Morning Musing: Mark 6:7

“He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs and gave them authority over unclean spirits.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the classic characters from American television history is the Lone Ranger. This hero of western lore was a symbol for justice in the untamed American West. He fought villains and protected weak wherever he went. Since his original introduction in a radio series in 1933, the Lone Ranger has been an American icon. He is what we should all aspire to be: brave, just, honest, kind, gentle, fair, and true. There are other elements of his persona that reflect the American spirit as well. Perhaps the most notable of these is the fact that he is the Lone Ranger. He’s on a solo quest against injustice. He can do it all by himself. That sounds so rugged, so adventurous, so noble, and so likely to fail spectacularly. In real life, Lone Ranger-type quests rarely make a splash. Jesus understood this. And so while He was actually the one person in human history who could have done it all Himself, He refused to take that path.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 4:26-27

“‘The kingdom of God is like this,’ he said. ‘A man scatters seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day; the seed sprouts and grows, although he doesn’t know how.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What role do we play in the process of salvation? How do we actually contribute to the growth of the kingdom? If you would claim the name of Jesus as your Lord and savior, those are perhaps questions that have at least occurred to you. We often hear about evangelism and are chided over its lack in our lives and in our churches. What Jesus says here helps to frame out a bit what evangelism actually entails and what should be our focus in it in a way that may help give us more confidence in doing it. Pay close attention.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 4:13

“Then he said to them, ‘Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand all of the parables?'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I said on Tuesday that the parable of the sower isn’t about you. It’s not about me. Can we take things in just a little different of a direction this morning? It’s still not about you and me, but as Jesus explains the different soils and what they each represent, we can’t help but find ourselves in the story. We can’t help it because while this isn’t about calling us to evaluate what kind of soil we are now, we were once the soil in which someone else was trying to plant a Gospel seed. If we can better understand the perspective and experience of each different soil, we’ll be better able to sow seeds in a way they will be more likely to take root. So, let’s talk about dirt this morning.

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Morning Musing: Mark 4:2-3

“He taught them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them, ‘Listen! Consider the sower who went out to sow.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Every teacher has a style. And most teachers have a set of stories they tell over and over and over again. They’re stories they use to make the points they think are the most important to make because they convey the most critical truths they want to communicate. For Jesus, the style was parables, and Mark 4 contains some of the parables that He no doubt told in every little town, village, and hillside He visited. This is a parable we’ve looked at before together, but if Jesus told it a lot, it’s probably worth our time to look at it again.

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Bold Moves

When Jesus left the scene after the resurrection, the disciples gradually picked up the pieces and began to organize themselves into a powerful group. But as of yet, we haven’t seen them go anywhere. They were all packed for a journey, but they hadn’t gone anywhere yet. Getting ready is one thing, but actually going is another entirely. It requires something of us. What is this? In Acts 3-4 Peter and John put it beautifully on display for us. Keep reading to find out what it is and what it means for us.

Bold Moves

Let me start with a bit of a survey this morning. Do you think Christians today have more or less freedom to pursue the practice of their faith than we did 10 years ago? If you would say, “More freedom,” raise your hand. If you would say, “Less freedom,” raise your hand. Okay, let me change the question just a bit on you. Do you think Christians have more or less cultural power than we did 10 years ago? If you say, “more,” raise your hand. If you say, “less,” raise your hand.

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