Summary: Anytime we get close to Jesus the devil will throw a fit
April 22, 2001
Sand Flat Baptist Church
Growing On Purpose
Illustration: We often fail to consider the gradual, cumulative effect of sin in our lives. In Saint Louis in 1984, an unemployed cleaning woman noticed a few bees buzzing around the attic of her home. Since there were only a few, she made no effort to deal with them. Over the summer the bees continued to fly in and out the attic vent while the woman remained unconcerned, unaware of the growing city of bees. The whole attic became a hive, and the ceiling of the second- floor bedroom finally caved in under the weight of hundreds of pounds of honey and thousands of angry bees. While the woman escaped serious injury, she was unable to repair the damage of her accumulated neglect.
Illustration: Many cars today have low fuel lights to warn the driver before running out of fuel. What happens if you ignore that little light? Many Christians today are suffering from spiritual neglect. It’s not that they don’t believe in reading the Bible, or prayer and going to Church. It’s just that they neglect these things. The Church is a place were we get refueled spiritually. At church that is were the issues of the heart are touched. The most intimate relationship a person can experience here on earth is marriage. In God’s Word of God Christ refers to His Church as His bride. Your Church should be a place were you experience an intimacy with your savior.
1. We grow through Mountain Top Experiences (v.2-13)
a) We can’t stay on the mountaintop.
We all love mountain top experiences, these are the joyful, victorious times of our faith. These are the places we want to be spiritually, but our faith is a journey not a stopping place.
b) We must take what we learn on the mountaintop into the valley.
A true God experience will change us. If we’ve had a mountain top experience with God then we should be closer to God than ever before. We must take what we learned on the mountaintop into the valley below to help carry us through to the next mountaintop.
2. We grow through Conflict. (v. 14-20)
a) v. 14-17 When someone questions what we believe and why we believe it.
We dig into the Bible and study it trying to back up what we believe. In the process we learn and grow in our faith.
b) v. 18-19 When we try to do spiritual things in our own power and fail we learn that spiritual things can only be accomplished with God’s power.
c) v.20 Anytime we get close to Jesus the devil will throw a fit. The last thing the devil wants for us is to get close to God. Anytime we make a commitment to God or take on some spiritual responsibility the devil will throw a wall-eyed fit.
Notice in verse 17 the father states that he brought his son to Jesus. But notice who asked for help in verse 18 - the disciples. While Jesus was up on the mountain the disciples down among the people were His representatives. People today are bringing their friends who need God to church because the church should be Christ representatives here on earth. But the church today experiences the same problem the disciples did on this day, it’s unable to help some who are in desperate need of ministry. These people who are in such need – need not only to be brought to church they need to be brought to Jesus. They don’t need religion they need a relationship with God. The church must be focused on pointing people to Jesus not the minister or to the programs, but to the one who can truly meet there deepest need. And Jesus should be the main focus of every minister and ministry of every church.
Illustration: In his autobiography, Mahatma Gandhi wrote that during his student days he read the Gospels seriously and considered converting to Christianity. He believed that in the teachings of Jesus he could find the solution to the caste system that was dividing the people of India. So one Sunday he decided to attend services at a nearby church and talk to the minister about becoming a Christian. When he entered the sanctuary, however, the usher refused to give him a seat and suggested that he o worship with his own people. Gandhi left the church and never returned, “If Christians have caste differences also, “ he said, “I might as well remain a Hindu.” That usher’s prejudice not only betrayed Jesus but also turned a person away from trusting Him as Savior.
3. We grow at the end of our rope.(v.21-23)
a). v.22 The boy’s father is loosing hope after Jesus’ disciples were unsuccessful in helping his son. He also listened to the arguments of the religious leaders as to why they couldn’t help the boy.