Contributed on Jun 27, 2009
If we want our lives to count for eternity, then we must recognize our sin, recognize the Son and repent. That is we must trust Christ with our lives and follow Him to a whole new way of living.
The Suffering Sovereign (Mark 1:1-20) Some time ago (1996), the staff at the Bridger Wilderness Area in the Teton National Forest in Wyoming received the following responses on comment cards from hikers on their trails. These are actual responses! Trails need to be wider so people can walk ...read more
Contributed on Jun 27, 2009
If we would follow Jesus into the place of power, we must also follow Him into the place of prayer.
Amazing Authority (Mark 1:21-39) A man from Berlin, Germany, took an unusual approach in trying to bring peace to his marriage. CNN reported that the man was using an old air raid siren to stun his wife into submission. “My wife never lets me get a word in edgeways,” the man identified as ...read more
Contributed on Jun 27, 2009
If we want to meet the real needs of real people, then like Jesus, we must touch the untouchable, forgive the unforgivable, and befriend the despicable.
He Touched Me! (Mark 1:40 – 2:17) A soldier was wounded in a battle and ordered to the nearest military hospital. Arriving at the entrance, he saw two doors: one marked “For Minor Wounds,” the other “For Serious Wounds.” He entered the first door and walked down a long hallway. At the ...read more
Contributed on Jul 6, 2009
While looking at the disciplines of fasting and Sabbath, this message encourages believers not to let any tradition steal their joy or their love. We can’t be so into church business that we forget what our business is, and that is to help people.
Transcending Tradition (Mark 2:18 – 3:6) Just this last week, I came across some odd laws that are still on the books around the country. I think you’ll find them quite amusing. For example, young girls are never allowed to walk a tightrope in Wheeler, Mississippi, unless it’s in a church. In ...read more
Contributed on Jul 10, 2009
This message invites believers to respond to Christ’s call to be with Him, to preach, and to have power, rather than just crowd Him when we have a need.
The Power of His Presence (Mark 3:7-19) Several years ago, on New Year’s Day, a beautiful float in the Tournament of Roses parade suddenly sputtered and quit. It was out of gas. The whole parade was held up until someone could get a can of gas. The amusing thing was this float represented the ...read more
Contributed on Jul 31, 2009
This message shows the lonely how to find true family in their relationship with Christ. Jesus’ own family thought He was crazy. The religious leaders thought he was the devil. But His own followers, members of His true family obey Him as Lord.
Are You My Mother? (Mark 3:20-35) Helene Talbert, of Wahpeton, North Dakota, remembers that after completing her first semester at a Christian college, she had a lot to tell her family. Just before going home, they had had an open house in her dorm. It’s one of the few times men were allowed ...read more
Contributed on Aug 1, 2009
We find a fruitful and productive life when we hear God’s Word, believe and understand God’s Word, and do God’s Word.
Can You Hear Me? (Mark 4:1-20) An elderly man had serious hearing problems for a number of years. His family tried again and again to convince him to get a hearing aid. Finally he relented. He went to the doctor and was fitted for a set of hearing aids that allowed him to hear 100 ...read more
Contributed on Aug 7, 2009
Size doesn’t matter, because we have the resources of Jesus Himself and His Word to multiply disciples of Christ.
Stir What You Got (Mark 4:21-34) Andy Eddington, once the president of Shriner College in Texas, loved sugar in his coffee. On one occasion at a greasy spoon near Dallas, he dumped not one, not two, but three teaspoonfuls of sugar in his coffee. As the waitress watched, Andy said, “Ma’am, ...read more
Contributed on Aug 27, 2009
Rest in the Lord and so find rest in the storm. Trust His Word. Trust His presence. Trust His power.
Be Still! (Mark 4:35-41) When Sharon Fleming was a teenager, her family took cross-country car trips each summer. To keep the peace, they each took a turn choosing a cassette to play in the car tape deck. No one was allowed to complain or comment about another’s choice. Sharon says her ...read more
Contributed on Sep 4, 2009
The pigs in Mark 5 teach us some important lessons about how to have a full life: Don’t let Satan destroy you; don’t let society detain you; instead, trust Jesus to deliever you.
Pig Lessons (Mark 5:1-20) There is an old story about a village that bought a fancy tower clock. Some time after it was installed, a visitor to the town discovered that all the people were sleeping during the day and working at night. When he asked them about this, they answered, “We have the ...read more
Contributed on Sep 4, 2009
When life seems hopeless: beleieve in Jesus even when none of your friends do; believe in Jesus even if he delays his help; and believe in Jesus even in the face of death.
Women’s Issues (Mark 5:21-43) William Alexander, in his book, The $64 Tomato, asks the question, “If you were doomed to live the same life over and over again for eternity, would you choose the life you are living now? The question is interesting enough,” he says, “but … the point of asking it ...read more
Contributed on Sep 20, 2009
The cost of serving Christ includes insult, rejection and death for some, but those who want to be powerfully used by Christ must pay the price.
Cost of Service (Mark 6:1-29) Linda, who teaches first grade in Dallas Texas, has an interesting job, especially when it comes to helping children adjust to their first whole day of school. Little Ryan was used to going home at noon in kindergarten; so when it was time to go to lunch with the ...read more
Contributed on Oct 3, 2009
When life gets overwhelming and Christ asks you to do the impossible, trust Him for rest, trust Him for resources, and trust Him for reassurance even in the midst of your storm.
Bread & Water (Mark 6:30-56) Once there was a turkey farmer who was always trying to perfect a way to breed a better turkey. All the members of his family enjoyed turkey legs, and there was never enough for everyone. But after several frustrating attempts, the farmer told his friends at the ...read more
Contributed on Oct 9, 2009
If we want to find life and joy in our relationship with Christ, we must focus on Scripture not tradition, and focus on a clean heart not clean hands.
Clean Hearts (Mark 7:1-23) Alan Kraft, in his book, Good News for Those Trying Harder, shares a story about a time when his wife borrowed his car and heard a CD he had loaded in the sound system. The song touched her. When she asked him about it, he was able to recite the lyrics, but was ...read more
Contributed on Oct 16, 2009
Jesus is not impressed with an outward show of self-righteousness, but with an inner heart of dependence upon Him, which he found among the Gentile "dogs."
I like this thought posted by Mike Atkinson in his daily email humor list some time ago. If you can start the day without caffeine; if you can get going without pep pills; if you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains; if you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles; ...read more
Contributed on Oct 22, 2009
Jesus’ feeding of the 4,000 shows us that real compassion sees the need, feels the need and meets the need.
In nearly 24 years of pastoral ministry, I have been asked some tough questions about the Christian faith. One of the toughest questions regards the problem of evil and why a good and all-powerful God allows people to suffer in this world. Peter Kreeft, a Christian apologist and philosopher, has ...read more
Contributed on Oct 28, 2009
If you want to gain true wisdom in the midst of your pain, don’t be like those who WON’T SEE, and don’t be like those who CAN’T SEE. Instead, be like those who DO SEE, because they let Jesus touch them not just once, but as many times as it takes.
A businessman was late for an important meeting and couldn’t find a parking space. As he frantically circled the block, the man got so desperate that he decided to pray. Looking up toward heaven, he said, “Lord, take pity on me. If you find me a parking space, I’ll go to church every Sunday ...read more
Contributed on Nov 5, 2009
As we consider the risks in following Christ, we need to acknowledge that He is the Christ headed for the cross; therefore, it will cost to follow Him, but the risk is worth it, because being with Christ is the only way to live!
A man named Fred inherited a huge land grant, but the will provided that he could choose land in either Chile or Brazil. He chose Brazil. Unhappily, if he had chosen Chile, he would have received his inheritance in land on which they had recently discovered uranium, gold and silver. But he chose ...read more
Contributed on Nov 21, 2009
If we glimpse the glory ahead for every believer, we’ll be able to carry the cross today when times are hard.
Three store owners shared adjacent storefronts in the same building. Times were tough. In hopes of picking up sales, the owner of the shop at one end of the building put a sign over his front entrance that said, YEAR-END CLEARANCE!!! At the other end of the building, another owner ...read more
Contributed on Dec 26, 2009
When we fail in ministry, our failure need not be fatal. Rather, if our failure teaches us to depend on Christ and care for people, we can move on from failure to impact our world like Jesus’ original disciples did.
A CEO has taken on a new job, and the outgoing CEO says to him, “Sometimes you’ll make wrong choices. You will. You’ll mess up. When that happens, I have prepared three envelopes for you. I left them in the top drawer of the desk. The first time it happens, open #1. The second time you mess ...read more
Contributed on Dec 31, 2009
Greatness is not determined by status. It is determined by service. So if you want to be truly great then follow the least, be the least, and serve the least
Some time ago, I came across this piece written by a child. He imagines what it would be like if he were in charge of the world. If I were in charge of the world, he writes, I’d cancel oatmeal, Monday mornings, Allergy shots. If I were in charge of the world, There’d be brighter night ...read more
Contributed on Jan 9, 2010
We truly help people grow in their relationship with Christ and ministry skills not with harsh words of criticism, but with words of grace and peace, seasoned with salt.
An efficiency expert concluded a lecture with a note of caution: “You don’t want to try these techniques at home.” “Why not?” asked someone from the back of the audience. “I watched my wife’s routine at breakfast for years,” the expert explained. “She made lots of trips to the ...read more
Contributed on Jan 16, 2010
We divorce-proof our marriages when we stop looking for loopholes (or reasons to separate). Instead, we must look to the Lord, committing our selves first to Him then to our mates.
Gary Thomas, in his book, Sacred Marriage, tells the story of a businessman who moved over slightly as a young man crowded into the airplane seat next to him. They both fastened their seat belts, and the businessman good-naturedly asked as to whether the young man was traveling on business or ...read more
Contributed on Jan 21, 2010
If we want the next generation(s) to know and love Jesus as much or more than we do, we must bring a child to Jesus, be a child ourselves, and bless a child every chance we get.
Little 5-year-old Kayse Poland grew more and more excited about her first day of kindergarten, and her 3-year-old sister, Jayme, watched her with great fascination. On the Sunday before the first day of school, Kayse fell and skinned her knee. Tears began to flow, and Jayme, seeing the blood ...read more
Contributed on Jan 28, 2010
If you want to be rich in the things that really count, don’t rely on yourself; rely on the Lord. Simply believe in the Savior and don’t boast about your sacrifices. Then you will not only inherit eternal life, you will be first in God’s Kingdom.
Many years ago, a very wealthy man invited Pastor George A. Truett to a dinner on his Texas ranch. After the meal, he took his pastor to a place where they had a good view of the surrounding area. The rich man pointed north to the oil wells punctuating the landscape and boasted, “25 years ...read more
Contributed on Feb 4, 2010
If we want to live a life that matters, we must sacrifice, suffer, submit and serve. We don’t like those words, because they seem to be steps down to obscurity, but in Christ’s Kingdom they are steps to true greatness.
The movie, Pearl Harbor, tells the story of two friends, Rafe and Danny, who survive the attack on Pearl Harbor and enter World War II as fighter pilots. In training before the war, Rafe McCawley is one of America’s top fighter pilots. When America initially holds back from entering the war, ...read more
Contributed on Feb 11, 2010
If we dont’ want to become weakened or hardened in adversity, but change the world around us, we must throw aside our own efforts at self-betterment and trust Christ with our lives.
A daughter complained to her father about how hard things were for her. “As soon as I solve one problem,” she said, “another one comes up. I’m tired of struggling.” Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen where he filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the ...read more
Contributed on Feb 20, 2010
As Jesus’s disciples went with him into Jerusalem, they were afraid. Even so, they show us how to live in uncertain and fearful times: Obey Christ as your Sovereign; Follow Christ as your Servant; & Trust Christ as your Savior.
Just this last week, I came across an article from The Futurist magazine, which listed some of the worst predictions of all time. They are very interesting. For example: A Roman engineer, Julius Sextus Frontinus, in A.D. 100 said, “Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no ...read more
Contributed on Feb 27, 2010
If we want to bear fruit for the glory of God and lead people to Him on a regular basis, then we must let Christ clean out the fruitless religion, and we must pray with hearts full of faith and forgiveness
A clergyman dies and is waiting in line at the Pearly Gates. Ahead of him is a guy dressed in sunglasses, a loud shirt, leather jacket, and jeans. Saint Peter says to this guy, “Who are you, so that I may know whether to admit you into the Kingdom of Heaven?” The guy replies, “I’m Joe ...read more
Contributed on Mar 4, 2010
If we want to be an influence for good in people’s lives, then we cannot fear people. Instead, we must fear God and God alone.
One day, a bus driver was driving along his usual route. He didn’t encounter any problems for the first few stops; a few people got on, a few got off, and things went generally well. At one stop, however, a big hulk of a man got on. He was 6’ 8" tall, built like a wrestler, and his arms hung ...read more