Posts Tagged 'influence'

Snapshots from Mark: Properness of Power

Snapshots from Mark: Properness of Power Sermon Audio Here

Mark 10:35-45

I watched a CAPTIVATING mini-series on History Channel, The Men Who Built America. One of the conflicts described the competition for bringing electricity to the American people. Which standard would be used? Direct Current (DC) or Alternating Current (AC)? I found it telling that the men involved in trying to bring power to the masses used their own personal power to bring about THEIR will. Their choices were less about what was good for the people, and more about what was best for THEM.

How Does Power Work in God’s Kingdom?

The Process of Preparation ~ Mark 10:35-40

  • 35/36 admission: how often do WE do this same thing? Try to take advantage of our relationship with Jesus to get Him to do what WE want?
  • 37 they want power; no ifs ands or buts
  • 38 Jesus response ISN’T AUTOMATICALLY “no”; instead, He asks if they’ve counted the cost
  • 39 they haven’t
  • 40 “fitness, and not influence, decides…it consists of service, and he who serves most is greatest, a greatness already determined by the service, and not to be changed by any personal equation.” (International Critical Commentary on Mark, pg. 201, Ezra Gould) THOUGHT: the places are prepared for the people… AND the people are prepared for the places. Both the Master AND the servant are at work here.

The Inverse of Authority ~ Mark 10:41-45

  • 41/42 Were the disciples mad because of what James & John did… or because they didn’t think of it first? Jesus sets them straight about authority
  • 43/44 servant=deacon/waiter vs doulos/slave; servant implies freedom to choose (you may serve, or not); SLAVE means exactly that, even with all it’s ugly-to-us history. A SLAVE has no choice to serve, because they are OWNED by the master
  • 45 Jesus sets the example: HE gave up His right to be Master to show us how to be Slaves for God. John 15:15 – Jesus elevates us from Slave to Friend… but we do not lose our doulos status.

Remember our Job passage? Where were you, O human, when God put the universe together?

Answer: we were NOT. We had no power, no ability, no authority… no EXISTENCE. The bottom line: If Jesus is your Lord, YOU are His SLAVE. Time to ask ourselves: are we serving Christ, or our idea of Christ? James & John wanted power and influence, but they didn’t know the cost. The ACTUAL cost? ALL of you, ALL the time.

Epiphany: Upside-down Power

Epiphany: Upside-down Power Sermon Audio Here

BIBLEREFERENCE

We have different ways to describe “power”. Sometimes we mean force: the amount of energy needed to accomplish a task. Sometimes we mean flow: the transmission of energy from one point to another. Sometimes we mean influence: the ability to get someone to do something. We know how electrical power works (AC/DC); but what about God’s power?

Powerful Points to Ponder:

Our Ability Falls Short of God’s Glory ~ 1 Cor. 1:18-25

  • v18/19 reminder: God’s ways are NOT ours
  • v20/21 God’s choice: we can’t figure out God on our own on purpose!
  • v22/23 Jews can’t accept Messiah as Sacrifice (seen as Conqueror); Greeks can’t accept Christ’s Sacrifice because it means admitting that human wisdom is insufficient for salvation
  • v24/25 Christ’s power through submission to God’s plan; Christ’s wisdom through acceptance of God’s terms

Our Inability Shows God’s Grace ~ 1 Cor. 1:26-31

  • v26/27 who we are isn’t that important for God’s use
  • v28/29 God uses the uncomplicated so HE gets the glory
  • v30/31 our Inability just shows of HIS ability to make Himself known through us

Consider this: sand is opaque (you can’t see through it); when exposed to extreme heat, it reforms and becomes transparent. It’s got the same ingredients, but the internal change makes all the difference.

Micah 6:8 ~ He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Human power is the personal application of influence to control behavior; God’s power isn’t wielded, it’s yielded to. We don’t EXERCISE God’s power; we submit to it (obedience leads to God’s powerful presence in us).

Human wisdom is the learned beneficial application of knowledge; God’s wisdom isn’t learned, it’s received. We don’t WORK for God’s Wisdom; we accept it (as a gift).


Pastor Ed Backell

Flickr Photos

Pastoral Tweets

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 230 other followers


%d bloggers like this: