Summary: Sermon to challenge people to pursue building the core essence of who they are as followers of Jesus.

So, hey there, good to see you, and thanks for spending a little bit of your precious weekend time with us as we kick off this New Year together. We want to give a special shout out and welcome to you if you are brand new and to those of you who were with us for Christmas services and are back today too. You need to know that you are safe and welcome here regardless of what you believe or how your story reads, we are privileged to have you with us and hope you want to come back and do this all over again with us real soon. (As always, a special shout out and welcome to anyone out there tuning in to watch online now too, good to have you with us.)

ILLUST> So, even if we aren’t really New Year’s resolution people, who make a list and write them all down, most of us have already decided in a variety of ways that this year 2020, this next decade is going to be different. We have plans to improve ourselves physically, intellectually, educationally, emotionally, vocationally, relationally, financially. It looks a little different for all of us, but according to some research I was reading this past week diet, exercise, and losing weight are at the top of the list for most of us. That’s why we are calling this series Build Your Core. Now, when most of us hear that we think of the core muscles that make up our torso. When those muscles are strong our balance, agility, posture is better, we are healthier, life just better. Here we are only 4 or 5 days into the new year and some of us are sitting here today really sore because we decided to make 2020 different by building our core. It’s a good decision. Most of us need to take better care of ourselves. It’s actually more than just a good decision. It’s theologically correct too. We are going to pick things up with a story in the book of Mark in just a minute but first things first as we start this new year and decade together. What if we made this our primary focus as we kick off this new year? Listen to this 1 Timothy chapter 4 verse 7...

7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance.

So statistics tell us that physical training is at the top of the list for most of us and God says run with that, it’s a good thing. He tells us that our bodies are his temple and he loves it when we decide to take care of ourselves. So, our decision to build our core has some value, but Godliness, training ourselves to be Godly has so much more value. It’s building a different kind of core and that’s what we are after in this series. So, that’s great but what does that mean? What does that look like? Practically speaking, how do we do that heading into this New Year and decade? Before we get to the hows and whats we have to address this one big thing standing between us and the life that most of us have already decided is going to be different this year. See, regardless of what we have decided to change, to do, to improve (even if that has little if anything at all to do with God or church) the journey has to start with this. What this? We need to get the Bible out and spend the rest of our time together talking about that. Why? Because nothing really changes without this.

If you brought a Bible we are going to be in Mark chapter 10 today. If you don’t have a Bible they are back on the back tables that you can grab right now if you would like if you close or on you can always grab one on your way As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’” 20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

Okay, so this young guy falls on his knees before Jesus and asks how he can find the life he’s looking for and Jesus says you know the commandments, keep them. His response...yep, done that since I was a little boy. That’s a bold statement isn’t it? I think Jesus would call him on it if he were lying. Which means it must be true. So, think about that. I mean I can’t even say I kept all of the ten commandments this past week. You are like, oh really, so which ones...none of your business. Nosey people. If you think about how this young man is living it’s pretty impressive. So here’s a question, if he is doing everything that he is supposed to do, why is he bothering Jesus with this question? That’s a great question. So, two things to think about one question to ask ourselves as we begin this quest of trying to build our core this year. The first thing we need to know, and we are seeing it with this young man who approaches Jesus, is this…

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