It’s What You Don’t Have
Sermon by: Pastor Harrison Chokka
Has anyone ever told you to be thankful for what you have? Although this can be a good practice of gratitude, God often works in more complex ways that we may fail to understand in the present moment. Many times, God doesn’t work with what I have. Instead, He works with what I don't have, and it is only in hindsight that we begin to comprehend His blessing. Pastor Harrison says it best, “The greatest things that God wants to do come as a result of the deficits that we face in our lives.”
The central theme for this week’s message is this; God often guides by what he doesn’t provide. You are probably saying, “I thought that God is our greatest provider! What do you mean he doesn’t provide?” Hold on; it will all make sense in a minute.
For this sermon, we are in the book of Acts in chapter three, found in the New Testament.
There are two reasons why this man would sit at the gates, 1) The gate was called “Beautiful” and 2) The man thought a temple was a good place for others to be generous with their money. It is written that the man came back and begged every day. That means that he received the money he sought out. But that wasn’t enough. He received what he wanted but never received what we needed. Do you ever feel like that sometimes? Finding yourself seeking temporary satisfaction in any form but never feeling full?
This man is a representation of imperfect human nature. You might feel like you are getting everything you have ever wanted, but you're not being filled with what you need. You could be surrounded by friends, but you're not satisfied. You could have that amazing job you’ve always wanted, yet you're not fully content.
“What if the gaps in our lives are supposed to point us to a God who wants to fill the gap?”
This is such a powerful interaction. When Peter and John looked straight at the man, they showed him respect, dignity, and love, which was worth more than any amount of money he had made begging.
We can’t love, serve, or help the people that we don’t see. When we overlook people, we might be overlooking someone that God wants to do a miraculous thing for.
What a story! The lame man went to the temple every day and begged for something to get him through to the next day but what he experienced through John and Peter was much greater. He received respect, dignity, love, and most importantly, healing.
Everything that you think you want in life, God wants more for you. Whatever your plans, hopes, and dreams are, God imagines something bigger. What does this really mean? Sometimes we pray for things we think we really want and the way in which God answers prayers is by rejecting them. This is not because he doesn’t love us, on the contrary. Often times, God’s ‘no’ is leading us to a bigger ‘yes’. However, our frustration with God when he doesn’t give us what we want can lead to a false belief that he doesn’t love us or want good in our life. God’s heart for us is much more than giving us all our earthly and human desires, God has a plan for our life and knows our needs better than we do. God may withhold giving us what we want in order to bless us with something far better.
In this story, God used what Peter lacked in money, to do the miraculous for the lame man. Peter did not have silver or gold. Instead he was able to give the man much more; Love, respect, and healing. God used Peter’s deficit to create a significant blessing in this lame man’s life so he would no longer have to beg at the temple gates and instead, tell others what God has done in his life. Where we are weak, God is strong.
2 CORINTHIANS 12:9
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