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Following in the Footsteps of Jesus (2/3) | TV Special | Bayless Conley

February 16, 2020


One of the things that we understand as we
read throughout Scripture is that God is a God of restoration. It’s what redemption is all about. God has restored our relationship to Him. And if He has done so much to restore that
which is greatest, don’t you think that He could easily take care of the lesser things? Whatever you’ve lost in life, maybe you’ve
lost your health, maybe you’ve lost your sense of purpose, maybe you’ve lost your energy,
maybe you’ve lost your job. I don’t know, but I do know this, that God
is a God of restoration and He does care for us. He can still open doors that no man can shut. He can close the doors that are supposed to
remain shut that others want to open, and He wants to help you. He’s concerned about you. So if you’ve experienced loss in any way in
your life, listen, God is a restorer, so get ready. We’re going to be talking about it. Well, I am here in the holy land. We’re going to be following in the footsteps
of Jesus. We’re going to be bringing you the Word from
different areas where Jesus walked. I just believe it’s going to be a blessing
to you, the whole idea of bringing the Word from the places where the events actually
happened. I think you’re going to find it illuminating. So hey, stay tuned. There’s a really revealing story told in Matthew
8:1–4. It says, When He had come down from the mountain, great
multitudes followed Him. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him,
saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him,
saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell
no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses
commanded, as a testimony to them.” That leper is like a lot of people that they
believe that Jesus could, they just weren’t sure if He would. They knew He was able, but they don’t know
if He’s willing. The leper said, “Lord, if You’re willing,
You can make me clean.” And I think Jesus answered the question for
all time. “I am willing.” He’s willing to make us whole. He’s willing to make us clean. And listen, real faith takes two things. It’s not just believing that God can, but
you also must believe that He is willing. Now see, you can talk to any rank and file
sinner on the street and say, “Hey, do you think God can heal? Do you think God can work a miracle?” And they’d say, “Well, yeah, it’s logical. I mean, if He’s God, of course He could.” But that doesn’t mean they have faith. Faith is not just believing that He can, but
it’s believing that He is willing. Let’s say that I told every person in my neighborhood,
“Hey, I really want to buy every one of you a new car.” They’d say, “Well, that’s great Bayless,”
but they wouldn’t get too excited. And I’d say, “No, honestly, I’m willing to
do it. It’s really in my heart. I’d love to do that.” They’d say, “Well, that’s awesome, Bayless.” They would believe that I’m willing, but they
know that I can’t. It’s not enough basis for faith. On the other hand, if you had a billionaire
that came into the neighborhood say, “Hey folks, I am able to buy every one of you in
the neighborhood a brand new car.” They’d go, “Well that’s awesome. We know you can.” Still not enough basis for faith. They know about his ability, but they’re not
convinced concerning his willingness. But if he came and said, “You know, everyone
here, I can buy you a new car and I’m willing. Get in line.” Man, there would be a mad rush to get in that
line because suddenly there’s a basis for faith. And when it comes to us trusting God, it’s
not just a matter of believing that He can, but it’s believing that He is willing. And I think God demonstrated His willingness
for us to the enth degree by sending His own Son. The Scripture says, “If He didn’t withhold
His only Son, how can He also not with Him freely give us all things?” Friend, it is His will, not only to answer
your prayers, but it’s His will to fulfill everything that He said in His Word. This is a copy of what He wills. Let me read you Matthew 8:16–17, When evening had come, they brought to Him
many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and
healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet,
saying: “He Himself took our infirmities and bore
our sicknesses.” He did what He did to fulfill His Word. God’s Word is a revelation of His will. So He’s not just able, but He’s willing. And if you can find it promised, if you find
it stated in the Word of God, friend, it is a declaration of God’s desire. It’s a declaration of His willingness. So let’s not just believe He can. Let’s also believe that He will Hi there. I’m actually on the Sea of Galilee where a
whole lot of different events from the Scriptures unfolded. I want to read about one of them, it’s here
in Matthew 8. Jesus has got great multitudes around Him
and He gives a command to His disciples to depart to the other side. And then it says in Matthew 23–27, Now when He got into a boat, His disciples
followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the
sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him,
saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” But He said to them, “Why are you fearful,
O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the
sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this
be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” It’s an interesting thing. We read in the Bible about Jonah who was running
away from the call of God, was going to go to Tarshish, modern day Spain. It’s about as far away as you can get from
where he was. And the Lord sent a storm onto the scene. He got in a storm because he was disobeying
God. But here we’ve got the disciples, they’re
doing exactly what Jesus told them to do and they end up in the middle of the storm. So what’s up with that? Well, sometimes you can get into a storm for
disobeying God, but just the fact that you’re in a storm doesn’t mean that you’re doing
something wrong. In fact, it may be evidence that you’re doing
something right. They had done exactly what Jesus said. They were in the boat with Him and they were
in a storm. Of course, He calmed the storm. They’re in shock. “Who is this?” And that wasn’t the last time they would experience
a storm on the sea. I think it’s in chapter 14, Jesus is sending
the multitudes away and He tells them to go before Him to the other side of the lake. And He goes up on the mountain to pray. And in the middle of the night there in the
midst of the storm, the Bible says the wind was contrary. There were waves all around them and Jesus
came to them, I think about 4:00 AM, walking on the water. He had seen them struggling. And, to their credit, they kept the prow of
that boat right into that contrary wind. Maybe it didn’t make sense. They could have turned around and gone back
to their point of origin, but they kept going because He said to go to the other side. And listen, you may be in a storm right now. Just keep doing the last thing that the Lord
told you to do. Keep that the bow of your boat headed into
the wind, because my friend, Jesus will come to you. He is a rescuer. And I know they could’ve thought, “What the
heck’s going on? Does God even know what’s happening? I mean, does He even care? I mean, I’m doing what He told me to do.” Well, friend, we live in a contrary world. We’re swimming upstream in a downstream world,
and sometimes when you obey God and do exactly what He told you to do, there will be contrary
forces that will try and get you to turn around and go back the other way. But I just want to encourage you, if you will
stay with it, Jesus will come to you. And again, the story that I just read out
of Matthew 8, I love the fact that they said, “Who is this?” And sometimes we just need to realize who’s
in the boat with us. You may be going through a storm in your marriage
right now, maybe through a financial storm, maybe a physical storm, maybe stuff’s going
on with your kids. Your life has been turned upside down. Well, who’s in your boat? If Jesus is in your boat, my friend, it’s
going to be okay. Now, I’ve been walking with Him for more than
40 years, and believe me, I have been in my share of storms. He has been faithful continually and always. Now, He doesn’t always show up at the moment
I’d like Him to, but my friend, He has always showed up. I was thinking early this morning about when
we finally were able to build and move into our new facility. And it was crazy for years before that. I had to preach seven times every weekend
and we had extension services as well. We turned people away every weekend and finally
we got in and built a building that was big enough to house everyone. And the moment we got in, the like week we
got in, the economy in California where we are collapsed, thousands of people lost their
jobs. And so now we have this enormous budget, this
enormous loan payment, and a whole bunch of people in the church have lost their jobs. It was a really rough time. But He saw us through the storm, and He will
see you through your storm, my friend. He will be with you. I just want you to be encouraged. Now again, I’m sitting here on the Sea of
Galilee and it just reminds me of the faithfulness of Jesus. He’s going to be faithful in your life, trust
Him and watch and see what He will do. I’m actually here at the Synagogue at Capernaum. The one that’s built here was built late fourth
century, but it sits right on top of the one more than likely that Jesus actually taught
in. And there’s a story in Matthew 8:5–10. It says, Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion
came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully
tormented.” And Jesus said to him, “I will come and
heal him.” The centurion answered and said, “Lord,
I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will
be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having
soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes;
and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does
it.” When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said
to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith,
not even in Israel! And as the story goes down, his servant was
healed. It’s interesting if you put the different
Gospels together, the Centurion actually sent representatives on his behalf and he didn’t
come to Jesus personally. He sent the Jews, he built a synagogue here
in Capernaum, more than likely right on this spot where we are at the moment. And his servant was at the point of death
and this man cares for his servant, which was maybe a little bit of an odd thing for
a Roman in authority in that day. But he sent people to Jesus not knowing if
Jesus was going to come or not. Jesus, at that time in His ministry, it was
probably the height of the time when the crowds were following Him. And all of a sudden this little delegation
of Jews comes and they said, “Look, there’s this Roman Centurion, he’s a good guy. He’s built this synagogue. And he’s asked if you would come and heal
his servant.” And maybe the disciples are thinking, “There’s
no way Jesus is going to go just to heal one person. Can you see the crowds around here?” And one commentary that I read estimated that
from where Jesus was at that time, that it was 20 miles distant to where the Roman Centurion
would have lived. And Jesus said, “Yeah, I’ll come.” He walked 20 miles out of his way to show
His willingness to heal. Now, think about the Centurion. He’s at home, all he knows is that Jesus has
the ability to heal. He would’ve heard the stories. Maybe one of his servants said, “Yeah, you
sent me into town to buy some goods. While I was there, I saw this blind man get
healed.” And somebody else said, “Well yeah, I heard
this story. I heard that.” So the guy has sent Jesus merely on the premise
that he knows He is able. Jesus comes 20 miles, a full day’s journey. This guy, the Centurion’s got to be walking
back and forth and back and forth. And then something odd happens. When he sees Jesus not far from his house,
he sends someone out and says, “Look, don’t trouble Yourself. I’m not worthy for You to come under my roof,
but just speak the word only and my servant will be healed.” And the disciples are probably thinking, “What? Don’t trouble ourselves? Just speak the word? Why couldn’t we have done that 20 miles back? We’ve walked in full day’s journey.” But again, Jesus went 20 miles out of His
way to show His willingness to heal. And I love it because Jesus said the Centurion
had great faith. And when he put together that Jesus was able,
and then suddenly when he saw that Christ had come, he realized He was willing. That’s the basis for great faith. But then he went a step further. He said, “Hey, all You need to do is say the
word. I don’t need any other evidence. I don’t need any other thing. You don’t need to come any further. Now that I know that You’re able and I know
that You’re willing, You just speak the word and my servant will be healed.” And Jesus said, “Man, I haven’t found anyone
with faith like this and all of Israel.” So great faith believes that God is able,
that He’s willing, and it also takes God’s word as the final authority. That’s all the evidence that great faith needs. Now there’s another story of someone that
had great faith as well. And interestingly, it was another Gentile. The only people that Jesus ever said had great
faith, they were not Jews, but they were Gentiles. So we’re going to talk about that in just
a moment. The second instance where we find that Jesus
said someone had great faith is found in Matthew 15 There was a Syrophoenician woman whose daughter
was severely demon-possessed and she came to where Jesus and the disciples were trying
to find a bit of downtime. They were actually trying to take a break
and she’s basically ruining their vacation. The disciples try and put her off, but she
won’t be put off. She keeps saying, “Lord, have mercy on me. Have mercy on me.” Jesus didn’t answer her a word, and then finally
she’s just persistent, persistent, and He talks to her and says, “It’s not right to
take the children’s bread and cast it to the little dog. Let the children first be fed.” In other words, it was in order to His ministry. It was to the Jewish nation first. Not that the Gentiles were to be excluded,
but there was a divine order. But she just persisted and she said, “Look,
even the little dogs under the table, eat the children’s crumbs.” He said, “Daughter, great is your faith.” And her little girl was healed in that very
hour. And I think it shows us another aspect of
great faith. Great faith is tenacious. He answered her, not a word, but she kept
going. When it seems like heaven is silent and you’re
not getting an answer at all, and it seems like there’s no breakthrough is forthcoming,
friend, great faith stays in there. Great faith doesn’t quit. So great faith believes God’s able, believes
God is willing, rests on the evidence of His word alone, and great faith is tenacious. It just doesn’t let go. You don’t always get the answer right away
when you pray, but friend, if you don’t quit, God is faithful. He will perform His word. Jeremiah said He watches over His word to
perform it. God bless you. I hope that you’ve gotten something from this. God’s word is rich. And listen, we look at these stories and they’re
applicable to you right now, right where you are in your life. He’s able to help you. He’s willing to help you. Find a promise. Get His word that covers your situation, pray,
and then just be tenacious. Hang onto the word of God and we believe that
you will find an answer as well in Jesus’ name As Jesus continued teaching here in Matthew
6:9–13, He gave us that model prayer. He said, In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our
debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver
us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and
the glory forever. Amen. And then just as if to emphasize one point,
He comes back and he says, Matthew 6:14–15, “For if you forgive men their trespasses,
your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses,
neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. So Jesus emphasized one part in this prayer
by reiterating forgiveness. It is so important. I think it is probably the single greatest
factor to faith failures. Unforgiveness will cut you off from the blessing
of God. I remember I was teaching along the lines
one Sunday evening of the need to forgive and to release those that have wronged us. And I didn’t know all this occurred until
the following week. A woman came to me that had been in that service
and she told me the story afterwards, a week later. She said, “I knew that God was speaking to
me. I had to go home and call my father and ask
him to forgive me.” I never asked her what her father had done
to her or what he failed to do, but she said, “I haven’t talked to my father in more than
15 years because of whatever had happened.” She said, “I went home that night and I said,
‘Hi, daddy, it’s me.’ I called him. He said he was so surprised to hear from me
and said, ‘Daddy, I just called you to tell you I forgive you.’ And he says, ‘Well thank you for doing that.'” And she said, “I need you to forgive me.” He said, “Well, what for?” She said, “Because I’ve held a grudge against
you for 15 years.” He said, “Of course I forgive you.” And she looked up in my face and she started
to cry. She said, “Pastor Bayless, what you don’t
know is that for 15 years I’ve had a migraine headache. I’ve had pain in my head for 15 years without
cessation, 24 hours a day. I take a handful of medication every day. It barely even knocks the pain down at all. For 15 years. I’ve had this terrible headache.” She said, “Last Sunday night I went home,
I called my father, I forgave him, and when I woke up the next morning, the pain was gone
from my head. I no longer had headache pain.” And she’s crying. Tears are coming down her face and she saying,
“You have no idea what it’s like to have pain for 15 years and then to suddenly be free
of pain.” My friend, that’s the power of forgiveness. Unforgiveness is like acid. It does more damage to the vessel in which
it’s stored than it does to the object on which it’s poured. Do yourself a favor and forgive. And you might say, “Well look, my family,
we’re just not forgivers, it’s not the way we’re raised.” We’ll just do it anyway. If you’ve got Jesus in your heart, you can
forgive. It’s a choice you make. I come from a family of people that historically
we didn’t forgive well. In fact, it was my great, great aunt. She and her husband lived in the mountains
of West Virginia, a bit of hillbilly blood in there. And I don’t know what happened, but they got
in a fight over something and she left their little home. She crossed the old dirt road, went up into
the holler to another little cabin they had up there. She spent the night up there, came down in
the morning, cleaned the house, made breakfast for him. That afternoon she went back up, slept in
the little cabin up in the holler again. She did that every day for the next 20 years. She never spoke to her husband again for 20
years, and she held that tightly to a grudge. So I understand a little bit about coming
from the stock of unforgivers, but you know what? We can forgive. The Bible says the love of God has been poured
out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who’s been given to us. And I just want to encourage you, and take
your cue from Jesus, you need to forgive. If you don’t forgive, neither will your Father
in heaven forgive you. You’ll end up in the hands of the tormentor
until you pay that debt of forgiveness. The one debt that we all owe as believers
is the debt to forgive. We need to release those that have wronged
us. We need to forgive those that have trespassed
against us. It’ll only bring blessing into our lives,
my friends. So wherever you are, whatever’s happened to
you, I just want to encourage you, you forgive the way that you’ve been forgiven. You’ll be blessed if you do it. Well, I’m here in Capernaum. It’s the home of James, John, Peter, Andrew,
and Matthew, the tax collector was from here as well. And after Jesus taught in the synagogue here,
He went to Peter’s house and his mother-in-law was sick of a fever. And it says in Matthew 8:14–15, Now when Jesus had come into Peter’s house,
He saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever. So He touched her hand, and the fever left
her. And she arose and served them. I just love that about Peter’s mother. She got healed and immediately she began to
serve. Friend, God wants to give us strength. He wants to bless us, but it’s not so we can
go do our own thing. It’s so that we can serve. God told Pharaoh, “Let my people go that they
may serve me.” So listen, if you’re seeking God for a miracle,
you’re wanting to be healed, dedicate your life to do His will and to serve Him. That’s how we respond to the blessings that
He gives us. Peter’s mother-in-law was healed. She got up, she waited on them. When God blesses us, when God heals us, we
do have a responsibility. We have a responsibility to serve Him and
to serve His people with our strength. But I think we need to be wise as well, because
the Scripture says we have an adversary who walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom
he may devour. Jesus said that the thief comes only to steal,
kill, and to destroy. And if we want to keep what God has given
us, I think we just need to be wise and do the right things. We need to stay in God’s Book. That’s food for our spirit. It feeds our faith and it keeps our faith
strong. I think it’s important that we be around a
believing community because the truth is if you hang around people that are filled with
doubt and that don’t believe what you believe in, and I’m not talking about reaching people
for the cause of evangelism. We all need to have those kinds of relationships. But if the people that you hang out with and
do life with, if they don’t believe in healing, if they don’t believe in the baptism of the
Holy spirit, they don’t believe that God liberates, friend, it is going to affect you. The scripture says, “If you want to be wise,
you need to walk with wise man, but a companion of fools will be destroyed.” And Jesus, in Matthew’s Gospel, He was talking
about when a spirit goes out of someone, when it’s cast out, He had just cast the spirit
out of a boy, says, “Goes through dry places seeking rest, finds none.” The spirit comes back and says, “Well, I’m
going to go back to my house,” and he finds it empty, swept, and decorated, and he brings
seven more spirits, more wicked than himself. And the last state of that man is worse than
the first, because he didn’t steward what he had. He was swept clean by the power of God, but
then just a bunch of religious decorations. You need to get full of the word of God. Do your best to be connected with a believing
community so that you can keep what God gives you, and so that you can turn out and give
it away to other people that are in need. God will use you as a vessel to help and to
bless other people. I am here on Mount Tabor where many claim
transfiguration took place. And from this spot that a lot of people consider
very holy, I’d like to pray for you. I want to encourage you to turn loose of any
bitterness and unforgiveness that you have and let God do something amazing in your life. If you’ll forgive and reach out to God, my
friend, amazing things can happen, turn around, healing, breakthrough in whatever arena that
you need. Let me pray for you right now. Father, I just pray for every person that’s
listening to me and that is watching me where ever they might be in the world. That You would reach out Your hand and touch
them. If they need healing, I pray that You would
heal them. If they need wisdom, I pray that You’d give
them wisdom. If they need a breakthrough in their family,
I pray that You would do that, God. And I thank You that You are the God who can
do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask or think according to the power
that works in us by Christ Jesus. My friend, you just need to know that God
loves you. And hey, you’re not going to want to miss
the next program. We’re going to be filming in Jerusalem. It’s going to be fantastic.

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4 Comments

  • Reply Answers with Bayless Conley February 7, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    Let us know how this message has been an encouragement to you! LIKE + SUBSCRIBE for more videos from Bayless: http://bit.ly/sub2bcyt

  • Reply Svea Evert February 7, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    I needed this, ty!

  • Reply Gabyesca Fields February 8, 2020 at 6:01 am

    Saludos Pastor Bayless, desde la CDMX. ¡Buen siervo del Señor, Dios lo siga usando grandemente!

  • Reply Rabbi Australia February 8, 2020 at 6:32 am

    I'm expanding Israel and calling it the Kingdom of Avram

  • Leave a Reply