Sunday, April 28, 2013

What Have You Heard?


Mark 5
25  Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years,
26  and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.
27  When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment.
28  For she said, "If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well."
29  Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.
30  And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My clothes?"
31  But His disciples said to Him, "You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ’Who touched Me?’"
32  And He looked around to see her who had done this thing.
33  But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.
34  And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction."

This is one of my most favorite passages in the Bible. This poor infirmed woman teaches us not to give up, not to give in and not to give out. Her persistent participation in finding an answer to her problem led her to the One who has power over all problems. Today we are going to let this woman’s testimony serve to teach us a few things. The first lesson we learn from her is: 

1.  What we hear makes a difference
a.   For Good and Bad

v.27 – When she heard about Jesus …
         * don’t you know she was tired of trying remedy after remedy
         * but something about this must have been different …
         * and on top of that – what did she really have to lose?

b.   What we hear can either impress us or depress us

The Children heard a bad report from the 10 fear-filled spies of Numbers 13 & 14 … they got depressed … so depressed that they wouldn’t hear anything else. They got deceived …

What we hear makes a difference – why?

c.   Because what we hear can affect what we believe and the world is doing its best to keep you hearing the wrong thing.

Proverbs 18:17  The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.

The world always tries to turn in the first report and if that doesn’t work, they will just get louder. But let me testify – the winner is not always the one who gets there first or the one who crows the loudest … just remember that! The Bible plainly teaches that “it ain’t over till it’s over!”

This brings us to the next lesson this morning:

2.   What we believe makes a difference
a.   We think what we think, feel what we feel and want what we want because we believe what we believe.
b.   What we believe makes a difference because it affects what we think, what we feel, what we want and ultimately what we do.
3.   What we do makes a difference.

The Children of Israel heard the evil report, believed it and based on the lie they believed, refused to trust God and every one of them ended up dying in the wilderness without ever entering their promise land.

The man given a talent who buried it because he believed the master was unjust and too hard to please … he ended up losing everything because he deceived. He was sincere, but he was sincerely wrong and it cost him. (Matthew 25)

But on the contrary this poor woman heard about Jesus, trusted in His power and acted on her faith. She was healed of her affliction.

The Bible is filled with accounts of two types of people: Those who hear about God and trust Him and those who hear and refuse to participate.

From Zacchaeus to the young rich ruler; from the citizens of Nineveh to the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah; from frightened Simon Peter before the crucifixion to bold and empowered Apostle Peter after the resurrection – people hear things, believe things and act according to what they believe.

This started way back in the Garden of Eden when Eve. When we listen to the wrong voice we make the wrong choice. Tell me … what have you heard?

1.  What have you heard about yourself?
·       Like the woman in Mark 5 … have you heard that your condition is incurable or your problem can never be solved?
·       Or that you were so important and loved by the Creator of heaven and earth that He sacrificed His only son to provide a way for you.
2.  What have you heard about Jesus?
·       Have you heard that He is critical, condemning, legalistic, only waiting on you to make a mistake so He can sentence your soul to hell?
·       Or that He loves you, cares about you, willingly sacrificed Himself for you and has a wonderful plan for your life.
3.  What have you heard about the Bible?
·       That it’s an archaic book out of touch with reality, hard to understand and without significance in this modern world?
·       Or that it is the source of life, light and love; filled with the wisdom of the ages, relevant and powerful, alive and everlasting.
4.  What have you heard about the Church?
·       That it is a dead entity, a symbol of all that is wrong with organized religion, filled with hypocrites and unable to connect with this generation, out of date and powerless?
·       Or that it is the very Body of Christ, the eternal Bride of our risen Lord, the City set on a Hill built foursquare, New Jerusalem, the family of God in Heaven and Earth, the Congregation on the sides of the North, Mount Zion, the Tabernacle of our God built with Lively Stones upon a Rock so that the gates of hell can never prevail.
5.  What have you heard about the future?
·       That everything is going to be ok? That all roads lead to a blissful eternity? That there is no God? That if there is a God He certainly would not send anybody to hell and if He would, then you don’t want to have anything to do with Him? That you’ll figure it out when you get there or that everybody is in the same boat?
·       Or that all have sinned and deserve death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Which report are you going to believe? You see …

What we hear can affect what we believe and what we believe can affect what we do and what we do makes a difference.

Stop listening to the devil, this world or well meaning friends who may be sincere but are sincerely wrong.

How can you tell if someone is wrong? If they have a different report than the report of the Bible – they are wrong!

Don’t be deceived … don’t listen to the wrong voice and risk making the wrong choice.

Trust Jesus – hear His Word and put your hope in Him.

This poor, afflicted and worn down woman of Mark 5 who had done absolutely everything she could to get help finally found the answer:

When she heard about Jesus she came …

Won’t you come to Jesus this morning … come to Jesus with all your heart … come to Jesus even if you know you have disappointed Him … come to Jesus if only in your prayers today … He is waiting and He has the power you need. Hear this good report from God’s Word and come!