Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Mark 12

 Key verse: Mark 12:24

Big idea: The Son of God goes beyond all of our expectations. 

If you could teach a dog to speak and asked it what it thought a perfect heaven would be like, it would probably talk about soft grass for its feet, big bones for its teeth, and hair that never gets a burr. Or imagine a baby's idea of paradise: being swaddled all the time, carried from place to place, with a never ending supply of 98 degree milk. Our ideas of Heaven, without being corrected by the Bible, are usually "like now, but better." We assume that our current life is the best God could come up with and that eternity will be Extreme Makeover: Universe Edition. The same studs and foundation with new paint and more modern furniture.

This assumption is not a modern problem. The Sadducees tried to set Jesus up by asking Him a question about who a woman that had been married seven times would be married to in the Resurrection. They did not believe in an afterlife and were trying to prove that the idea was absurd. But Jesus cut them straight to the heart (paraphrased): "Isn't the reason that you are so wrong? You do not know the Bible or the power of God!" The point of this stinging rebuke was that they assumed that resurrected life in the new heavens and new earth would be basically life like now: marriage, work, and play. But God is so much more powerful than that. His plan is to give us something beyond what we could ever dream of! 

If this is true of eternity, it is also true now. We err when we pray and ask God to modify the edges of our situation. Sometimes we want God to tame our temptations a little bit or slightly edge us toward more comfort. But what if God wants you to follow in Abraham's footsteps and leave behind everything you have ever known for a place He will show you? What if He does not want to slightly improve your involvement in some sin but to fundamentally free you from it? What if we stopped assuming that God peaked sometime yesteryear and believed that we have not yet seen a glimpse of what He can do? We would pray more boldly, work with more fervor and expectation, and live in the constant expectation of worship.

Discussion idea: What is an area where you have limited what you think God can or will do by your past experience? How can a bolder faith challenge those assumptions?

Prayer focus: Ask God to help you see beyond what has been and trust Him to go beyond anything you could ask or think. 

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