Mark 8:22-38

Mark 8:22-38

Mark 8:29Vintage message from December 3, 2000.

The one thing I’ve learned about God…is He does not violate our will to choose. He’ll let us make the wrong choices. He’ll let us think the stupid things. He will let us destroy our own lives. Even though He indwells us and even though He loves us, He lets us make the stupid choices. And He asks us the question, oftentimes, over and over again, “Do you still not understand?…”

Jesus deals with us based on where He knows our heart is. He comes to us in our vilest, lowest moments and says, “I love you, and I’m willing to be here with you. I’m willing to touch you, and I’m willing to heal you from whatever it is you’re involved in.” Without shame, without regret, He does what He needs to do touch our life. Then He encourages us. But you know what? He doesn’t want us to go back to the crowds that are shouting back and forth and trying to make God into their own image…

Sometimes we, in great boldness…we’ll proclaim the truth of Who God is… We have those moments. We look at Jesus, we look up to heaven, and we say, “Yes, You are in control. You are the God Who created me. You are the Savior of my soul. You are the Christ! You are the One that I can trust in…” [And other times we rebuke Him,] as if Christ does not have the authority to allow us to go through whatever it is that we go through, whatever we face each and every day, and we need to trust Him through it, but yet, like Peter, we find ourselves rebuking God because He didn’t do it our way, and He’s made us uncomfortable. We let Him know how we feel about it, even after such great proclamations we make about Who He is…

What is it that we gain from knowing Jesus Christ? What is it that we gain by coming to church? What is it that we gain by being “religious”? What part does God play in our overall plan for advancing in life? And you know, I know there are people who only use God because it is to their own advantage. But yet, Jesus is saying here, it’s not about our gain. It’s not about what we get out of it. It’s about following Him, trusting Him, even if it means dying for Him. What good is it for us to gain but yet lose our soul? And the only way you gain your soul is by denying and giving up the things of this life… Take whatever blessings God gives you, but trust Him with it, and if He should ask you to walk away from it, be ready… If our gain is not for the gospel sake, if our gain is not the souls of those around us that God has allowed for us to be involved in, what good have we done ourselves? We can gain the whole world, yet forfeit our souls.

Pastor Dave Elkins

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Mark 7:21-8:21