Mark 8:22-26They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him.
23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village.
When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”
24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”
25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.
26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.”
This week I've gone mostly every day to the Chapel in Presbyterian Hospital, Dallas. To hear what God has to say. When I go into the Chapel as I worship, I will fling open the Bible and the Bible will spill forth to me - the Conversation of the Vast Attributes of Jesus Christ, His Father and the Holy Spirit. If God is willing, the conversation will fill me with awe and wonder for weeks.
The Bible is the Word of God. I love reading the Word. I Love the Lord and He covers me with His name, Jesus the Lord.
My Mother was dying last week - fling open the Bible and Proverbs 12 yields up
"The Righteous do not die."
If... you... believe... you have been given the Balm of Gilead. To return to find Mother is able to say one word and she says her one word...."FATHER?" When you know Mother, you see no fear, but you see you've been given that one word from a Pneumonia Patient capable of one word on maximum oxygen. So you complete the sentence and ask Mother, "You want me to Pray?" Emphatic nod goes forth - but minus fear. Prayer happens. Then a brisk nod from the pneumonia patient.
God's Job, His Conversation, His Delight, His Words - are completed in a Circle of Love. Yes. His Word is very important.
Now after a week of one day death, one day miracle, one day more recovery is needed - well - you know your soul has been in effect emery board bruised.
And Church is needed. Now the idea of Worship is placing your heart before God.
Now, The New Testament will tell you - getting in Church - in Bible Study - in Ministry - is work. Like getting in Carpenter Chapel and flinging open the Bible. The Word of God. Seeing God tell us about Himself. The Bible was written for you. Every Word. Lasting millenniums, for us today. Every Day.
In fact, we would NOT have but only 3 Gospels of Jesus Christ's ministry if we had ... quitters. John Mark was not very appreciated by Paul. Eventually Mark grew to not only accompany Barnabas, but was with the nitty gritty end of Paul, Peter with Luke and Silvanus.
Bruised. Sure. Life calls for bruises. And endurance, hope, grit, faith and overcoming with Love.
In fact... there is not one individual in the New Testament who loves people the way Father God loves people. That Word is Honest. Reliable. Enduring and tells that people will let you down and provide an opportunity for - a solution.
Ecclesiastes paints a picture of an old age house A soul, if you will.
Ecclesiastes House. And I personally had a house in our family from 1917 to 1999 show this type of aging. And this comes from lack of sharing. Isolation. Grieving with Anger being the Strength.
Ghostbusters says "Who you gonna call?" The Truth is - The New Testament. And if the New Testament says that it's rough out there, like Rodney Dangerfield - Believe you me, The Bible is where we are going To Believe What is What. The New Testament witnesses to the struggle of relationships in the Body of Christ. Of the struggle of just - LIFE.
Church. What is the actual point of Church if you can read the Bible and tune into God.
Something Jesus Christ prophesied about. Something Jesus expects of us.
This last Sunday morning I had a Moses morning, an Isaiah morning, a John of Revelation morning with reading Matthew 8. The Light of the World filled me. I was completely satisfied. I'd prayed and prayed for all the prayer needs I know of. And was brought to Jesus in the complete meaning of the phrase "Come to Jesus."
Imagine. See. Hear. Does your heart strangely warm?
Jesus is Busy.
He is the Son of - God.
And the blind man is walking with - JESUS.
Jesus doesn't say "Ok, quickly, quickly, go around the side corner and go in the side door and ditch the crowd."
Jesus the Savior. The Hero. God who decided the Universe needs - YOU.
Jesus holds the hand of the needy, the weak, the despairing.
Jesus takes that hand and they walk far. This is JOY to Jesus.
Chapter 14, 15, 16, 17 of John. Luke 1, 2. Matthew 2 are telling us Jesus loved Life. He finds His Creation - GOOD.
Jesus is about to do something Jesus finds Enjoyable
Worth HIS Time
to walk out of town
and be Himself.
And make another person Whole. Holy.
With wit. Verve. Zest. Salt. Light. "Hey, man, Don't Even GO to that Bethsaida Village."
So if we can get our relationship on with Jesus and the Bible. Why the heck would we want to fuss with Church. Going to a Service. Why not TV Church. I am me. You are you, end of story.
Not the end of the story that Billy Graham talks about. This His Story is an ongoing, amazing, wondrous, boring, white water, thrilling, chilling, heart warming this is Dan and this is God revelation. We are all headed in the same direction. Jesus Christ.
If you, the Body of Christ are the eyebrow and the eyebrow sits home, the eyebrow is going to get grey, bushy or fall out. We need not to be Ecclesiastes House, unable due to neglect and we definitely need - not to fall out.
We are learning our faith. We are learning ideas of God from different points of the family table. We are strengthened in the Discussion of Jesus Christ.
I went to Church Sunday, flung open the Bible and read this:
9 "Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure."
Isaiah wrote exactly what the Holy Spirit said. And man will interpret their portion of Isaiah and act upon this. Causing the Magi to knock on the door of Herod's Palace for Jesus.
The Purpose of Church is to sometimes see your seat in God's Table is not the same as the elbow or the forehead or the thumb. But to know that the Shepherds saw what Isaiah saw. That the Disciple John saw what Moses saw. John stayed with Jesus to the end and still saw the face of God as a Brilliant Light - John, like Moses, was in the same place, with the same God. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.
I am dealing with a husband with a fatal diagnosis and a crisis with my mom's health. I have suffering and feel strongly about suffering. And the recent History of Pew Research about Suffering and Church Attendance.
We are in a hurting world.
Does God want us to suffer for Him. This type of thinking caused most of England to leave the Church when the World Wars were over. No one sees a Good God as one who wants suffering. It doesn't make sense. What makes sense with Father God - is He helps us in difficult times. And still. and of course and really - suffering produces Character and Hope. A Purpose. We want to see this meaning in our lives. Rick Warren says in reality we all face trouble or we are just leaving trouble.
We know God loves us and we want to see how this is shifting towards God. Our Father.
Honestly, Genuinely, with Earnestness. Forget that. I don't even sing that suffering part. Mouth shut. I have suffered in life and I say that there is so much Joy in Jesus. I say Jesus has done Salvation. Are we required to be part of the goodness of God? Absolutely. Do we say - yay - suffering. No. Unless maybe, you are part of the Body labelled Suffering. I want to do God's Will without being the mule who needs a bridle. I want to do this with Joy. I want to be like David saying, "Heck yes get the donkey, I love that donkey." And be so brave with Jesus Love that the real me blesses God.
Yes, we are bought at a Price.
Yes this will require diligence, but why can't we do our diligence with seeing the Help of God, Joy in Prayer, The Helper, The Comforter, The Goodness of God.
I knew a man who called Isaiah 32:8 his goal in life.
Noble men make noble plans and stand with noble deeds.
This truly noble man, leading his city, mayor, leading his Church in Bible Study. Leading his college in fund raising - truly a God Job. Said that the rest of Isaiah 8 was for God to take care of.
I know a joyous Bishop who says "His Banner of me is Love." Salvation is His mercy and we want to live His Words with Joy. And Love and Mercy. Our lives saying we live His Words. People will see we live His Words and see we Love Jesus.
God tells us the Joy He has in Creation!!!
God tells us the Beauty and Majesty in Creation are an echo of Heaven.
And we see, honestly, poverty surrounds our most beautiful areas of the earth. This is not Heaven. But we also see in this poverty, many times - Faith and Joy.
God tells us His Plan to send His Son to be part of Life. And time is spent telling us not just of suffering and death and cost. God tells us of healing, and holiness. Pages and Pages of Miracles we find hard to fathom. God is not like us. His Storehouses are never empty. He has suffered, died and Overcome Death to even bring Breakfast to the Beach to continue the Relationship.
Father God has a reaction to seeing the inner core of mankind ~ Salvation !!!!!!!!!!!
If we overlook this Salvation Blessing, we have also forgotten the invitation
to bring our real soul to Father God in Jesus Christ
and have Eternity with God.
Jesus tells us in many Chapters in the Gospel of John what He thinks Life is. This is as He is about to willing bring us into His Sacrifice - to be able to dwell with Jesus and Father God. Jesus is telling us God sees this life as difficult, but yesterday, today and tomorrow, with God all things are possible - God sees His Creation as Good.
I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.
Rise, let us go from here.
With Jesus, the answer is, Upward is God and this is Good.
1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Today I did have sadness. But say that Joy is what Jesus says Life is and when we look for what You provide more than flaws, we will see the Joy.
I am lifting up Health in our family, particularly my mother. Thank you the 3 Hospice calls were overlooked. And today she is fighting back to health in skilled Nursing. Many people went forward to help my mother get into this very skilled nursing place. Good people at the Hospital made sure.
The nations of the world where Your people count on You. You are God. Holy. Marvelous.
We will look to the times ahead with Joy and smile and Laugh. God Lifts His Face to Us.
We are covered in the Name, the Mighty Name of Jesus the LORD.
Thank You, in Jesus. Amen.