Summary: This sermon gives a formula for seeing people saved and lives changed as we seek to share Jesus.
Going Home Happy
In recent years University of Alabama football fans have not been able to go home happy after many football games. The Crimson Tide has fallen on some lean years. It is still a wonderful school. It still has a wonderful tradition. However, fans have not gone home happy because their school is not experiencing the number of wins that they have in the past, as when Bear Bryant was here.
Sometimes church people do not go home happy either. Their church is not growing. They are not reaching new people. I want you to take a look at a lady who went home happy. When we first meet her she is sad, things are down cast for her. However, she goes home happy. What do we learn from her about going home happy?
First, we will go home happy when we come with a sense of desperation. In Mark 7, a lady whose daughter was possessed by an evil spirit ran up to Jesus. She was burdened for her daughter. Whenever God’s people come to Him with a sense of desperation we will see things happen.
Ill- We witnessed a desperate situation in Florida recently. Terry Schiavo’s parents fought desperately to sustain the life of their daughter. They spent thousands of dollars, time and much energy to save their daughter. Even though Terry died you cannot fault the parents for not trying.
Ill- Another desperate situation is witnessed daily as we see people trying to slip into the United States from Mexico. Those people will risk their lives to make it to the prosperity found in the United States.
As believers we should ask ourselves how desperate we are when we come to church. The Psalmist describes the desperation we should feel. “Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him.” (Psalm 126:5-6 NKJV)
Second, we will go home happy when we come with a sense of humility. The woman we study in Mark 7 came with a broken and humble spirit. We observe her humility in four ways:
1. She fell on her face before Jesus. She was not concerned with her dignity nor with what people thought. She was only concerned with getting Jesus attention.
Many times we are too concerned with pleasing people and with our dignity to get the Lord’s attention.
2. She begged Jesus to heal her daughter. Fervent prayer can be equated to
begging. Do we beg Jesus to bring lost souls to our church.
3. She proclaimed Jesus as “Lord.” She knew who was in charge. She knew who was the master of sickness. She knew who was the Great Physician.
4. She was willing to take “left-overs.” Jesus teased the woman by saying “First, let the children eat all they want, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” (Mark 7:27 NIV) Jesus was drawing her faith to the surface.
Ill- I mentioned the desperation of Mexican workers who are crossing the border to find work in America. Those workers illustrate this woman’s faith. She was willing to take anything Jesus could give her. Even so, our Mexican friends will take any job. They are taking jobs that many American workers will not fill. They are hungry and humble. They are not arrogant and picky about jobs. This lady was hungry to see Jesus move into action.
Ill- I remember reading some challenging words spoken by Jim Cymbala in his book “Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire” (P. 28). Pastor Cymbala said “You can tell how popular a church is by who comes on Sunday morning. You can tell how popular the pastor or evangelist is by who comes on Sunday night. But you can tell how popular Jesus is by who comes to the prayer meeting.”
Finally, we will go home happy when we celebrate the Lord’s work in our midst. The lady in Mark 7 saw Jesus heal her daughter. The Bible indicates “She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.“ (Mark 7:30 NIV) When Jesus displays His authority people’s lives are changed, miracles occur and people are saved. When this occurs God’s people will celebrate. The lady of our text celebrates what Jesus did for her daughter. We see the keys that unlocked a cheerful heart.
She asked. Jesus said, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Mt. 7:7 NKJV) James said “you do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2 NKJV) If we are going to see the Lord’s work we must ask Him for great things.