Walking Through The Mud

I’m currently reading through a book by Francis Schaeffer, titled, No Small People. It is a collection of 16 sermons Schaeffer gave. Chapter 5 is titled, “Walking Through The Mud.”

His point is that the spirit of the world is in rebellion to God’s rule and righteousness. It actively seeks to resist God’s will. And this spirit is everywhere. It’s in our schools, home, entertainment, politics, and even our own thought life. And because of indwelling sin we are born abiding by this worldly spirit. This spirit urges us to satisfy our every lust and desire. It says your pleasure is paramount. Its truth is relativistic and it is in constant rebellion to God’s Word. 

Schaeffer’s point is that this is the world the Christian lives in. We walk in this mud. We trudge through the influences of this worldly spirit every day. But as Christians we must not let this mud get on us. Jesus said in Matthew 5, that we are to be salt and light in this world. And Paul said in Romans 12, that we are “not to be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” 

Because of our faith in Jesus Christ, God has made us alive. He has breathed eternal life into our spiritually dead corpses. And became God’s Spirit now dwells in us we no longer believe in the relativistic lies of the spirit of this world. 

We believe in absolutes. We believe there is one true God. And this God is trinity. He is worthy of all glory and honor and praise. He promises that all who believe in Him will be justified and ever lasting life. And He calls us to live in a certain way. 

For example, Jesus said the greatest commandment is to Love the Lord your God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. This is not a relativistic truth. This is not a truth that is good for some and wrong for others. Jesus then goes on and says we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. God has saved us by His grace so we would live lives of love. And God has not left it up to us to decide and define what this love looks like. in 1 John 4:9 we read, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.

Paul furthers helps us to understand this life of love by contrasting the fruit of the Spirit with the works of the flesh in Galatians 5. Heres the point, we as Christians are called to love in a particular way. And it is only when we live this way that God will be honored and we will show the world the beauty of Jesus Christ. 

If we are to live like the world then we need not be surprised when the world doesn’t want God. After all, if we live like the world, then obviously we do not really want God either. If unbelievers are going to come to faith, then they must hear and see the absolutes of scripture proclaimed and lived out in our daily lives. What the world needs is for Christians to live out the truths of God’s Word. For when the gospel is proclaimed and lived out, the world will see the foolishness and futility of the spirit of this world. But only the absolute truths of the gospel can awaken them.

This is why Schaeffer said we must walk in the mud of this world but be not stained by it. Schaeffer then goes on and says, one of the ways the spirit of the word blinds people to the truths of the gospel is by making them afraid to be alone. He said people will use drugs, alcohol, and loudspeakers so they will not have to think and ponder the reality of their existence. 

Now think about that last statement. Is Schaeffer right? Today so people wear some form of ear pods all day long. Their faces are constantly glued to their phone. And what are they looking at? Is it not some form of social media? What if one of the reasons so many people today are constantly listening to music and looking at social media posts is because they are in bondage to their fears? What if one of the main motivations of all this noise is so that we would be distracted from our biggest problem, sin.

If this is true, then to be a christian, and live as salt and light in this world means we must not have our faces buried in our phones and our ears plugged with music. We cannot live like the world and be covered in mud. We must come along side other people proclaiming the absolute truths of the gospel that they would be awakened from their spiritual slumber. We need to display the joy and delight we have in following God in the way we work and play every day. If we are going to make disciples and accomplish the mission God has given us, then we must not be stained by the mud of this world. We must think deeply about the truths of the gospel and pray they permeate every part of our lives. 

Not Alone

Genesis 37-50 recounts the story of Joseph. Joseph is the youngest of 11 brothers and he is despised by them because of his dreams and his fathers favoritism. When opportunity came, the brothers sold Joseph into slavery and told their father he had been killed by a wild animal.

Joseph is now in Egypt. He is slave to Potiphar, the captain of the guard. But Joseph is not alone, God blesses him and soon he is placed in charge of all his masters house. Unfortunately, things do not continue to go well. Due to the lies of Potiphar’s wife, Joseph ends up in jail. Again he has lost everything. But soon we find out that even in jail God blesses him. In Genesis 39:21 we read, “but the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” Once again Joseph has gained authority and is in charge of all the other prisoners.

In chapter 41, we see that the prison is not to be Joseph’s final destination. When Pharaoh had a dream that no one is able to interpret, it becomes known that Joseph is able to interpret dreams. Quickly he is brought before Pharaoh where he will interpret his dreams. Pharaoh is so impressed by Joseph that he places him second in command of all Egypt.

Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.” (Genesis 41:39-40).

Joseph experienced terrible things. He was beaten and betrayed by his brothers. He was sold into slavery. He was falsely accused of a crime which led to being placed in prison. At a cursory glance one might wonder if God had totally forgotten about him. And yet we see that God had always been with Joseph blessing him and preserving him.

The story of Jospeh is more like a game of chess rather than random fate. With great strategy Jospeh is placed in Egypt where eventually he will become second in command of all Egypt. And it is in this position of great authority that he will save all of Egypt from a famine. But even more importantly, we see that God has placed him in this position in order to save his own family from extinction. Joseph will save the very brothers who sold him into slavery. Ultimately it is through Joseph’s position in Egypt that Israel would be preserved so that one day the savior of the whole world would be born.

Unfortunately we do not have a running commentary for our own lives that tells us how and where God is blessing us. Nor are we able to skip a few pages ahead in our story and see how things turn out. But the story of Joseph gives us some incredible truths that we continue to see all throughout the Bible and in our own lives as well.

1. God is with His people in all places at all times.

Whether Joseph is in Canaan, Egypt, or prison God is with Him controlling all the events. Never is he alone. The same is true for us. In fact, in Matthew 28:20, Jesus promised that He is with us to the very end of the age.

2. God reveals His purposes in His time.

Joseph did not know what the future held for him as he was taken to Egypt. Nor did he know that he would be saved from prison and given great authority. And he especially never thought that one day he would save his very family from the severe famine that plagued the land. In the N.T., Paul was a Pharisee who was determined to arrest and kill Christians. Never would he have known that God would turn his life upside down and he would become one of the most important and influential christians in all of history. Today, God is bringing trials and situations in our lives for the purpose of growing us in our faith so that we would be used by Him. Will we be used to save countless numbers of people? Will we one day be second in command of a great army or nation? Maybe. But just as Jospeh and Paul did not know what the future would hold, neither do we. But what we do know, is that God has a plan and He will reveal each step that we need to take, when we need to take it.

3. God blesses His people.

Surely Joseph did not feel blessed when he was being sold into Egypt kicking and screaming. And surely he did not feel blessed when he was accused of sexual immorality and thrown into prison. And surely he did not feel blessed when the baker had forgotten about Joseph for two whole years. But when we stand back, we can see God’s hand of blessing at every moment in Joseph’s life. In times of trials and sufferings God was growing him in is his faith for future purposes. And when we look at his whole life we see that God strategically positioned Jospeh in Egypt in order to save his entire family. We might not always see God’s blessing in our lives if we zoom in on a single moment. But it’s when we zoom out and see many moments that we often begin to see God’s hand of blessing guiding and providing for us. And even if our lives are plagued with hardship after hardship, we can rest in the truth that one day our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ will return. And on that day, all who have trusted in Jesus will be gathered together in a new heavens and new earth. And never again will we experience pain or hardship or trials or suffering. God will wipe away our every ear. And for all eternity we will bask in the blessing and joy of our King.

Therefore, let us remember the words of the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:16–17,

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,

The Joy of Annual Meetings

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This last Sunday, after the morning worship service, our church had its annual meeting. It is at these meetings that we vote in our next years budget and take care of other matters of business. Well this year, we had four big motions that needed to be voted upon. 

  1. The 2020 Annual Budget.
  2. The 2020 Elders.
  3. A constitutional amendment.
  4. A decision regarding our surplus giving. 

And by God’s grace each of the motions passed almost unanimously.  I am so blessed to have such amazing leaders to work alongside. With their wisdom and effort we had presented the constitutional amendment back in March of 2019. The purpose of this amendment was to move from a “Management Team” to having Deacons. We believe that biblically qualified deacons are an integral process of meeting the physical needs of the church body. By introducing this transition so many months ago it gave us plenty of time to meet with people one-on-one and answer any questions they might have. As elders, we wanted to make sure the entire congregation not only understood but also embraced this change. 

The other motions were all presented in our annual meeting packet five weeks ahead of the meeting (3 weeks earlier than required by our constitution). This gave us plenty of time talk about these motions on Sunday mornings and to meet with people individually.  

In 1 Peter 5:2 we read, “Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have, not for shameful gain, but eagerly…” This verse reminds us that the church is first and foremost God’s flock. Therefore we ought to depend upon His wisdom and seek to care for the church in a way that would honor and glorify Him. It is for this reason we as elders strive to handle these business meetings with humility and wisdom.  

The last motion regarding our surplus giving was probably the most exciting. God has greatly blessed our finances this year.  And so we voted to use some of the money in order to complete a project that had been going on for several years.  And then the rest of the money that exceeds our budget (which is more than what the project required) we are going to give away to an amazing missionary who has struggled for quite some time with finances. We are currently preaching through the book of James, and in James 2:14-16 we read, 

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?

The truly exciting fact, is that our church was completely on board with helping to meet the needs of a fellow brother. This last year our small church has given away over $25,000 to meet the needs of local and global ministries and other organizations. Our church is eager to  be generous with others because of the greater generosity we have been shown in Jesus Christ. 

2 Corinthians 8:9

9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.

I realize the reason our church has grown in its love for God and is zealous to be generous with finances has little to do with the wisdom of the elders and everything to do with God’s presence. And so my prayer for our church is what the apostle Paul prayed in Ephesians 3:14–21

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Elder Retreat 2019

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This last weekend, the elders at my church and I went on our first elders retreat. It was incredible. The purpose of our retreat was to pray for God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ to be made known and enjoyed all the more at our church and in the world. We also made preparations for 2020, and wrestled with how we as elders can better love and shepherd as Christ loves and shepherds us. The retreat also served as incredible means in which we as elder grew in our unity and love for one another. We are now planning on having annual retreats and even times that we can bring our spouses so they can participate with us in our discussions and prayers. Below, I want to share what we did during our retreat and why it was so important.

First, we spent quite a bit of in prayer.

We began by simply praising God for all of His glory. We read various scriptures that highlighted His might, faithfulness, presence, grace, love, etc… We thanked God for all the ways He has lavished His grace upon us and our church. We interceded for many of our brothers and sisters. We asked God for wisdom and guidance as we talked about the church. What made this prayer time so exciting was that we could pray as long as we wanted. We were in no hurry. We didn’t have to get through our agenda in two hours. We spent more time in prayer than I think we had ever done before.

Next we had incredible times of discussion.

We discussed the spiritual needs of our church and how that ought to affect the upcoming sermons series. We also talked about various sins and idols that the sermon will be addressing.

We wrestled with our knowledge and understanding of current social and cultural issues. We concluded that we need to grow in these areas. We also brainstormed practical ways that we could get a better grasp on social and cultural trends. In fact, one great idea that was brought up, was to go to the local (very liberal) college and sit in on various forums and discussions. We thought that would be a great way to hear and interact first hand with people who may think differently than we do.

We also spent quite a bit of time putting ourselves under the microscope. We wrestled with how we have shepherded the church God has given us. In doing so, we reviewed how we have cared, led, and protected the church. This was a great time in which we unitedly sought to become more like Jesus as He shepherds us.

Lastly, we simply enjoyed being together.

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In the evening we suspended all church talk. Instead, we spent time watching the Christian comedian, Tim Hawkins on YouTube videos. One of our elders brought his guitar and played hits from the 60’s and 70’s. We told stories, played poker (which I won), and laughed until our belly’s hurt. Our love for one another truly grew in exponential proportions because of this time.

I want to mention one last thing. Location is important. We were blessed to go to Cedar Springs Christian Retreat Center which is located just South of Canada in Sumas, Washington. This retreat center is absolutely beautiful. They have intentionally shared their grounds with the purpose of helping people to worship God, their Savior. The food was also great. If you go, be sure to ask for the apple cinnamon french toast (I had two helpings). The staff was very courteous helpful. In fact, at one point, the director approached us as we ate breakfast, thanked us for coming, and spent time praying for us.

That pretty much summarizes our first annual 2019 Elder Retreat.

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Local Versus Global Missions

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Recently, I was asked, why as a church do we not do more local missions.  I must say this question has caused many emotions to run through my head.  The context of this question arose because I and another person from our church just returned from a 16 day trip to India and Thailand.  Also, we have communicated quite a bit about others in our church who will be traveling to Lebanon and Poland this summer in order to help encourage local churches and share the gospel.  I imagine the person who asked this question feels as through all our efforts are going to the global church and very little effort is being spent local.  Below our 6 conclusions I came up with based upon this questions.

  1. We probably need to do a better job communicating ways that we are serving locally.  For example we regularly support the local crisis pregnancy center.  We also are currently gathering backpack supplies so when schools resumes in August we can provide them to families who have financial needs. We also are regularly sending volunteers to help serve at a local soup kitchen. We also encourage our table groups to regularly pray for unbelievers and to serve them and share the gospel with them.
  2. We also could probably improve on encouraging our people to discover new ways that we as a church can serve locally. 
  3. However, we must not be dependent upon the local church to provide every avenue for local ministry. Every single believer is a missionary. Therefore, wherever a believer is, the Spirit is with them so they would share the gospel. Our houses are incredible places of ministry where we can invite co-worker and neighbors into so we can share God’s love with them.  Here in America we have incredible freedom to share the gospel. The unfortunate truth is that so many people are more fearful of man than they are of God and thus they do not evangelize.  
  4. We must realize that in other parts of the world the church does not enjoy the freedoms that we have.  For example, in certain parts of India, China, Laos, and North Korea christians are regularly persecuted. They need believers to come and encourage them to stand firm in the gospel.  
  5. We are also commanded to go into all the world and proclaim the greatness of our God (Psalm 96, Psalm 67, Matt 28). If we don’t go then we would be disobedient. 
  6. We know Jesus will not return until His gospel has gone into all parts of the world (Mark 13:10). If we truly desire for Jesus to return then we must go to the nations. It is out of our love for Jesus and longing to be with Him that run to the nations proclaiming the gospel knowing that He will save all whom He has chosen. 

I find that when Christians are actively sharing the gospel locally they are excited about what God is doing globally. They even want to be more apart of missions in other parts of the world. However, often when Christians are not actively sharing locally they become skeptical of the need to be actively global in missions.

The Gospel In India

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On May 12, 2019 I went with a small team of believers to India.  The purpose of our trip was to meet and connect with local pastors in order to develop a partnership for the advancement of God’s kingdom. When preparing for this trip, one of the big questions I was asked was, “why are you going?” So, I’d like to answer that question and then also communicate what I saw and learned on this trip.

Why did we go to India?

The ultimate reason why we went to India is because our God is great and glorious.  Psalm 96 says, “Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples! For Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.” The Psalmist says we are to declare God’s glory among the nations. Our God is not a local deity who ought to be proclaimed only in one small region or country or zip code. No, our God is to be proclaimed among every nation because He is Great! Our God is worthy of all honor and praise. And it’s because He is great that He has done “marvelous works.”  And the most marvelous work God has ever done is the sending of His Son Jesus Christ so that through His death and resurrection we could be forgiven and adopted into His family. 

This is why we went to India and this is why we ought to go to every neighborhood, zip code, country, and continent.  We go to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ so that people from every tribe tongue and nation would be saved and one day gather around the throne of God praising Him for all eternity.  

What did we see?

There are many things that I could write about regarding what we saw. Regarding the culture we saw very modest and well-dressed looking people. Indians are very kind and courteous. We saw Indians eating with their hands (no silverware), which was something I was not very good at.  We also saw a different kind of driving. They drove all over the roads, lanes were suggestions. Regarding religion, we saw many Hindu temples. We also saw people bathing in the Ganges River hoping to have their sins washed away and to earn favor with the gods.  

But what stood out most was our time with the local pastors. We met with pastors in Tamil Nadu and also Andhra Pradesh.  These pastors wore huge smiles and their hearts were full of God’s love. These pastors were meek and yet very zealous for the gospel of Jesus. It was obvious they had all faced persecution and knew martyrdom was very likely in their future. The effect of persecution had not made these men hard or callous, but had made them soft and tender. They loved to read God’s Word and spend time with one another.  Fellowship with other believers was not something they took for granted but rather they cherished deeply.  They coveted our prayers and the time we had with them. I only wish we could have spent more time with them. 

What I learned?

There are so many things I learned on this trip, but I will share just two.First, the church is growing. I have read about the church growing in Southeast Asia.  But on this trip I got to see it with my very own eyes. I saw brothers and sisters passionate about God’s Word and hungry to share it with unbelievers. I saw the reality of Revelation 7 being fulfilled, that one day there will be people from all tribes and nations gathered around the throne of God. 

Second, I learned the beauty of persecution.  We read in the N.T. that persecution is a means of growing us in godliness. And that is exactly what I saw among these pastors.  Persecution had refined these men and they shined forth the love and peace of Christ in ways I’ve never seen before.  In a strange and unexpected way, being with these men, made me desire to be persecuted as they had. These men had been formed in the crucible of suffering and they were more beautiful because of it.  

I am already looking forward to returning to India. I cannot wait to once again embrace these bothers and hear new stories. I know that because of persecution I may not see some of them on this side of heaven. But I know with great confidence that we will meet again, for our King, Jesus Christ, intercedes for us and nothing is able to separate us from His love.

Daniel 9

Recently I preached through the book of Daniel. Daniel was an incredible book in which I greatly grew in my understanding of God’s power, provision, and presence. When I look back at the series, there is one sermon in which I wish I could redo (and I will someday in the future). And that is the sermon from Daniel 9:24-27. Now admittedly this is a very difficult passage which has been the occasion of much disagreement in Christian circles. The reason I look forward to preaching this passage again is because it was not as clear as I would have liked for it to have been. I became too caught up in all the details that the main point became somewhat muddied. Here is the general outline I would use next time I preach Daniel 9:24-27:

  1. The passage is about Jesus and all that He accomplished for us at the cross (v.24).
  2. Hope is not found in an earthly city, temple, or a specific plot of land. This is evident in that the Jews will return to their land and rebuild their city and temple but will not be free from suffering and trials (v.25).
  3. Jesus is the one who comes and makes a strong covenant through His death and resurrection. And by His death He will put an end to the entire sacrificial system (v.26-27).
  4. Suffering will characterize the church between Jesus’ first and second coming (v.26-27).
  5. There is a day coming in which all sin, suffering, and evil will be done away with and only those who have trusted in Jesus will experience God’s blessed rule for all eternity (v.26-27)

Living In-between The Times

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In Daniel 7:13-28 we are given a picture of the entire church age, from the time that Jesus establishes the Kingdom of God until He returns and gathers all the saints to live forever in the Kingdom.  In between these two comings of Christ, we see that that there will be tribulation for believers.

Below are three ways that we as Christians ought to respond to this period of tribulation.

Persevere

As christians we can persevere in our faith because we know the end of the story. In Daniel 7:26 we read, “But the court shall sit in judgment, and his dominion shall be taken away, to be consumed and destroyed to the end.” And then in verse 27 we read, that the kingdom will be “given to the people of the saints of the Most High.” The Beast and all it’s horns will one day be judged and destroyed. In fact, we read about this day in Revelation 19.  Jesus is seen riding a horse as he comes before the beast and all who follow Him.  And then with a sword coming from His mouth (meaning His Words), Jesus will slay the beast and all who follow him. And the beast will then be thrown into the lake of fire for all eternity.

As christians we do not persevere in hopes that God will overcome Satan. The good news of the gospel is that in Christ, Satan has already been defeated. In Colossians 2:15 we read that at the cross Jesus has defeated and triumphed over Satan.

He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. (v.15)

As Christians we can persevere in our faith because we stand firm from a position of victory.

Praise

The destiny of all who have trusted in Jesus Christ is to dwell in the indestructible, imperishable, glorious, and everlasting Kingdom of God. If you think we will simply be sitting on clouds with harp s in our hands then you are mistaken.  Our destiny is to live in eternal celebration of what God has done for us through Jesus Christ.  Throughout the New Testament Jesus is pictured as the groom who is preparing His bride (the church) for marriage.  And in Revelation 19:6-8 we see the bride praising God as she comes to the marriage supper.

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; 8 it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

When Jesus returns will be made perfectly like Him to live with him forever in the new heavens and new earth. We will forever be in a state of absolute joy. And what have we done that has earned us this right to live with God forever in everlasting joy and peace?

Nothing. Our entrance into the Kingdom is solely based upon God’s grace in sending His Son, Jesus Christ to die on a cross for our sins and then rising victorious three days later.

It is because of this glorious truth that we as believers can be full of praise right now. We can praise God that He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and eternal judgment and has brought us into the Kingdom of light with His Son Jesus Christ.

Proclaim

As christians we know the hope of the world is Jesus.  We know that whoever does not believe in Jesus Christ will spend eternity separated from God in everlasting torment.  This is why Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20 commissioned the church to go into all the world making disciples.  We have been given the gospel not so that we would be cul-de-sacs but so we would be conduits.  We are God’s chosen instruments to take the gospel into every corner and crevice of the world knowing that God will rescue some by His grace.

The Power of Jesus

lion-3007701_1920At the end of Mark 4 through chapter 5 we encounter 4 incredible miracles.  I believe the author has piled each of these miracles on top of each other so we the reader would be in awe of the character of God.  Each of these stories are incredible but when stacked on top of each other they lead us to knees in humble adoration of our King.

In Mark 4:35-41 we read about a great storm that has come upon Jesus and His disciples as they are attempting to cross the Sea of Galilee. Now some of the disciples are trained fisherman. They would have experienced many storms in their lifetime and would have known exactly how to handle them.  So the fact they are frightened to the point of fearing for their lives tells us this was no ordinary storm. But then we read in Mark 4:39 that Jesus stood up and said, “Peace! Be Still!”  And the storm was gone.

Next in Mark 5:1-20 we see that Jesus and His disciples encounter a man who is possessed by a legion of demons.  We are told in verse 4 that he has broken shackles and chains and “no one had the strength to subdue him.” Here is a crazy man that no one can control. And yet as the story progresses we see that Jesus overcomes him. Jesus casts the demon out of the man and restores his mind.

Next, in 5:21-43 we encounter 2 healing stories entangled together. First, Jesus is asked to heal a sick girl who is about to die. And while Jesus is on His way to see her, he encounters a sick woman who no one has been able to heal.  In verse 25, we are told this woman has had a discharge of blood for 12 years and she has spent all her money on doctors who have been unable to heal her. But then in verses 28-29 we see that by touching Jesus’ garment she is miraculously healed. Jesus has done what no one in the world could do, heal her.  But because Jesus has stoped to talk to this woman the little girl has now died.  But death does not discourage Jesus. He says, “do not fear, only believe.” Jesus then proceeds to the little girls house where He raises her from the dead.

In these 4 stories we see that Jesus has power over all things. He has power over nature, over demons, over sickness and diseases, and He even has power over death. There is nothing in all of creation that can resist the power of Jesus.