlook the obvious? Why do we overlook Jesus?

 Jesus Words to Him
Rise, Take up your bed, and Walk.
He is talking to a crippled man. He can do none of the three things Jesus told him to do.
Knowing how the Lord times things, it could be that someone had just gotten their healing. The angel may have just touched the waters and just like always, someone else got healed, but not him. Could it be that this is when Christ chose to ask the man if he wanted to be healed?
The man did not answer yes to the question. He began to tell Jesus why he could not be healed.
            I have no one to help me!!!!
Have you ever felt alone? You have the want to, but not the can do. If I only had a little help.
            What could you accomplish if you only had a little help?
            What would you accomplish if you only had a little help?
He knows miracles happen; He is near a miracle; he sees others receive their miracle; He wants it, he yearns for it, but he leaves time and again in the same condition as when he came. He is tantalized but remains traumatized.
One thing we can say—He has perseverance. He holds on to what little hope he has and continues to come to the pool.
Then, on this day when once again he is let down---He meets the true helper.
Three commandments are given to him:
Rise, Take up your bed, and Walk
By faith he does. He accomplishes what he has never been able to do before. Through Christ he is healed.
 
Reaction
As he hurries to begin his new life, he is met by the religious hierarchy. They reprimand him, 
"It is not lawful for you to carry your bed on the Sabbath."

He responds, "The man who healed me told me to pick up my bed and walk."
In anger they ask him,  "Who told you to take up your bed and walk?"
They didn’t ask who healed him. They didn’t rejoice with him over his healing.
The keeping of tradition was more important to them than the healing. 
The miracle was obvious, but it broke tradition.
Can I tell you, sometimes something has to break? There has to be a breakthrough. Something has to give.
             Whatever is crippling you…Holding you down…imprisoning you, break it.       
Should the man now say, “Oh, I am so sorry. I didn’t know. I’ll lay down right here and go back to being a lame man?”
            Isn’t it odd that somebody had to carry him to the pool that morning?
            Isn’t it odd that somebody would have to carry him back home that evening?
            Isn’t it odd the Pharisees thought that was alright, but his healing wasn’t?
Religion can’t help you.
Don't look for religion, look for a relationship with Jesus.
Don’t look for a religious church. Look for a real church.
The church is designed to be a place of help.
Do you need a little help today? Jesus is our helper. You can learn about him in the Bible and in church.

 
I John 5:20

In this week's lesson, we continue with our acronym of the word "church," by concentrating on the letter
"U."
U=Understanding
In explaining your situation to someone, have you ever had to tell them—                               “You just don’t understand.”
What you are really saying to them is—“You just don’t get it.”
God has given us an understanding.
            Understanding—comprehension, perception, knowledge, insight.                 It means-- "I get it."                          
In our text, John tells us that our understanding comes from God. He gives us the ability to comprehend information.
 
The World’s Understanding
On December 11, 2013, a televised memorial service for Nelson Mandela was held in South Africa. A man stood on stage for several hours translating the words of various world leaders into sign language for the benefit of the deaf community. It was a noble gesture to ensure that the memorial was understood by those who could not hear the spoken words of the important speakers. The only problem—the man hired to be an interpreter was a phony, an imposter who only pretended to know how to translate the powerful words spoken that day.
It went basically unnoticed until the South African Deaf community called attention to the matter. The members of the deaf community were left to decipher what was described as a “mumble-jumble of random signs.”
(Taken from
Rabbi Yehoshua Soudakoff   “The World Still Does Not Understand Us” 12/12/13)
 
They were left without a clear understanding of what was said that day because someone unfamiliar with the language tried to interpret.
 
This is the problem with the world's understanding of Spiritual matters.
 
I Cor. 2:14-- But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned
 
The Most Misunderstood Person
Jesus is the most misunderstood of any person that ever lived.
            The Jews of his day misunderstood his teachings.
            The political leaders misunderstood his motives.
            The religious leaders misunderstood his methods.
            In Nazareth and they tried to throw him off a cliff.                               
            He was asked to leave the city of Gadara.
            His disciples forsook him.
            The world today doesn’t understand him.
            The modern church has betrayed him.
            Jesus asks in Luke 18:8—"When I return will I find faith on the earth?                           Will I find anyone that understands?
           
What Does the Church Understand that the World Doesn’t?
If we look at the text, we find that:
We know:
            What--That the Son of God is come—any denial of this fact is from the                            spirit of the Antichrist.               
            Why--(that we may know). Be acquainted with, have knowledge of, be                              sure of
            Who--(Him that is true). He that is real, He that is genuine--Jesus
            That we are in him that is true—in Jesus. In him states our position, our                            status
            That He is the Son of God, the Christ—the anointed one and the                                      Messiah.                                             
This is Revelation knowledge of the true identity of Jesus.
This is the understanding of who the true God is and this understanding is eternal life.                  
     
Our understanding of who he is allows us to know him.
It prevents us from following false gods.
It protects us from false doctrines and incorrect interpretations of the Bible.
This is what the church can offer that the world cannot—a “knowing” of Jesus.

We also understand:
That everyone is looking for understanding and that everyone needs to be understood.

Believe it or not, the church “gets you.”

We get that you are looking for meaning, for purpose, for happiness, for contentment, for sense out of nonsense, for hope, for direction, for reason, for friendship, for love.

 We get that you don’t always know which way to turn, where to go, what to do.

We get that sometimes you feel helpless, hopeless, lost, and overwhelmed.

We get that you make mistakes and wish you hadn’t.

We get that sometimes you wish life had a “rewind” button so you could fix some things.

Can I tell you that we understand?

Can I tell you that the church is made up of imperfect people that understand because we serve a forgiving, understanding God who is continuously working on us, correcting us, and guiding us to the perfect plans He has for our lives? 

Can I tell you that church is the perfect place to find understanding?
 
Give God a chance and see what He has in store for you.