Yesterday church was awesome for several reasons. The first was that we as a family were all there. If you do not have small kids then that may not be such a big thing for you but if you have had them or currently have them then you know exactly what it means to get 3 kids ready for church on Sunday mornings (the 2 little kids plus the one big kid, aka daddy). We all made it and we made it on time (I usually have to go by myself via public transit so that I can get there on time and then wait and see if the rest of my family makes it or not). Secondly, pastor Vasile was there, For those of you who know him, he is, as we shall say, a world traveler. He is the modern version of the Apostle Paul so when he is home and at church to preach it is a real treat for us. His message was from the Gospel of Mark (we are working on our second year of systematically preaching through Mark’s Gospel) about how Jesus healed the bling man. We saw 7 principles of the healing that Jesus can bring, in other words, 7 actions that we must take. Then we looked at spiritual blindness, a disease much worse than physical blindness although much more common. I would like to share some truths from the sermon.
- Do not despair because there is nothing that God (Jesus) cannot do/fix. Many times in the midsts of problems we become depressed thinking that God can do many things but our situation is unique and we have overstepped God’s power in our case. The blind man in Mark did not despair, when he heard that Jesus was coming he cried out to Him for help.
- Believe in Jesus. Know Him personally and accept what He has to say as the absolute Truth. The blind man had probably heard many things about Jesus, both positive and negative. He chose to believe the positive and trust Jesus and His power.
- Do not miss the moment (opportunity). Jesus is always ready to help and intervene in our lives but there are certain moments when He “passes” by us so to speak and we must seize the moment and take advantage of the opportunity. There are certain times when we are more sensible to God and His calling and those are the times when we must respond to Him. The blind man had one of these moments. He could have continues begging and been satisfied with his few pieces of money but instead he recognized his moment, his opportunity and he cried out to Jesus for help.
- Take initiative. The blind man did not hope that Jesus would stop and have mercy upon him instead he took initiative and cried out to Jesus for mercy. He was bold in searching for Christ. We must be the same way. We must not sit back and wait for Him to come to us. We must take action. Actively seek His presence and His help. If we show this initiative then Christ will respond.
- Do not get discouraged by others. As you see from the case of the blind man, the people around him tried to discourage him from crying out to Jesus for mercy. There will always be “firefighters” among the crowd who at the moment of the slightest flame of passion douse you down with buckets of cold water to stomp out your courage. Do not be discouraged by them. Cry out to Jesus. Do what it takes to get His attention and do not worry about the professional “firefighters” in the crowd.
- Follow after Jesus. The blind man did not receiving the gift of sight and then on his way doing his own thing (although that would have been a temptation for him because he would want to see everything he has never seen before). He chose to follow after the One who gave him the gift of sight. How do you respond when Jesus meets your needs? Do you greedily take His gift and get back to your life and your activities or do you thank Him by choosing to follow Him, devoting yourself to His activities?
- Praise the Lord for all to see. The blind man not only began to follow Jesus but He also praised Jesus openly, giving Him credit for the miracle that was performed. When God intervenes in your life how do you respond? Do you immediately give Him the glory or do you just assume you must have done something right or that luck was just on your side? I remember one time when I was driving with my wife and our ministry team back from the Southern part of Moldova and there was a slow car in front of me. I pulled out to pass and out of no where there was another car in the other lane. I stayed in the middle and we all passed each other barely missing our side mirrors. It was a miracle because we did not have time to react. Instead of immediately giving glory to God my first thought was “man I must be one heck of a good driver!” Immediately the Spirit reminded me of who I really am and that God had intervened and saved us. At that moment I bowed my head and expressed the truth, God had saved us. Again I want to ask, when God intervenes in your life how do you respond?
The second half of the sermon was just as good or even better than the first. I hope that you will tune in tomorrow for those 7 precious truths. God bless.