The guest on today's podcast is the Sew Powerful co-founder, Jason Miles. Rather than an interview format, we are sharing the sermon Jason delivered to his church in July 2021. Using John, Chapter 11 as the basis of his sermon, the next 30 minutes or so will delight you as Jason weaves contemporary life into the story of Jesus’ love for Mary and Martha at the time of Lazarus’ death. And Jason wraps it up by helping us understand how Jesus loves each of us.
What To Do When Jesus
Lets You Down
ABOUT THE GUEST
Jason G. Miles is the co-founder of Pixie Faire® and Sew Powerful. He holds a graduate degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in International Non-Profit Management, as well as undergraduate degrees in both Organizational Management and Biblical Studies. He previously served as the Senior Vice President of Advancement at Northwest University, his alma mater. He started his career at World Vision, where he spent sixteen years in both Human Resources and fundraising. He is a member of Renton Community Church were he is called upon from time to time to share his insights with the congregation.
IN THIS EPISODE
- Jason Miles explores John 11 and the relationship that Jesus had with Mary, Martha and many people who crowded around Mary at the time of Lazarus’ death
- Jason explores contemporary thought about what the future may bring but explains how neither path is what Jesus promised
- Jason shares personal stories, some amusing, and some heartbreaking, as he correlates the love of Jesus to his life experiences
- Jason helps us understand how Jesus loves each of us, regardless of whether we are a ‘Martha’, a ‘Mary’ or one of many in the crowd
- Bible References: John 11, Romans 8, Mathew 24, Job 19
ABOUT THE SEW POWERFUL PODCAST
The Sew Powerful Podcast shines a light on the people behind the mission to keep girls in school and create purposeful products in Zambia. Join us every week for a new 30-minute episode to meet new people, hear inspiring stories, and learn how you can join us in this global movement. Whether you sew or not, make purses or not, you will find something to enjoy in every episode. Listen today.
Host: Jan Cancila
Guest: Jason Miles
Jason Miles, Guest 00:00
He operates with a utopian future mindset. The world is all getting better; towards a glorious amazement. It's common story. He really believes that. And there are a lot of people who do; like the world's getting better all the time. But that one's not as popular. The other story that's even more popular is the dystopian future. Right? You got the utopian, and then you got the dystopian which means like, basically the Walking Dead zombie apocalypse. Right? Be honest. How many of you have seen the walking dead? I watch it. No one. No one's willing to say they watched The Walking Dead. Okay, all right. Okay. Yeah. So you two, let's talk. Okay, if you're not familiar, because clearly no one should watch that show. But it's, it's about a dystopian future in which the zombies takeover.
Jan Cancila, Host 00:59
Welcome to the Sew Powerful podcast. This is your host, Jan Cancila. You know, the sound of my sewing machine means it's time for another episode. So let's get started. The guest on today's podcast is the Sew Powerful co founder, Jason Miles. Rather than an interview format, I am sharing with you today the sermon that Jason delivered to his church. Using John chapter 11, as the basis, the next 30 minutes or so will delight you, as Jason weaves contemporary life into the story of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. And not only that, he wraps it up by helping us understand what all this means for each of us. Here is Jason Miles.
Morning, everybody. Can you hear me? Can you hear me now? All right, Nokia has that Nokia thing? Oh, okay. All right. Isn't that nice? Man. It just I know, all the old people say this, but it just flies by. I mean, all the parents in the room can relate. Like when you dedicated your kid you're like, well, it'll be forever tell they're old. And then it just blows past you and, wow! There they are at Rimrock driving your truck back from the mountains on their own. Which is actually literally what's happening right now with my kids. Well, PK has been leading us through John for the last few months, I don't even know. And he asked me to jump into John chapter 11 this morning. So if you have your Bible app, or Bible turn with me, John, Chapter 11. I have 17 pages of notes. Is that bad? Is that too many? Is that Alex? Is that too much? Not even close? Oh, no. I'm in big trouble. I titled this little message, 'What to do when Jesus lets you down'. I first ran that pass by my board of directors Cinnamon? And she said no, that's not good. That's not a good title. Jesus never lets us down. But I thought well, I mean, it kind of fits the story. So just go with me. If you want to refute my title, then just give me a couple minutes here. And we'll talk through the story of Mary and Martha, and the raising of Lazarus. But I just want to ask you honestly, just reflect back on your life. Has there ever been a time when you felt like Jesus let you down? I mean, I think if we're being honest, sometimes we would say that.
I remember a funny story from when I was, I guess it was 1991. So I was in my early 20s. And I was helping lead a youth group. And it was called Edge Youth Ministries. And as with all youth ministries, you need money for anything you want to do go to Disneyland, or whatever it is. And so I got a call, I got a call out of the blue. And the guy said, Hi, are you Jason from the Edge, you know, program? And I was like, Yes. And he said, Well, I'm from the Knights of Columbus, and we did a fundraiser this last month and we're gonna donate the money to your to your program. And I was like, 'What?' and I was like, How much could this possibly be? I had no idea. So he said, Well come. I said, I didn't want to ask that. So he said, Come on Tuesday night to our meeting, and we'll give you the present the check and, and all that. And I was just like, Yes, God is answering my prayers as you know, leader and helping me raise money. And so we get to the Knights of Columbus meeting, I get to the Knights of Columbus meeting and, and there I am sitting kind of there as their guest. And they go through the process if you're not familiar, that's a men's Ministry of Catholic Church, I think. And so, so they get through the program, and then they get to the part where, you know, they're gonna do the, the big check. And so the guy starts talking like our fundraiser was really good. And we raised $1500. And I was like, Oh, that's, that's not bad. That's, that's something so and then he said, and it's a delight to be able to give it to an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program here locally, called the Edge Alcohol Recovery Program. And Jason is here from the program. And I was on the front row, and I was literally sitting there. And I'm thinking to myself, do I lie and take the check? Like, what am I supposed to do right now? Clearly, they screwed up. I'm not the Jason from the Edge Alcohol Rehabilitation Program. And so I did, I literally just blurted out, I'm actually from the Adobe Christian Center, youth ministry, Edge Youth Ministries, and the oxygen just goes out of the room. And then one guy says, Ed, did you screw up again? I was just like, Oh, my Lord, please get me out here. So then I thought, what's gonna happen right now? Well, they still give me $1500. Or, like, am I out? And so they unceremoniously just moved on in the program and apologized to me after. And no, I did not get any money.
And so I reflect back on that. And I think to myself, that was just a little tiny, maybe Jesus let me down a little moment in my life, where I was expecting something. And it didn't happen the way I had hoped. And, but as it happens, I went on to actually do fundraising related stuff for like, 20 years. And I always look back on that story. And it always was kind of instructive. And I always think to myself, okay, I learned a lesson from it, you know. And I don't know, in your circumstance or in your life, if you have funny stories, or serious stories about when maybe you expected something, and maybe it didn't happen the way you wanted. But clearly, that's the circumstance from John chapter 11. So let's look at it together.
Here we are John, chapter 11. And we'll jump into it. Now, a certain man was sick, Lazarus, of Bethany, a village, in the village of Marian Martha, in the village of Bethany, the village of Marian Martha good-ness, can I not read? Now a certain man was sick; Lazarus, of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister, Martha. And it was the Mary who had annointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. So the sisters sent word to Him saying, Lord, behold, him who you love is sick. And when you heard this, Jesus said, the sickness will not end in death. It's going to be for God's glory. Now, in verse five, it says, Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. So we know that Jesus really had affection for this family. And in fact, if you look in the stories, there's three times that Mary and Martha are involved with an interaction with Jesus. It's really kind of telling about their personality. And you guys have all heard this. How many of you heard Martha you know her personality? Mary? Okay, so you're with me a lot. I I'm not gonna recap kind of what was was well known. But the first encounter sets the stage which is in Luke chapter 10. The first time the Bible references Mary and Martha. It says Jesus and his disciples are on their way. And He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. And she came to Him and said, Lord, Don't you care that my sister left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me. And Christ, responded 'Martha, Martha. You're worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed. or indeed only one, Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her'. That was the first interaction. And it gives us the flavor of Martha. And Mary. Right. And, but I think it's important for us to realize that in John chapter 11, it says, Jesus loved these people. Jesus was okay with Martha. So I know we're all saying, oh, Martha was just out there. But Jesus loved Martha. And Jesus loves Mary, and Jesus loved Lazarus. And so this sets the context for the story. And Jesus has been told that Lazarus is sick, and He knows it, and then He knows that Lazarus died. And so here, Jesus delays in the story, and then He, He comes in verse 17, it says, When Jesus came, He found that Lazarus has already been in the tomb for four days. He was dead.
So then, Martha, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him but Mary stayed in the house. Martha said, and can you can imagine it, here's Jesus coming, or he's coming this way. And, and here comes Martha. Can you just imagine what Jesus when he sees Martha, he's like, Oh, yeah, there's gonna be, there's gonna be something here going down. Right? You know that. And so really, I think what we get in this story is actually sort of an interesting little twist where we've got Martha and her interaction with Christ. And then we've got Mary, you guys get to be Martha. That alright? You're, the Martha's zone? Then there's Mary, you guys are the Mary zone. And then there are many people in this story. You guys are the many people that right? Not mini people, like little people. But like many people, okay. I know. That was not a joke about your height. I too, am under five, nine. And here she comes. So here comes Martha. And here's what she said, 'Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. Even now, I know that whatever you ask God, now God will give you'. Martha was the kind of person who made it an altercation. That's just who she was. She had a beef with Jesus and she made it an altercation.
Can any of you relate? Okay, be honest, do some of you, are you, are you prone towards maybe being straightforward with people? Maybe just speaking your mind? Is it just me? Anyone? Will anyone admit to that? All right, Janarie and I are like this, that I am like that. I will frequently get in trouble by being rather direct. And it's just how I'm wired. Martha was a doer. Martha was somebody who was working, serving, taking action. She was, you know, her name, like in the original language says, like, Master, it's like the feminine version of master of the house. Like she was literally the lady boss of the house. And that's just how she was wired. She made it an altercation. But remember, Jesus loved her. Right? Jesus loved her, even in her direct, straightforward manner. And Jesus said back to her, 'Your brother will rise from the dead'. And she said, just as a direct person would, 'I know that he will rise from in the resurrection on the last day'. And Jesus worked with her. Jesus talked to her. Jesus shared with her one of the biggest revelations in the New Testament: 'I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die'. Wow, what a statement. So from the altercation, we get a pretty profound sharing. And Jesus worked with Martha. Jesus didn't say, 'Get away from me. I reject you. You're an idiot. You talk too much. You're too loud. You have too much opinion. Get it? You know, go'. He didn't do that. He said, I'm the resurrection and the life. Your brother's gonna live. Right? Yeah. Aren't you glad? Yeah, that Jesus works through the altercations with the Martha's? Yeah, I am too. He even calls her back to faith. 'He who believes in me will never die'. He says, 'Do you believe this'? Just checking? Do you still believe that I'm the Messiah? And she says, 'Yes, Lord, I've come to believe you're the Christ, the Son of God, He who comes into the world'. Jesus loves the Martha. I think some of us beat ourselves up for being like Martha. And I think we need to forgive ourselves and just realize Jesus can roll with those punches. Jesus has an answer for the Martha. Even in the frustration of the situation; even in the the pain of what's happened that you thought wasn't what was best. Jesus works through in love with Martha.
You with me? Yeah. Okay. So you know where I'm going with this. Who's next? Mary, Mary. Now, it's interesting that the the altercation, it is really it does seem like if you read the story, it does seem like an altercation because Martha after she gives Him, her mind, leaves. And then she left. And she went back to the house. And she told Mary, hey, the teacher is here. And a lot of people were around the mourning process. They're grieving with Mary and Martha. And the Jews were there with her in the house were consoling her. And when they saw that Mary, got up quickly and left, they followed her thinking that she was going into the tomb to weep there. So when Mary came to the place where Jesus was, she saw Him and fell at his feet, saying, 'Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died'. Now, it's interesting. It's the exact same phrase. Martha said the same exact words that Mary said. But the heart attitude is clearly different. Right? She's weeping, as she says, and you know, you get the idea. She comes up, she comes up and she just, she just kneels down. And she just says, 'Lord, if you had been here'.
Some of us are worshipers. I was thinking I might sing a song right there, but I'm thinking, I'm not feeling it. So I won't do that acapella. But, I mean, if I was really brave, I would have sung the song, but I won't. Some of us are worshipers. And our first inclination is just to hit our knees. Just say, God,I'm holding on to faith. I know you'll make a way. I don't always understand. I don't always get to see. But I'm gonna believe it. I'm gonna believe.
Some of us are just wired to be like Mary. And Jesus is there with us. Jesus is there with us. Shortest verse verse in the Bible. When they When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews, along with her were weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled and said, 'Where have you laid him?' and they said, 'Lord, come and see'. And Jesus wept.
Mary made it an altar. She didn't get what she wanted. Martha made it an altercation. Mary made it an altar. She made it an opportunity to just cast her cares on the Lord, to say to him, 'Lord, I don't know. I don't know what you're doing. But here's my life. Here's our family'. I'd imagine that both of them were really freaked. Maybe he was the money maker, or maybe he owned the property. Who knows what? I mean maybe they just aren't honestly, it wasn't about financial things or security or safety. Maybe they just missed their brother. But both of them had this gripping pressing need. And they brought it to Jesus. And remember, Jesus loved them both. Jesus was ready to work with him.
There's a third group of people here in this story, the mini people, many people, and the many people were there, too. And if you read this story in verse 36, it says, the Jews were saying, see how He loved them, and see how He loved him, Lazarus. But some of them said, 'Could this man, Jesus, who opened the eyes of the man who was blind, not have also kept this man from dying'? In John chapter 11, it says, Therefore, many of the Jews who came to Mary and saw that He what He had done and believed in Him. But some of them went to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done about the, the miracle resurrection of Lazarus. So we've got two groups there, we've got a group of people who see this miracle; Lazarus raised from the dead. And some of them turn their heart to the Lord and say, 'This is obviously the Messiah'. This is obviously a miracle. And in the context of the New Testament, there's there there's a turning point when Lazarus is raised; many people start to believe. But other people didn't. They use that as an opportunity to attack the Lord. So you've got Martha. She made it an altercation. Jesus worked through that. You've got Mary. She made it an altar. And then you've got other people who made it an opportunity to attack the Lord. They took it as a chance to say this isn't? This isn't right, this isn't. This can't be the Messiah. Jesus loves those people, too. He loves this group. Sorry, this is so weird that you? Is it weird that I made a whole group the bad people? PK is that wrong? I mean, Jesus loves the people who were attacking, who were criticizing, who were saying this can't be the Messiah.
How many of you feel like some today we're getting more and more of the attack? Does that seem true to you? The the evangelical or those types of phrases are now a bad phrase culturally, maybe. You hear like that sentiment? It's an angle of attack. I like Elon Musk a lot. I always watch his stuff. He sold all his houses. He's like the almost the richest guy in the world. Or maybe he is I don't know. He sold all his houses. And I saw this interview with him. And he, he, they said, Why did you sell all your houses? And he said, Well, he said, I didn't really need them. And it was just a vector of attack for my enemies. And I was like, Whoa! That's an interesting phrase: a vector of attack is an angle. Now I'm not equating Elon Musk to Messiah in any way, shape, or form. He's not like, I'm not, don't worry. But I'm not worshipping Elon Musk or anything like that. But the phrase was interesting to me, a vector of attack, vector of attack. And I feel like a lot of times when we're trying to live our life, there's a lot of opportunity for people to take a vector of attack on us.
So we had the altercation. We have the altar. And we have the angles of attack. So the real question is, what was the story they were a part of? What was happening in their life and what's more importantly, in a way happening in our life right now today in culture? What about our situations where we feel like maybe Jesus let us down?
I think there's three common stories that are playing out in the world right now, like big picture stories. There's a really, really common story right now. That's what you might call a utopian future story. A perfect future story. I really like this guy named Peter Diamandis. He did this thing called the XPrize where you you'll know about this stuff. Rocket people know this stuff. Peter Diamandis did this thing called the XPrize. And this guy, Burt Rutan, it was a big huge prize, $10 million, to if you could rock a rocket, launch a rocket into space, like private, not NASA. And this dude, Burt Rutan did it. And so Peter Diamandis became famous from that. And I like his podcasts and stuff. And he wrote this book called abundance, and he's not a believer. And when you listen to his podcast long enough, you really get the understanding.
He operates with a utopian future mindset. The world is all getting better towards a glorious amazement. It's common story. He really believes that. And there are a lot of people who do, like to world's getting better all the time. But that one's not as popular. The other story that's even more popular is the dystopian future. Right? You got the utopian, and then you got the dystopian which means like, basically, the Walking Dead zombie apocalypse. Right. Be honest. How many of you have seen the walking dead? I watched it. No one? No one's willing to say they watched The Walking Dead. Okay, all right. Okay. Yeah. So you two, let's talk. Okay, if you're not familiar, because clearly no one should watch that show. But it's, it's about a dystopian future in which the zombies take over.
And, you know, a lot of us can have that dystopian future mindset. It's all going down man. Coronavirus, that's just the start of something really, really even worse, and that's going to be a precursor to even worse. And the only people making any money you'll be the pharmaceutical reps. Just totally joking. I had to go there. Dystopian future. And even, you know, even Christians can get dystopian future utopian future mindsets. Well, the last days. That means it's all going down. Did you know I am pretty sure about this. Theologians in the room, check me on this. That is not a biblical narrative, utopian future or dystopian future.
You know what the biblical narrative is? A redemption story. We're in the middle of a redemption story. Mary and Martha and the many, were in the middle of a redemption story. That's the story we're a part of as believers. There can be plenty of people who believe in dystopian future and it's sometimes fun to watch, you know, the movies or whatever, because it's just whatever, it's really popular. You know, like, this is a phrase ... anybody see Pirates of the Caribbean? Of course, we've seen that one. Come on. What's the old the Barbossa guy says, 'You better start believing in ghost stories. Cuz you're in one'. That that phrase. People can believe in dystopian; other people, less common, can believe in utopian. I'm pretty sure as believers, we're called to be redeemed by Redeemer who sets us on a track to go forth and be a part of a redemption story in other people's lives.
Oh, applause Yes.
And I know it's it's easy to think about the end times. And the you know, in that there's reasons to think these things. Matthew 24. I'll just read a verse and maybe some of you are thinking about it as you ponder, dystopian, utopian, redemption. Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives and the disciples came to him privately, and said, 'Tell us, when will this happen? And what will the signs of your coming be at the end of the age? So the end of the world, what's what's going to happen'? And Jesus answered, 'Watch out that no one deceives you for many will come in my name, claiming I'm the Messiah, and deceive many. You'll hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you're not alarmed. Such things must happen. But the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There'll be famines and earthquakes, various places. All these things are the beginning of birth pains. And then it gets worse, and they will hand you over to be persecuted and put to death. You'll be hated by all nations because of me. At that time, many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other. The believers will hate each other and turn away from the faith. Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people, because of the increase of witness, the love of most will grow cold. But the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come'. I know that when we read that, it's so dark. So like, Oh, my gosh, let's not have any of that happen. It's easy to get fixated on that. It's easy for our minds to go to that. I think it's the dystopian futures are popular, because that's where our fears kind of go; our fears kind of take us to 'I better buy a shotgun'. And this is all going south and I need to move Ellensburg to be safer. I mean, these are all things we thought, right. Our minds go there. But that is not the emphasis of what Jesus was talking about. Jesus was in the middle of a redemption story with the disciples. And he was talking about how dark it's going to get before he comes back. Redemption. Redemption. You guys with me?
Man, I'm getting through my pages of notes. You know, the oldest book in the Bible they say? Job. Yeah, we know that right? Job 19:25. For I know, the oldest book in the Bible, okay, think about it: before any of the stuff with Moses and Abraham, like the guy who wrote the oldest book, Job wrote this. 'I know that my Redeemer lives, and he shall stand at last on the earth'. Can I get an amen? Amen. We go through bad stuff. We can make it an altercation. And Jesus is okay with that. He works through that with us. We can make it an altar. And he's right there, comforting our hearts. The Holy Spirit is the comforter. He's come. He's working in our hearts to comfort us. And we can make it an attack vector if we want. And clearly, Jesus said at the end of time, there will be people who see stuff. Maybe it's the hate, they're seeing, maybe it's the love of many people growing cold they're seeing maybe they just are tired of it all. They don't believe and they walk away. And they use even the good stuff that believers do it Christ is doing on the earth as a reason to attack. We've got the opportunity this morning to whatever is happening in our life, bring it to the Lord. Amen.
I'm gonna now read something. And if you're over 60, please don't sing. In the next two minutes, promise me, okay, you you just just don't sing. Because young people won't get it and they won't really feel the same feelings and it just won't be good. So but let me let me read the story. There's a guy named Alfred Ackley. He wrote one of the most popular songs of the last century. Whatever century that was, that the 20th century? I can't remember. Wwhatever it is. The last it's not the 19th century. Wait last century was a 20th century? Okay. Here, he was a musician. He was a pastor. And he was doing evening services and a young Jewish man came into the services. And they were evangelistic meetings. It was with a guy named Billy Sunday and they were preaching. And they talked to the young Jewish guy and he said, Why would I worship a dead Jew? The Jewish guy said Why would I worship a dead Jew? And it really bothered them; really bothered Alfred Ackley. He was the musician, musical leader. And it just stayed on his mind. And then on Easter Sunday morning, he was supposed to speak. And when he was driving to church, he heard on the radio, a really popular speaker and the radio pastor, preacher guy said, 'Good morning. It's Easter. You know, folks, it really doesn't make any difference to me if Christ is risen or not. As far as I'm concerned, his body could still be dust in some Palestinian tomb. The main thing is His truth goes marching on'. And Alfred was so mad. He was like hitting the radio. No, that's not right! And his anger boiled over that day. And he went home that night and his wife said, 'Why don't you write a song that expresses your feelings?' And he wrote down and he penned these words: 'I serve a risen Savior. He's in the world today. I know that he's living, whatever men may say. I see his hand of mercy. And I hear his voice of cheer. And just the time I need him, He's always near'. Remember, I told you not to sing. But y'all know the song, right? 'He lives. He lives. Christ Jesus lives today. He walks with me and he talks with me. Along life's narrow way. He lives, he lives. I know, he lives, salvation to impart, he asked me how I know, he lives. He lives within my heart'. That was one of those popular songs of the last century. And we probably all know it in our minds. And think about it. It's a personal testimony to the redemptive power of Jesus coming into our life making a difference.
For those of us who know him, and have experienced that, there is nothing that can dissuade us. Anybody gonna talk you out of it? Anybody gonna talk you out of it? Doesn't matter. I know, he lives. I personally know he lives because when I was nine, my dad left us, just took off completely, like without goodbye. Disappeared. And for 17 years, we had no idea, literally if he was alive or dead. And as you might guess, that really, really devastated our family. My oldest sister did her thing. My older brother did his thing. My other older brother did his thing. And I won't describe their things. I'll describe my thing. My thing was, I got really bitter. And my dad was a pastor of a Foursquare church. And you know, after a few years, you don't come back from something like that as a kid. You say yourself, I don't want to go to church. What are you kidding me? I don't want to hear anything that he had to say. Are you kidding me? No. But God, but God brought some people into my life, who were amazing. And brought me to Royal Rangers, a ministry of the Assemblies of God, and, and started to just care about me. And I was young enough that my mom could kind of make me go. And that kind of overlapped with them being cool. And it kind of just turned into them having an open door to do one thing. Bring me down to the altar. That's how it worked. Go down there. Tell Jesus how pissed I was. Let him do his thing. And you know, six months later, same thing. And I was still like, nine months later, same thing. year later, same thing. By the time I was in junior high, I was pretty much getting it that Jesus was the answer to the mess.
And I'm so grateful that those gracious people Bruce and Shelly Glines kept bringing me down to the altar, telling me about the love of Jesus. Letting me experience it and letting me work through the frustration. And I can stand here to say today and say nothing can separate us from the love of Christ: tribulation, distress, persecution, famine. (Sorry, stuffy, runny nose, gross.) Peril or sword. Romans 8, 'As it's written, for your sake we're killed all day long we're accounted as sheep for the slaughter'. Those first century Christians didn't have an easy. 'Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us'. Can I get an amen? 'I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, or powers, nor things present, nor things that come height or depth, no other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord'.
I gotta be honest. John, Chapter 11, doesn't really speak to me about Lazarus being raised from the dead. It's part of the story, it happened, I believe it. What speaks to me is there was a Martha, and she was really upset and here comes Jesus, and he helped her through it. And here was a Mary, and she was really broken. And here come Jesus, and he helped her through it. And here were many people and they saw the miracles and some of them believed and he helped them through it. And he loved them the whole time. Whether they did or didn't believe. That's the amazing story that we had to look out today.
Okay, how do we apply this? Hardships happen to each of us. If we haven't already encountered a hardship, it will. Jesus is in control. Amen. We're in the middle of what kind of story, redemption story. Wait, what kind of story? We're in the middle of a redemption story. And Christ's love for us is unstoppable, unending, unchanging. And really, really honest. I know sometimes we think Jesus loves everybody. Jesus loves the whole world. But does he really love you, Tony? He really does. He really loves you, Jodie, he really loves us, as individuals. And he's gonna come and he's gonna help us through our hardship. Amen. Amen.
Why don't you bow your head and prayer with me this morning, I want to just pray for a minute for us. And ask the Lord to work in our hearts. And you might be here this morning and saying, I kind of get the Martha thing. I'm kind of, I'm kind of like that. And I want to encourage you this morning to bring that to the Lord. Some of you might be saying, you know, I have a lot of reasons to attack. Christians, churches, Jesus, I got a lot of vectors of attack. I encourage you this morning. You're not going to find love, like Jesus, anywhere else. Bring that to Him today. Bring Him your attacks. Lay it down at the altar. Ask him to deal with your frustrations with you. See what he does.
Lord, we come to you this morning. And we're just so grateful that you gave us amazing stories to look at. And we're so grateful that you love us that you really, really, really love us. And you're here for us today that you are a risen Savior, present in our time of trouble. Lord, we know you're working all things out. And God we ask today that those burdens on our heart, those things that are frustrating us those things that we can't get our mind past, we ask that you'd heal our hearts over those things. Heal our minds, draw us closer to yourself. Make a way where there seems to be no way. And God even in the midst of a hardship, we know you're with us. And we bring to you, our frustrations, and we bring to your desires and our hopes. And we just say, God, God, we need you. We ask it all today in Christ's name. And everyone said, Amen.
If you're here this morning and you feel like you need prayer, I'm nominating Alex and PK to pray with you. So if you want to come, just come forward and linger around here. If you want to have somebody pray with you. Would you do that, Alex? And PK, you're cool with that? Yeah.
We made it through. Thanks, everybody. Have a great day.
ABOUT THE HOST
Jan Cancila has been making purses for Sew Powerful since 2014. She serves the organization as Director, Global Volunteerism, the Area Manager for Shows and Events-Mid/South USA and as the Houston Regional Coordinator. She was a public speaking major at Hanover College and holds an MBA from Our Lady of the Lake University. Jan had a 25-year career with The Coca-Cola Company before owning and operating a linen and party rental business in Houston. She is married with two grown sons, a lovely daughter-in-law and two remarkable granddaughters. Jan’s published work includes more than 100 online articles for Examiner.com. Reach Jan with comments or suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.