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What Does Jesus Do with our Biggest, Nastiest Work-Related Problems?

In Mark 5, a synagogue leader (Jairus) comes to Jesus desperate for the healing of his ailing daughter. The young girl is on the brink of death, and Jairus knows that Jesus is the last hope. Yet, on the way to Jairus’ house, Jesus apparently fails to see the urgency of Jairus’ daughter’s condition, because he stops and has a conversation with a healed woman. When they finally arrive at the house, Jesus claims that the girl is asleep (although everyone there knows that she is literally, physically dead). He goes into her and says what translates as, “Honey, get up.”

Tim Keller, while writing about the incident with Jairus’ daughter, says,

“Jesus is facing death, the most implacable, inexorable enemy of the human race and such is his power that he holds this child by the hand and gently lifts her right up through it. ‘Honey, get up.’ Jesus is saying by his actions, ‘If I have you by the hand, death itself is nothing but sleep.’

–Tim Keller, King’s Cross, p. 68

In this incident, we see several lessons to take with us to work:

1. If Jesus’ power so overwhelms death, it is our greatest resource on the job. As Christians, we are to strive toward excellence with every atom God has given us. Yet, problems will relentlessly arise in our tasks, our relationships, and our circumstances. We will have great idols to overthrow both within and outside of ourselves. No amount of human excellence will ever conquer death, and no amount of your excellence will ever conquer all of the problems you encounter in your job. In matters big and small, we must seek the master of death. Where we see death, he sees a mere nap. Where we see a mountain, he sees a pebble to be tossed into the sea. As Christians, we have access to the only infinite power in the universe.

2. God’s timetable isn’t our own. Jairus (and any of us who don’t know the end result of this event) could only have been mortified by Jesus’ lack of hurry. However, ultimately Jairus got much more than even he asked for–he got his daughter AND a deeper glimpse at the magnitude of Christ’s power. Jesus wasn’t just a healer–he was the killer of death.

3. The gospel is that Jesus makes death a mere nap for us by experiencing the fullness of its desolation and destruction in our place. This good news, if we repeat it to ourselves throughout our workday, if we pray that God will make it the beat of our heart, will utterly destroy the moralistic, legalistic, self-righteous, love-earning mentalities that Christians too often become infamous for in the secular workplace. Jesus Christ suffered every iota of death’s poisonous sting so that we don’t have to. Not a lick of our performance at work made his death any less bitter, any less toxic, any less complete. He died. He went to hell. For us. For our failures. For our weaknesses.

Now we can go to work alive. Successful through the redemption of our failures. Strong through the awareness and acknowledgement of our weakness.

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Blame

On whom to blame?

Satan, sin, and death:

Our choice,

our hearts,

our prize.

–Dave Stuart Jr.

Sermon Notes – Mark Driscoll – Genesis 3, The Fall

http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/genesis/the-fall

As I’ve been starting back in Genesis this month (I was convicted a year or so ago by Tim Keller to read the Bible straight through, trusting that it is smarter than me), I’ve been listening to Pastor Mark Driscoll’s sermon series on the book. Pastor Mark taught the book of Genesis at Mars Hill Church in Seattle for nearly a year. Though this sermon series is several years old, it’s basis in the timeless truth of God’s Word makes it excellent and edifying.

One thing I appreciate about Pastor Mark’s teaching is that he reads through the text and, as he reads the texts, he inserts teaching. Listening to this sermon, for example, Pastor Mark reads through Genesis 3. But during it, Pastor Mark preaches on the sinful tendencies of men, the sinful tendences of women, and common problems in marriages that come from these tendencies. But he also teaches on what the Bible teaches of Satan’s history and on some of the characteristics of our enemy.

But, classically, Pastor Mark brings it back to the gospel. After teaching on our sinfulness, he teaches on the “second Adam” (as Paul calls him), Jesus. He draws the parallels between the first and second Adams and he ends with the triumphant fulfillment of God’s prophecy in Genesis 3 of the son of Adam that would crush the serpent’s head.

I was so blown away by Pastor Mark’s closing presentation of the good news in this sermon that I had to rewind and listen to it again. I would rate this sermon a definite 10 out of 10. May the Lord continue to shape us all more into His holy Christlikeness.

My goodness, what a wonderful comfort is our Lord in the midst of our enemies of Satan, sin, and death.