Tag Archive: mark

Lest I forget | Mark 14.32-50

Lest I forget (Mk. 14.32-50)
1. The Will of the Father (vv. 32-36)
2. The Weakness of the Disciples (vv. 37-42)
3. The Way of the Cross (vv. 43-50)
Lest I forget Gethsemane … Thine agony … Thy love for me … Lead me to Calvary. (J. Hussey, 1921)
I believe; help my unbelief! (Mk. 9.14-29)
Introduction – Are we in need of a miracle today?
1. The Request (vv 14-22)
2. The Response (vv 23-24)
3. The Result (vv 25-29)
Everything is possible for one who believes. (Mk. 9.23)

Sermon slides & discussion questions here.

Heavenly Bread

Do you enjoy eating bread? Whether it’s the traditional kaya toast, the 6-inch sandwiches, French baguettes, or the more recent fusion salted-egg croissants, there seems to be all types of bread to suit all preferences of taste and texture. Imagine eating the same type of bread for 40 years. That’s what happened to the Israelites where their disobedience led to their wandering in the desert for 40 years. The gracious God provided manna and quail for them, exactly how much they needed, until they arrived in the Promised Land (Ex. 16). Why did He do so? Moses explains in Deut. 8:3, “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”

This was precisely the same words and passage that Jesus quoted, when the devil tempted Him in the desert, knowing that He was fasting, asking Him to turn stone into bread (Matt. 4:3-4). Jesus knew His mission, and He would not allow Satan and temptations to hinder or distract Him from fulfilling God’s purpose for Him. In John 4:34, He says, “My food … is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work.” Years later, with his dying breath, as He hung crucified on the cross for the sins of the world, He exclaimed, “It is finished.” He had accomplished and obeyed His Father’s will, to pay the penalty for our sins and purchase a place for us in heaven, that we might be reconciled to God by His sacrifice and death.

Mark 6.30-44 talks about the feeding of the 5,000 with heavenly bread. How there must have been a buzz in the air, wonder and excitement in the crowd, amazement between the disciples, when Jesus multiplied the simple 5 loaves and 2 fish into 12 baskets full of food for everyone. Yet for all that Jesus did, the healings, the miracles, teaching with authority, it was His life example pointing always toward the Father, that He reminded His disciples and followers to emulate. Do our physical needs and desires often come first, or even the pursuit of things on this earth? The Bible exhorts us that to obey is better than sacrifice (1 Sam. 15:22). For all that Jesus did for us on the cross, it was His obedience to His Father’s will that we should seek to follow. The challenge for us is how to honour and glorify God above all else – above our earthly achievements, accumulations, and accolades, even above our ministry and service to Him. Is your food to do God’s will and to finish His work?

7 marks of great preaching

Good article on 7 key marks of great preaching.

A good sermon:

  • Engages the biblical text
  • Proclaims the gospel
  • Connects God’s word to the lives of God’s people
  • Is well organized and easy to understand
  • Engages the imaginations of the hearers
  • Is delivered well
  • Orients hearers to life in God’s world

(read more)

Always be prepared

What would you do if you knew that you only had 1 month left to live? How about 1 week? How about 1 day? Would you live your life any differently, do all the things you always wanted to do, but never got the opportunity or time to? There’s something about the urgency of time when we know that our end is near. Somehow we abandon rational or logical thinking, such as saving up for a rainy day, or the perspective that we work hard today so that we can enjoy in the future. I believe that it is something that God tries to remind us, yet only when we realise the brevity of our fleeting lives, that life is short, and that many endeavors and goals in life are temporal, without eternal value or significance, that we stop to ponder and gain perspective of what is important and what we should focus on in life.

Jesus exhorts his disciples in Mk 13:33 to “Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come” and elsewhere, in Matt 24:42 to “keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” Time and time again, throughout the New Testament, there is a consistent and imminent message, “The kingdom of heaven is near.” One day, sooner or later, Jesus Christ is coming again. As Christians, we have the assurance that either we will die and be united with Him in heaven, or He will return in our lifetime to reign over heaven and earth.

As we study the book of Revelation, there might be times when we ask ourselves, what relevance does the end times have with my life? Ask yourself, if Christ returns tomorrow, would you be ready to give an account for your life? What would be the things you wished you had done or accomplished, for yourself, for your family, for God? What would be the words that you would regret not saying to your loved ones, your friends, your spouse or children? Would you regret not spending more time or money on the things and people that matter most?

Don’t live your life simply for tomorrow. “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself … Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt 6:33-34) Live for Christ today. He exhorts us to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Him (Lk 9:23). Let us proclaim His good news with boldness and urgency, since “with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise … He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Pet 3:8-9). May we always be watchful, always alert, always prepared.

Failed Gospel Tract

by Lee Shelton IV, 02 Mar 2009

Mark 8:34-36

If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?

Phil 1:20, 21

I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

John Piper re-posted this pic on 19 Apr, with the title “Corrective Tract for the Prosperity Gospel“.

Guess his point was, where is the place of suffering and persecution in the theology of churches that promotes the “health and wealth” or prosperity gospel?

What says you?

9Marks eJournal – Jan/Feb 2009, Vol. 6, Issue 1

Read in PDF format.

Raising up pastors is the Church’s work (Interview with Mark Dever – Part 1)
How do pastors raise up pastors? (Interview with Mark Dever – Part 2)

How 3 churches mentor pastors:
I learned the hard way (Phil Newton, South Woods Baptist)
Why are we joyfully committed? (Tom Steller, Bethlehem Baptist)
Look, it’s the Church’s job (Al Jackson, Lakeview Baptist)

Temptation of Jesus

Temptation of Jesus
Matt 4:1-11; Mk 1:12, 13; Lk 4:1-13

A summary of exegetical insights into this familiar passage on the 3 temptations of Jesus.

Temptation to be (from Henri Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus)
1. Relevant (stones)
2. Spectacular (throw from temple)
3. Powerful (kingdoms)

3 temptations correspond 3 worldly sins (1 Jn 2:12-17)
1. Lust of the flesh (stones)
2. Lust of the eyes (kingdoms)
3. Pride of life (throw from temple)

3 Ps of temptation
1. Pleasure (stones)
2. Possessions (kingdoms)
3. Power/Pride (throw from temple)

See also
21st century temptation and the 1st Sunday of Lent

3 Temptations of Leadership – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Nouwen’s understanding of Leadership
A first eleven: leadership

Dever, Mark (2004), Nine marks of a healthy church. Wheaton: Crossway Books.

Mark 1: Expositional preaching

Expositional preaching
My main role, and the main role of any pastor, is expositional preaching … God has decided to act by His Spirit through His Word. (39)

… expositional preaching is that preaching which takes for the point of a sermon the point of a particular passage of Scripture … Expositional preaching is preaching in service to the Word. (40)

Christian preachers today have authority to speak from God only so long as they speak His message and unfold His words. (41)

The Central Role of the Word of God
Preaching should always (or almost always) be expositional because the Word of God should be at its center, directing it … His Word is His own chosen instrument for bringing life. (42)

The role of God’s Word in bringing life
… it was by His Word that God created the world and all the life in it. (43)

God’s people were created … by hearing that word of promise and by responding to it … God’s people were created by God’s Word … It was by God’s Word that the people of Israel were constituted as God’s special people. (44)

His Word is to be trusted and relied upon with all the faith that we would invest in God Himself … The Word shows us what we are to believe. (45)

How does God put His Spirit in Israel so that they will live? He does it by His Word. (46)

… a people who show the life of God in them as they hear His Word and as by His grace they respond to it. (47)

He speaks, in order to interpret for us His great saving acts. (48)

God’s Holy Spirit creates His people by His Word. (50)

The role of God’s Word in sanctifying
God’s Spirit uses the Word to create faith is us and because He also uses the Word to make us grow. (50)

We need God’s Word to be saved, but we also need it to continually challenge and shape us. (51)

The role of the preacher of God’s Word
… the congregation’s commitment to the centrality of the Word coming from the front, from the preacher, the one specially gifted by God and called to that ministry, is the most important thing you can look for in a church. (52)

That is the great task of the preacher: to “hold out the word of life” to people who need it for their souls. (53)

… sound, expositional preaching is often the fountainhead of growth in a church. (54)

It is good to preach the truth, and to preach it in such a way that people can see where the truth is coming from. (55)

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