Today we had the unique experience of hearing from several of the Rock's pastors to encourage us all to do something! We can all impact our community with the love of Jesus. Some have gone through pain and difficult situations. As God comforts and strengthens us, we can then begin to comfort others.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Tommy Moseley, Send Ministry Pastor
Does it seem like the last decade came and went quickly? The next one will come and go just as fast. What does that mean to you? What will your relationship with Christ look like in ten years? Do you believe God has greater things yet to come for you? He does!
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10
But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 1 Corinthians 2:9
As Pastor Tommy began reading in Matthew 9:18, he pointed out that there are two types of people in the story: those who were part of the crowds, and the individuals who actually wanted to experience God for themselves.
While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, "My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live." (v. 18)
And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. For she said to herself, "If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well."(v. 20-21)
Both the ruler and the outcast woman made their way to Jesus through the crowds. They both believed that if they could only have contact with Jesus, He would being healing. All of their hope is in Jesus' hands.
There are crowds surrounding Jesus in this passage, but no power goes out to them; it goes out to the woman who, by faith, simply touches His garment in search of His healing.
As Jesus makes His way to the ruler's house to help the man's daughter, another crowd is present. Yet they do not experience Jesus' miraculous touch either. In fact, they actually ridicule Him as He goes in (v. 24). Only when the crowd has been put outside, the one whose life is changed is the man who sought Jesus directly and had the faith to ask Him for healing.
He's not someone from the past - he's living here, now.
What is your relationship with Jesus? Do you want to be just one of the crowd who hears His words? Or are you willing to go to Him, reach out to Him, kneel down before Him? He can heal your pain. He's not someone from the past - he's living here, now. If only you'll reach out in faith, He's here to make a difference in your life.
Where in your life do you need Jesus to be larger than your pain? Will you reach out and touch the living God?
Danny Quimlat and Mingo Palacios, 1825 Young Adult Pastors
Think about the people to whom Jesus has ministered in this chapter: a city official, a dead girl, and a social outcast. Jesus doesn't discriminate. And as the passage continues, He is about to encounter two blind men and a demon-possessed man.
When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, "Son of David, have mercy on us!" And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to Him, "Yes, Lord." Then He touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith let it be to you." v. 27-30
Jesus didn't respond immediately to the plea of the blind men. They followed Him (which is a noteworthy task in and of itself) and they pursued Him even to the point of entering someone's house after Him. Nothing is keeping these men from Jesus; they believe He is the One who can help. When He does finally respond, Jesus addresses the persistence of their faith and grants their request.
If you pray for rain, do you carry an umbrella? Do you expect God to answer you? Will you pursue Him even into awkward or uncomfortable situations?
What are the "blind" areas in your life for which you need Jesus? You can bring your brokenness, doubt, anxiety, insecurity, and pain directly to Jesus. How can you show a step of faith in pursuing Jesus to heal you?
Beyond that, Jesus' authority has been given to YOU to overcome your hardships. Claim authority over the things causing oppression in your life-in Jesus' name.
Next, Jesus casts a demon out of a man who was mute, and the man speaks (v. 32-34). Spiritual oppression may seem daunting to us, as we may not fully understand or grasp it. But the important thing to know is that Jesus has a complete authority over any principality, evil, demon, oppression or possession. This is not only true of biblical times, but it is true today. Beyond that, Jesus' authority has been given to YOU to overcome your hardships. Claim authority over the things causing oppression in your life-in Jesus' name.
Darren Carrington, Marriage & Family Pastor
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. v. 35-36
Jesus is different from all other gods/religious figures. He works, He reaches out, He goes preaching to and healing the people all because He loves us and He is concerned with our spiritual need.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
What would have happened if Jesus didn't act, if He didn't go, didn't speak, didn't heal or interact with people? Nothing! Therefore, our task is simple: do something. Don't get fed and become an overweight Christian, but rather work out your salvation. Exercise your faith.
Each person is equipped with special gifts and talents. How can those be directed to have a kingdom impact? Don't just feel sorry about the suffering your see; do something with what you have. In this way, we all get to be a part of the plan God has for other people!
We all have pain in our lives, and we all have the choice to go through it or grow through it.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4
How has God equipped you to help those who are in pain, lost, or outcast?
How can you make a difference? Where does it start? It begins in your home, with your marriage. Want to find the right person? Be the right person. Want to change the world? Make a difference with yourself and the relationships you can touch right now.
Mickey Stonier, Pastoral Ministry Coordinator - Save, Equip, Send
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." v. 35-38
The disciples who witnessed the miraculous events of Matthew 9 were new followers, yet even they were not meant to be spectators. Jesus tells them at the end of the Book of Matthew to go out there and get to work, making disciples and making a difference just as He has done.
The Lord of the Harvest is looking for laborers still. Our city is in pain and desperately a touch of God's love, and He responds by giving His church to the world.
God is doing things in and through you. You have divine appointments with people around you-neighbors, coworkers, friends-and you are in their lives for a purpose. Give of yourself and your resources as an act of worship to God! You can make a difference.
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." Isaiah 6:8