Sunday, June 17, 2012

Thoughts on our battling Warrior

Wow. I don't know about you guys, but I thought today's sermon at CrossWay was AMAZING. Maybe that's just because it was something I so needed to hear. God is good at that—giving us just what we needed to hear. I guess that's one of the things He meant when He told us His Word is "living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword..." (Hebrews 4:12).

The sermon was called "Jesus, Our Great Warrior, Goes to Battle." Go ahead, take a listen if you haven't. And hold on to your seats—it's better than a good movie (as Eric put it).

The passage: Mark 4:35-5:43.

In this passage, Jesus does four miracles—fights four battles—that show His complete, ultimate authority over everything—even circumstances men have zero power over. Four of man's biggest fears—natural disasters, demonic activity, incurable sickness, and death—are completely defeated with a word from Jesus! And all in a day's work!

Battle #1: After preaching in a boat most of the day, Jesus tells his disciples it's time to cross to the other side of the sea. On the way, there's a huge storm that's sinking the boat. The situation seems hopeless. Jesus is fast asleep. So they wake Him up, saying "Dude! Don't you care that we're about to die?!" And with Jesus' words, "Peace! Be still!" everything is completely calm. And the disciples are terrified by the utter power of this Man.

Battle #2: On the other side, Jesus is met by and rescues a demon-possessed man (which, by the way, is the only thing he does before crossing back over to the other side, meaning this is all he come over there for, meaning that pretty much explains why Satan would send a storm to try stopping Him. And even in the face of that resistance, what did Jesus do? He took a nap. And then He still won the battle—with a word. Take that, Satan). So, anyway, He meets this man, the demons beg Him for mercy, and with the words, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" it was done. The man was in his right mind. And, of course, "everyone marveled."

Battle #3: With the words "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your disease," Jesus heals a woman who no doctor had been able to heal for twelve years.

Battle #4: Then he follows Jairus to his home, where Jairus' daughter lie dead. And with the gentle words "Sweetie, time to get up," DEATH IS DEFEATED! And, of course, the onlookers "were immediately overcome with amazement."

What's the point of all this? What does this have to do with us?

These stories reminded me of Who my God is. He has complete and utter authority over everything, and He is completely worthy of my trust. This is not to say that He will cure us of every disease or protect us from every disaster that may strike. But these stories do make clear that God cares. Our circumstances absolutely do not determine whether God cares. Who God is determines that, of course He cares! With this kind of God on our side, what could we possibly have to fear?!

What a sweet Truth for me in this season of change and so many unknowns about the future!

How can this reminder of who God is help your thinking? How can you apply this to your life, now?

Let's sing with Isaac Watts:

My dear almighty Lord, my Conqueror and my King, 
thy scepter and thy sword, thy reign of grace, I sing; 
thine is the power: behold I sit in willing bonds before thy feet.
Now let my soul arise, and tread the tempter down; 
my Captain leads me forth to conquest and a crown. 
a feeble saint shall win the day, though death and hell obstruct the way.
Should all the hosts of death, and powers of hell unknown, 
put their most dreadful forms of rage and mischief on, 
I shall be safe, for Christ displays superior power, and guardian grace.

From "My Captain & Conquerer," an old hymn by Isaac Watts

Random, unrelated shot: Eric got creative with the wrappers at the diner today.

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