Mark 9:1-12

Mark 9:1-12

Mark 9:7Vintage message from December 10, 2000.

Jesus’s number one task was not to heal people, but to bring people back into love relationship with God the Father, because men had been separated for many years because of their arrogance, their pride, and their disobedience… [Jesus] comes to the heart of the matter. It’s no longer about the “touchy-feely, feel good, get healed, and go off and have a good time” anymore. It’s no longer about just coming to church and getting out of church what it is that you want to get out of it, but there is a price that you have to consider paying, and that is submitting your life to the system that God has created within this world for us to submit to… And you can hear Jesus say, “If you will follow Me, deny yourself. Take up your cross…” And by not submitting, by allowing your fear to drive you to a place of separation and argument with those who are opposed to you on this earth, you are denying the very words of Jesus when He tells His disciples and He tells the crowd and He tells us today that it is not about our comfort, it is not about our safety, it is not about our life; it is about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it is about the denying of our flesh and our rights and our freedom, even if it means our death. We need to be about His work. We need to be about His business. We need to be sharing His love. The gospel of Jesus Christ is that He came for us, to bring us back into love relationship with the Father, because the Father created us for that purpose. He didn’t create us for the purpose of being His slaves. He didn’t create us for the purpose of walking on us and using us and abusing us, and I know there are many people who believe that… God created us to love us, be in love relationship with us, and to walk in a love relationship through all eternity with us… Jesus lays it out clearly. It is not about your comfort. It is not about your rights. It is not about your freedom. He has asked us to do one thing: deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. It’s not comfortable, and it’s not fun, but it is very, very exciting. It’s a great adventure! When you say, “Yes, Lord, come into my life,” that you are stepping into an adventure that will lead you into eternity, and the experiences are overwhelming, and sometimes they are fun, and sometimes they are exciting, but oftentimes they are hard, they are difficult, and they are fraught with disagreements with the people around you…

So it comes to the point, what are we about? What do we desire? What are we looking for? Are we concerned about the eternal condition of our soul? Or are we concerned more about the comfort of our flesh? Filling up our homes, filling up our closets, and filling up our bellies. We can gain the whole world, but what good does it do us?… Why are you following Jesus today? Why do you go to church? Why do you pray? What are the things that you’re praying for? Do they fall in line with the things that Jesus is doing and the things that Jesus desires? Or are we concerned only for what we can get out of Him [and] what comforts we can gain in this life?…

Jesus came to give us life and to give it more abundantly, but the abundance of life does not come with the things that we accumulate. The abundance of life comes with the knowledge that we grow in each and every day in Who He is and what He does for us to bring us to a place of loving a world that we don’t particularly want to love, because He loved it, and He gave His life for it.

Pastor Dave Elkins

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Mark 8:22-38