Connecting Point – June 5, 2024

One of my favorite Bible stories is found in Acts 3, where we find the compelling story of the healing of lame man who sat daily before the Beautiful Gate leading into the Temple. He was like many in our region today, sitting near a traffic thoroughfare asking for people to help him financially  At the end of the story he was miraculously healed by the story. The man's story actually is representative of our story, and the story of every person whose life has been healed or changed by the power of Jesus Christ.

In the story in Acts 3 we discover that this man had been lame from birth (Acts 3:2). He was over 40 years of age (Acts 4:22), and so he had never had the opportunity to run as a boy, work as an adult, or even practice walking in any way. He had an incredible physical problem.

The man's physical disability is representative of every person's spiritual disability. The Bible teaches that we all are born as spiritual cripples. Romans 3:23 reads, "We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God", and Romans 5:12 and Psalm 51:5 teaches that we have all been born with a sin nature. That is why a parent never has to teach a child how to be bad. Children naturally know how to be bad. The truth is, we're all born with a proclivity towards selfishness and sinfulness, and the Bible teaches that sin brings deformity, disability and death to our lives (Romans 6:23). Therefore, we are living in a world of moral, emotional and spiritual cripples because of our sin and everyone else's sin.

Peter and John were passing through the Beautiful Gate on their way into the Temple when they met the crippled man and they told him about Jesus. They didn't talk about their power, their passions, resources or religion. They said in Acts 3:6, "We don't have any money, but we'll give you what we have. In the name of Jesus Christ, get up and walk!" Their response reminds us that the best thing we can do for people is share with them about Jesus. Oftentimes we offer people some sort of monetary or physical help, which is a good thing to do when we are able to extend such support. At other times we offer people religious help, inviting them to come visit our Church. Again this is a good thing to do, because it helps get people on the right track. But the real need of every person is to have a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ.  And until they have such an encounter with the Lord, they will never be completely healed or helped.

How can you share Jesus with the people in your life?

So, "What can we do to help 'crippled people' like Peter and John did?" Like Peter and John, we can be attentive to people's needs. Many others had passed by the lame man that day, but Peter and John saw his need and stopped to help him. We can be kind to people as Peter and John were. People usually respond very well to kind words and actions. We can reach out a hand to help like Peter did (Acts 3:7). The Bible teaches that we are the hands and feet of Jesus today, and so when God performs His great miracles in the lives of others He almost always does so through the efforts of His people. Therefore, we need to be constantly reaching out to people in need, expecting the power of God to flow through us to bring healing and salvation to those who desperately need it. There many ways that we can help "crippled people." The question is, are we willing to be used of God to do so?

Today you are surrounded by "crippled people." They may be "crippled" physically, emotionally, financially, relationally, spiritually or in some other way. Don't resent them or reject them because of where they are in their life. Instead, be like Peter and John. Give them your attention. Show them some kindness. Pray for them. And most importantly of all, tell them about your Jesus - about His ability to save them, heal them, deliver them and help them in every way.

All In Baptism

This Sunday (June 9) is ALL IN Baptism Sunday at the Celebration Campuses, which is a great opportunity for people to take the important spiritual growth step of "baptism by immersion."  On Sunday we will be encouraging the people to take the step of baptism by immersion if: 1) they've never taken that important discipleship step in their life, and 2) they weren't fully committed to the Lord when they took that step earlier in their lives.

From the beginning of Christianity, people have demonstrated they're a follower of Jesus Christ by being baptized (Acts 2:37-41). "Baptize" is a transliteration of the Greek word "baptizo" which means to "immerse under the water", and so "baptism by immersion" is the Biblical mode of baptism.

When a person takes this step they're declaring that they are committed to living for Jesus Christ. And making that strong statement helps us to rise to a new level of faith and strength in our lives. To learn more about "baptism by immersion," contact your Life Group Leader or a Campus Staff Member, or go to www.celebrationchurch.org/baptism.  If you have not been "baptized by immersion" since surrendering your life to the Lord, plan to take that important step on ALL IN Baptism Sunday or in the weeks ahead.

Beth Moore Celebration Church

We only have a few tickets left for The Living Proof Conference on June 21-22, which will be led by renowned Bible teacher Beth Moore. Women from Churches across our region will be joining us at Celebration on Airline for this incredible weekend of worship, learning and spiritual growth. You can register yourself and your friends at www.celebrationchurch.org/aspire. Tickets are $90 per person, $50 for students, or $75 for groups of 10 or more.

By Name

Our Midpoint Camp for 5th-7th Graders will take place during the week of June 24-26. Camp is such an amazing opportunity for kids to develop and grow in their faith with the Lord. This year our Midpoint students will be learning what it means to know the names of the Lord and know that God knows them by name. There are still 25 spots for students to attend camp. Students can register for camp here.

Our Pastors and I look forward to seeing you this Sunday at Celebration Church. The Lord is glorified and we are always encouraged by your faithful attendance, service and giving.

Pastor Dennis

Gratefully yours,

Pastor Dennis Watson
Lead Pastor, Celebration Church
dennisw@celebrationchurch.org
dennis.watson.96

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