Wednesday, 12 July 2017

RUNNING IN YOUR LANE!

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:1-3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
Have you ever tried to do something that just wasn’t you? Only to find you really had no business doing it in the first place? 
I had a friend. Named Wally., he was great builder and with very good with hands. But he decided he wanted to play guitar & have a band for outreach purposes. He did some lessons... got a band together! BUT he was not a musician, when he played it didn't sound right or look right!
Have you ever found yourself running in a lane that you should not be in? Do you even know what lane you should be running in?
I’ve been thinking about lanes for several months.  More specifically, I’ve been asking the Lord what my lane is and how I can represent him in that lane.
So many times (in the church, in the business world, in our homes, etc), we run races.  Whether we are running a long marathon, a short sprint, or a team relay, we are running races. 
 It’s the race set out for us by the Lord
1. We have a lane to run in the race. A lane designed by God... where we fit with all our weaknesses & strengths & talents & giftings... a lane with our name on it!
But often often do we try to run in a lane that’s not for us? Or play a position we weren’t made to play?  
When I was younger I often struggled to be ok with the way God made me. I try to be someone I’m not. I try to preach like Smith Wigglesworth... I try to…well, you get the picture.
Here’s why I won’t do any of those things: I am Who I am.  I am unique.  I have my own set of gifts, personality, experiences, talents, calling, etc.  I was made to be me. I have to be me. 
2. Stay in your lane...
God didn’t ask me to run in their lane.  He asked me to run in mine.
Paul says it so well in Romans 12:6-8, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
3. This is not a competition. Its a marathon!

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

SEPARATED FOR A CAUSE!


Romans 1:1 “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,”
Many people will separate themselves from many things because of something they want to do. An athlete will stop eating certain foods because they want to perform at their peak ability. A young couple will separate from friends because they love each other and want to get married. In both of these instances, the purpose of separating was so that they could do something better.
In the verse above, Paul said that he was “separated unto the gospel of God.” In other words, he purposely lived a separated life so that he could spread the Gospel better. There were certainly things that he could have done that would not have been bad, but for the sake of the Gospel he separated himself from those things so that more people would get saved.
Many Christians are afraid to talk about the doctrine of separation. So many worldly preachers have shamed people into being silent about separation. The fact is that the Scriptures teach the importance of separation. Anyone who avoids this doctrine is only shunning part of the Scriptures and not helping others to do what God wants them to do. Let me point out several observations about separation.
First, separation is not a dirty word. Everyone lives a separated life, but they just live it to different levels. Anyone who says that they don’t believe we should talk about separation is only showing their hypocrisy, because everyone practices separation to some level.
Second, separation of itself doesn’t make you a superior person. The purpose of separation is to do what the LORD wants you to do better. A Christian separates from the world because worldly living will keep you from performing God’s will to the ability that you can perform it. Separation isn’t a badge to wear on your chest to show everyone how great you are, but it is done because you have a cause that is worthy of you separating from the world.
Third, you will never obey God’s will without living a separated life. God demands that you separate from things so that His will can be done in your life. For instance, God’s will for my life is to be a preacher of the Gospel. Some things are not exactly wrong for me to do, but they would keep me from doing His will to the best of my ability. Likewise, God has a will for you, and you will never be able to perform it to the best of your ability without separating from the world. The whole reason you must come out of the world is so that you can do God’s will for your life.
Fourth, separation will keep you from sin. The purpose of separation is to do God’s will, but the result is that it will keep you from sin. You come out of the world so that you can serve the LORD, but coming out of the world keeps you from the world’s temptations. Yes, living a separated life will keep you from sin, but the purpose is so that you can do God’s will for your life.
Fifth, separation will bring greater attention to the Gospel. Paul was separated “unto the gospel of God.”When you live a separated life, it will not point people to you, but it allows people to see you so that you can point them to Christ. Don’t let the purpose of your separation be so that people look at you; rather, use it to show people the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Monday, 6 February 2017

THE POWER OF YOUR STORY!


One of the most effective tools in your evangelistic toolbox is YOUR PERSONAL STORY! It is often called your testimony! Everyone who has put their faith in Jesus has a testimony. True some are more dramatic then others but every story is valid, including YOURS!
Think back to the woman at the well…her story… married & divorced 5 times… a woman with a reputation!!! After her conversation with Jesus…she believed in Him & immediately went out & began to tell others! I’m sure everyone knew her story & they could see the radical transformation that had taken place after her encounter with Jesus. Her testimony was powerful! John 4:39, And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.”
A person can argue all day with you about certain fact! But they cannot argue with your personal story of how you came to faith. Using your testimony is as a bridge is very effective because it helps to find that common ground with the person you are speaking with. They may be surprised that you were not always the way you are now! That you did not always believe what you do now! I have a tattoo on my shoulder and any are surprised when they see it and consequently it always a talking point for believers & non-believers!
You are showing them how & why you changed your direction in life-how & why you became a follower of Jesus! You may struggled with alcohol or drugs…immorality… addicted to anything or everything. Maybe you were successful but still remained empty! The main thing is just tell your story! Every testimony is valid because there is someone out there who is a lot like you!
Some might be moved & convinced after hearing a former criminal who came to Christ but not everyone can relate to that story! Might even dismiss it! Thinking I’M NOT THAT KIND OF PERSON! That kind of person needs Jesus but I don’t! They need to understand that everyone needs Jesus because everyone has sinned!
Even if you were raised in church & never went out & tasted all things that the world has to offer, that is still a testimony! Let me tell you your story without even knowing you…
You were in rebellion against God because of your sin…
You heard the gospel…
You believed in Jesus & turned from your sin…
He forgave you all of your sins & gave you a peace & purpose in life…
Now instead of going to hell, you are going to heaven…
Everyone of us can tell our story… You don’t have to be an expert in Theology.
Its worth noting that Paul often sued his personal testimony when he spoke. Though he was a brilliant communicator & extremely knowledgeable about Scripture.
He often started by telling his own story to build a bridge to his listeners.
Standing before king Agrippa… Acts 26:12-17, “While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13 at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. 17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you,
Now that is a dramatic testimony! But then Paul gets to what it really means to be a Christian… Acts 26:17-18,  I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’
Tell your story as it unfolded, then transition to the message of what the gospel is!
Here are a few tips!
1. Accuracy is really important… so is truthfulness… I have noticed that some peoples testimony gets more dramatic with the passing of time! Perhaps they think that will make their story for appealing but if it is not truthful then it is counterproductive. Just tell the truth about your life! God doesn’t need your made up story! Just tell the truth about your past & present.
Another problem is making your past sound better then your present! I have heard
believers go on & on about the wild parties they attended then when they talk about
what happened when the y got saved, sounds like their life ENDED! What about the things that God has done for you!
2. Don’t boast about your work, boast his! I’ve heard people talk about the great sacrifices that they have made to follow Jesus! GET OVER YOURSELF!
Compared to what Jesus gave for you…that nothing!
Paul summed up his past this way… Phi 3:8, Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
Now that’s perspective! Fact is Paul had a very impressive pedigree in his family line & training under the finest teachers of Israel! But he understood it all meant nothing without Christ-DUNG… thrown in the garbage!
What sacrifices did you give up? Ever present guilt… a deep emptiness… & a future separated from God in hell! Instead Jesus removed your guilt, filled the void & gave you the certainty of heave in as your home! You gave up nothing in comparison to what Christ gave up to save your soul! Make sure you emphasis that when sharing your story!
3. Its not about you…its about Him! Our story is a bridge not the destination! He point of telling your story is so you can share his story!
His love for humanity, his death on the cross, & is resurrection from the dead. Just give the big picture! & sum it up as Paul did before a Roman leader!
We don’t want people marveling over our story but over His-the sacrifice that Jesus made, the price He paid because of his great love for us! When the woman at the well told her story, she pointed to Jesus & the result. John 4:39, And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.”
As you tell your story, I pray something similar happens for you!

Monday, 23 January 2017

GODS ANSWER TO LONELINESS!


I once read about an elderly Christian lady who lived all alone. Partly crippled, she had to rely primarily on the good will & help of her neighbours. She spent some of her weary hours keeping a diary, although no one knew why; for she had precious little to record. Finally the Lord called her to himself. It is reported that she lay dead for several days before anyone missed her! In looking through her few belongings, someone discovered her diary. Most of the book contained nothing of interest. In fact, near the end of her life, as one monotonous day followed another, she wrote only three pathetic words on page after page: "No one came! NO ONE CAME!" In essence, she left a record saying, "I am so lonely!"
Read these quotes...
Alfred Lord Tennyson visited Queen Victoria and wrote, "Up there in all her glory and splendor she was lonely!"
Vance Havner was one of America’s greatest preachers for many years before his death. Before he went home to be with the Lord, his wife of many years died. After his wife passed, Havner called himself, "God's lonely old man." He was looking forward to being reunited with her in heaven.
Albert Einstein reportedly once said, “It is strange to be so universally known and yet to be so lonely.”
Loneliness strikes at the heart of the most famous & the totally unknown people of the world. 
Loneliness is a real problem and a real issue for everyone at one time or another.
Most of us do not think of loneliness when we view the Great Commission. This passage is often looked at as one dealing with evangelism, missions & church growth, & certainly those elements are in this passage; however there is much more here. Note in the Great Commission that the greatest person in the world, gave the greatest group in the world, the greatest task in the world, but He still realized that they would need the assurance of the divine presence with them in order to complete it. I do not believe Jesus told us of His abiding presence simply because of the need for power to carry out the task, but He promised His presence because He knew that all who live in this world face loneliness. 
Matt 28:18-20, And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
The question is, If Loneliness is such an issue! How can we be rid of loneliness! 
One man went to the psychiatrist and said, "Please doctor, make me a split personality." The doctor asked why. The man replied, "So I can talk to myself." Well, many of us talk to ourselves but the conversation can be depressing!
Note in the Great Commission that we find the answer for loneliness.
1. You Must have a Supernatural Identity... Jesus came to His disciples because they belonged to Him. He spoke to them. He commanded them. He promised them. He loved them. He led them. When you belong to Jesus, He comes to you, He speaks to you, He commands you, He promises you, He loves you & He leads you. He can remove your loneliness.

2. You Must have a Spiritual Community... The disciples were sent out two-by-two. Why didn’t the Lord send them out alone? The Lord knew we needed to have the presence of fellow servants along the road of life. Even serving Him requires fellow servants by our side. The Bible tells us not to abandon our meeting together. God meant for us to be in a community of believers. 
We need each other. The Lord is with us as Christians all the time, but He promised a special presence when we meet together. 
Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.””
The Pentecost event, when the Holy Spirit was first poured out on all believers, is an interesting occurrence. You see, Pentecost was the reversal of Babel! When the Tower of Babel was built, God confused the languages & people were separated from each other. At Pentecost, God brought all the believers together in unity even though they came from different languages, various countries and multiple backgrounds. They understood each other. 

Loneliness was replaced with love and partnership! Separation was replaced with association & fellowship. Those deeply involved in God’s work in the local church have a community of life and support around them at all times.
3. You Must have a Servant Mentality... "Go..make..teach..baptise.." Jesus tells us to reach out to others. One way to overcome loneliness is to minister to others. No matter how lonely you are, there are people out there that are lonelier than you are. 
Someone once said, “To have a friend, be a friend.” God says, “To have a friend, have the Friend closer than a brother & go serve in His name.” When we reach out to help others in Jesus name, loneliness evaporates. People are waiting for someone to take away their loneliness; God calls on you to go help someone else know of His salvation and love. When we obey Him, our loneliness flees!

A young boy named Bill was walking home from school with his arms filled with various things when suddenly he tripped and dropped them on the sidewalk. Books, a tape recorder, a baseball bat, baseball glove, & two sweaters spilled all over the place. Another student named David was walking behind him. He hurried over to Bill, whom he did not know, & helped him pick things up & carry them home. Bill invited David into his home. They drank a soft drink & watched Television. They became good friends. They did many things together over the next three years until they came to high school graduation night. Bill came up to David and said, "There is something I must tell you. You remember the day I was walking home from school & dropped my books and things? Well, have you ever wondered why I was carrying those things home that day? I had cleaned out my locker & was going home to kill myself. I was so lonely and life had no meaning, I was ready to kill myself. I had saved a few of my mother's sleeping pills & I was going to take them that afternoon. David, the day you picked up my books, you picked up my life. You saved my life."
If you want to overcome loneliness, look for someone to help. It will not only rid you of loneliness, you just might save someone’s life – or better yet, you might help them come to know Christ & experience a soul that is saved for eternity.

Someone has said that we need three basic things in life:
1. We need to be loved... You are loved and in Christ you are identified with Him. No one ever cared for me like Jesus. He loves you and abides with the Christian at all times.
2. We need to be understood... In Christ, you are understood. In God's loving family you discover who you are and what you are do with your life. I have found that a church family is a wonderful place to dispatch loneliness. There are people in the family of God who will love you, help you, pray for you, & work for the Lord alongside you.
3. We need to be needed... In the family of God you are needed. Everyone has something to do in God’s kingdom.
When I was a disciple my pastor told me I belonged & God has something for me...I asked what can I do! So I started setting up the chairs for chair. As time went on I was appointed as an usher. That ministry it locked me in & I was so busy, no time to be lonely! 
What can you u do for God in this church? You are needed! Find a place to serve God’s people. Don’t wait around to be served. You can defeat loneliness by being a servant to others.
Jesus told us to go out into the world & reach people! He promised to be with us. Because of His presence with us, & our presence in serving Him among others, loneliness can be dispelled & defeated! As we serve Him, He promises to be with us.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!

Count Your Blessings!

A man stood in our congregation and spoke about the fact that we should all count our blessings! He had been living here in Australia for 7 years. In 2016 his son was treated for cancer which cost 3k a tablet… If he had been back in the country he originated from he could never of afforded the treatment and his son may not be with us today! COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!

Life comes at us fast. Some times good things happen, and other times we face an onslaught of difficulty after difficulty. When the waves of strife drive our faces into the dirt, we must not give up, lose heart, or stop trusting God. But lest “trusting God” becomes a mere cliché for us, God has ordained things for us to do to keep our minds fixed upon Him. It is a willful act that we must do to think upon Him and remember Who He is and what He has done. As Paul says in Colossians 3:2, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” We are vulnerable to getting overwhelmed by the nonsense of this world, and it is imperative that we remember some things, particularly, that which is true about the many blessings which we have in Christ.

Surely, we can think of instances of answered prayer, of God’s provision, of God’s graces, of God’s good and perfect gifts to us, and of the mercy of God. We have the memories of past acts of God on our behalf, and we have the promise of our future inheritance in Christ to look forward to. In the meantime, we have the Word of God to remind us of the good heart of God. We should benefit from all three. Many times in Israel’s history, after a wonderful work of God, the Israelites would dedicate a song or build an altar in memory of what God had done. They were to tell their children of the mighty acts of God lest future generations would forget His faithfulness. We, too, need to look back and remember what God has done for us. There is hope in remembering where we were and seeing how God in all wisdom delivered us from ourselves or from enemies. God is so gracious, and we cannot take His grace for granted. Rather, we should thank Him for His provision, trust Him in the present, and think on the great blessings coming to us in the coming kingdom.

Paul said in 1 Timothy 6:8, “If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.” Elsewhere, we read that he learned to be content in any circumstance (Philippians 4:11), and it was the constant presence of Christ which made his contentment possible (Hebrews 13:5). Paul didn’t learn contentment overnight, but it was over time through a great deal of suffering.  He learned not to overlook the basic, small provisions of God, but to be thankful for them.  With mere food and covering, he could be content.  Sometimes, God allows suffering to help us be mindful of all of the many smaller graces that He has given us in our lives.  It is easy to overlook things and take them for granted.  We should be thankful to God for them, as insignificant as they might seem.  Just comparing our state to somebody who is in a worse state does not necessarily make us feel better.  But if we thank God that we have the things that we realize that others might not be so fortunate to have, then our thanksgiving can change our perspective and bring us contentment.  We need to maintain Paul’s attitude of thankfulness for all things and in even the most dire and unfair of circumstances.  We need to make a point of it to thank God for the blessings that He gives us each and everyday.  One of the first steps into spiritual decay is to refuse to give God thanks after experiencing His goodness and seeing His power manifested on our behalf (Romans 1:21). If we fail to acknowledge Him, we can begin to feel proud and self-sufficient, which is a dangerous road to be on.  Rather, we need to acknowledge God’s provision in everything (Proverbs 3:5-6) so that we can stay on the straight and narrow path.  


God has been faithful, and He always will be. Even when we lack faith, still He is faithful (2 Timothy 2:13). Great is His faithfulness, and His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23). Every day God’s thoughts toward us are so numerous that they cannot even be counted (Psalm 139:17-18). So already we have more things to be thankful for than we can even name or count. We have “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Eternity in paradise is ours. When all else fails, God never fails, and His mercy, love, and kindness endure forever (Psalm 52:1).  As Paul knew firsthand, even in a dark, dank prison cell, these blessings stand fast. 

There is so much to be thankful for, and so many blessings to count. In fact, if only we could see all that God does, we would have more mercies than we could ever account for. Let us not let the missiles of the devil knock us down such that we forget that we have Christ and the many blessings of God. We should never lose hope, and we should always have reason to be thankful. So what are you waiting for? Start counting!


Wednesday, 2 November 2016

I HAVE ISSUES!

Recently I did an online test to see if I have issues. After 20 minutes of feeding information about myself I was emailed the results. The good news is that I am not sociopath or schizophrenic or do I have any compulsive disorders. BUT apparently I am moderately anti-social! I guess I do have ISSUES!

I am convinced we all have baggage. We all have issues. Something that is on your mind. Something that we worry about, think about, fret over. We have issues that need to be dealt with. I want to talk to you about your ISSUES based on this account we read in the Word.
-Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, Who touched My clothes?But His disciples said to Him, You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, Who touched Me?’ ” And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.””Mark 5:25-34 NKJV

THE WOMAN WHO HAD AN ISSUE:
Have you ever noticed that this woman’s name is mentioned nowhere? Was her name Sue, Betty, Mary, & Anna? We just don’t know.  Did you notice that she was known by the following description, “The woman with issue of blood?”
That was all the information needed & everyone knew whom the writer was talking about!

In other words, this woman was defined by her ISSUE! Everyone knew her as the woman with the ISSUE…  She wasn’t known by her name. She was totally defined by her ISSUE.
The Bible is filled with others who were known by their issues.
Like Blind Bartimaeus was defined by his issue…THE BLIND GUY! Simone the leper. Zacchaeus the tax collecter. To name only a few!

I wonder, How many of us are defined by our issue?
That’s the woman with the bitter spirit…
That’s the man who was hurt by the pastor...
That’s the boy who’s dad beat him...
That’s the guy/girl that got divorced…
That’s the girl who had an abortion…
That’s the young guy who tried to commit suicide.
That’s the preacher who failed morally...
ISSUES...REAL ISSUES!

Tragically we can become defined by our ISSUE. We walk around wearing our issue like a name-tag.  We become known by our issue. We are become totally wrapped up in what happened to us. ISSUES DEFINE US!
Issues defines our attitude, our actions, the way we talk, the way we behave & the way we believe.
The hurt we suffered 10 years ago today if allowed DEFINES US!

But her issue did more than just define her. Her issue also disqualified her…

Caused her to be an OUTCASTE…because of her state she could not worship. She wasn’t allowed to enter the temple to pursue a closer relationship with God.
Because of her state she couldn’t enter into relationships. She wasn’t allowed to have relations with her husband or her children.
Leviticus 15:25-27, ‘If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, other than at the time of her customary impurity, or if it runs beyond her usual time of impurity, all the days of her unclean discharge shall be as the days of her customary impurity. She shall be unclean. 26 Every bed on which she lies all the days of her discharge shall be to her as the bed of her impurity; and whatever she sits on shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her impurity. 27 Whoever touches those things shall be unclean; he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. -This declares that everything & everyone she touched would be unclean.

She was cut off from God & man. She was cut off from meaningful relationship & service. She was disqualified by her ISSUE...

Sounds like many... Because of their ISSUE... feel disqualified from everything & everyone.
I can’t worship because of what is happening in my life.
I can’t serve, I can’t help with outreach… I can’t pray for you, I can’t minister, I can’t sing, I can’t pray, I can’t impact anyone!
I can’t do anything for God or man because of what is & has happened to me.
I am unable to fulfil my destiny because of my current issue. I am cut off.

THIS WOMAN WAS ISSUE DRIVEN:
I believe this woman was DRIVEN by her ISSUE! ISSUE DRIVEN! The Word says she had tried everything… Vs 25, Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.

I believe that she couldn’t forget about her issue. Imagine every morning for 12 years, 4380 days of her life she woke up knowing she had an ISSUE. Her issue consumed her daily thought life. It was all she could think about…
She couldn’t get it out of her mind. She couldn’t escape it...
While others were relaxing, laughing, joking, & playing games she had an ISSUE.
While the other women were rocking their babies she had an ISSUE!
While other women held her grandchildren she had an ISSUE!
While others talked about the weather she had an ISSUE.
While others went shopping she had an ISSUE.

OTHERS are dancing, shouting, glorifying God but YOU have an ISSUE.
OTHERS are enjoying life but YOU have an ISSUE.
While OTHERS are having a breakthrough around the altar your mind is consumed with YOUR ISSUE.
While OTHERS are fulfilling their destiny you can’t quit thinking about it.
It is on your mind when you wake up & it is the last thing that goes through your mind before you go to sleep.
24/7 it invades your thinking. Thoughts of “How can I get out of this? How can I be free?” YOU ARE DRIVEN BY YOUR ISSUE! 

The Word declares that this woman’s issue had cost her everything. Text, …She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.In fact the Word says she had spent everything she had & still only grew worse. She had tried everything!

William Barclay says that there were at least 11 cures listed in the Talmud for this issue. They ranged from tonics to superstitions such as carry the ashes of an ostrich egg in a linen bag in summer and in a cotton bag in winter, another was to carry a barleycorn, which had been found in the dung of white female donkey. Barclay believes this woman had tried it all but only grew worse. All very difficult & costly...

She was devastated. It cost her all of her energy, her resources, & dignity. Everywhere she went she had to shout, “unclean, unclean”. IMAGINE…every time you walk in a room…UNCLEAN!

Why do you think she snuck up on Jesus, TRYING NOT TO BE NOTICED. She was embarrassed about having to disclose her issue…
Her life had been devastated. It COST her EVERYTHING….

Many of you can relate. YOU have been DEVASTATED by YOUR ISSUE. You have tried everything. You have fasted, prayed, read, & pursued an answer.  It has cost you energy, resources, & your dignity.
-You are EMBARRASSED. You are ASHAMED that you are still dealing with the same ISSUE...

You can’t bear the thought of going to another altar & disclosing your issue only to walk away worse.
You don’t want to be noticed any longer.
Your ISSUE has cost you everything. Friends, self-esteem, faith.
You are devastated & at wits’ end!
You are broken, crushed & exhausted.

THIS WOMAN WAS DESPERATE FOR FREEDOM:
The final thing we must notice about this woman & her ISSUE is that her issue drove her to the point of desperation.

She came to the conclusion that she was so desperate she would take whatever means & actions were necessary to resolve her issue. How many of us have been in that place…
A Chinese man has learned that hell hath no fury like a peeved mother-in-law. Wang Qin,
from Lishui, Shanghai in China, got so sick of her son-in-laws excuses for not paying back
a loan she gave him that she used a crane to winch his car onto her roof terrace, the UK
Daily Mail reported. Wang claimed she loaned her son-in-law nearly half-a-million yuan
(almost $88,000) to invest in his business. However, when he began avoiding her & was
ducking all requests for repayment she decided to take his Audi hostage as collateral.
Initially the car was parked on the pavement outside her house, but when she heard her
son-in-law had been trying to retrieve it she took the extreme measure of winching it onto
her roof terrace. This is clearly one mother-in-law you dont want to mess with.Reporter
doesnt know whether the scrounging son-in-law has repaid his loan or got his car back
yet, but this story just proves that borrowing money from your family only leads to trouble.

This woman with the issue pushed past shame. She pushed past man’s protocol. She pushed past the belief that nothing will ever change.
She was desperate. She was willing to do the unusual to get the unusual!
Her desperation drove her to the divine, positioned her for deliverance.

Take a look at your current issue right now. In your own spirit grow tired of being defined by your issue.

Have you become tired of the thought of being disqualified & driven by your issue. Become desperate in your spirit today.

Have you come to the place where everything within you cries, “I must touch Jesus!” So desperate that you will push through the crowd of men to get to God.
So desperate that if necessary you will run to the altar to touch Him.
Forget mans protocol, mans rules, man’s laughter, & man’s opinion & run head long into the divine.
Touch Him & your current issue will be resolved.

Touch him & your issue will no longer define, disqualify, drive, or devastate you. Are you willing to do whatever it takes? Are you desperate?

“Holy desperation is the door to God’s greatest blessings. Those who proved Him best in the Scripture were at the end of everything.” Vance Havner

Notice also that Jesus didn’t just speak to her health issue. He spoke to her mind & spirit issue. “Go in comfort, go in peace.” If you are desperate you can leave whole & at peace.