Hey. Where’s MY healing?

Going through Acts, I came across a phrase that, though I didn’t spend a ton of time on it when I preached the passage, for some reason I can’t stop thinking about it. See if you can guess what it is...

Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well... (Acts 14:8-9)

“Is it ‘Paul looking intently at him’?” No.

“How about ‘the man could not use his feet’?” Not that one.

It’s the part at the end there. Paul saw that the lame man “had faith to be made well”.

What does that mean? I don’t know.

I mean, I could give the Sunday School answer or the Bible College Theological dissertation answer. But sometimes when God’s Word intersects our lives in a certain way, maybe we can explain it in our heads but still have a hard time wrestling it down in our hearts. And quite honestly, in my heart, this verse raises a lot of questions...

What does it mean that he had faith to be made well? He literally just heard the Gospel for the first time – how could he have a ton of faith already? Did he just have a simple, child-like faith like Jesus talked about (Matthew 18:3)? What if the man didn’t have the faith at this point? Would he have not been healed?

Truth be told - those weren’t the questions that lingered. Those weren’t the questions that I have been rolling over and over in my mind. Really, there’s only one big question that is the stone in my shoe: What about people who need healed but are unable to truly believe?

In other words, What about someone who is sick, but lacks even the mental capacity to receive the truth in such a way to “have faith to be made well”?

What about someone with autism?

It hits home. And this is no doubt regarding God’s power (settled at Creation) or God’s love (settled at Calvary). I mean, I’ve seen babies healed. Why not my son? He is out of the baby-stage, age-wise. But he seems far from understanding the Gospel (believe me, I’ve shared it with him many times).

Is he incapable of having “faith to be made well”? And you say, “Well, you’re the pastor, you tell me.” It’s times like this I wish I did have all the answers. I don’t. But there’s something I do know, that I need reminded of in times like this:

“Faith to be made well” isn’t the only kind of faith that’s needed.

We also need:

-Faith to trust that God uses illness to accomplish His purposes. Galatians 4:13 says that it was because of a “bodily ailment” that resulted in Paul preaching the Gospel to the Galatians. That might not seem “fair” to Paul, but for many people to receive eternal life as a result, well, I am sure we will see some Galatians in heaven who were happy. So we need this faith – I need this faith – that God may have a bigger agenda than we can see and He even uses illness to accomplish His purposes.

-Faith to believe that Jesus’ power is made perfect in weakness. Oh, poor Paul. He also had that thorn in the flesh. I am not going to try to guess what it is – if God had wanted us to know, He would have told us. And that’s not the point anyways. This thorn resulted in Paul understanding in experience that the power of Christ is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Paul didn’t even seem to evaluate if it was “fair” - in the same verse he proclaimed how this weakness was an occasion for him to boast – because it resulted in the power of Christ being upon him. Do I have faith that Jesus’ power is made perfect in weakness? Some days it may not feel like it, but it’s a truth I have to accept regardless.

Do these “answers” settle the matter in our hearts and minds so that they no longer confound and perplex? My experience is “no, not always”. But God doesn’t owe me an explanation. In His grace, these answers actually give me what my soul really longs for: the faith to embrace that which I need most...

Comfort.

Like Job, I don’t need “answers”. I just need to rest my soul in the glorious comfort that God is in control, even when things don’t make sense. He has a purpose and He provides the power. I must have the faith to believe these. And I will discover that is more than enough.

Pastor Jeff

-He is God, and I am... not.

The Roof Has Been Raised and so is God's Glory!

 It doesn't get any more "GQ" than this friends! Lookin' tough on the roof!

It doesn't get any more "GQ" than this friends! Lookin' tough on the roof!

Ever play that silly game "Never Have I Ever"? Well, I'm not going to explain the rules because it usually devolves into silliness among teen and post teenagers alike, but seriously NEVER HAVE I EVER been part of such an amazing and tangible outreach project! (hypocrisy alert! I didn't swing a hammer, I was just Mr. Documentary Boy for the day)

The beauty of this particular project is that we were able to come together as a church and take care of one of our own. In less than a month we coordinated a monstrous day of replacing a leaking roof for the Zeleznak family. Funds were raised, people were rallied, food was prepared, prayer was given, hugs were had, tears were shed, shingles were removed, beards were made fun of, laughter was abundant, hard work was given, joy was shared, but most importantly God was GLORIFIED!!!

There's nothing more I can really say, other than watch this top notch video edited by Brooke (she's amazing!):

This has surely been a very busy August and summer for the church. But next time there is the opportunity to help those in need, we pray that you jump at the chance to see what God does in your heart when you pour out blood, sweat, and oh yes many many tears for His kingdom, for His glory, for His church! Forever you'll be changed!!!

HBC Pittsburgh North's Annual Picnic

 

On August 13th we had our annual church picnic at Old Economy Park in Baden. Though it was raining on and off, it didn't stop us from enjoying the good fellowship with friends, eating delicious food and playing games. The kids seemed to be enjoying themselves too, between running around in the park, having their faces painted and of course pieing Pastor Jeff! Earlier in the year, Mandy Moll from the Children's Ministry had set up a jar to fill with money at church and once it was filled the kids were rewarded the opportunity pie Pastor Jeff. The church picnic was the perfect opportunity for that! The money they raised was used to send charitable gifts such as livestock to families in need through World Vision. (?)

A special thanks to Corrine Miller for organizing this day, those who provided food, helped with the children's activities and everyone who attended.

You are loved! 

At the annual church picnic, Pastor Jeff proved to be a man of his word, and took pies to the face. Song: Who We Are Switchfoot

A Beautiful Day for Baptisms!

It doesn't get any better than this! A gorgeous day to see four people publicly proclaiming Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior through baptism!

It was a special treat to be able to run this one as an entire church family after a Sunday service at Ingomar in early August. We are so thankful for the four that chose to be baptized this past month and we ask that you keep them in your prayers as they continue aligning their lives daily with Jesus.

If you would like to declare your love, alignment, and life following with Jesus Christ in baptism email Pastor Jeff and he can guide you in this amazing decision and action.