WILL JESUS MEET MY NEEDS?
It is wonderful to see all of you again. I missed you a great deal. It was hard to unplug at the beginning of my sabbatical and it is as equally difficult plugging back in. I had some great and contemplative times with the Lord and with family and friends. I hung out with several people that I have the opportunity to disciple when they were in High School. It is amazing to see their progress and their need for a mentor. I left my watch off many time and I was really mellow. Just relaxing in the grace the Lord has given me.
I want to thank you all for helping with my sabbatical. You all served in so many ways to make it possible for me to get some rest and renewal. Without Impact and our Classis helping, I could have never done a sabbatical. I am also very thankful for Roger and Jodi Dill. I have heard from many of you of their rich influence and blessing. Thank you!
Today’s message is partly about my sabbatical and partly about our lives…I want to ask the question today…
WILL JESUS MEET MY NEEDS?
This is what the Lord says: This dry valley will be filled with pools of water! 2 Kings 3:16
As I try to answer this question I am reminded of two Bible stories that were repeated to me by the Lord several times during my retreat. Then when I came home I watched a tv preacher one Sunday and he mentioned the same stories. These Bible passages speak of the Lord’s power and how he can meet our needs. How He fills those who are empty and draws close to those who take time to rest in Him. They help answer some questions…
Let’s look at these stories and then find life application for them from the Book of Mark.
I. But first let me pray. Psalm 101 we read,
Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.[a]
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
Lord we are very grateful for all that you are doing in our lives. Thank you very much for working in Cass and Mary’s daughter Amy. Thank you for the healing. We pray that your life and grace will work with each of in our areas of need. Lord, some of us need jobs, please provide. Some of us want to get married, please guide. Some of us want to get into college, please open the doors. Lord almost all of us need to draw closer to You, pull us close. It is in the name of your Son Jesus that we pray, Amen.
II. Two stories that impacted me on my Sabbatical:
First, Filled the Valley with Water – 2 Kings 3:12-17
Israel was in a battle with Moab and getting beat. They were wondering if the Lord would come to help them in their struggle. They were running low on water and troops. So the leaders went to God’s man, the prophet Elisha,
in 2 Kings 3:12 Jehoshaphat said, “Yes, the Lord speaks through him.” So the king of Israel, King Jehoshaphat of Judah, and the king of Edom went to consult with Elisha.
13 “Why are you coming to me?” Elisha asked the king of Israel. “Go to the pagan prophets of your father and mother!” But King Joram of Israel said, “No! For it was the Lord who called us three kings here—only to be defeated by the king of Moab!”
14 Elisha replied, “As surely as the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, I wouldn’t even bother with you except for my respect for King Jehoshaphat of Judah.,
15 Now bring me someone who can play the harp.” While the harp was being played, the power of the Lord came upon Elisha, 16 and he said, “This is what the Lord says: This dry valley will be filled with pools of water! 17 You will see neither wind nor rain, says the Lord, but this valley will be filled with water. You will have plenty for yourselves and your cattle and other animals.
God can do whatever He wants and God will use whomever he wants to carry out His plan.
While Israel as a nation had wandered from God to pagan prophets, The Lord still provided for them, even after they had turned away. If he wants to fill a valley with water without rain and wind….He can. During my time away God filled me these types of water pools. He can do whatever He wants. He just wants us to ask. He just wants us to be people of Christ…people you would call Christ followers.
Second, Filling the Israelites with Quail – Numbers 11:31-32
another story that spoke to me is from Numbers 11:31 and following,
11:1 – Soon the people began to complain about their hardship, and the Lord heard everything they said.
and then in 11:10 Moses heard all the families standing in the doorways of their tents whining, and the Lord became extremely angry. Moses was also very aggravated….
So God worked it out to provide for them… Did they deserve it? Hummmm.
31 Now the Lord sent a wind that brought quail from the sea and let them fall all around the camp. For miles in every direction there were quail flying about three feet above the ground.
32 So the people went out and caught quail all that day and throughout the night and all the next day, too. No one gathered less than fifty bushels! They spread the quail all around the camp to dry.
Quail in the desert for the people on Exodus. They were whiny, complaining people who could never be satisfied. Yet God sent them Quail. The Lord sent them water with no rain and Steak in the desert. It is these types of events where the Lord helps us see what a blessing He is. He meets needs, he blesses when we don’t deserve it.
Let me take a few chapters from the book of Mark to apply these passages about the Lord’s provision to our lives. What often draws us to our Savior is his ability to meet our needs. He steps into our context and creates life change. It is an incarnational movement in our lives. While there are many scriptures which teach about Jesus’ providing for his disciples and followers, today we are looking at the first 5 chapters of Mark.
Mark takes 5 chapters to introduce our great Savior, our Powerful King. In this introduction Mark tackles 6 areas of our lives that need Jesus. These 6 areas do not impact all of your lives in the same way. Some of us might struggle with the first or last point, others maybe a couple in the middle. The point that Mark is making in these first chapters of his Gospel is that Jesus has authority and he can meet the needs in our lives.
III. HOW DOES JESUS MEET MY NEEDS?
How do I get over the worry and stress in my life?
Jesus’ authority over Demons (Mark 1:21-28) Do you fear demons? Fear the dark. I know that I always check behind the shower curtain before I go to bed when I am in a hotel and yes I am 48 years old. Must have us have some fear. Satan wants us to live in fear, rather than in love.
One example, Our culture is being manipulated by the media. Every possible worry or attack or demon or evil is constantly on the news…It creates fear in all of us. We listen to the newscaster over our savior. Mark 1
23 Suddenly, a man in the synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit began shouting, 24 “Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
25 Jesus cut him short. “Be quiet! Come out of the man,” he ordered. 26 At that, the evil spirit screamed, threw the man into a convulsion, and then came out of him.
27 Amazement gripped the audience, and they began to discuss what had happened. “What sort of new teaching is this?” they asked excitedly. “It has such authority! Even evil spirits obey his orders!” 28 The news about Jesus spread quickly throughout the entire region of Galilee.
Have you ever had a demon, lived in fear, worried about every passing struggle. Remember how everyone stressed so much over Y2K…people live that way constantly. The recession was brutal but in retrospect Wall street says if everyone would have left their money in the market it would have been fine. What do we fear now ISIS.
We forget the real power, the real authority is Jesus!
The first step is to PRAY: take all your fear and give it to Jesus. When your stressed worry being held back…pray!
We must engage prayer, community and worship. Remember the demons want you scared, Jesus wants you trusting.
How do I forgive Myself for my sin?
Jesus’ authority over Sin (Mark 2:1-12)
I have talked with many Christian’s who have accepted Jesus’ forgiveness for their sin, but they will never forgive themselves. In their mind what they did was just too awful. So they live life without grace.
2 When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. 2 Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, 3 four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4 They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. 5 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”
Have you held on your sins for years…maybe even decades. It is not Jesus reminding you of your sin, he forgave them. It is Satan who is trying to break your spirit with reminders of the past.
First Step focus on Reading Bible verses about Forgiveness. Verses like…
Colossians 2:13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.
How Do I Find Rest in this Busy World?
In our world we praise those who over work. Those who brag of 60 hour weeks we think are cool. But truthfully most of them are running themselves into the ground. Some are damaging their faith, marriages and friendship. But they never take time to rest and figure things out.
Jesus’ authority over the Sabbath (Mark 2:23-3:6)
23 One Sabbath day as Jesus was walking through some grainfields, his disciples began breaking off heads of grain to eat. 24 But the Pharisees said to Jesus, “Look, why are they breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath?”
25 Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you ever read in the Scriptures what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 26 He went into the house of God (during the days when Abiathar was high priest) and broke the law by eating the sacred loaves of bread that only the priests are allowed to eat. He also gave some to his companions.”
27 Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”
Rest and Sabbath. A day off. Time with the Lord. Are all gifts to Us because Jesus has authority over the Sabbath. He is not trying to make you feel guilty for taking a break…he is giving us rest.
FIRST STEP…take time, be with the ones you Love. Hang out with everyone that is Important to You. Spend time with those who love.
HOW DO I GET OVER THE FEAR IN MY LIFE
Jesus’ authority over the Nature (Mark 4:35-41)
Brian Simo is a race car driver, and most of you have probably never heard of him. However there is one thing about him with which you are probably familiar. In 1989 he created the “No Fear” clothing line and found an idea that appealed to many Americans.
Today’s message teaches us that “No Fear” is not just a decal or a T-shirt. It is not just a spirited hope of getting lucky. It is not at all about taking foolish risks. The real “No Fear” lifestyle is found in those, who like the Apostles, would say to Jesus, “Lord, We will follow you with no fear!
35 As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.
39 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. 40 Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
FIRST STEP Take a risk, do something that stretches your faith! Something that you know God is calling you to. Check with a friend that you know is close to the Lord and then take a risk in your faith. Live with NO FEAR in your life of what God might do.
HOW DO I GET A GRIP ON SUFFERING?
Jesus’ authority over Illness and Disease (Mark 5:25-34)
All of us struggle with suffering. Why do good people die? Why would God let this child or my aunt or my good friend die…?
25 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. 26 She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. 28 For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.
30 Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”
31 His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”
32 But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”
You know this women still died. Just wanted to make sure you remember that. Suffering will always will be with us and their will always be questions…but ultimately we have to reach out to Jesus.
First Step…take out a Prayer card in the seat in front of you and write out a struggle or trial you need prayer for. The prayer team will start and let’s see what God does to take you through this time of suffering. You will get some people on your side. Interceding on your behalf before the Lord.
HOW CAN I STOP FEARING DEATH?
Jesus’ authority over Death (Mark 5:21-22,35-36)
21 Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. 22 Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet, 23 pleading fervently with him. “My little daughter is dying,” he said. “Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.” 24 Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around him.
35 …messengers arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue. They told him, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.”
36 But Jesus overheard them and said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.”
Just have faith. His daughter is brought back to life by Jesus. Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.
First Step…Write out or Print out this verse, Mark 5:36. Then put it on your frig, bathroom wall, dashboard…any place they you see and be reminded that you are not going to live afraid, but rather you are going to live in faith.
While your at it you might want to print out this verse as well…
The apostle Paul writes:
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19