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WHAT FAITH CAN DO

Date: 
JULY 1, 2018  
Speaker: 
Rev. Terry Martinson
Reading: 
MARK 5:21-43

THEME: Faith can make you whole…

INTRODUCTION

  • This morning I am going to talk with you about faith…
  • There are two questions at the heart of the sermon this morning…
    • Does it matter what you believe?
    • Is faith important?
  • Let me begin by asking you one of my favorite questions… What do you believe about God?
  • I once asked this same question (What do you believe about God?) in a children’s sermon and one of the youngsters answered, “I believe God can do anything God wants to do!” It’s so simple and yet so true, “God can do anything God wants to do.”  The scriptures say the same thing with these words: “For nothing is impossible with God.”  (Luke 1:37)
  • Here’s my next question… you don’t have to answer it aloud… just think about it – Does it really matter what you believe? 
  • Does it really matter what you believe? My answer to that question is, “Yes!”
    • your beliefs shape your life…
    • your beliefs make you who you are…
    • your beliefs govern your actions…
    • your beliefs determine how you treat the people around you – family, friends, strangers, and enemies…
  • Faith goes beyond belief…
    • faith is belief that is not based on proof…
    • faith is trusting God and God’s promises…
    • faith is believing that God will do what God promises to do…
    • Faith is the light that guides you through the darkness…
  • Now here’s today’s really big question: Is faith important?  - What can faith do?
  • Faith can make a person whole…

 

  • THE GOSPEL OF MARK
    • Today’s reading from scripture – Mark 5:21-43 – tells the story of two miraculous healings – the healing of the woman who had been bleeding for a dozen years and the raising of Jairus’ young daughter…
    • There are two other miracle stories in this section of Mark’s gospel that I did not share with you this morning: the calming of the storm, which I preached about two weeks ago (Mark 4:35-41), and the healing of the Gerasene demoniac – a crazy man (Mark 5:1-20.)
  • The woman who had been bleeding for twelve years believed that if she just touched the hem of Jesus’ garment she would be healed – what faith!
    • She didn’t want to bother him… she didn’t want to catch his attention… she just wanted to touch the corner of his cloak…
    • Her bleeding had made her an outcast… she was ritually “unclean” according to the Hebrew law… she couldn’t enter the synagogue… and her own people could have nothing to do with her… imagine going without human touch for 12 years – no hugs, no pats on the back, not even to hold a hand… her strange illness isolated her from everyone…
    • She had tried everything to be cured… been to the best doctors… tried the proven medications… tried all the home remedies… everything… but nothing worked…
    • But her faith led her to Jesus… and the moment she touched his robe, she was healed…
    • And Jesus turned to her and said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.” (Mark 4:34)
    • Faith can make a person whole!
  • Jairus was a ruler of the synagogue – the “Chairmen of the Board”… a devout Jew of good character and standing in the community…
    • His twelve year-old daughter fell gravely ill… he didn’t know what to do… but he had heard of Jesus and the things that Jesus could do…
    • So he came to Jesus and asked – begged – “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” (Mark 5:23) 
    • Jesus said to him, “Do not fear, only believe!”
    • And Jesus went with Jairus to his home… and he said to his daughter, “Little girl, get up!” And immediately she got up and started walking around…
    • Faith can make a person whole!

FAITH

  • I love the stories from Mark’s gospel… they speak to me about the importance of faith and they make me believe that God is even kinder, more loving than I may think…
  • These stories teach me about the compassion of Jesus and the healing power of his loving touch…
  • I like what Karl Menninger wrote about healing: “Love cures… it cures not only those who receive it… it cures those who give it.”
  • Without faith your life will not be whole…

A CLOSING STATEMENT

In closing I want to read to you a statement written by Brian McLaren

 

“I am a Christian because I have confidence in Jesus Christ – in all his dimensions (those I know, and those I don’t.) I trust Jesus. I think Jesus is right because I believe God was in Jesus in an unprecedented way. Through Jesus I have entered into a real, experiential relationship with God, and I have received God’s Spirit into my life. I have experienced the love of God through Jesus, and as the old hymn says, ‘love so amazing, so divine, demands my heart, my life, my all.’ As I seek to follow Jesus as my leader, guide, and teacher, I believe I am experiencing life in its fullest dimensions – full of joy and love, and yes, full of struggle and challenge, too. For all these reasons and more, I love Jesus. I believe Jesus embraces me, and you, and the whole world in the love of God.”   (Pulpit Resource – Vol. 37, No. 2 – April, May, June 2009 – p. 60)

 

  • It really does matter what you believe and faith is more important than you know…
  • Allow God to embrace you with his love and make you whole…

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