I want to invite you to follow my blog as we dig and study the Gospel of Mark (my favorite gospel, if that’s allowed ;). Mark is a gospel that gets right to the point, JESUS is the SON of GOD! He is the messiah, chosen one, lamb of God and savior of MY sins. So let’s dig in by reading the first Chapter.
Pray to God as you study the Bible that He would illuminate in your heart and soul the words of scripture to effect you and challenge you to growth.
Mark 1 – using your Bible app or Bible. Read the entire chapter. If you are using a Bible, underline or notate areas of interest, curious words or things that catch your attention.
In the first section of Mark 1 we see John the baptist preaching. John is preaching to all of Jerusalem! People are coming from every area of this city to hear John proclaim repentance and the coming of the Messiah. John is popular, his message is powerful and he is baptizing people by the thousands to repent and turn towards God…this kind of following would give most men a ‘big head’, an idea of authority and power…but then John states, “One who is more powerful than I am is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the strap of his sandals.” Wow John knows his place, his unworthiness and is unaffected by the throngs of people that have come to hear him.
Jesus is BAPTIZED – cue Holy Spirit Dove and Voice of God! Wow imagine the reaction of the people around Jesus. Think of John as he pulls Jesus up from the water! Amazing GRACE, Awesome GOD! God states, “You are MY BELOVED SON; with you I am well-pleased.”
Stop HERE: Let’s pray about our lives being set apart for God’s plan and works, pray for a humbled spirit like John! Pray for a closeness to the Father who sent His Son to teach, call and die for this world.
I will Blog again in the next day or two and continue in the Gospel of Mark…
This week I have been reading in Matthew 18: 1-6…what a powerful challenge to capture childlike faith.
Jesus says, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Read it…six verses. “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children…” What does all this mean. How can we be childlike when this speaks against a culture including the church that says we must be MORE MATURE, MORE RESPONSIBLE, MORE SELF RELIANT!
I began to observe the two children in my life. Joel and I were discussing theologically the debate between Calvinism and Armenialism…Joel felt as if…HA. Joel doesn’t have a clue, but he simply loves his family, he needs us fully and depends on us for his food, shelter and love. It’s quite simple. Ask Joel if he loves Jesus and he will simply say, “I love Jesus”. No doubts, no heartfelt debate, just wide eyed wonder and belief.
Levi is a little more developed in his belief in God but he really simply believes God is AWESOME! One evening while eating dinner Levi said to me, “Dad, mom’s a good cook, not as good as God or Jesus, but she is really good.” He also prayed that God would make Ninjago’s REAL when he gets to heaven. Levi simply ask and BELIEVES! When he prays for healing he expects God will do something to heal. I wish my faith were so powerful. A simple…no questions belief! Faith LIKE A Child’s!
Jesus’ challenge is to become like children, not make children into to us…ha! For each person I think a challenge comes from this teaching of Christ. Spend some time praying and asking God what he would have you learn from this teaching. It’s there for a reason!
Lot’s of LOVE,
“Soon, I was back to trying to impress a God I imagined was growing more and more impatient with me”, from The Cure by McNicol, Thrall and Lynch.
Have you ever felt that way? You ever feel like your walk with God is difficult and frustrating and that God must constantly throw His hands up in frustration with you? I want you to know today that it’s not true. God is a loving Father who desires to be close, but He is not waiting for you to ‘IMPRESS’ Him. In fact, let me remove that stress by saying very simply…nothing you do will impress God! Let me type that again, it sounds harsh, but if it’s true maybe you won’t be motivated by the ‘idea’ of impressing God ever again. NOTHING YOU DO WILL IMPRESS GOD. Please understand that God’s relationship is personal, real, intimate and loving, but He is not in need of you showing off. Scripture tells us we can cause God to feel joy or jealousy through our lives, but we cannot IMPRESS God.
So what do we do with this little nugget of truth…take a deep breath and sleep a little sounder…God is not in expectation of you IMPRESSING HIM! Love Him YES. Seek HIM YES. Serve Him as a son or daughter, YES. His PERFECT Love for you was something He thought so important that He would send His Son Jesus to DIE for YOU! Thank HIM, worship Him, YES! You are His Beloved! You are His Child! Sons and Daughters! Dwell on the truth and allow the lies of self-reliance and self-righteousness to fall away.
Read Colossians 2 & 3…You were changed by God to be His possession!
John 20: 30-31 “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
I’m sure in the next few years we will begin to hear about some song of MIchael Jackson’s that never made it onto an album and was never recorded for the public. People will go crazy wondering why it never was released, some record company will claim the rights and it will be inserted into a collector’s set of songs from MJ and people will buy it.
Can you imagine if someone found a lost scroll that recorded works of Jesus (not the made up garbage from gnostics) but real stories of Jesus and His miracles, I don’t think we will find anything that we could consider valid or it would have been part of God’s word, but to think that Jesus did more than what was written by the gospel accounts. Even greater is that in John’s gospel what he does record and share is meant to do things for the life of a disciple.
1) Cause belief in Jesus as the Son of God
2) Because of that belief we have life in Jesus’ name.
This month at the River we will explore the Signs of the Son of God in the book of John. Today in our Worship Gathering it was the Water to Wine in Cana. I will write and share more about that this week. Check out the podcast at http://www.theriver47.com if you would like to hear the sermon from this morning (it will be up by Wednesday).
The River Community Church’s Sunday morning gathering today was awesome! Jeromy (our worship pastor) did a great job with the band in leading us to sing songs of praise to God, Leigh Lynch did an amazing job of preparing hearts for communion. Even the sermon was pretty decent (I did it so I have to hold back from saying how truly fabulous it was…HA) Following the worship today we had our monthly potluck which we call FESTIVUS! I love fellowship and breaking bread with Family! Looking for a place to learn? Seek God? Grow? Check us out sometime!
Yesterday I got up and was out the door before my son Levi got out of bed. I did not get home until after 5pm. All day long he would ask his mom, ‘when is daddy going to be home.’ She would reply ‘soon’ and he would moan. Finally in exasperation he cried out, “why is this happening to me”. Apparently he would not be satisfied until dad was home and we were snuggling. It feels really good to know he loves me this way. I love the greetings as soon as my car door opens in the driveway he runs down the sidewalk from the front door and he’s yelling “DAAAAADDDDDYYYYY!” Pants or no pants.
I was praying this morning and wondering if my time with God was like the love a child has for his daddy. Do I get excited to spend time with Him. Does my heart long to be near Him and do I wait on Him to come. I want to…I want the faith like a child’s. I long for God and Love Him and hope this pleases Him.
It’s funny because I know as Levi’s earthly father I am prone to make mistakes and even let him down sometimes, but my Heavenly Father is perfect and never let’s us down. Spend some time today with Abba just longing to be in His presence.
I know! This picture is disgusting and you would never use this restroom or let your child go near it! It’s UNCLEAN! When you consider God’s Goodness and Holiness and Perfection and how He sent Jesus to Redeem the Unclean (you and me) it’s pretty Awesome. God cleans up our mess! It’s just as gross as the photo…more so! NOW, how would you like to clean this bathroom?
I’ve been working through the Gospel (good news) of Mark with some men on Wednesday mornings for the past 4 weeks. This week we are digging into chapter 5 which describes 3 miracles that Jesus performs. The miracles by themselves are pretty amazing, but dig a little deeper and the stories say so much more about God and His Son Jesus. The first story is about a man from Gerasenes (this makes him most likely a gentile/non jew). This man is possessed by many demons…probably hundreds and Jesus (who happens to be in a non-jewish area ministering to non-jews…did you know that?) cast the demons out into pigs (unclean animals) and then the people ask Him to leave because of the loss of pigs, missing the point that the man is now free!
The second story is about a woman who is…you guessed it…unclean. According to the Jewish law she had two things working against her…she was a woman (sorry) and she was menstruating for the last 12 years…this by law made her unclean. Yet Jesus heals the woman and even though the ‘unclean’ have touched Him, Jesus is kind and loving and discovers who touched Him to remind her that it was her faith, not His robe that has healed her.
The third story in this chapter is about a little girl who is dead (Jesus calls the dead sleeping which is a whole other blog). Jesus heals the dead girl and brings her to life with the gentle command ‘Talitha cumi’ – ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise.’ Touching a dead person in OT Law…guess what that is…UNCLEAN. Do you get the feeling that Jesus is shifting the focus off of our ability to be clean onto His ability to redeem, restore and resurrect?
Does your life feel “unclean”? Give it to Jesus!
Much Love! Kevin
If you have ever sat frozen by the process and the tasks in front of you. Unable to act because you are overwhelmed by the length of your list. Don’t have enough time to finish the project, and not sure you have the perfect plan? This is for you (and definitely for me). DIVE…just jump in and begin. Need to write the blog, but struggling to write something profound…just write. Sermon page blank and so is your mind? Start typing. Home project been sitting on the Honey DO board for over a year, fire up the tools and DIVE in!
We started a Men’s Bible Study on Wednesday mornings and instead of spending countless hours and meetings trying to figure out what study, scripture or book we should use, I JUMPED. I picked the gospel of Mark, we dive every week, reading a whole chapter and experiencing the power of God’s Word. Many things like this never get off the ground because we are afraid to jump and trust the unknown questions below the surface of the waters. Dive!
DIG! I will use an example of failing for this next action. I planned to plant a garden this past spring. I had drafted pictures of the raised beds and their placement in the backyard. I had a plan for irrigation and fighting away the rabbits and even made a list of the fresh home grown veggies I would grow. I had a great plan, but I never set the shovel to the ground…it remained unfallowed ground. DIG. I have a project on my to do list that is 28 days overdue. AAAAHHHHHHH! How much time have I wasted just reading about the project and never digging in and getting it done? This Blog is for me too! This advice is not original to me…in the book ‘Rework’ it encourages abandoning your reservations and immobility and diving and digging into whatever is waiting for your action. Seth Godin, Michael Hyatt and John Maxwell would all agree, things don’t just get done, we have to DIVE, DIG and DO! Finally I can check off my to do list for this week, “BLOG, Just write something…anything!” DIVE+DIG+DO=DONE! Have a Blessed Day!