Because of expected ice storm on Sunday January 9, only 8:30 worship will take place onsite.

September 21, 2023

A Pastoral Word. . . Movement Restored

Pastor Kevin Freeman

September 23, 2023
Keith Thomas is a New Yorker who has been given a new lease on life. Three years ago, Keith became a quadriplegic following a diving accident into a shallow pool in Montauk. Recently, however, Keith underwent a first-of-its-kind procedure to restore mobility. The fifteen-hour surgery involved implanting five microchips in his brain. These microchips utilize artificial intelligence technology and act as a bridge across the severed portions of Keith’s nervous system. How amazing it is to see this kind of restoration take place in a person’s mobility!

I think we gravitate to hope-filled stories like Keith’s because in a fallen world we know that sin has disrupted our spiritual connection with God. In fact, sin has left us worse of than even Keith was following his accident. Consider how Paul describes our situation (all from the NIV):
“You were dead in your transgressions and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).

“You were separate from Christ…without hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:13).

“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior” (Colossians 1:21).

Thankfully, through Christ we have been restored. Here is how Scripture describes this change:
“But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight” (Colossians 1:22a).

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

In truth, as amazing as the surgery was, Keith Thomas continues to have severely-limited mobility. His arms move only so far, and he is unable to move his legs. Even so, the promising nature of this procedure gives hope for future developments for the one hundred million people who suffer from paralysis.

Imagine a person who, despite having mobility restored, continued to live as one without that ability.  Some do suffer from symptoms of paralysis without any physiological cause. This mental disease is often called conversion disorder.

That may be a good name for a spiritual version of this struggle. Though we have been saved by grace, Christians can experience a “conversion disorder,” where, despite converting to faith in Christ we find ourselves unable to live the Spirit-filled life to which God has called us – for which He has saved us.

Maybe that is why Paul also writes this:
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:18-19a)

Knowing that God is at work in you to equip you with everything necessary to follow Christ and live for Him, I ask, are you operating with confidence in the power of God at work in you? Consider meditating on the hope-filled promises in God’s Word that remind us of the life and full mobility restored to everyone who has placed faith in Christ. Not only do you have the future hope of restoration with Christ, that restoration has already begun, and you get to draw others to this glorious hope!

Your partner in ministry,
Kevin Freeman
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