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Talk Notes: Called to… go (3rd Dec 2017)

(Sorry… the talk wasn’t recorded this week)

Called To…

Called to… go

We are thinking about the amazing things we are called to do as followers of Jesus.

In today’s service we looked at Mark 4:35-5:20. Because of the way our modern Bible translations are structured we often think of these as 2 stories, but Dave looked at them as one story.

He talked about this process that we, as follower’s of Jesus, undergo:

Go —> Opposition/Difficulty —> Opportunity —> Kingdom breaks in/Transformation

We see this throughout the Bible – and in fact the whole Bible could be seen to fit into this process.  It is a useful way to understand our situations and Dave unpacked it from this passage.

Using this passage Dave divided saw the process as follows:

Go – Mark 4:35-36 – Jesus decides to go and we can assume that he was being led by God’s call, because in John 5:19 Jesus says he only does what he sees the Father doing.

Opposition/Difficulty – Mark 4:37-38 – a storm breaks out and terrifies even the experienced fishermen. The normal experience as we follow God is to experience difficulty, but often if we’re doing what God has asked we feel confused when it doesn’t go smoothly. We ask, like the disciples did, “Don’t you care about us?”

Dave talked about the enemy’s intention to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10) God’s life in us, but whether it’s the enemy or just circumstances doesn’t really matter. The important thing is we focus on God, don’t get discouraged and carry on. What the enemy intends to do us harm God will use to bring good.

Opportunity – Mark 4:39-5:13 – Because Jesus has gone and persevered through the difficulty he now has an opportunity to minister. This guy is perhaps the most wretched person in the Bible who, in human terms, had no value. Yet God values him enough to send Jesus across a lake, through a storm, at the cost of 2,000 pigs and the derision of the villagers. God values us differently than how we value ourselves and others! In fact, perhaps the worse we are, and the more God does in us could be an indication of how far God will be able to use us…

Kingdom Breaks In / Transformation – Mark 5:14-20 – The kingdom comes to this guy, who finds release, healing and peace. More than that he is sent, by Jesus, to go. He is blessed to be a blessing and heads off to become the first Christian missionary and the first to take the good news about Jesus to the gentiles! Who from his village could have ever imagined this wretched man would become so significant?

Some things consider:

Can you see this process in operation in your life? In the past? Currently?

How can you define the idea of “Going”? How can we go without moving our geographical location?

Have you experienced being discouraged when you have tried to do the right thing and it hasn’t gone well? What happened? How should we understand times like these? Check out Romans 5:3-5.

What opportunities do we find ourselves having? Jesus describes the kingdom like a mustard seed – so are there times when there have been opportunities (that we have taken or not) which seemed so small and insignificant that perhaps we missed the fact we were right in the middle of a God-Opportunity? What difference might that make?

In this story the Kingdom Break In / Transformation is pretty dramatic. Often we experience God’s transforming power gradually over time. Do you ever stop and look at the people and situations around you (and, of course, ourselves) and reflect with thankfulness on how much God has done? How could you do this more regularly?

 

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Posted on 4th December 2017
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