Sunday, September 28, 2008

Things I learned from Church today

So, today I sat through 2 church services and both messages were very good, and I took very good notes in both and I wanted to share what I learned/ what God showed me.
This morning's passage was James 5:13-16. I've been gone from church for about 5 months, and they are still in the same book as when I left and there is only 5 chapters in the book. Hmm!
This morning was about Faith. We all know about Faith, but do we really have Faith? After this morning's sermon, I am really questioning mine.
But, this message also solidfied something for me, which is something that alot of believers don't believe and is a gray area of the church: laying of hands and anointing of oil. I am a big believer of laying of hands, even though some aren't. I asked for it from the pastor and deacons at a previous church before traveling out of state in 2006 to seek (at the time, life-changing) medical treatment. The deacons questioned my request and almost didn't let it happen, but the night of my prayer service, they were in a meeting to fire the pastor of the church, so none of the deacons attended. Then again, I asked for laying of the hands prayer service in my community group last month. My leader had no problem with it.
6 key points from the message:
1. God is Able: God DOES heal according to His grace and kindness. He has the power to heal whenever and whatever @ His choosing.
2. Sin is miserable: any sickness that's been caused by personal sin, all sickness is a result of the fall.
3. Prayer is Powerful: prayer expresses total dependence in the Lord.
4. Elders are responsible
5. Medicine is Useful
6. Healing is possible

If these 6 points are true, which I know they are, than how come I have not been healed? That is my big question. I have people all over the world praying for me, but I had no miraculous healing from my illness. Why are other people being healed but not me? Do I still believe that God can heal me whenever He wants, yes; but do I really believe it? Do I have faith to believe it?
Tonight's sermon was called: The Journey From Darkness to Light based on John 9:24-41 .
All of John 9 is the story of Jesus healing the blind man and the Pharisees questioning the healing. John 9:3 is my FAVORITE verse in the whole Bible which says: "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life."
Maybe I haven't been healed because God is using my illness to show other people/ non-believers His works. I'm not healed, but I'm not dead. I am still here and I am still living for God.
John 9: 24-41 is a journey. There are 5 steps along the way:
1. Jesus' grace and love. Jesus pursues us. He goes after us, and the farther we are from Him as non-believers the harded He tries. Have you had anyone geniunely pursue you?
2. Planting a seed. Jesus planted a seed in the blind man, who turned around and tried to get the Pharisees's to believe in Jesus.
3. Declare allegiance to Christ. (vs. 24)
4. Confidence has grown. It's OK not to have all the answers, but to have full confidence in Jesus.
5. Worship. Do you worship God in life's victories? Do you worship God in everyday moments? Do you worship God in inconviences? Do you worship God in desperate times?

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