Carter Conlon from the historic Times Square Church in New York City. Today is the day when the old song is taken away and a new song is given to you, a song of praise unto God. Today is the day when we get up and walk towards God.
Today is the day when our life becomes something that only God can make it. That's Carter Conlon from the famous Times Square Church in New York City. In John, Chapter 9, Jesus heals a man who was blind from birth. The disciples asked Jesus, who committed such a sin to cause this man to be born blind? But Jesus told them that this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
Let's join Carter now with his message titled, A Promise of Extraordinary Life. In John, Chapter 9, beginning at verse 1, Now as Jesus passed by, he saw a man who was blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of him who sent me while it is day.
The night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had said these things, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And he said to him, Go wash in the pool of Siloam, which is translated scent.
So he went and washed and came back seeing. Therefore, the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, Is not this he who sat and begged? Some said, This is he.
Others said, He is like him. He said, I am here. Therefore, they said to him, How were your eyes opened? He answered and said, A man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.
So I went and washed and I received sight. Now, how would you like a testimony in the not too distant future where people who once knew you say exactly as they did in verses eight and nine, your neighbors and your friends come and say, Well, is this not he who sat and begged? Is this not the person who was confined to a certain place in life, had certain restrictions, limitations? We never expected him or her to become any more than they were.
How did this happen? Would you like a testimony where you got to the point where people would have to say, Well, it's like him kind of looks like him, but it's not the person I once knew looks like her, sort of. But there's light in the eye, confidence in the voice, purpose in the step. Would you like a testimony that people are so perplexed at what happened to you that you would have to say, No, it really is me.
It really is me. Is there a way that I can be brought out of the ordinary and what is expected from my life into the extraordinary and unexpected, something that you and I know that only God can do? Now, chapter nine, verse one, it says, Now, as Jesus passed by, he saw a man who was blind from birth. As Jesus passed by, he saw somebody who was limited physically, limited socially, saw a person that everybody had the opinion. There's only so much that this person could ever achieve.
Only so many places you could ever go. There's only so far you could ever rise. Inability, intelligence, your future is limited. Because you see from birth, this is the way you've always been. And society has a way of doing that society has a way of saying, Well, this is the family you were born into. This is the class you were born into this is the situation you were born into.
This is how your life has been lived. And so we really don't expect anything of you other than to be even coming to the house of God just to beg, looking for little crumbs of hope, a little bit of a future they never really expected much from this man until Jesus passed by maybe didn't expect much of himself either. Many, many people in the house of God. They live behind a prison door. They live in places of wounding. They live behind eyes that are veiled and don't see what they could become in Christ.
What God is more than willing to do in their lives and come to church and say, But God, you know, I've been blind from birth, you know, I'm disadvantaged from the womb. You know, I didn't come into this world through a mover and shaker family. My parents didn't have money to send me to school.
And even if they did, I couldn't study anyway. This is the way I've always been so can't you just give me a crumb of peace. You know, if that's all you want, that's all you're going to get.
But I want to tell you God has so much more for your life so much more. Now the religion of the day was powerless. And it could only hide its powerlessness by assigning blame to the suffering. In other words, well, it's, it's their own fault.
There's nothing we can do or there's nothing we need to do. The disciples said, Rabbi who sinned this man or his parents that he was born blind and you know, powerlessness has its scripture as well. Doesn't it say in Exodus chapter 20 and verse five by the Lord your God, I'm a jealous God visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.
You know, powerless religion also has its scriptural text that refers to to tell people that this is your lot in life and you just have to learn to live with it. This the way things are always going to be. So why don't you come and why don't you just join the circle. And we'll all blame our mothers and fathers for the rest of our lives. We'll go around the circle, we'll talk about how rotten it was our upbringing, how we didn't have this and didn't have that or this person abandoned us or that one failed us. And so we'll just live our life, begging in the house of God for little scraps of comfort.
And scraps do come from human comfort. I'm not marginalizing that it's possible to get some comfort from the Council of men. But Paul the Apostle said, your faith is not the rest in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God.
That's where your faith is to rest. You see, humanity was under a curse when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, the curse of sin came into the human race. And sin brought with it all of its expressions and all of its limitations and all of its breakdown, all of its heartache and all of its captivity, and it's besetting conditions that we seem powerless to get out of. But what they failed to see, these disciples that were walking with Jesus, is that standing among them was God Himself, in the form of His Son, who came not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. Jesus came to destroy both the power and the penalty of sin which had fallen on the whole human race because of the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. And yes, in the Old Testament, there were laws, there was things stated by God, but it was only, Paul says, to prove to us the hopelessness of changing our condition in human strength.
It could not be done. It required human effort. It required a river of blood that flowed from the Old Testament temple for those who wanted to try to sincerely change and walk with God. You see, failure has its scripture. But in the New Testament, we have a Savior. In the New Testament, we have the Son of God who went to a cross and He made an open display of the powers of darkness.
He made an open display. In other words, He spread out their weaponry after His victory and said all of these things that once dominated your mind, your heart, your life, your future, your past, all of these things were destroyed at the cross. And just as Jesus has been raised from the dead, so by the Spirit of God, those who trust in Him for their salvation are raised out of the power of darkness and brought into newness of life. That's what the scripture says. Jesus said these words in Luke 4, the Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He's anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor.
In other words, there is a treasure available to you that has nothing to do with your parentage or your lineage or your investment strategies or lack thereof or your hustling on the street or inability to do it. There is a treasure available to you that came to you from the cross. He sent me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the broken heart, to tell you that there's no wound of your past that has the right to hold you in blindness any longer, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. And then he closed the book and gave it to the attendant and sat down and the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, today, this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.
Something amazing. Today is the day of your freedom. Today is the day of a new life.
Today is the day when prison doors can't hold you anymore. Today is the day when former blindnesses cannot stop you from seeing the purpose of God for your life anymore. Today is the day when weakness gives into strength, confusion gives into clear thinking. Today is the day when powerlessness is enveloped in the power of God. Today is the day when the old song is taken away and a new song is given to you. A song of praise unto God that many will begin to see it and fear and trust in the Lord. Today is the day when we throw off the shackles of powerless religion. Today is the day when we get up and walk towards God.
Today is the day when our life becomes something that only God could make it. They asked him, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind? And Jesus said, neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. Now he was not implying that either this man or his parents were sinless.
But he was pointing to the fact that he had come to reclaim that which had been lost and to do it with irrefutable chain breaking power. In other words, you no longer have to live where you are. You don't have to be what you presently are. You don't have to follow what others have said you will be any longer. Jesus said, I'm about to lift you up and take you to another place by the glory and power of God.
That is the heritage. Many of you know my story in this church. When I was 15 years of age, I started to suffer with panic attacks. A lot of pressure was put on my life when I was younger and I put a lot of pressure on myself.
I don't need to go into all the details. But I was I was pushed towards being something that I felt that I didn't have the ability, the strength to be. And so when I was 15 years old, I began fear got a hold of my life. It was subliminally said that if you don't achieve this goal that set before you, then you're a loser.
You failed. And I didn't feel I had the strength. I didn't feel I had the wisdom, the ability or even the desire to go there.
But yet not going there meant my life was a failure. And so fear got a hold of me. And I began to panic when I was 15. I would suffer panic attacks. And I've described them to you as the closest thing to hell on earth that you will ever experience. You feel like you're going to die, your heart starts beating out of your chest.
It feels like somebody's pouring a bucket of sand on your head, and a sense of doom and hopelessness starts surrounding you. For nine years, I suffered with these attacks. I fought against it with Valium. I fought against it with whiskey. I fought against it by being a physical fitness nut. I'd run miles at night, I'd work out two, three hours a day sometimes to keep my body in a state of exhaustion. To overcome the fear that was trying to get a hold of my heart and dominate and destroy my life came to the point that when I would go into a classroom, I would be so afraid of being singled out by the professor in that classroom and asked a question. I studied undergraduate law. And I remember being in a in a classes where there's only 20 or 30 students living in fear that the professor would ask me a question in the focus of the room would turn to me.
And if that should happen, I would have two options. Have a panic attack or run out of the room. I was in a prison I couldn't get out of I was trapped. My way forward, there was only so far I could go and I know what this blind man felt like. And then I found Christ or he found me as my Lord and Savior at the age of 24. And I began to read my Bible. And you see the difference is that I believed what I read. I said this is God's word. This is the word of the one who created the universe. This is the word of God.
And if this is not true, then all hope is lost. And so I choose to believe this every word of it. And I was reading a scripture one day with the Apostle Paul, I didn't even know the whole verse only knew half of it. But the half I remembered became a power that transformed my life, where Paul said, If God before us, who could be against us?
I read it, I believed it. I remember going home at night, my wife and I had a farm by this point. I was a new baby in Christ.
I love God with all my heart, went to bed at night and we were I was laying down in bed and I felt one of these panic attacks coming on my life. Now in the past, up to this point, I would go down in the kitchen, fill my face with volume and take a straight glass of whiskey. Because it was that horrid and that's the only way I knew how to escape it. But I made a choice that night. I went downstairs into my living room said, I am a believer in Christ now. And so therefore no more whiskey, no more volume, those things are out of my life. I went into my living room.
And I stood there was about midnight, I stood in my living room, I remember it like it was yesterday. And here's the words I said, I said, Satan, you can only kill me if God allows you to. And if he allows you to, I'm going to heaven tonight. So I win either way I win. So I said, you throw at me now everything you've got.
But I throw back at you what I now have, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, I resist you. And standing in my living room, I felt a heat hit me in my feet, went up through my legs through the center core of my body, and out the top of my head. I don't know how long it lasted.
I'm assuming a minute or two. I don't really know. It's like I was just lost in the presence of God. That was 38 years ago. I've traveled all over the world. I've been locked in prisons with sex offenders and people serving life terms. I've preached in front of crowds of 500,000 people, the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.
I've been in Hindu Muslim areas preaching to people who've never heard the gospel in their entire life. Totally absent of fear in my heart, filled with the faith of God, thanking God for what he alone has been able to do. I know exactly what this blind man on the side of the road felt.
I know what it's like to live like this. I know what it's like to be in a place of hopelessness, but I also know what God can do. In verse six, it says, when he that Jesus had said these things, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.
And to me personally, this is one of the most tender, touching moments in the New Testament because it's only my interpretation of this, but it's something I feel that I see in my own heart. God made Adam, Genesis 2.7, out of the dust of the ground. God loved Adam with a love that you and I can't understand. And when Adam and Eve sinned, he lost not just Adam and Eve at that moment, but he lost the whole of their children, which you and I are.
We're all descendants of Adam and Eve. And I believe that Jesus went down to the ground, spit on the ground, made clay. I don't know how he made Adam in the first place. I wonder if he spit on the ground the first time he made Adam and made clay. It just says he formed him from the dust of the ground. It doesn't tell us how he did it. But he spit on the ground, picked it up, made a clay with it, and put it on Adam's eyes.
And here's what I see. Adam, I love you. I made you.
I have loved you with an everlasting love. And I can change you and I can heal you if you will let me touch you. I can give you sight. I can bring you back to what was lost. I haven't come to condemn you. I've come to reclaim you. I've come to call you home to me. I've come to make you a testimony in the earth to the other descendants of Adam, of who I am and what I'm able to do, and how I can open any prison door, and how I can break the chains of all limitation, and how I can take those who are weak and foolish and the nothings and nobodies of this world, and I can touch them with my Holy Spirit. And I can raise you up and make you a testimony of who I am. And he said to him, Now go wash your eyes in the pool of Siloam, which is translated sent.
So he went and washed and came back seeing. John 17, 18, Jesus said as he was praying to his father, and he said, Father, as you sent me into the world, I've also sent them into the world. And there are many today in the body of Christ who don't see because they have lost the focus of being sent. They've lost the understanding of why the touch of God comes on a person's life. Go to the pool of scent.
I'm sending you. Go there and wash your eyes there. If you can't see a way out of your dilemma, go to the pool of scent. The Laodicean church in Revelation, the last church in Revelation chapter three, a people who their eyes had fallen on garments and position and power and gold. And because of these things, they felt that they were fulfilled even in Christ. But Jesus said to that particular people group at that time, you're wretched and blind and naked.
He said, I challenge you, anoint your eyes with eyes that you might see. They lost the focus of why the church is left in the world. And they started looking to themselves their own security, their own betterment, their own happiness.
And they lost the understanding that the Son of God came, that mankind might be saved and left us here as a testimony of his love and his changing power for those who are willing to turn to him. All the neighbors and those who had previously seen that he was blind said, is that this he was sat and begged and some said, well, this is him. Others said, well, he's like him.
And he had to tell them I am he. They said, how were your eyes open? He answered and said, a man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, go to the pool of Siloam and wash. So I went and washed and I received sight.
It all hinges on the pool of Siloam, the willingness to be sent. And that's in your heart today. And you can say, Lord Jesus Christ, I'm tired coming to church and begging. You said that you came to preach the good news to the poor. You said that prison doors couldn't hold me. You said that no wound to the past can continue to bruise my heart. You said that no limitation can blind me to the future that you have prescribed for my life. And so I'm going to challenge you to do today what I did years ago.
Stand your fear to the face and say, devil, you can only kill me if God allows you and if he does, I'm going to heaven. But I'm not letting you bark at me and keep me in a cage any longer. I'm not letting you tell me that my past is dictating my future. I'm not giving into the voices that said this is what you are. This is what you will always be.
No sir. I serve a God who raises people from the dead. And I don't care what my present limitation is.
It is not going to dictate my future. God is able to come upon me with power. He's able to give me vision and he's going to give me a message for this generation. The message is simple.
What God has done for me, God will do for you if you will trust him. My prayer for you has been this day that you'd be given a testimony that your friends, your neighbors, people that know you or knew you would be stunned. There'd be a discussion among them. Looks like him, looks like her, doesn't act like he used to, doesn't think like she used to, doesn't do what he used to, doesn't do what she used to. Her speech is different.
His speech has changed that you will create a discussion among people that once knew you and the discussion leads to the point, how is this possible? And they came. Remember Peter said, be ready to give an answer for the reason for the hope that is in you. They came and said, how did this happen to you?
It's easy. The son of God touched me and told me to go to the pool of Siloam. He sent me to you as a living testimony of who he is and what he did on the cross 2000 years ago. My brother, my sister, it's time for you and I to be extraordinary now. It's time for us to be lifted out of the strategies, the philosophies, the theories, the voices of men and brought back into the power of God.
That is the testimony that will touch this generation. I feel like a runner in a race and I'm coming around the band on the third turn and there you are in the sidelines and I'm urging you run, run, run. The baton will be yours. Run. Grab hold of it. Grab hold of it. Don't let it go. Don't let the calling of God slip through your fingers. Don't let the purpose for your life fail. Don't stand on the sidelines when you should be in the race. Run. Run this race before you. You've been listening to Carter Conlon from Times Square Church in New York City. For more information and resources to help you in your walk in Christ, log onto tsc.nyc. And be sure to be with us next week for A Call to the Nation with Carter Conlon.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-02 20:15:32 / 2023-06-02 20:25:07 / 10