Summary: We may be the only "Jesus" some people will ever know.

Making A Difference

Mark 1: 29 - 39

Intro: In December of 1975 I assumed my duties as the Pastor of Memorial Presbyterian Church in South Bend, IN. There were Bibles placed in every pew. I opened one to see what version it was and in huge, red letters these words were stamped inside the front cover NOT TO BE TAKEN FROM THE CHURCH. I thought to myself the perhaps in the past they had a problem with people stealing Bibles.

I NOT TO BE TAKEN FROM THE CHURCH is the attitude many have. Church is OK as long as it doesn’t interfere with my life, my home, or my business.

A CHURCH for me is not a place. It is an activity. It is something we DO. Instead, many think of GOING to church rather than DOING CHURCH.

B The demons with whom Jesus dealt knew who Jesus was and what his mission would accomplish.

C Jesus was sent by God to preach, teach and heal the brokenness of our world; to show and tell people about God.

II What God expects of us is to hear His word and then carry the truth proclaimed into our lives, into our homes.

A VSS. 30 & 31 “Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.”

B There are two important things to notice here that provide guidance for us: The first is the words so he went to her. He did just say as we often do, “I’ll pray for her” and leave it at that.

C The second part is he took her hand and helped her up Interesting is that the word used for helping her up is the GK verb “egeiro” which is the same verb used later to describe the resurrection of Jesus.

III The passage goes on in VS 35 to tell of Jesus going to a “solitary place” to pray.

A As important as finding a solitary place to pray is, the unfortunate part is that many people today, out of necessity, spend more time in solitude than in ministry.

B The constrictions of Covid-19 keep us alone, in solitude; but, there are ways to overcome the isolation.

C God knows the human need for nearness, intimacy, and the power of touch. How can we “touch” each other? This congregation is really good at touching, hugging and being close. We need to find new ways of “touching.”

Concl: This room is often described as a SANCTUARY which is a place of refuge, asylum or protection.

VS. 38 “Jesus replied, ‘Let us go somewhere else – to the nearby villages – so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”

CHURCH ON THE AVENUE (our new program) may be the “somewhere else” we are called to from our sanctuary of solitude to reach out with word and deed to touch others for Christ Jesus. For some people, we may be the only Jesus they will ever meet.

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