If I asked you, “What is the chief purpose of man?” how would you answer?
The chief purpose of man is to glorify God.
I Corinthians 10:31 – “Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
That all we do should be done for the glory of God is a relatively simple concept.
The practice of this principle may be difficult, but the idea is simple.
Whatsoever is done UNTO you should be RECEIVED for the glory of God.
Does this verse leave any room for non-sinful things for which we shouldn’t or can’t praise God?
The only things for which we cannot and should not praise the Lord are sinful things.
Bro. Jack Gregory is in his 70’s and is the adult Sunday School teacher in his little Baptist church.
And then a few years ago, doctors found a life-threatening brain-tumor that required immediate surgery.
While he was laying on his hospital bed, not knowing if he would live or die,
He told the Lord that whatever providence wanted, he would thankfully accept.
He is learning and growing in the things of the Lord, buying good books and teaching others.
The cancer that started out as a disaster, has become one of the greatest blessings in that man’s life.
I don’t know that Bro. Jack Gregory would say so, but his healing and the results might be described by some people as miraculous.
“In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” even cancer.
In the healing the lame man at the Beautiful Gate, we have a similar kind of situation.
We have a man who was severely afflicted for forty years, and then miraculously healed.
Upon his healing he was filled with thanksgiving.
Not only was he thankful for his healing,
But he could have, and should have been thankful for his former paralysis.
Let’s think about 4 things this Thanksgiving Day-Eve: the healing, the holding, the hailing and the hearing.
For 30 or 35 years someone carried him to one of the gates of the temple, where he begged for alms.
He had been there perhaps as many as 10,000 times, and he had been given enough to help his family feed him throughout all those years.
But he had never been into the temple,
And he had probably been taught that God’s wrath was upon him for some sin which had been committed.
But then along came two of the apostles.
In an act that probably took less than 30 seconds, the formerly crippled man was given his legs, his mobility and his dignity.
Peter clearly declared that the miracle was accomplished under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He reached down and pulled the man to his feet.
Pow. The man was instantaneously healed.
Scripture says that he leaped to his feet, took a few steps – probably quite gingerly at first.
He jumped to his feet, but then began to leap and hop, putting his new-found limbs to the test.
And that you believe that he was miraculously healed.
I can think of only four or five possible REASONS why this man might have HELD on to the apostles.
First, he might have clung to them like he would to a crutch or a cane.
I can remember only one Biblical miracle that was incomplete or that came in stages.
The Lord quickly downloaded a patch and fixed that little glitch.
I think that this idea is lame.
Because there was an instantaneous bond of affection toward them.
These two men have become the best friends that this man has ever had.
He might have thought that he had found the goose that lays the golden eggs,
But I really don’t think that is the reason at all.
Yes, it was the Lord who healed him, but it was these 2 who were the tangible instruments of that healing.
This man was like the one leper who returned to thank the Saviour, for his healing.
After what you’ve done for me, I’m not leaving your side.
But there might also have been one other reason: to point out who his benefactors were.
This man might have latched on to the apostles so that in his public praise of God, he could point to them.
There was a crippled man at the Pool of Bethesda whom the Lord healed in John 5.
And in the process he lost the Saviour.
It wasn’t until later that they met again, and I’m sure by that time the man regretted having let the Saviour slip away.
He hailed the crowed.
To “hail” is to …
2) To greet or acclaim enthusiastically.
3) To call out to in order to catch the attention of.
I thought about it for a while and came up with a short, and probably very incomplete, list.
We can praise God with our voices PRIVATELY, or semi-privately.
There is nothing wrong with this, and we should probably do this a hundred times more often than do.
Sure, this was the temple of Jehovah, but most of the denizens, really didn’t know who Jehovah was.
I also hope that this man was as joyful and noisy as he went home, thru the market and into his house.
So what did he immediately do?
Ah, but now he was skipping, hopping, running, walking and leaping.
I think that he was behaving like a child right here, and he didn’t bat an embarrassed eye-lash.
He was using the blessing that God had given him.
He went into the temple whose gates had been shut to him for the past four decades.
He didn’t hold the memory of his infirmity against anyone, especially against the Lord.
He praised God from whom all blessings flowed and encouraged all the rest of God’s creatures here below to do the same.
Do you suppose that he tried, like Simon Magus to get this power so that he too could raise the fallen?
I doubt it.
But I would be surprised if he didn’t become a disciple & try to bring others to Christ and His apostles.
And I wouldn’t be surprised to find that he tried to bring Peter and John back to visit some of his former competitors in the begging business.
“And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.
And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people.”
It’s hard to say what the ultimate end of praise really is.
Why should we praise God and vocally give Him thanks?
We might do it to make ourselves feel good.
There was emotional and spiritual steam building up in this man that might have made him explode if it hadn’t been vented in exuberant praise.
It felt good to be able to praise the Lord that day.
If you are not thankful, you are not fulfilling the purpose for your existence.
Is there some sort of divine emotion that sinlessly parallels that human emotion?
Did this man feel confident about preaching the gospel himself?
But His praise gave that opportunity to Peter.
Being grieved that they taught the people, & preached through Jesus – resurrection from the dead.
And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide.
If God’s people, which are called by His name, and healed by His power, would be more bold to praise God for His grace and their salvation, who knows how much the Lord would bless?
So tomorrow is “Thanksgiving Day.”
I’m not against the principle of such a day.
But if “Thanksgiving Day” is a REPLACEMENT for the responsibility of Christians to minister through public praise, then the day ought to be abolished.
Praise should be a ministry of the Lord’s people – 24-7-365.