Do you remember
when you were a child at Christmas? I remember one year I wanted a bike. I did
not let up on my Dad. All I could think or talk about was that bike. And I was
so excited when I got it. But it would not be until much later in life when
I would understand what it meant to ask your father for something and then receive
something greater than you asked. That experience came when our third child
had serious difficulty at birth and I cried out to a different father. I cried
out to God. He answered my prayers and today our son is healthy and strong.
Matthew tells us
about the experience of a mother who learns about faith in a way that is drastic
and dramatic. Her daughter was tormented by a demon. While we are not sure what
was wrong or how it demonstrated itself, we know this mother had reached the
end of her options. Surely, she had tried everything. It would take something
stronger. It would take this Jesus whom she had heard about.
This woman put
herself in a position to receive a blessing from Jesus. How do you get in the
way of a blessing?
There is no actual
account of how she learned about Jesus or how hard she had to look for Him.
We only know that she was a Gentile from that region. The significant point
is that she went to Jesus. He could have been in a garden next door, but no
miracle would have happened if she had not gone to him. Many times we fail to
be diligent in our search for Him.
Ask for a Miracle
When she found
Him, she boldly asked for mercy. She asked for the unbelievable – a miracle.
Even when Jesus did not answer she continued to ask. Then, when Jesus stopped
and answered her He told her He had come to the Jews not the Gentiles. (Remember
Jesus came to his own first, then to the Gentiles). What harsh words these must
have been to her ears. This mother was undaunted. She kept the faith. She continued
to ask. Many times we fail to be diligent in our petitions to Him.
Even when her repeated
attempts seemed to be failing, she continued. She fell at His feet, recognized
Him as Lord and pled for mercy. Certainly she had faith or she would have never
looked for Him. She had faith or she would not have asked. She had faith or
she would not have worshipped. Many times we fail to be diligent in our worship
for a Blessing
Seeing her faith,
Jesus was moved with compassion and spoke to her again. This time His words
reveal that her daughter was cured.
do we often pray and seek blessings from God, and at the same time tell ourselves
it won’t happen? Why don’t we experience the miraculous power of prayer? Could
it be because we do not position ourselves to receive the blessings of God?
Allow me to use this rather simple example to explain.
If you knew that
on Monday morning at the Wal-Mart 20 miles from your home they would be dropping
$100 bills from a helicopter and you could have all you could pick up, where
would you be? Would you get up early and go to another Wal-Mart because it was
closer and easier? No! You would be at the Wal-Mart where the helicopter was.
Silly as it may sound; sometimes we are spiritually at the wrong Wal-Mart. We
must position ourselves to receive the blessings of God.
How do we do that?
We diligently search for Him. We diligently pray. And, we diligently worship.
When Christ sees our faith – He answers.
Sermon brief provided by: John Burke, Senior Consultant
for Church Fund Raising Services with LifeWay Church Resources, Nashville, TN.