Mark 11:1-26

Mark 11:1-26

Mark 11:25Vintage message from January 28, 2001.

Do you realize that you and I see things from completely different perspectives than the people sitting around us? We look at people, we judge each other, we condemn each other, we talk about each other, because each one of us is different. There are some who are stronger in the Lord, and there are some who are weaker in the Lord… In Romans Paul told us that the stronger are to bear with the weakness of the weaker. We’re to bear with. We are to hold up. we are to love and encourage one another…

You know what? I am different than you guys. I see things differently, I do things differently, and even, from time to time, I have taken heat from my brothers and sisters [in the Lord] because I am different, but God’s Word, the things that He is teaching us, is the same… I believe that the reason that we have trouble understanding God’s Word and growing in God’s Word is because we expect that other believers around us should be cookie-cutter Christians and be just like us… [We think] if you’re not coming to my Bible study, if you’re not coming to my church, and if you’re not doing it the way I’m doing it, then you’re wrong, and you’re in sin, and you’re to be condemned. But we miss the point of what Jesus was teaching…

Who is Jesus to you? What does “Jesus” mean when you hear that term? And, do we have a right to not study? Do we have a right to not dig and research for ourselves to find out Who Jesus is because my neighbor down the street believes that Jesus is something different? Or he may be living as a Christian in a way that is contrary to the way I believe he should be a Christian. And you know what? As ludicrous as that sounds, these are the excuses that I hear people give [for] why the can not succeed, why they can not be the Christian — because I’m different than everybody else, so therefore I can not succeed. Wrong! You don’t succeed because you choose not to succeed because of the hardness of your heart. I have failed many, many times in my life, not because I could not succeed but because of the hardness of my heart, because I did not have right perspective on Who my King was. I, like so many, for much of my walk with the Lord, thought that my King, my Savior, was really my slave and should do everything that I command of Him. “Give me everything I want, when I want it, how I want it, because I want it…” We want things the way we want it, not the way God wants it, and we allow doubt to slip into our lives. We allow unbelief to slip into our life. We start making all of the excuses why we can’t succeed, and the one that I hear the most is, “Dave, it’s because I’m not like you.” Well, praise God you’re not like me!…

So often, our perception of Who Jesus is, is skewed so that when we stand praying, we really stand condemning. We really stand commanding and demanding that Jesus change the people around us rather than changing me. We insist that God do the things in other people. We insist that God make a world perfect so we can live in a perfect world, “But you know what, God? I don’t want You to make me perfect, because I’ve already arrived!”

We are different from one another, and it is the uniqueness of how God created each one of us, it is because we can each look at Who Jesus is from a different perspective, that we can encourage and build up and lift up one another, and even though you may see something about Jesus that I’ve never seen, or you may understand something about Jesus in a way that I do not understand it, does not mean that you’re wrong and does not mean that I have to toss out your testimony, and does not mean that I no longer have to pursue it because there are differences…

Pastor Dave Elkins