Posted in Discipleship

Blind but seeing…

Which is harder? To be born blind or to have had sight all your life and gradually lose it? I think it’s the second of the two.

I once knew a man who had been blind from birth. Although I’m sure he had many challenges because of this, he had learned to live a very normal life. In contrast, I knew another man who was losing his sight and this gradual loss seemed to disable him in other parts of his life that had little to do with sight.

Loss of any kind is certainly hard and often takes time to adapt, but sadly, not everyone does. Some become truly disabled and begin to draw others into the hole they’ve created. How difficult it is to watch spouses, family, and friends attempting to care for loved ones who are sitting in darkness amidst a life of blessing.

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Posted in Bible

A Commentary on Mark 1:14-20

General Overview

The purpose of Mark’s Gospel is to proclaim Jesus the Son of God, who calls disciples to repent, to believe the Gospel, and to bear the cross. This will become evident in this section of the text.

The Gospel According to Mark is a Gospel of action. As compared with Matthew, Mark emphasizes the deeds of Jesus. The deeds of Jesus are by no means isolated from His words (the word is Jesus’ instrument in His deeds too). And Mark, repeatedly emphasizes the centrality of the word in the ministry of Jesus and the effect of its authority on men (1:14).

As you read Mark’s account of Jesus’ ministry and Passion, take special note of the emphasis on discipleship and faith, especially in Mark 1:14-20.

Jesus begins His ministry in Galilee with authority (1:14-3:12) and proclaims the rule of God and calls disciples (1:14-20).

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Posted in Sermons

Follow me…

Sermon for the Second Sunday after the Epiphany.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.”John 1:43-51

Philip was not the first disciple whom Jesus called. The day before calling Philip Jesus had been walking by where John the Baptist was, and when John saw Him he said to two of his disciples (John 1:36), “Behold, the Lamb of God!” and when these disciples of John’s heard this, they immediately left John and followed Jesus.

Today I’d like to talk about ten characteristics of those who follow Jesus.

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Posted in Worship

Sermon: Luke 2:40-52

Luke 2:40-52 (ESV)

40 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. 41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. 43 And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, 44 but supposing him to be in the group they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, 45 and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” 49 And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. 51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.


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Posted in Bible, Christianity, Theology

Is Love Opposed to Truth?

Todd Wilken is interviewing pastor Bryan Wolfmueller about 2 and 3 John as part of a series on “Introducing the Books of the Bible.” In this clip, Pastor Wolfmueller comments on the way many people place truth in opposition to love or make love a higher priority than truth. For the apostle John, truth and love walk hand in hand.

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Posted in Discipleship

Devotions

I grew up in a Christian family where every morning after breakfast we would gather as a family for “devotions.” In my teenage years this turned into personal devotions. Although these daily personal devotions have remained a strong pattern in my own life, devotions as a family was a far more challenging and erratic pattern than my family of origin. However, in our latter years Beth and I have managed to develop a fairly regular pattern of devotions for us as a couple.

What are devotions? Devotions is simply a time “devoted” to being in the presence of God by listening to the Word of God and responding to God’s Word in prayer, praise, and thanksgiving.

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I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.

Martin Luther

Here I stand

Prayer on entering a church

Lord, I love the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells. In the multitude of Your tender mercies prepare my heart that I may enter Your house to worship and confess Your holy name; through Jesus Christ, my God and Lord. Amen.