Love, Change, Sacrifice

mark 9.7

The change that God brings to us on the mountaintop, the love that Christ commands us to have, supersedes anything that polarizes us. It allows us to see people as individuals not as their opinion, thought, or belief that is different than ours. If we love others as Christ loves us, then we love others regardless. I’m not saying that we have to agree with others, but we must conduct ourselves with love. I’m not saying that we have to accept someone’s actions, but we have to love them anyway.
Loving others as Jesus loves us means that we sacrifice ourselves.
Psalm 51:1-17
Mark 9:2-9

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Living Our Purpose

PurposeAt the time when Jesus asked Simon and Andrew and James and John to come, let him teach them to be fishers of men, it never crossed their mind that they were going to have to leave their home. It never crossed their mind that they were really going to have to move out of their comfort zone. They have been with Jesus for less than a week. From the text. He let them at the sea of Galilee, and then come the Sabbath. They were at the synagogue were Jesus talked and cast out the impure spirit, it was that evening at the Sabbath when he healed Simon’s mother-in-law, and now it is the next morning after the Sabbath.
Experience had taught them, in these few short days, that the people came to Jesus. They had no reason to think, at this point, that becoming fishers of men. For Jesus meant that they really had to do anything.
But Jesus tells them something that probably had not crossed their minds that he would say he would ask. He said, “come on guys, let us go to the next town are few towns over so that I can preach there too. This is my purpose.”
So now they have a decision to make. And even though they do not realize it then, this decision will be followed by many decisions. They follow Jesus when he called them by the Sea of Galilee. They followed Jesus when he left the synagogue. Now they have to decide are they going to follow Jesus to the next town, and the next towns.

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Claiming Our Authority

synagogue

Mark 1:21-28

Where does our authority, our ability, to speak truth to power come from? Where did the disciples get their authority?

Acts 4:13 tells us, “when they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
Our authority, our ability to speak truth to power comes from spending time with Jesus. It does not require an education, it does not require being holier than thou, it requires Jesus, it requires the Holy Spirit, and it requires courage.
To speak truth means we need to change our focus from the here and now, to a more eschatological focus. Our truth should not be about the whims of the day, because those whims change depending on who is in power. Our truth should not be about political correctness, because sometimes truth hurts. Our truth should be about leading others to Christ. Our truth must come from the Bible and the leadings of the Holy Spirit.
Like the disciples, we have to spend time with Jesus. We have to read his teachings and encounter the living Christ. We have to read the Scriptures and let Jesus amaze us.

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Speak Truth

apocalypse 4140948 1920Mark 1:14-20 (NIV)

Here comes Jesus preaching the truth, preaching repent and believe. When I get a mental image of Jesus walking down by the Sea of Galilee, I picture a picturesque scene like we see today when we look at pictures of the Holy Land, a beautiful vacation spot. But in Jesus’s day, Capernaum was a place of commerce. It was a center of political and commercial life, a major crossroads for the ancient world. Armies and traders and diplomats all went through Galilee. One commentary I read called a “land of passing excitements and dangerous fashions, of barbarous dialect and offensive manners.
So it’s in this place, that Jesus busts in with his gospel, the Truth, the good news, the gospel of the kingdom of God is true, and peace, and hope, and salvation, and immortality.But to bring that message to the world can be a dangerous thing.

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