The heart behind these posts is to explore the bible together, and to try and apply what it says to our lives, to genuinely let the Word of God affect us on a Monday as well as a Sunday.
For the next sixteen weeks we will be looking each week at a chapter of Mark. I would encourage you to read through the whole chapter at least once as well as the specific chunks we’ll be focusing on.
Mark is the shortest of the four gospels that show the life of Jesus. It is the action film, it is fast and punchy.
“Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the Kingdom of God has come with power”, Mark 9:1
Just after Jesus makes a call for people to take up there cross and follow him he says this, what a moment for those in the crowd listening around Caesarea Philippi to know that some will see of the power of the Kingdom of God.
As we look through Mark 9 we see a number of different events occurring and Jesus showing us, through his word, of some amazing insight into how we should be trying to live our lives for God.
Firstly we come to is of Jesus’ transfiguration. Imagine being on that mountain, watching in awe and fear but with absolute amazement at Jesus transforming, showing even just a glimpse of his glory. Peter, James and John were in complete fear and transfixed on the events unfolding before there very eyes but still Peter had to involve himself. Peter says “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters – one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah”. Peter immediately, in everything he is seeing and experiencing, tries to put the onus on himself.
How often do we do this, we see God working in our lives, encountering and experiencing him and so quickly we try to turn it around to what we are feeling and how we can increase this and help God to be able to work in our lives? Over the last couple of years I have often found myself doing this just like Peter, instead of just enjoying God and letting his joy and peace flow through me, I have found myself thinking how can I improve this and resisting true worship and time just to be in his presence. What I have learnt over the couple of months is just to let God be when he works in us, it’s nothing of us but all of him.
Let’s let God work, bless and move amongst us and not overcomplicate his work in us, just keeping him at the centre of our lives.
As you read through Mark 9 you see Jesus heal a demon possessed boy immediately after seeing Jesus’ transfiguration. How often can we find ourselves in a similar situation? You have been at a great service on a Sunday or at a great event over the summer, you have really felt close to God and then you go back to work or you come home and you see the real ugliness of life, our doubts start to rise and we lose our sight that was fixed upon Christ. Life starts to get back at you, things start to hold you back and bring you down.
This is where conviction of faith and belief has to kick in.
Jesus says in Mark 9 v 23 “Everything is possible when you believe”. The father of the boy responds saying “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief”. We often find ourselves thinking, saying and praying this, Lord I’m convicted of your salvation and I believe but I still doubt. Prayer is the key that unlocks faith in our lives. One thing someone told me once about prayer is to pray until you really start praying. Allow yourself time to really start prayer, crying out, communicating with God and not just to pray quickly and routinely.
Let’s let ourselves give everything over to God in prayer.
Lastly in Mark 9 Jesus warns of temptation and of how serious it is to be tempted into sin. He calls us to be ruthless against the temptation of sin. “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut if off…” for example. Our actions and fight against temptation should let everything come out of Love, as it says in Corinthians 13 v 13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love, But the greatest of these is love”.
Let’s let our decision and action come from a place of love.
This post was written by Pete Oram, an intern at Gold Hill and one of the leaders in our youth ministry. If you want to read more Deeper posts, they are all here.
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