Summary: when we have an intimate relationship with God and get to know him and believe in him, then we are able to trust him through everything
Sermon: Knowing God.
Point: A life that knows God trusts God. (7.2012)
• In 1993, my wife and I moved to Philadelphia to serve our first church
• We were both 24 years old. Naïve but excited.
• We left our two jobs in NY taking a 50% pay cut.
• 3 years into the ministry things got rough, we had a hard time making ends meet- we started using food stamps
• Every payday, one question would surface, should we pay our tithes or make sure we have enough money for groceries?
I have realized that “People that don’t know us expect that those of us Christians who know Jesus the best should be the ones who trust him the most.” But in my life, that hasn’t always been the case. Can anyone else relate? Christians struggle to trust Jesus like everyone else? Do you know what I am talking about?
• We had to feed our family, we were still finishing school and paying tuition and books
• Now a day, people are losing jobs,- our government is trying to turn things around but it’s hard
• Individuals and families are falling victims to divorce, abuse, excessive debt, lack of self-control
• The Church is going out of business and to many outside we have become redundant and useless
• What do we do? How do we live our faith in a tough world?
It’s not easy, but we must keep in mind that a life that knows God trusts God through everything. For my family: Although it was some of the toughest times, we had decided to trust God no matter what. When love someone, we show them our love by trusting them. We love God first by believing in God. To coin Dr. Gary Chapman’s phrase, God’s love language is faith.
The good news is that we are not the first people to struggle with this. Many people doubted even Jesus and his ministry. Some of the closest people to him, even his own family, did not even accept him or received his message. They found it hard to trust and believe in someone they thought they knew.
Turn with me to Mark 6:1-6 (NIV) [Explain as you go]. While you look for it, let me give you a background on the text. These are a couple of experiences Jesus had with strangers and unfamiliar people:
• Days before, Jesus had cast out a legion of demons from a man who lived in tombs. At the end, the man trusted him enough to want to follow him. (+)
• He heals a woman “who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years and had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors.” She is healed by faith just by touching his cloak. (+)
• And then, at Jesus’ words, Jairus’ daughter rises from the dead…Jairus trusted Jesus. (+)
• Three unknown and unfamiliar people put their faith and trust in Jesus
TODAY’S PASAGE: As he heads home to his own friends and family, they did not believe/trust him.
After he had been around doing miracles, and speaking to thousands of people Jesus goes to his home town, (where his friends & family live) so that he may do the same there. He wanted his own friends and family to experience the miraculous power of God in their lives.
He began to teach in the synagogue and everyone who heard him was amazed. The writer of the gospel, however, wants us to pay attention to this word “amazement” (mentions it a couple of times), so we can understand that amazement comes in 2 ways: ekplesso- joy and fear]. The message of Christ brings both Joy and fear.
1. JOY- to the outcast, the truly broken and those who genuinely hear the message, and are happily surprise by the possibilities of what Jesus could do, including the possibility of a different life
2. FEAR- to the establishment who trust its traditions and to those who have a hard time trusting in the new, the unknown and intangible and can’t understand how a simple carpenter can be so powerful
From friends and family there was FEAR- questions and judgments begin:
• Where did he learn that stuff? He’s just a carpenter
• We know his family, his mom, brothers and sister
• And when people don’t trust what God is doing or who He is we begin to make up stuff:
o With Jesus they began to accuse Jesus of being demon possessed c.3.v.22
o With the apostles in Acts 2, they accused them of being drunk
So Jesus moves on, leaving his hometown, but not without first laying hands on some and healing many.
WHEN WE DON’T TRUST GOD… we become afraid and cynical
• Afraid to let go and letting God