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Summary: What holds us back? What keeps us from taking bolder steps for the Kingdom of God?

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"What Holds Us Back?"

(Matt. 18:23-9:1; Mark 4:35-5:20; Luke 8:22-39)

INTRO

1. I have been a Christian for 28 years, and for 28 years I have fought within myself.

2. Part of the fight is to do the bold things God wants me to do.

3. I LOVE routine; I find security in it.

4. Sometimes, I have let good opportunities pass by me¡Xand later regretted it, because it broke my routine.

5. I imagine all of us have hesitated when we should not have done so¡Xat times¡Xespecially in the realm of the spritual.

Question: What holds us back? What keeps us from taking bolder steps for the Kingdom of God?

TS------„³Two back-to-back incidents from the Life of Christ may give us a clue.

I. Let’s Look At These Incidents

A. The calming of the storm¡K.

1. Jesus had been preaching to a large crowd on the beach of the Lake

(1) they wanted to move on, so they got into a boat

(2) a few other boats followed

(3) Jesus fell asleep¡Xteaching/ministering can really drain a person¡Xthe feeling you get after a funeral for a loved one

2. All of a sudden a "furious storm" brewed £m£`£d£m£g£j£m

(1) Jesus was soundly sleeping on a cushion

(2) they woke Him, "Don’t you care if we drown?"

3. Jesus got up, and spoke to the wind as though it were a living entity

"Quiet. Be still!"----all of a sudden, a complete calm took hold¡K

4. Reminiscent of creation, where God spoke and it was¡Kto whom was He speaking?

(1) Jesus scolds them, "Why are you afraid? Do you have no faith?" ¡Vthat I could address things¡X

(2) Afraid of what? The storm or Jesus? JESUS!

5. The disciples had not imagined such a miracle could take place¡K

(1) they were humbled, awestruck, hushed, struck with a sense of inferiority & inadequacy¡Xoverwhelmed with Who Jesus was in comparison to who they were¡K

(2) the Bible says they were "terrified" £p£s£]£j£m of Him¡K."Who is this?"

(3) They were often impressed by His miracles¡Xbut not like this one! None impacted them more. It is one thing to tell a dead body to arise, another to speak to a storm!

Question: What holds us back? What keeps us from taking bolder steps for the Kingdom of God?

B. The Exorcism of the Man of the Tombs

1. Region of the Garasenes---a gentile region near Galilee

2. A demon-possessed man who lived among the tombs¡Kcould not be chained, tore off clothes¡Kno one strong enough to subdue him¡K.night and day he would CRY OUT and cut himself w/stones

3. Note what he said when He saw Jesus (Mark 5:6-8)

4. Jesus demanded the name of the demon: Legion¡K.

5. Demons begged Jesus not to send them to the Abyss

6. Allowed them to enter the swine, dashed off edge of cliff¡Kdrowned

7. Owner not too happy¡Xbig financial loss (addressed in insert)

8. Town’s people came out to see---saw the demonized man in his right mind, sitting at Jesus’ feet¡Kheard about the pigs¡K

9. How did the people respond? They PLEADED with Jesus to leave because they were overcome with fear!

10. The formerly demonized man want to travel with Jesus¡K.stay here

tell people in the Decapolis what God has done¡K

Question: What holds us back? What keeps us from taking bolder steps for the Kingdom of God?

II. Fear Is One Major Obstacle that Keeps Us from Boldly Doing God’s Will!

1. Not the ONLY obstacle, but a big one.

2. In the incident of the storm, the Disciples were AFRAID to acknowledge Jesus for being Who He was¡K

(1) in the Jewish mind, the Messiah would be a great man¡Xbut God?

(2) they were afraid of His power, instead of embracing it¡K

3. In the story of the Demonized man, the town’s people were afraid of having Jesus around¡Kthey missed a wonderful opportunity to learn & be blessed!!!

4. Here are just two Biblical examples of how fear can strap us!

III. How Can We Enjoy Some Victory over Fear?

1. We must realize we are caught between two dramas¡K.a foot on each stage¡K

(1) one foot in this present evil age, an age where fear/intimidation reigns

(2) another foot in "the world to come," where fear is unknown¡K

(3) we are called to live as though we were in the world to come while we are still living in this present evil age! AND THAT’S TOUGH!

2. I am not concerned with whether fear is a sin or not---I think sometimes yes, sometimes no¡K.but I don’t want to get into that¡K

(1) it is wise to be cautious---Prv. 14:16---A wise man is cautious, and turns away from evil, but a fool is arrogant and careless¡K

(2) whereas caution should be the norm, God streteches us beyond the comfort zone¡K.he calls us to be bold..

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