Summary: The church and the individual have mutual responsibility in finding a place for new believers.
August 25, 2002
Text: Mark 8:22-26
Subject: Receiving From God
Title: Heads Up, Hold On, and Hide Out
Do you like tee shirts? I used to have a large collection of tee shirts. Some of them were eye-catchers for the world to look at. One of them said, "I am not opinionated, I’m just always right". That came from some friends who thought they knew me too well. I have a tee shirt given to me by my family way back when I was struggling with staying in a church. It had a man hanging horizontally onto a vertical tree in a violent windstorm and the caption said, "I know you’re in control Lord, but do You want me to hang on?" Well, I hung on as long as I had to, until the Lord clearly let me know it was time to go.
One of the real problems I see in the church today is the number of people who seem to slip through the cracks and sneak out the back door before anybody even realizes they are gone. One of the reasons people get saved and then fall away is that, historically, the church has done a very poor job of assimilating people into the congregation. By that I mean, we haven’t help people find their place in the church. Whose fault is it? The Pastor? Yes! The elders? Yes! The entire congregation? Yes! We all have a part to play in this. That is the main reason we are taking things slowly here in our first year. We want to build a structure that will be able to support all those who come into the faith as new creatures with old tendencies. That does not take away individual responsibility. As new Christians come into this church we will be sure to help them mature in their walk.
Our passage today speaks of physical healing. But in these few verses there is enough information to show us how to receive anything from God. And this information isn’t just for new Christians. There is something here for you who are mature.
Our passage toady tells us that if we are to receive anything from God we have to be heads up, we have to hold on, and we must hide out.
Let’s look at some practical steps we can take to receive more from God.
I. Keep your heads up. (Verse 22) Friends tell friends about Jesus. Friends give friends an opportunity to be healed/saved. Someone recognized in Jesus that there was power. A large part of Jesus’ ministry took place in Galilee. Here is a capsule of some of the events. Approx. 2 years. Healed a demoniac
Cured Peter’s mother-in-law; Healed a withered hand; Raised the widow’s son; Jairus? daughter raised; Woman with an issue of blood healed; Feeding of 5000; Then 4000 fed... The word had gotten out that there was something good going on. Nicodemus went to Jesus and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." We are like Nicodemus because we recognize something in Jesus.
How fortunate we are. How many times do people miss the opportunity to receive because they: 1)Didn?t have anyone to take them to the Lord. 2)Didn’t make an effort to get there on their own.(even though they’ve heard about Jesus)The woman with the issue of blood was determined to get to Jesus. 3)Looking to the wrong source. In John 5 the healing at the pool, the man expected healing from the pool of water when he needed to look to the Lord.