Archive for July 2nd, 2018

from JO’s sermon tonight:

we’ve all had times where we’ve seen God’s goodness: we weren’t feeling well, the medical report didn’t look good, but God turned it around, now we’re healthy and whole. or we lost a loved one, didn’t think we could go on, but God gave us strength, peace, and here we are stronger than ever. at one point, we were the patient, needed healing, restoration, favor; God made a way where we didn’t see a way.

we’re grateful that He brought us out, we know that was His goodness, but it’s not enough to just be a grateful former patient; you have to take it one step further, and go from patient to physician. you’ve been healed; now go help somebody else get healed. you broke the addiction; help someone else break their addiction. your son got back on course; go help that mother that’s struggling with her son, encourage her, speak life into her, let her know that God did it for you, and He can do it for her.

God didn’t heal you just so you could be well; He also healed you so you could become a healer. He didn’t bless you just so you could be blessed; He did it so you could become a blessing. He favored you so you could show other people favor, brought you through the loss, gave you a new beginning, so you could help others make it through their loss. it’s not enough to just bask in what God has done, thank Him for His goodness; you have a responsibility to help someone else in that same situation. you’re no longer the patient; you’ve become the physician.

some things you can’t fully understand by taking a class or reading a book. when you’ve been through the pain, loss, struggle, that experience gives you a unique perspective that others without it don’t have; they can’t fully appreciate it. when you’ve been through something, cancer treatment, divorce, loss, rough childhood, in one sense you’ve been given a gift; you are uniquely qualified to help someone else in that same situation. you know what it’s like; the pain, discouragement, battles they fight in their mind. you can help them in a way that others can’t. God has done it for you; don’t stay a grateful patient, become a physician. reach out to them. your encouragement carries more weight; you’re speaking from experience, you’ve been there.

Paul said in Corinthians, “the comfort we receive in our difficulties, we can share that same comfort with others in their time of need.” we all have something to give, because we’ve all been through things.

it doesn’t have to be something big, tragic. you made it through that tough course in college, worked hard, studied, that friend came over and helped you, you prayed and believed; you were the patient. it wasn’t easy, but God breathed on your efforts and you passed. now, maybe you have a friend in that same situation; they don’t understand it, they’re stressed, struggling. you’re no longer the patient; now, you’re the physician. God brought you out, not just for your sake, so you can shine, but so you can help somebody else shine. take time to mentor them; give them your notes, strategy, tips, send them an encouraging text, do what you can to help them pass.

every one of us has had experiences that qualify us to be the physician. God told Abraham, “I will bless you, and you shall be a blessing.” it infers, if you’re not going to be a blessing, then you’re not going to be blessed; the two are tied together. God is saying, “I will heal you if you’ll become a healer, I’ll free you if you help somebody else break that addiction, I’ll give you your dream if you’ll help other people accomplish their dreams. I’ll deliver you from being a patient if you’ll make a commitment to become a physician.”

it’s not only about being good to others; the way you’re going to keep your blessing is by being a blessing. the scripture says, “give, and it will be given to you.” if you’re not giving away what God has given you, that blessing is not going to continue in the way that it should. this is a reason some people don’t keep their healing; it’s not because they’re not grateful, it’s because they’re not helping anyone else. if you will give away healing, healing will always come back to you. God freed you from that addiction; if you want to stay free, go help somebody else get free. keep giving away what God has given you.

at one point, we were all the patient; lonely, fighting an illness, believing for a dream, working hard, being our best, and God made it happen. now, we’re blessed: we’re married, we’re well. we’re grateful, but we can’t stop there; we have a responsibility to help somebody else get well, get their promotion, spouse. we’ve switched from being the patient to becoming the physician; now, we’re looking for people we can lift, speak light to their darkness, healing to their brokenness, freedom to their strongholds. back then, we needed healing; now, we are the healer. we needed encouragement; now, we are the encourager. we needed a miracle; now we are their miracle. if you’ll let what God gives you flow through you, He’ll continue to give it to you.

but it’s tempting to think, “I’ve got a good job. I’m happily married; You’ve blessed me”; that’s going to cause us to get stagnant. if you’re not giving anything away, nothing new is going to come. whether or not you keep the blessing, healing, favor, influence, depends on what you do with it. when you’re always lifting people, encouraging someone, making their life better, blessings are always going to come to you. God knows that He can bless you if He knows He can trust you to take the restoration and share it with others.

I wonder if we’re not seeing healing, blessings, favor, increase, because we’re not committed to give it away. God is saying to us what he said to Abraham; “I will bless you if you will make a commitment to be a blessing. I will restore you, make the enemy pay, take what was meant for harm and turn it to your advantage, if you’ll help restore others.”

is God waiting for you to be a blessing, give away healing, encouragement, make somebody else better, then He’s going to take you to a level that you’ve never imagined?

in Luke 22, Jesus said to Peter, “Satan has tried to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you, that your faith would not fail. when you have turned again, strengthen your brother.” Jesus was telling Peter that forces were trying to keep him from his destiny, but he prayed for him, and Peter was going to make it. then he said something significant; “when you have turned again” means, “when you come out of this trial, when you’re on the other side, blessed, free, restored,” you strengthen your brother. he was saying, “use what you’ve been through to help somebody else get stronger.”

every blessing, healing, breakthrough, was not designed just for you; it was to strengthen your brother. you would think Jesus would say, “Peter, when you get out, go to the temple and celebrate”; instead, he said, “when you come out, go strengthen someone.”

whatever God has brought you through, turned around, made happen that you couldn’t make happen, that’s an opportunity to strengthen someone. maybe you’ve been through a divorce, your heart was broken, you didn’t think you could go on, didn’t look like there were any good days up ahead; what you may not have realized is, like with Peter, Jesus was praying for you, that your faith would not fail.

it’s one thing to have people praying for you, that’s good, but the scripture says:

Romans 8:34 (NIRV)
34 Christ Jesus is at the right hand of God and is also praying for us.

you wonder how you made it through that tough time, loss, broke that addiction that seemed like it was permanent, here’s how; the Creator of the universe was praying for you.

we’ve all come through things that should have stopped us, seen good breaks that we couldn’t make happen, doors open that we couldn’t open, addictions broken that we couldn’t break on our own. now we’re on the other side; what’s our responsibility, what are we to do? strengthen someone: that person that has cancer, that friend that’s going through a divorce, that co-worker that’s fighting an addiction, that neighbor that’s lonely. we should live on a mission; I’m out to strengthen, encourage, help heal, somebody today. God’s brought me out; I’m not going to stay a grateful former patient, I’m going to become a physician. God blessed you, now help somebody else get blessed. God delivered you; why don’t you help them get delivered?

it’s ok to stay a patient for a little while; we all have difficulties, fight battles, need encouragement, people to lift us when we fall, carry us when we’re weak. there are seasons when we’re a patient, but when God turns it around, brings us out, now we’re blessed, healed, meet the right person, we need to shift into a different mode; looking for somebody to strengthen, bless, “I have a story to share, encouragement to give.” no more, “I need something, I’m a patient.” it’s not just a grateful mode, “God’s been good to me,” we have to shift into this physician mode; “who can I bless, help heal?” “my son was off course, God turned him around, Lord, thank You for that; now, where’s another son I can go after?” “where is somebody I can encourage?”

as long as you let the blessings keep flowing, the encouragement, being good to people, comforting them, helping them to overcome, then the blessings, healing will keep coming, the right people, joy, fulfillment. I’m not saying you won’t have difficulties, but as you give away what God’s given you, strengthen others, you will always have the strength that you need.

but sometimes, we can live ingrown, focused on ourselves. we’re grateful, we thank God for His goodness, but that’s not enough; that’s not going to cause it to sustain. the real test is, are you strengthening someone, taking time to encourage people, going out of your way to be good to them? maybe they need to be in an uplifting environment , and you go pick them up and bring them to church; you just strengthened your brother.

none of us got to where we are on our own; somebody encouraged you, brought you to church, took time to teach, train you, believed in you, took a chance and gave you a position, prayed for you. it may have been a great-great-great-grandmother; you’ve never even met them, but they were instrumental in you being where you are today. they helped you; why don’t you go out and help somebody else? keep giving away what God’s given you, and it will always come back.

can God trust you to be blessed? will you pass it on and be a blessing? can He trust you with healing; will you become a healer? can He trust you with influence, new levels, freedom? will you let what He gives you flow out to others? you may not realize it, but you’re a healer, lifter, encourager, blesser. as you strengthen your brothers/sisters, not only are they going to rise higher, but you’re going to rise higher, see new levels of blessing, healing, influence, favor, the fullness of your destiny.

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