Looking Good

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nraveled - Looking Good #5

 

Scripture: John 11:1-4

Spiritual Growth Challenge: Practice your favorite verse of scripture. Live it out.

Spiritual Growth - The Word, Worship, Prayer, Living Generously

 

John 11:1-4

Nowa certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying,“Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But whenJesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

4When Jesus got the message, he said, “This sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son.” (MessageTranslation)

 

This is a series entitled “Unraveled” we will let God develop something out of us. In doing so, we will rise above our circumstances, conditions, and questions that plague our Christian life many times.

 

I don’t want you to think of your life as an “Instance" but begin to think of it as an "Occasion." An "Occasion" takes planning, time to develop and ends up being a lot more beneficial than to just a few people.

           Instance: It is an occurrence that takes place that people witness.

           Occasion:Is planned, Deliberate, Not casual, Takes time, Has process, People are affected.

 

I titled this message "Looking Good" because looking good on the outside often doesn't mean being good on the inside.

John11:40 “Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”

 

The opposite of Faith is not fear, as many people say. The opposite of faith is sight.

IICorinthians 5:7 “...for we walk by faith, not by sight."

 

Look how theProphet Habakkuk inspires the Apostle Paul and the author of Hebrews (who isun known). Habakkuk 2:4 “…but the righteous shall live by his faith.”

Romans 1:17 “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Galatians3:11 “Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Hebrews 10:38-39“38 And, "But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.”

Hebrews11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

 

The only purpose of this message is to move us from a place of looking to believing.  When I say “looking,” I am referring to “looking like we believe” vs. “actually believing.”

 

WhatDoes Looking Look Like? Looking can be identified in the "I know" and"He Forgot."

 

I Know:

The opposite of faith is sight. The biggest road block of our faith is religious knowledge and not knowing Jesus.

I can have excellent knowledge of the Bible.  But, if it is not helping me know Jesus personally and I have just gained more knowledge physically, I have missed the purpose of the Bible.

 

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”

When our knowledge about Jesus surpasses our faith in Jesus, we find ourselves telling Him what to do rather than following him to the miracle.

When we think we “know," we limit how much God can teach us.

 

 

 

 

HeForgot:        

39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”

           We tell the Master what he has forgotten about.

                       When we tell God what he has forgotten about, it shows we are living by past experience, not Faith for the Occasion that God is bringing us to.

 

WhatDoes Believing Look Like:

           Live from what you believe, not to prove your belief.

           I live right because of my belief, not to prove my beliefs.

                       The “High Road” not what we do. It is who we are.

                       Tithing- many people try to prove their belief by tithing instead of tithing because of faith.

                       When we do things as a fruit of our belief, we will prove and live out our faith.

 

The work is Spiritual. It will lead to physical actions.

Many people try to do physical things that they think will make them look spiritual and wonder why they never see results.

           If I just do "this" and"that," I will get this spiritual result.

 

The “Work” of God is to believe.

John6:29 “Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom             he has sent."

           

You have got to keep believing. Keep believing that He is the God of your Occasion:Maker, Placer, Taker.

Maker: He made your Occasion! But it does not mean He was the author of the circumstance.

He made your Occasion! He didn't cause your circumstance but because he loves you and those around you “It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son.”

40Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.”

 

Placer: He has placed you on a path for your Occasion!

Even though it may not seem like the path you would take, it is the one you need to be on if it is the path that Jesus is on.

This is what Thomas struggled with.

8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?

16So Thomas, called theTwin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

 

Taker: Believe in Him, not in your Occasion, and He will take you there!

A huge issue we face is not the lack of faith but misplaced faith. We have faith in things rather than the God who supplies.

Martha did what so many of us do:

21Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”

25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

 

She believed in the resurrection, not that Jesus was the resurrection. She believed in an event when Jesus was the event!

                       

In what areas of life have we misplaced our faith which has resulted in looking and not believing?