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Jesus Heals a Ceiling Fan, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
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January 18, 2022 9:00 am

Jesus Heals a Ceiling Fan, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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January 18, 2022 9:00 am

What if your greatest need is different from your greatest desire? Pastor J.D. shows us that our greatest need is forgiveness, and Jesus is even more desperate to offer it to us than we are to receive it.

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Greg Laurie
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J.D. Greear

Today on Summit Life with J.D.

Greer. When God wants to bless us with a miraculous answer to our prayer, he will take the initiative to cultivate and build into our hearts the fulfillment of the condition that he requires. What is his requirement? Faith. So he works in you by his Spirit to produce that faith, that sense that is bold and just ask. Welcome to Summit Life, the Bible teaching ministry of pastor, author, and theologian, J.D.

Greer. I'm Molly Vidovitch. Let me ask you this. Have you ever thought about the fact that your greatest need may be different from your greatest desire?

Sometimes it seems hard to differentiate between the two, but often it's true. Today, Pastor J.D. shows us that our greatest need as humans is forgiveness, and Jesus is even more desperate to offer it to us than we are to receive it. We're going to jump back in where we left off yesterday in Luke chapter five, in a message Pastor J.D. creatively titled Jesus Heals a Ceiling Fan. My title for this story is Jesus Heals a Ceiling Fan. See what I did there?

Right? He's a fan of Jesus coming through the roof and Jesus heals him, right? Some of you will think about that all day and you will get that later.

That's just my little gift to you. Verse 26. Then everybody was astounded and they were giving glory to God and they were filled with awe and they said, we have seen incredible things today.

Yes, they had indeed. There are two main things that I want us to see in this story. These are two very distinct ideas, but I think they're both really important for us right now. And they both center around this theme of desperation. They are our desperate need.

I just heard somebody on the side of the auditorium laugh, which means they just got the ceiling fan reference. They are, number one, our desperate need and they are number two, our desperate faith. Our desperate need and our desperate faith.

Let's look firstly at our desperate need. At first, Jesus has offered to forgive this guy's sins. Almost seems a little cruel. I mean at best just insensitive, doesn't it?

I mean, isn't it obvious what this guy wants? All right, here is a crippled man lying on a bed in front of Jesus. Yet Jesus just ignores that and goes straight for forgiveness.

Isn't that insensitive and a little tone deaf? But what if Jesus saw that this man's greatest need, greater than his need for healing, was his need for forgiveness? This guy is desperate to be healed, but Jesus is even more desperate to see him restored to God. That is the constant theme of Jesus' ministry in Luke.

People yearn for physical relief to their pain. Jesus yearns in an almost frantic way to see them restored to God. In Luke 15, he is the shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep to go after the one that is lost. He's the desperate widow who searches her entire house from top to bottom to find a lost coin. He is the scorned father who stands at the gate anxiously waiting for his prodigal son to come home who runs with abandon when he finally sees his son coming.

In Luke 13, Jesus weeps over Jerusalem and says, oh, Jerusalem, how many times? I've wanted just to get you to turn to me. In Luke 19, Jesus summarizes his entire ministry as saying, I've come to seek to desperately go after, to search for, and save at the cost of my life those who are lost. So let me ask you, as we go into 2021, what do you think the greatest need of your life is?

I mean, here's my question. What if your greatest need is different than your most pressing desire? What if your greatest need is different than your most pressing desire? What if the greatest, most pressing need of your life is the need for forgiveness? And maybe even me saying that strikes you as insensitive. I mean, maybe you're sitting here and you've been wronged, or you've been really hurt, maybe you've been abused. And you listen to me and you say, how dare you say that I need forgiveness? I'm the one who's been wronged. Sure, I need to learn to forgive the person who wronged me and I'm struggling with that, but it seems insensitive for you to say that I, my greatest need is forgiveness also. Well, you're partially right, I understand that. But listen to Jesus's wisdom.

This is really quite practical. If you've really been wronged, what you need most is a way to forgive those who wronged you, to be able to be released from the bitterness that will consume you. And guess what? You can't ever forgive heinous wrongs unless you've experienced great forgiveness yourself. Embracing forgiveness from God enables you to forgive others.

It may be true that you've been wronged, but it's also true that all of us have wronged God far more than any of us have ever been wronged. And realizing that and embracing that grants you the power to forgive others. Forgiveness, an experience of forgiveness turns bitter water in your heart.

It turns it sweet. Listen, I don't know who you are. I don't know what you think your greatest need is. I don't know what you would love for God to change most in 2021.

I don't know if you feel like you need a car, a job, a spouse, a different spouse, a better roommate, healing from cancer. What you most need is forgiveness. Jesus cares about all those other things.

I'm gonna show you that in a minute, the way He heals this guy. But what you most need is forgiveness. And the good news is that that is why Jesus came. That's why He first offered forgiveness to a lame man lying before Him in a stretcher before healing his legs. It's why ultimately the trajectory of Jesus' life was toward a cross. Jesus' main purpose on earth was not to teach great morals or to do great miracles. His main purpose was to go to a cross to pay the price for our forgiveness. Jesus' main ministry was not what He taught to us.

It's what He did for us. Saying your sins are forgiven was not just a blessing that He uttered flippantly. Forgiveness of sins was something He purchased by His blood. His death on the cross is why He can say to you, I forgive your sins. There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stain. And He proved that He had the ability to make good on that offer to forgive you. If you were like, well, I don't know if you don't know exactly what I've done.

You don't know what I carry into this year. And I'm not sure He's got the power to do that. He proved it by raising from the dead. The Apostle Paul said that one of the main purposes of the resurrection was to show that Jesus' claim to be dying for our sins was true. So don't just believe Jesus has the power to forgive because He says so. Believe Him because He demonstrated the power to back that up.

You see, here's the deal. If He could make the lame walk and He could command the waves and the wind to cease and He could bring dead men out of the grave and then He could come back from the dead Himself. Well, see, that means He can make good on His promise to forgive your sins.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day. There may I, the vilest, He wash all our sins away, all my sins away. There is a power in forgiveness you can be sure of because Jesus backed it up with these kind of miracles and mainly by resurrecting from the dead.

So you've got your desperate need. Second, in this story, we've got number two, our desperate faith. Our desperate faith, I pointed this out as we as we were reading the story, verse 20. Verse 20 says that when Jesus saw their faith, He said, their faith. Then He said, your sins are forgiven, rise up and walk. According to Luke, Jesus did this miracle not so much because of the lame man's faith, He did it because of the faith of His friends. On behalf of their faith, on behalf of their desperate faith, Jesus healed him. Now you say, well, why doesn't the man just ask for it himself?

I don't know, doesn't tell us. Maybe he was so sick that he could barely speak anymore. Maybe he'd just been lame for so long so long that he'd given up hope.

He just stopped believing the future could be any different. So into that gap, into that void of despair, their faith, not his, their faith stepped in and said, no, I believe Jesus is good and I believe He cares about you and I believe He will help you. It was their faith that loaded him up into that stretcher and carried him out to where Jesus was. It was their faith that pushed its way through the crowd. It was their faith that spawned the ingenuity to go to the top of the house and tear open the roof above Jesus' head. It was their faith that made them ignore all the people who were yelling, hey, what are you doing? Or ignore the guy who was like, hey, get off my roof, you can't do that to my roof. It was their faith that set that man down expectantly at Jesus' feet as if to say, Jesus, what are you gonna do about this?

Write this down. When the paralyzed man could do little for himself, it was the active faith of his friends that made the difference. When the paralyzed man could do little for himself, it was the active faith of his friends that made the difference.

Hey, pay attention. What is Luke trying to teach us? He's trying to teach us that sometimes the faith of somebody around us is so weak that we have to believe for them. And maybe that comes for you in the form of a prodigal child who is confused and has stopped seeking God and maybe departed from all the things you tried to teach them when they grew up in your house.

And so you're the one. You're the one on your knees every night pleading with God to awaken them in their spiritually paralyzed state. And you're the one that's bringing them to Jesus, and you're the one tearing open the roof, and you're the one laying them down at Jesus' feet and saying, Master, please do something. Because they've even lost their ability to ask. Maybe it's a spouse or a friend or a co-worker. And God has placed you in their lives because they're too spiritually weak to pray for themselves.

Maybe they've just given up on the marriage, or maybe they've given up hope. And so, see, you gotta fight your way through the crowd, and you gotta do all the work to open up that roof, and you gotta believe God for them. In the New Testament, this special urgency to pray, that drive to tear open a roof and lay a person down at Jesus' feet, believing that he will heal them, that understanding that the power of Jesus is present to heal, that's a spiritual gift called the gift of faith. It is a gift, listen, otherwise you'll get confused. It's a gift that God gives in different degrees at different times when he wants to do something in somebody's life. It's a gift he gives when his power is present to heal. It comes in different amounts at different times to people who are walking with the Spirit. It's a gift we honestly don't talk about enough at our church, but one I really want you to recognize and embrace.

I read a book a couple of years ago by, written by a friend named Sam Storms, who really helped me get my mind around this. The book is called Practicing the Power. Dr. Storms, he says that when the New Testament uses the word faith, it uses the word faith in three different ways, and unless you recognize the three different uses of the word faith, you will probably get confused. First he said you've got salvation faith. That's the faith that embraces Christ as Lord and Savior, Ephesians 2.8, it is by grace that you have been saved through faith. All Christians, all Christians have that kind of faith.

That's what makes us Christians. Second he says you've got sustaining faith. Sustaining faith is the general confidence that God is present, that he's with us, he will never leave us or forsake us. It's confidence in his goodness, confidence that he is in control and sovereignly working all things for good. That's typically what people mean when they say so and so has strong faith.

We mean that they have an unshakable confidence in God's plan. Again, all Christians should have this at all times. But there's a third kind of faith, Dr. Storms says, I think points out correctly from the New Testament, and that is the spiritual gift of faith.

And that is what you see here in this story at work. It's a special bestowal of faith that God gives to certain Christians at certain times because he wants to do something miraculous through you or around you or in you. And so you sense in that moment by the spirit an urge to pray, an urge to press into the goodness of God, an urge to tear open a roof and lay somebody down at Jesus' feet. That's the kind of faith Paul had in mind when he spoke of the spiritual gift of faith in 1 Corinthians 12 9. Some he says, some he says are given the gift of faith.

I was always confused when Paul said that. Some are given the gift of faith. I'm like don't all Christians have faith? Isn't it our duty to trust God? Why would Paul say that some of us have a special gift of faith? Well, Paul didn't, you know, he didn't say some have the gift of purity or the gift of honesty. So why would he say some have the gift of faith?

That was always my question, right? So what is he talking about? It's because he's not talking about salvation faith. He's not talking about sustaining faith, which we should all have. He's talking about a special spiritual gift of faith, which God gives to those who are walking in the spirit when he wants to do something miraculous. It's a faith that moves them to pray and trust God for somebody.

Let me quote Dr. Storms here. While all faith is an expression of trust and humble dependence upon God, this, the spiritual gift of faith, is the experience of faith that arises somewhat spontaneously and unexpectedly in our hearts. We feel certain that God wants to do something. We sense his power is present to heal. When God wants to bless us with a miraculous answer to our prayer, pay attention, when God wants to bless us with a miraculous answer to our prayer, he will take the initiative to cultivate and build into our hearts the fulfillment of the condition that he requires.

What is his requirement? Faith. So he works in you by his spirit to produce that faith, that sense that is bold and just ask. Jesus only does his miracles in response to faith. So when he wants to do a miracle, he stirs up, often in the heart of somebody around the person who needs the miracle, he stirs up in them the confidence to ask for it. Therefore, he says, each time as we pray, each time as we seek God, let us begin by asking God for an extraordinary powerful faith.

Let us ask God that he work in us to produce and sustain the confidence that he is pleased to bless. That's the faith that these friends in Luke 5 are showing. God put it in the hearts of these friends to press through the crowds so that he could work in this man the miracle that he desired. The power of the Lord was present to heal, so he put the faith in their hearts that moved them to ask for the miracle.

So my question for you I hope is obvious. What paralyzed person around you has God put in your heart to pray for? A friend? A prodigal child? A parent?

A whole people group? Missionaries out all over the world right now who have a special kind of sense that the power of the Lord is present to heal this particular nation at this particular time. I recently read a book by James Banks, who's a pastor, by the way, right here in Durham, a pastor of a Presbyterian church.

He's become a friend. He talks about the journey of praying for two prodigal kids, one of whom, they're both grown now, one of whom has come back to Jesus and the other who has not yet. Here's what he said in that book. He says, when we pray for our prodigal kids, we carry them on stretchers of faith to Jesus. We do the heavy lifting, but they receive the benefit. They may be entirely passive or even actively resisting us, but Jesus sees whose faith? Our faith, as we bring them to Him. Parents, don't you sense faith rising up in your heart as I say that? Do you realize that God, at this very moment, has put you in a place to intercede, to pray? His power is present to heal, and your desire to pray is evidence of that. But see, He won't grant the miracle until you exercise the faith. Had those friends not made the journey, had they not torn open the roof, had they gotten discouraged, had they looked at the crowd and said, oh well, this is just too hard. If God really wanted this man healed, He'd have made it easier. They'd have seen those things and given up.

Their friend would never have received that miracle. Hey, even if it's not a prodigal son or daughter that you're praying for, I bet there's somebody, I bet there's somebody today, this morning, that God has put into your heart to pray for. I want to urge you to obey that impulse. Years ago, I read a book. It's become my favorite book. It's old. I read it when it first came out. It's probably been out 20-some years.

Fresh Wind and Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala. In this book, Pastor Cymbala tells the story of how God brought his own prodigal daughter home, who was grown. She was in college.

She'd forsaken God and run away from home. Their church, called the Brooklyn Tabernacle, does a Tuesday night prayer meeting each week. I've actually been. It's one of the most powerful things that I've ever experienced. One night, Pastor Cymbala shared from Acts 4 about how the church boldly called on God, even in the face of discouragement.

Let me let him tell the story, okay? We entered into a time of prayer like Acts 4, everybody reaching out to the Lord in concert together. An usher handed me a note. A young woman whom I felt to be spiritually sensitive had written. She said, Pastor Cymbala, I feel impressed that we should stop the meeting and all pray for your daughter. In a few minutes, I picked up the microphone and told the congregation what was going on with my daughter. There arose from the congregation a groaning, a sense of desperate determination, as if to say, Satan, you will not have this girl. Take your hands off of her.

She is coming back. I was overwhelmed. The force of that vast throng calling on God almost literally knocked me over. When I got home that night, Carol was waiting up for me. We sat at the kitchen table and I said, it's over with Chrissy, his daughter's name. You would have had to have been in that prayer meeting tonight. I tell you, if there is a God in heaven, this whole nightmare is finally over.

32 hours later on Thursday morning, my daughter walked in and we both just began to cry. Daddy, she said with a start, who was praying for me? Who was praying for me on Tuesday night, Daddy? Who was praying for me? I didn't say anything, so she continued. In the middle of the night, God woke me up and showed me I was heading toward the abyss.

There was no bottom to it. It scared me to death. I was so frightened. I realized how hard I'd been, how wrong, how rebellious. But at the same time, it was like God wrapped his arms around me and held me tight in that moment. He kept me from sliding any farther as he assured me, I still love you and I am not walking away. That same Tuesday night, the very hour that the church was praying, God moved in her soul and showed her that she was headed toward destruction.

All the while flooding her heart with a sense of his love. That's a group of people that's a group of friends being bestowed with the gift of faith. James Banks says, he says, our prodigal kids desperately need us to lift into Jesus on the stretcher of prayer. Even if they don't have faith, Jesus will see ours and they'll be blessed because of it. I've told you before, Jesus said that we're to be known as a house of prayer. Summit Church, is that one of the top things you would use to describe our church. I mean COVID disrupted things for a while and so as we relaunch the church this year, I want us to do it with prayer as a staple, as a core, as a foundation and all that we do.

We're not going to try to fit it in at the margins while we preach and we program. We're going to lay it in at the foundation. Take a minute right now, wherever you are and whatever you're doing and pray. If you're driving down the road, keep your eyes open, but lift your voice and heart toward heaven. If you're at work, maybe take a few moments to voice a silent prayer. Lift your requests up now. Thank you for joining us today on Summit Life with Pastor J.D.

Greer. Today's message is titled Jesus Heals a Ceiling Fan and it's part of his new teaching series here on the program called In Step. If you missed the first part of this teaching yesterday or if you want to study transcripts of any past message, you can find them free of charge at Pastor J.D., in our current teaching series, Working Through the Gospel of Luke, you emphasize stepping out in faith by committing to do whatever God calls us to do and to go wherever He calls us to go, even though we don't know what the journey is going to hold for us.

So how does the discipline of memorizing scripture, or any other spiritual discipline for that matter, help us step out in faith? You know, I've heard it said, Molly, that the best way that the best way to confront a lie is to know the truth. And our world is filled with lies and we know that our enemy uses lies. I mean, one of the things that a friend at the church recently explained, he said, you know, when Jesus and Satan do battle out in the wilderness, if you were just thinking of that, like from a Hollywood movie producer's mindset, you would think it would be some kind of Marvel movie scene where they're throwing lightning bolts at each other.

But it's just you guys having a conversation. And it's Satan trying to twist scripture and twist reality and speaking it into Jesus's life. But what Jesus does is He counteracts that with scripture. One of my favorite definitions of a demonic temptation is a demonic temptation is a sinful thought with a will behind it. Like it's almost like it's trying to press in and invade your thinking and change it. And you're trying to forget about it and you just can't shake it. Well, you can't just stop thinking about it.

It's the illustration. If I say, don't think about a green monkey, you probably haven't thought about a green monkey ever, but all of a sudden, you know, you can't just be told not to think that because it pops in your head. Well, the way that you counteract Satan's lies is you memorize scripture and be able to apply the right scripture at the right moment. The Spirit of God will do some amazing things in your heart with scripture, but He cannot bring to the surface what you haven't put in there. And so one of the things we want to do at Summit Life is help people know scripture better. And that comes not just through preaching. It also comes through memorizing scripture. Memorizing scripture is one of those things that people, you know, they're like, man, it'd be great if I did that. But sometimes it's the journey of a thousand miles.

I don't know how to take the first step. So we produce some scripture memory cards. We gave them out last year to gospel partners and others that reached out to us. They were so popular that we decided to do it again this year. And so we'd love to be able to give you these.

I think it'd be a great tool. Some specifically chosen verses that will enrich your spiritual life, take you deeper in the gospel and help you counteract the lives of Satan. We put together a pack of 50 of these for you.

If you want to carry these promises in your heart, our new Summit Life memory verse cards make it easy for you to memorize scripture. So take a look and reserve yours today at That's really helpful. Thank you, JD. We're so grateful for your support. And this set of 50 memory verse cards is our way of making our appreciation tangible.

This will be a resource that will take you through the entire year and beyond. And we'd love to get it to you today. It's perfect to carry with you as daily encouragement that you can share with a friend. The Rejoice Always scripture memory cards comes with our thanks when you donate today to support this ministry, helping more people dive deeper into the message of the gospel each and every day. So give and request your set when you call 866-335-5220. One more time, that's 866-335-5220. Or you can request the set when you donate online at If you'd rather mail your gift, our address is JD Greer Ministries, P.O.

Box 122-93, Durham, North Carolina, 277-09. I'm Molly Vitevich. I'm so glad to have you with us today. And be sure to listen Wednesday when Pastor JD talks about the cosmic struggle between God and Satan, a struggle that impacts our lives every day. That's Wednesday on Summit Life with JD Greer. Today's program was produced and sponsored by JD Greer Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-22 19:18:02 / 2023-06-22 19:28:41 / 11

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