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Help My Unbelief

Mark My Words  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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If you have real questions, are you spending real time with Jesus?

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COFFEE VIDEO [IMAGE]

COFFEE VIDEO

[measure and start grinding coffee beans, hand off to a student and ask the rest to turn to Mark 9]
COFFEE VIDEO
Turn to Mark 9
INTRODUCTION:
Jesus first words- “The time has come, repent and believe”
Jesus calls - “follow me and become like me, I’ll make you fishers of people in a world of calamity”
Jesus shows - “power demonstrated of the inbreaking kingdom. Demons, Mothers, and Lepors”
Mark is broken up into three acts.
Jesus explains - that our real problem is sin “Man of a mat with a desperate faith. The most fundamental problem is the one of sin”
Jesus loves - people who don’t deserve it...just like you and me. Our response should be to love people who me may feel like they don’t deserve it.
JESUS ENCOURAGES us to turn to him when we have difficult, stressful times in our lives
Jesus’ ministry in Galilee, which is where we have spent most of our time. (the Good News, healings, establishing God’s Kingdom on earth, etc.)
Jesus Responds when we reach out in faith.
Jesus is on the way to Jerusalem (a movement towards something)
Jesus Feeds the hungry and weary, physically and with the Word of God.
Jesus warns against the leavan of the Pharisees…remember that nasty yeast that Pastor Drey brought in here?
Jesus in Jerusalem (basically, the last week before He is crucified)
[Jesus reveals???]
If you were here last week, we started in on the second act. Pastor Drey asked the question ‘Is Jesus who we think He is?’ It sort of boils down t o this, are we seeing Jesus clearly or do we need to put on some glasses? Sort of like seeing something just not fully. If you have questions about last week, please see Pastor Drey after we get done...
Tonight, in , we are going to see Jesus challenge some presuppositions and encourage us to believe in Him.
Have you ever expressed unbelief in God?
NEED: We all have really hard questions for God sometimes, if not yet…you will some day…what do we do when the answers don’t come, how do we handle our doubts and questions when it comes to our relationship with God?
NEED: We all have really hard questions for God sometimes, if not yet…you will some day…what do we do when the answers don’t come, how do we handle our doubts and questions when it comes to our relationship with God?
SUBJECT: Dealing with our unbelief, instant coffee vs slow brew french press.
TEXT: 29
PREVIEW: WHAT does belief look like, and HOW do I do it well? or WHAT does unbelief look like, and HOW do I avoid it?
Mark 9:14–50 NIV
14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. 16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked. 17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” 19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” 20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23 “ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. 28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.” 30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it. 33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. 35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” 36 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” 38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” 39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us. 41 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. 42 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. 43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. 44 45 And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. 46 47 And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where “ ‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’ 49 Everyone will be salted with fire. 50 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”
Mark 9:14–29 NIV
14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. 16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked. 17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” 19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” 20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23 “ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. 28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”
BODY:
Arguments and Unbelief
Arguments and unbelief (14-19a)
Mark 9:14–19 NIV
14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. 16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked. 17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” 19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”
The disciples are trying to cast out a demon and are unable
The boy’s father is looking for help for his son and probably isn’t really sure what, or who, to believe at this point.
The scribes weren’t making things better.
Then Jesus shows up.
Bring the boy to Me (19b-27)
Mark 9:19–27 NIV
19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” 20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23 “ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
Mark 9:
The dad begs Jesus, but he doesn’t fully trust Him. He says if you are able.
If? Anything is possible for those who believe...
I do believe…but help my unbelief - he doesn’t fully understand Who Jesus is, but he believes that He can help his son.
Jesus casts out the demon
Q & A With Jesus (28-29)
Mark 9:28–29 NIV
28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”
II: Why couldn’t we do that? (28-29)
a. Question - We’ve healed people and cast out demons before (), why was this one different?
Why couldn’t we do that
b. Answer - You were relying on your own power and past experiences. Sometimes God seems far away so you will seek Him. Their problem was not unbelief, it was arrogance. (maybe arrogance is unbelief…) They felt authorized to do things in God’s Name without asking Him first. They were part of the in crowd, they didn’t need to stop and ask for help from God…and they failed. (personal reflection - this hits me with preaching/teaching familiar passages. I feel like I already know everything and just breeze over the text instead of searching God more and more…He is infinite - there is always more to learn about God)
Jesus predicts His death and resurrection.
Jesus knew He would be crucified, He was preparing His disciples for His death.
They have no idea what He is talking about, again, instead of asking Jesus to explain Himself they just kind of nod and smile.
What were you arguing about?
Jesus already knew, when God asks a question it’s always for the benefit of the one He asked the question to.
The disciples still don’t understand, they are still all about self promotion and self importance.
Servant of all
Jesus knew what they were arguing about so He sits them down and helps them understand that the Kingdom of God is upside down from the kingdoms of earth. You want to be great? Serve. Make yourself less important, put others first. Don’t self promote.
Lowest of the low - Jesus takes a child and says ‘you want to be like Me? Then welcome the ‘worthless’ Children had no value, they were a nuisance, they couldn’t work, they could do nothing to help me get to the top. And Jesus says ‘you want to be like me? Welcome the ‘worthless.’ Jesus doesn’t give us the option to marginalize anybody. period.
IV: Cut it out…wait, literally? (38-50)
IV:
Jesus is stressing the point, your self importance and self promotion is getting in the way of your relationship with God. And He tells them to cut it out.
Serve others first regardless of their affiliation.
Putting others first can sometimes put you at a disadvantage…almost like working with 1 hand tied behind your back. You will miss opportunities when you put others first, that is a guarantee. You can’t put yourself first and others, you will always tend to your own needs first. And Jesus says that is not how His Kingdom works, you go last.
Seek peace - self-importance is causing strife among the 12, cut it out and strive for peace with each other not prominence over each other.
CONCLUSION:
So, what belief look like in this passage? (the dad, bringing life’s challenges to Jesus, turning to Jesus when you don’t know what to do…)
What does unbelief look like? (being unsure of who Jesus is, believing you can do it on your own, trusting in yourself over God)
RE-IMAGE/SUMMARY: A good cup of coffee takes time and effort. While it may be possible to make a cup of coffee instantly, you will miss out on what it’s like to really enjoy a cup of coffee. Instant coffee cannot compare to a real, freshly brewed cup of coffee.
In the same way, it is a popular thought that all you need to do is say a prayer and God owes you a favor…but the truth is, God owes us nothing. So how do we handle our tough questions? How do we put others first? How do we be more like Jesus?
Big Idea: If you have real questions for Jesus are you spending real time with Him? The same is true if you have real struggles with sin, you need to spend real time with Jesus.
How can we expect to solve big problems with little to no investment on our part? I’m not saying we can earn answers from God, I am suggesting that it is unlikely God will answer our questions that we never ask Him.
How can we remove sin from our lives? We can’t…but God can. We can change our behavior, but the damage has been done. The only way to be free from our sin and its eternal consequence is to be found in Jesus. How? Believe in Him and trust that He cares for you and walk with Him.
Belief is trusting in God because of who He is and coming to Him even when you don’t fully understand or know if He can solve your problems (dad in the passage.) Unbelief is acknowledging a problem and refusing to trust that God is big enough to deal with it or just trying to solve it on your own without at least consulting God.
“You don’t have to understand fully to obey immediately” - Craig Groeschell (or what I say, slow obedience is no obedience)
CHALLENGE/APPLICATION:
Don’t be afraid to ask God questions, it’s not the same as questioning God. But also, understand that God does not owe you an answer…but I firmly believe that if you spend enough quality time with God, even when He doesn’t answer your questions His presence more than makes up for your unanswered questions. Basically, if you spend enough time with God you may not even need the answer you were looking for in the first place.
Try something this week, instead of you usual instant coffee approach to God, try a french press method. Clear some time and space in your day to spend time with God. Read His Word, pray, and sit in the quiet and let Him speak to you, if you have real questions for God, it’s going to take real time with Him to settle it.
Would you consider your approach to God more like instant or slow brew coffee? How so?
Is self reliance unbelief in God? Why?
When was the last time that you asked God a question?
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