Summary: Don't walk in circles stay straight.

Mark 1:1-8 “Stay Straight”

In 1870-1880 the most popular sport was called “Pedestrianism”. It involved walking in circles on dirt arena. Men and women competed; they would walk around the track for 6 days traveling as much as 500 miles. These foot-races would last for 144 hours straight. Competitors would stop once in a while to take naps on cots. And the fans? They loved it! Watching people walk in circles was the best game in town. Champion walkers were highly paid as well. Charles Rowell raced for six days in New York City and won more than $18,000. That's a lot of cash, especially when you consider that it would be $425,000 in today's dollars. We may think that sport is just silly but often times that is what we do spiritually walk in circles today's texts teaches us to walk or stay straight

1. God tells us not to walk in circles but walk straight “make His paths Straight” vs 3

In North Dakota Highway 46, is supposedly the straightest road - plumb line straight -- the longest straight road in America. It stretches across 123 miles of North Dakota prairie from HWY. One might say God wants us to be Plum Straight . God desires us to Stay Straight. . The Psalmist says “Lead me God in a straight path” . Proverbs 15: 21but a man of understanding keeps a straight course.

2. We walk in circles and Here's how we walk in circles we just keep doing the same stuff all the time

- we have a “should I life or should I not” life Adam and Eve probably walked around that tree many times before they ate.

• Should I be more faithful,

• Should I do more in Church,

• should I be more tolerant,

• should I love God more than I do,

• We think this all the time but we rarely do what we should We are walking in circles

• Pharaoh walked around In Circles at least 10 times around Egypt. Each Plague his words were similar to these. 2Pharaoh said, "Who is the LORD, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD and I will not let Israel go." We're pedestrians! Moving in circles. In fact, one of the definitions of the word "pedestrian" is "lacking distinction, ordinary." The time has come for us to break out of our endless loops and do something truly distinctive and extraordinary: Walk the straight path.

3. Our text simply teaches us not to walk in circles but stay straight Mark tells us that John the Baptizer. He is the one who fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah, 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight'" (vv. 1-3).

A. John proclaims one can stay straight by having a Emersion of Repentance "note John proclaims a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins" (v. 4). the core meaning of "repentance," John invites people to turn around and to take a new path away from sin and toward Jesus

B. John says, “Stay straight by being clothed with Jesus.” " I am clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt about his waist" (v. 6). But there is one who will baptize or clothe you with Holy Spiritv7-8.

C. John the Baptist says stay straight by allowing Jesus to steer you Jesus take the wheel Jesus take the wheel drive me into a life of simplicity Yes, simplicity. Linda Douty, a retreat leader and spiritual director, says that "less is more" in the life of a Christian. Cluttered schedules and cluttered closets can lead to cluttered minds and cluttered spirits. "As we ascend the ladder of success," she observes, "the pursuit of a more luxurious lifestyle starts to drive all our decisions. This starts eating up our time and money --Before we know it, our lives are dedicated to the maintenance of all our STUFF."

You remember what Jesus said to the rich man, don't you? "Go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me" (Mark 10:21). He was inviting the man into a life of love, joy, peace and simplicity. But the man wouldn't do it. He was shocked and went away grieving, feeling anything but joy and peace.

He had a cluttered spirit cluttered closet

4. In conclusion, stay straight by being immersed in Christ, stay straight by being clothed with Christ, stay straight by allowing Jesus to steer you “Jesus Take the wheel",

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