Saturday, January 29, 2011

They Were Fishermen


Everyone is unique. There is no one else exactly like you. You were created by special design and God only made one you. No one else has the potential to be a better you than you do.

Not only are you created a unique individual but you are also endowed by your Creator with certain talents, certain gifts, specific likes and dislikes as well as being naturally graced with God given abilities which make you very good at some things while not naturally good at others.

Peter, Andrew, James, and John were fishermen. Why were they fishermen? I imagine they liked it and no doubt what it took to be a success was in their DNA. Now Matthew, he may have fished at some point in his life but Peter was a fisherman. And believe me, there is a difference.

There is something you were created to be. No doubt there are several things you can do … but there is something you are made for!

Without regard as to who you are and what you were created to be or do, you have been equipped and called by God to do what you do and be what He designed you to be, for God’s Kingdom purposes. From King David to Zacchaeus people are designed by God to do what they do best and do it for God’s best interest. God created you according to His plan and need.

There is some place where you can put your talents and natural abilities to work for God. Everyone has a fair share of volunteer ministry to give without regard as to what we may do to earn our living.

Individuals are made for opportunities. Just like Queen Esther, you too have been prepared and positioned for such a time as this. God has not been wasting your life but rather He has been working in you and on you, even without you knowing, so that He can work through you and for you.

The only requirement on your part is to recognize the opportunities when He presents them as opportunities which you are already prepared for … and then of course we must say yes to those opportunities.

All of your life God has been preparing and positioning you for the next opportunity. Every great testimony in the Bible was the result of someone saying yes to the opportunity presented to them by God.

· Noah said yes

· Abraham said yes

· Rebecca said yes

· Joseph said yes

· Moses said yes

· Rahab said yes

· David said yes

· The Widow of Zarephath said yes

· Elisha said yes

· Mary said yes

· The Young Rich Ruler said no!

· Zacchaeus said yes

· Cornelius said yes

· Even Jesus said yes to the greatest opportunity of His life …

· Everyday people from all walks of life say yes to their opportunities to play a part in the plan of God.

The common denominator in the lives of all of these people is not the fact that they all said yes, but the fact that they all said yes to the voice of God. They recognized the voice of God and therefore did not misidentify the opportunity.

You see, God does all the hard work … we need only follow. We are first prepared; Then we are positioned; And finally we are invited to participate.

Mark 1

16 And as Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.

17 Then Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men."

18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

· Note that Jesus found them, they did not find Him

John 15:16 You have not chosen me but I have chosen you …

· Simon and Andrew were busy working – so was most every disciple whom Jesus chose. (Don’t sit around waiting on God to chose you)

If you want to get something done, find a busy person to do it

· There was an urgency to this call – Follow me!

It wasn’t, “Hey I have this opportunity, why don’t you think about it, pray about it, perhaps talk to your friends and get back with me next Thursday.”

· I will make you to become fishers of men …

I’m going to take what you are naturally gifted at, what you love to do and are good at, and I’m going to put you to work in the Kingdom of God (Jesus didn’t say this to every disciple He called – but to these fishermen)

· Immediately … they responded

They said yes! They rightly identified their invitation to participate in God’s will and purpose for their lives.

They immediately changed the focus of their lives to what God had planned for them. Each of the disciples embraced new priorities of life.

You know, it wasn’t always easy for these followers of Jesus. After all, some of them, like Peter, were just fishermen – not extremely educated or highly intelligent.

Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they were amazed; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

One claim to fame that Peter and John had was that they had spent time with Jesus, the Living Word of God, and they knew the answers of life because they knew the Voice of Life.

After Jesus was crucified, the disciples felt as though their calling and the special opportunity they had been given by God was over. They were called to follow Jesus and now Jesus had told them that they could not follow Him where He was going and Jesus was gone. As a result:

John 21

2 Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together.

3 Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We are going with you also." They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.

What’s Peter saying? Basically – It’s over … didn’t turn out like I thought it would but … I’m going back to what I know, what I was doing before I got mixed up in this thing … back to what I know and enjoy … I’m going fishing.

With this he also influenced everyone around him … why … because God had made him to be a person of influence and what he did, others around him tended to follow.

You notice that they fished all night and caught nothing. Reckon why their hard work and good intentioned endeavors produced nothing but a waste of time and energy? Oh, one might imagine that they were just a bit rusty at fishing and were no longer familiar with those waters … but really it was because God was not finished with them yet. He wanted to give them one more opportunity to make following Him the priority of their life.

Of course Jesus could have blessed them – and He did in His time and for His glory, but even though they may have enjoyed themselves and worked hard and were at heart fishermen, nonetheless, God could not have afforded for them to have been too successful – if they were, perhaps they could have been tempted to keep on fishing instead of realizing that the calling and gifting of God are without repentance.

It’s no different with us today. Without respect to what you do or how good you are at doing it … you are only being prepared for your greatest use by God.

Learn to recognize the Voice of God by spending time in the study of His Word and fellowship of His Spirit. Keep your spiritual eyes and ears open to the opportunities He offers.

No doubt God is preparing you and positioning you for your next opportunity to serve His plan. And, don’t get weary in serving Christ. It may not be what you first thought it would be but believe me when I tell you that God is not finished yet and the best is yet to come. Keep doing what you were created to do – only Jesus will satisfy your soul!

You might say, Pastor – I work at one of the plants; I’m a homemaker; an attorney; a truck driver; school teacher; prison guard; or work in the medical field – how can I give my life to the service of God?

I tell you, it doesn’t matter where you work but rather who you are working for. As long as you are doing what God wants you to do, where God wants you to do it, you are right where you should be. Opportunity will find you and if you need to adjust or refocus your priority, believe me – you won’t have to go looking for it – it will find you.

Just don’t allow disappointment or discontentment, neither failure nor success, make you miss what you were created to do. Perhaps what you need is to refocus on why you do what you do and who you are doing it for. The right focus and the right priority will un-cloud the opportunities right in front of you. Just imagine, you might be missing the greatest opportunity God will ever present you right there where you are, where God has planted you, prepared you and positioned you already.

After all, what are you and what were you really made to do? Do it for Jesus right where you are!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Gospel of Mark Series – Part 2 – Urgency


God told me to do a better job educating our church and to equip the saints with a greater understanding of the Bible. God does not want us to be ignorant of the scriptures and approach our Bible reading or Bible study only looking for short term solutions for age old problems. Six times the Apostle Paul wrote to the churches telling them that he did not wish them to be ignorant of the Gospel truths.

Jesus also said Himself that we err when we do not know scriptures or the power of God. These same scriptures tell us that God’s people perish for a lack of knowledge and understanding.

Therefore, in obedience to God, I plan to better educate you and better equip you with a greater understanding of the Bible in 2011. I pledge to not make this adventure boring or overwhelming. I will be very sensitive to the Holy Spirit so that you may learn and not just hear what He has to say. If you have experienced learning anxieties in the past don’t be alarmed. I promise to make this both interesting and effective.

When we are finished with this year, you will no doubt be one of the most learned members of the Body of Christ on planet earth. And, most of this will take place in your life without much effort on your part except that you consistently attend these midweek services and simply listen. I’ll do my part if you will only do yours. Let’s get to it …

If you missed Part One, order a copy of the message from the information desk or go online to and view the Wednesday teaching from January 5, 2011. Now, on to Mark:

Mark writes like most people think a man’s man would write. Perhaps he gets this from his association with the Apostle Peter who also seemed to be a little abrupt and abrasive at times. Peter was the only disciple who ever took it upon himself to call Jesus aside and begin rebuking Him.

Mark 8:32 Jesus spoke this word openly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.

By the way, that was not a good idea then and neither is it now.

At any rate, much like Peter, Mark cuts right to the chase. He completely leaves off many of the early accounts which Matthew, Luke and John deem important. Mark spends a total of only 13 verses getting Jesus from the beginning of time all the way to beginning His earthly ministry, preaching in the Galilee and calling His first disciple, Simon Peter.

Mark seems to be taken with the Apostle Peter and continues by specifically naming Peter 23 times in the 16 chapters. Peter is mentioned near twice as many times as any other disciple and ten times more than most. Mark spends virtually no time on events which Peter did not see or hear for himself. It is evident therefore that Mark was dominantly influenced by Peter’s accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus.

Mark is what I call a headliner. He likes the meat of the matter and is quite strong in his delivery of the stories he tells. Mark talks over and over about both the authority and the power demonstrated by Jesus and how that He also gave that same authority and power to His disciples. Both of these subjects are mentioned ten times each in this relatively short letter. Mark is more about what Jesus did than what Jesus said … while Matthew spends 3 chapters detailing the Sermon on the Mount, Mark does not spend even three verses on it, in fact, he doesn’t even mention it. Mark sees Jesus as a man of action. One third of the chapters contain a record of Jesus rebuking someone or something – from the disciples to the devils, Jesus is shown by Mark to be a one tough Messiah, unafraid of anything or anybody.

This is how Mark sees Jesus and this is the picture that the book of Mark paints in this Gospel account.

However, not only does Mark present Jesus as a man of action, he also presents the whole Gospel as a message which demands action, immediate action! In fact, Mark uses the word “immediately” 43 times in his writings. He senses the urgency of the gospel message and repeats it over and over to us. Mark uses this word more than ½ of the times it is seen in the Bible.

Mark 1:10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.

Mark 1:12 Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.

Mark 1:18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

Mark 1:20 And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.

Mark 1:21 Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.

Mark 1:28 And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.

Mark 1:29 Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.

Mark 1:30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once.

Mark 1:31 So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them.

Mark 1:42 As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.

Mark 1:43 And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once,

You can see the urgency with which Mark views the Gospel ministry and message of Jesus. He uses the concept of immediacy no less than 12 times in the first chapter and continues its use throughout the whole 16 chapters. Mark sees Jesus and the ministry as requiring and necessitating urgent and immediate response.

Mark 2:2 Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them.

Mark 2:8 But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, "Why do you reason about these things in your hearts?

Mark 2:12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"

Mark 3:6 Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.

Mark 4:5 "Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth.

Mark 4:15 "And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.

Mark 4:16 "These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

Mark 4:17 "and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.

Mark 4:29 "But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."

Mark 5:2 And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

Mark 5:13 And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.

Mark 5:29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.

Mark 5:30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My clothes?"

Mark 5:36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Do not be afraid; only believe."

Mark 5:42 Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement.

Mark 6:25 Immediately she came in with haste to the king and asked, saying, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter."

Mark 6:27 Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. And he went and beheaded him in prison,

Mark 6:45 Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away.

Mark 6:50 for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid."

Mark 6:54 And when they came out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him,

Mark 7:35 Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly.

Mark 8:10 immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha.

Mark 9:15 Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him.

Mark 9:20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.

Mark 9:24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"

Mark 10:52 Then Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.

Mark 11:2 and He said to them, "Go into the village opposite you; and as soon as you have entered it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has sat. Loose it and bring it.

Mark 11:3 "And if anyone says to you, ’Why are you doing this?’ say, ’The Lord has need of it,’ and immediately he will send it here."

Mark 14:43 And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.

Mark 14:45 As soon as He had come, immediately he went up to Him and said to Him, "Rabbi, Rabbi!" and kissed Him.

Mark 15:1 Immediately, in the morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council; and they bound Jesus, led Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate.

It is plain to see how Mark understood the Gospel and we will better understand what he wrote when we view it from his perspective. Once you see these things it is hard to miss the heart of Mark’s Gospel message.

· It is a message of the Authority of the Gospel

· It is a message of the Power of the Gospel

· It is a message of the Urgency of the Gospel

Now … let’s get to verse one.

Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Make no mistake – Mark is determined to tell one story – it is the story of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

· Gospel – Good News

· Jesus Christ – The Anointed One; The Messiah

· The Son of God – The Only Begotten of God

It is upon this firm conviction which is based on his personal belief and that passed on to him from the Apostle Peter, that he begins to lay his claim of the Authority, the Power and the Urgency of the Gospel.

· It is “Good News”

· It is anointed and appointed

· There is no other!

Mark 1:15 And (Jesus began to preach) saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."

Remember as you read or re-read the first chapter of Mark this week, keep your focus on the:

· Authority

· Power

· Urgency

Repent and believe the Gospel – the Kingdom of God is at hand!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fear or Faith?


I’ve heard it said that 90% of all people are motivated by fear. Only 10% of the world is motivated by reward. We see this in the stock market as only the ones who are motivated by gain take risks and win. Fear for ourselves, our church, our family, etc is constantly being injected into our minds by the world. We are taught to be afraid of all kinds of things.

I’m afraid of alligators. I know, but it’s a very rational fear. My wife is afraid of Black Holes! Take a moment and tell your neighbor one of your fears. Now that you know their fear, exploit it first chance you get! Just joking…

Open your Bibles to Mark 5:21-43. This is where Jesus encounters the women with the issue of blood. Jairus is walking with Jesus on the way to Jairus’s house when someone met him from his home with a bad report. Let’s look at this story in the Bible where one man had a choice to be afraid or believe in faith. Turn to Mark 5:21–43.

21 Now when Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea. 22 And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet 23 and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” 24 So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him. 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.” 35 While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 37 And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James. 38 Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. 39 When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.” 40 And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying. 41 Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement. 43 But He commanded them strictly that no one should know it, and said that something should be given her to eat.

So, what we are seeing here is what all too often happens in our lives. We are on the road with Jesus going to solve our problem, when someone we know tells us there is nothing more that can be done and that we need to just get over it. This is where we have a choice to make. Which voice are we going to listen to? Jesus is saying, “Don’t be afraid; only believe”.

What does the Bible say about being afraid? I’m glad you asked; here are just a few verses on the subject:

Psalms 27: 1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Hebrews 13:6 So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Genesis 26:24a And the LORD appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you…”

We could go on all day with scriptures on fear. If we are going have all that God wants for us, our families, our jobs, our church we have to learn to listen to the right voices in life. Let’s look at another scripture.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

The word “world” here means the current age. The world we live in today is all about fear. We’ve learned to be afraid that our children will be abducted, that our jobs will be lost, that our country will lose what makes it great. And all of that is currently going on, but that isn’t what God is telling the church or you this morning.

I have a question that I ask people sometimes when I am trying to disciple them. “What is God telling you?” After letting that question hang in their minds for a few seconds, I further the question by dividing it into 3 parts; What is God saying to you, the church, and the world? Often times as Christians, we only listen to what God is telling the world and not what He is saying to the church or ourselves.

God is telling the world to be afraid. Danger and destruction are coming. He is motivating people to turn to Him.

God is telling the church to rise up and be an anchor for unbelievers. Get ready for the harvest.

God is telling you “don’t be afraid, only believe."

Looking back into the Old Testament, we read about Lot. For the sake of time you don’t have to turn there in your Bibles, I will just paraphrase. The Bible tells us that Lot was a righteous man, however living in such sin, in his “world,” vexed his soul and changed him.

We, as Christians, have to be on guard in the age that we live in. The movies we watch, the conversations we have, the places we go affect us more than we know. We have to be careful with our children, not because we are afraid, but because we want them to grow and mature having a personal relationship with their Father in heaven and knowledge of His word.

That’s where Lot messed up. He was a righteous man, and living in that sin changed him and the way he saw his family, but it really changed his daughters, who after living in a cave with old dad, they decided to get him drunk and sleep with him. This doesn’t sound like a righteous act.

When we listen to the wrong voice, we make the wrong choice.

What are you hearing this morning? The sky is falling? All the jobs are gone? Be afraid for your kids? You see, God is not telling you these things. That’s what the world is hearing and repeating to you.

Jairus had a choice to make: listen to the message about his little girl’s death, or continue to believe what Jesus was telling him. He could have just given up and gone home to mourn with the others, but Jesus was encouraging him not to be afraid, but only believe.

Friends, Jesus is encouraging you this morning to not be afraid, only believe. We cannot be conformed to this world as it says in Romans. That is what the world is all about: fear. God has not given you a spirit of fear, but love, power, and a sound mind.

If we are going to be men and women of faith, we cannot conform to this world, as we are not of this world. How are we going to do it? Again, let’s read Romans 12:2, this time in the New Living Translation: Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

If we are to “not conform” to this world, we will have to change the way we think.

If he was going to receive a miracle for his daughter, Jairus had to do just that. Fear could have stopped the miracle. It would have only taken a second for his mind to be filled with thoughts of fear, and he would have doubted Jesus’ ability to heal his daughter. But, he believed Jesus, obeyed him, and received his miracle.

Eleven months ago, I woke up to the sound of a pop in my head as I was rolling over. I had never heard this before in my life. Within seconds, I shot straight up in bed with a horrible pain where my head and neck come together. Let me tell you church, I was scared. Everything in that moment pointed to an aneurysm, based on all of my medical experience. I tried my best to fight through the pain, but the pain was nothing compared to the fear. I thought, “I don’t want to leave my family this way.” I forced myself to think on every word God had given me while at the same time trying to stay conscious. I was in a fight of the mind. I couldn’t let my thoughts win. I kept praying and believing in faith that this would not be my last breath. I was locked up. My body was covered in sweat, I couldn’t see. Everything pointed to the end, but I wouldn’t let go of the word God had given me. After what seemed to be a really long time, I realized I could move. The fear was gone; replaced by my faith. In retrospect, I think I must have had my neck pop out of place somehow. It’s still a little stiff, but God has given me victory over it.

We need to have victory in our situations, before we can have victory over our situations.

What we think and what we say will absolutely affect our victory in and over the things that come against us. We must not conform to the world’s behaviors and customs. The Word says that we do not wrestle with flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

How many of us would say that we struggle with fear? I know that I do from time to time. Here are two ways we can combat fear when it tries to consume our thoughts.

1. Our testimony – God’s Word tells us that we overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. Remembering what God has done for you in the past will give you faith for your moment. I always think of it like this. If God didn’t spare his only son for me while I was a sinner, then what wouldn’t He give me as a child of His.

2. The Word of God – the Word of God is a powerful two-edged sword. It will cut through anything that tries to come and rob you of victory. God’s Word tells us to fear not, for it is His good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

You see, the opposite of fear is faith. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Faith believes that God is in control and He will work all things for the good of those who are called according to His purpose. You will never be able to lead what you are afraid to lose. What are you afraid to lose?

Jairus could have been afraid of losing the respect of his family and friends by bringing Jesus to the house after his daughter had died. How would the story have played out if Jairus would have conformed to his world and began mocking Jesus when He said she was only sleeping?

What is Jesus telling you about your situation? What is everyone else saying? Whose report will you believe about your health, your finances, your marriage, your children, and your job? What is God telling you about those areas? If you listen to the wrong voice, you will make the wrong choice.

Jesus was in the middle of healing the woman with the issue of blood, when Jairus gets the news of his daughters’ death. The messenger furthers the pain by telling Jairus not to bother Jesus anymore, as if to say Jesus can’t fix this problem. This is where Jesus commands Jairus not to be afraid, but only to believe. What a struggle to be in. On the one hand he is confronted with the reality of his little girl’s death, but at the same time is told to believe that it is not a big deal and Jesus will fix it in a moment. It will take more than faith; it will take patience as well.

James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

In this day and age we want everything and we want it now, but that is not always how God works. In fact God is, often times, waiting on us to change our hearts. I’ve heard it said this way. God is seldom early, but He is never late.

If we are going to not be conformed to this world, we are going to have to

1. Stop listening to the world

2. Believe what God has spoken

3. Have patience

You know my neck doesn’t hurt anymore. In fact it hasn’t given me any trouble since God healed me. I don’t need to listen to what the world is saying I need to listen to what Jesus is saying and then wait on Him. Stop, believe, and have patience. Let us pray.