Episode 1. You Need More than Aspirin
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When you’re sick, when something’s hurting, what you desperately want to do is to get better and stop the pain. And at that point, there is a huge risk. The risk is, that you throw an aspirin or …
When you’re sick, when something’s hurting, what you desperately want to do is to get better and stop the pain. And at that point, there is a huge risk. The risk is, that you throw an aspirin or two at the symptom, rather than dealing with the disease.
One of the things that I’ve noticed in over ten years of producing this program is that responses to the various series and messages vary greatly. Now, there’s a couple of ways of explaining that, perhaps Berni’s having a bad day or a bad week, and somehow the messages didn’t really connect … that’s a definite possibility. Over 2500 episodes of the program.
But the other possibility is that not everything I talk about is not what you want to hear. And if that’s the case I’m not the only preacher over the last couple of thousand years who’s had that problem. In fact at one point the things that Jesus said to the crowds were so unpalatable that they left him in droves. John chapter 6, verse 65-66:
And Jesus said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father. Because of this many of His disciples turned back and no longer went about with Him.”
Hmm …What I’ve noticed is that when I talk about something that has a strong felt need for many people we get a huge response. Asking for the free booklet that goes with the series, requesting prayer, sharing hurts. And most often those sorts of messages delve into difficulties in relationships, or low self-esteem, fear the need for faith to overcome adversity. The things that universally create challenges and trials in our lives. I wonder if that isn’t in our rush to end our pain and suffering, we want some sort of quick fix, a bandaid, an aspirin. Something to treat the symptom.
Yet more often than not those aches and pains that we experience in day to day life they’re merely symptoms of other deeper underlying causes. Jesus actually talks a lot about those causes, those underlying diseases. And yet, let me tell you, in those series and messages on this program, where we delve deeper, where we hear things from God that we may not want to hear, without fail the listener response is sharply lower. Hmm …
Could it be that we’re more interested in that quick fix to the symptoms than dealing with the underlying disease? That certainly seems to be where medicine’s heading these days – at least retail medicine when you go to see your local doctor. At least where I live, the family doctor’s practice role has all but disappeared, instead you go into one of these large practices now with multiple doctors, where you can no longer make an appointment. You just get the next available doctor. And they pop you on the assembly line and in you go to be processed.
More and more people go in and they ask the doctor for antibiotics or painkillers as though somehow it’s the patient’s role to self-diagnose and more and more fed by the slick marketing of the drug companies. The doctors are just writing out a prescription and off you go. Problem solved!
Never mind that the heavy use of antibiotics is leading to the development of so called superbugs that are completely resistant to any form of treatment. Never mind that perhaps there’s something deeper like diet or lifestyle or some hidden disease that’s causing the symptoms that you’re feeling. Never mind that the rates of obesity and metabolic syndrome, heart disease, stroke, diabetes are sky rocketing around the world. Just write the prescription and be done with it. Woo hoo!
“Berni, we don’t want to talk about the disease. Just give us something that’ll provide a quick fix to my problems. A band-aid … and … an aspirin.” Now maybe that sounds a little bit harsh, but are you getting the picture?
I was watching a video recently, an amazing video on YouTube of an apostolic minster who was asked to address the United Nations General Assembly. Now this man Reverend Lee Stone King had died of a massive heart attack at Sydney airport of all places. He’d been pronounced dead. And yet in the ambulance on the way to the hospital he came back to life. The paramedics were completely astounded! The blood had already started to coagulate in his extremities, he had no oxygen to the brain for over 45 minutes. You know just 6 minutes and the brain starts to die.
And this man who’d experienced a resurrection – literally, spoke to the delegates of the United Nations National Assembly. And he said to them, “People, if you want to end violence, if you want to end the suffering, if you want to deal with the terrible problems and the atrocities going on in this world then the only answer is this. Acts chapter 2, verse 38:
Repent and be baptised every one of you. In the name of Jesus Christ. So that your sins may be forgiven. And that you’ll receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’.”
And you’ll see, right there is the treatment for the disease that’s causing your aches and pains, your distresses and fears. But like Jesus, if I start talking about that sort of radical treatment no doubt people will turn off the radio. No doubt people will walk away as they turned away from Jesus there in John chapter 6, verse 66.
But listen to me. At the end of the day if we want the life that Jesus promises we need more than an aspirin. We need more than a handful of shallowness … we need to dive deep down to the root cause.
One of the funniest signs I’ve seen in a long time on Facebook of course, reads like this, ‘Everything happens for a reason and sometimes that reason is that you’re stupid and you made bad decisions’. I do stupid things that cause pain and so do you. Well, we have wrong ways of thinking and seeing, we all get caught up in ourselves and forget God and forget others. It’s so easy in this day and age with the barrage of lies that cover our lives and penetrate our hearts to end up in pain because we’ve headed off in the wrong direction.
But listen to me. Jesus speaks and Jesus heals. And if we want healing in our lives, then we need to listen to Jesus speak and experience the power of his healing touch.
That’s what this series of messages over the next few weeks is all about. That’s why I’ve called it ‘Jesus Speaks, Jesus Heals’. Because I believe that Jesus wants to bring some serious healing into your life. And when we actually take the time to listen, I mean really listen to what Jesus has to say about the maladies that afflict our lives, it just blows you away. That’s what the crowds experienced that followed him around. Matthew chapter 7, verse 28-29:
Now when Jesus had finished saying these things the crowds were astounded at His teaching for He taught them as one having authority not as their scribes.
I’ve got a friend who carries rather a lot more weight than he should. Ah … a lot more. I’ve spoken to him many times about the amount of sugar and refined carbohydrates that he eats, and yet to no avail. I know that if he turns away from the sugar and the refined carbohydrates the weight will just fall off him. He’s older than me, he’s in his 60’s. He has high blood pressure, high blood sugar. And he’s just an absolute monte for a heart attack or a stroke. And yet nothing changes. I can’t badger him into it. He has to decide for himself. So why doesn’t he change? He’s not a bad person, he’s a great guy. And frankly I’d like him around for many more years to come. So … why doesn’t he change? The same reason that you and I just cling onto the things in our lives that are robbing us of life itself.
There’s one thing that I have to share with you that can give you the power to change; the things that astounded those people, the words of Jesus, the teaching of Jesus. Because it comes with authority from God. It cuts to the heart of what’s going on in us. And it carries with it, the power of God to make the changes in your life that you don’t have the power to make. My words can’t do that. But Jesus’ words can. Because He is the Word of God. ‘Jesus Speaks, Jesus Heals’. Are you ready for that sort of power in your life?