Only Believe 4 (message notes)

Mark 5:35-36 msg

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?” As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 

Big Thought:  Its amazing how practical faith really is.  Its practical for one simple reason.  Jesus is personal.  Its a powerful thought and reality that the Createor of all things, The only one true God so incredbily big in all of who He is, but somehow He is mindful of us.  He cares about us, loves us, is interested in us and is personally involved in our lives.  He set up the way for us to have a relationship with him.  So we no longer depend on a ritualistic religious way of serving God, but now we are chosen, adopted, and accepted into the family of God, and He wants to be personally involved in our every day lives.

Gods attitude towards us: We are not a burden on Him.  He is not put out with us.  He is not tired of us or resentful towards us.  He loves us, and wants the best for us.  He cares so much that he loves us just as we are, and He loves us to much to leave us like we are.

QUESTION:  What is going on in your life right now thats to big for God?  

THOUGHT:  Don’t make the mistake that because God is Spirit that all his solutions and answers for our lives are alone spiritual.  Yes Heaven is real, actually more real than our very existance.  However, to think that the things that are spiritual do not bridge to the practical, physical aspects of our lives is a terrible misconception.  When we set our faith in the invisible, the unseen, God of all things, then the results of that faith manifest in the physical.

God has the ability to change things.  
>He has the power to take us out of situations, 
>He has the ability to help us walk through circumstances, 
>He has the ability the change the circumstances, 
there is no doubt that our belief in God and his ability to effect change in our lives, does more than make us feel good spiritually or give us peace.  
It absolutely impacts the circumstances of our lives.

Deliverence through – 3 Hebrew boys

Deliverence from – Peter from Jail

>All things are possible with God, including all the practical issues our our lives.

Philippians 4:19 NKJV

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus

Isaiah 53:3-5 (Amp)

Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.

THOUGHT:  If we Apply the instruction that Jesus gave Jairus, to ONLY BELIEVE, then we set ourselves up for this all powerful, all knowing, all present, God, to act on our behalf.

Its called appropriation.  Our faith appropriates Gods power.  His power manifests in our life, when we set our faith on him.  

HOW? 

the answer to Gods spirit intervening in our physical is to Know Him more, understand Him more and Believe who He is and what He can do, and He will Deliver you out of your problems, or walk you through your problems, or Protect you from your problems, but whatever way He chooses to do it, His Super will touch your natural, and things will change.

The best way to have God personally involved in your life, is to have an ongoing, intimate close relationship with Him.  Know him and his salvation, and grow and develop in relationship with him. The greater the revelation you receive of Christ the stronger the faith and perserverence to believe,  and the greater the manifestation and appropriation will be at work in your life.

Dwell in Christ:  All the promises of God are yes and amen IN CHRIST.  HE IS THE SECRET PLACE.  Our journey towards God being active practically in our lives, starts with having a relationship with Jesus.  Do you know him?

II Corinthians 1:20 NKJV

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 

Psalms 91:1-6 NKJV

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. 

QUESTION:  where are you living?

Only Believe 3

Mark 5:35-36 msg

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?” As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 

Intro:  Jesus instructions here imply that faith is the antidote for fear, cynicism and doubt. We treat faith as if it is the result of not having those things. The reality is, however, that faith is what chases those things out of our mind.

Jesus statement to Jairus seems to say think faith, then Jesus models for him how faith works.

1. First think faith (chase the negatives out)

2. Speak faith (the girl is sleeping)

3. Act in faith (little girl rise).

These 3 components are still at work in the function of faith today and are very practical and easily applicable to our lives and daily circumstances. 

Hebrews 11:7 MSG

By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God. 

3 components to the effective, practical function of faith in our lives

1.  Think faith

This is where the battle is. The war of faith is waged and won or lost in the mind. 

Turn off the influencers and informers of doubt. 

Well meaning doubt dealers

Those married to mediocrity 

The status quo police

The defenders against danger

The incredible insecure. The ferociously fearful

Turn on the flood gates of faith

Put on the mind of Christ 

Renew your mind to the word of God

Know who you are and who’s you are

Meditate on Gods truth

Consciously chase negative, doubt filled, fearful thoughts out of your mind.
 
Romans 12:1-2
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. 

Psalms 1
Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper. 

Joshua 1:8
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” 

Phil 4:8
For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. 

2.  Speak faith 

Faith is meant to be declared, stated, spoken. 

There is the component of your mind and heart but also your mouth. 

Speaking faith is a powerful tool, saying what you believe builds faith and has power. 

Genesis 1:3-5 MSG
God spoke: “Light!” And light appeared. God saw that light was good and separated light from dark. God named the light Day, he named the dark Night. It was evening, it was morning— Day One. 

Mark 11:23,24
For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. 

Proverbs 18:20, 21 MSG
Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach; good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest. Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose. 
      
 3.  Act in faith (obedience)

Single greatest activator of faith is obedience.
Act on what you believe, what you know to be true. 

Its excellent to think faith, wonderful to speak it, but obedient action takes faith to another level

James 1:23-25 NKJV
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. 

Only Believe 2

Mark 5:35, 36 NKJV

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?” As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 

Foundation: Jesus is inspiring us here not to fear, not to doubt, not to be distracted by anyone or anything but rather to keep our gaze singularly focused on Him, the only real solution to whatever is a problem in our lives.  By Saying ONLY BELIEVE He is saying, in the moment when you come to me desperate for my intervention on your behalf, in your life, your daily life, don’t let anything pull you off course.

Big IDEA:  Do we really want our Answer?

John 5:5-8 AMP

There was a certain man there who had suffered with a deep-seated and lingering disorder for thirty-eight years. When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, Do you want to become well? [Are you really in earnest about getting well?] The invalid answered, Sir, I have nobody when the water is moving to put me into the pool; but while I am trying to come [into it] myself, somebody else steps down ahead of me. Jesus said to him, Get up! Pick up your bed (sleeping pad) and walk! 

BIG Questions:

1.  What are we believing in?

Faith in faith– as long as you believe in something 

Faith in yourself – I believe I can fly

Faith in fortune – money money money

Faith in the false – man made religions, man made men, believing in the pretend more than the real. 

2.  Do we really want our Solution?

Has our problem, issue, situation, victimization, or even our sickness become who we are instead of what is happening to us?

Are their things that are gained by retaining this identity that we are not ready or willing to give up?  

Attention, our role in the group

Self centeredness – a need to keep the attention on self
Have we lost ourselves in our issue and wouldn’t know who we are without it?

Have we spent so much time being identified by or with this issue that we have lost our true identity and now fear that we would not be known at all.  We feel it would be better to be known for this than not known.

3.  Are we looking to others or to God to give us our Answers?

Do we realize that when we get offended at others its always because we have taken our focus off of our only real answer, GOD, and have placed our attention on Imperfect people?

Have we made it others peoples responsability to take care of our problems?

Are we looking for people to give us an emotional peace while we suffer instead of turning to God for true peace and deliverence from our suffering?

Have we put people in such a place in our lives that there is no way they could ever live up to, or be the solution that we are needing and wanting them to be?

4.  What underlying heart issue could be keeping us from our Answer.

Are there issues piling on issues because of resentment, and disappointment?

How do we see ourselves?  

As a victor that is facing a difficulty, or a victim who would be a victor of it wasn’t for our circumstances?

Do we blame God or are we looking to God as our solution? 

THE QUESTION:

The question that Jesus ask the lame man, was more than a mere question based on a momentary observation, but a question based on Jesus ability to know the heart.  

Through this one question he brought to light every wrong heart motive, every wrong belief, every need in this man.  Not just the need that was apperent but all the issues of his very life.  Not for the purpose of exposure or judgement but for the purpose of healing.  

The gate the man was laying at was called bathesda which means the house of grace, mercy and peace.

Sometimes our solution is less etherial and more practical, and it is always available to us, if we are willing to practcially apply the principles of faith to every area of our lives.

Rarely are the issues in our life a single, one off problem.  Most of the time there are layers and layers of compound issues over time, emotion, life history and experiences.  

BIG SOLUTIONS:

Practical application of faith.

1.  Put our total focus on Jesus.

Peter walking on the water

2.  Decide our issue wont become  our identity.

Seperate our identity from our issue, by remembering our purpose, and the will of God for our lives.  

Romans 8:28  All things work together for good to them who are the called of God and live according to His purpose.

3.  Be honest with ourselves and with God.

It is so easy to do this.  Our world is so prentetious that we find ourselves not truly being honest about our situation.  
To see God as our true solution, we have to admit we need one, and that being honest is always better than attempting to appear perfect.  
It is futile to be dishonest with God.

4.  Realize that we do have someone.

While we can not make people our source or solution, we must realize we do have Spiritual family around us that whether we realize it or not are helping us.

When we keep God in focus we see more clearly His family at work in our lives.  

If we make people our source they will always let us down.  That is our problem not there’s.

5.  Rejoice in the blessings of others.

Make sure to pray for others, and celebrate the victories of others.  This postures our hearts to receive our own needs met, and problems solved.
 
If we look in Jealousy at the victories of others our victories will be few, and far between.

6.  Keep it simple.  

Faith is simple, and singular.  What doesn’t work is double mindedness or spiritual ambiguity.

At the end of this inquery Jesus said Get up and take your bed, and the man did.

Sometimes we want our solutions to be as complicated as our problems.

They rarely are, the problem is we just can’t see them from the fog of the circumstance, and also because we are expecting some complicated formula when God doesn’t need all that fan fare.

THE BIG POINT:  God wants us to be free, totally free, not partially free, of the issues, problems and daily challenges we face.  All we have to do is truly want our freedom and ONLY BElIEVE in HIM!

Only Believe 1

Mark 5:22-24, 35, 36 NKJV

And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet 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.” So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him… 

…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?” As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 

When it looks like your not going to make it when life’s storms are swelling over the top of you when obstacles to your God given dream stand in your way and seem immovable when you receive a bad report. When your family is falling apart when your income is smaller than your outgo when your loved ones, and friends don’t have a relationship with Jesus and desperately need one. When you are emotionally overwhelmed by the major cultural shifts in our nation
DO NOT FEAR – ONLY BELIEVE!

Practical applications of faith

1. Faith is most effectively used in humility.

Humility is an aknowlegement that Jesus is greater than we are in every way

Humility is an aknowlegement that we need help, we need God

2. Faith is an expectation that the desired outcome will happen.

Hebrews 11:1 faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen. 

Hebrews 11:6 without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must belive that he is and that he rewards those who diligently seek Him. 

3. Faith seeks God out for help. 

Faith doesn’t wait for some miracle to find them. Faith without works (corresponding action) is dead. 

The ruler and the woman alike, believed in Jesus, but they sought him out,  they did not wait for him to somehow find them. 

4. Faith has to shut the haters out and let the believers in

Doubters, cynics, naysayers, haters, critics need to go.

Believers, prayers, people who care need to be embraced.  

5. Only believe.
 
This implies do nothing but stand in faith. 

No fear, no quitting, No giving up, No distraction 

Final is never final with God. Fatal isn’t final, failure isn’t final

Faith is a spirit thing not an emotion thing. 

>Our faith first engages when we decide to become followers of Christ, but then should be active in our every day lives. 

>What are you believing for God to do in your life?

Born for Faith

John 18:37 NKJV

Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 

I Corinthians 13:13 NKJV

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 

The birth of Christ was the single most intentional and purposeful act by God sense the creation of the world. Jesus was absolutely born for a cause. And he has been very clear about what that cause was, but just as God himself is multifaceted so to was His purpose in sending Christ. His ultimate purpose was and is the salvation of mankind, and yes mankind does need to be saved. However there are many facets to this idea of salvation. A part of the cause for Jesus birth is definitely to establish faith in God. Not faith in an idea, philosophy or religion but a consistant confidence and trust in God. 

Misconceptions about faith:

Cosmic clause:  God is not our Santa Clause blessing us based on some naughty or nice list or handing out wants and desires like some kind of genie in a bottle

Faith in self:  Its not enough nor can you be saved to believe in yourself. Its great to have self confidence but beyond that we are bound by human limitation.

Faith in philosophy or man made religion:  we can look around us and see how that’s going

Faith in faith:  its not enough to just believe. What you believe in is far more important than just believing. The power is not in believing, the power is in whom you believe.

Hebrews 11:1 AMP

NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. 

Hebrews 11:6 AMP

But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out]. 

>>>Jesus came to restore faith in God, to trust in, rely on, and adhere to God.<<< 

Its not the Drowning but the Fear of it.

I’ve always loved the Biblical account of Peter walking on the water with Jesus. It is an incredible miracle, and unbelievable opportunity and a massive step of faith for Peter. Not only that but we have gleaned such great leadership teaching and phrases from it. Like…

“If you want to walk on the water, you have to get out of the boat.”

or

“Faith is all about focus, when Peter took his eyes off of his source and onto his circumstances he began to sink.”

or

“Its safer standing on the water in a storm in faith, than it is being in the boat in fear”

All of these statements have such truth in them. They teach us that faith is not about feelings its about focus. Another lesson is that true faith adventure in life is about taking a calculated risk. One of the most significant lessons we can take from this, is the will of God is the safest place to be, period.

My thought today about this account is simple, and a truth that I have embraced as I have matured (nice way of saying, getting older).

The real fight, the real battle with the devil, is not the big things. Its not the massive storms, its not the life challenging, attacks. Those are diversions from what is really going on.

The waves didn’t make Peter sink. The wind didn’t make Peter sink. The water didn’t make Peter sink. The fact the Peter wasn’t supposed to be able to walk on the water didn’t make him sink.

The culprit in this account, the enemy that caused the fall. The activity that brought his dissension was simple. It was his own mind, and the fear erupting in it.

In our lives especially when it seems like everything around us is about to sink us, don’t become preoccupied focusing on those things, realize in that moment, the enemy is coming after your mind. He will say things like, this is impossible. Why would Jesus call you out here? Have you noticed the confusion all around you? What business do you have thinking you can do something like this?

The enemy is sly. He is tricky. If something is big and in your face from him, realize, that is not his ultimate goal. The ultimate goal, is the simple little thoughts that always seem to come in the form of a question. Not merely a question but a doubt phrased like a question. I can hear it now when the snake tempted Eve, “Did God say?…” satan knew full well that Jesus was the Son of God, yet, in tempting Jesus he said, “if you are the son of God” questioning his identity.

When your kid is sick or there is a lingering problem, that you can’t seem to get resolved, does the thought not cross your mind, “where is God?” Why isn’t he doing something?” I submit to you, that is where the battle is. Not in the circumstance, not in the boisterous problem. Not the wind or the waves, not in the drowning, but in the fear of it.

Meet the devil on his turf, don’t let him fool you. Don’t let it become about the the circumstance. Surprise him by meeting him at the point of his deceit and challenge those doubt filled thoughts that he is using on your mind, and subject them to the will of God. RESIST him and he will flee. The exciting part is, the moment you do, circumstances change.

One last example. Ive heard people say, I don’t want to do to much for God, I don’t want the devil to attack me. What you don’t realize is, he already has. His attack was sneaky, but powerful. He has intimidated you with the thought that something bad will happen if you do something good. So he wins. There you sit, doing nothing, because your afraid. HE WON! Don’t let him win, take his lies and deceit head on and demolish them with the truth!

When you realize what his game is, then you can beat him at it.

Just a thought.

47 dollars and Change

20121127-195202.jpg

Early Sunday morning some of our men who have an early morning prayer meeting walked up to the entrance of the church, and on the steps in front of the door they saw a coffee can. So they picked it up and opened it to see what it was.

Inside the can there was 47 dollars and some change. The total actually ended up being over 80 dollars. The money wasn’t the good part. The amount of money really didn’t matter. What was important was a note that was left in the can with the money.

It said, “This is all I have, please give it to someone in need in the name of Jesus. Pray for me.”

We were all inspired, emotional, and awe struck at the desperation, and faith of this anonymous giver. We don’t know who it was. We don’t know their need, We have no way of finding out. What we do know is that we are praying for them, and that we are going to find a need and meet it in the name of Jesus with that gift.

What we do know is that God is going to take care of this person, this “giver in secret” this faith filled person. We know they have God’s attention. It reminds me of the centurion that Peter was sent to to preach the Gospel. He got Gods attention by his giving to the poor and his continual prayer.

We prayed as a church on Sunday for this person, and we continue to pray and believe for their total blessing. A blessing they can not contain.

An “all I have gift” is a big deal. A game changer. It inspired me. I won’t hold back, I will not be reserved. I won’t ever give up, or stop fighting for those who need love, who need help, who need the Gospel in every strata of life. I’ve taken the plunge, i’m all in.

I hope at the end of my life, people can say I gave all I had to bless others in the name of Jesus.

So when you pray next, remember this silent giver, and be inspired by the power of 47 dollars and change!