Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: We are to be in dependent of God and God’s will. Here is a unique view of independence.

Independence By Faith

Mark 5:21-43

First United Methodist Church

Jonesville, Louisiana

June 29, 2003

Define Independence ... Ask, "As we approach July 4th, Independence Day, what does independence mean to you?

We are a peoples in need, by identification:

(V21) Jarius, a leader of the synagogue, needed life for his daughter. Social or professional position does not exempt us from being in need. Repeatedly he asks Jesus to come heal her. There is power in persistent prayer. It will get results.

Jarius specifically requested that Jesus come and lay his hands on his daughter. There is divine healing in the power of touch as we see in today’s text.

The woman sought Jesus with an issue of hemorraging for 12 years. We are never to late to seek him, if we truly believe in him. She spent her worldly wealth to no avail and even grew worse. It has always facinated me how we try everything and everyone before we turn to Jesus for healing. Todays doctors are "practicing physicians" while Jesus does not practice .. he heals.

This woman had to risk everything, even life itself, just to touch his garment. She comes in total faith and in desperation, reaches out and touches his garment, and instantly she finds healing in her body. In that single act she confessed she discovered how much she truly believed and trusted in this man Jesus. Through our confession before God, we too reveal our belief and faith in God.

At this moment, Jesus askes that wonderful question, "Who touched my clothes?" And prepared for her punishment, she confesses, "’Tis I." Instead of punishment, Jesus heals her soul as her body is healed with the touch of his words..."Daughter, your faith has made you well, go in peace." A total dependence and trusting faith in Jesus made her well.

When the news came from folks about the death of Jarius’ daughter, Jesus consoles him, and reminds him not to fear, but to believe (verse 36). When they arrived, Jesus sent the mob of unbelievers away. He went to the girl, with her parents and a few close disciples. What Jesus did was to create a climate of faith around the girl. The climate was then centered in-dependence upon the power of God. Should we not be surprised at the outcome? She was raised to life.

What if our churches that are struggling today, were to create a climate of faith through believers coming together and focusing on healing, what would happen? A climate of such faith holds the power of revival. Even today! Do we believe enough? Is your faith strong enough?

A Confirmation class taught me how to better understand faith, and I share it with you. Faith is spelled F.A.I.T.H. and means, (Hold right hand up in a fist releasing fingers one at a time) Forsaking All, I Trust Him (with the thumb point up). (Have the congregation give the thumbs-up hand sign. Yes! I have Faith! Together our faith can heal, and feed, and liberate. We can make a difference in this world!

I am reminded of my being "in-dependence" upon God by this little ditty: "Have people ever let you down? Yes. Have Christian folk ever let you down? Unfortunately Yes. Has God ever let you down? Never!" Then why is he the last one we go to in time of need? He should be the always and the first. We are truly "IN DEPENDENCE" of his healing, his assurance, his liberation. Since our creation, we have sought to be "in-dependence" of a hoigher power, of something greater. Someone who brings order out of our chaos, healing from our sickness and disease, calmness from our fears, liberation from our bondage.

We live in a world that sings that old country song, "woe, pain and agony on me." And you have the power to liberate, heal and change the world. You only need to believe with your heart, and develop a climate of faith, and you can move mountains to the sea, heal the sick, give sight to the blind, free those who are oppressed. Jesus gave you this power from the cross if you are will ing to receive it and hold it close to your heart.

Too many folks sit idly by waiting for the end, even death, while God is on the move. He is still in the miracle business, healing and empowering you and me to make a difference. Be in dependence of God.

We wait in agony for someone else to do for us. God sent his Son, Jesus, to show us how to live with and love one another.

We wait for someone to feed us. Jesus said, I am the bread of life, and I have living water for you. We wait so we will never be hungry or thirsty again. While the world around us hungars and thirsts for spiritual food. Don’t wait for the preacher to go and feed those in need, or touch those in nursing homes or homebound, you have the power and authority to go and preach and teach, feed and heal, to love one another.

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