Digging in Deeper: Mark 11:22-24

“Jesus replied to them, ‘Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, “Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, everything you pray and ask for – believe that you have received it and it will be yours.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever watched a really slick Prosperity Gospel preacher deliver his ace sermon? He will take you on a journey. You’ll be laughing one minute, crying the next, and ready to fork over your whole wallet to do your part to sustain the vital ministry the Lord has called him to do so that you can receive the blessings He wants to pour out into your bank account by the end of it. You will feel empowered to name what you want the Lord to give you, and to claim it boldly in prayer. It is a powerful experience, an encouraging experience, a truly religious experience, and a big, fat load of heresy. Verses like this one, though, would seem to disagree. Let’s talk about it.

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Pushing through the Pain

This weekend we celebrated graduates. Given the chance, I took some time to offer a bit of advice on how to survive a college experience in an environmental that is increasingly openly hostile to orthodox expressions of the Christian faith with that faith in tact. Thanks for reading and congratulations to the graduates!

Pushing through the Pain

Although the number of years between now and then is getting larger all the time, I still remember my first few days at college. I don’t remember every single detail, but I remember some key events and the way I felt during the week. I was excited like any incoming freshman is, but mostly I remember wondering what I was supposed to do now. Fortunately, I met some really great people early on and made some connections that are still paying dividends. 

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 9:22-24

“‘And many times it has thrown him into fire or water to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘”If you can”? Everything is possible for the one who believes.’ Immediately the father of the boy cried out, ‘I do believe; help my unbelief!'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What does it mean to believe something? There’s a nice, deep thought to get you started on your day. It’s worth some pondering, though. It’s worth some pondering if for no other reason than we are on the cusp of celebrating the historical event in which belief grants us eternal life. Or at least, belief pared with a confession of Jesus’ Lordship will. That’s what the apostle Paul said. If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Boom. So, what does it mean to believe? Jesus’ interaction with a father who didn’t here gives us a good opportunity to do some thinking together.

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Morning Musing: Mark 6:56

“Wherever he went, into villages, towns, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him that they might touch just the end of his robe. And everyone who touched it was healed.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

You never know what actions on your part are going to have the most significant impact on the people around you. Something you do that seems utterly mundane could be the thing that completely changes another person’s life. More than that, it could be the thing by which you become known. In our story timeline in Mark, a few weeks ago Jesus healed a woman when she surreptitiously touched the edge of His robe. It was a one-off sort of moment that happened while He was on the way to what everyone around Him believed was a more important appointment (He, of course, understood the importance of the woman and paused to honor her faith much to the consternation of the people with Him). The power of that moment, though, didn’t stay in that moment. Jesus became the man who could heal people simply by their touching His robe. That’s how He became known. What I want to talk about this morning is how you want to be known.

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Rest in Jesus

This morning we are wrapping up our short series, I’m Fine. The truth is that in many times of our lives, we aren’t fine. We might profess to the contrary, but we know what’s going on inside and we don’t like it. We can put in place good habits to help keep some of those hard emotions at bay, but sometimes not even that seems to do the trick. In this last part or our conversation we’re talking about the ultimate solution to being not fine. Read on to find out what it is.

Rest in Jesus

There are some tasks you can’t accomplish on your own. This is not necessarily an easy-to-accept reality in our culture. The stories we have long celebrated most are the stories of individuals overcoming incredible odds to accomplish monumental tasks on their own. But this doesn’t make it any less true.

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