Less Noise...More Hearing

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14 March, 2021Pastor Mark SchultzAddition by Subtraction

Being spread too thin is a reality for many of us. Competing demands. Overwhelming needs. High or unreachable expectations. It's burdensome trying to be all things to all people. It's exhausting when we feel stretched to capacity. It's demoralising when our best efforts end in failure. It's frustrating when we can't find a solution to fix the problems that confront us. When the margins are gone and you are running on empty, the “demons” just won’t budge. That's what we discover today. It’s difficult to live "in-between" success & failure, certainty & doubt, faith & unbelief…where fragile faith becomes desperate faith. But in all things, Jesus does not leave us alone in that in-between space. He comes to be with us so that our daily experience is one of less noise, more hearing as we walk the thin line between fragile faith and desperate faith in his presence and with his power.

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“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:23-24

Prayer is an act of faith that draws us personally to the heart of God who alone can make the impossible possible. 

  1. Think of someone you perceive to have “strong faith.” WITHOUT NAMING THEM, what do you see in them that gives you that impression?
  2. When you pray, what do you think happens?
  3. What seemingly impossible problem/situation will you bring to God in prayer this week?

Mark 9:14-32

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.

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