Friday, May 21, 2010

Mark 9

I think one of the most extraordinary aspects of the Christian faith for many people to get their heads round is the fact that the God who is introduced to us in scripture is very different to what we may expect…
In the ancient world most people had a concept or idea of God.
The world was just too big for it to be an accident
Therefore someone must have created it...
That someone was a God.

But to many of these religions that god was often seen as being cruel and uncaring...
Human beings were puppets in his hands manipulated by the ruler of the universe...
Today it's no different...
When we talk about disasters we refer to them as acts of God, as if a God is bored with playing with humans and has decided to through them out of the playpen...
It’s not a nice idea...

But in the scriptures we are introduced to a God who cares...
The one who wants relationship
In the gospels this concept of God is taken a step further...
Not only do we meet in Jesus a God who cares but also a God who has flesh and blood like you and me.
In Jesus we are introduced to a God who wants to be our Friend

Think of that for a moment…
The God who is creator of everything not only loves me...
But cares for me and wants to have a relationship to me…
While sometimes it may seem that we throw our prayers into a void like coins down a wishing well the reality is that God hears them even before they have left our lips…
God is that close…

When you think about it that reality should make everyone on the face of the planet want to come to faith in Christ...
Who wouldn't want the creator of the universe as their best friend?
Who wouldn't want the one who understands everything to be close to them....?

I think we are all too aware though that in spite of this reality, many people still want nothing to do with God, and even we who probably call ourselves people of faith often struggle for intimacy and to trust in this God...
Yeah he is the creator...
Yeah he wants to be my friend
But he's just too Big.... is one excuse I have heard

It's like in that Dr Seuss Story Horton hears a Whoo,
Horton means well but he is just so big that he may accidentally squash the whole of the Whoo Race...

I think the issues for many people is not the bigness of God... or the closeness of God that prevents them forming relationship...
But it's that fact that as Human beings we find it hard to trust anyone...

I remember trying to teach my son Aidan to swim... I was next to him in the pool, my shoulders were big enough to support him... but still he didn't trust me
He would not let go of the edge
Trust is not something any of us do naturally....

Mark 9: 14- tells the story of a demon possessed boy that is brought to the disciples to be healed.
It’s a foot step on the way to trust for the disciples…
I think we are all to aware that in the disciples are 12 individuals that are willing to be used by God… but over the course of Jesus’ ministry more often than not they seem to get it wrong..

A few verses earlier three of the disciples are given an insight into the greatness of God... and his closeness.
There up a mountain with Jesus prays and suddenly God reveals himself in Jesus.
Jesus is transfigured... his appearance changes.
The Godness that is as much an aspect of Jesus as his humanness leaks out…..
If that wasn’t enough Jesus is joined by two of the great prophets….
Moses and Elijah…
The disciples are flawed by this.
To top it all off we hear a voice from heaven – the Father speaks…
This is my son the beloved – listen to him…
God is real
God is close
God cares…
Surely an incident like this would transform their faith...
No longer would they doubt...
READ SCRIPTURE

As they come down from the mountain top and reality starts to creep in, the lessons the experience the joy from the mountain is lost...
But are we any different?
We peep into heaven in worship and forget it all when we come back to earth
when we leave the church walls, it all changes...

It's seems that all too often change in any of us is only every temporary...
We trust in God only as much as we have real need...
When it's something we think we can do in our own strength than too often we do it in our own strength

We should not really be surprised then by the reactions of the disciples…
They are willing to take up the challenge, but they fail, they can’t do it.

As we grow more and more familiar with the stories of the disciples in the Gospels I think we should becoming more and more aware that they continually fail to understand the meaning of Faith...
It's almost like that because of their position as disciples they feel as though they have made it...
So often they fail to see the discipleship – following Jesus is about a journey.
They haven't made it...YET!!!

In Mark 10:28 Jesus is talking about Salvation as a human impossibility, made possible only by the grace of God...
And how does Peter respond...
Well he boasts of the great and noble achievements that the disciples have made
“We have left everything and followed you.” that shows how far from making it the disciples are.
They are only on the road by the grace of God... yeah they left everything but big deal...
It was the call of God that put them on this journey...
It’s the same when Jesus predicts his death and says that all the disciples will deny and flee...
Peter turns around and says – not me Jesus, even if it costs me my life, I won't walk out on you...
But he does...
Faith is fragile.
Even for those who stand in close proximity to Jesus
In Matt 26:31
Jesus says, "This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: "'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'
Don't ever loose sight of how fragile faith is...
Don’t ever take it for granted...

In the same story of the Demon possessed boy there is another character we are introduced too..
A concerned, distraught hurting father who wants nothing more than his son to be healed...
And the words he uses echo through history..
To many they have been a model of prayer...
A few words that seem to say so much about faith,
And offer a model of discipleship which I think normal people can probably appreciate
I believe help my unbelief…
Amazing words
I need to take a step but Lord I need you to carry me…
it's a recognition that intimacy and trust comes from relationship
But I think it also shows us that doubt also seems to stand often alongside faith.
And it's often our doubt that stops us fully trusting God.

Our faith has limits… that is kind of natural
we trust God to find us a parking space
but would we trust God to find us a job, or a partner?

We say we are people of faith but doubt always seems to follow on it’s heals
I guess it can feel like Doubt is the little worm that kills the fruit,
But it doesn’t have to be that way…

The doubt that the father feels doesn't push him away from God,
Rather it draws him into an honest and open relationship with God...
His doubts change the shape of faith

Unlike the disciples the father understand faith is organic and not static
It’s not that we have a once and for all response but we have to keep coming back time and time again
Following Jesus is a day to day reality..
The Father knows that in the stress and strains of life
Bread soon goes stale
The water of life soon becomes stagnant
Faith is our continued response to the grace of God

That's why when Jesus taught his disciples to pray he told them to seek their daily bread..
Following Jesus requires daily dependence on God..

The failure of the disciple’s shows this well
It’s not that their technique is wrong,
Or that they fail because they weren't Christian enough
They failed because they fail to bring it to God

Jesus reply – only through prayer...
The power to do God's work doesn't lie in them
But in the God who they are reliant upon..

The Father was different – his faith coupled with his powerlessness meant that his faith in Jesus would heal his son...

I guess, we need to have Faith on the mountaintop
But also in the valley...
Faith that God would deliver daily bread...
Because Faith is about reliance -surrendering yourself – letting go

Reliance upon God in the whole of life
That requires a daily diet of prayer...

We cannot work our way out of doubt and a lack of trust-
Belief comes through an on going relationship
Faith seek ongoing understanding
Faith is questioning and struggle before it becomes certainty and peace
Its formed not of abstract principles or understanding the vastness of the universe that God has created, but out of relationship
To know God.. Not just know facts about God but to know him personally

It's hard to trust God.
Simply deciding we will have more faith doesn't help either...
Rather an increase in faith comes from a prayer..
I believe help my unbelief...
Prayer like this are like finding an oasis in the desert.
When we ask for God's help he answers us,
He meets us in our need, we receive Joy, peace and restoration.
God is going to meet our need in his time.
His ways are not predictable, but he answers prayers like this.
At the end of this story -a son is made whole
A father's Mustard seed of faith moves a mountain.


Open, O doors and bolts of my heart,
That Christ the King of Glory may enter!
Enter, O my Light, and enlighten my darkness; enter,
O my Life, and resurrect my deadness; enter,
O my Physician, and heal my wounds; enter,
O Divine Fire, and burn up the thorns of my sins; ignite my inward parts and my heart with the flame of thy love; enter,
O my King, and destroy in me the kingdom of sin; sit on the throne of my heart and alone reign in me,
O thou, my King and Lord
St. Dimitry of Rostov, 17th c.,

10 comments:

HD Wallpapers said...

Very cathcy post.. Keep the work up mate...

llq said...

this is soooooooooooooooooooooooo gorgeouswedding jackets

pamod negi said...

Great blog- really enjoyed reading it. Have bookmarked you and will check back regular. Please feel free to take a look at my blog...
cheap flights to osaka
flights to osaka
osaka flights

pamod negi said...

Great blog- really enjoyed reading it. Have bookmarked you and will check back regular. Please feel free to take a look at my blog...
cheap flights to osaka
flights to osaka
osaka flights

pamod negi said...

Great blog- really enjoyed reading it. Have bookmarked you and will check back regular. Please feel free to take a look at my blog...
cheap flights to osaka
flights to osaka
osaka flights

Anonymous said...

Wholesale clothing store
Japanese fashion cloth
Korean fashion cloth
European fashion cloth wholesale
online wholesale store
fashion cloth for women
dress wholesale from China

kevin21 said...

Nike High Heels

Monster High Celebrities

Jordan Heels

Nike Dunk Sb High Heels Black And Pink

High Heel

Pour partager ma mode said...

Sac Hermes
Sac Hermes Pas Cher
Sac Hermes Birkin
Sac Hermes Kelly
Sac Chanel
Sac Louis Vuitton
Sac Louis Vuitton Pas Cher
Sac Prada
Sac Pas Cher
Chaussures Puma
Chaussures Puma Pas Cher
Chaussures Supra
Chaussures Supra Pas Cher
Chaussures Nike
Chaussures Nike Pas Cher
Wedding Dresses
Bridesmaid Dresses
Prom Dresses
Quinceanera Dresses

teeshirtonline2012 said...

burberry tasche
chanel tasche
chloe tasche
gucci tasche
sac dolce gabbana
sac fendi
sac guess soldes
sac guess 2012 soldes
sac gucci
porte cles chanel
bracelet louis vuitton
tee shirts g star
tee shirts lacoste
tee shirts levis
sac guess
chaussures nike
chaussures puma
sac a main
tee shirts
juicy couture tasche
louis vuitton tasche>
versace tasche
juicy couture bolsas
louis vuitton bolsas
sac louis vuitton>
sac prada
sac versace

Jim said...

Part of Office 2007 users may not be able to open by the Rights Management documents. Microsoft released three patches for Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007, fix the vulnerability can not open a specific file.