“Grace That Is Greater Than The Inexcusable” (Mark 14:32-42 sermon)

C.S. Lewis wrote “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” That is a great statement, and very convicting regarding our attitude and practice towards others — but the power of it depends on whether we really understand what it means that “God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” Our passage for this morning helps us understand what it means that God has “Grace That Is Greater Than The Inexcusable.”  Continue reading

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The Sin of Indignation

“Hearing this, the ten began to feel indignant with James & John.” (Mark 10:41)

This verse highlights a danger that good Christians need to beware of. James and John had just asked Jesus that they might sit on His right and left in His glory. This was over-ambitious, prideful, and over-reaching. Jesus dealt with them graciously (thankfully He does the same with us!) but :41 indicates that the fallout from their request was now infecting the other ten disciples in dangerous way: Continue reading

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“When You Follow Jesus” (Mark 10:29-30 sermon)

I saw an ad the other day which indicated that a subscription I am very interested in was only $2 for two months — which was a very good deal! But when I read the fine print, it said that after that initial time period it goes up to $37 a month! So I’m glad I read the conditions. You don’t want surprises like that; even if you are willing to pay it, you want to know what you’re getting into up front. 

Well Jesus was very “up front” with those He called to follow Him. He did not just “lure” people in with glowing promises. He always told His hearers what they could expect as His disciples, both good and bad. We see that here in Mark 10:29-30: 

“Jesus said, ‘Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.”

Jesus shows us “up front” here what we can expect when we follow Him: Continue reading

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NOT Like The World

“You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you; shall not walk in their statutes.” (Leviticus 18:3)

This is SO applicable to Christians today. People are always saying things like: “we need to be like the world; we need to entertain like the world, be businesslike like the world;” and so on. But God says NO!! Continue reading

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“Come Away … And Rest” (Mark 6:30-32 sermon)

In the 1860’s, Mark Twain took a steamboat tour of Europe and the Holy Land, during which he visited Rome. He wrote about his experience there:

“Afterward we walked up and down one of the most popular streets for some time, and wishing we could export some of it to our restless, driving, vitality-consuming marts at home. Just in this matter lies one of the main charms of Europe — comfort. In America, we hurry — which is well, but when the day’s work is done, we go on thinking of losses and gains, we plan for the morrow, we even carry our business cares to bed with us, and toss and worry over them when we ought to be restoring our racked bodies and brains with sleep. We burn up our energies with these excitements, and either die early or drop into a lean and mean old age at a time of life which they call a man’s prime in Europe. When an acre of ground has produced long and well, we let it life fallow and rest for a season; we take no man clear across the continent in the same coach he started in — the coach is stabled somewhere on the plains, and its heated machinery is allowed to cool for a few days; when a razor has seen long service and refuses to hold an edge, the barber lays it away for a few weeks, and the edge comes back of its own accord. We bestow thoughtful care upon inanimate objects, but none upon ourselves. What a robust people, what a nation of thinkers we might be, if we would only lay ourselves on the shelf occasionally, and renew our edges!”  (p. 160)

“Lay yourself on the shelf, and renew your edges” — This is basically what Jesus was telling His disciples in Mark 6:31, “And He said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.’ (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)”

Jesus’ disciples found themselves in an extremely busy time and Jesus told them: “Come away … and rest.” Many of us are similarly busy, and we need to hear this word from Jesus as His disciples too: “Come away … and rest.” Listen and see how you need to apply Jesus words here to your own life:  Continue reading

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Freed By The Blood

What an amazing picture we find in Leviticus 14, where the Bible describes the ceremony for the cleansing of a leper: two birds are ordered to be brought the tabernacle for the ceremony: one is sacrificed, but the other the priest is to “dip … in the blood of the bird that was slain over the running water.” (:6) Then the priest “shall let the live bird go free over the open field.” (:7)  Can you imagine the feeling of that second bird as he flew away: he must have felt that he had narrowly escaped death!

Which is exactly the way that those of us who are Christians should feel!   Continue reading

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Do You Appreciate God’s Word?

Psalm 119 is an acrositc. It is composed of 22 sections of 8 verses each, the verses of each section beginning with one letter of the Hebrew alphabet. So :1-8 all began with the Hebrew letter Aleph; verses 9-16 in this section all begin with the letter Beth. It is interesting to see how each section of the Psalm emphasizes a different aspect of God’s word. At least one of the emphases we find in this “Beth” section of Psalm 119 is how the author demonstrates that he really appreciates God’s gift of His word: Continue reading

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