“I’m Making Progress”

“I’m Making Progress”
Pastor Derik E. Jones
First Baptist Church of South Richmond

I recently had the chance to enjoy service at another local church — First Baptist Church of South Richmond.  When I first moved to Richmond, I simply referred to it as the “Mayor’s church” because the mayor of Richmond serves as the Senior Pastor.  But, his son, Derik Jones has stepped into the Pastor role and I was thoroughly impressed and empowered by his message.  Here are my sermon notes, with my thoughts sprinkled in :)

I love the saying, “I may not be where I want to be, but I’m thankful I’m not where I used to be.”  The main idea behind the quote is progress.  We are all a work in progress.  So, every now and then we need to take a minute to thank God for not leaving us where we could be:  dead, depressed, dangerously ill… Sometimes the road to a better life simply starts with taking a step in the right direction.   A big part of success is being in the right place at the right time.  Take for instance the story of the crippled beggar in the book of Acts.  The scripture paints a clear picture for us — there’s a gate at the heart of Jerusalem called, “Beautiful” and it’s a place where people come and go.  Every day the crippled man goes to the gate to beg for money, until one day he receives something much more rewarding:

Acts 3:1-10 (NIV)
1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.  6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Simply going to this “Beautiful” gate put the beggar in a position to be blessed.  Do you spend your time in places that have the potential to bless you or places that do nothing to help you grow?  And, sometimes it’s not the *place* that holds us back, but the *people* we keep close by.  If you can’t see around the stagnant people in your life, maybe it’s time to leave them and move on.  Move to a place where you can focus on your future and be surrounded by friends who want to see you grow.

Something to think about:  Although you may not be exactly where you want to be in your career, in your relationship, in your finances, etc… thank God for where you are.  Get excited about your expectation exceeding your situation because with God *all* things are possible!



1 Comment

  1. Gloria McLain |

    I enjoyed the story of the gate named “Beautiful” and the miracle performed there. Being in the right place at the right time is so important and I thank God for that.

    Keep up the good work. God is pleased with your work and you have been and will continue to be blessed.

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