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February 4, 2019, 7:00 PM

Let us go on



Mark 1:35-39

It had been a fantastic evening of ministry in Capernaum. People from the surrounding region of Galilee had heard about Jesus casting out a demon at the synagogue. As the word of this spread, folks brought the sick, those oppressed by demons to the home of Simon and Andrew. Many were healed of their diseases and demons were cast out of those they had oppressed. What an evening that must have been!

Early in the morning while. It was still dark, Jesus quietly slips away to spend time with his Heavenly Father. But it doesn’t take long for that to be interrupted. The disciples woke up and quickly discovered Jesus was missing. So they formed a search party and went looking for Jesus. We can only imagine their joy and enthusiasm when they find him.

“Hey, Jesus! Whew, we found you! Why didn’t you tell us where you were going?”

”We were worried about you! Is everything okay? What are you doing way out here?”

”Jesus, last night was awesome! No one has ever experienced anything like that before. People are already talking about doing it again tonight.”

”Yeah, Jesus! We need to hurry back. Everyone is looking for you. We’re on to something really big in Capernaum. Come on, let’s go back.”

AND Jesus responds: “No. Let us go on to the next towns so that I might preach in those as well. That is why I came: to preach the good news throughout Israel, not just Capernaum.”

Jesus did not come to establish a ministry base in one town. As you read the gospels, you see Jesus on the go. Jesus traveled all around Galilee preaching, teaching and ministering to needs. His mission was to seek and save the lost. Everywhere Jesus  went He taught about the Father’s kingdom, calling people to repent and believe the good news. That was why Jesus came.

We have been given the same mission. Jesus commands the church to go and make disciples of all nations. Our task is to tell everyone that Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin, to obtain our pardon and to reconcile us to God. We receive this wonderful gift of salvation Jesus offers by believing that Jesus is the Son of God, who died and rose again so that we could inherit eternal life. It is ours by faith, believing and confessing that what Jesus did was perfectly sufficient to bring us into a personal relationship with God. 

  • Do you know Jesus as your Savior and. Lord?  Have you called out and trusted in Jesus to save you from your sins?
  • Who needs to hear this good news that Jesus saves completely to make us right with God?  

We can’t camp out where it is popular, convenient and familiar. We must go out of our comfort zone and speak with those who have not heard, who do not know Jesus as Savior and Lord. Like Jesus, we need to go on to other people and venues so they too might hear and believe. Let’s go!

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January 16, 2019, 11:00 AM

A Desolate Place



Mark 1:35

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.

Jesus, the Son of God, awoke early in the morning to spend time with his Father. Jesus was not talking to himself. He was communicating with God the Father whom Jesus has known in perfect loving, joyful co-existence and fellowship for all eternity.  Jesus desired to be alone with his Father in a remote place away from people and distractions. He sought to be in the presence of the One he as always known to talk and commune together.

  • If you know Jesus as your Redeemer and Lord, you too will desire to spend time with alone with God your Father.
  • When is your optimal time to spend time alone with God?  Have you made this your regularly scheduled appointment?
  • Where is your isolated, remote spot?  A quiet room void of distractions and electronic devices?  A closet?  A place outdoors?
  • What is your plan?  You do need a plan. Anytime two people meet together, they have a plan or agenda to discuss. When meeting with God, you need a plan. Where in the Bible will you be reading, studying, reflecting?  What will you talk about?  Who will you pray for?

May the Psalmist’s prayer be your heart’s desire; One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.”  Psalm 27:4

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January 14, 2019, 10:00 AM

Late Night Ministry



Mark 1:29-34

And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon's mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered at the door. And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

In the preceding verses, 21-28, Jesus cast out a demon in the synagogue. And as soon as this was made known to others, Jesus became known and his popularity spread to the neighboring regions of Galilee. Suddenly, Jesus is a celebrity.

After the service, Jesus went to the home of his new disciples where he learned that Simon Peter's mother-in-law was ill. And we see that Jesus has compassion for her and heals her; after Peter's mother-in-law gets up, she prepares dinner for everyone.

Jesus and his disciples likely did not recline and rest for very long. By evening, the entire town had gathered at the front door. Folks brought any who were sick or demon oppressed. And how did Jesus respond? We're told that Jesus healed many. And when Jesus drove out demons, he wouldn't allow the demons to speak. Why? Because the demons knew perfectly well who Jesus was. They feared him because they knew Jesus could destroy them at any time. The appearance of Jesus - God who became a man - was both a declaration of war on Satan's domain of darkness and an assault upon the devil's power grip. Moreover, Jesus wanted people to get recognition and praise from people, not demons.

  • Reread and reflect on this passage. 
  • Note how Jesus cared and treated people.
  • Praise Jesus for who He is - the Son of God, the Son of Man - who came to destroy the works of the devil. I John 3:8 says: "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil."

 

 

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January 9, 2019, 6:00 AM

Jesus calls men to be His disciples



Mark 1:16-20

Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men." And immediately they left their nets and followed him.

And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him. 

Extraordinary. Jesus sees two fishermen casting a net into the sea and calls them to follow him. Consider what Jesus is asking these two brothers to do. "Leave your vocation. Leave what you know. Abandon the familiar. Walk away from the security of what you have been doing."  Does Jesus offer something that would be financially rewarding? Did Jesus promise them an easy life with fame and prestige?  Nope, not at all.  Jesus simply tells them to be his followers. To go where Jesus goes. To become his learners. And Jesus tells them that they will become fishers of something bigger and greater than fish; they would become fishers (catchers) of men.

And what did these two brothers do?  Did they discuss it together firstt?  Or did they ask Jesus about conditions and guarantees?

No. We're told that IMMEDIATELY they abandoned their nets and followed Jesus. Same thing happened with the two sons of Zebedee. Jesus called James and John to follow him. And they got out of the boat to join Jesus, while their father and hired men watched.

God is a calling God. Jesus comes and says, "Follow me."  "Leave behind the familiar and normal." "I'm going to lead you away from your comfortable life of convenience into the unknown where you will trust me for everything." "And you'll be catching men for me!"

  • Have you responded in faith to Jesus' invitation to follow him?
  • What have you abandoned for the sake of knowing and following Jesus?
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January 7, 2019, 2:00 PM

Jesus' ministry begins



Mark 1:14-15

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."

It is important that we make a few observations about this passage.

  • John the Baptist had been arrested. Why? Because John had publicly stated that Herod Antipas had violated God's commands b taking his brother Philip's wife, Herodias, to be his wife. The Bible defines this as adultery. John the Baptist declared to Herod that it was not lawfiul for him to have his brother's wife. (Mark 6:17-20)  So John was arrested and bound in prison.
  • After John's arrest, Jesus went into Galilee and began preaching.

What was Jesus' message?

  • Jesus proclaimed the gospel of God. What does "gospel" mean?  Gospel is "good news."
  • "The time is fulfilled." Everything that the Law and Prophets had said was here. God's promises of sending the Messiah, HIs Servant had been accomplished. 
  • "The kingdom of God is at hand." God was establishing his sovereign kingship over His creation. This would involve the inner transformation of human hearts that would love and desire God with an ability to keep God's commands. 
  • And Jesus called for people to respond to this good news: "repent and believe in the gospel." Repentance simply means to change one's mind, to reconsider one's course and go in another direction. Repentance would involve acknowledging that our ways are sinful and wicked in God's sight; thus, we turn from our ways to pursue God and His ways. "Believe in the gospel" refers to accepting what Jesus has declared, trusting that God has promised to redeem and make new what was once broken and cursed.

Do you believe that Jesus is the One whom God promised would redeem people and make them new and right with God?

Have you turned from your way of living to pursue knowing God and to pursue what pleases and honors Him?

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