This Sunday’s Sermon

We are making our way through Mark on Sunday mornings. Today we will walk in 9:38-50. As we work through this text we should learn about…
  • the folly of misplaced zeal, 
  • the seriousness of discipleship,
  • the necessity to deal drastically with your own sin, and
  • the fact that we are called to be salty rather than sinful Christians.
As Sinclair Ferguson writes in Let’s Study Mark:
“Our Lord’s point is that unless we maintain the purity of our own lives and are purified by the flames of testing, and remain faithful to Christ, our lives will have no preserving influence on this corrupt world. If we begin to fall into the same patterns of life as those which are characteristic of the world, we will never be able to point men and women to another world.”
Sin is serious. Discipleship is, too, and both must be treated as such. Dealing seriously with sin will enable continued spiritual growth. That will produce increased joy, no matter the circumstances. This is serious and for our joy.
 
We will not gather for worship today, but the sermon will be live-streamed. Follow this link to watch the video feed.

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Saturday Spurgeon Selection

Luke 19:40, “I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”

But could the stones cry out? Assuredly they could if he who opens the mouth of the dumb should bid them lift up their voice. Certainly if they were to speak, they would have much to testify in praise of him who created them by the word of his power; they could extol the wisdom and power of their Maker who called them into being. Shall not we speak well of him who made us anew, and out of stones raised up children unto Abraham?
 
The old rocks could tell of chaos and order, and the handiwork of God in successive stages of creation’s drama; and cannot we talk of God’s decrees, of God’s great work in ancient times, in all that he did for his church in the days of old? If the stones were to speak, they could tell of their breaker, how he took them from the quarry, and made them fit for the temple, and cannot we tell of our glorious Breaker, who broke our hearts with the hammer of his word, that he might build us into his temple? If the stones should cry out they would magnify their builder, who polished them and fashioned them after the similitude of a palace; and shall not we talk of our Architect and Builder, who has put us in our place in the temple of the living God? If the stones could cry out, they might have a long, long story to tell by way of memorial, for many a time hath a great stone been rolled as a memorial before the Lord; and we too can testify of Ebenezers, stones of help, pillars of remembrance.
 
The broken stones of the law cry out against us, but Christ himself, who has rolled away the stone from the door of the sepulchre, speaks for us. Stones might well cry out, but we will not let them: we will hush their noise with ours; we will break forth into sacred song, and bless the majesty of the Most High, all our days glorifying him who is called by Jacob the Shepherd and Stone of Israel.

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Reconciled Ambassadors

2 Corinthians 5:20, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
 
Those who have trusted the Lord Jesus as their Savior are not only saved but are ambassadors of their Lord and Savior. An ambassador is an authorized representative who speaks not in his own name but on behalf of another. We who have trusted Christ have been empowered and tasked with the joyous responsibility to faithfully proclaim the promises of the gospel and urge sinners to be reconciled to God through Christ alone. We have no other message and serve no other purpose. May we represent our Lord well, so that others may trust Christ and be reconciled to God.

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Who Do You Trust?

Philippians 2:19, “But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.”
 
Paul penned this epistle from prison. His imprisonment prevented him from personally visiting the beloved church at Philippi. So, he sent Timothy to encourage them. Paul trusted the Lord’s will. He said, “I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy.” Paul was confident that Timothy’s report would be positive. This is a fantastic reminder to be joyfully confident in our service to the Lord, no matter what, and to be positive in regard to our fellow believers. Trusting God doesn’t make us blind, but it should make us joyful. Trusting Him does enable us to believe the best about others. Trusting Him allows us to experience “good comfort” during uncomfortable times. Trust in the Lord Jesus!

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Appetites Dictate Directions

How’s your appetite? Are you hungry? To be more specific, what do you desire? Appetites dictate directions. Craving a burger means you won’t visit the closest Chinese buffet. Being hungry for BBQ will not land you in Olive Garden.
 
A rumbling tummy dictates what is pulled from the fridge or which restaurant is visited, because  appetites dictate directions. Hungering for anyone or anything above God will always lead to dissatisfaction and malnourishment. God alone is able to satisfy and sustain you. Every time. All the time.
 
We worship what we hunger for most. That’s why the psalmist says:
“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.” Psalm 34:8-9
Don’t overlook the “ye his saints” in that passage. “Saint” is a Biblical synonym for believer; not a designation for elite, specialized believers. That is emphasized because only believers are able to eat from God’s impressive and inexhaustible banquet table. That’s not an elitist statement, because anyone can belly up to that table, just as long as you are in Christ.
 
Those who are in Christ have been rescued from sin’s wages, which is death, by God’s grace through faith in Christ Jesus. Those who are in Christ have been set on a new path, headed in His direction, given a new appetite. Appetites dictate directions. How’s yours?

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