Okay, so it has been a long time since the last time I put something on this blog. It is not that I have not thought about writing something. It is more like, “What do I have to say that is so important?” That is just it, I have nothing to say, but over the last few months I have begun to realize that God has something to say through me. My part is not to come up with stuff to say, but to say the stuff God lays on me to say.
The theme of our ministry year here at Harvest Portland is “Our Mission: Ambassadors on behalf of Christ.” The key verse comes from 2 Corinthians 5:20, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”
If you have trusted Christ as Lord and Savior, you have also become one of His ambassadors. An ambassador is sent with a message from one country to another. You and I are to carry the message of salvation by grace through faith (the Gospel) to those who have not yet trusted Christ.
Several weeks ago I began a series I am calling, “The Ambassador’s Walk.” The text for this series is Mark 9-12. Our daily life is pictured as a walk. We walk through life. The way we live our lives as a follower of Jesus Christ really matters. How is your walk?
On this walk, God intervenes in our lives in many ways and at many times. This series is about those ways. In Mark 9:14-50 I see 3 intersections we come to where we have to make a choice to go one way or the other. I called this message, “Divine Intersections.” I really do not like coming to a 4-way intersection. Who goes first? Who got there first? Which one of the other drivers is not paying attention and might pull out as I do? Some people are directionally challenged and can’t figure out which way to go. God does intervene in our lives at certain points and we have to make a choice between one direction or another.
The father of the boy with an unclean spirit came to an intersection of belief and a serious problem. How many times have we faced a serious problem and delayed going or not gone to the source of the only supernatural help there is? In verse 22 the father makes the right turn in the direction of belief. In verse 24 (“I believe, help my unbelief!”), he hits the gas! No human effort can do what God alone can do!
The disciples came to an intersection of pride and humility when they argued about who was going to be the greatest. Jesus knew what was going on and He laid it out for them in verse 35, “if anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” This was a time for a serious choice. Would they continue down the road of pride or will they go the way Jesus’s leads them? We tend to look at things upside down. To great, we need to be least. Someone said, “If you want to sit at the head of the table, set it!” Greatness in the kingdom consists not of position, but of ministry.
Sin is always tempting the believer. Every day we come to the intersection of sin and repentance. In 42-50, Jesus gets real serious about sin. Whatever is causing you to sin needs to go! Sin is in the heart and like cancer it will rot you from the inside out. We have to deal drastically with sin. We have to stop making excuses for sin – letting the inner lawyer defend what we do.
When we come to these intersections we need to PRAY for the strength to turn the correct way!