n that day, declares the lord, "I will gather the lame; I will assemble the exiles, and those I have brought to grief. I will make the lame, a remnant, those driven away and a strong nation." The lord will rule over them in mount Zion from that day and forever.
This day will certainly be glorious! I look forward to it. Believe it or not, I especially look forward to throwing my arms around each one of you to give you a big bear hug in the name of Jesus! Hugging people on my own volition will be greater than walking to me.
I personally believe that this will take place this side of heaven, but it might not. I believe that the last days will be filled with mighty miracles. Unlike the world has seen before even when Jesus was on earth. It will be given as a sign that god is real to give the people one last chance to repent! Regardless, I am more than satisfied and content with the life that the lord has given me here and now. I rejoice that he has chosen me to be awaken vessel to the praise of his glory!
I used to seek for god to heal me, but now I see that he is using me far more than if I was not disabled. If I was not in my wheelchair, I would be just another person preaching the good news, of course. But this is easy to find. Any preacher can do that. All I know for sure is that god is using me in my weakness. It is much more clear that my strength and joy is from the lord. I am far far more effective right now. Hallelujah! Do you see this also?
Yet, a segment of the church who does not really know me, pray out of a sympathetic heart for me to raise out of my chair and walk. I know they are sincere. they forget that the heart is deceitfully wicked, and don't listen to the Holy Spirit by praying that the lord will heal me.
I am quite used to this after 32 years as a Christian and countless of times of being prayed for. My wife, Irene is used to having well intentional Christians pray for her too. But we are the exception! There are a great many of people with disabilities who are afraid to come to a church, especially in charismatic and Pentecostal circles and for not being accepted for who they are.
I don't have the exact current statistics, but it is estimated that over ten percent of America's population have disability of some kind or another. But what percentage of the disabled from that attend church services on a regular basis? Three percent? Two percent? Or, even lower?
I want you to know that I don't like preaching this message to you, but god stirred it in my heart for tonight.
The good news, however is in having our scripture in mica fulfilled. In that day, declares the lord, "I will gather the lame; I will assemble the exiles and those I have brought to grief. I will make the lame, a remnant, those driven away and a strong nation."
So how will the lord accomplished this, if the disabled are afraid to come to church? Romans 10 14 puts it another way, if you want to look it up with me.
How then can they call on the one they have not believed in? And, how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And, how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
The answer is for the disabled to feel accepted exactly for who they are along with their disabilities. Acceptance of one another is a big deal to god.
In the early church, a huge controversy arose. If the gentile believers had to follow, the Jewish customs and ceremonies in order to be saved. Here is what Peter said, in Acts, Chapter 15 from Verse 7 to 11.
Acts 15, 7 says, "After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them. Brothers, you know that some time ago, god made a choice among you that the gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the Gospel and believe. God who knows the heart showed that he accepted them, by giving the Holy Spirit to them. Just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them for he purified their heart by faith." Now then, why do you try to test god by putting on the neck of the disciples, a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? no. We believe it is through the grace of our lord Jesus that they are saved just as they are.
Praise God! I know that I am accepted just as I am now with my wheelchair and everything! But there was a time in my Christian immaturity that I strove hard to be healed just to be accepted by the church. My motivation was wrong with also the Christians who prayed for god to heal me. When the healing did not come, I believed Satan lied in that the trouble was that, I must not have had enough faith.
I did not take into account, god's sovereignty, and his perfect time, for everything! Our Verse in Micah 4, 6, fit in that plan. In that day, declares the lord, "I will gather the lame; I will assemble the exiles and those I have brought to grief. I will make the lame, a remnant, those driven away and a strong nation."
We need to wait patiently on the lord and accept everyone regardless of what they look like. We need to discover again the beauty and the gifts he gives us. The disabled who have been forgotten are very dear to god and we need to embrace them.
Jesus said in Matthew 14, Verse 13, "But when you give a banquet, Invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind and you will be blessed." Verse 14 goes on to say.
God delights in weaknesses, for his power, in us, is made perfect. I love the passage, in First Corinthians 1, so would you please turn there to Verse 26? "Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential: not many were of noble birth."
This sounds like most of us: common everyday people. I especially love the next part, starting in Verse 27. "But god chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; god chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things and the despised things that are not to nullify; the things that are so that no one can boast before him."
These verses are very special to me because I have felt all of these things, foolish, weak, lowly, and despised. I don't blame them but most people when they first see me don't know what to think of me. This was especially true when I did not have this communication device. People I knew thought that I could not think or hear as they shouted at me!
Hello! How, are, you, today? They would yell slowly. Sometimes, I would like to say, please! Don't shout! My brain, is not paralyzed!
I could sense their pity and their awkward feelings in their greetings or farewells. As I said though, I did not blame them. If I were them, I would wonder about me too, especially with the funny looking pointer on my head! It is natural to wonder.
Sometimes, Pastor Jack Little asked me to share at my church Grace Chapel Of the Coast in Carlsbad, and I love that especially. Most of the people there cared about me but never thought of me, "the other than a man in a wheel chair." So when I speak now from the pulpit, their minds are boggled and jarred. I love it! Tripping them out is so much fun!
God chose the foolish things, the lowly things, the despised things of this world to confound, shame and the wise. I don't mind being foolish for Christ's sake. Our scripture in Micah says, that he will gather me, and make me a remnant,when it is all done with!
Our scripture in Micah says, that he will gather me and make me a remnant when it is all done with! He uses vessels that are weak. Paul boasts in his weaknesses, so the Lord can be strong. We need to discover again the beauty of weakness. It was thrown out with the baby, and the bath water at some of our crazy theologies.
Would you please turn there turn to Second Corinthians 12, Verse 7 and see how Paul boasts in his weakness? Again, Second Corinthians 12, Verses 7, through 10.
First, to go back a little before we read these verse. "The apostle was given a rad vision of heaven. The things that he witnessed was glorious. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell. It blew his mind. But, as we will see he was given some kind of disability to keep his eyes on the lord."
The Church Accepting the Disabled