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God Has Helped

Scripture: John 12:9-11 (ESV): "When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus."


Introduction


Greetings, brothers and sisters in Christ! Today, we will explore the powerful and encouraging message found in John 12:9-11. The title of our sermon is "God Has Helped." As we delve into this passage, we will see the profound impact of God's help and how it transforms lives, emphasizing the importance of staying connected to the Lord, our Helper, and remaining prayerful always.


The events of John 12:9-11 take place six days before Passover in Bethany, where Mary anoints Jesus. This is a significant moment as Jesus is nearing the climax of His earthly ministry. Just prior to this, in John 11, Jesus performed the astounding miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead, which led many to believe in Him. However, this miracle also incited fear and jealousy among the religious leaders.


Key Characters and Their Roles:


In this passage, we see three key characters. Martha, who represents work as she served the dinner; Mary, who represents worship, having anointed Jesus with ointment; and Lazarus, who represents witness, being a living testament to God's power.


1. Martha: Work


Martha served dinner to Jesus, demonstrating the importance of serving and working for the Lord. Her actions remind us that our work, when done for the glory of God, is a form of worship. Martha's service reflects our call to practical ministry, showing love through action.

Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV): "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."


2. Mary: Worship


Mary's anointing of Jesus with costly ointment is a profound act of worship. It signifies her deep love and reverence for Him. In Hebrews 13:16, we are reminded to do good and share, for such sacrifices please God. Mary's act of worship was extravagant and heartfelt, symbolizing total devotion and surrender to Jesus. Hebrews 13:16 (NIV): "And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased."


Mary's giving of an expensive perfume shows us that true worshipers know how to give. Every worshiper should be a giver, understanding what the Lord has done for them, for He paid a debt we could never pay.


3. Lazarus: Witness


Lazarus was a walking miracle. Many people were coming to see Lazarus. By seeing him, they were convinced about the power of God, hence they were becoming believers in the Lord. His miraculous life was an effective witness for Jesus Christ.


Lazarus' name, derived from the Hebrew name Eleazar, means "God has helped" or "My God is helper." His resurrection from the dead is a powerful testament to this meaning. Lazarus' very life after his resurrection was a constant reminder of God's miraculous help and power. Lazarus' life became a beacon of faith, drawing many to believe in Jesus.


We should examine our own hearts and homes to ask whether we are bringing joy to His heart by our worship, work, and witness.


The Impact of Faith and Resistance:


This passage sets the stage for understanding the profound impact of faith and the resistance it often encounters. The raising of Lazarus not only showcased Jesus' divine power but also set the stage for the ultimate act of faith—Jesus' resurrection. This story illustrates the impact of miracles on believers and the opposition from those threatened by such displays of divine power.


Lazarus' walking miracle put him in a place of danger. Jesus had recently raised Lazarus from the dead, a miraculous act that drew many Jews to believe in Him. The religious authorities, however, plotted to kill both Jesus and Lazarus, fearing the growing number of believers. The resurrection of Lazarus was a pivotal moment that distinguished Jesus as the Son of God, capable of overcoming death.


The Story of the Blind Man:


Similarly, in John 9, we find the story of a man born blind who received his sight from Jesus. This miracle, like the raising of Lazarus, was a powerful testament to Jesus' divine power. However, it also faced significant opposition from the religious authorities. John 9:21 (NIV): "But how he can now see or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him. He is old enough to speak for himself." John 9:34 (NIV): "They replied, 'You were born in utter sin, and you are instructing us?' And they threw him out."


The blind man's healing led to interrogation and rejection by the Pharisees, who were more concerned with maintaining their authority than acknowledging the miracle. This resistance highlights how the enemy tries to destroy our testimony and make the name of the Lord irrelevant in other people's lives and our lives. The enemy seeks to undermine our faith and testimony, always trying to destroy the works of God in our lives.


Staying Connected to the Lord


The story of Lazarus and the blind man teaches us about the necessity of staying connected to the Lord, our Helper. Lazarus' life was under threat because his resurrection was a testament to Jesus' divine power. The religious authorities plotted to kill both Jesus and Lazarus, fearing the growing number of believers.


This teaches us that not everyone will celebrate our miracles. The enemy seeks to undermine our faith and testimony. Therefore, we must remain vigilant and prayerful, staying connected to God who helps us. Ephesians 6:18 (NIV): "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people." James 5:16 (NIV): "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."


Spiritual Vigilance and the Armor of God


The Devil is always trying to destroy our testimony, which encourages us to stay in the Lord. He is always trying to make the name of the Lord irrelevant. We need to stay alert because we do not fight against flesh and blood but against principalities, rulers, and dominions. Therefore, let us put on the whole armor of God.


Ephesians 6:10-12 (NIV): "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."


We must be diligent in prayer, stay connected to the Word of God, and be clothed in His righteousness to withstand the attacks of the enemy.


Resistance from the Enemy


Brothers and sisters, there are spirits that seek to destroy those who get help from the Lord! Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, we see how the enemy, through various spirits, seeks to destroy those who have been helped by the Lord. 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV): "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."


Job was a righteous man who experienced severe trials as Satan sought to destroy his faith and testimony. Despite losing his wealth, health, and family, Job remained steadfast in his faith. Job 1:9-11 (NIV): "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."


If we stay connected, God will always help us. Peter was warned by Jesus that Satan sought to sift him as wheat, testing his faith. Despite Peter's eventual denial of Jesus, he was restored and became a pillar of the early church. Luke 22:31-32 (NIV): "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." No matter how you have been tested, you can be restored. Romans 8:37-39 (NIV): "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."


We have given Christ countless reasons not to love us. None of them changed His mind. He is always by our side. He will never leave us or forsake us. Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV): "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." Glory be to God who is our refuge and our help! We will continue to stretch our tents for fruitfulness in Jesus' name. We will remain in Him and connected. Isaiah 54:1-4 (NIV): "Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord. “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities. Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more."


Psalm 103:2 (NIV): "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits."


Encouragement for the Journey


I want to encourage you if you have been going through some phases of life that you cannot understand or explain, rise up and start to speak to our Eternal Father again. God is on your side, and He will hear you. Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV): "Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known." Jeremiah 32:27 (NIV): "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?"


Stay connected and you will soon see your help just like Job and Peter. Jesus used the analogy of the vine and the branches in John 15:5 to illustrate our dependence on Him. Just as branches cannot bear fruit without the vine, we cannot thrive without staying connected to Jesus. John 15:5 (NIV): "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."


Think of an umbrella in a rainstorm. It shelters and protects us from getting drenched. God's help and presence are like that umbrella, shielding us from the storms of life. But we must hold onto the umbrella—stay connected through prayer, faith, and His word.


In the face of trials and opposition, like Lazarus and the blind man, we must stay connected to God. The enemy will try to use our blessings and miracles against us, but prayer is our strongest defense. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV): "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV): "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."


Conclusion:


As we reflect on John 12:9-11, let us remember that God has indeed helped us, just as He helped Lazarus and the blind man. Our response should be one of continual worship, work, and witness, staying vigilant and prayerful. Let us stay connected to our Helper, Jesus Christ, through every storm and every blessing, knowing that He is our ever-present help in times of trouble. If God has helped you before, please always remember to stay and remain connected.


Psalm 46:1 (NIV): "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."


May we live lives that bring joy to His heart through our worship, work, and witness, always staying connected to Him, our Helper and our God..


__________________________________________________________________________________


God bless you so much. May the peace of God dwell within you throughout this week. If you've been touched by today's message and wish to explore deeper faith, join us for Sunday services at AFM in Canada. Our address and location is on our website. Together, we can grow in love, strengthen our community, and uplift each other in our spiritual journeys. We look forward to welcoming you into our family. Blessings and grace be upon you.

 

Senior Pastor

Leo T Mukumba

 

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Powerful teaching!

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