Summary: It's costly to follow Christ, but the price is worth paying.
Rev. Brian Bill
September 26-27, 2015
Song: “Holy Spirit”
Holy Spirit, you are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory God is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your Presence Lord
I sensed the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in our services this past weekend. Four people committed to live on mission by joining Edgewood (two more are joining this weekend). Three people were baptized and eight others have expressed interest in getting baptized.
Last Sunday afternoon Jason Crosby (one of our deacons) and I met with the leadership team of Ignite, our Singles Ministry. We were really impressed with their depth and desire to gather, grow, give and go with the gospel. The Holy Spirit flooded our meeting as we shared ideas for a mission statement. Here are a few excerpts…
*Enjoying God, growing in Christ, being mission-minded, fellowship, being singles-oriented, and being culturally relevant.
* The vision of Ignite is to reach, equip and empower singles (young and old) to reach their full potential in Christ; to the glory of God…
* To equip and encourage college students and young professionals to gather, grow, give and go.
* To unleash young adults to live on mission in order to reach more young adults on campuses and in careers.
Last Sunday night I had the joy of speaking at the Celebrate Recovery service at the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Davenport. Gary Pickering leads this service every week. We gave out copies of Anchor for the Soul to the 45 men who attended. Two of the guys said, “I’ve already read this book and it helped me a lot.” I was curious so I asked them where they picked up a copy. Both of them said it was when they were in jail. This made me smile because Larry McClean, one of our members, leads a service at the jail twice a week and hands out these gospel books.
After the message an invitation was given and the Holy Spirit led 5 guys to respond! I was able to talk to two of them afterwards and emphasized the importance of repentance and following Jesus Christ wholeheartedly.
After an incredible day of watching God do his work, I woke up with a headache on Monday, which nearly became a migraine. Sunday was amazing but I felt awful on Monday.
This past Wednesday, students in the QCA and other cities gathered around their flagpoles to pray for their campuses, their community and our country [show pics]. My guess is that some students paid a price this week for standing up for the Savior. The prayers around the pole may have been followed by problems in the lunchroom and locker room.
And this weekend is the Junior High Retreat. Thanks to Pastor Ed’s outstanding job of recruiting, around 30 sponsors and students are there right now! I spoke Saturday morning on the importance of finding faithful friends and avoiding fatal friends and then concluded by challenging them to make sure they were following Jesus Christ as their forever friend. I also mentioned that when they come down from the high of the retreat, it’s likely they will come face-to-face with trials and temptations.
Our ladies also had a retreat this weekend and the principle is the same. Those who went will no doubt go from a time of refreshment back into the ruts of life. The car show just happened and a number of people came, but someone’s brakes may have gone out on the way home.
Actually, whenever you experience a spiritual high, you need to get ready for a spiritual low. As we continue in our series from the Gospel According to Mark our focus today is on “Gospel-Centered Living.” Last weekend we looked at John the Baptist’s garb and his grub. I mentioned the possibility of a new breakfast cereal based on his diet of locusts and wild honey and sure enough, Jim Sheese wanted me to know that this cereal is now available on grocery store shelves [show pic].
We observed that all three members of the Trinity were present when Jesus was baptized and the Spirit descended like a dove. This all crescendos when the Father exclaims from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
You would think that after this incredible coronation Jesus would experience an easy inauguration to his ministry. It would have been cool if the angels had broken out into the Hallelujah chorus (like the Captivating Keyboard guys played for Second Winders). Think again. Here’s the big idea for today: It’s costly to follow Christ, but the price is worth paying. When we sign up to follow the Savior we will encounter severe suffering. We’ll see this in three vignettes from the life of Jesus found in Mark 1:12-20.