Speaker – Pastor Pauline Ong
Our Heart For The House pt4
Impossible Is Where God Starts
Matthew 20:29-34, 2 Kings 4:1-7
Free Community Church
17 July 2016

Over the past week, God has been challenging me with these questions, “What do you want? What do you want for FCC? What do you want FCC to become?” And I would like to invite you to think about these questions too as we look into the Bible together this morning.

What Do You Want Me To Do For You?
Matthew 20:29-34

29 As Jesus and the disciples left the town of Jericho, a large crowd followed behind. 30 Two blind men were sitting beside the road. When they heard that Jesus was coming that way, they began shouting, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

31 “Be quiet!” the crowd yelled at them.

But they only shouted louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

32 When Jesus heard them, he stopped and called, “What do you want me to do for you?”

33 “Lord,” they said, “we want to see!” 34 Jesus felt sorry for them and touched their eyes. Instantly they could see! Then they followed him.

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Don’t you think it’s a little strange that Jesus asked them, “What do you want me to do for you?” Surely it’s obvious to anyone standing there. The men were blind! But Jesus asked because the men could have had something else in mind. Maybe they wanted to ask Jesus for a beautiful chariot so that they can travel through the villages more easily and not just sit by the roadside. Or maybe they wanted to ask for special access and front row seats in the temple so they could worship God more freely? Or maybe they wanted beautiful canes so they can feel their way around better? Jesus asked because it was important for them to be clear about what they wanted.

“We want to see!” they said. There are two points I want to bring up about seeing. Firstly, when the blind men said, “Lord, we want to see!” they were asking for the impossible. They were asking for something that was humanly impossible and they knew it. They must have tried many ways to regain their sight up till this moment and they knew no normal human being could help them see. It was impossible! But they asked Jesus anyway because somewhere deep inside them, they knew he had power to make them see. A power that no normal human being has. They had faith.

What about us? Do we dare to ask God for the humanly impossible? Or are we so wrapped up in our limitations and impossibilties? God doesn’t need us to protect God. God is bigger than our fears, bigger than our doubts..

We need to ask and expect in a way that shows God to be God.

Don’t let your prayers be too small. Are our prayers God-sized?

Our prayers reveal how big or small our faith is. Some of us are suffocating God with our small dreams, our small hopes, our small expectations. Perhaps it’s time to open up our hearts and minds and let God be God. We need to let God be God.

You know, I’m saying all this in relation to this church. Our Heart For The House. What is your heart for this house? What are your dreams for this house? What are your God-sized prayers for this house?

Often in the Bible, when they say “to see”, they mean something deeper, something more. When they say “we want to see”, they mean something more. I want to see deep spiritual truths. I want to see beyond my physical ability. I want to see the deeper meaning behind all this. I want to see my purpose in this world. That’s why the blind men did what they did after Jesus restored their physical sight. What did they do? They followed him. They saw. They saw something bigger, deeper, more compelling than their current lives. They saw and they followed Jesus.

What about us? Do we see? Do we see deeper, bigger and beyond our physical ability? Do we see and follow Jesus? Or do we catch a glimpse and run away? Or do we see and avert our eyes? Or do we see and make excuses? “Lord, I’m very busy, you know. So much work to finish, family to take care of, various ministries to attend to…?” Do you want to see the deeper meaning behind all this? Do you want to see your purpose in this world? Are we truly seeing and following Jesus?

There is another passage in 2 Kings that I want to look at together with you.

2 Kings 4:1-7

One day the widow of a member of the group of prophets came to Elisha and cried out, “My husband who served you is dead, and you know how he feared the Lord. But now a creditor has come, threatening to take my two sons as slaves.”

2 “What can I do to help you?” Elisha asked. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?”

“Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil,” she replied.

3 And Elisha said, “Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. 4 Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled.”

5 So she did as she was told. Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another. 6 Soon every container was full to the brim!

“Bring me another jar,” she said to one of her sons.

“There aren’t any more!” he told her. And then the olive oil stopped flowing.

7 When she told the man of God what had happened, he said to her, “Now sell the olive oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on what is left over.”

——————————————————————-

Elisha asked the widow two questions: “How can I help you? And what do you have in the house?”

She said, “Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil.” The amount of oil is so little that in her mind, it amounts to nothing at all. That’s the same with us, isn’t it? We often think that what we have is so little, it’s almost nothing at all. We could be referring to our gifts, our resources, our time, our money. “Lord, it’s so little, it’s almost nothing at all.”

But what did Elisha tell her? Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbours. He knew God was going to do something quite beyond her imagination. And the oil started flowing and flowing until there were no more jars left to contain it all. So it may be the same with us. We may think that what we have is very little — only a small flask of oil but God can multiply that above and beyond our imagination. Dare we trust God for that?

“What can I do for you? What do you have in the house?” Imagine if God was standing right here in front of us and asking us these two questions, what would you say? “God, we are not sure what you can do. We are so small and we have such limited resources.” But imagine Jesus looking into our eyes gently and asking,

– What are your dreams?

– What are your visions?

– What burns in your heart?

“Is there anything that is impossible for me?” Jesus would ask.

Impossible Is Where God Starts
I heard this phrase sometime last week and it stuck with me. Difficult is still possible to accomplish but impossible is where God starts. 🙂

The blind men were asking for something that was impossible by human standards. They wanted to see. Not only did God restore their physical sight, they saw something deeper, something bigger. Perhaps they saw the meaning behind it all…their blindness, their meeting with Jesus, their restoration of sight.. Perhaps they saw their purpose in this world. What about us? What are the things that are impossible by our standards? Do we dare to ask for the impossible? Do we want to see? Do we dare to see?

I know when I talk about faith, some of you may be thinking, “But it’s not enough to just believe that God will do it.” And I want to say you’re absolutely right! Faith doesn’t mean we leave it all up to God. That’s lazy and irresponsible. In fact, true faith always inspires action. Always. The blind men saw and they followed Jesus. The widow believed and collected all the jars she could find. Faith starts with seeing how big our God is. It begins with us praying God-sized prayers. That’s why Jesus chastizes his disciples saying, “O ye of little faith…” The size of our prayers reflect our perspective of God. Do we look at God with wide-eyed anticipation? Are we expectant of God to do great things for God’s kingdom and purposes through us? More importantly, do you believe that FCC is part of God’s kingdom purposes? Do you believe that we fulfill a unique role and calling in our time and on our side of the world? If we believe that we are called to God’s purpose, then we better pray like we believe it. If we believe we are called to God’s purpose, then we better act like it. True faith always inspires action.

I’ve been given the challenging and exciting task today to share what my vision for FCC is. Please don’t take this as the “be all and end all” list. This is just the beginning of our conversation and I would like to invite you to add to this list. Personally, I envision a church that..

1) Lives out in great faith because we trust in a great God

2) Lives out our unique calling as an inclusive and progressive church in Asia

3) Is filled with compassion from the inward parts as we reach out to those who are hurting and in need

Pray for the Lord of the harvest to send workers (Matthew 9:35-38)

35 Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

Compassion: Jesus felt compassion for him, her, the crowds. In Greek, it’s to be moved in your inwards parts/guts. We often talk about love in this church. We need to be a church that loves people from our guts.

4) Practices love, trust, compassion on each other and the world

5) Relies on God’s strength and Spirit in all we do

6) Sends out labourers into the harvest field

There is no lack of harvest.

There is no lack of Christians.

There is no lack of churches.

What’s lacking is workers. The workers were few. The workers were few in Jesus’ day. The workers are still few today. For me to articulate this vision of sending out workers into the harvest field takes faith. Faith in a God who specializes in the impossible. When I think about our human limitations, it seems impossible. But impossible is where God starts. The question is where do we start? Where do you start? What do you want for FCC? What do you want FCC to become? What is God’s Spirit nudging you to do right now? Faith without action is dead. True faith always inspires action.

I would like to close by sharing this music video with you. You can sing if you like or just take this time to reflect and respond to God.

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The Power Of Your Name
Lincoln Brewster

Surely children weren’t made for the streets
And fathers were not made to leave
Surely this isn’t how it should be
Let Your kingdom come

Surely nations were not made for war
Or the broken meant to be ignored
Surely this just can’t be what You saw
Let Your Kingdom come here in my heart

And I will live to carry Your compassion,
To love a world that’s broken
To be Your hands and feet
And I will give with the life that I’ve been given
And go beyond religion to see the world be changed
By the power of Your name

Surely life wasn’t made to regret
And the lost were not made to forget
Surely faith without action is dead
Let Your Kingdom come, Lord break this heart

And I will live to carry Your compassion,
To love a world that’s broken
To be Your hands and feet
And I will give with the life that I’ve been given
And go beyond religion to see the world be changed
By the power of Your name

Jesus, Your name is a shelter for the hurting
Your name is a refuge for the weak
Only Your name can redeem the undeserving
Jesus, Your name holds everything I need

And I will live to carry Your compassion
To love a world that’s broken
To be Your hands and feet
And I will give with the life that I’ve been given
And go beyond religion to see the world be changed
By the power of Your name

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