Summary: God is the God of the breakthrough. This passage shows us some of the factors that make a breakthrough happen.

Believing for breakthrough Sun 31st Aug 03 am. Mark 1:14-20

What an absolute turnaround this passage is. Have to see it in context

- intertestamental period. 300 years of silence

then comes a great man of God. The greatest man of the OT era. JTB. Folks flock to hear him. ¡¥are you the one?¡¦

o then JTB imprisoned. Later beheaded.

o Time of disappointment

- Or consider it from Jesus¡¦ perspective

o Baptism¡K straight out into the desert for:

o Battle¡K.

But this passage is turnaround. It¡¦s breakthrough. The time is right, the factors are right

- and Jesus comes proclaiming and demonstrating the Kingdom of God

- and the explosion happens- of which WE are a part! 2000 years on

I want to encourage you, this morning, that ¡¥breakthrough¡¦ is possible

- in God¡¦s time

- if we are obedient in the basics

-stick at it through the battles¡K persevere (!!!)

According to His sovereignty God can bring a breakthrough, a ¡¥tipping point¡¦ (in any area of your life¡K work)

Now- the debate has always been ¡V

- how much of this do WE bring about¡K how much does God bring it about?

- How much are these ¡¥turning points¡¦ natural, sociological factors¡K how much are they spiritual factors

But the integrated person¡K the Bible, I believe¡K makes no such discrimination

- God is SO huge He is active in BOTH ways

o So we shouldn¡¦t be frightened of understanding the human, sociological factors that bring a change¡K awakening¡K ¡¥revival¡¦ if you like¡K in us, our area, work-place, nation

o Rather: Christians should know how to read the natural and pray into it. Pray SPIRITUAL change into it

Malcolm Gladwell, in his book ¡¥the tipping point¡¦ describes how breakthroughs happen.

- He doesn¡¦t describe them from a Christian perspective- but he IS describing spiritual principles that WE need to understand

- He describes 3 laws¡K all 3 of which are seen here

o Law of the few. Just a few people can bring tremendous change

o The stickiness factor. These few people have a message that sticks

o The power of context. The factors being right for law 1 & 2 to have impact

He uses the language of epidemics and viruses (sobig virus!) and applies it to marketing products.

- says ANYTHING can experience breakthrough

- ie- Hush puppies: remember them at school: Cornish pasties!

o Early 90s ¡¥wolverine¡¦ were considering dropping the whole line- but in 1 year experienced ¡¥breakthrough¡¦. Worn on some catwalk in NY and sales 4X 95-96. In 2 years in every shoe shop in USA

„X Example of contagious behaviour

Now listen. God is the God of this world. If this applies to shoes- how much more the gospel!

- not a human idea, but GOD¡¦S idea!

- the power of God for salvation to all who believe

- = what we¡K this world was made for!

God made these principles! We mustn¡¦t be frightened of letting Him use them

- Illustr: in this last year, photos of masks for SARS virus

- We¡¦re like those masked people! Gagged about the gospel! Need to get the masks of and start sharing it as we have SARS (salvation And Redemption Syndrome)

- Get the masks off start a gospel epidemic and be contagious people!


There is nothing God cannot do with a suitable person

- all big changes, epidemics, are started by just a few

Here- Jesus comes on the scene. ONE person started all this.

- the greatest person who ever lived, of course¡K

¡K but also, at this stage, just 4 others: Simon/Andrew, James & john

What is notable is that Jesus chose them. He knew they were ¡¥movers and shakers¡¦

- custom was for disciples to attach themselves to rabbis

- Jesus says ¡¥come, follow me!¡¦

o Not, ¡¥come learn Torah¡¦

o People who follow Jesus can REALLY make things happen.

- ¡¥and I will make you to become fishers of men¡¦

o not a reflection on the past fruitlessness ¡V but on what they will become if the follow Him

A Christian submitted to God¡K praying¡K is a powerful thing

- He¡¦s always in a majority- because he¡¦s got God with him

Gladwell says: epidemics are always driven by a handful of exceptional people. People who are:

- CONNECTORS. Connected with people. Not isolated

o Jesus chose 4 fishermen right from the core of a fishing community.

„X This was not their first encounter. In Jn¡¦s gospel Andrew immediately connects with Simon peter and Philip with Nathaniel- and the numbers swell

o Are you connected with people? Want to start an epidemic? ¡V connect with your neighbourhood and workplace. Satan¡¦s strategy is to ISOLATE you

- INFORMED. Actually he uses the word ¡¥mavern¡¦, a Jewish word for ¡¥someone in the know. Somebody with a message.

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