Do your pastor’s sermons inspire you to live for Jesus? This past week my pastor did just that. The scripture was from Mark 9:14-29. This is the story about the epileptic son that the disciples could not heal.
This was the take-away regarding the disciples’ failure to heal the boy. The pastor said, “I can’t do it.” We can’t. You can’t. Only God can, as a result of transformation. Then Jesus’ life is in my life and I can live/work for Him.
Do you know this? Have you come to this conclusion? Wasn’t it a relief when it dawned on your heart/soul that you could not live for Jesus? It takes a transformed life to live for Him!
Next the pastor said, “Transformation is God’s job. We can wait around until God does His thing and zaps us.” Or we can do whatever we need to do to get close to Jesus. This means sacrifice, as Mark the author writes:
“If any of you wants to be my follower,” he told them,
you must put aside you selfish ambition, shoulder your cross,
and follow me.”
Mark 8:34b-35 (NLT)
Later, the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast out the evil spirit.
‘That kind can be cast out only by prayer.’”
Mark 9:29 (NLT)
Specifically, how does a person get as close to Jesus as they can so transformation happens? Prayer, fasting, scripture reading and a life of sacrifice… Do whatever it takes, said the pastor.
The pastor finished off by saying this, “Keep paying the price.” Day in and day out. This is where I was challenged because I stop. I am over 65. I get tired. I would rather not get out of bed in the morning and pray. I get discouraged. Most of the time it seems my prayers go nowhere and I get more discouraged.
But even here I must admit I can’t do it! And confess my discouragement and unfaithfulness as sin. Otherwise, I will be right back here again in no time. When I confess my failure the power of the Spirit of Jesus takes over. I am enabled to lift my eyes to Jesus “on whom our faith depends from start to finish.” Hebrews 12:2a (NLT)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses
to the life of faith,
let us strip off every weight that slows us down,
especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress.
And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus,
on whom our faith depends from start to finish.
Hebrews 12:1-2a (NLT)
Be Ye Glad!
Coming next: The theology behind this article.
These are sermon notes from 10-25-20; Mike De Ruyter
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