February 2, 2018

Today you should read: Luke 9:28-45

In Luke 9:28-36 Peter, John and James were privileged to see Jesus in all His true glory. As Jesus was praying to His Father secluded on the top of a mountain with the three, his face became altered and His clothes transformed to a dazzling white. If that was shocking enough, Jesus starts having a conversation with Moses and Elijah. As the disciples started asking if they could just stay in this moment, God encompasses them with a cloud and tells them that Jesus is His Son, the Chosen One, and to listen to Him. They were shaken. And after this spiritual high, seeing Jesus in all His glory hanging out with His homeboys, Moses and Elijah, the disciples get rebuked by Jesus a few verses later. And you thought you’ve had emotional extremes?  After coming home from the mountain the next day, a great crowd found Jesus and the disciples and a man from the crowd cried out and begged for Jesus to cast out a demon out of his son. He says that he pleaded with the disciples to do it but they couldn’t. To that statement Jesus says this:

 “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.”

I can only imagine what the disciples were thinking when hearing this after the transfiguration of Jesus the day before. However it doesn’t take much imagination because Jesus calls them out over the exact issue we still struggle with and are rebuked for. We get more clarity on that issue from the Gospel account of Mark who gives greater details of this encounter in Mark 9. Jesus is disappointed in their lack of faith along with the father of the son’s lack of faith. I’m always amazed at my lack of faith at times after experiencing saving faith through salvation and I should not be surprised that they displayed the same unbelief, even after seeing Jesus in all His glory. After the father describes the demonic attacks to Jesus, the man says But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus points out the big “BUT IF” in that father’s statement with this… “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” And then verse 24 of Mark 9 says: “Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!'”

I BELIEVE; HELP MY UNBELIEF.

Talk about a cry of my heart and many others. I believe in the Gospel. I believe that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me, will never leave me and Has a perfect will for me. I believe He desires for the lost to be found, the broken to be restored and for marriages and families to be reconciled back to each other. I believe He cares for the suffering and He is sovereign over the darkness. I believe, but help my unbelief. Help me in the times I pray “IF IT’S IN YOUR WILL” not because that’s how Jesus prayed but because I’m using it as an excuse when I don’t have faith that you’ll do it. Help my unbelief in certain counseling situations when I’m treading lightly because I don’t have enough faith in your miraculous intervention or true life change. Help my unbelief when I say “Well, I know God CAN do it BUT let’s also be realistic here.” Let us know that each time we do this, Jesus could be saying to us the same thing He said to the father of the demon possessed child—”If you can?!?! All things are possible for one who believes.”

One thing that can help our unbelief right now is taking heed to what Jesus says to the disciples when they ask why they couldn’t cast out this specific demon when they were able to do it to previous demons (Mark 9:29). Jesus tells them This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” Prayer is so interlinked with our faith AND lack of faith that Jesus is implying and encouraging them to spend more time in communication with their Heavenly Father because He knows it will lead to growth in their faith. May we truly live out our faith as well.

Where are you struggling with a lack of faith? How can we pray for you?

By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor

Author: cpclexington

Lexington & Richmond KY

3 thoughts on “February 2, 2018”

  1. Isn’t it amazing how Peter, James, & John experience the following:

    1) they see Jesus transfigured and his clothes become as “bright as lightning” (NIV)
    2) they see Moses & Elijah talking to Jesus
    3) they hear God’s voice from heaven saying, “This is my Son, listen to him”

    Yet when Jesus tells them He is going to be betrayed & delivered into the hands of evil men, they simply cannot understand it. Why? Because they had preconceived notions of what Jesus was going to be and how he was going to overthrow their oppressive rulers and restore Israel to glory. Their eyes & ears were blinded to what Jesus was telling them. They couldn’t imagine how a man who walks on water, feeds thousands with a few fish & bread, and raised the dead to life, could be overcome by evil men & crucified.

    I’m convinced we still struggle with the same issues in 2018. If we’re not careful, we have preconceived notions of how Jesus is working and sometimes miss the amazing things God is doing in ways beyond our conventional thinking. My prayer today is that the church in the 21st century has eyes to see and ears to hear what God is calling us to do. We still need to “listen to Him.”

  2. I’ve enjoyed jumping back into JumpStart all the way from Arkansas. Thomas and I miss our CPC fam!

    Thanks for the humbling and encouraging post Erik. God has been showing me lately that even the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) ways I try to control or anticipate situations is a sneaky manifestation of my lack of faith. I have been practicing taking a step back, going to the Lord in prayer over something and letting it “simmer”, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide my actions, instead of impulsively going full steam ahead. Not only will everything go more smoothly when it’s the HS and not my flesh, but it’s a great discipline of checking my feelings, practicing in faith that He>me and letting Him take the reigns. And through this, I see His goodness over and over, and my tiny faith grows just a tiny bit more.

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