I hope this finds you all well. I am praying for you all and encourage you to pray for one another as the week progresses.
Whatever temptations you find yourself facing with this week, know that the mighty one, Jesus, has overcome them. They are an opportunity to die to yourself and experience the life of Christ.
Jesus has overcome the world and our faith in that is how we overcome the trials and temptations in our little worlds. But we have to want Jesus more than what is offered to us in the temptation.
Cry out to Christ. Go to Him hungry and thirsty and you will find rest and peace for your souls in every wilderness.
Many blessings! Next Sunday we will explore our calling as parables of Jesus. See you Sunday!
Filling up the edges
There is a dimension to reality behind what we see and at the center of human existence.
Ephesians 2:1–3…you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience…
Ephesians 6:10–13…. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places…
2 Corinthians 4:3–4… our gospel is veiled…to those who are perishing…the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Hebrews 2:14–16… through death [Jesus] might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
1 John 3:8Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
This is why when a paralytic comes to be healed by Jesus, Jesus forgives his sins. Madness and epilepsy are of the devil. Sin has broken the world and though there is suffering, the true problem isn’t the trying or difficult circumstances, but Satan and his forces of darkness.
Behind the death of Job’s children and his destroyed crops and his boils, is the devil. All brokenness in this world is the result of Satan, who twisted our flesh – bentus – so we don’t work properly.
People come to Jesus in desperation, need, humility and the belief that Jesus is the mighty one who will set things right.
The people who come to Jesus have cleared the way, gotten rid of everything that holds them back or gets in the way of their devotion to Him.
People go to the wilderness and there Jesus is defeating His enemies. They come with their filth or anguish or deafness or sin and it’s all they have to offer Jesus and He receives them and heals them.
This is why Jesus comes into the wilderness of the world. To defeat Satan and make things straight.
Mark doesn’t conclude the confrontation in the wilderness because it doesn’t conclude till Chapter 16. The confrontation is itself important, since it is sustained throughout Jesus’ ministry. This is why Mark does not say anything about the content of the conflict; Mark’s whole Gospel account constitutes the explanation of the manner in which Jesus assaults Satans forces of darkness.
For Mark, the testing in the wilderness is what the whole Gospel story is about. Jesus is the God of heaven incarnate, come into the wilderness world, bringing his kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.
Jesus is the mighty one. Jesus is a one-man army who faces a legion of demons and defeats them. Jesus is on a mission of conquest and His battle is not a one-time face off with the principalities and powers of the air or the god of this world.
Jesus goes on protracted campaign confronting the spiritual forces behind leprosy, unbelief, deafness, illness and death itself. Jesus is destroying the real enemy, the spiritual forces of darkness that lay behind the natural world we can see.
In Mark 1:10 we read that the Heavens were not just opened but ripped open. The same verb is used to describe the splitting of the temple veil, from top to bottom, when Jesus dies in Mark 15:38.
What is opened may be closed, but what is ripped cannot easily return to its former state. Opening a milk jug is not the same as ripping it open.
The ripping of the heavens is a violent metaphor. This is a divine infiltration by God into the realm of men. Jesus’ baptism was a revolutionary act of humility that broke down the division between heaven and earth. It is through Jesus that a direct connection between heaven and earth – God and man – is made.
The ultimate act of God’s self-revelation is occurring at the baptism of Christ, a baptism in which we are included in Christ.
Isaiah 64:1.Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down…
The life and hope of Israel and the whole world is dependent on this long yearned for action on God’s part.
Jesus never left the wilderness. Everyone who goes to the wilderness finds Him there. When everything else is put away, the path made straight, all other comforts, sustenance and distractions are put away; when true repentance occurs – thirsty and hungry, we stand alone with nothing in a wilderness. And there Jesus is.
Jesus is victorious in the wilderness. All of them. He is approached time and time again by people who desire only Him, by people who are in a wilderness, who possess nothing – they cry out to Jesus.
Jesus is victorious in the wilderness, in the valley of the shadow of death – to be with us, to be at hand, to be present in our wilderness, our valley of the shadow of death. Jesus was victorious over temptation to be there with us in our temptation.
So that mankind in his barren, fallen wasteland would have a way out, a way forward, upward – to the father.
Why are you tempted?
James 1:12–15“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
Well, how do we stand the test? What is our steadfastness? Who can make bent things straight?
In the wilderness there is only one comfort, one hope – the Mighty One; the Holy One.
1 Corinthians 10:13No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
In this combat Jesus will hold down the enemy with suppressing fire so that you can make it forward. He will clear your path like divine artillery and air support to break up every bunker and roadblock.
But you have to want Him more than what is being offered to you in the temptation.
Is Jesus better than the porn? Is Jesus better than the lie? Is Jesus greater than the easy-safe-selfish thing your bent flesh wants?
Who wins? The cancer? The financial turmoil? The little nagging voice that tells you, you aren’t a Christian? You are all suffers and sinners. Both. Together. You are bent.
Who can make your path straight? Who can set you straight? Who overcomes the barrage of darkness in this world?
John 16:33I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
1 John 5:4-5For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
There is nothing to overcome in the world. You try to overcome it with drink and sex and pleasure. You try to overcome it by trying harder, earning more, doing more. You sit in despair and the world overcomes you.
But there is nothing to overcome in the world. Only the appearance that there is. Jesus has overcome the world. What you must do – is believe it!
Around the worldwide web
If you don’t know who Propaganda, the spoken word and hip-hop artist is, you should. If you want the Gospel message in four minutes, give this a listen.
When Rising from Sleep
My God, Father, and Savior, since you have been pleased to give me the grace to come through the night to the present day, now grant that I may employ it entirely in your service, so that all my works may be to the glory of your name and the edification of my neighbors. As you have been pleased to make your sun shine upon the earth to give us bodily light, grant the light of your Spirit to illumine my understanding and my heart. And because it means nothing to begin well if one does not persevere, I ask that you would continue to increase your grace in me until you have led me into full communion with your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who is the true Sun of our souls, shining day and night, eternally and without end. Hear me, merciful Father, by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Continue to familiarize yourself with this song .
Erik Lilja, Call
Nate Cejka, Prayer
DISCIPLESHIP CLASS: A SURVEY OF THE GOSPELS
Sunday mornings 9AM, through 11/18/18. Childcare provided for children 2-6. Kids aged 7 and up are encouraged to join the adult class.
Saturday, Sept 22, St. Edwards Park. Register for free meal tickets and meal times at heidelfest.org. Please consider donating to the Marketplace. Contact Kim Hatcher: email@example.com with contributions or questions.
LADIES’ FELLOWSHIP GATHERING
Wednesday, Sept 26, 7pm at Lannie Brown’s home. Fall meet-and-greet; snacks provided.
MEN’S PRAYER BREAKFAST
October 13th, 9AM at the church. Breakfast provided. Time of fellowship and prayer.
October 26-27. Why Marriage Matters (Doug & Nancy Wilson); Trinity Church Office; 14623 NE North Woodinville Way, Suite 201. Online registration coming soon; no childcare will be provided.