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Longfing For Fruitfulness

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Longing For Fruitfulness

Mark 8:31-38

March 12, 2006

The 95-year-old woman at the nursing home received a visit from one of her fellow church members.

“How are you feeling?” the visitor asked.

“Oh,” said the lady, “I’m just worried sick!”

“What are you worried about, dear?” her friend asked. “You look like you’re in good health. They are taking care of you, aren’t they?”

“Yes, they are taking very good care of me.”

“Well, what are you worried about?” her friend asked again.

The lady leaned back in her rocking chair and slowly explained her major worry. “Every close friend I ever had has already died and gone on to heaven. I’m afraid they’re all wondering where I went.”

God is the God of the impossible!  But in order to see the impossible, we must be able to see the One who makes the impossible possible.

Tell some of the beginning SIMP Story and some of what we learned yesterday.

“Get away from me, Satan! You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”

Mark 8:33

V      The disciples needed to spend time with Jesus, listening to Him to begin to understand His plan and will for His life.

29 Then Jesus asked, “Who do you say I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.” 30 But Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.

Mark 8:29-30

Why would Jesus tell the disciples not to tell anyone?

            They didn’t understand the fullness of His will.

            They needed to grow in their faith journey.

V      Peter’s struggle with the news of Christ’s death illustrates our inability to see the fullness of God’s plans.

32 As he talked about this openly with his disciples, Peter took him aside and told him he shouldn’t say things like that.

Mark 8:32

V      Two reasons we may miss the Big Picture:

o       We allow our circumstances to define us rather than Christ and His purposes.

When this happens we only see what is in front of us and around us!  Instead, God calls us to keep your eyes on Him!  Remember, he is the Shepherd, we are the sheep!

o       We consider our own interests before the Lords will.

We can become blinded by what we consider the good things in life.  Thus, these become what we pursue instead of God’s desires.

Working Towards Fruitfulness

V      To begin the process of seeing the “Big Picture” God calls us to:

o       Confession and repentance.

“Get away from me, Satan! You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”

Mark 8:33

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Mark 1:15

o       Change the focus of what motivates us.

“If any of you wants to be my follower,” he told them, “you must put aside your selfish ambition

Mark 8:34

o       Complete submission to Christ and His will.

“If any of you wants to be my follower,” he told them, “you must …shoulder your cross,

Mark 8:34

o       Follow the Leader!

“If any of you wants to be my follower,” he told them, “you must …follow me.”

Mark 8:34

The Fruitful Paradox

V      In God’s redemptive process, death leads to life!

35 If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will find true life.

Mark 8:35

Plants – the seed.  Talk about the mustard seed parable.  The Kingdome of heaven is like….  Matthew 13:31-32.

V      In God’s economy worldly gain is nothing while complete submission is everything.

36 And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process? 37 Is anything worth more than your soul?

Mark 8:36

V      As we learn to see the “Big Picture” we are motivated to share with others boldly what God has done, is doing and will do!

38 If a person is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, I, the Son of Man, will be ashamed of that person when I return in the glory of my Father with the holy angels.”

Mark 8:38

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