top of page

Into The Wild

Matthew 8:1-17

by Stuart Mains

2022-09-11

Thank you for checking out this sermon. If you are moved by what you hear and are in the Boston area, consider visiting in person!

Transcription Below

Introduction Prayer


Join me in a word of prayer. Let's pray together. Dear God, we are so grateful for this time to be together. God, we're grateful to fellowship, to connect, to praise you, to worship you, to listen to your word being preached and spoken and read. God, we're grateful for the restoration that we just saw of June. God, we're so grateful that she has restored back to our fellowship and we know all that goes into that and all that means. And God, we're grateful that she has made you the Lord of her life again. God, we pray that you would be with today's service, be with our sermon this morning, god, allow it to be pleasing to you, allow it to pierce our hearts exactly the ways it needs to. I love you. In Jesus name, amen. Well, I love fall in New England. The fall semester or quarter has begun and it is great to see you all come back. I'm fired up. I told a couple of people I don't totally understand New England yet, but man, I love when all of you show up and come back to church. Amen.


Sermon Introduction


So it's great to have you here. If you've been traveling or out of town or if you are visiting with us, we are so grateful you're here. We also have people that have just moved in for campus ministry or in the pros ministry. If you have just moved in to our downtown region from a sister church, from somewhere else, please stand up now. We'd like to acknowledge your presence here. Hopefully you took some mental notes there of who they are so you can connect in fellowship with them afterwards, get their phone numbers, have them in your home. We are a loving family, a great community, and we are so grateful that you are here to be with us. As was shared, we're starting a new series. We've been going through the Book of Matthew, and the entire year has been focused on your kingdom come. The idea that we want to ask God to allow his kingdom to be manifested on earth through us, and that as we are here, kind of a fortress, if you will, of his kingdom standing its ground in Boston, proclaiming that his kingdom is the greatest kingdom, is the everlasting kingdom.


And so we have been going through the Book of Matthew, which the huge emphasis is the kingdom of God. Today we are starting a series as was shared, entitled Into the Wild. And really what we've been doing up to this point for the last four months is we have been going through the Sermon on the Mount. Now, I just want to encourage you, church, you did it. You went through the Sermon on the Mount. Amen. It was four months. It was arduous at times. We were talking about things you don't always talk about in church, like divorce and stuff, but we did it. And God absolutely did a lot of great work through that. But Jesus comes off the mountainside and he gets into the wild. If you're going to be a follower of Jesus Christ, you have to be willing to get into the wild of the world. You must spend time with people that are uncomfortable to you. You have to be in environments with the physically sick and the spiritually sick, and the majority of the world is unwilling to be involved in connecting with those kind of people. The definition of wild is living or growing in the natural environment, not domesticated or cultivated or uninhabited, uncultivated or inhospitable.


Jesus was willing to go into the undomesticated, uncultivated, inhospitable places to be able to connect with all kinds of people. He spent time with the people that no one wanted to spend time with, and there was a willingness to shatter just the normal way that people thought about interacting with God and interacting with his servants. He broke the mold. Before that, there was a whole different paradigm. We see in Matthew nine, verse eleven, it says, when the Pharisees saw this, they asked the disciples, why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners? On hearing this, Jesus said, it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go learn what this means. I desire mercy, not sacrifice, for I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners. You know, the Pharisees we're talking about and going, why are you spending time with these tax collectors? Why are you spending time with the sinners and the prostitutes? Why are you doing this? And he said, this is the reason why I came. I came to spend time with people that you wouldn't as the spiritual leaders of that day. I came to totally change the view of thinking of who God wants to be with and spend time with. That he wants to connect with everybody. He doesn't just want to connect with the overly righteous or the Pharisees, if you will. If you think about just how stupid it would be to have a hospital full of no sick people. He said, it's the sick that need a doctor, not the well, where do you find the sick people? It's in to the wild. And he references a passage in Hosea as he goes on. He says, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. Now, to us, it doesn't readily come to our minds of, oh, yeah, that's Hosea that's speaking there. But to those that were listening, the Pharisees would immediately know he's referencing a passage of the prophet Hosea. Now, the prophet of Hosea was told by God to live out his prophecy by going and marrying a prostitute, knowing that she's going to cheat on him. And so he goes and he marries her. He has three children with her, and then she cheats on him. She leaves him, and he goes and finds her and rescues her from being sold as a sex slave. And in this, God tells Hosea, I want you to understand, I desire mercy, not sacrifice.


I desire mercy, not religiosity. I desire mercy, not just looking the part, but I want a true connection. But, you know, getting in the wild, it's messy. I don't know if you're much of a camper. I grew up in a house with a dad who hated camping, okay? But as a church, we would go out, and we would do all kinds of, like, father's son camping trips and those kind of things. And so my dad had a bright idea of we had a van, and he said, why don't I take out all the back seats of the van? We had this futon that fit just perfectly into the back of the van, and you could unroll it, and so it would be a little bed there on the back. And he'd go, I'll go camping all day long, as long as I can sleep right here on this futon in this car. And so that's what we did. We went out, we'd go, we'd hang out, we'd do the s'mores, we'd do all the fun stuff. We'd go fishing. And then when it was bedtime, we'd get into the car, we'd close that door, and we were safe from the elements.


At times, he would turn on the AC even, right? So we were in a controlled climate environment right there, right? I mean, we were doing just fine. People would have whined, it was so hot. Really? Not for me. I was doing okay. It did get weird, though. One time when I was still sleeping in the back, he's like, I'm going to encourage Stew. And he drove me, while sleeping in the back, to a McDonald's drive through. I don't know what the McDonald's drive through person thought of this boy sleeping in the back of this van as this older man is driving him around. But nonetheless, I got my McGriddle and I was fine. But the idea of camping, I never grew up with much of a desire to camp because I just felt like I get dirty and gross and smelly and there's bugs and there's things and there's animals and there's all kinds of stuff that take place. As I continued on and got older, we started doing with the campus ministry and those kind of things. And so I started to do normal camping. And when you do normal camping and tents and that kind of thing, not glamping, just normal camping, you realize that throughout the night, sometimes there's animals that come by your tent.


You hear the raccoons or you hear the possums. One time I was camping in the Sequoias in California and we were there and we heard these baby cubs, bears that were going by our camp. All I could think of was the revenant. If you've seen that movie, Leonardo DiCaprio just gets destroyed in this movie by a bear. It's all because of these cubs coming where Leonardo DeCaprio was. And I was thinking, I'm going to be like Leo, I'm going to get destroyed. So I'm sitting there just panicking in my tent and nothing happened. But I remember just being so scared of what could possibly happen. In the same way we can live Christianity like this. We can live Christianity not in the wild at all. In fact, we're just in a bubble. We're like in a cage, if you will, away from real harm or issues. We don't really have to face any challenges in our lives because we got the AC turned that up right there. Spiritually, we can put all the windows up, not have to hear all the things that are going on out there in the world. And we just come in on Sunday mornings where we come in throughout the week, midweek service. Come to our small group. And we are just in a bubble of Christianity. Never having to get into the wild to actually deal with the pain. The hurt. The issues. The little bears, if you will, of spiritual issues that are going on. Or the big grizzly bears of things that could happen to us. And so we come into a Christianity that's extremely boring. It's a Christianity that is very much a stand up, sit down, sing a song, sit down again, listen to a welcome. I know this rhythm. We've done the same rhythm for a year now. I could re recite it to you and you could recite it back to me, right? That we know how the order of things are supposed to go. We know what it's supposed to be like. We know where we're going to sit. How many of you sit in the same spot, generally speaking, every single Sunday? The back row is just lying. All you young parents didn't raise your hand you all are back there all the time, but we sit in the same spots even. We like rhythms. We like consistency. When you get into the wild, it gets weird and it gets challenging and it gets difficult.


There's all kinds of stuff that takes place. Getting into the wild isn't just getting into the wild of the world. It's getting into the wild of our hearts as well. There's a lot of stuff that can take place in our hearts that feels very wild, very weird, very crazy. In Jeremiah 17, verse nine, it says, the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick. Who can understand it? The heart is a maze. And so many of us, we shy away from wanting to deal with what's going on in the wilderness of our hearts because it's so murky, it's so convoluted. It feels like I will never really be able to figure it out. Even the Bible confirms it's deceitful to us, so I won't even try. In our hearts, there can be pain and bitterness, hatred, unforgiveness fears that we're just unwilling to untangle. We know that it's not right to have those things there, but we also don't know how to get to the other side of it. We don't always know that and feel like we have the solutions of how to cope with the things that we're facing in our hearts. So instead of actually delving into the wild of our hearts, we just choose to numb out.


Jesus is calling us to be willing to go into the wild. Are you willing, church, to go into the wild? Are you willing to go into the wild? In Matthew eight, this will be our text for today. Through the chapter of Matthew eight, we come into a couple of stories of Jesus healing and interacting with people. Look with me In Matthew eight, verse one, it reads, when Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean. Jesus reached out his hand and touched him. I am willing, he said, be clean. Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. You don't really know totally what having a leper around would be like in that day. But when a leper was in society, they had to announce themselves when they would come into a crowd. Being a leper at that time would be you would legitimately just chant, lepers here. Caution, lepers here. Make way. A lepers here. They didn't know if it was contagious by touching the skin, so they wanted to make sure they had like a ten foot radius around.


So you had to announce that you were a leper. What would that do to your psyche? That every time you walk into the community commonplaces, you had to announce your presence so no one would get even close to you. And so as he was yelling Unclean unclean. He must have it's not written, but he must have been saying that as he's approaching Jesus. Unclean. Unclean. That's why he says, Lord, if you're willing, then I know that you can make me clean. Because at that point, nobody was willing. Not the Pharisees at the time, not the spiritual leaders of the time. No one wanted to interact with him. No one wanted to spend time with him, be with him. Jesus has a completely different response than all the spiritual leaders to that time. Says, I am willing. I'm willing to do this. I'm willing to interact with you. I'm willing to spend time with you. They didn't have the science that we have now where they could understand it a little bit better. Him interacting with them would even affect Jesus's connection with some people, because now he had been with this unclean person. And so now are people going to want to spend time around Jesus now?


And yet Jesus says, I'm willing. Church, are you willing to go into the wild? Are you willing to face the embarrassment of being in the wild? Are you willing to face the pain and the challenges of engaging with these question marks with these things? Going into the wild can feel like I don't totally know the outcome. And so I don't know if I'm going to do it because I don't know what's going to happen if I try to go into the wild. Are you with me? I won't ask you to raise your hand because this is all embarrassing, but I'm sure we've got plenty of control freaks in the room. You with me? People that love control a little too much are you with me? That just love to have all the answers to all the questions that could ever be asked before they give an answer on what they're going to do. Are you with me? This is a squirrel suit right here. I don't know if you've ever seen one of these. Okay. But this is like the most dangerous sport in the world. I don't know the statistic. It was a little hazy, but there are many people that die every year from doing this sport.


Let's watch a clip here of one of these guys. He has a GoPro on, and he's doing this in a little bit of a difficult circumstance.


You think it's going to get better when he gets to the fog, but it only gets worse, kind of, because you see how far down it is. You with me? How many of you would do this? I appreciate your lying in church. I love the thought that you would try and do this, but this is what it can be like. This is what the majority of us feel when it comes to getting out of our comfort zone and going into the wild of the world, if you will. I can't see the bottom. I don't know how this is going to work out. I don't know if I should even try it. You could tell he was having some second thoughts. He took a little walk forward. He went, okay. It's pretty foggy down there. He walks back. He does it again. Okay, all right, here we go. I guess I'm going to go. And then he does it. We have that kind of level of hesitation. I think, for many of us, whenever we are thinking about engaging with people that make us feel uncomfortable.


There are a lot of things that could constitute being in the wild spiritually. It can be engaging with somebody on a spiritual level, talking about your faith and your convictions, not knowing where they stand on these issues. That can be the wild. Talking to co workers or classmates and saying, this is where I stand on these things. I want to talk to you about my faith and my conviction. That could get wild quick. Spinning with people. An interesting thing that I wasn't used to coming from the West Coast is the East Coast, especially in Boston, each neighborhood has its own vibe and spirit to it, and neighborhoods don't always like other neighborhoods. You with me? You're from Brookline? You're from Chestnut Hill, are you? Well, okay. Know what I think about you. Oh, you're from Dorchester? Okay, well, know what I think about you. Oh, you're from Beacon Hill? You're from south End. Oh you're from name it. And we can have these preconceived notions of what we feel towards people that we just stay within our comfort zone. It's interesting, we always talk about and we almost acclaimed because we're such a diverse church that we have no kind of range of racism or any issues with diversity in our church ever.


But the funny thing is, if you look around, even the people that we're sitting by, a lot of times we're more comfortable with people that are our own race. We're around the people that we don't look different from. Some of you are going, oh, man, I'm good. The preacher talked about it, and I'm okay, man. Didn't get me on that one. Others of you are like, Dang it, I should move. I'm going to the bathroom. I should go to the bathroom right now. This is not good. Okay, I got to move. I'm uncomfortable. This is weird. Is it because you're sinful? No, it's just the nature of who we are. We want to be in our comfort zone. We want to be around people that feel, look, think like us. So maybe for you, getting into the wild, spiritually speaking, is, I'm going to engage with people that make me feel wildly uncomfortable. How they think, how they feel, how they process the word of God, how they think about the things that we're hearing. They're in the same church. We think it seems like the same stuff, but, man, we have wildly different takes on things.


We must, as a church, be willing to engage into the wild. Be willing to engage this fall to be in the wild. We as a church have made concerted efforts to try to get into community service, different organizations and connections with them to be able to do more in the community. But it's not a one off thing. It's a consistent, heart thing. I'm going to be uncomfortable with who I'm spending time with. I'm going to be uncomfortable with who I'm serving. I'm going to be uncomfortable with what I'm all about. That was Jesus heart. And if you are uncomfortable with getting into the wild, you are uncomfortable with Christianity. You're uncomfortable with dealing with your heart stuff, your bitterness, your challenges, your fears, your issues. You have an issue with Christianity. Not me, not this church. It's with God's word. Jesus, as our primary example, was willing to get into the wild no matter what. Whether it was heart issues or physical issues, he was there. Are you willing, church, to get into the wild? We can say a lot of amens, but are you really willing to get into the wild? Two things that take place in the wild that we're going to talk about today.


The first one is healing is in the wild. Healing takes place in the wild. We just heard about a healing. Let's continue on as Jesus continues in this healing practice. Verse five. When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him asking for help. Lord, he said, my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly. Jesus said to him, Shall I come and heal him? The centurion replied, Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof, but just say the word and my servant will be healed, for I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, Go, and he goes and that one Come. And he comes. I say to my servant, do this, and he does it. When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, truly, I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west and will take their place at the feast with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


Then Jesus said to the centurion, Go. Let it be done just as you believed it would. And his servant was healed at that moment, when Jesus came into Peter's house, he saw Peter's mother in law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. Jesus was a healer, and as he got into the wild, he was consistently healing people left and right. He starts with the leper, and then he goes on and heals the centurion's assistant. There his aide, and then he goes and he heals Peter's mother in law. And we see that Jesus was consistently about healing. When we're in the wild, the wild has an effect of healing our soul. Now it's counterintuitive because in going in the wild, it feels like, I'm going to get messed up. When that guy was jumping off into the fog, it was like, I really hope I don't die. You with me? When I was going camping and I was hearing about the little bears outside of my tent, I was thinking, this may be the end. And so when you think about going into the wild, oftentimes you don't think of it as a place to be healed.


Instead, you think of a place that, this is where I'm going to be messed up. But actually, as Jesus and as the disciples get engaged in the work and get involved in the work that he's doing here in the wild, it causes healing all around. Physical healing, but obviously also spiritually healing. Too many people, I think, that we interact with, and even us, can say, though, I don't necessarily know if I need healing. I don't know what healing I could require. And what I've realized, even as I've been working out, you don't really realize your problem areas or your areas for growth or healing or your issues until you start working out, until you start getting into the wild. As you start to run, if you are out of shape right now and I say, go run a mile, you will learn very quickly what is wrong with your body. Are you with me? You will be like, My knee. I have issues in my knee. I didn't know I had issues in my knee. While you are laying on the couch all the time, you don't have to use your knee laying down the couch.


But once you start using it, you get very aware of the problems that you have. As you start to exert your spiritual muscles, you get really acquainted very quickly with that's pretty weak right there. As you get in the wild, you start to realize, I am not as strong as I thought I was. There is this kind of incubated feel to being in church. When you're in an environment like this feeling the songs, feeling the sermon going, yes, I'm with you. You don't really have to exert much spiritual energy here, but the moment that you go outside, the proof is in the pudding, right? We're able to see what we're made of. That's when you know your problem areas. Too many of us, though, aren't engaging in the spiritual battle in the wild, and so we're never actually exposing the problem areas. And so we go, I don't need healing. When someone feels that they don't need healing, what do they do? They don't go to a doctor. They have no need for a doctor. People, when they get cancer. One of the things that doctors will say is, we got to change your diet.


We've got to drastically change your diet because they believe and they know that food has a massive impact on your health. And so they'll change your diet completely. I have a friend that has lung cancer. He said, Man, I have cut all the sugar out of my diet. It is so restrictive. It is such an intense diet. Why is he doing that? Why is he changing what he's ingesting in his body? Because he knows that he has cancer, and he's going to die if he doesn't change his diet in the same way as you get exposed to, man, I got some problem areas in my heart. Because you're engaging in the spiritual battle, it starts to change what you ingest. It starts to change what you take in. It starts to change the ways that you are interacting with the world. We as America are the most medicated country in the world, and instead of changing our diet, we prefer to do painkillers and medicine. You ever looked at the side effects on medicine? Especially at the end of those commercials? You ever hear those commercials? and they start saying words that should not come out of their mouth, and they say them really fast at the end. They're like, this may cause coma or death. You're like, what? Did he say I'll die from this medicine? Yeah, that's a side effect. A side effect is possible death from taking this. Why would I ever do that? Right? But we love the quick fix. We want the painkiller fix of healing that only comes from engaging in the spiritual battle, engaging in the wild, and coming in contact with, I've got real issues that need healing. What are the healing things that need to take place in your life? What are you doing to medicate right now?


Some of us, it's numbing out. We just want to binge watch or binge play video games, kind of have an escapeism type approach to our lives that we're feeling a lot, we're going through a lot. And so we run to video games or Netflix or food or porn or we run to a lot of different things to try to get away from the feeling that I can't deal with all that issue. I can't get in the wild on my heart. So instead, I'm going to run to these other things, and they are painkillers, and they're slowly killing you, and they're destroying your immune system, spiritually speaking. And yet you just use them as a crutch. Time and time and time again.


God is saying, we've got to ingest healthy spiritual food if we're going to get healed. We've got to get healing from the wild. We're going to look at a few different ways that the spiritual food that we take in, it heals us. The first one is confession in prayer. Ingesting confession and prayer. In James 5:16, therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Do you know that you find healing in your confession and in your prayer? If you confess your sin, it does something to your heart. When is the last time you purged out your heart, church? Where you just said, here I am, here's where it all stands. Here's my purity, here's my most embarrassing sins, here's the issues of my heart that I haven't dealt with, my spouse. Here's the things that are going on at work. Here's what's going on in the classroom, here's what's going on in the dorm room. Here's what's going on when nobody else sees. Here it all is.


Instead of doing that, we often numb ourselves out and run to the painkillers. Versus ingesting confession and prayer, taking on the food of confession and prayer, working with the vulnerable. Working with children and the poor can be food for our souls. In Matthew Nine, verse 13, then the people brought little children to Jesus from him, for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. As we start working with the vulnerable populations, whether it's children or people that are less fortunate or the poor or the sick, it moves in your soul, it moves in your heart, it does something to you. It moves your soul from being crusty and hard to being soft and connected. There is an issue in our church. The issue is we can't get enough people to serve in children's ministry. We can't. But what I have happening at times is I have the children's ministry servants that are not paid by the church, that just give their own time to run and coordinate.


I have them coming to me every rotation and saying, we are going to have to shut down children's ministry. We don't have enough people serving. We're not going to be able to make it. And every rotation what happens is some really good hearted people that have been doing it for a long time say, I'll take another round. I'll go again. And the same people that hear these announcements over and over again, don't do anything. So many of you are children of this church. So many of you have gone through years of these classes and yet chosen to never serve. There is an ingesting of healthy spiritual food that happens when you're with kids. There's something that happens when you are with these little snot knows kids that don't know anything about anything. But you tell them Jesus is Lord and you see in their minds, they go, then it is what it is, Jesus is Lord. And there's a willingness and a softness of heart and a connection that starts taking place. We need you to eat this way to spiritually ingest the goodness that comes from softening your hearts and working in children's ministry.


This isn't a commercial so we get more of you to do it. I'm trying to help save your soul. But we disengage. Not for me. I'm not around enough. I travel too much. It can't be me. You don't know who I am and what I'm like with kids. I'm not good with kids. I hate kids. I don't like kids. There are issues that can be worked out. But Jesus is saying, I want you to work with the vulnerable populations. If you're going to get in the wild, you're going to have to work with the children, work with the unmentionables, work with the people that make you feel uncomfortable.


Faith, prayer and fasting is another one. Matthew seven, verse 20. So Jesus said, and then because of your unbelief for assuredly I say to you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you will say to the mountain, move from here to there and it will move and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. The disciples could not drive out of demon. This is Jesus response. This only comes out by prayer and fasting and earlier on in the verse by faith.


They couldn't do it because they're unbelief. Are you praying in fasting church? Some of you are visiting and are like, what? I got to stop eating now to go to heaven? It's great to have you here. I'm talking to the disciples right now. I'm talking to the members of God's church. We must get used to fasting and training our bodies to fast and pray in faith. Too many of us are wondering why our spirits are dimming, why our spirits are not connected. It's because we haven't put to practice the spiritual practices of prayer, of fasting, of praying in faith, of fasting in faith. And so our faith is being stunted and we don't understand completely why. Although he gives us the answer and yet we feel like we still have demons in us that we can't overcome. Are you doing this?


The next one is giving to others or pouring yourself out. In Acts 20, verse 35, remembering the words, the Lord Jesus himself said, it is more blessed to give than to receive. As you give and pour yourself out, you get so much. Too many of us are disgruntled and burnt out and angry because you haven't been giving and you feel like you haven't been given enough to. And so therefore I'm holding myself back. You're only harming your own soul. Pour your life out and you will be poured into.


And the last one this is definitely not the last thing that we could talk about. The last one we're going to talk about today is obedience heals. Obedience heals. In 1 Peter one, verse 22. Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere faith for each other, love one another deeply from the heart. What purifies you? Obedience. We hate this word. We hate this. Our culture hates obedience. Why did you do it? Because I was obeying. It's not an acceptable answer anymore. If you're not intrinsically motivated, then I shouldn't do it. That's not God's word. That's just the culture we live in. And I have to be intrinsically motivated to do anything in my life. God's Word says you are purified through your obedience. What does that mean? Just like my children, there are times they don't want to obey and they do it anyways because they know there's a punishment coming if they disobey. We in the same way at times we don't have the intrinsic motivation, but that's okay.


We say, I'm going to obey anyways. Are you healing your soul through ingesting these things? Are these the things that you're taking in? Or are you running to painkillers? Are you running to escapism type behaviors? Are you running to the quick fix? There is healing in the wild, but you've got to expose your need for it. And then you've got to put in the right things. You've got to allow yourself to deal with what's going on in your hearts with God's Word and not with all of these other entertaining kind of distractions. We must recognize healing happens in the wild. But are you willing to go into the wild? Are you willing to deal?


The second and final thing is adventure is in the wild. Adventure is in the wild. Look here in verse 16. Look at this day. Think about what you did last night. Whatever your night was, I bet you it was not as adventurous as what Jesus did right here in verse 16. When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was the fulfillment of spoken to the prophet Isaiah. He took our infirmities and bore our diseases. What did he do? He had demon-possessed people and sick people coming through the door all night long. What would that have been like? What would that have been like? You just imagine what you've seen in movies of a demon possessed person that coming through your door. That would be an eventful little time. That's just one. What if there are many coming in over and over and over again? The Christian life, the idea of living in the wild is adventurous. It's scary, it's hard, it's difficult. But healing people and helping people and partnering with God is such an exhilarating lifestyle. I love watching these chiropractor videos on social media. You ever watch those? When they get these crazy cracks? I'm not going to show you, but every once in a while you get a crazy crack and then somebody just starts to weep. And they weep because I go, I've been feeling this pain for like eleven years and finally there's a release and a relief of the pain that I'm experiencing. And you always see the chiropractor, they start getting emotional too, and they're like, this is a moment here, but that's what we can do spiritually speaking, to the entire world.


We have the anecdote, we have the solution. It is the most adventurous life you could live. But too many of us are not engaging in this battle. And so your Christianity is boring and God is saying, in the wild, it's adventurous. If your life is boring, it's your fault. If your life is boring, it's because you're not living discipleship out. If you're truly living discipleship, then you have the most exhilarating life because you're engaging with people and you're loving people and you're connecting with people and you're seeing miracles happen, their lives change. Then turn around from what they were doing, make 180, return in their life, live completely different lives than they've ever lived before. You get to be a part of that. And so many of us are stuck saying, well, I'm not equipped, I'm not totally ready. I don't know if I can really do that yet. And we don't realize that that's the way you get healing from the problems you have is by getting involved and engaged in the adventure. This idea that I got to get myself all healed and figured out first before I engage with people is a lie from Satan.


Look at this passage in 1 Corinthians three, verse six, he said, I've planted the seed Apollos watered, but who made it grow? God makes it grow. It's not us that does this miraculous thing, it's us that does the work. And God makes it grow. You don't need to be completely healed before you engage in the work and the adventure of a relationship with God. You need to be willing, you need to be obedient to his word and do what it says. But we all know you are messed up and that's never going to change. Until you reach heaven, you will always have problems that will tell you you can't heal other people, you can't help other people, you can't partner with God to help the healing process. There will always be a reason. I led a church a couple of years ago and my philosophy was if we get all healed and we work internally, then the outpouring will be really good things. The problem with that is that I was too immature to realize that the healing process has to be partnered with this adventure of helping save people's souls. Because if all you do is focus internally on yourself, you will never run out of things to focus on.


You will always have something to focus on. And Satan will distract you from ever getting busy on saving the world. You will always have a problem, there always will be an issue. And so you'll never get actually to the work that's the adventure part. And so you'll be stuck in this healing cycle. I have so much healing left to do, and we all got healing to do. I'm not short changing that. I'm saying you do it in the adventure. You heal your soul through ingesting God's word, obeying his teachings and joining the adventure with Him. Are you willing? Are you willing to do this? As we close out I'm excited for this fall. I'm excited for what God's going to do through so many of you. If you are visiting with us, I want you to hear and I want you to come back, I want you to hear that we are so happy you're here. We are on a mission as a church to change the world. We are on a mission as a church to change Boston. You are a part of that equation. You are a part of partnering with us as we partner with God to change the world.


But you've got to be willing to get into the wild. You've got to be willing to engage in the wild things, the difficult things. If you're a member of this church, I want you to hear if your faith is boring, it's because it's not adventurous and you're not really in the wild. You're stuck in that van, that cage, if you will, not really camping. You're more just in this little cage. You're glamping, spiritually speaking, not engaged with all the wild that's out there. We must get into the wild. We must get into the wild. Are you willing to get into the wild? Amen. Amen.



bottom of page