John Hagee - The Grace That Heals
One of the greatest stories ever told presenting a portrait of the grace of God is the story of king David and Mephibosheth, grace that heals. Go back with me in the theatre of your mind 3.000 years. We are in Israel. King Saul and Jonathan have just been killed in a bloody, hand-to-hand combat on the battle of the Mount Gilboa. The news of their death has reached the capital city, the City of Jerusalem. It was a brutal time in history. It was customary that all members of the royal family be slaughtered by the new king to prevent any legitimate heir from claiming the throne in the future.
When the word reached Jerusalem that Saul and Jonathan had been killed at Mount Gilboa, the nurse of Jonathan's infant son ran into the nursery, grabbed up Jonathan's baby, and ran for their lives. In her haste, she dropped the baby, breaking both of his feet. And he was crippled for the rest of his life. His name is Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth makes you love a name like John, or Harry, or Tom. Mephibosheth is five years old, and we hear nothing of him in Scripture for 20 years because he has fled the capital city for Lodebar, a desolate place, the translation of which means "Barren pastures" to hide in seclusion, lest he be discovered and executed.
Years passed. And one day king David is remembering his dearest friend in his day of adversity, Jonathan. And he asked a question that rippled through the corridors of the capital city, "Is there anyone of the house of Saul that I might show them mercy for Jonathan's sake"? It's a majestic statement of God's amazing grace, "Is there anyone"? Not someone deserving, not someone brilliant who can help me run this country, but is there anyone? That's the question the church in America needs to be asking: is there anyone? Is there anyone who needs to come through our doors whose life has been shattered? Is there anyone whose dreams have been crushed? Is there anyone who has been abused and rejected by their parents?
There are scenes that happen in the theatre of your mind that are so horrible that you can't bear to think of them. You are controlled by doubt. You're controlled by fear and insecurity. You feel totally alone and helpless. Hear me. God's amazing grace will give you a new beginning. It will give you a new life. It will give you a second chance. Hear the voice of God Almighty calling you today from the balconies of heaven. Is there anyone? Is there anyone? Is there anyone? I will restore you! I will give it back to you! I will make your life beautiful! Is there anyone? Give Lord praise in the house of God!
The down and the out, the up and the out, the captive to addiction, the alcoholic, the prostitute, the backslidden church member: is there anyone? God's grace will give you a new beginning. God's grace is greater than your sin. God's grace is greater than all your faults and failures. God's grace can heal you. And it's the only thing that can truly heal you.
Let's go back to the story. Thirty-three generations later, David's great, great, great grandson, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, said to a sin-crippled world, "Is there anyone"? You suffered from the great fall in Genesis. Both of your feet have been crippled spiritually. Whosoever will, let him come and drink of the waters of life freely. Not the rich and the powerful, not the right people that many churches are looking for, but whosoever will, let them come. Let them stand beside the river of life and drink freely. The Lord stands beside me on this platform right now. His nail-pierced hands are extended towards you, and saying, is there anyone with a broken heart? Is there anyone who's been forsaken? Is there anyone with shattered dreams? Is there anyone in the midst of family crisis? Your life has become meaningless. Your marriage is as dead as julius Caesar. Christ and his amazing love is the answer. Can I get a witness? Hallelujah to the lamb of God!
Secular humanists do not have the answer. God's amazing grace is the answer. Secular humanists in Washington, D.C. are taking this country down the wrong road, throwing God and the Bible out of government, out of public schools, out of universities. You can't pray at the football games or graduations anymore. It's just not considered politically correct. From my point of view, political correctness is an intellectual nazism, who will control what people are allowed to think. And they'd be a little heavy for you to get the first time through, but buy the tape. Good news I have for all of you God haters. Listen up. You're not going to find him in hell either.
Do you see the type and foreshadowing of grace in this story? Once Mephibosheth enjoyed fellowship with his father in the palace: just as Adam and Eve walked and talked with God in the Garden of Eden. Then satan and sin entered into the garden and man fell. We were permanently crippled in both feet. The heart breaking story of sin begins, as man was separated from fellowship with God. What is sin? The Bible says, "To him that knoweth to do right and doeth it not, to him it is sin". Poor atheists: they live their lives fighting God, and they don't even believe he exists. Can you imagine the frustration?
I'm not bothered by a redneck who lives like hell and he knows it. My concern is the man or the woman, who goes to the house of God and sings, "My Jesus, I love you," and yet is merciless, lives without love, has a toxic tongue. They talk the talk but they don't walk the walk. They cover the stench of their godless lives, saying, "I'm covered by grace". No, you're not! Pay real close attention here. Grace justifies the sinner. Greasy grace justifies the sin. Grace gives you the opportunity to confess. Because under the law, they killed you immediately. You broke the law: get the rocks. You're gone. Boom! But grace, the new covenant that God gives you, gives you the opportunity to confess your sin and to become a new creature in Christ.
Listen. This is very important. Write it down if you can't remember it. Granting forgiveness to a person without demanding a change in conduct makes the grace of God an accomplice to evil. I'm going to say it again. Granting forgiveness without demanding a change in conduct makes the grace of God an accomplice to evil. The point is people sin repeatedly sometimes over and over, and scream, "Well, I'm covered by grace". Be very careful, my friend. Be very, very careful. If you know it's sin and you don't confess the sin, you're violating the Word of God. The Bible says very clearly, "Whosoever confesses and forsakes his sin shall have mercy with the Lord".
Jesus followed that pattern. When they brought to him the woman caught in the act of adultery, which under the law demanded that she die immediately, Jesus Christ, who was perfect, looked at this woman, and said, "Neither do I condemn you, but go, and sin no more". Message: I expect you to change. I expect your conduct to become different. A husband to a wife, "Will you forgive me for this situation of adultery"? Maybe it's the second time. Maybe it's the third time. I want you to hear this. The answer the first time is, "Yes, I'll forgive you, but I expect you to change. But if there's no change, Bubba, you can pack your clothes, and hit the road jack. I don't care if you don't come back". That's the answer. There must be a proclamation of the Word of God from the pulpits of America that transform this nation back to what God intended for it to be! Give the Lord praise and glory in the house of God!
"Is there anyone of the house of Saul" there's a paper-shuffling bureaucrat by the name of Ziba, who steps out from the shadows and said, there's one but he's crippled. You see how that sequence goes? He's not one of us. David didn't say, "Who is he"? He said, "Where is he"? Ziba said, he's in Lodebar. That's barren pastures. Many of you here and those who are watching by television or listening by radio are living in Lodebar. It's a barren place. It's a place where life has no meaning. It's a place where fear rules your mind. It's a place where broken promises have shattered your dream. It's a place where your marriage is dead or dying. It's the place where you have no peace, where there is no laughter, where life has no direction.
I've got good news for you. Just as king David went looking for Mephibosheth, king Jesus is walking the aisles of this assembly and he's looking for you. He wants to give you grace that heals! He wants you to have a new beginning! He wants you to have joy that's unspeakable and full of glory. He wants you to have the peace that's beyond knowledge. God wants you to have that. He wants to restore your good name. He wants to restore your fortune. He wants to give you a mansion designed by the architect of the ages. He wants to wipe away every tear from your eyes. He wants to give you an unlimited future. He wants to give you a brilliant white robe. He wants to give you a crown of splendor. He wants to give you a future that's out of this world. You are royalty. royal blood is flowing in your veins because of the blood infusion of the cross. You are destined for greatness! Lift your head and square your shoulders. I am a child of the king! And everything is going to be all right. Give him praise in the house of God.
Back to the story. See king David's royal chariot thundering up to the shack where Mephibosheth has been hiding for the past 20 years. Why? He's afraid if he's found, he'll be killed. He's placed in the chariot. Matching milk white stallions race toward Jerusalem and king David. And Mephibosheth is certain it's his execution day. When Mephibosheth comes before the king, he falls flat on his face. And king David, full of grace, said, "Fear not". Fear not, Mephibosheth. "I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father, Jonathan, my dear friend. I will restore to you all the land that you lost in the fall. And you will eat at my table continually". David said, I will restore.
At Calvary, king Jesus, our heavenly David, restored everything we lost in the fall. In the Genesis fall, we received death. But he gave us everlasting life. For he that believeth in me shall never die. In the Genesis fall, we lost our health. But by his stripes, we are healed. He is our great physician. In the Genesis fall, we lost paradise. We lost our inheritance. But at the cross, we became heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. In the Genesis fall, we lost fellowship with the Father. But now the Father has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you even to the ends of the earth". In the Genesis fall, we lost our inheritance. Now the royal blood of heaven is flowing through our veins. We are adopted. We are sons and daughters of the Most High God. We are the ambassadors of Christ. We are somebody! Thank you Jesus! We are created a little lower than the angels. Heaven is our home. And we could be there before noon today.
In closing, the text says, "So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem. And he ate at the king's table regularly. And now he was lame in both his feet," 2 Samuel 9:13. I'm dragging this chair up because I'm going to describe the dining room of king David. I did this in the first service. And before I got to my office, the doctor's office was calling, saying, "Is he sick? He's sitting down". No. I'm describing an exciting moment, lunchtime. The dining room of king David was palatial. The floors are white, imported marble. Understand that king David sitting at the head of that table that's loaded with every delicious thing that Israel, as a nation, could afford, is really the pre-eminent person of the Middle East.
History calls Israel's history at this point in time, "The golden age," because David had conquered Jerusalem and unified the Northern and Southern tribes of Israel. Israel owned a geographical piece of property much larger than the state of Israel that we know today. So don't see king David as someone who is king and Lord over a stretch of property that's very small. He was a king of a massive kingdom. He had lots of power.
In the room, there are columns 30-feet tall of stone. There are royal drapes from top to bottom cinched in the middle with chains of gold. King David sits at the head of the table waiting for who's coming to supper. In the door comes absalom with his long, black-flowing hair, as mean as a snake, deceptive, cruel, vicious, who wants his father's kingdom. Then comes Solomon, the brilliant, precocious, next king to be. He is truly the heir apparent to the kingdom in Israel. Then comes Joab. Joab is the mighty warrior of Israel. He is the rambo of the Israeli defense forces under David, the Douglas MacArthur of his era.
And now, as they sit there, you hear the sound of clump, clump, clump. Guess who's coming to supper? It sounds like a movie: doesn't it? Guess who's coming to supper? And in the door comes Mephibosheth. And he sits at the right hand of king David. And he takes his crippled feet and shoves them under the table. And that table from here up shows Mephibosheth as being absolutely perfect. Do you think David had that in mind when he wrote, "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies"? But the point is this: Mephibosheth took all of his past evidenced by his crippled feet, pushed them under the table prepared by the king. And from here up, he was absolutely perfect, absolutely perfect.
There are some of you in this room and people watching by television, you have a past that has dogged you that you can't get away from. I invite you today to come to the provision of the cross and stick your sin-crippled past beneath the blood of Calvary and become perfectly whole. When you are finished, you will be perfectly unified, perfectly accepted in the world. God is looking for a way and a time to heal you, to restore you. But then Mephibosheth sits there. He said, this has been a good day. I started out this morning in a shack in Lodebar. I didn't have a dime to my name. Today I am sitting at the right hand of the king, which is the position of power. He has just restored all the real estate that I lost in the fall. I'm rich. I am now wearing royal robes. I have a royal ring and shoes on my feet. I started out today in rags. And now I'm sitting here in a Hart Schaffner Marx Suit, watching Fox News on a widescreen television.
This has really been a good day. You talk about going from nothing to something: I have really had a good day. And that's just the kind of day Jesus wants you to have. Right now some of you have a life that's slipping through your fingers like sand. And in spite of all of your trying, the more you try, the more it gets away from you. All you have to do is give king Jesus the chance to bring you to the royal table, and you can eat food there that comes from heaven that will bless you every day. You are as wealthy as wealthy can be, because in my Father's house are many mansions designed by the architect of the ages, of whom Paul said, "The half is not entered into the minds of men what God hath created for his own". And that's what God wants to give you. But you've got to be willing to accept the king's invitation for a new life.
Can we stand to our feet? How many of you in this room say, pastor, my life is going in the wrong direction. There are problems in my life I've never been able to resolve and work out. Today I want to receive the Lord. I want my marriage to be healed. I want my business to prosper. But I know that before I can have the prosperity of the king, I've got to confess and forsake my sin. And you're in this room, you really want to go somewhere, and God wants to take you there. But you've got to do what the king demands. Accept his invitation, and he will make you a king and a queen just like that.
If you're in this room, you say, preacher, I want to receive the Lord today, can I see your hand right where you are? God bless you. God bless you, ma'am. God bless you, sir. God bless you, lady. God bless you in the balcony. May the Lord bless you. I'm going to wait for you. This morning, I want you to come. And I want you to stand here. And we're going to stick our crippled feet under the king's table, and our life is going to start again with a richness that you've never known. As they sing this great song, "Grace, grace, God's grace", will you come? People are still coming. People are still coming. This is the most important day they'll ever live. This is the most important moment. Everyone in the building, lift your hand and pray this prayer.
Heavenly Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I ask you to cleanse me from all sin. I want to be restored to God the father. I want to live like a king's child. I want the amazing grace of God to heal my wounded soul, to heal my broken family, to remove the stain of sin from my foolish choices. Today, I receive that, in Jesus' name. Amen.