A Winning Pairing
If you combine the gospel message and faith that God can do the impossible, then, my dear friend, you have a potent, a very potent combination.
And hello radio friends. How are you? Well I trust everything’s going okay at your house. Hope the roof doesn’t leak and hope the cat didn’t stay out all night and get lost, I hope your corns don’t pinch, or your arthritis doesn’t hurt or whatever. Hope everything’s alright at your house. Bless your heart.
Well, looking at the fourteenth chapter of the book of Acts. We’ve gotten down now to verse 8. Paul and Barnabas are at a town called Lystra. This is in the land that is now marked Turkey on your maps and its inland a ways, and north of the seacoast. And said; “there was a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who had never walked: The same heard Paul speak: who steadfastly beholding him.” Now listen, this is an interesting phrase, back in Acts 13 it said, “Paul looked at this Elymas the sorcerer, Saul, who is called Paul, filled with the Holy Ghost set his eyes on him”. Now that’s a similar phrase, I don’t know if it’s the same Greek construction or not, maybe there isn’t time here to look it up, or maybe there is. But in any case, it’s the same meaning. It’s the same meaning, you know.
He “steadfastly beholding, set his eyes on him”, same thing, see? “And steadfastly beholding him he saw something”, he perceived that this man had faith to be healed. He perceived that he had faith to be healed.
Now, when you are filled with the Spirit of God, there are certain things that you find out because of the Spirit of God. One, you find out as you look at people what the spiritual motivation of their life is. When you are full of the Spirit of God, He teaches you the blessed… Holy Spirit teaches you what the spiritual motivation of other people is. “Saul, filled with the Holy Ghost set his eyes on him”, and said, “Oh full of all subtlety and mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord”. The Spirit of God taught the apostle Paul what the motivation of that man was.
Now another thing is when you are filled with the Spirit of God, and you can sense the Holy Spirit teaching you, you can sense when other people have hungry hearts and open hearts and the willingness to believe God. One of the real reasons why you should yield your life every moment of every day to God’s precious Holy Spirit, is that He might make you sensitive to the potential of people round about you.
I think we pass by people who would open up to the Lord Jesus, who would trust the Savior if we just stopped and talked with them, because they’re ready. This man was ready. It said, “Saul perceived that the man had faith to be healed”. Now, I’m not advocating any kind of mind reading or extra sensory perception, or spiritual radar, you know I don’t believe in mumbo jumbo per se, but I do believe in the Holy Spirit. I do believe in being full of the Holy Spirit, and I do believe that when you are full of the Holy Spirit and He’s in control of your mind He can teach you what is what, in terms of the people you are facing. He can teach you the motivation of people who are motivated by evil. He can warn you of that. He can also alert you to the motivation of people who are motivated by faith. He can make you sensitive to the needs of other people.
Now, today as you go through the day, would you dare to pray a prayer like this? “Dear Lord, fill my life with Thyself, and as a result, make me sensitive to the needs of people around about me. May I notice folk who have faith to be helped? May I notice people who have hungry hearts? May I be aware of people who are willing to yield to Jesus if someone would talk with them”. You see there are such folk all around us, and as I say oftentimes, I tend to pass by people for lack of praying, for lack of thinking, for lack of being willing to set aside a busy schedule. We get so busy that we pass by people, isn’t it true? Oh yes.
Well then, why not ask God the Holy Spirit today to give you the same blessed comprehension of human possibilities and potentials as Paul the apostle seems to have had here. Isn’t that a good idea? Ask God to give you the same blessed sensitivity to human need and human potential as Paul the apostle had here.
He perceived that this man had faith to be healed. How? Because Paul the apostle was full of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit reveals the motivation of other people to you. Those who are opposing in the power of Satan, He’ll reveal that to you, and those who are hungry for Jesus, He’ll reveal that to you.
You’re not going to be a magician. You’re not going to be a mind reader. You’re not going to engage in some kind of skullduggery that is other that the precious ministry of the Spirit of God. What you are going to have is a direct line to human need. Good idea? Oh, I think this could be one of the most delicious experiences that you could ever have. I recommend it to you, really I do. Ask the Holy Spirit today to give you awareness of and sensitivity to the needs of other people.
Now let’s go back to the text, we’re studying in the 14th chapter of Acts. Paul and Barnabas and their company are at Lystra, and now it says, “there sat a certain man, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, he never had walked. The same heard Paul speak, and Paul looked at him and perceived that he had faith to be healed. So Paul said with a loud voice, ‘Stand upright on thy feet’, and he leaped and walked”.
This, of course, is almost a direct duplication of what happen with Simon Peter when he and John were on their way to the temple at the 3 o’clock prayer meeting hour. And this man was lame, he was laid, it says, “daily at the beautiful gate of the temple”. He had become, you may say, a fixture there. People walked by him never paying him much attention. And he didn’t pay people any attention either. Beggars very rarely look at you, have you noticed that?
I’ve been, of course, in the Orient and in other countries were begging is an industry. I can recall walking down the streets of a Chinese city before the fall of mainland China. I would see that certain beggars had certain areas of the sidewalk marked off, and this was there bailiwick, and they didn’t go beyond that. That was where they begged, and so they had an area which was theirs, so to speak, of the sidewalk, and that was where they stayed, and that was where they begged, but most of them never looked at you. They never looked at you. They had their little act that they did.
I remember in Calcutta, India, there was a beggar woman who would take up her station right below the window of the room in which I lived. It was a falling down kind of an old hotel, nothing worked.
The water in the tap didn’t run and the elevator didn’t work, and the lights didn’t burn half the time. And so you walked up, it was 93 steps, I remember counting that. You walked up 93 steps and they were good size steps believe me, to the 4th or 5th floor, wherever it was, where this room was and there was where I stayed during those days, and every morning along about I suppose about 5:30am, this beggar woman would take up her place on the street just below me, and she would start her little act.
And it was a kind of a song, I remember it to this day, I’m not going to sing it, relax I never sing on these broadcasts, but I have perfect pitch, and I remember it because she started on A natural, and went from A natural to D natural, and then sort of wandered all around with a funny little minor key song that ended on D natural below. She would pitch it in the key of C and end it on D natural, and you’ll understand, you musicians how it sounded. And that was her act, but she never looked at people. She sat there with her head bowed and sang this sad little song. It haunts me to this day, but she never looked at people.
Because begging was an industry, begging was her work, people were not really people to her, they were simply a source of some few coins that might be tossed her way. And this, of course is the unutterable sadness of an economy that includes officially so many, thousands, perhaps millions of beggars. But that’s another subject.
Here was this man, he was impotent and, like the man at the temple where Simon Peter and John went in, he wasn’t paying too much attention to people, that beggar wasn’t, and here was this man. Paul looked at him, and he saw there was a response in his soul. And he said, “Stand upright on thy feet”. He said it with a loud voice, and he leapt and walked.
Now, I can’t begin to explain how this works. I only know that as it said before in Acts 14:3 that, “the Lord gave testimony unto the word of His grace and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands”. So God was giving testimony again to the Word of His grace, because they had preached the gospel, it says. He gave testimony to the Word of His grace by healing this man.
Now, here’s the combination; the combination is our heart to believe God, and our heart to receive the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. And when you have that combination, God will do the unusual in your life. Some people believe the gospel without really having faith that God can do the unusual, and some people believe, at least in some way, that God can do the unusual but they reject the gospel. And in either case, you don’t quite achieve, do you see? But if you will combine the gospel message and faith that God can do the impossible, then, my dear friend, you have a potent, a very potent combination.
“He leaped”, it says, “and walked”. Well, we’ll talk a little more about that, God willing, the next time we get together. For now, remember that God reserves the right to do the unusual if you believe He can. God reserves the right to do the unusual if you believe He can. This man, had faith, to be healed.
All right, let’s pray. Dear Father, Do I pray, the unusual in our lives today. I ask in the name of our Lord Jesus. Amen. God bless you dear friend all the way. That’s all, for now.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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