Recorded on April 18th, 2021
Faithfulness is tough. It can scare the pants off of you. But you need to trust in God that his visions and plans are bigger than you can ever imagine.
Transcript of Sermon:
Today we continue our journey in the book of mark we are going to be in mark 2 through 12. you can read along in your bulletin or on the screen or in your bible mark 2 through 12 tells us this after six days jesus took peter james and john with him and led them up a high mountain where they were all alone there he was transfigured before them his clothes became dazzling wider than white than anyone in the world could bleach them and there appeared before them elijah and moses who were talking with jesus peter said to jesus 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 he did not know what to say they were so frightened then a cloud appeared and covered them and a voice came from the cloud this is my son whom i love listen to him suddenly when they looked around they no longer saw anyone with them except jesus as they were coming down the mountain jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the son of man had risen from the dead they kept the matter to themselves discussing what rising from the dead meant and they asked him what do the teachers of the law say that elijah must come first jesus replied to be sure eliza does come first and restores all things why then is it written that the son of man suffer and be rejected but i tell you elijah has come and they have done to him everything they wished just as it is written about him this is the word of god for the people of god last week we talked about carrying our cross the call that jesus gives us this dichotomy between people who simply believe in jesus and people who are followers disciples of jesus people who simply believe say yes i’m christian i believe in jesus but people who are followers people who are disciples of jesus do some pretty specific things they deny themselves which means they submit themselves to the plans of god to the purposes of god they’re willing to give up their life things that they want the things that they hope for they dream for in exchange for what god has planned for them and they’re willing to carry their cross they’re willing to carry the burdens that come along with submitting their life to god and they also follow they follow jesus not the world not the plans of the world not the plans of their fathers their mothers their grandparents their schools but they follow jesus this is what a disciple does and and jesus went on to say if you want to save your life you’re going to lose it meaning if you hold on to your life with everything that you have your hopes your dreams if you do everything you can to try and make that happen you’re going to end up losing all the things that you wanted but if if you’re willing to lose your life for me in the gospel you will gain life this is where we ended off last week and i shared with you that this specific scripture from mark was a scripture that i heard in church when we were going through the process of being called by god to adoption something that we had never considered something that neither joe or i grew up thinking that we were going to do in fact we were so certain we were done having children that joe had had you know the man thing the vasectomy we were done not having kids something that you know threw us into kind of a panic and kind of you know we really did not know what to do with this call it turned our lives upside down this idea that god wanted us to adopt a child and i remember clearly every feeling every certainty that it wasn’t possible i remember clearly knowing that we couldn’t afford it i remember clearly wondering thinking if we could do what god was asking us to do if our family could sustain endure what god was asking us to do i remember wondering what would happen to the dynamics of our family i remember counting this cost over and over again you see i was standing simply standing in line at an amusement park talking with my sister who could not have children at an amusement park she had done all of the things that you do as a human who can’t have children and still could not have children and i said to her well have you considered adoption and clear as day for the first and only time in my life god spoke to me words that were clear precise adoption is not just for those who cannot have children and that was it adoption is not just for those who cannot have children [Music] and it was the beginning the beginning of the call and then there was a thing and then another thing and then another thing and as i shared with joe these things and then joe shared with me other things that were happening with him we realized oh my word we’re really being told to do this we’re being called we’re being invited we’re being shown what the path in front of us is supposed to look like can we do this is this possible is this really what we’re being asked to do we can’t do this yet in the midst of that wondering questioning certain that it’s not possible certain that we’re not capable certain that not us we’re not those people there were these glimpses these glimpses glimpses of glory glimpses of what could be one of them specifically still blows my mind and still today brings me to tears this glimpse of joe’s dad who is like six foot four tall guy holding the hand of a little asian girl toddler age clear as day a glimpse of what could be of what we were fighting for of what we were meant to be fighting for and those glimpses whenever god would give them to me were like this anchor or this pulling this reminding of it doesn’t matter how hard it is this is what you’re fighting for doesn’t matter how scared you are this is where you’re going doesn’t matter how impossible it seems this is what’s coming and then there was this glimpse that just about gutted me it’s when god made me realize that we weren’t just adopting some random child but that we were had a daughter not any daughter a daughter that there was a child already alive who was our child that there was a child already alive sitting in an orphanage who was our child waiting for us to go get her and if we waited any longer she would continue to sit in that orphanage she was hours and i had this glimpse of her waiting for her parents to come and get her she wasn’t somebody else’s kid she was waiting for us they were anchoring moments and what we see here with the transfiguration is similar moments for the disciples you see you cannot understand the transfiguration without looking at what happens precisely before it because right before the transfiguration do you know what happens immediately preceding the transfiguration jesus tells the disciples that he’s going to have to leave them not only is he going to have to leave them but he’s going to have to leave them in the most gruesome of ways he’s going to have to die he’s going to have to die and it’s going to be a horrible death he’s going to have to die and then he’s going to be resurrected but not resurrected to stay with them resurrected to go to heaven and leave them again then he tells them that when he’s gone they are going to have to live like he lived they are going to have to do the work that he did they are going to have to follow him they’re going to have to deny themselves to carry their cross and to follow the way of jesus can you imagine what that must have been like for them can you just imagine put yourself in their shoes they had been walking with this man whom they believed in for all of this time for years three years they loved him he loved them they’d learned from him they had been healed themselves they had healed others they had done great works together and now he’s saying i’m leaving and not only am i leaving but you’re going to have to carry on this work all on your own and i bet you they’re thinking there is no way we cannot do this work without you people are not gonna follow me they’re not gonna follow us we’re not gonna have crowds around us who’s gonna follow me we’re not you jesus people aren’t gonna listen to us people aren’t gonna hear us and besides even if they did what do i have to say i’m not the son of god i’m not the messiah i’m not you i can’t do this but jesus prepares them first by telling them how to do it they have to deny themselves they have to submit to jesus’s plan they have to follow jesus and then then he takes three of them to the top of a mountain where in an instant he is transformed and not only is he transformed but as peter and james and john look up they see moses and elijah and moses represents all of history the law and elijah represents the prophets and now if you’re an israelite this is everything this is their whole world this is everything they grew up thinking and learning and dreaming about these are people that they’ve learned to love yet they’ve never met and they see them right there talking with jesus it’s unbelievable is it no wonder that peter says oh my gosh oh my gosh they’re all here i’m gonna build them tents can i build you tents let’s build you tents because if i build you tents we can just stay right here in this moment you guys can live here and we can eat together and we can do stuff together and nobody has to leave who cares about all the need around us who cares about all the people down the mountain let’s just stay right here and i get that desire because that would so be me i like this moment right here i like life just as it is right here and that’s like us in our walk life is pretty good right now i like life right now i can handle life the way it is right now i like this why change this and so often when god calls us to do things it’s when things are going pretty darn good not when they’re bad rarely does god say hey let’s go do something new when things are going really terrible because usually we’d be like come on see ya it’s usually when we’re in a groove it’s usually when life is going good and that’s what happened in our life things were going we were trucking life was happening and god said i have something new for you and it’s going to scare the pants off you but you got to trust me you got to believe in me you got to believe that my story for you my vision for you is bigger than what you can see right now and i got to tell you those glimpses that god gave us anchored us helped us to see that it could be more and that’s what god is doing with peter and james’s john they’re giving him glimpses but peter wanted to stay in the glimpse peter wanted to say let’s just say right here but jesus says no our work is not here but i’m showing you i’m showing you that this is what the kingdom looks like this is what we’re working towards what jesus was doing for peter and james and john was showing what the kingdom to come was looking like this is what we’re working for this is why we want to get people with us because at the end of time this is what we’re all going to be like transformed glorious together transform this is what we’re working toward together but we can’t be done we are not done it’s not just about james and john and peter it’s about all of humanity and your work is not done we’re not setting up tents here we’re not setting up tents here and so god appears in the clouds have you ever considered how often god appears in the clouds you know you and i today find god in our sunrises and sunsets which are so beautiful but so often in scripture god’s in the clouds and sometimes when it’s rainy and darkest god’s right there with us in the clouds and here in this moment god shows up in the clouds and says this is my son and i love him listen to him and so peter james and john are told by jesus we’re not staying here in this moment our work is not finished and as they walk back down the mountain jesus says you cannot share this yet and it wasn’t because they weren’t supposed to share it was because this moment would be needed later because when jesus left them when they would be left to do the work that jesus was calling them to they would need this moment that other disciples would need this glimpse of glory to remind them what they were working for to remind them that it wasn’t about this moment but for one to come [Music] and they would need that time to share this moment with the disciples when they were discouraged when their expectations were not being met when their hope was feeling like it was lost this is when the disciples would need to hear about this glimpse of glory god does not leave us when god calls us god does not leave us in our fear god does not leave us in our wondering god does not leave us without hope jesus was not leaving the disciples without hope jesus put a big burden on the shoulders of the disciples telling them that he could not stay any longer telling them preparing them for what was to come but he also gave them a glimpse of what they were working for the same is true for us the same was true for my family and those glimpses i gotta tell you were just one percent of the glory that we have experienced with melee in our family i got to tell you i mean you’ve met her if you’ve met her here if you’ve been in this place you’ve seen what a dynamic incredible amazing human being this child is she’s showing us a picture of a dragon right now no oh we’re all dead in that picture but that’s okay haha she says but let me tell you every one of my family members ever ask the boys they will tell you she is the best thing we’ve ever done nothing in this world is perfect we have no promises god never promised it would be perfect but god promised us that god would be with us and that god’s plans are bigger than our plans we simply need to trust jesus so as you are called in your life as jesus calls you out of the comfortable as jesus calls you out of your comfort zone the invitation to you is to say yes no matter how scared no matter how sad no matter how unexpected it feels and to put all of those feelings at his feet because he accepts them he knows how you feel and to start looking expectantly for those glimpses of glory that will come that will anchor you on the path that you are now taking that is new that is scary but i promise you is filled with hope let us pray god i thank you for never leaving us in our struggles and in our fear i thank you for calling us out into the unknown i thank you for the explanation for the example of jesus in our lives it is difficult to submit ourselves to give our lives over and you know that and how wonderful it is that you give us ways to comfort us to encourage us to walk with us in that fear and in that unknown and i thank you god for walking with us in that give us courage cradle our hearts and our souls in the sadness but encourage us with glimpses of glory of what is to come it’s in the name of jesus we pray amen