This morning, we continue our series BIBLICAL MINDS. In the book of Acts, we find a series of spiritual profiles based on unique distortions of God. Our text is Acts 3:1-16, and here we find the spiritual profile of the hurting. Every day we meet hurting people. They live withing our neighborhoods and circles of influence. At some point, everyone hurts through loss or pain because struggles are a part of life. What defines the people who fall into the hurting profile is the fact that their struggles have shaped their views of God, others, themselves, and life.
I.) SPIRITUAL PROFILING = THE HURTING
- The hurting believe that God doesn't care about them.
- The hurting believe that God is not personally involved in their life.
II.) PRESENTING THE GOSPEL TO THE HURTING
Acts 3:1-16 (NIV)
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer - at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
Then Peter said, Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk. Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon's Colonade. When Peter saw this, he said to them: "Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.
- The hurting need comfort.
- Those hurting need to know that we care for them.
- God intervenes in people's lives through us.
II Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
- Jesus helped hurting people.
III.) POSSIBLE QUESTIONS FROM THE HURTING
- Why is there suffering in the world?
- Does God care about us?
- Why doesn't God stop injustice in this world?
- Can God use bad events for good in our lives?