Dependence on Jesus | Oct. 16, 2016
Dependence on Jesus
- In life, what are you most dependent on?
- How is this dependence expressed?
In our sermon series on Mark "Man of Prediction, God of Presence" Pastor Kurt talked about dependence on Jesus, from Mark 9:14-29. He kicked off the sermon talking about an interaction Jesus had with a concerned dad, a mute son, the critical scribes, and the committed disciples. He likened our stories to the people in this interaction with Jesus. Some of us relate too:
- The concerned: The Dad
- Asking questions like, Is Jesus able to....?
- Wondering if there is any hope for you.
- Concerned on the behalf of those who are suffering, and unable to speak for themselves
- The critics: The scribes
- Always concerned about everything being done completely accurate.
- Arrogantly attempting to fit God into our understanding.
- The committed: The Disciples
- Acting in their own strength.
- Previously dependent, but experience has moved them to a false sense of independence, thinking they have got it all figured out.
We learned that following Jesus is not enough when we aren't dependent on him for our daily strength. This was pictured by the reality that the disciples had followed Jesus everywhere, and on occasion had been able to cast out demons. Here we see them growing independent of the power necessary, found only in Jesus to cast this spirit out of this mute boy. The big idea presented was this; life cannot be lived with any genuine benefit for people who are suffering independent from God's presence or God's power. We learned that it isn't the strength of our faith, but rather the object of our faith that matters. The pinnacle point of the sermon was the gospel reality that Jesus is the dependable one, He is the object of our faith because he is dependable. There is life after death and we must place our hope in the resurrection of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is a constant reminder that we cannot rely on our past experiences alone, but gives us the power to be dependent on Jesus, the source of our strength and sustainability. In light of this gospel truth, Pastor Kurt gave us several ways we can respond, declaring that dependence is best expressed through prayer:
- Listening Prayer
- Listening to hear God speak.
- Listening to what God is doing around us, and how he is urging us to respond.
- Learning Prayer
- Learning to be dependent
- Learning to be directable, and obedient
- Learning to be thankful
- Loving Prayer
- Pray for others, lovingly.
- There are people around us who need to hear about the love of Jesus, Who needs to see God's power around us?
- Celebrate the growth in the people around us who are pursuing Jesus.
- How can we relate with the dad (concerned), the scribes (critics), the disciples (committed) in this passage? How are we only interested in Jesus on behalf of someone else who is suffering? How are we arrogantly fitting God into our own understanding of Him? How has our experience of following Jesus moved us from dependence to a false sense of independence?
- In what ways have we attempted to follow Jesus without daily dependence on Him?
- If dependence is best expressed through prayer, how is our prayer life expressing our dependence on Jesus? How are our prayers listening prayers? How are our prayers learning prayers? How are our prayers loving prayers?
- In what ways have you attempted to follow Jesus without consistent dependence on Him?
- If dependence is best expressed through prayer, how is your prayer life expressing your dependence on Jesus? How are your prayers listening prayers? How are your prayers learning prayers? How are your prayers loving prayers?
- Who around you needs to see God's power? What are you doing to show them the love of Jesus?
- How is your family expressing your dependence on Jesus? How does the way your family relates to the dad (concerned), the scribes (critics), and the disciples (committed) express your families dependence on Jesus?
- In what ways has your family made the strength of your faith more important than the object of your faith? In what ways are you teaching your Children that the object of your faith, is more important than the strength of your faith?