What do you want me to do for you appears in two different stories, from the mouth of Jesus, back to back in Mark 10… must mean something, eh?
What do you want me to do for you appears in two different stories, from the mouth of Jesus, back to back in Mark 10… must mean something, eh?
I am always impressed when I read the Gospels at the tenacity of people who surrounded Jesus.
It seems like wherever He went there were great crowds, but in the midst of those crowds there was “the individual” who did whatever it took to get near the Savior.
What about Zacchaeus, you know, the wee little man. He was vertically challenged, so, in the midst of the crowd he ran ahead triangulating Jesus’ position, scurried up a tree and got a penthouse view of the parade.
Zach was allover it! Jesus rewarded Zach by calling him by name and inviting Himself to his home. Quite a day.
Then you have the four friends. These guys were over-the-top. Literally.
They had a friend desperately in need of a healing, and when Jesus was tucked away neatly inside a house and insulated by thronging crowds of people they did not let it deter them.
Up on the rooftop disciples pawed and down they lowered their friend to God… any similarity to a cheesy Christmas song is completely coincidental.
What a site that must’ve been! Jesus is teaching, the disciples are hanging out, all of a sudden a sunroof appears and down comes this completely helpless man being lowered by four of the most incredibly energetic friends you can imagine.
Sins were forgiven, health was restored, religious people were ticked, and one homeowner was busy filing an insurance claim. I’m sure it was amazing.
Then there was the occasion of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. He fought his way through crowds, but more than that, he thought his way through a religious identity.
As a religious leader in his own right it must’ve been humiliating to realize that you had to go to another teacher to have your prayers answered. But he was desperate for the life of his daughter which was ebbing away just over the hill at home.
He finds Jesus in the crowd and in full public view falls to his knees and begs for this renegade outcast teacher to come into this preacher’s established and traditional ministry and do what Jesus does… bring the healing.
A short walk later, a funeral crowd sent home, some gentle words said at the bedside of the 12-year-old now corpse and Jesus gave this little girl back to her daddy.
Talk about a revival meeting! Whatever Jairus lost, it was worth the price.
In the midst of that same story there was the old woman with the issue of bleeding. For 12 years she had suffered, been labeled unclean and had to avoid human contact.
She had tried everything she could, she’d given all she had and she kept getting worse. But, then she heard about this healer and risked it all.
Downcast face to the ground, making sure no one recognized her and shunned her away, she reached for the teacher in the pressing masses only touching the fringe of this robe.
And immediately, though no one else knew, she realized in her body… the nightmare was over. The most descriptive theological term for this moment I can come up with is simply ‘booyah’!
The similarity in all of the stories might be hard to see.
It’s not in the need of the one to be healed, or forgiven, or secured.
It’s not in the timing or the approach that they each had with Jesus.
The common bond between each of these is the incredible energy that the healed expended in finding the Healer.
Running ahead and climbing a tree just to catch a glimpse. Breaking and entering, vandalism and risk taking all for a chance of a face-to-face encounter. Loss of reputation, putting your career in jeopardy and humiliating yourself in public. Going for broke and believing that just a little of Him is worth more than anything you already have.
I guess the question I have for each of us is simple: Do we ever really press through the crowds to get to Jesus? Do we risk anything for a moment with the Savior?
Not just what I see in others as a pastor, but what I see in myself, is more than disturbing.
We sacrifice very little, we’re willing to endure almost nothing, and yet we have a sense of entitlement that God should meet me where we are, He should make Church attendance convenient, make Bible study easy, and allow prayer to be a one-sided conversation that turns into our personal wish list.
Basically, we assume we should be spoon fed our faith. Like we’re somehow doing God a favor by believing in Him, so, He must owe us.
Let’s be honest, for most of us we Church shop until we find one with a preacher we like, the music were entertained by, and an atmosphere that makes us comfortable… Oh yeah and don’t forget air-conditioning.
The next time you’re really in need of an answered prayer, a healing, or a miracle from God please remember the stories that we’ve reviewed here. It’s worth it to be inconvenienced for the sake of gathering an audience with the God of the universe.
You may have to fight the crowded schedule, climate a tree of opposition, humble yourself before family and friends, or just be willing to take what you can get as you reach out for the fringe of his robe.
I guarantee you, it’ll be worth everything you put into it.
Mark 5:27 “She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe…”
Good Friday 2012 Podcast via www.crosspointnow.net
Here is an audio recording of our message from Good Friday. It was recorded on my iPhone sitting near me, so, it is what it is…
But, I hope it is a blessing to you!
I am including a PDF document of the slides during the services for you to be able to follow all the scripture references: SLIDES
It was one of the most interesting questions I ever heard.
“So, what is a win for you?”
To be honest with you, it was interesting and dumb all the same time. Winning is just about the easiest thing to define on the planet isn’t it?
I know it’s fairly Neanderthal of me (all you men get it, right?), but isn’t that what winning is all about? Maybe it’s just caveman man of me, but if you put a mark in the “W” column, we just call that a win!
Still, that day sitting in the conference center when the speaker asked that question, “So, what is a win for you?”, I was intrigued.
They were making an argument that someone else’s win might not be your win. I’m not talking about that relativistic nonsense where it doesn’t matter what you think, what you believe or what you do so long as you’re happy doing it, then you’re a winner.
Turn off the Barney tape and quit singing that stupid song, even though it’s true, I do love you.
What they were really trying to stress was that for some, a win might be financial, for others relational, yet others Continue reading “A Win Is A Win Unless Its A Loss”
It’s been one of those months. Everything I read, listen to and talk about seems to have a common theme.
I should be excited, because when that happens it’s almost always God trying to speak.
I guess it’s time to listen (c’mon McFly… McFly!).
Although there is a bit more depth to it than this, the nutshell idea from the Lord is simply this… it’s more about Jesus than you think.
Colossians 1:27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
My first conversation with a CrossPointer back in the states (vacation in Costa Rica, awesome, by the way) was Continue reading “So, what’s with the Old Testament”
I heard a phrase last week that I haven’t heard in a long while… think tank.
I know that if you’re invited to be part of a think tank it is a compliment to your intelligence, experience or abilities. But, personally, I can’t think of much else I’d rather not do.
The thought of thinking about thoughts while discussing other peoples thoughts on their thoughts and your thoughts… wow… I think I could find other things to do. Maybe like doing, er, anything.
Don’t get uptight, I know there are a very legitimate and real needs for a think posse, and they probably accomplish much more than you and I could ever really appreciate. But, it’s definitely not a job for me.
Processing, thinking, mulling over, contemplating are all necessary, but I’m more of a “let’s get on it” guy. In fact here’s a few of my favorite phrases:
If think tanks represent one end of the spectrum (over processing), I find myself just as frustrated with the other end of the spectrum where some ignore/deny the issue (under processing).
If you are prone to the latter, you probably have apps on your phone that are great ‘time killers.’
Why would you even want to do that?
Don’t kill your time, release your parental rights, I’ll adopt it.
Maybe I start a foundation for unwanted time, or at least write a book: “A Convenient Truth: You have the time”
Think tanks can represent active avoidance and denial can represent passive avoidance. I just want to get rid of the “avoi,” let’s “dance.”
Again, if your a thinker and love to process, many blessings on you.
If you love to loligag and your favorite sport is dodgeball, feel the love.
But, personally I’m the guy who’s leg is bouncing under the table just waiting for someone to say, “Ok, let’s give it a shot.”
Even though I really appreciate action I have to admit, sometimes taking steps is difficult.
In the book of Revelation, John sees multiple visions of things to come and in one small instance he is asked to do something odd.
Revelation 10:9 So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.”
While there are lots of possible applications for this verse related to John’s personal ministry, end times theology and all kinds of stuff I don’t understand (maybe I should start a think tank to figure it out), there is a simple, practical thought that blesses me.
Often it tastes good to learn something, but using it can be a foul experience.
Learning about the character of God in a Bible Study or worship experience is far from practicing the faith in real life. Making plans and dreaming about the future may be a sweet experience, but we feel the burn when the rubber hits the road.
Resolving to lose weight and workout, planning to get your budget under control, pledging to work out the relationship kinks are all fantastic thoughts. But, once you hit the gym, shut of the cable, and talk about/to the inlaws, things can start to leave a bitter taste in your mouth.
Still, this is what needs to happen.
Ideas are sweet, but application is good (but nasty) medicine.
So, whatever you have decided to do, do it. It will never get any easier and there will never be a better time.
The sweetness of the original idea may dissolve into some bitter disciplines, but have no fear.
Eat what’s on your plate. It’s good for you.
Normally, I do not blog more than once a week, but in my personal devotional time today the Lord gave me a pre-Thanksgiving message today. Let me stress, this was given to me, which means it was for me. I have no idea if this is anything anyone else needs to hear, but I will publicly process this and if it’s a blessing to anyone else, so be it.
Revelation 3:14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. 15 “ ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ ”
In the book of Revelation, Jesus spoke directly to seven different church communities, and there was a pattern:
Oddly, this last church on the list (Laodicea) is missing one of these elements… a commendation.
Apparently, what Jesus has to say to the church at Laodicea has to differ from the way He talked to others because He has nothing good to say about them.
Again, I say, Continue reading “No Lukewarm Turkey, Please”
I have been on a mini-Sabatical for the last two weeks and I am looking forward to reconnecting with my fellow CrossPointers this weekend.
While I was away, I got to spend some time with people and in places that had significant meaning to me. The last spot I was in was Little Rock, Arkansas. My good friend and seminary buddy lives and ministers there.
While I was visiting, he asked me to speak on the issue of forgiveness at his church (Little Rock’s First Baptist Church). I was happy to do it… great people there in Arkansas.
Thought I’d share that teaching. Thanks for checking it out.
Human beings have a horrible tendency to skim.
If we think we know something, or we have already covered it, then we barely give it a glance because we have already “put the effort in.”
Why reinvent the wheel, right?
My eldest is a master at this. In fact, we have decided that his Indian name is “Running Water” because whatever he is involved in he will always flow to the path of least resistance. I guess this makes him a naturally green individual because he conserves energy like nobody’s business!
Hmmm, I think we used to call that lazy, but today he’s an eco-hero! Yeah, Noah.
I shouldn’t tease, he takes after his dad. I like to find the easy way out myself, but this mindset of skimming often puts me at a disadvantage.
For example, have you ever Continue reading “I found your name in the Bible”
This is the time of year that I am usually giddy with anticipation. In fact, when I see Halloween decorations creeping out at Wal-Mart, feelings of joy start to gurgle up from deep down inside.
You can cancel your plans for the letter explaining to me the evils of October 31st, that’s not what makes me gleeful. However, when you see the Trick O Treater gear clogging the aisles I do get a skip in my step because it means just one thing to me… The NBA season is almost here!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year….
For you ESPN addicts, you’ll be sure to note that owner/player talks may delay or even cancel this coming season.
Nope. Still not dismayed.
If the season starts late, or never even begins, I’ll be just fine. Why? Because