Summary: We can no longer remain in the tomb, but must move to the resurrection. We must do more than accept forgiveness of sins, we must accept Christ’s transformation of our lives.
When Faith Falls Short
Introduction: A man fell off a cliff, but managed to grab a tree limb on the way down. The following conversation ensued:
"Is anyone up there?"
"I am here. I am the Lord. Do you believe me?"
"Yes, Lord, I believe. I really believe, but I can’t hang on much longer."
"That’s all right, if you really believe you have nothing to worry about. I will save you. Just let go of the branch."
A moment of pause, then: "Is anyone else up there?"
There was a tightrope walker, who did incredible aerial feats. All over Paris, he would do tightrope acts at tremendously scary heights. Then he had succeeding acts; he would do it blindfolded, then he would go across the tightrope, blindfolded, pushing a wheelbarrow. An American promoter read about this in the papers and wrote a letter to the tightrope walker, saying, "Tightrope, I don’t believe you can do it, but I’m willing to make you an offer. For a very substantial sum of money, besides all your transportation fees, I would like to challenge you to do your act over Niagara Falls." Now, Tightrope wrote back, "Sir, although I’ve never been to America and seen the Falls, I’d love to come." Well, after a lot of promotion and setting the whole thing up, many people came to see the event. Tightrope was to start on the Canadian side and come to the American side. Drums roll, and he comes across the rope which is suspended over the treacherous part of the falls -- blindfolded!! And he makes it across easily. The crowds go wild, and he comes to the promoter and says, "Well, Mr. Promoter, now do you believe I can do it?" "Well of course I do. I mean, I just saw you do it." "No," said Tightrope, "do you really believe I can do it?" "Well of course I do, you just did it." "No, no, no," said Tightrope, "do you believe I can do it?" "Yes," said Mr. Promoter, "I believe you can do it." "Good," said Tightrope, "then you get in the wheel barrow."
How far will your faith take you?
Text & Overview
Sick man dying/ dead (vss 1-4)
Hesitant savior (Why does he linger?)
Martha (vss 17-27)
If you had been there
Martha knew, see, experienced
Yet I know
But, I question, what does Martha really believe
*TRUST- How far do you trust God
Martha-as far as what I know/ only what I can perceive by 5 senses
Greatest problem in churches today
Not sinners in church -we could use more of them, then we would have evidence
of fulfilling our Great Commission
*But, lack of trust
We trust God only as far as we can throw Him
Trust God for salvation, but not for transformation
Ill-We can accept that we are forgiven for sexual sins/ improprieties, but fail to accept transformation change. New heart, new mind -becoming the New Man. Fail to receive the New Mind in Christ = deliverance
Drinking = sobriety only God can bring
Tobacco addiction = freedom
Not just overt sins/ vices, but..
Tithes- We fail to fully believe the promises of God. It’s like never mind the pressed down, shaken together, pouring into your lap thing.
[taking on the mind of Christ as concerns love, to neighbors, to enemies]
What would happen if the church would let go of its doubts and step out in full faith and assurance in God’s word?
Listen to what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:7-12
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you."
But, like Martha, we are unwilling and unable to believe beyond our 5 senses. We are only able to accept what we have been shown, [seen, touched, heard...]
Most well known verse behind John 3:16
Power of Resurrection
[expound on death]
Our spirit comes from God; Goes to God, we are dust again (Psalm 104:29) Genesis-Man is dust, has no life in himself. All life comes from God; except Christ. Jesus is God and thus has life in Himself. Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life.
Resurrection- power of creation/ recreation
Mary is sought & seeks Jesus