Title: Struggling for the Kingdom, part 2

Focus: Only those who hear the word, struggle with it, and accept it will be granted to be an insider by being in the kingdom

Function: To encourage the listeners to own up to their struggles, admit it through confession so they can be empowered for change

Text: Mk 4:1-34


Intro:
1.  Mark 4 is all about bearing fruit
	a.  Fruit comes from struggle
	b.  Jesus not make teaching easy
	c.  Struggle with the word
2.  Image of plow, some not struggle
3.  Those that not struggle with it lose it (Mk 4:24-25)
4.  Types of struggle

I.  Struggle with the word
	A.  Bible is not easy, knowing how to be saved is
		1.  It was judaizing controversy in early church
		2.  It seems easy to us now, but not back then
		3.  Never did anyone dream this would be thrown at them
	B.  Whether we like it or not, some things not easy
		1.  Answers to death and suffering
		2.  Cloning in the Bible
		3.  Capital punishment
		4.  Divorce and Remarriage
		5.  Bible not give us pat answers
			a.  Part of it is story of God
			b.  Some propositional truths
			c.  Principles
	C.  ILL:  When I new in Air Force
		1. All my work had to be signed off
		2.  If ran into a ďwhat if?Ē I figure it out, but with supervision
		3.  After training and practice, I moved up to level five
	D.  That is how it is with our struggle
		1.  The more we struggle, more capable of handling more
		2.  Wrestle with issues of life and the word both with full 
		      intellectual and emotional honest
		3.  What if I make wrong conclusion? - grace
			1.  It is the thing that allows a child to make 
		  	     mistake, learn from it, and still be my child
			2.  Donít fret about not getting it perfect

II.  Struggle with discipline
	A.  Hebrews 12:1- gives great perspective on this
	B.  Passage in several sections
		1.  (1-3) - Jesus as the example of one who endured
		2.  (4-10) - Demonstration of Godís love as father
			a.  Do not regard it lightly (blow it off)
			b.  Donít be discouraged
		3.  (11) - Struggle will produce fruit
	C.  ILL:  One dirt clod to the next - This is great here in the sun
		1.  Rumble sound
		2.  Ahhh!  A tractor!  -  Plows right through them
		3.  Later, sprout, then next golden grains - Fruit
	D.  Paulís experience - 2 Cor 12:7-10
		1.  Paradoxial statment - Power is perfected in weakness
		2.  What if Paul said I donít want it?
			- Weakness is perfected in power

III.  Struggle with sin
	A.  I am convinced we need to do better here
	B.  Back to Hebrews 12 . . .
		1.  (v.4) - Striving against sin (not sinners)
		2.  (v.12-13) - They were to strengthen hands and knees
			a.  Model of church as hospital of souls??
			b.  We have made it into a cathedral
			c.  Jesus the great physician
		3.  People spiritually sick because of sin
	C.  ILL:  What I have struggled with in the past
		1.  Does that shock you?  I hope not
		2.  Imagine emergency room doctors in shock?
		3.  No, when you come in, doctors go to work
		4.  WHY do people go to emergency room? - Will get help
	D.  If sick with sin, where can I go for help, support, and healing?
		1.  Get beat up some more in church?
		2.  A man confessed his sin, specifically in church
			a.  Desire went completely away
			b.  James 5:16 - Confess & pray that be healed
		3.  Satans strongest ally - SECRECY
			a.  How does Satan keep this ally strong?  FEAR
			b.  How does he produce fear?  - Self righteous judgemental people
		4.  Struggle with sin should never be alone (2 Cor 2:6-8)

Concl:
1.  Struggle with the text?  Keep on struggling
2.  Struggle with sin?
	a. Pornography(epdemic proportions), drunkeness, language, anger
	b. Confess so you can have power to change
3.  If have no struggle, you either are blind, dead, or perfect
4.  Need to love and support, not judge