Last Sunday Allen preached about the demon possessed man in Mark 5:1-20. The message is titled The Clash of Two Kingdoms (click the link to listen). After the service, Mikaela Hinterberger shared with me a thought (or an analogy) she had about the application of the sermon. I asked her if she would write it out so that I could share it with you and she did:
CAN'T YOU SLEEP
Most kids I know grew up hearing children's books read to them and in time read them to their own siblings. (I'll admit, I'm still a big fan and continue to peruse such "children's" books on rainy days.) One of my favorites is by Martin Waddle and titled, "Can't you sleep, Little Bear?". Before I rush into things, let me give you a quick synopsis of this book.
Big Bear and Little Bear live in a giant cave. One night, Big Bear tucks Little Bear into bed, but Little Bear cannot sleep. Little Bear says he's scared of the darkness all around him. So Big Bear brings out a tiny lantern for Little Bear and tucks him in once more. Little Bear's fear is voiced again and again as Big Bear attempts to quell his fears by bringing out larger and larger lanterns. After the cave is flooded with light from the largest lantern, Little Bear should have no reason to complain of darkness, and yet he tells Big Bear that he's still scared of the darkness outside. Thoughtfully, Big Bear picks up Little Bear and carries him outside to watch the moon rise. Once they're bathed in the moon's light, Little Bear falls into a deep sleep, comfortable and safe in Big Bear's arms. Cute story, right? Now let's take it from a different perspective!
Think about you, the Christian, as Big Bear. Picture Little Bear as the people who are lost and scared and searching. We provide comfort and light to those who need answers. Maybe our light starts as an itty bitty lantern, but no matter where it starts, it must lead to the moon. As the fears and questions are voiced, our light shines brighter as we speak and glorify the One who has made us whole and justified. Pretty soon, our light will not be able to get brighter, so we point to Christ, the brightest light that there is. And when we bring the restless and burdened and questioning people to that point, that is when they find rest and peace and answers.
Let's be faithful to step out and be the tiny spark that can lead to the bright Light - the power of Christ is with us, so what can stop us?! Step out in faith, even when you're weary this week, for great is your reward in heaven.
There are people everywhere ruled by the kingdom of darkness that need to hear the good news of the Kingdom of Light. Yes, many will reject this message but some will receive it. But in order to receive it and believe it they need to hear it. And we are the messengers; the small lights sent to point out the main Light. Share the good news, spread the seed of the gospel of Jesus Christ liberally. Like Big Bear, show them The Light; the all consuming, all powerful, loving and merciful Savior, Jesus Christ. Because Jesus is who they need and Jesus is all they need.
As Allen closed the sermon Sunday, he gave us two points of application:
- We need not fear the enemy. The Kingdom of darkness and evil are swallowed up and conquered by The Kingdom of Light. Even the multitude (legion) of demons possessing the man in Mark 5 were no match for the Ruler of the universe. Jesus is all powerful. He is our Protector, our Warrior and our Champion.
- No one is beyond the reach of Christ. NO ONE! No matter what trouble you may be in, no matter how many problems you may have, no matter what depth and extent of sin you've given yourself to, Jesus' offer of mercy, forgiveness and new life is near to you. In Mark 5, Jesus traveled across the sea and set one man free; the one man that everyone else isolated and rejected. And Jesus also traveled from heaven to the cross. And through His death and resurrection, all who would simply believe in Him and repent will experience the joy, satisfaction and security of being reconciled to God.
So, in the words of Jesus: “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” Mark 5:19
(Thank you Mikaela!)