Introduction: TUG-OF-WAR WITH AN ALLIGATOR
On a hot summer day in south Florida a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house.
In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.
His mother, in the house, was looking out the window and saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could. Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his mother.
It was too late. Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two.
The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go.
A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator. Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived.
His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. And, on his arms, were deep scratches where his mother’s fingernails dug into his flesh in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.
The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs; and then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, “But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my mom wouldn’t let go.”
Instead of getting mad at those who try to help you do right and pull against the world, the flesh, and the devil, you should be thankful that they love you enough to not let go.
Transition: It’s important that we get close to God and hang on knowing that He won’t let go of us or let us down.
Question: What brings people closer to God?
- Physical and emotional pain (losing one’s job, illness, etc.)
- Hardships (death, divorce)
- When we need or are looking for answers.
- Our children are hurting
Mark 5 gives us just one biblical example of someone who needed to get closer to God.
Read Mark 5:25-34
Let me share with you four aspects of getting closer as seen in the narrative of this woman. Let me address her condition, her progress, her options, and lastly, her determination.
- Woman’s Condition
- Suffered for 12 years.
- Suffered from many doctors.
- Woman’s Progress
- Was bankrupt.
- No better but actually worse.
Application: We usually get worse rather than better without God.
- Woman’s Options
v. 27a, ‘She had heard about Jesus,…’
Choosing life over death.
IV. Woman’s Determination
v. 27b ‘so she came up behind him through the crowd
Question: What was keeper her at a distance?
- Actual sickness
- Being discovered
What keeps us at a distance?
- Friends, colleagues, lovers
One Pastor, Chris Russell Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
- An out-0f-control schedule – Eph. 5:16, ‘Redeeming the time, because the days are evil’.
- Misplaced affections – 1 John 2:15, Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.’
- Abundance 1 Timothy 6:10, ‘For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.’ – Rich young ruler
- ‘Parasitic Sins’ – Hebrews 12:1
Question: How can we get closer?
- Make it a priority.
- We have to carve out some time!
- Your ‘intake’ (what you listen to, see/watch.
Conclusion: We need to get a little closer!
Do we see the illness?
Are we desperate enough?
What are our options?
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