through His Word
by Katy Kauffman
My mind constantly wants to make up adventure stories. They often include a journey through a land that looks like New Zealand. (Are you a Lord of the Rings fan?) Galactic courage and warfare like to eek their way into my consciousness. (Do you love the new Star Trek movies like I do?)
Yet there is a story recorded in an adventurous, truthful, and relevant book that steals my attention. And it’s not just for Christmastime or Easter. It’s for every day of the year.
The story of Jesus beckons me to slow down and honor the Hero of all time. In our series on the gospel of Mark, we’ve talked about the obstacles that faith in Jesus helps us to overcome. He knows how to handle every obstacle we face in the Christian life, and unlike heroes in our made-up stories, He never gets tired, He never falters, He never says that life is just too hard. He is ready for every challenge, and He makes every joy sweeter.
So this Thanksgiving, I would like to share with you some samples of what Jesus can do and how He helps us in the everyday routines and adventures of life. These paragraphs come from posts already on my blog, so just click the title of the post to read the whole thing. May these snippets of takeaway draw your heart closer to our Hero and help you celebrate our King this Thanksgiving and always. Our series will continue next week.
Takeaway from Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life
A Blog Series on the Gospel of Mark
From “Jesus Can Make Your Giants Fall” by Katy Kauffman:
“Jesus can make every giant fall. His wisdom, power, and love rescue us from our spiritual enemies and enable us to overcome seemingly impenetrable obstacles. Join us in looking at how faith in Jesus enables us to overcome life’s obstacles. He doesn’t just chip away at a giant—He can blast a hole through it.”
From “Silencing the Questions of Fear” by Katy Kauffman:
“Silence fear with the truth. To overcome life’s challenges, fill your heart with the promises of God. Answer fear with faith by depending on Jesus and seeking Him. May His power rescue you in the storms and sustain you when all is quiet.”
From “The Day Helplessness Had No Chance” by Katy Kauffman:
“For all of us who believe in Jesus, He writes a new ending to our story—freedom, hope, victory. We don’t have to go through life with clanging chains wrapped around our souls, forever caught in despair or some form of spiritual bondage. Jesus gives us a fresh beginning in which we are clothed in His righteousness, sitting at His feet, in our right minds. Minds that are being transformed with the liberating truth of God’s word and the mighty power of the Holy Spirit. Minds that come to understand the Lord’s compassion and what He can do for us and for the ones we love.”
From “The Day Helplessness Lost Its Power” by Katy Kauffman:
“What might Jesus say to us today? He might say:
Cherished one, I say to you, arise.
Arise out of helplessness, and trust Me. I can do great things.
Arise out of hopelessness, and dream again. My dreams for you are bigger than you can imagine.
Arise out of fear, and walk in courage. There are too many adventures to live.
Arise out of loneliness, and draw close to Me. I am here, close to you.
Arise out of sorrow, and walk in My joy. I will do a new work and revive your soul.
“When we feel like we’re dead on the inside, Jesus can give life in ways we weren’t expecting. In Mark Chapter 5, we have seen that He gives freedom where there was hard bondage and life where there was death. Faith in Him and what He can do overcomes helplessness and ignites hope in our souls.”
From “Enrich the Soil of Your Heart” by Joanna Eccles:
“When we feed ourselves on the Holy Spirit, He helps us bear spiritual fruit. We will reap if we don’t give up. Sometimes life looks bleak, but we endure because God is not done yet. Don’t let Satan quench your joy in obedience. When we water and fertilize our hearts with righteousness, our soil richens and our harvest abounds.”
From “Unity Is at the Heart of Christ’s Desire for the Church” by Lyneta Smith:
“We must distinguish between what is essential (clearly laid out by the Bible) and what is preferential. Calling a sin a sin is good, but calling a preference a sin goes against the heart of Jesus as we see it in Mark 7.
“Jesus’ heart for His disciples (and for us) is reflected in the very last prayer He prayed before His arrest, torture, and crucifixion. He prayed, ‘that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me’ (John 17:23 NASB, emphasis mine).
“Our service to God either reflects the Pharisees’ service—neglecting God’s command (especially compassion) because we’re so busy pursuing traditions—or it’s like the sweet aroma of perfectly measured spices in a pumpkin custard.”
From “Refuse Hardness of Heart with a PASSION – Part 1” by Katy Kauffman:
“God calls on His children to go past hardness of heart and unbelief in every part of life and to live daily in a reality of faith—a state of mind and heart that is open to Him and to all of the blessings He wants to give us. Strength, healing, godliness, and effectiveness are some of the treasures that God will work in our lives if we turn to Him and listen. If we act on what He tells us. Victory, freedom, and making a difference are blessings in the harvest we reap when we refuse stubbornness and embrace humility and faith.”
From “Refuse Hardness of Heart with a PASSION – Part 2” by Katy Kauffman:
“In order to overcome hardness of heart, we have to want help and then seek it. We have to see the danger of unbelief and decide that we don’t want what we can make out of our lives, but we want what God can do. And we have to believe that freedom is possible. Just as Jesus healed the woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years and freed the demon-possessed man of the legion of demons and brought Jairus’ daughter back to life, Jesus can do the amazing and the impossible in our lives. He has the means and the love to do it. Are we willing to trust Him to do it for us?”
From “Extraordinary Moments” by Mary Holloman:
“Every extraordinary moment demands a response. So what does a moment that took place thousands of years ago mean for us today? I believe there are three main takeaways:
- If Jesus has complete authority over all things, then I can trust Him in all things—He is trustworthy (Matthew 28:18; Psalm 9:10).
- If Jesus is trustworthy, then I can believe Him when He says He is with me and for me (Romans 8:31, 35; Matthew 28:20)
- If Jesus is with me and for me, then the safest place for me to be is right in the middle of His will (Matthew 28:19; 1 John 2:3).”
May who Jesus is and faith in Him strengthen your heart and make your Thanksgiving sparkle all the more!
faith, Jesus, Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life, Mark, Celebrate the Hero This Thanksgiving, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies