Mark 4:21-34

Mark 4:21-34

Mark 4:24Vintage message from September 24, 2000.

Jesus came to reveal to us who we are, what we are. He came to a lost, decaying, dying planet, to men and women who were lost, completely and totally, in selfish ambition, self desire. They knew nothing but self; wrapped so totally up in their own sin that they failed to see that what they were doing was separating themselves from the God Who loved them. And He came as the Light to reveal in us the issues of sin that keep us separated from God… The only way we will ever enter back into that relationship is when we begin to see inside; when what we are is brought into the open, when we are revealed for who and what we are and can accept that, confess that, then we allow the healing and the growth process to begin… As Christians, we spend a lot of time hiding: hiding the issues of our heart, hiding those things that we’re still struggling with, hiding the issues of sin that keep us separated from God and each other, even though God has gone to great lengths to bring us back into relationship with Him…

I find that I actually only hear those things that I truly want to hear, and I block out the rest. I ignore the rest. I sometimes, even, will run from the rest because I don’t want to hear it! I, just like everybody else, do not like being revealed for who I really am… I sometimes do these things that I know are against God’s Word, and every time I open God’s Word, or every time I find myself in fellowship where we’re discussing and growing in God’s Word, it begins to reveal who I am, and it becomes very uncomfortable. I don’t like it…

Follow the example of God’s Word! And if I happen to be sharing God’s Word, and it touches your heart, follow that. But when you see me, and if you see me stumbling or falling, say, “Dave, I see you stumbling or falling.” God’s Word has revealed that. Thank God! We can be honest with one another. That’s the other thing about God’s Word. It brings us to the place of not having to hide and lie about ourselves any more. We can be honest… [But] we don’t have to be rude and hurtful just because we’re honest… When we’re reading God’s Word and studying God’s Word, understand, that there are some times you may be doing something — living in a way that God’s Word says is wrong. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to hate you. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop fellowshipping with you. It just means that God is revealing to you who you are, and I’m not going to say, “Oh, it doesn’t really say that because, you know, I don’t want your feelings to be hurt.” I’ll let God hurt your feelings, I’ll let God step on your toes, but it doesn’t mean I have to be rude and hurt your feelings and step on your toes. I can simply say, “You know what? God’s Word says this, and if you’re living in this sin, if you have this lifestyle, if you dwell in these thoughts, God knows it, and God wants it dealt with.” And if you don’t confess it, understand, God’s Word will reveal it because that’s what God’s Word is meant for: to expose us… And that can be uncomfortable…

God wants to reveal in us the issues of sin that we have, and this is where we have to consider very carefully what we hear. With the measure that we use, it will be measured to us… If someone comes to me and says, “You know what, Dave? I’m struggling with sin.” If I, then, turn and judge them, if I turn and put them down, if I fail to bring the love and the forgiveness that Jesus has brought to me, understand, then it will be measured back to us. We have to be very careful because Jesus was loving and forgiving, because Jesus was gentle, because Jesus wanted to bring us in to relationship with His Father, then we, too, need to be about bringing people into the relationship with the Father… And as His Word is planted and His Light is shone, then our sin issues will be revealed, and then we can’t turn and judge one another for that because, in fact, the issue of sin has been dealt with on the cross. Jesus came for the express purpose of dying to take away sin once and for all. It is no longer about the issues of sin that we live in. It is about relationship with Father through Jesus Christ…

Don’t allow the measure given to you to be the unforgiveness that you give to others. It will be measured back to you with the measure that you measure it out… Do you realize, the more you grow, the more you love, the more you forgive, the easier it is to love and forgive, the easier it is to receive people in and help them as their issues of sin are exposed. As the Word takes root in their life, as they begin to grow, we can help them through the nurturing and growing process by loving and forgiving and helping them… Why do we find it so difficult to forgive one another? Why do we try to rub people’s noses in their lives that they’ve struggled with when we ourselves have struggled with life? We’re all in the flesh, though we may be indwelt by the Spirit… We are meant, from our very inception as children of God, to begin to understand these concepts. “I’m forgiven? I’m forgiven! Wow, I can forgive you, too. I can love you because I’ve been loved. I’ve been blessed, so I can be a blessing to you.”

Pastor Dave Elkins

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Mark 4:1-20