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Respect the Son — Mark 12:1-12

Posted by on Aug 21, 2016 in Christian | 0 comments

Respect the Son — Mark 12:1-12

Think of the simple command in the NT addressed to all children: their fundamental responsibility is to Honor, to Respect their parents.  How shocking and evil and wicked it is when we see a TV newscast give an account of a child turning against his parents and killing them – the ultimate expression of rejection; the ultimate violation of this simple command.

Our passage this morning looks at the parallel responsibility we all have to Honor, to Respect Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the authority over our lives.  We will see the ultimate violation of that command by the religious leaders who conspired to put Jesus to death at the hands of the Roman authorities.  But I want you to be thinking of your own response to this overarching responsibility.  How are we doing each day when it comes to showing Respect for the Lord Jesus?

REJECTION OF CHRIST MEANS LOSS OF KINGDOM INHERITANCE AND THE UNLEASHING OF THE WRATH OF GOD (FOR THE WICKED RELIGIOUS LEADERS OF ISRAEL)

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Lessons on Faith and Authority — Mark 11:20-33

Posted by on Aug 14, 2016 in Christian | 0 comments

Lessons on Faith and Authority — Mark 11:20-33

Religious Hypocrisy takes many forms.  But in all instances, Hypocrisy puts on an external mask to try to look like something it is not.  It dresses itself up in the activities of religion – lots of prayers; lots of donating money; lots of quoting of bible verses; lots of acts of worship – like baptisms and observance of the Lord’s Supper; singing and listening to sermons – but no heart reality of genuine faith and no submission to the authority of the Lord.  Instead, there is an exchanging of the commandments of God for the traditions of the hypocritical religious leaders.

Jesus takes the two object lessons of the Cursing of the Hypocritical Fig Tree and the Cleansing of the Corrupt Temple and revisits them with these TWO APPLICATION LESSONS.

WHAT GOOD IS RELIGION WITHOUT FRUIT OR WORSHIP WITHOUT REALITY?

JESUS CONDEMNS THE HYPOCRISY OF AN UNFRUITFUL NATION WITH ITS EMPTY RELIGIOUS SYSTEM (CENTERED AROUND THE TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM) AND OF ITS EXPLOITATIVE RELIGIOUS LEADERS (THE SANHEDRIN)

TWO OBJECT LESSONS (ACTS OF JUDGMENT — Last week) FOLLOWED BY TWO CORRESPONDING APPLICATION LESSONS

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Hypocrisy Fires Up Jesus — Part 1 — Mark 11:12-19

Posted by on Aug 8, 2016 in Christian | 0 comments

Hypocrisy Fires Up Jesus — Part 1 — Mark 11:12-19

Our culture loves to portray Jesus as this mild mannered, gentle teacher who went about doing good and blessing all the little children and spouting off moral platitudes.  The two events we are going to study this morning present a far different picture of Jesus.  We are now into the second and third day of Passion Week and we are going to see a Jesus who is fired up; one who is truly ticked off; one who responds in anger and judgment.  What is it that caused Jesus to go off:

Hypocrisy!

WHAT GOOD IS RELIGION WITHOUT FRUIT OR WORSHIP WITHOUT REALITY?

JESUS CONDEMNS THE HYPOCRISY OF AN UNFRUITFUL NATION WITH ITS EMPTY RELIGIOUS SYSTEM (CENTERED AROUND THE TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM) AND OF ITS EXPLOITATIVE RELIGIOUS LEADERS (THE SANHEDRIN)

This is not a temper tantrum or uncontrolled rage on the part of Jesus

Controlled display of righteous indignation from the Judge of the universe who is the Truth

TWO OBJECT LESSONS (ACTS OF JUDGMENT) FOLLOWED BY TWO CORRESPONDING APPLICATION LESSONS

Acted out prophetic parables with the meaning attached

Want to treat this as one section – but will require 2 weeks to cover

  • Fig Tree: boasts of its leaves – but no fruit
  • Temple: showy and impressive – but no genuine worship

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The Reception That Wasn’t — Mark 11:1-11

Posted by on Jul 31, 2016 in Christian | 0 comments

The Reception That Wasn’t — Mark 11:1-11

Following the confession of Peter in chap. 8 that Jesus is truly the Messiah, we have seen a growing sense of anticipation and drama in the Gospel of Mark.  Jesus has set His face like flint to head to Jerusalem where He will fulfill His mission as the Suffering Servant.  He has been educating His closest disciples about what type of Messiah He is.  He has been explaining over and over that He is much more than just a political revolutionist who will bring about national restoration and throw off the bonds of Roman oppression.  He is headed for rejection and suffering and death at the hands of both the Jewish religious leaders and the Roman officials.  His hour has almost come to glorify the Father.   This is why He came into the world as God incarnate.  Today we see Jesus arrive in Jerusalem.  I cannot overstress the significance of this great event.

Look at what % of the gospel accounts deal with the final week of Jesus’ life on earth as He goes to the Cross – 1/3 of Mark’s Gospel and ½ of John’s Gospel cover the last seven days of Jesus’ life.  Significant to understanding the identity and mission of the Suffering Servant.

Various names for this event:

  • The Triumphal Entry – (maybe the Triumphal Procession would be better)
  • Palm Sunday – occurred on the first day of Passion week – either Sunday or Monday

Not some symbol of peace and pleasantness as in our Sunday School classes with young children but symbol of Maccabean revolt by political revolutionaries —

The Palm branches signify the expectation of a military victory of their king over the occupying Romans.  Look at Rev. 7:9  the martyrs coming out of the Great Trib.

  • What should we call it??? The Reception That Wasn’t – looking not so much at the procession but what took place upon His arrival

Where does all this excitement and anticipation lead??

EXCITEMENT OVER JESUS THAT STOPS SHORT OF WORSHIPING HIM AS KING OVER ALL QUICKLY FADES AWAY

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Beggars Can Be Choosers — Healing of Blind Bartimaeus — Mark 10:46-52

Posted by on Jul 27, 2016 in Christian | Comments Off on Beggars Can Be Choosers — Healing of Blind Bartimaeus — Mark 10:46-52

Beggars Can Be Choosers — Healing of Blind Bartimaeus — Mark 10:46-52

This story provides a stark contrast to how the rich young ruler approached Jesus in the previous encounter.

  • Man of privilege and distinction vs. the most pitiful creature imaginable = blind beggar
  • Man who claimed obedience vs. wretched sinner crying out for mercy
  • Man who could not lay aside his great wealth vs. man who had no problem casting aside his only possession, a threadbare coat
  • Man who went away sad vs. a man who followed Jesus on the pathway of discipleship with great joy and rejoicing – “Once I was blind, but now I can see .. the light of the world is Jesus”

This story also provides a stark contrast to the interaction with Jesus with James and John in the previous section.  Same question Jesus asked in vs. 36 – but different response

  • Disciples seeking places of prominence and distinction in the kingdom vs. a simple sinner who wants to be healed of his debilitating blindness
  • Disciples who lack the spiritual vision to get the lesson that Jesus has been teaching over and over regarding greatness in the kingdom vs. a humble, bankrupt.lowly sinner whom Jesus blesses with spiritual vision as well as physical vision

Jesus wants each of us to see our self in the story of Bartimaeus.  This is the model of how sinners should approach Jesus by faith and receive His power and blessing.

BLIND BEGGARS CAN ACCESS THE SAVING POWER OF GOD THROUGH FAITH IN THE MERCY OF JESUS

Let’s learn the 3 LESSONS ABOUT FAITH that Jesus teaches us here:

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The Way of the Cross Leads to Exaltation — Mark 10:32-45

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in Christian | Comments Off on The Way of the Cross Leads to Exaltation — Mark 10:32-45

The Way of the Cross Leads to Exaltation — Mark 10:32-45

Illustration: Brian Billick book — Competitive Leadership: Twelve Principles for Success:

  • Be Values Oriented
  • Be Prepared
  • Be Self Disciplined
  • Be Knowledgeable
  • Be Performance Oriented
  • Be a Communicator
  • Be a Motivator
  • Be a Problem Solver
  • Be a Team Builder
  • Be Opportunistic
  • Be Self Assured
  • Be Courageous

What is missing?  Be a SERVANT!

 

We are continuing in the same themes as we come to the third of these 3 passion prophecies in the central portion of Mark’s Gospel (8:31, 9:31); Always followed by a response of self-seeking and self-promotion on the part of the apostles; Teaching of Jesus centered around the contrast between the world’s concept of greatness and how to be great in the kingdom of God

MacArthur: The path to greatness is not the world’s way, it’s God’s way. The world’s way works in the world. God’s way works in the Kingdom.

SUFFERING AND SACRIFICIAL SERVICE IS THE PATH TO GREATNESS IN THE KINGDOM – NOT SELF-SEEKING AND SELF-PROMOTION

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Abundant Rate of Return in Christian Commitment — Mark 10:28-31

Posted by on Jul 16, 2016 in Christian | Comments Off on Abundant Rate of Return in Christian Commitment — Mark 10:28-31

Abundant Rate of Return in Christian Commitment — Mark 10:28-31

As the summer Olympics rapidly approach, we will be impressed once again with the sacrifices that these young athletes have made to try to achieve Olympic gold.

The path to becoming a champion is paved by great sacrifices.

They say it takes hours and hours of practice to become proficient. Many researchers suggest that it takes 10,000 hours.  If you practiced your art for 2 hours every day it would take you 13.7 years to reach this mark.

Question: “What was one of the biggest sacrifices you had to make in order to get to the top?”

Responses from some of the greatest athletes:

1) Bart Conner – USA Olympic Hall of Famer and World Champion on the Parallel Barshttp://1tljmj43yo4m291xrgtfdtsq.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Bart-Conner.jpg

“The key issue is for me is that I never saw any of it as a sacrifice, just choices.  So, I never felt that I was missing something, only that I chose something else.”

Accomplishments:
Bart is one of the greatest gymnasts to ever compete in the Olympics. He was a member of the gold medal-winning men’s gymnastics team at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games where he won an individual gold medal on the parallel bars.

2) Kristine Lilly – Professional American Soccer Player and Most Capped Men’s or Women’s Soccer Player In The History Of The Sporthttp://1tljmj43yo4m291xrgtfdtsq.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Kristine-Lilly.jpg

“I’m not sure I would call it sacrifices that I made to be the best I could, or more so just choices to want to play for my country.

I always put my training first.  Whether it was cold outside and snowy, I still found a way to get a work out in.  I always wanted to make sure I was fit enough to be ready to go into training camp with the U.S. national team.  I did miss a lot of family functions and birthdays but my family was so supportive we made up for them in other ways.  Going after your dream takes a commitment and lots of support and hard work.  I had all those pieces to be able to play for the U.S. for over 23 years.  I enjoyed my career and all I put into it and got out of it…”

http://ashotofadrenaline.net/18-of-the-greatest-athletes-on-earth-share-their-insights-on-the-sacrifices-it-takes-to-get-to-the-top/

Rich young ruler came to the conclusion that it was not worth it to him to follow Jesus.

IT IS WORTH IT TO FOLLOW JESUS

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Who Can Enter the Kingdom of God? Mark 10:13-27

Posted by on Jun 20, 2016 in Christian | Comments Off on Who Can Enter the Kingdom of God? Mark 10:13-27

Who Can Enter the Kingdom of God?  Mark 10:13-27

In our circles we are quick to criticize what we have termed “Easy Believism”.  We reject the notion that one can accept Jesus as merely a Get-Out-of-Hell card while refusing to bow the knee to His authority as Lord and God.  So we turn to passages like this one about the rich, young ruler and demonstrate how the evangelistic approach of Jesus is so unlike the approach of those today who would try to sweep all such Seekers into the kingdom indiscriminately.

Yet the value of today’s message is the balance that the teaching of Jesus provides as we set side by side the contrast between these two incidents that are recorded by Matthew, Mark and Luke.  This is why I don’t want to preach on these two incidents in separate sermons.  They must be seen together to bring out the contrast that Jesus is presenting.

In some sense entering the kingdom of God can be incredibly easy … while in another sense it can be incredibly difficult.  It all depends on your attitude and orientation in coming to Jesus.

Remember the earlier teaching in Mark 4 ragarding the Parable of the Soils; we have those different types of soil reflected here in Mark 10

Parunak: 10:1-31, three encounters by the way.

These illustrate the soils once again:

a> Roadside: Pharisees seeking to trap him.

b> Good Soil: children with their simple faith.

c> Thorny Soil: rich man clinging to his wealth.  [no rocky soil here —  persecution]

Someone with divided allegiance. The clearest example yet of thorny soil, drawn away by “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things.”

Often the sticking point in presenting the gospel to someone is getting them to honestly and sincerely come to that point of brokenness where they reject the notion of their inherent goodness and come to grips with their own bankruptcy and neediness.  There can be no message of Good News until that sense of a need for a Savior has been established.

ENTERING THE KINGDOM OF GOD REQUIRES A SENSE OF NEEDINESS AND DEPENDENCE VS ENTITLEMENT AND SOPHISTICATION

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What God Has Joined Together Must Stay Together — Mark 10:1-12

Posted by on Jun 16, 2016 in Christian | Comments Off on What God Has Joined Together Must Stay Together — Mark 10:1-12

What God Has Joined Together Must Stay Together — Mark 10:1-12

The importance of this topic cannot be overstated.  We all know people who have been involved in some aspect of divorce and remarriage issues.  It would be far preferable to determine our biblical convictions before we were under the emotional pressure of dealing with specific individuals and specific circumstances that hit close to home.  But regardless, we have come upon the topic at this point in our study in Mark and must address it here.

Statistics:  very disputed

1910 – 10% of US marriages ended in divorce

1948 – percent had grown to 25%

In the United States today, researchers estimate that 40%–50% of all first marriages, and 60% of second marriages, will end in divorce. [ these stats regarded as a myth by others]   There are some well known factors that put people at higher risk for divorce: marrying at a very early age, less education and income, living together before marriage, a premarital pregnancy, no religious affiliation, coming from a divorced family, and feelings of insecurity. The most common reasons people give for their divorce are lack of commitment, too much arguing, infidelity, marrying too young, unrealistic expectations, lack of equality in the relationship, lack of preparation for marriage, and abuse.

How can civilization survive when the most basic unit of the society is so broken???

Now we are redefining gender and redefining the basic composition of marriage – no longer just between one man and one woman.

Then you have the great masses of young people that are rejecting or at least minimizing the institution of marriage altogether and just choosing to cohabit on a long term basis.  They would look at today’s discussion as an antiquated argument.

  • The divorce rate for a third marriage is 73%–When it comes to marriage, practice doesn’t make perfect. In fact, it only seems to make you worse. That’s why the divorce rate continues to get higher for each additional marriage. Nearly 3 out of every 4 adults who are on their third marriage end up divorced again.
  • Christian couples have the same divorce rate as the national average—It seems there’s little truth to the saying “The family that prays together stays together.” Protestant Christian couples are just as likely to get divorced as their secular counterparts. In fact, Atheists have a much lower divorce rate than Christians. [but how do you define Christians?]

Approach: study through this text on its own; but it merits a much wider treatment on a topic level throughout the Scripture to make sure that our interpretation is consistent and holds up against the various objections that could be lodged  (Matt. 19, 1 Cor. 7:15)

Then address the more complicated objections and case study issues that arise and pastoral implications of how to respond in a wide context of situations —

Value of study completed by H. Van Dyke Parunak

Today’s lesson will not fully satisfy you and is not intended to answer all your questions.  But we will start with this simple teaching from Mark’s gospel.  (gave you some homework to dig deeper)

HARD HEARTS COMPLICATE SIMPLE COMMANDS IN THE CASE OF DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE

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Lesson on Saltiness — Be Pure . . . Be Potent . . . Be Peaceful — Mark 9:43-50

Posted by on Jun 5, 2016 in Christian | Comments Off on Lesson on Saltiness — Be Pure . . . Be Potent . . . Be Peaceful — Mark 9:43-50

Lesson on Saltiness — Be Pure . . . Be Potent . . . Be Peaceful — Mark 9:43-50

Figure it out … Live it out …

Other messages started with the teaching and then moved into illustration and application.  In this lesson, we start with some illustration and application and then get the teaching on the back end.

Vs. 42 we studied with the section above – but it is a transitional verse – just as you need to make sure you don’t cause other Christians to stumble, you must as a priority give heed to your own moral purity

Parunak: Regarding background of usage of salt: For us, salt is a cheap, common substance, used mainly to flavor food, and we are most conscious of it as something that physicians try to get us to avoid. In ancient times, it was much more rare, thus precious. Roman soldiers received part of their pay in salt, a payment called salarium, from which we get our modern word “salary.” In addition, it was more than a seasoning, though it was that (Job 6:6). But it was also important as a medicine and a preservative for food. In this sense the Lord here uses it as a metaphor for something important in the Christian’s life.

THE PATHWAY TO GREATNESS IS PROTECTING YOURSELF AGAINST THE CANCER OF SIN WHILE POSITIVELY IMPACTING OTHERS FOR CHRIST AND PROMOTING PEACE AMONG BELIEVERS

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