The Living Room: 2.23.11

Last night’s lesson

OPENING QUESTION: What makes you nervous about other churches? (Whether it be the way they worship or the kind of work they do?)

THE TEXT ??? MARK 9.38???41 

It’s pretty simple tonight: The disciples see someone who’s casting out demons, an awesome and wonderful work, but they tell him to stop because he isn’t a part of their specific group of disciples. 

Two things here: 

1.) We must be careful that we do not become so arrogant as to think we are the only ones doing good. At the same time, we must not become jealous that others may be doing good or even better things. Because we are all working for the same Lord, we should rejoice in the work that is being done for God. It happens in all sorts of places, by all sorts of people. The way in which it is done should not distract us from the fact that God is being glorified and salvation is making people whole. 

2.) We must take the opportunity to invite people into the work that we are doing. If we are doing the same work, then why not do that work together. John and the others forbade the man from exercising demons when John should have been inviting the man to join the disciples and fight the enemy together. The real battle is not with who is doing the work ‘right’ or with a certain group, as much as Satan is being thwarted by God’s kingdom work. We are in a fight with forces that desire to ruin the soul, therefore we must fight this force together. When we turn in on ourselves, we cannot fight the real enemy. Jesus himself said in Matthew 12, Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 

The great lesson here from the disciplies isn’t so much about unity as much as it is about being inclusive. There’s a difference. Our willingness to allow others to do the work that needs to be done is important. Cutting them off not only damages the relationship but it stops or halts the work. We must stand and fight, allowing the greatest amount of work to be done possible. Allow others to do their work for God, and you do your work. We must come at the devil from all sides, with all kinds of work. The importance is the work, not the group.


Written with Essay on iPad

Rev. Whit R. Martin 
Redwine UMC
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Sent from Whit’s iPad 

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