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Sermon of the Week 
Monday, August 05 2019

A fellow got in a terrible fight and the next day a friend saw his cuts and bruises and commented on how terrible the man looked. The guy simply remarked “Hey, I won, you should have seen the other guy!!!….

Garrison Keillor wrote…..”It's a shallow and sterile life that doesn't give a person a few scars”.

Harry Crews wrote….There is something beautiful about all scars of whatever nature. A scar means the hurt is over, and the wound is closed and healed, and done with”.

Webster says a scar is “A mark left by a healed wound”.

Recently, as you know, we have been up close and personal with a scar, and I’m talking about a whopper. And the adventure continues.             They use glue now, instead of stitches or staples. The glue is made from protein and it bonds with the body tissue, then it is timed to dissolve when the tissue is healed. This greatly minimizes scarring… and there are no sutures or staples to remove later. 

How many know, that the Lord sometimes heals the body but allows scars to remain as a testimony of His power.

Let me give you an example…

When Jacob wrestled all night, with the angel of the Lord at Bethel, which means “House of God”… Jacob said, “I will not let you go, until the blessing I receive”… the angel touched his hip and put his hip out of joint, so that he walked with a limp, the remainder of his life. 

Every time Jacob limped, he was reminded of the night in God’s House, that he prevailed and received the blessing. His scar was not a reminder of defeat, but of victory!!! That scar declared Jacob wrestled through and prevailed in prayer.

So, for this season, Winnie will be defined and greatly influenced by her scar, that will always remind her that she had a God appointment which will forever change her life. And I want to say that all through this adventure, we saw the hand of God at work. 

From now on she will set off alarms at airport security, 

and she never wore string bikinis anyway, so that won’t be an issue. 

And just like with Jacob, God has used this scar to allow us to make connections we would never have made without it, and we’ve been able to witness to many people as a result of this experience.

That should be the purpose of our scars, that they would become a testimony we can use to share our relationship with the Lord and introduce others to Him so they can have that same relationship….

God will use whatever you allow Him to, as a tool to witness, and to demonstrate what He can do through your own experiences and with the scars which we all wear.

 John 20:24 “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. v25 So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” v26 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace  a be with you.” v27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands, and reach here your hand and put it into My side and do not be unbelieving, but believing. v28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

Some time ago, I wrote a verse which I call “Scars”…

It doesn’t matter who you are. 

It doesn’t matter where you’ve been. 

It doesn’t matter what the scar. 

It doesn’t matter what the sin. 

It doesn’t matter how you fell, somewhere along the way. 

There’s healing available for your life … beginning right now, today.

I remember when I was much younger, I wanted to get a job driving trucks. I heard how much they got paid and I wanted some of that! I didn’t even get an application. The guy took a look at my hands and said, You’re no truck driver, those hands are too smooth, there aren’t enough callouses and scars…My point in saying that, is that we know Jesus by the scars that he wore in our behalf! They are what identified Him to Thomas. It is what is special about Him still today…

Luke 24: 36 “And as they spoke, the resurrected Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and said unto them, Peace be unto you. 37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said unto them, Why are youtroubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Handle me, and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see me have. 40 And when He had spoken, He shewed them His hands and His feet”.

(He’s been revealing himself to us all, but we think of Him as some kind of Spirit, but He’s real, I’ve seen Him several times, and I know. We need the covering removed from our eyes, so we can see Him) The word is still being made flesh today!

Paul declares that he would be known everywhere he went by the scars he wore…

Galatians 6:17 (MSG) “Quite frankly, I will not be bothered anymore by trivial disputes. I have far more important things to do. For I bear in my body the scars from my service to Jesus”.

We can see the list of scars that Paul bore (it’s quite a list)

2 Corinthians 11:23 “I have been been flogged severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 

I like the T-shirt that says “ If scars tell a story, then my body is a book”…..Every scar has a story. Some scar stories are really cool. When people ask about them, there’s a grand adventure to tell.

And then there are the scars that tell stories we don’t want told. Stories that are embarrassing. I have a scar on the back of my head because I’m an idiot. I tried to ride a pipe stuck between two 50 inch cart wheels down a steep hill while balancing in the middle with nothing to hang on to but a free turning bar. A story I usually don’t tell. 

There are scars that we hide or bury deeply in our psyche. The scars that bring up old wounds that we would rather just forget. Sometimes those scars have visible reminders. Sometimes they don’t. 

But they still make themselves known one way or the other. They still tell a story that we may not want to hear again. And they don’t go away because their purpose is that we might learn from them and grow wiser and stronger.

2 Corinthians 4:16 Wherefore we faint not; but though our outward man is perishing, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is for the moment, worketh for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory; 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Tony Evans tells of two monks walking on their life’s journey. When they came to an OLD, ELDERLY WOMAN JUST SITTING THERE CRYING. She needed to travel to a city and there was a river between her and the city. There were no bridges to cross the river and the lady couldn’t swim.

So the first monk said: WE WILL CARRY ACROSS THE RIVER. The two monks joined hands and picked up the old lady and gently carried her across the river. When they got across the river they sat the lady down, she continued her journey and they continued theirs. The second monk started complaining endlessly. He said: Look how wet I am, I am cold now. Look at the mud that I have all over me. I have wrinkles in my clothes and they are dirty now. Then he added, and my back is hurting from lifting that heavy old lady. I am getting stiff. I am in pain.

The second monk just kept complaining and finally said “I DON’T THINK I CAN CONTINUE ON THIS JOURNEY”. Why aren’t you complaining, he asked the other monk? Doesn’t your back hurt?

Then the first monk said: WE DID A GOOD THING. YES MY BACK IS HURTING, AND I’M MUDDY, AND I’M TIRED. BUT I KNOW WHY YOUR BACK IS HURTING AND YOU ARE COMPLAINING SO MUCH. YOU ARE STILL CARRYING THAT OLD LADY. I SET HER DOWN 5 MILES BACK. YOU NEED TO SET HER DOWN TOO!!

Tell someone….. “SET HER DOWN”!!!

Scar tissue is always stronger than the tissue around it. I used to win, when I compared scars with Winnie, but I have never had a scar to compare with the beauty she has now!!! SHE WINS!!This is the Donely family who were so gracious to let us stay in their home during the surgery and the therapy. The Donelys were Winnie’s therapist as well as our wonderful hosts…

Through the “scar” experience that Winnie and I have walked through over the past weeks… We have been reminded again and again, that He took our place there at the whipping post when they laid open His flesh with the whip which was constructed with pieces of glass and metal woven into the leather strands,then they pressed a crown of thorns into his scull and brow….Then at the cross, they nailed His hands and feet and then drove a spear into His side. Those were our scars that He took….

All done and allowed by the Father so that He could take our sinsand bring healing to the memory and the emotions that are attached to our scars, and transform them for good and not for evil.

Isaiah 53:1 Surely He bore our griefs, and our v2 sorrows He carried, yet we esteemed Him stricken, v3 Smitten of God, and afflicted. v5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities. The chastening for our v2 well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. v6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way, but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to be laid upon Him”.

There was a woman who said that God talked to her every day. Soa minister went to her house to confirm or disprove that God was speaking to this old woman every day. “If God speaks to you, then surely He can tell you what I confessed to Him in my prayers last night, I will come back tomorrow and you to give me the answer. Ask God what I confessed to Him and see what he says.” The minister left confident that he had disproved an old woman’s claims. The next morning, he returned and asked her what God had told her about his confession from the night before. She took away all doubts, as she said “God told me that He completely forgot what you confessed to Him.”

HALLELUJAH! Not only is He able to take away the memory of the scars, He completely forgets about it, never to bring it up again, or hold it against us…..He forgot it, so you can forget about it!!!

Every one of us, have a birth scar (unless you are an alien from outer space).. PLEASE DON’T GO CHECKING ONE ANOTHER!

That birth scar, where the umbilical cord was cut, is your birth mark. It is a constant reminder of the time in your life when you went from one stage of life and development to another.                                                                                                                Our scars are much like that, it is through them that we have grown and developed and learned to move to the next level in our lives.Every disappointment, every hurt, every emotional wound, every failure becomes the stepping stone that we use to climb up higher…                           Our scars are each a measurement of progress through the faithful blessings of the Lord.

Deuteronomy 28:2 And all these blessings shall run after you, and overtake you in the way you go, if you shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God.

And if we do hear His voice, we might hear Him say “yes”, or “no”, or “wait” or “You’ve got to be kidding”…..I hear many people pray and it sounds more like they’re giving God instructions than making a request”

Sometimes you have to press through the “no’s” to get to the “yes’s”

Satan tries to come around and throw your past in your face, the memories, the mistakes, the sins, the blunderings of your youth, but they’re under the blood, and Satan can’t touch what’s under the blood!!!!

If we don’t let Christ bury our past, and get it resolved, our past will bury us. We’ve all made mistakes and bad choices. If it’s true that we learn from every mistake we ever make…I should be a genius by now!!!

Water baptism is an outward testimony of an inner miracle where we testify that our past is now buried with Christ and He has risen to present the victory to the Father, and the sins of the pastare defeated and wiped clean and can no longer be held against us…Listen to Paul here….

Colossians 2:12 “We are buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through the working of God, who raised him from the dead”.

Sigmund Freud is world famous as a neurologist and psychologist. He is the founder of modern PSYCHO-ANALYSIS.He was a genius and a foolish man at the same time. His motto should be “Do as I say not as I do”….Life had left Sigmund a BITTER, HURT, DISAPPOINTED AND DISILLUSIONED OLD MAN. He smoked 20 cigars a day, which caused cancer of the mouth, he also had a cocaine addiction. He wrote a sad line in 1918, before his death “ I HAVE FOUND LITTLE GOOD ABOUT HUMAN BEINGS ON THE WHOLE. IN MY EXPERIENCE MOST OF THEM ARE TRASH…”

(kinda makes you wonder about your therapist) He also said…

“When a man is freed of religion, he has a better chance to live a normal and wholesome life”  

Sounds like Siggy was mad at God and the whole world! Siggywould tell you that everything happens for a reason, in the cause and effect cycle of things. But in his case it’s bad decisions and stubborn pride….

Luke 6:37 Judge not, and you shall not be judged: condemn not, and you shall not be condemned: forgive, and you shall be forgiven:

Have you forgiven yourself….. That’s where the Healing starts….

A man was in prison for murdering a bank teller in an armed robbery. One night while in prison he asked God into his heart. Even though he had asked God for forgiveness, he continued to be plagued with guilt for his sin and so he went to see the prison chaplain. The chaplain asked him if he had asked God to forgive him, he said yes I have. The chaplain then asked if he had been able to forgive himself. He said, “what do you mean, I have to forgive myself?” The chaplain told him that in order for God to complete His work of cleansing through him, he had to forgive himself.

Let me ask you a question this morning, “Have you forgiven yourself, of the thing you asked God to forgive you from”?

It is then, that it is truly wiped away…. Don’t worry about the scars that are left as a testimony… they are only there to give God glory! The scar is a monument to the healing that has happened.      

Colossians 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. v13 Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated [us] into the kingdom of His dear Son. v14 Inwhom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins.

IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THAT!

A little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. He dove into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward him. His mother was looking out the window saw what was happening and she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could. The boy made a U-turn to swim to his mother. But it was too late. Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him.

The mother grabbed her boy by the arms just as the alligator grabbed his legs. An incredible tug-of-war between the twobegan. The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go. A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from his truck, and shot the alligator.

After weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. And, on his arms, were deep cuts where his mother’s fingernails dug into his flesh in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.

The news paper reporter who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy didn’t lift his pant legs but he showed the reporter the scars on his arms. The reporters said, I was talking about the scars on your legs. “Oh, I have scars on my legs, but the scars on my arms are where my momma won and the alligator lost. My Mom just wouldn’t let go."

Jesus’ scars are your assurance that He will never let go. Jesus’scars are proof that you won and the Devil lost. They are proof that you are victorious and Satan is defeated. His scars are proof that you have survived but your toxic past has not! Satan meant it for evil, but God meant it for good!!!

Because Jesus just wouldn’t let go!!!!

One of the mysteries of Easter is that the Resurrection brought Christ back to life, but He chose to keep the scars.

When I was a boy, I heard a minister say that there is only one thing in heaven made by man. That is the scars in the body of Jesus, His hands, His feet and His side….

Whatever happened to you, that left scars on your heart, or your soul, or your body – Jesus went through it in the final hours of His life…

Were you humiliated? So was Jesus.

Were you abused? So was Jesus.

Were you betrayed? So was Jesus.

Were you done wrong? So was Jesus.

Were you falsely accused? So was Jesus.

1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I have an abundance of scars from my life, like most folks. Many of them, really put a hurt on me, when they happened. The pain was severe and intense at the time. 

But I look at the scars now, and I remember some of those episodes, but you know what…. It doesn’t hurt anymore.

Jesus came to take away the hurt. The scar may be there, but the hurt, and the pain are gone, and we don’t have to keep reliving it or experiencing it over and over again.

If it still hurts, I want you to know with confidence today, Jesus has come to heal, restore, and take away the hurt….

The song by Bill Gaither says, “Hold on my child, joy comes in the morning. Weeping only last for the night. Hold on my child, joy comes in the morning. The darkness now, means dawn is just in sight”….

You can hold on because He is holding on to you….

Posted by: AT 12:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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