To see the reflection questions from last Sunday’s CrossView Church sermon on Mark 9.14-29 then go here.
1. What did you learn about Jesus from this text? What are some reasons to love him afresh and love him more this week from this passage?
I learned that Jesus is patient with my unbelief and wants to help me grow in faith (trusting him). I’m reminded that Jesus wants to answer prayers.
2. If Jesus’ words are that powerful, what should you do with the Bible? What’s one possible change that will help you benefit from the Bible more in your life?
I should read it of course! I need to read in the morning before the kids wake up, read the Carson comments on the reading, and journal at least one thought if I have the opportunity.
3. What is the faith-growth spiral? How can you grow in faith according to this passage?
(I shouldn’t answer that so that the church members could reflect on this themselves) – email me if you don’t remember and I’ll email (firstname.lastname@example.org) what the faith-growth spiral is privately.
4. What are some things you’ve heard from God that you should be trusting right now in the situations you’re currently in?
I need to trust God regarding my Re:Train course work since I’m behind. I need to trust God in raising up leaders at CrossView as we do discussions in the morning and equipping session trainings every other Sunday in the afternoon. I need to trust God to help me maximize my weekly time for his glory in my family, church, and neighborhood.
5. What should you be praying for? How will you know when God answers? Share your prayer requests with another church member so that you both can be strengthened by God’s answer to prayer.
I should be praying for power to pastor and preach well. I coast too much and serve the church a lot weaker because of it. I shudder to think of the demonic forces that haven’t been pushed back because of my self-reliance and lack of faith, prayer, and fasting. I’ll pray for the preaching to be well-prepared, internalized, and transforming our people. I’ll pray for wisdom to steward time well and invest in discipling particular men.
6. What prayers has God answered lately that should have strengthened your faith? Share that with another church member through conversation or email this week to bless them.
God has people praying for me. God has added 7 members to our church this year. God has enabled me to preach the gospel these past weeks. God is opening up relationships with two of the staff members at the recreation center for gospel conversations more frequently. God is giving members a willingness to be trained and poured out for the gospel’s spread in LA. God has been blessing my relational openness and accountability with my wife. God has been teaching my kids simple gospel truths. God has helped me learn some things about church planting along the way. God has given me good comrades in the ministry at other churches to learn from and be encouraged by. God allowed us to get a speaker for a church pastors’ conference this year in LA. God gave us a third child. He gave us a healthy baby and a healthy delivery. He has given me insight as I’ve read through some of the Old Testament this year.
7. Are you scared to admit your spiritual weakness and lack of faith? How does this story encourage us who are little in faith and spiritually weak?
Sometimes, especially to my wife. This shows my lack of faith and joy in the fact that God accepts me for who I am. And the funny thing is my wife does too. Every time I’ve confessed sin and flaws, she has displayed gospel love and gospel grace to me. I’m not scared to admit spiritual weakness to most others. Though I think when I hang out with my Re:Train brothers or fellow church planter-pastors I feel the pride and desire to be impressive. This story encourages me to admit my weakness, my little faith, my little fruit and effectiveness, and say, “I need more grace God. I need more faith in you. I need you, please help me.” This story shows me that God wants me to ask for help, he wants me to see my weakness and lack of faith, and he wants to be compassionate to me. So now it’s time for me to experience it afresh every day.