Now these are the words of Jesus
in Mark 9:38-41 John said to Jesus, "Teacher, we saw someone
using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he wasn't
in our group." "Don't stop him!" Jesus
said. "No one who performs a miracle in my name will soon be able to speak evil
of me. Anyone who is not against us is
for us. If anyone gives you even a cup
of water because you belong to the Messiah, I tell you the truth, that person
will surely be rewarded."
Many in ministry have been
catering to the "Me, Me, Me first!
Me Now!" spirit. And that is the way of babes, but true
ministry takes you beyond that, because babies should just be babies for a
Like some of you, I get weary of
ministry that constantly berates you. I
don't think that is the Spirit of Jesus or the Holy Spirit. We know there are parents and leaders and
ministers who will use terror or intimidation to rule others. They are ruling by fear. But if it is not necessary, it really is good
not to be that way. There is a
difference between conviction and intimidation for the goal of humiliation. God wants humility, not the destruction of
God wants Your Attention
But we also have to understand
that when laws and lifestyles are laid down for the first time, many times
there will be an impending or intimidating or sometimes even shocking
manifestation. God wants your
attention! Many leaders and advertisers
have caught on to this and use it in their style - for good or not.
For many, God has our attention
right now, and we need to hear what He is saying. As humans we are not perfect as He is, but we
should be trying - working at getting it the way He wants it, and we have to
learn and live to figure that out!
(Sometimes I get concerned when I see only young people in groups and
few older ones, who should have the wisdom from taking the hard knocks in life,
especially with a Godly history. I know
the more mature helped me along, and I am grateful.)
The "Me first" stage of
life believes that everything is waiting to cater to them NOW. They want the benefits now - and who doesn't
want good things? We all do, whatever
our flavor preferences are, but there is more to life than just "right
However, if we fail to see the
goodness of God in the land of the living - for us - then we will become jaded
or bitter or frustrated, and many will turn away. I say all that because I want us to
understand the Spirit of the verses above.
The Meaning of Life
Ministers who just want high
turnover with new faces all the time will continue to cater to the "me
firsts" and their impulsive ways.
They can only be short lived if we do not get the meaning of life.
But there are enough Christians
who really got born again who want to go on in life development in Him that are
willing to learn the greater things of truth.
They will not disappoint if we learn them right!
If you go further in that chapter
of the verses above, Jesus will give you the other side of the story. But let's hear the first side first! He is saying that following Him has rewards
and benefits. This is not just a
"good old boys" club, as far as He is concerned, and there are many
of those in the world and even the church, sad to say. But before you go accusing, let's hear what
Jesus really wants us to know.
He wants to bless us! He wants us to know that there is a reward
for getting it right. Now He had taught
His disciples how to cast out demons and that was pretty impressive. And because it was impressive, the boys now
had a thing going on! (We get that way,
It did get attention and of
course others wanted the benefit, because we all like good and powerful
beneficial things, so they were working at it.
We can't help it, we do like thrills, but we need to see the greater
thing and that is THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
Jesus had to correct His
disciples by saying that the other guys were getting the Spirit of this thing
right - even if they didn't have all the facts and knowledge yet. Deliverance (and healing) is not for the sake
of a show - it is a manifestation of the Kingdom. Greater life is beyond that.
Learning the Process
We all see Heaven as this wonderful
place and we all want to go there - except not right now! And the reason is because we think we might
miss out on something good still here.
The Lord wants us to know there is a work going on here and Heaven will
be gained, in greater and greater measures, and the Kingdom of Heaven (or Life)
can be brought here to earth! But there
is a process and we have to learn it.
When God was working with the
young Israelites, He did a lot of thundering and fire and even warned the
people of impending death if they didn't get this thing right. Was He trying to intimidate them by
fear? No, He was letting them know that
a good thing was going on and not to mess it up because it was a matter of life
and death for all the world!
They didn't quite get that, but
it very much was what was going on. God
was taking chaos and setting it straight.
He was putting in order things that did not really prosper. If you live in only the short term on some
things, you will do the seeming expedient for the moment many times, but we
need to see that there is a bigger picture going on and God knows that cute
little babies grow up! Even ugly little
babies grow up!
But what happens from there can
be good, because He is the Messiah, Deliverer, Healer and Master and He wants
our fellowship in quality relationship!
We were created for fellowship with the Divine, and we must come into
His Order for that to manifest and prosper.
We need to understand in these
above verses that Jesus is saying that if even a little bit in your heart you
want what is good and right, He can work with that, and He will reward it! Maybe your reward does not come this very
instant, but God has you in mind and
that reward and blessing is in the works!
You really don't want this life
to be all there is, as good as it can be sometimes. We want more! We are always seeking for that eternal youth
and life and happiness, but in Christ, it is there!
We are shedding off the old as we
take on the new. The new grows inside
and has benefits in this life and beyond.
And the new is good - if you want it!
And God will get the glory for it.
It's a life time experience that goes into forever. We will get new bodies and a new world. But it starts in the now.