Let’s continue our thoughts from yesterday. What does it take to get ready for the services at your Church. One man told me many years ago, “Prior planning prevents potentially poor performance.” I made this statement PG rated after I heard it. I did that because it is the truth.
If we don’t take the time to prepare then we will most likely fail. You say, “Fail at worship?” Yes. What is worship? Worship is ascribing worth to someone or some thing. If I believe that my new car has great worth I might be worshipping it. I know that will hit home to some of you. It does not have to be a car. It could be anything or anybody. Yes, anybody.
The problem is that we know we need to take time to prepare for the services; but, we fuss and fight all the way to Church and as soon as we get to the door, “Wham-o!” Something happens and suddenly it is like nothing is wrong. This sounds like a hypocrite to me. Yes, I am guilty just so you know. I don’t like it either.
It all comes down to a heart problem. Look again at Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Only God knows and if you will call out to Him, He will answer you and keep your heart where it needs to be.
The other evening on the way home from Church my wife commented on our music listening. She asked me if I realized that on the way to Church we listened to music. I said yes. She then told me that on our way home I do not turn the music on. Our son watches a DVD in the back seat. I did not even realize I was doing this.
I am sure you do not even care about why this happens. I am going to share with you anyway. On the way to Church we are listening to music that reaches to the heart. We are preparing for the services.
The problem that people have is their heart. We must prepare our hearts to hear and obey God’s Word. Look at Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
The unspoken meaning in Jeremiah 17:9 is that God knows our heart. He knows it is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked:”. We are not fooling Him at all.
So, as we go to Church we must take dedicated time to knock the heart in line with the LORD and the Word. Then we can take the next step to prepare for the services.
This father lived everyday with the fear that his son would be thrown into the fire, the sea or some other place that would be hazardous to his health. Think about the stress this man and his family faced. I cannot imagine how this boy felt either. He was unable to control his own body at times. It would be a nightmare.
The father and the family came to the place that they saw the long awaited deliverance. Look at Mark 9:25, “When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.”
We all know that if Jesus says it that settles it. There is no room for debate. Jesus spoke and this boy was delivered. He had endured so much. This day Jesus showed up in his life and changed things for him. His long awaited deliverance was now a reality. It was here.
Dear friend, maybe you are struggling with some situation. You might feel like you will drown if something miraculous does not happen. Cry out to God. He is a miracle working God and He is waiting to do something in your life. He might not give you the miraculous deliverance you are seeking; but, He will give you what you need to live. He will fill you with His grace to keep going on. He will equip you.
He is more concerned with our character than our comfort. He wants us to be conformed to the image of Jesus. Part of that process is the unpleasant molding. It hurts! One day we can all rest assured that we will be delivered. It might be the day that we are called home to Heaven. As God’s children we can look forward to that. Then all that we have suffered will seem like nothing as we stand before God.
I remember a number of years ago when our son was very sick. I do mean very sick. We were going through diapers almost faster then we could buy them. It was horrible. I remember kneeling at his bedside and praying. I can still remember the hot tears stinging my face. I remember crying out to God as a father to my Heavenly Father.
Suddenly, I felt like someone put their arms around me. I cannot even begin to describe that for you. I know it happened though. Wow! As I recalled that time I was reminded of “The Unknown Father” and his loving plea.
Look at Mark 9:24, “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” He was rocked to his very core. His emotions had been more than stirred. The Master was ministering where this man lived. I can imagine how this father felt. He was desperate. He needed a miracle for his son.
As Jesus is talking to him, he makes this loving plea. Notice how open and honest this man is with Jesus. He said, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” He is telling Jesus that he does trust Him; but, it is hard to trust Him because he has been disappointed so many times by others. We must go to Jesus first. Too many people try to use Jesus like a genie in a bottle. “Lord help!” they will cry out; but, when things are all going their way they think nothing of Jesus.
This father was motivated by love and compassion for his son. We need to get back to having Bible love and compassion for our children and others.
As we look around it does not take long to see the Christianity is quickly becoming hated. I had the pleasure of hearing a missionary friend of mine speak to our Church. He told how there was a plot to capture him on one trip and then behead him. The joke is on the attackers. My friend has male pattern baldness so they would have nothing to grab to hold up his head for the camera as they celebrated.
Why would missionaries go all over the world? Because they are motivated by our LORD. In verses 19-23 we see his LORD.
This man came to Jesus’ disciples in hopes of getting his son healed. They could not. Then Jesus goes to him and begins to talk with him. Look at what this man says to Jesus in Mark 9:22, “And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.” He is pleading for Jesus to have compassion upon his son, his family and himself. He was speaking to the God of Compassion. Jesus is LORD. That means He is the Boss. The Master.
This man cried out in desperation for help and compassion from Jesus. I am sure he had heard all the stories of Jesus healing others. One more time the man took his son to try to get him help. This time he took him to the Master who is The Great Physician..
Sometimes as I read the Bible I hear things in my mind. No, I am not crazy thank you very much. I mean, I can hear what is going on in my sanctified imagination. As I was reading Mark 9:14-29 I could hear this father as he talked with Jesus. I could hear the emotion in his voice. I could see the tears in his eyes. I know because there have been times that I have stood before God my Father just like “The Unknown Father”.
Today I want to look at his longing. We all have desires for our children. We want them to grow up healthy and be successful. We want to attend their wedding. We want to walk our daughters down the aisle in a snow white dress and give her away to a man in a snow white tuxedo. A longing is prolonged unfulfilled desire or need. As I write this I am reminded that I will never perform my son’s wedding. He has no desire to play basketball or throw a baseball with me. These are just a couple expectations that a father has.
Look at Mark 9:18, “And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.” Notice what this father said, “and they could not.” He was longing for his son to be whole; but, the disciples could not heal him. Once again his hopes were dashed upon the rocks of life. Once again he had dreamed of his son being whole. Yet, his dreams were crushed again.
I am guessing that you; my reader, know how this man feels. You have watched as your hopes were dashed on the rocks of the sea of life. Don’t give up hope. Keep that longing and take it to God and give it to Him.
Today is a day of the instant. We stand in front of the microwave yelling at “Minute Rice” that it has been thirty (30) seconds already. We want it and we want it now. This is a sad commentary on our society. It has crept into the Church too, unfortunately.
As we look again today at “The Unknown Father” I would like to look at his longsuffering. This is a lost art in our world. We want swift justice. We want immediate revenge (or sooner). This man shows that he is longsuffering. What does that mean really? It means patiently bearing continual wrongs or trouble.
Look at Mark 9:18, “And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.” Look at what he has had to endure watching is son experience, “he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away”. Can you imagine watching this take place? I cannot. Although, I have. I pray that I never have to again.
It takes a special parent to have a child like this. I do not say this to pat myself on the back. I say this to bring awareness. Families with children who have special needs are special families. They are people that live being longsuffering. You must have this attribute our you will not make it. Far too many parents run out when the going gets tough so to speak. I feel so sorry for them. They miss out on so much by being absentee.
The next time your child or someone else gets on your nerves just remember that Jesus is longsuffering with you and you need to be with others also. This is easy for me to say right now; but, it is extremely difficult in some circumstances I know. Try it.
The other evening I was watching the news (I know better) and it seemed like one news story after the other about parents who abused their child or children. It was horrible. I know the Bible tells us that in the last days that father’s and mother’s hearts will turn away from their children. It was so sad.
Today I would like to look at the Unknown Father’s love. Look at Mark 9:18, “And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.” As I was reading this verse I could almost hear the love and emotion of The Unknown Father.
If you love someone you will serve them. We know that from the words of Scripture. Even more should parents love their children and serve them as Christ served others. This loving father had watched many times as a demon caused his son to suffer with seizures. I know from experience this is horrible. Yet, this father loved his son so much that he stayed with him and loved him.
In our world today parents do not love their children often times like we should. If we did the abortion rate would not skyrocket like it has. Millions upon millions of innocent lives have been murdered at the hands of unloving parents and abortion doctors. God forgive us please!
If you struggle with having a Christ-like love for your children then I would recommend you spend much time in prayer asking God to fill you with His love for those children. He will if you ask.
I find it interesting that God chose not to name the father in our passage in Mark 9:14-29. In His infinite wisdom He chose to leave out this man’s name. Even though, we can learn a lot from him.
First of all look at Mark 9:17, “And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;” The first thing I notice is his leadership. He said, “Master, I have brought unto thee my son,”.
If ever we need men to step up and be men it is today. Men have been beaten up by so many people that we are losing our desire to even be men. Sitcoms are full of stabs at men. The world and the devil want us to be neutered and just sit back and watch life go by. Guess what? That is not God’s plan for men.
It is high time that men rise up and be men! We must be godly men and lead as Christ leads. How is that you ask? Simple. Jesus led by sacrifice. If you love someone you will serve them. Remember Jesus put a towel about Him and washed disciples nasty, stinking feet? Yes, that is servant leadership.
We are not to be a dictator! That kind of leadership will not work. You will be like the one man who was out in front leading. One day he turned around to look and found he was alone. He was not leading. He was simply out for a walk.
Men, it is high time that we take back our God given responsibility and be a man again. Will you make the sacrifice to be a servant leader? You will not regret it for sure.
I enjoy southern gospel music. I remember hearing a local group doing their rendition of the song, “I Know A Man Who Can”. I was so moved by this song. I began to research to find it. When I did I found that some big named groups had performed it too. Here is the group Greater Vision singing the song.
As I pondered the truth on the song I was taken to the Word of God. I began to dig around and I found Mark 9:17, “And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;”
Here we have a father who took his son to Jesus’ disciples for healing from a “demon”. We believe today that this demon was causing the boy seizures. In the Word of God is recorded many things about this man. The one thing that is not recorded is his name. Thus the title, “The Unknown Father”.
So many people just simply go on doing what they have to do without any accolades. While others have a deep seated need to the applause of people. Over the next few days I want to share with you some of the attributes of “The Unknown Father”. I think we can all benefit from them.