MY LITTLE BOY'S MIRACLE
By: Bill Myers, Pastor
Several years ago my little boy broke his right leg. He was running across the dining room carpet and suddenly stopped where the carpet joins the kitchen tile. One leg held fast on the carpet while the other leg slid across the slick tile. The leg that held fast on the carpet gave way inside, resulting in a spiral fracture of his femur.
We took him to the hospital where they immediately placed him in a bed and put his legs in traction. He was to remain like that for two solid weeks.
Now ... you try to tell a 2 1/2-year-old that he has to hang from a ceiling for two weeks . . . and if you can do it - where were you when I needed you? Aha! Once placed in traction, every time he would begin to relax, muscle spasms would grab hold of his body and he would scream out in pain as the spasms racked his little body.
The accident happened on a Saturday, and by Sunday morning he still was not able to relax and go to sleep. The muscle contractions were still there.
I must confess to you that I became angry with God. I stayed at the hospital all that night, called Pastor Benson [the Senior Pastor] and told him that I didn't think I would be any good to him on the church platform that Sunday morning, and received his approval to go home and get some rest.
Still angry with God, I drove home to get some sleep.
I crawled into bed about 8:50 a.m., and shortly thereafter my next door neighbor started his snow blower. I don't think he had run that snow blower all winter up until that morning - more anger, right?
By the way, I love my neighbor. Honestly. Anyway, I slept for a few hours; got back up; went back to the hospital, and my boy was still having muscle contractions. My wife, Vicki, had stayed there while I had gone home to get some sleep, so I sent her home to get some rest. She was 7 months pregnant at the time, so it was hard for her too.
About 10:30 that night I left Ryan's room and went down to the little lobby area on the floor, still angry with God. I sat down and opened up the Bible to Psalms. I don't know why I did that; I was in no mood to praise the Lord. I began to talk to God.
I said, "God ... I have not asked you for a healing of my son's broken leg - not once. All I simply asked you to do is let him go to sleep. How come . . . he's still awake?"
Now, I must confess I didn't quite say it in soft-spoken terms. I was angry.
You know what? I didn't get a response from God. God did not even respond to my anger! I mean, I would at least think He would have said, "When my son raises his voice it's time to turn around." But you know what? God didn't.
So I began to read Psalms, and I read all the way through up to Psalms 37 before I realized how long I had been sitting in that lobby area. As soon as I realized that, guilt came over me, because all I could imagine was that my son had been crying for me for about an hour and a half.
But I remember as I was reading those Psalms, my anger turned to joy, and my anger turned to praise, and I began to see God and not the circumstances I was in. God forgave me of that anger, and turned that anger into a repentant spirit. Halfway through Psalms I began to say, "Lord, I'm sorry for being angry with you. I'm in far better shape than a lot of people. All I've got to do is go through my son's broken leg." (Surrounding him on either side were 3 other children dying of Leukemia.) "And God -- if I can turn what seems to be a discouraging thing around so that I can begin to minister to these other people . . . See how God begins to change your thinking?
I continued to read, and praise welled up inside me. Tears came to my eyes . . . and I remembered my son. I ran out of the lobby area and down the hall. A nurse met me and asked where I was going in such a hurry.
"I've - I've been away from my son's room for a long time and I have to get back to him right away!"
"Awe, don't worry about him," she said casually, "he fell asleep about an hour and a half ago."
I walked into his room and there he was sawing logs! And I thought, God - how dare you?! I was angry! Ha ... but there he was, sleeping sound as could be.
As things stood, my son was too big to be placed in traction from the ceiling, but was too small to have his legs out straight and have them hang weights over the bed. They had no choice but to hang him from the ceiling. He began to form blisters on the back of his heels because of the pressure. They took tape and wrapped it around the insides of each leg, around each heel, and back up the outside of his legs. They attached the hanging apparatus to the tape, and just hung the weights over his feet, and so the adhesive tape was pulling on his skin. It was supposed to stay that way for approximately two weeks.
Blisters formed and started tearing, and his legs were bleeding, and my wife called me one morning and said, "Honey, you've got to come to the hospital. Ryan just can't take this any longer."
I rushed to the hospital and when I entered his room, my little boy looked up at me through tear-stained eyes and said, "Daddy, my legs hurt me so bad. These blisters hurt so . . .
So - we began to pray right then and there. We said, "Lord, we want to thank you for the circumstances we are in because we know that if there is a testing of our faith, you are going to be praised and glorified."
And while we were praying . . . I kid you not . . . that traction apparatus literally burst off his legs and went flying to the ceiling! The weights fell down on the floor, and I reached down and grabbed my son's broken leg and told my wife to get the doctor quick! It happened so fast that I could hardly believe what had happened.
The resident doctors came in and looked the situation over and said there was no way they could put those things on his legs . . . and I thought thank you Jesus! One doctor said that the skin was so badly torn away that they would be taping to bare flesh.
About that time the regular doctor walked in and said he would have to be taped back up to the ceiling. I then said a silent prayer, which was, "God ... remember ... and I don't have to remind you, but my spirit needs to be reminded that we asked you to deliver our son this morning, and we believe this is an act of God."
Well, they took him down to the emergency room and laid his legs down and put him in a body cast instead of strapping him to the ceiling again. God honored our praise.
You see, there is a pact God makes with us. For example, we know today there is a widespread use of installment credit. A dollar down, and a dollar the rest of your life. We are more aware of the power of a contract than ever before. Once parties have entered into a contract, it is enforceable by law, correct? And each party fulfills certain obligations. It is a written pact, or covenant, and society demands that certain obligations be fulfilled: this is the security of that covenant, or pact. And the scriptures declare that in the life of the believer praise is beautiful and necessary, and pleasing to God. But I think we sometimes fail to realize that praise is a pact or covenant; not a covenant man makes with God, but a covenant that God makes with man.
Now covenants are usually conditional. Meaning, if you do this, then I'll do that. If you make your monthly installment, I'll let you have the car, and when you're done making the payment on it I'll give you the title to it. There are always conditions: I will if you will. And God says: "If my people will - I will." He makes a pact with us. God says if we praise Him, He will . . . whatever we need. Deliver us, set us free, and heal us . . . so on and so forth. In fact, the Word of God says: Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered, and the haters of God flee before Him. That's the pact. All we must do is fulfill our obligation by letting God arise. And it's not our enemies that leave, but God's enemies, and the haters of God that flee.
In the New Testament we find a verse that is not usually quoted in its entirety. In 1 Peter 2:9, he says:
But ye are a chosen generation; a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.
Now often we stop there. But it goes on ... and it begins to share our pact, or our part of the covenant. God says that we're a royal priesthood. God says we're a chosen generation. God says we're a peculiar people, only if we show forth His praises unto Him who has called us out of darkness into His glorious light. For this He has called us; to get together that we might show forth His praise. That's why we come together. We come together in a corporate setting to show forth His praise.
Now I will tell you that church will become awful boring and mundane if you come without an attitude or desire to praise God.
The covenant is: He will, if we will praise Him. That's the pact. That's the condition of the pact. If we will praise Him - He will.
Now let's look at Psalms, Chapter 9, starting with verse 1: I will praise thee, 0 Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name oh thou most high.
Now verse 11: Sing praises to the Lord, which dwelleth in Zion: Declare among the people His doing.
Now let's go to Psalms 100. We can sing this entire Psalms. Some of your Bibles say shout. Well, you can shout praises unto the Lord. He says: Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: It is He that hath made us, and we as ourselves; we are his people, and as the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Now we have been given an exhortation to praise. Think about it. How many scriptures start out with Praise ye the Lord. Give thanks unto the Lord? When we sing HALLELUJAH, the word hallelujah means praise ye the Lord. That's a command, isn't it? Praise ye the Lord. Or in other words, you praise the Lord.
It's a constant flow of exhortation to praise. During President Lincoln's term in office, a lady came to see him by appointment. "How can I be of service to you, madam," he asked. The little lady replied, "Mr. President, I know you are a very busy man and I have not come to ask for anything; I have simply come to bring you a box of cookies. I hear you are a fond cookie lover."
There was a long period of silence before the President spoke, and with tears in his eyes, he said, "Madam, I thank you for your thoughtful actions. I am greatly moved by what you've done, for since I've been President of this nation, people have come into this office one after another asking favors and demanding from me. You are the first person to ever enter this premise asking no favor, and bringing only a gift for me. I thank you, Madam, from the bottom of my heart."
When I heard that story about President Lincoln I confess to you that I was convicted, because as a pastor I have entered into a greater personal office than the President of the United States. I have entered into the throne room of the most high God - The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Time after and time after, we have come into God's presence -- we've come in unto The Holy One ... and sometimes ... I have brought nothing with me.
Sometimes I have done nothing but asked, or begged, or pleaded for His gifts; pleaded for His intervention ... but I have forgotten to bring Him a gift.
I exhort you to come to Him with a gift, because he deserves it. We could spend thousands of dollars for advertising, and spend great many man-hours promoting the services in the church, and the things that go on there. And even if people came by the droves into this sanctuary week in and week out, it would all be in vain if they entered into a dead atmosphere. Unless there is some presence of a divine God ... unless there's something more that you and I have to give them ... unless they sense there is One who can meet their needs, they'll leave unchanged.
When you and I come into this place (the church) we had better allow the presence of God to come alive in our spirit. Sometimes we get the idea that if we just think good thoughts about Jesus, or if we just think of Jesus as being a good man, or even if we see Him as the righteous Son of God, then we've done our duty. Listen - Pontius Pilate did that. He stood before the counsel members and said, "I find no fault in Him," but Pilate was spiritually dead, because he did not praise Jesus as Lord.
There are churches like that. Steeped in their creeds, and steeped in their social gospel proclaiming Jesus to be a good guy, but that's not praising the Lord. I used to think it was Pentecostal to praise the Lord. Now I'm discovering it's Bible to praise the Lord.
"You praise the Lord?" someone asks. "Yes." "Well then you must be Pentecostal." "No - I'm Bible." I'm biblically and scripturally sound in praising God.
It's normal to praise the Lord! I am normal. But maybe by the world's standards I'm not. I want to be a peculiar person. I want to be possessed by God. We don't have to be ashamed of it. We don't have to hide in our prayer closet. We don't have to be secretive about our praise. It's the normal response to the presence of God. Praise the Lord! That's the essence of Psalms 9 and 100: I will praise Him.
Now - I would like to take those four words and share this with you. First of all, the word "I." Imagine the holy privilege of appropriating the blessings of God in a personal way. Imagine also with me the holy privilege we have with Him approaching Him ourselves. "I." The heavens declare the glory of God. Why shouldn't I do that as well?
Remember the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15: The boy who left home and took his inheritance and squandered it on everything and became poor? I dare say that if they had had a welfare program like ours today he definitely would have qualified for it. He had a great inheritance, and he squandered it. He became the classic backslider. And that story makes people weep and laugh at the same time, but do you know where the secret is to that prodigal son coming home? When the prodigal son says, "I came to myself and said, I will arise: I will go to my father; I will say to him, 'Father, I have sinned."'
You see, it's a matter of accepting personal responsibility not only for our sins, but also for our praise. I ... will praise Him. You see, praise is not a mass function. It is the response of an individual to his God. And when we as a church of individuals choose to unite in praise . . . our individual praises may blend into a group response, but every expression of your praise comes from a separate individual. Another's response or their lack of it need not affect my response to God. You have no right to qualify the statement: "I couldn't praise the Lord because I was sitting next to someone who wasn't."
Regardless of what others do around you, you have a responsibility to respond to God's presence. Don't blame the Pastor for the lack of praise. Don't you dare blame denominations for praiselessness. You don't need to be led to praise. You don't even need emotional stimuli; just raise your hands and praise ye the Lord.
"Well I come from a denomination where we don't praise the Lord," you say? No you don't. That's a false statement. You come as a praiseless person, not as a praiseless denomination.
You see, Satan hates it when we do either: take responsibility for our sins, and when we also take responsibility for our praise. That bothers Satan. Hallelujah. When Jesus entered Jerusalem people began to respond in a personal way. They began to say, "Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Lord," and they were all filled up individually with the presence of God.
But there were some Pharisees there; they had a relationship; in fact, their religious relationship was as dried up as a prune. And they said to Jesus, "Shut them up. Rebuke thy disciples," they said. Remember that? Why? Were they afraid that Jesus was going to get a big head? Not a chance. Afraid of fanaticism? Listen to me -- it's a lot easier to calm down a fanatic than to raise the dead.
No - the only reason they tried to silence the praisers of Jesus Christ was the same reason that the devil has tried to silence it for centuries because praise shakes all of hell for Satan to be reminded that even he must proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord. Every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! (Philippians 2:10-11) That's why the Pharisees were upset, because they saw people praising the Lord as a response to God's presence, and they knew that even if they didn't want to respond to God's presence, they were going to have to anyway.
Jesus responded to the Pharisees by saying, "I tell you, that if these should hold their peace, the very rocks will cry out."
So if Jesus would have rebuked the disciples for praising Him, He would have formed another creation, or brought into existence a different type of fathering of people. He would have brought together a bunch of rocks, and they would have cried out and gave praise to God. He would breathe into them the breath of life and they would cry out and praise him. Church, you and I have a responsibility . . . [I] will praise the Lord.
Secondly, the word [will]. Have you ever looked at Psalms 103? You get the distinct impression that David is talking to himself. He says, "Self ... bless the Lord." In fact he says, "Bless the Lord, 0 my soul." Who is he talking to? Himself. "Self ... bless the Lord!"
Wouldn't it be great having two or three thousand people in the Grand Rapids area wake up on Sunday morning, walk to a mirror and say, "Self ... praise the Lord." That's exactly what David is saying in this Psalms.
"Ahh - but I don't feel like it," someone says. That doesn't have anything to do with it. That has nothing to do with it at all.
So in Psalms 103 the very first thing he says is: "Self ... bless the Lord and all that is within me." Now the next day things must not have been much better, because in Psalms 104 he says, "Bless the Lord [self] 0 my soul, and all that is within me." He's talking to his soul. He's saying: "You've got to praise the Lord! You've got to bless the Lord!" I want you to know that's typical, of David, because he was a praiser.
In Psalms 9 he says, "I will praise the Lord with my whole heart." He says, "I will show forth all thy marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praises unto thy name." The point is well taken, church: David chose to praise the Lord.
Now, I could have done two things. I could have chosen to sit in that hospital and had myself a little pity party, or I could have said, "I will praise the Lord."
How could David, this sinful man walk into the holy of holies: how could an adulterer be worthy; how could a murderer be worthy? Because he not only asked for forgiveness, but he chose to worship and praise. He became a worshiper; he became a praiser.
And God said this about David, after David had committed all those sins: "He's a man after my own heart."
David chose to take responsibility for praising. He said, "I will praise the Lord."
Now let's face it. We don't always feel like praising the Lord. I know that. David didn't. He didn't always feel like praising the Lord when his enemies surrounded him. "Oh hallelujah . . .no, he didn't say that. Listen, when Saul was chasing him - - now that's incredible. Can you imagine David running for his life like that. How about when his son tried to dethrone him? David chose . . . to praise the Lord.
Joseph too. After all, he had a right to be bitter. His brothers sold him into slavery. They meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. Joseph seized every opportunity of what seemed to be a disgraceful action by his brothers; he chose to be proven worthy of God.
Maybe you're here wondering about this and you feel you've been mistreated. Maybe your husband has mistreated you. Maybe your wife has mistreated you. Maybe your parents have abused you. Maybe your boss at your job has not been very good to you and hasn't treated you very well; or maybe you feel Christians have let you down. Well ... then raise your hands toward heaven ... let the glory of God fill your soul. Let the light of heaven shine on your face; let the joy of the Lord be your strength until He puts a lilt in your step and a song in your heart. Forget those things that are behind you, and let's press on for those things that lie before us.
Do you see, church - we'll never see the things that lie before us if we don't praise, because our praise subdues the things behind us. It overshadows the things behind us.
You'll discover in a matter of minutes - without agonizing hours of praying through that you'll be able to enter into His throne room. And in spite of the circumstances, you can go around talking to yourself if you have to and saying, "Bless the Lord O my soul," or say, "Self ... bless the Lord."
Why? Why ... can we bless the Lord? Because when David says I will, our will speaks of being persuaded. You read the scriptures of Paul in the New Testament: "I am persuaded that He is able. I am persuaded..." Do you know that you and I are persuaded to praise Him? We are persuaded to praise Him because of who He is.
He is the Almighty; the Alpha and the Omega. He's the Amen. He is the author and the perfector of our faith. He is the source of eternal salvation. He is the ruler of God's creation; the blessed and only ruler. He is the Bread of Life. He is the Counselor the Creator. He is the Rising Son, the Deliverer. He is the Chosen of God. He is the First and the Last. He is the Firstborn. He is God praised.
Did you know that Jesus is God praised? He is the I AM. The head of the church, the Holy One. He says that He is Jehovah, the Righteous One, and the King eternal -- the King of Kings. The Lawgiver; the Lamb of God; the Mighty One. The only begotten Son; our only Passover. The Author of Life. The Prince of Peace. He's the Rock, the Redeemer, the Resurrection, and the Life. He is the Savior. He is the Son of God. He is the Shepherd and the Overseer of the soul. Who is He? He . . . IS.
First, I'm persuaded-to praise Him ... because of who He is.
Second, I am persuaded to praise Him for what He's done: He made us in His likeness. He formed us. He redeemed us. He has called us from glory to glory. He has made us more than conquerors. He has healed our bodies. He has replenished our souls. I am persuaded to praise Him for what He's done.
Third: My will speaks of being persuaded because He has made us to be joyful. Be joyful! Be joyful, for the joy of the Lord is our strength! If you're weak; praise God! Because through praise, you become joyful, and when you become joyful in God, you become strong. Hallelujah!
He says: "He gives us the oil of joy for mourning; the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Be joyful," He says. "Shout for joy!"
Fourth: We are persuaded to praise Him because He says: "The Lord taketh pleasure in His people." Did you know that God's greatest glory is not in the heavens; it's not in the creation of the angels; it's not in nature; it's not even in His throne room! God's GREATEST glory is in His people! We are the object of the pleasures of God! Hallelujah! I am persuaded to praise Him because God takes pleasure in His people ... and I'm one of them. Are you?
Fifth: I am persuaded to praise Him when we see what we have become. This day some of you need to see what you have become. "See things as though they are, even though they might not yet be." In other words, we've got to see with our spiritual eyes what we've become. When Jesus looks upon us He sees a spotless Lamb of God. And God dwells in you! He says that He inhabits the praises of His people. God's dwelling place; God's residence is in you. You are the temple of the Holy Spirit! And God takes pleasure in you, and God persuades us to praise Him because He lives inside us! The Lord beautifies the meek with salvation.
God is cleansing the church - changing the church, but God has made you and I beautiful in His sight. I am persuaded to praise Him because I can see ... can see what I've become through spiritual eyes. The song that says: "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, and the things of this world grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace." Hallelujah!
Sixth: We are persuaded to praise Him because it brings us into God's glory. You want to be where God is? Then you have got to be persuaded to praise Him. "Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. (Psalms 100:4) That's what it says. Be joyful unto Him. God dwells in the praises of His people. God's glory is where His presence is. God's power is where His presence is. God can't be present without power, and God can't give you power without His presence. So be persuaded to praise Him, as it brings you into God's glory.
Seventh: Finally, we are persuaded to praise Him because it's a key weapon in our battle against Satan. Oh, I could spend an entire message on just this subject alone. Jehoshaphat - when they were being attacked by the Ammonites and the Moabites; all they did was praise the Lord and their enemy set ambushments against each other and destroyed themselves. Praise is the greatest weapon against Satan. As praise goes forth it "executes vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. This honor hath all the saints of God. Praise ye the Lord!" (Psalms 149)
If you are struggling against the warfare of spiritual wickedness, I urge you and encourage you to become a praiser to God and you'll find that as a result of your praises, God will go out and deliver you from the enemy! He says: Let the spirit of praise arise. Let the voice of my people rejoice. Why? Because He has delivered the enemy into our hands long ago. Hallelujah. I will praise the Lord.
I will praise Him. The third word here is praise. Here's the highest gift given to the believers. It centers upon what God has done rather than what we have done for God. You start living in your own righteousness and you start reflecting on your own goodness and your own works and pretty soon Satan will start dragging you down and start condemning you, and will mop the floor with you. Why? Because sooner or later he'll zero in on your unworthiness. You see, when you and I reflect upon Christ's worthiness, the reverse happens.
When we are in God's presence, and we respond to the worthiness of God, we don't become condemned. We become joint heirs. It's just the opposite. When you let the enemy walk all over you and let him tell you that can't praise God, or that you shouldn't praise God for any reason, you walk away feeling condemned. It's that simple. If it was God, you would walk away feeling convicted instead of condemned. God will never, ever tell you not to worship Him. He won't. He might tell you to be still, and know that He's God, but that's worship; because that's a spiritual attitude.
But when you reflect on Christ's worthiness, the opposite happens. That's why speaking in tongues is uplifting. And some people quote 1 Corinthians 14:4 like it was something that was dirty. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth . . . HIMSELF! "There he goes again edifying himself!" Please allow me to paraphrase that: He that speaketh in an unknown tongue charges his own battery.
Now ... what happens when a battery dies? The cells inside that battery are no good. That's why it dies. You and I are cells. We make up the body, and a healthy body is healthy because cells reproduce healthy cells, correct? A battery is dead when the cells die. A church is dead when the cells die. And we are cells bonded together ... building each other up; let the joy of the Lord touch each one of you this day that needs your battery charged up because it is scriptural - it is right. And if every one of us were building ourselves up in speaking praises to God through our heavenly prayer language (tongues) . . . that's okay. Because he who speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh unto God.
You see, tongues don't edify the church without interpretation, but it sure does charge up the battery. Again you see, I can't pray sufficiently through my own intellect - my own ability. I can't express appropriately what I want to express to God in my own native language. But in the spirit, my soul finds release, and it wings its way into the presence of God where there is refreshing, a fresh anointing, and some of you this day need your battery charged up. Some of you need refreshing this day. Some of you need to be in His presence in a greater way, and respond, and let go, and let God be God.
"No! I won't! Because it's just not me!"
You're right, it isn't you. It's the Spirit of God that lays within you that's coming to life. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you. Well then, let it come to life. I urge you to praise Him.
I will praise ... Him! Fourthly, the last word is: Him. Some fall at the feet of kings. Some bow at the shrine of athletes. It's going on today in the Olympics. There are rock groups that gain popularity; teenagers that are screaming and wailing when they step on stage. Teenagers trample each other to death to get in to see somebody.
I'm went to California and ministered out there for three days. I went down on Castro Street ... the thing closest to hell in the United States. You see people there with their faces painted like demons; their faces painted up in demented forms; all as a means of people trying to respond in their praise to somebody or something. And we don't hear much criticism in the papers, and we don't hear much criticism about it in the magazines, but let God begin to do a great work in a church, and we become great praisers of God, and we get lambasted as holy rollers. And we're just "emotional" people.
And yet you go to these rock concerts and the audience carries on like insanity; screaming and waving of arms, jumping and cutting themselves - filleting each other and bleeding and spitting on each other . . . all to the response of some screeching band instrument, or some group up there doing their thing. When I saw that, I thought I shall never be ashamed of what we do to praise God. I shall never apologize for what we do in the house of God. Who is the object of our worship? Who is the object of our praise? It is Christ, the Lord!
Who did Isaiah see in the temple? The fashioning of the society people? No. The things that were wrong so he could criticize? No. He said, "I ... saw ... the Lord high and lifted up." What are you looking at when you come into the house of the Lord? If it's anything less than Him it's a distraction. You're selling yourself short of the glory of God.
I remember Pastor Benson telling a story of a little boy who had come into the drug store with a penny in his hand and he wanted some candy. He pointed out to the druggist the candy he wanted, and the druggist said, "Where's your money?" The boy held out his penny and the druggist said, "I'm sorry, son, but that's not enough."
A well-dressed gentleman overheard the conversation and felt disappointed because the little boy didn't have enough money, and he said, "Son ... I just happen to have a candy fund in my pocket," and reached in his pocket and pulled out a dime and gave it to the little boy to buy the candy with. The boy grinned from ear to ear and took the dime and bought the candy and ran out the door and down the sidewalk.
The two men - the druggist and the well-dressed man were conversing afterwards and happened to look out the window. Here came the little boy with another little boy. The druggist turned to the other man and said, "Aha - you got yourself into something now! He's bringing back a friend with him; and that friend will bring another friend asking for a dime and you're going to be here all day giving dimes to every kid in the neighborhood and your candy fund is going to run out real quick."
The door swung open, and the little boy stuck his head inside. Another little head poked in by the first little boy and the first beneficiary of the dime pointed his finger and simply said, "That's him," and turned, and ran down the street. He just wanted to show his friend the man who had given him a dime.
Today...I want so badly to bring you to an exhaltation of Jesus. I want to tell you of His glory. Yet I find myself so inadequate - trying to describe something beyond the scope of my English language. And about the best I can do ... is point my finger in the heavenlies ... and say: "That's Him."
As some additional insight for those of you who may be somewhat confused at this moment, it is vitally important to understand what praise means to God. To best understand it, let's look at it from an earthly perspective.
Our relationship with God is likened unto a parent-child relationship. What parent who loves his or her child does not glow when that little child comes up and says, "I love you, Daddy. I love you, Mommy." There is nothing more precious than to have a child sit on your lap and tell you that.
Do you know your heavenly Father longs to hear the same thing? When was the last time you came to the feet of God and simply looked up into the heavenlies and said, "I love you, dear heavenly Daddy."
When a child does those things that are unpleasing to his parents, there is disappointment and oftentimes anger on the part of the parents. But what parent is not forgiving when that child asks to be forgiven for his disobedience, and what parent does not literally glow inside when that child then says, "I love you, Mommy and Daddy, for forgiving me for being bad."
Our relationship with the Lord God is the same way. He glows inside when we ask forgiveness of our disobedience (sins), and then turn around and tell Him we love Him so much for forgiving us.
Now - this relationship with children to their parents, and humanity to their heavenly Father is a form of LOW praise. But the sermon you have just read is not speaking of LOW praise. It is speaking of HIGH praise.
As a parent, would you feel right having your child bow at your feet all the time, or raise holy hands, and go around praising you all day?
"Praise you Daddy. Praise you Mommy. Praise you for being my parents. Praise you for being so good to me. Praise you for this - praise you for that . . ."
No - of course you wouldn't like that. It would be abnormal, because being a good parent is your obligation and responsibility. A "Thanks" now and then is adequate in most cases. Praise is reserved for someone greater than you and I.
God the Creator is the only one worthy of your praises, and the more you grow to understand God, the more reason you will have to truly praise Him.
The only way we can grow to truly know Him and His greatness is by revelation from His Holy Spirit. If we grieve the Holy Spirit by refusing to be shown how truly great God is, we are not measuring up to God's greatest reason for creating us. Truly, there is no greater way to give the Holy Spirit an open door to reveal more of God to you than through your HIGH praises to His Son, Jesus Christ.
To HIM - Jesus Christ. The One who has brought me back to my heavenly Father. Everything I always wanted, but was too confused to realize it. Aren't you glad you've been shown the way.
(Note: The transcript of the sermon you've just read was ministered by Pastor Bill Myers in 1993, who at the time of this message was the Associate Pastor and Youth Pastor of the First Assembly of God church on 44th St. SW, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.)
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A Special Message: http://www.precious-testimonies.com/Exhortations/f-j/HelpingShareTheMessageOfTheCross.htm
Dear Reader -are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.
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