the only source of success

Tonight our message covered the mission of the twelve as the Lord instructed and empowered them, then sent them out. It also covered the interest of Herod in Christ following his execution of John and the publicity brought about by the apostle’s training mission. Our series of events closed with the feeding of the 5000 and the walking on water.

I spoke tonight on the subject of success in God’s eyes. The sensation caused by the miracle working certainly looked like success from the world’s eyes, but it isn’t what the Lord was interested in developing. He knew what was behind Herod’s interest. He knew where he was headed, in just about one year’s time. The Lord’s intention is to help the twelve see that he had empowered them for a specific ministry and that they were perfectly capable of performing it. That is what the feeding of the 5000 was all about. The disciples come to the Lord as the day grows long and the people are hungry, suggesting the Lord send them away so the crowd can get something to eat. The Lord says, “You feed them.” They say, “How is that going to happen?”

What they have forgotten is where they have been and what they have been doing up till the day before. They have been casting out demons and healing the sick. In Matthew, the Lord said he gave them the power to raise the dead, although we don’t know if they had yet done this. But the point is, the Lord is saying to the disciples, “You feed them. I gave you the power, now use it.”

But the disciples are a bit thick and don’t get it. So he asks them how much bread they have, then blesses it and gives it to them. He sort of holds them by the hand and makes them walk through the motions of miracle working.

Then later, he lets them row all night, not getting anywhere. He comes walking by on the sea, and Peter asks if he can join him (after they get over the shock). The Lord invites him out and Peter walks over to the Lord, then starts looking around and sinks. The Lord says “O ye of little faith.” Mark’s Gospel says that they still didn’t get the lesson of the loaves, for their hearts were hardened.

The disciples weren’t hardened to Christ, for they worshipped him in the boat, but they were hardened to what He was trying to teach them:

I have given you everything you need to carry out my mission and commands. What you need is an absolute faith and dependence on God. If you have that, you will succeed in God’s eyes.

God calls us to a mission as well, if we will trust Him, he has already given us all we need to fulfill it.

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

PS, thank the Lord for backups! I accidentally deleted the last four messages out of my normal folder, but thanks to my backup program, I was able to restore them instantly. Well… at least, instantly after I got over having my life pass before my eyes!

The recent sermon outlines are all available here:

The Concept of the Kingdom
The Parables of the Kingdom
Miracle Worker Rejected
The Only Source of Success