Little faith – Matthew 17:14-20

Coming down from the Mount of Transfiguration, this was the scene for Jesus and his disciples (from the ESV).

14 And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, 15 said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he has seizures and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” 17 And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Let’s admit right from the start that rebuking a demon and getting immediate, happy results is no small thing, unless you are Jesus.  He did this kind of thing all the time.  Most of us, let’s also admit, probably fall into the category of the disciples.  They failed.

Sometimes failure just happens.  Maybe what we tried was a bad idea.  Maybe it wasn’t God’s will.  Maybe the failure was in our approach, so we need to go back and try again with a lesson learned.  Sometimes we fail due to lack of faith.  That was the case here.

Jesus doesn’t attribute all problems to demons nor all failure to too little faith, so neither should we.  Sometimes, however, the battle is purely spiritual.  The gates of hell are busy in their futile efforts to prevail against the church.  Their failure is assured in the long run.  Jesus will see to that.  In the short run, we have to take a little responsibility.

Let’s willingly engage in the work of spiritual warfare, remembering that we serve a big God who promises victory.  And let’s not be hindered by our all-too-usual lack of faith.  The strength of the church, the souls of the lost and the advancement of God’s will in the world are dependent, to some extent, on our faithful engagement.

Stand Firm – Ephesians 6:10-24

ephesus-grand-theatre - from Ephesus BreezeStand Firm
Ephesians 6:10-24

In the ongoing battle with spiritual darkness that rages against us, no treaties can be made.  One side will always win and the other lose.  Fight to win.

 

Ephesians 6.10-24.pdf       Ephesians 6.10-24.mp3

Saved by Grace – Ephesians 2:1-10

ephesus-grand-theatre - from Ephesus Breeze
Saved by Grace – Ephesians 2:1-10

After praying that our hearts would be opened, Paul now describes in greater detail what it means to be saved.

 

Ephesians 2.01-10.pdf        Ephesians 2.01-10.mp3

Palmer St. Podcast: Transforming Grace

God’s callings are always accompanied by His enabling. He will never call us to do something without also enabling us to do it. Many times the Lord asks us to do something that is impossible. And then, working in us, by His Spirit, He proceeds to do the impossible. The person who receives the most from God’s grace is not the one who has the most forgiven, but the one who is the most transformed.

1 Tim 1.12-20.mp3

1 Tim 1.12-20.pdf

1 Tim 1.12-20.pptx

Palmer St. Podcast: Ephesians 6:10-24

 If you were a soldier out on the battlefield, and your army was under attack, what safety measures would you take to protect yourself? You’d want to be well protected: be covered head to toe with body armor. You would also want some kind of weapons to use in order to fight back and defeat your attackers. The same is true in the spiritual realm in the battle we find ourselves in.

Eph 6.10-24.mp3

Eph 6.10-24.pdf

Palmer St. Podcast: Intro to Ephesians

A superficial Christian faith is plaguing the church.  Ephesians, if taken seriously, is a letter that can offer some correction for that disgusting superficiality.  We’re going to spend a few months digging deeply into it and this study gives us a quick overview of the text and the major themes we will find as we dig.

Intro to Ephesians.mp3

Intro to Ephesians.pdf

Palmer St. Podcast: 2 Corinthians 10

The Corinthian church had a tendency to judge spiritual things by earthly standards. Therefore Paul, a godly man if ever there was one, did not seem to measure up in the eyes of some of them. In this chapter Paul tries to clarify the issue for them. They need to begin seeing things from God’s perspective rather than through the eyes of this world. Why? For starters, in the unseen, spiritual realm a serious war is raging. Our duty is to take up our weapons and fight.

2 Cor 10.mp3

2 Cor 10.pdf