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Sermon of the Week 
Tuesday, August 18 2020

Under the heading of I did not see that coming…. Someone wrote “If I had a dollar for every time I thought about you, I would start thinking about you”…. Someone else wrote,  “My wife told me I needed to grow up and I was speechless. It’s hard to talk with 5 sourballs in your mouth”… Here’s another one….She asked to be assigned to another seat on the plane because she was sitting next to a crying baby. Apparently that’s not allowed if the baby is yours… Oh, one more please….A very touchy, feely, woman was struggling with how she should say goodby. She wasn’t sure if she should throw a kiss or what. But the drive through attendant at Starbucks, said “Lady, just take the coffee and go”….(Didn’t see that coming)

When it comes to our emotions, we are complicated individuals, we can laugh, not because we’re happy, but because it wasn’t any worse than it was… We can cry, not because we’re sad, but because we’re overwhelmed with happiness with that “too good to be true”, feeling.

We get to graduation, and we’re laughing and crying at the same time… Our children are born and we’re happy as the tears are flowing…

When we’re grieving, we can stifle our grief and disappointment for the moment, but it will come out somewhere, when we least expect it…

There are things that happen in all of our lives that we never planned for, but in the thick of it, we can be prepared mentally and spiritually, before hand, so that we don’t lose our equilibrium and our core values can serve as a gyroscope to provide us with balance and purpose so we don’t make fools of ourselves. 

We are entering a time and a season when the constancy of God is colliding with the inconsistency of our times. Our expectancy can not be based on the world’s Ka Sa Ra, Sa Ra… but on God’s unchanging nature and His word…  

Dr. Viktor Frankl, author of the book "Man's Search for Meaning," was imprisoned by the Nazis in W.W.II because he was a Jew. His wife, his children, and his parents were all killed in the holocaust.

The Gestapo made him strip and as he stood there totally naked, they cut away His wedding ring and Viktor said, "You can take my wife, you can take away my children, you can strip me of my clothes and my freedom, but there is one thing no person can ever take away from me--and that is my freedom to choose how I will react to what happens to me!" 

Often, it is those “I Did Not See That Coming” moments that can change everything, and cause a negative situation to become a significant moment in our lives, and give us a new perspective….                                                  A man wanted a boat more than anything. His wife kept refusing, because she wanted a new living room set. But he bugged her until she let him buy one with the promise of a new living room set just as soon as they could afford it. "I'll tell you what," he told her, "In the spirit of compromise, why don't you name the boat?" Being a good sport, she accepted his offer. When her husband went to the dock for his maiden voyage, he saw the name she had chosen, painted on the side. It said “For Sale”                                                                                                                                                                              You can either be a person who leads, who follows, or who just needs to get out of the way….But there are many things which are all designed to get us to forget our higher purpose. Today is the best time for you to reclaim all the happiness, wealth, success, peace, health, favor, etc. you have unknowingly allowed the Devil to steal from you. You have been destined for greatness.

We are called to be the engine which pulls this train of surprise circumstances and unexpected happenings and not be run over by them…. A caboose pulling an engine would be really weird… because God has promised “I will make you the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath…Deuteronomy 28

Are you the engine or the caboose?.....As a follower of Christ, we are not called to be the engine which follows the caboose… The Father is never surprised or caught unprepared. So many times I have seen these “I did not see that coming” moments become defining moments for folks.                                                                 A number of years ago, Newsweek magazine carried the story of the memorial service held for Hubert Humphrey, former vice-president of the United States. Hundreds of people came from all over the world to say good-bye to their old friend and colleague. But one person who came was shunned and ignored by virtually everyone there. Nobody would look at him, much less speak to him.                                                                        That person was former president Richard Nixon. Not long before, he had gone through the shame and infamy of Watergate. He was back in Washington for the first time since his resignation from the presidency to attend the funeral of his old friend.

Then a very special thing happened, perhaps the only thing that could have made a difference and broken the ice. President Jimmy Carter, who was in the White House at that time, came into the room. 

Before he was seated, he saw Nixon over against the wall, all by himself. He went over to [him] as though he were greeting a family member, stuck out his hand to the former president, and smiled broadly. To the surprise of everyone there, the two of them embraced each other, and Carter said, "Welcome home, Mr. President! Welcome home!" They never saw that coming!

Commenting on this, Newsweek magazine asserted, “If there was a turning point in Nixon's long ordeal in the wilderness, it was that moment and that gesture of love and compassion."

Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. (Stay salty) v14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. v15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. v16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  (A Glow in the dark Christian) 

One song says “Let’s give them something to talk about”….Carter changed the atmosphere, when he did something that no one saw coming!!! He could have been like the others, but he chose to be the engine, of higher purpose and not give in to the pull of lesser things….to take the high road of love, acceptance and forgiveness….

Matthew 7:12 – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

How often have folks been so intimidated by what others think, that they withheld compassion, they withheld words of love and acceptance, and they never spoke words of forgiveness and reconciliation, which have the power to change everything….

Mark 2: 1 “Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he was there. v2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, as he preached the word to them. v3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 

v4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. (They never saw that coming) v5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (The religious leaders condemned him for saying “your sins are forgiven”) 

v10 And I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, v11“I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” v12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” in other words…(They never saw that coming) 

I propose to you that not only were they amazed at the paralyzedman getting up and walking home, but they were amazed at the commitment of his friends to get him to Jesus, even if it took tearing the roof off!

What if we were as eager to get someone to Jesus as these friends, who knew that if they could get their friend to Him, his life would change totally and completely! So they tore the roof off… They would do whatever it took, to make THIS MEETING possible!

The roof was a symbol of whatever was blocking the way to Jesus…

The Woman with the issue of blood for twelve years pushedthrough the crowd and touched the hem of His garment. 

Blind Bartimaes would not stop crying out to Jesus till he got his sight.

Zacchaeus, the short tax collector, didn’t let the crowd stop him from seeing Jesus, he found a tree and up he climbed.

There will always be obstacles, when you determine to get to Jesus. But the Blessing is for those who refuse to give up.

The children of Israel, marched around Jericho 6 days and then 7 times on the 7th day! And the walls came tumbling down….(Come on, one more time around the walls and they’ll start to tremble and shake)                          They’ll never see that coming!!!

Eleazor was the name, of one of David’s mighty men. His name means “God is my help”….and in the heat of battle, “he arose and smote the Philistines until his hand cleaved unto the sword, and the Lord wrought a great victory that day. His hand was frozen to his sword so that he could not let it go! It had become a part of him!!!

Oh, may God’s word sword have such an effect on us, that we are so attached to it, that it has become a part of us and we cannot let it go….

Oh, sometimes the cross gets heavy and we may become weary from carrying it, but it has become so much a part of our daily crucifixion life- style that we cannot let it go…. “I am crucified with Christ, non-the-less I live, and the life I now live, I live by the faith of the son of God”…..                   We have come to understand that the price we may pay to carry the cross is nothing compared to the cost of casting it aside and doing our own thing….

“So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, till my trophies at last I lay down, I will cling to the old rugged cross, and exchange it some day for a crown.”

May Eagle’s Rest be a church that takes the roof off! When you take the roof off, we’ll have prostitutes, and drug addicts, and homeless, and perverts, and cross dressers, and rich and poor finding God together, and blacks, and Chinese, and Arabs, and Jews, all sitting together praising and worshiping God, and praying together and praying for one another…. 

That’s about taking the roof off, it’s about acceptance and forgiveness, the God kind of love and “Many folks never saw that coming”!!! WE NEVER SAW IT LIKE THIS they said…. Because someone took the roof off!!!

The church of Jesus was never intended to be a club for a privileged few, but a mission field, a hospital for the sick, a transformation station for those who know deep down that there is more!

Go into the highways and byways and compel them to come in….that my house may be full…. (whose house, oh HIS HOUSE) OOPS, did we start thinking it was our house? Jesus is describing HIS HOUSE! 

WHEN WE TAKE THE ROOF OFF! IT’S COME AS YOU ARE….and know you’re loved. These folks who tore the roof off came just as they were. Thank you Jesus you love all of us just like we are. We don’t have to be someone else for You to love us… We just need to come as we are, But He loves us enough that He won’t leave us like we are! He has better for us, and if there is one thing in life that will always stay the same it is that change is coming! There will always be change. 

So you might as well let go and start taking the roof off!!!

“Whosoever will, may come”…. Jesus came into this world at one of it’s darkest periods… The cruel Roman empire ruled over Jerusalem. Jesus healed the Centurion’s servant. He loved the very Jews who crucified Him. He preached love in towns where they sought to stone Him for His message. He loved the prostitute, the tax collector, the outcast and unclean. He was as comfortable among sinners as He was among the religious crowd. His message was “Whosoever will, may come”…. “Whosoever believes on the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved”…..His final act while hanging on the cross, was to welcome a thief, who was hanging there with him, to join Him in heaven. FOLKS JUST NEVER SAW THAT COMING….

LET’S GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT!

There was once an absent-minded professor who became so absorbed in his work that he forgot the simplest of details. One morning his wife said, "Now Henry, remember, we are moving today. Here, I'm putting this note in your pocket. Don't forget." The day passed by and the man came home to his house. He entered the front door, and found the place empty. Confused, he walked out to the curb and sat down. A young boy walked up to him, and he asked him, "Little boy, do you know the people who used to live here?" The boy replied, "Sure, Dad, mom told me you'd forget that we moved."

Get ready to move….Jesus is saying, “Follow Me” and that may mean we’ll have to move from where we’ve been, to where Jesus is at”!!!! It may mean that it’s no longer our church but His church!

Isn’t that what He said…. “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not be able to prevail against it”!!!

When they took the roof off… It means they became known by their compassion… When others had given up, when they had lost hope, and others felt they had done all they could… notice that this man’s friends didn’t give up on him. It doesn’t say that his family tore off the roof to get him to Jesus, it says his friends did it. Maybe his family had given up, and felt there was nothing more they could do… but his FRIENDS wouldn’t stop trying, praying, and believing….

May we be that kind of fellowship…

Taking the roof off is about getting people out of themselves and into a new life, a larger place. Doctors will tell you that 75% of the things they treat people for, is because of personal life style choices they are making. 

James 4:17 “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin”.

We rise up by moving into a larger place, a place of obedience..Tithing, gathering with those of faith, showing Jesus to your neighbors by caring, and accepting, live a life of joy, peace, and faith words and actions….If you’re following Jesus, that’s where your path will take you….

Taking the roof off means to stop judging, criticizing and gossiping Jesus said, judge not or you will be judged….You can’t judge and gossip and criticize and forgive at the same time….If we know to not judge others and do it then it is a sin… TIME TO TAKE THE ROOF OFF OF JUDGING AND DISECTING ONE ANOTHER OFF!                                                             (No matter how thin you slice it, it’s a lot of bologna)

Speaking of judging…..A little girl was being punished for her disobedience. Her mom and dad decided that her punishment would be for her to eat dinner alone in the corner, while the rest of them would sit at the table. As they sat down to eat, the family paid no attention to her until they heard her pray. She was intense and passionate as the words rose to heaven… “I thank You, Lord, for preparing a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” They never saw that coming….(sounds like one of my kids)

Taking the roof off, means finding a new way that you haven’t tried before…. Who says it has to be the way it was 10, 20, or 30 years ago….as long as it’s God’s way!

Isaiah 43:18 “Remember not the former things, neither consider the things of old. v19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth, shall younot know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert”.                                               Are you willing to do something drastic to see your friend get to Jesus? Are you willing to take a risk so that someone else can come to know Him? Are you willing to do something foolish to bring them to a defining spiritual moment, you may have to go outside the box….

Taking the roof off, means making Jesus accessible to the people, when the people won’t come to church, or home meeting… it means you may have to meet them where they are, and carry them when they can’t do it themselves. Providing transportation, friendship, and a listening ear and a caring heart. It’s about taking the higher ground and leading by example. Not as I say but as I do… 

Joe had lost his job and was unemployed. His son Jared asked him one day when they were at the table, if there even was a God to hear his prayers. Joe said I don’t know what to tell you son. So, Jared released a helium balloon and said God if you are up there and you’re real, send people who know you to help dad and me.                                                              They happenedupon a free carwash the church was doing. People prayed with them and led them to faith in Christ. A Sanitation worker was upset that the free car wash was creating a traffic jam. He pulled in and started complaining while doing so, the people who were washing cars prayed with him. He recognized Joe and Jared, and offered Joe a job. Because the Christians who were doing the free car wash, decided to take the roof off and try something different. Two families came to Christ, Jared’s faith was restored, Joe got a job, and Jesus was Glorified….

Taking the roof off is about cooperation…. We are told that the 4 of them came together and joined their faith and strength, to get this man to Jesus. They had to be agreed, and they had to work together. If they had only focused on their differences, it would never have happened. They put aside their differences so their friend could have a better life.                                    Matthew 18:18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. v19 Again, I tell you truly that if two of you on the earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. v20 For where two or three gather together in My name, there am I with them.”…        

Sometimes our personal preferences become the obstacle to getting things accomplished for the kingdom.

It really isn’t about us, it’s about the Father’s business, and the Father’s pleasure. Who can I send, and who will go for me, Isaiah asks us. Instead of saying what we don’t have and can’t do, use what you do have and you can do….

1 Corinthians 12:16 “And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. v17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? v18But in fact, God has arranged the members of the body, every one of them, according to His pleasure”.…

To insist that everyone do what I’m doing because it’s what I’m doing, or like what I like, or be like I am. Is to fail to appreciate their uniqueness and their individual giftedness. Thank God we’re not all alike…BORING!!

Some of us are quite, some of us are more vocal, some are more expressive and some less, some of us like different food, different music, different styles and different places… but are we agreed on what is important… Showing God’s love, forgiveness and acceptance…

God is not a respecter of persons…. Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart. 

Moses started out as a basket case, but God used him…

Jacob was a liar, but God used him….

Peter was always putting his foot in his mouth, but God used him…

Samson had woman issues, but God used him…

People can be like roses, if you can get beyond the thorns you can appreciate the beauty of the rose…. Let’s not lose our focus and create obstacles where God is creating great, life changing opportunities….

Something the Lord spoke to me, is that we as a church must rise up higher if we are to take the roof off. There must be a repositioning. A laying aside of every weight and the sin that easily besets us. We must shut ourselves in with the Lord in order to move higher in our spiritual position. There are things that will not happen or be accomplished on the low road of surface spirituality. It will take an ascending to the high places if we are to tear satan’s kingdom down. There is a secret place where we can be seated in heavenly places. To open up the heavens, we must loose our grip on many things of this life. It takes open hands and a pure heart to ascend to Zion’s hill… We receive by letting go, we truly live by dying to the flesh and the pull of the world…. This is about Alignment… Not my will but Thine be done…. What would Jesus Do…. Allowing Him to be the shepherd, leading us out and bringing us in….                                             I would like us to agree with someone as we tear the roof off in closing… Join hands with someone, or lay hands on their shoulder…. Where is it you need to make access to get someone to Jesus. Where you need to do something different than you’ve tried before…Where you need to come into a larger place of obedience….Where you need to help some one who can’t help themselves…What needs to be cleared out of the way.. What is the place of obedience that you need to step into….                                            That’s calling into your spirit today….

What is it that’s been calling to your spirit….Something you never dreamed is waiting to happen…Step in while the waters are being stirred…The 4 friends stepped out of the box and saw a miracle!!!

Posted by: AT 09:09 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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