House of Grace
March 16, 2014
- Sheep get hurt
- They develop cuts and tears
- They fall down ravines and can easily break their legs
- Sheep stand out in wet pasture land, and develop foot rot, a bacterial infection which causes the hoof to rot, and the sheep would ultimately need to be put down
- One of the roles of a shepherd is to take care of his sheep
- Because his sheep need healing
- He will take the hurt sheep and do what is needed to restore it to full health
- He puts antiseptic ointment on the cuts and tears
- He sets the broken limbs, and puts them in a splint, so the leg heals up properly
- He digs out the infected tissue in the feet, trims the hooves, and soaks the feet in an antiseptic zinc solution.
- He then separates the sheep from any possible source of reinfection
- Today we are going to look at an often forgotten aspect of healing
PEOPLE NEED HEALING
- As we grow as a church people will be coming here who are hurt and damaged
- Their hurts will not be the same as this sheep, but they are hurt nevertheless
- People need healing
- The kind of hurts they have are physical hurts, like illnesses.
- But they also have emotional hurts and wounds
- Both the physical and the emotional hurts need healing, God seeks total recovery for his people
- It is his will for us that we enjoy good health and that all may go well with us – 3 John 2
- John 10:10-11 - the good shepherd comes to bring life to the full!
- The sheep that is hurting with foot rot is in continual pain, so much that it can often be forced to its knees
- This is not living life to the full
- The shepherd needs to bring healing
- It is the same with people
- We can walk around with our hurts and damages from the past, and they will spoil all the enjoyment we can have
- Or we can bring these hurts to the Good Shepherd, for healing
THE GOOD SHEPHERD AND GRACE
- God is our shepherd
- Jesus says, I am the Good Shepherd
- Jesus was the God of the Old Testament, as well as the New Testament
- So let's take a look at one aspect of this God
- God is a God of grace
- The word Grace, in Hebrew, is chanan
- This word means (1) to BE gracious, to show favor, to be compassionate, (2) to MAKE gracious, to make favorable, to direct favor or to have mercy on someone, (3) to BE SHOWN favor, mercy or compassion
- I believe this word may have been the reason the original name of this church was Canaan Rest – the rest that comes when we receive grace
- A good name for our church would be House of Grace
- God is a God of grace
- This aspect of his character shows that he desires to extend grace and favor to his people
- He extends favor to those who come to him for help in time of need
- Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
- In the Old Testament, in the temple, in the Holy of Holies where God revealed his presence, was the ark of the covenant.
- On this ark or box, were two golden cherubim, facing each other
- They were known as the covering cherubim, and the place they covered was the Mercy Seat
- God says we are free to come before the mercy seat, whenever we need help or healing.
- It is where we receive grace
- It is where God extends grace, favor and compassion to us
ASKING FOR GRACE
- We are told in Hebrews, that we can come boldly to that place of grace, in our time of need.
- We all know that we need to trust God or have faith, when we ask for healing
- But grace extends a whole new aspect to our asking for healing
- God is the good shepherd who loves his sheep, and extends favor to us, and is compassionate, and merciful
- Because of this grace that is extended, we can experience health, and wellness
- Both in our physical bodies, but also in our emotional life
- God wants to heal us, wherever we are at.
to leave her poor Brazilian neighborhood, Christina wanted to see
the world. Discontent with a home having only a pallet on the floor,
a washbasin, and a wood-burning stove, she dreamed of a better life
in the city. One
morning she slipped away, breaking her mother's heart.
what life on the streets would be like for her young, attractive
daughter, Maria hurriedly packed to go find her. On her way to the
bus stop she entered a drugstore to get one last thing. Pictures.
She sat in the photograph booth, closed the curtain, and spent all
she could on pictures of herself.
her purse full of small black-and-white photos, she boarded the next
bus to Rio de Janiero. Maria knew Christina had no way of earning
money. She also knew that her daughter was too stubborn to give up.
When pride meets hunger, a human will do things that were before
this, Maria began her search. Bars, hotels, nightclubs, any place
with the reputation for street walkers or prostitutes. She went to
at each place she left her picture--taped on a bathroom mirror,
tacked to a hotel bulletin board, fastened to a corner phone booth.
And on the back of each photo she wrote a note.
wasn't too long before both the money and the pictures ran out, and
Maria had to go home. The weary mother wept as the bus began its
long journey back to her small village.
was a few weeks later that young Christina descended the hotel
stairs. Her young face was tired. Her brown eyes no longer danced
with youth but spoke of pain and fear. Her laughter was broken. Her
dream had become a nightmare.
thousand times over she had longed to trade these countless beds for
her secure pallet. Yet the little village was, in too many ways, too
she reached the bottom of the stairs, her eyes noticed a familiar
face. She looked again, and there on the lobby mirror was a small
picture of her mother.
eyes burned and her throat tightened as she walked across the room
and removed the small photo. Written on the back was this compelling
invitation. "Whatever you have done, whatever you have become,
it doesn't matter. Please come home." She did. - Max
Wonder They Call Him the Savior,
Multnomah Press, 1986, pp. 158-9.