James began with a personal story about being on the golf course with Ron. After complaining about the sorry state of his life, he asked James how he did it. The reasons were many but the primary one was it was his day off. So, rather than going for the touchdown, he fumbled the ball completely missing the opportunity God had given him to share his faith.
Has this ever happened to you?
Look up – Mark 2:23-3:6
This is the story where Jesus heals the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath. It wasn’t just that Jesus was breaking the Sabbath, He was standing in direct opposition to their authority and they didn’t like it.
Mark 3:5 “…grieved at their hardness of heart…”
They were more committed to a rule than a relationship.
In the minds of those leaders, they were right and Jesus was wrong, and the law was on their side. Ad there in lies the problem with the law, it has no power to save, only to condemn.
Jesus was trying to show them He serves one who is greater than the law, one who had the ability to save.
This was an issue of belief. Could they believe in Jesus the life giver or would they continue to believe only the law?
I Corinthians 10:23-24 “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.”
Paul addresses this same concept with the church in Corinth. This church had taken a different stance. They were using their new found liberty as an opportunity to live their lives however they wanted, justified with scripture.
How often have you seen people in the church defend their stance of freedom and give no thought to the impact it has on those around them?
Jesus had the freedom to not heal this man and to tout the law as His example but He didn’t. Rather He saw the need and educed the criticism because that’s what the man needed.
How often do we experience the spiritually and emotionally withered only to offer the same response of the religious leaders?
To Jesus the issue was greater than the law. The issue was would He respond to the cry of the human need.
The question is – Will we? What is holding you back?
Genesis 12:1-3 “…And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
God blessed Abraham abundantly but ultimately not for Abraham’s sake. He blessed him so that Abraham might be a conduit of God’s blessing to all the people of the earth. God gave to us so that we could give to others.
Luke 11:11-13 “…How much more…” will God give the Holy Spirit to those who ask.
That’s the answer. The key is found in asking the Father every day for more of His Holy Spirit.
Acts 1: “ …But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.”
That’s what Jesus meant in John when He promised the helper who would come to us.
Do you need the power in your life?
The power to see beyond our own environment and to help others experience the transformational work of the Holy Spirit.
We need a church that will rise up and engage a hurting world, that will see the goal as bigger than right and wrong.
Will you humble yourself and cry out for more?
Will you ask today so that the Holy Spirit will come?