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Sermon Notes: 2/25/24

"It's In The Stretch" Pastor Albert Almore


"On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled.“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭6‬ ‭NIV‬‬


"The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath.“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭7‬ ‭NIV‬‬


"But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone.” So he got up and stood there.“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭8‬ ‭NIV‬‬


"Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?”“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭9‬ ‭NIV‬‬


"He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored.“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭10‬ ‭NIV‬‬


I’ve been intrigued with this story over the last couple of weeks. When I think about how many of us think and respond today, I wonder if this story would’ve went down like it did as smoothly as it did. Especially considering Luke 6:8 where it says,

"But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, "GET UP AND STAND IN FRONT OF EVERYONE.” So he got up and stood there.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭8‬ ‭NIV‬‬


Everyone? Everyone Jesus? I would’ve been like…


"He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “STRETCH OUT YOUR HAND.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored.“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭10‬ ‭NIV‬‬


STANDING IN FRONT OF JESUS, WITH EVERYONE WATCHING, THIS MAN RECEIVED HIS HEALING, BECAUSE WHEN JESUS SAID, "STRETCH OUT YOUR HAND” HE DIDN’T RESPOND BY SAYING, "WHICH HAND?!” HE KNEW EXACTLY WHAT JESUS WAS TALKING ABOUT WHEN JESUS BROUGHT IT TO HIS ATTENTION, BUT WHAT ABOUT YOU?


When Jesus brings things to your attention through His Word, or through His people, do you respond by saying…


WHICH HAND?

WHAT PAIN?

WHAT HURT?

WHAT TEMPER?

WHAT ATTITUDE?

WHAT ADDICTION?


Oh this old thing, it’s nothing. I just do this every now and then when I wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Or maybe you’re saying, my attitude, my temper, oh shoot I only cuss people out on Tuesdays when I’m pushed to my limits, or I only go off like that on Wilber, because Wilber is Wilber you know, nobody gets Wilber. It’s nothing, it’s nothing. WHICH, WHICH HAND?


I want to speak to this today because the temper, the anger, the attitude, the addiction, the occasional glimpse at porn, are all symptoms of a deeper wound that Christ wants to heal. For years it wasn’t so much that I was a bad individual, but I was definitely a wounded individual.


Wounds often manifest through isolation. Wounds often manifest through withdrawing from everyone, or depression, or chronic anxiety. All of these things are 100% real, but often 100% of a deeper wound that Christ wants to heal. In order for Him to do that, we must take our cues from the man in today’s scripture. Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭10‬ ‭says,


"He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “STRETCH OUT YOUR HAND.” HE DID SO, AND HIS HAND WAS COMPLETELY RESTORED.

‭‭Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭10‬ ‭NIV‬‬


All of this leads me to today’s sermon title…

IT’S IN THE STRETCH


The healing that you’re looking for, IT’S IN THE STRETCH. That breakthrough, the change, that you’re looking for, IT’S IN THE STRETCH.


The last part of Luke 6:10 blessed me. It says,


AND HIS HAND WAS COMPLETELY RESTORED.

‭‭Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭10‬ ‭NIV‬‬


📝 Complete RESTORATION is God’s will for your life.


But you have to stretch out to God, the area of your life that you need healed. WHY? Because it’s in the stretch!


King David understood that complete restoration was God’s will for his life, as he penned Psalm 23:3,


"HE RESTORES MY SOUL…”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23‬:‭3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


📝 There wouldn’t be a need for Him to restore my soul, unless there was an event that TOOK FROM MY SOUL.


DIVORCE, DEATH, DISAPPOINTMENT FROM OTHERS, OR AT TIMES DISAPPOINTMENT WITH OURSELVES, HAS A WAY OF TAKING FROM OUR SOULS. THE GOOD NEWS IS GOD CAN RESTORE IT.


Only God can RESTORE YOUR SOUL.


You’ll never see an advertisement that says, "Now introducing the soul restorer!” Restoring the soul is reserved for God and God alone.


This is why I say to you today, what sense does it make to go to the doctor, and for the doctor to enter the room and say, "What brings you in today?” And you respond with, "Who me? Shoot. I have no idea what you’re talking about? I’m good. I’m really good. I don’t even know why I’m here, or how I got here. In fact I’m out!


How many times has Jesus walked into the room of your heart, how many times has Jesus walked into the room of your mind and said, "What brings you in today?” And you respond with, "Who me? Shoot. I have no idea what you’re talking about? I’m good. I’m good.”


AB, if he already knows, then why do I have to tell Him what brings me in today? Since He already knows, then why do I even have to stretch it out to him?


📝 It’s difficult for God to HEAL, what you continue to HIDE.


This moment that we’re having together is needed because….


Whatever you continue to HIDE will never HEAL.


Since He already knows, then why do I even have to stretch it out to him?


📝 • THE STRETCH IS THE INVITATION.


Jesus knows, but He wants to be invited in.


Here I am! I STAND AT THE DOOR AND KNOCK. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

Revelation 3:20


Why else would we find scriptures such as:


"Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”“

‭‭Mark‬ ‭10‬:‭46‬-‭47‬ ‭NLT‬‬


""WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO FOR YOU?” JESUS ASKED. “My Rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!”“

‭‭Mark‬ ‭10‬:‭51‬ ‭NLT‬‬


Do you think that Jesus didn’t know what this blind man needed? This question was given to position Jesus to be invited in. Jesus asking what do you want me to do for you, is equivalent to Jesus knocking on the door in Revelation 3:20.


"THE ENTRANCE OF YOUR WORDS GIVES LIGHT…”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119‬:‭130‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


The stretch is the invitation, so that God’s Word can enter to bring light to what’s really going on in your soul.


📝 If you want DARKNESS to lose its power, bring it to the LIGHT.


📝 • THE STRETCH IS THE DECLARATION.


When I stretch out to God, I’m declaring that I NEED THEE. When I stretch out to God, I’m declaring that I CAN’T, BUT HE CAN! When I stretch out to God, I’m declaring that He’s The Master, and I’m the Servant. When I stretch out to God, I’m declaring that He’s The Healer, and I’m the recipient. When I stretch out to God, I’m declaring that I’m dependent upon God, and not dependent upon myself. When I stretch out to God, I’m declaring that I. NEED. THEE!


📝 This isn’t a job interview. Jesus isn’t drawn to my STRENGTHS. Jesus is drawn to my WEAKNESSES. Jesus isn’t drawn to my POWER. Jesus is drawn to my PAIN.


"Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. MY POWER works best in WEAKNESS.” So now I AM GLAD TO BOAST ABOUT MY WEAKNESSES, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”

2 Corinthians‬ ‭12‬:‭9‬ ‭NLT‬‬


To the degree you’re willing to become WEAK, is the degree that Christ can be STRONG.


📝 With Jesus, it’s not about putting your BEST FOOT forward, but rather your VULNERABILITY forward.


📝 GO BACK with Jesus.


"The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath.“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭7‬ ‭NIV‬‬


Jesus isn’t limited to days, space, and time. No matter when it took place, HE WANTS TO HEAL. Going back with Jesus is essential because…


📝 Whatever you continue to RUN FROM, healing can’t RUN TO.


📝 Until you address the HOLE, you’ll never be WHOLE.


Until you address the HOLE that your peace and joy is leaking out of, you’ll never be WHOLE.


📝 PROCESS IT with Jesus.


”The entrance of Your words gives light; IT GIVES UNDERSTANDING to the simple.“

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119‬:‭130‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


You must take that time to slow down TO UNDERSTAND, AND PROCESS what happened WITH JESUS. Here’s why…


📝 Faith isn’t an ERASER.


Faith doesn’t erase the pain. Faith doesn’t erase the hurt. Faith doesn’t erase the trauma. Go back with Jesus. Understand it with Jesus. Process it with Jesus. IT HAPPENED.


📝 Faith was never meant to be a SUPPRESSANT.


Cough suppressants suppresses the cough, but until you get to the root of that post nasal drip, the cough will still be there.


📝 Faith is a PLACEMENT. Faith strengthens me to PLACE MY TRUST in the one who can heal.


📝 Faith strengthens me to place my trust in the one who can who help me PROCESS what happened, HEAL from what happened, SHARE (testimony) what happened, without no longer being CONTROLLED by what happened.


AB, I hear you but I don’t have time. I don’t have time to slow down and feel, and to understand and to process with Jesus. I have to do this, I have to do that. I have this person depending on me, and that person depending on me. Beloved, You have to. You have to slow down and feel, so that you can be healed.


📝 If you don’t slow down and HEAL, you’re going to HURT others who never HARMED you.

Slow down and….


📝 LET IT ALL OUT to Jesus.


Your tears. Your frustrations. Your questions. Your fears. Your concerns. Slow down and let it all out to Jesus.


"As soon as she touched them, HER BLEEDING STOPPED, AND SHE KNEW SHE WAS HEALED.

Mark‬ ‭5‬:‭29‬ ‭CEV‬‬


"The woman knew what had happened to her. So she came trembling with fear and knelt down in front of Jesus. THEN SHE TOLD HIM THE WHOLE STORY.

‭‭Mark‬ ‭5‬:‭33‬ ‭CEV‬‬


"Jesus said to the woman, “You are now well because of your faith. May God give you peace! You are healed, and you will no longer be in pain.”“

‭‭Mark‬ ‭5‬:‭34‬ ‭CEV‬‬


What we just witnessed is the healing of her body, and the healing of her soul.


WHEN SHE TOUCHED THE HEM OF HIS GARMENT, HER BODY WAS HEALED. AS SHE TOLD HIM THE WHOLE STORY, HER SOUL WAS NOW HEALED.


Her soul was healed from the trauma, their voices, possibly her bitterness, disappointment, fear, etc.


📝 LEAVE IT with Jesus.


"Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.”“

‭‭Mark‬ ‭10‬:‭49‬ ‭NIV‬


"THROWING HIS CLOAK ASIDE, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.“

‭‭Mark‬ ‭10‬:‭50‬ ‭NIV‬‬


"Throwing aside one’s cloak might seem insignificant to us, but historical context shows that this cloak Bartimaeus was wearing was probably a government-issued one to provide legitimacy to beggars, similar to a licence for them to beg and collect alms.


To look at it in another way, the cloak may have given Bartimaeus his “right” to beg, and probably protected him from the elements – but it was also this cloak that sealed his identity as a beggar.”


As Bartimaeus threw his cloak aside, Bartimaeus was saying in this moment, "I WON’T BE NEEDING THIS ANYMORE! I’M LEAVING THIS WITH JESUS!”


📝 MOVE FORWARD with Jesus.


"I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I PRESS ON to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.“

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭12‬ ‭NLT‬‬


"No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and LOOKING FORWARD to what lies ahead,“

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭13‬ ‭NLT‬‬


"I PRESS ON to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.“

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭14‬ ‭NLT‬‬


PRESS ON, MOVE FORWARD WITH JESUS.


Healing is God’s invitation to bring your heart home. God’s mission field has always been your heart and mind.


IT’S TIME TO BRING YOUR HEART HOME.


"And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭23‬:‭33‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


There’s nothing that you can stretch out to God, that His stretch (the cross) won’t cover.

STRETCHING IT OUT TO GOD, WILL FOREVER BE GREATER THAN HOARDING IT TO YOURSELF.


📝 Stretching it out to God, will forever be greater than HOARDING IT to yourself.


"And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, COMMAND ME TO COME TO YOU on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.“

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭14‬:‭28‬-‭29‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


"But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”“

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭14‬:‭30‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


"And immediately JESUS STRETCHED OUT HIS HAND and caught him…”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭14‬:‭31‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


Jesus didn’t have to run to him. Jesus didn’t have to swim to him. All Jesus had to do was stretch his hand out to Peter. This lets me know that Peter was closer to reaching his destination AND SO ARE YOU.


Don’t allow the storms of pain, and trauma tell you anything different. You’re closer to your healing, you’re closer to your breakthrough, you’re closer to your soul being restored than you think. IT’S IN THE STRETCH.


WHAT DO YOU NEED TO STRETCH OUT TO JESUS, FOR HIM TO HEAL?

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