Being a church in Wyandotte County we have come to find that there are many different type of people, but one thing that remains in the need for Christ. We aren’t looking for a certain type off person, we want anyone who wants to make Jesus their Savior. If that’s you, come and visit us!
And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.” Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent. And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. Mark 3:1-5 NKJV
I am convinced that you can have it if you are willing to stretch out for it. I believe through the power of God you can be be free.
I’ve see so many brothers and sisters who are bound. In the church believers are bound in religion, the fear of man, past experience, insecurity, hopelessness, addictions, and failure. Jesus wants to do a hostile takeover. He wants to enter the church and take over your life.
And He entered the synagogue again…
We need Jesus to enter our churches again. We need His power so that we don’t walk out the same way we came in. Every time you come to the house of God you have the ability to touch Jesus.
The number one need in the church today is God’s manifest presence. Oh, we can do the right thing out of habit but what we need is His presence. We have the talent, the central air, the padded pews, and carpeted floors but what we ultimately need is Jesus. Don’t get me wrong I love the modern conveniences. But if I had to choose I’d rather have God’s presence. The finest cathedral, with every comfort that money can buy can’t compare to a leaky, broken down shack with the presence of God.
Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath. Mark 3:2
Not all religious people really want Jesus to show up in church. Religious people like to sing and talk about God. But when He shows up with His own agenda the religious don’t like it.
Do you remember the story of Jesus entering the temple with a whip? He definitely had an agenda. He overturned tables and chased out the money changers who were making money selling animals for sacrifice. He said my house should be a house of prayer and not a den of thieves. You may come into church because it’s part of your routine but Jesus may just want to move in power and mess up your routine.
In this portion of scripture the pharisees were watching Jesus, but not with hopeful anticipation. Instead they were watching to see if he would break protocol. Religion or tradition can actually be a hindrance to what God wants to do. The pharisees were ready to accuse Jesus over a rule rather than thank God a man was healed.
Pharisees are ready to criticize someone’s clothes, sex, age, or style of worship instead of rejoicing that people are coming to Jesus and wanting to do His will.
Everyone in the church does not want to see you blessed. Some are glad you are broke, sick, or struggling. Some people actually take pleasure in your struggle because it makes them feel superior. But when Jesus is ready to bless you He is not going to consult the self righteous He is just going to do it..
The man with the withered hand’s situation was desperate. There is an opinion that this withered hand came from a disease that developed late in his life. In other words he was not born that way.
You weren’t born that way.
You weren’t born prejudice, a drug addict, a liar or a thief. You weren’t born an alcoholic or a homosexual. But the disease called sin came in a deformed your life. But the good news is there is a cure. It’s the power of the blood of Jesus that can make you whole.
“Stretch out your hand.”
One of the most difficult things is for people to quit dreaming. Have you stopped dreaming? Have you stopped hoping? Have you sat down and just let your dreams fade away?
Jesus didn’t just see a withered hand He saw a withered life. Jesus saw the shame, the hopelessness, and the disappointment. But He asked that man to do something that was hard.
He said to the man, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”
In the natural he couldn’t do this. If he could he would have had a job. He wouldn’t have to ask for a healing. But Jesus wanted him to do something by faith. There may be things in your life that are hard to overcome, but if you want to go anywhere in God you’re going to have to learn how to stretch. Some people aren’t going to be happy about it but go ahead.
“Stretch out your hand.”
Part of this stretching is a separation from the crowd. Everyone is not going where you’re going.
Remember the children of Israel? When they left Egypt they followed the cloud. The glory of God was in that cloud. Listen you need to make a decision to follow the cloud and not the crowd.
My assignment today is to get you to have enough faith to stretch out again, to stop making excuses, and to do what you could never do before. Jesus came to release you from demonic and human limitations.
But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. Rom 6:22
The open doors you have been praying for, the peace, the joy, the fire you used to have can be yours again!
As you are reading this you may be thinking that all this is impossible.
The devil is a lie! Stretch out.
Peter had to get out of his boat. The 10 leprous men had to go show themselves to the priest. Naaman had to dip in the Jordan seven times. When you refuse to stretch out you become dried up and religious.
Expand the space of your tent. Stretch out the curtains of your tent, and don’t hold back. Lengthen your tent ropes, and drive in the tent pegs. Is 54:2 GW
Right here God is saying that there is so much power in the stretching that it will touch your seed, your children and your children’s children. Some of these may not even be your natural children but disciples who are following your example. Remember everyone is not going to reach out. But you just do it and watch others around you be blessed!
God hasn’t stopped moving. He’s waiting on you…
Stretch out your hand!