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Summary: Today in our passage of Scripture we’re going to see a group of people who were on the verge of not believing. They had lost hope b/c of the circumstances they were in. But Jesus came along and gave them a message that we can still use today. And that

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“Don’t Stop Believing”

Mark 9: 14-27

October 23, 2011

Intro: A preacher was watching a little girl standing outside the preschool Sunday school classroom between Sunday school and worship, waiting for her parents to come and pick her up for "big church." The pastor noticed that she clutched a big storybook under her arm with the title "Jonah and the Whale."

-Feeling mischievous, he knelt beside the girl and asked, "What's that you have in your hand?" "This is my storybook about Jonah and the whale," she answered. "Tell me something," he continued, "do you believe that story about Jonah and the whale?"

-The girl said, "Why, of course I believe it!" The pastor inquired further, "You really believe a man can be swallowed up by a big whale, stay inside him all that time, and come out okay?" She declared, "Yes! This story is in the Bible, and we talked about it in Sunday school today."

-Giving the girl a hard time he then asked, “Can you prove to me this story is true?" She thought for a moment and then said, "Well, when I get to heaven, I'll ask Jonah." Finally the pastor asked, "What if Jonah's not in heaven?" The girl put her hands on her hips and said in a defiant voice, "Then YOU can ask him!"

-You’ve got to love little kids! You especially have to love them when it comes to faith, to belief that God is TRUE to His Word. They haven’t been jaded by the world yet and they have an innocent trust-like nature.

-Unfortunately, as we get older our instinct to TRUST gets overwhelmed by being let down so many times. And when it comes to matters of faith we can have a difficult time TRUSTING that God is true; that He genuinely loves us and has our best interest in mind.

-Today we’re continuing our series “Classic Rock” and our focus is going to be on “Don’t Stop Believing.” My fear is that as we have distanced ourselves from belief that we are like the Journey song says, people who are on a train ride “going anywhere.”

Sermon Idea: Today in our passage of Scripture we’re going to see a group of people who were on the verge of not believing. They had lost hope b/c of the circumstances they were in. But Jesus came along and gave them a message that we can still use today. And that message is “Don’t stop believing.”

TEXT: MARK 9: 14-27

Bckgrd: Jesus and His followers always had a difficult time w/the religious leaders of the day. When He came along they saw Him as a threat to their way of life, as someone who was trying to pull people away from their religion. But Jesus had come to give them freedom. He’d come to give them life.

-The problem was, and still is, that this world is rough! We face disappointments, busted relationships, the loss of people we love. We live in a world of great uncertainty. And so the belief that we have a God who loves and cares for us can be hard to grasp when put in the light of our present reality.

-In our text, a man has a son who’s demon possessed. His son was overwhelmed w/the presence of evil in his life and the dad was desperate for help; he was desperate for deliverance. But his biggest obstacle in seeing it was the belief factor.

-I know there are people here who face the same thing. They want freedom but they don’t know where to find it. It’s here Jesus shares w/us some reasons we need to hang on to belief in Him. So what are the reasons? The 1st reason we should believe in Jesus is b/c:

DIV. 1: UNBELIEF HAS NO POWER (vv. 14-19)

Exp: As I said earlier, the man in our text had a son who was overwhelmed by evil. He was possessed by an evil spirit and it was robbing him of life. According to our text it had robbed him of his speech, it caused him to be thrown into something like seizures and foam at the mouth.

A.It was absolutely terrible. So he did the best thing he knew to do which was bring the boy to Jesus’ disciples. Now why would he do that? Well, b/c the disciples were associated w/Jesus who’d already demonstrated that He could heal people.

1. In the preceding chapters you can read where Jesus fed a multitude of people, where he’d healed a deaf man, a blind man and had raised a girl from the dead. There were enough things that had happened that had caused the father to have hope for his son.

a. But when he brought his son to the disciples they couldn’t drive the demon out! Now I’m not sure why that happened. I can take a few guesses though. It could be that the disciples had seen Jesus perform so many miracles that they didn’t even think @ bringing their situation before God. They just decided to act in their own power.

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