It usually takes a situation that gets serious before we get serious. And that sometimes brings us to a place where we find ourselves willing to act differently, stepping out where normally we wouldn't or haven't in the past; speaking up, taking a stand, acting with passion. Today Nancy observes a shift in Jesus' manner of teaching as His time to fulfill His purpose on earth draws near. Today we're in Chapter 9 of Mark.
Jesus did not call us to be Christians. He called us to be disciples. And there's a difference. Being a disciple of Jesus does not have a comfort zone. Dying to yourself is the norm.
Having night blindness is not something ever due to our own choice. It's not something you'd wish on yourself or anyone else. But there is a blindness that we can choose, and if we don't pay careful attention, it can lead to permanent blindness with some very serious additional repercussions. We are in Mark Chapter 8.
Let's clarify. Of course He wants you to have joy in your life, and happiness too for that matter. But I think we've all heard the expression, typically when someone wants to do whatever it is they want to do, regardless of the circumstances. So what is it that God does want? Let's listen to the events of Mark, chapter 6.
When was the last time you covered your eyes when hearing someone say something; probably never I guess. Maybe you'd cover your ears if you didn't want to listen to some terrible news. Today we're in Chapter 4 of Mark's gospel; the parable of the sewer and the seed, a sermon you've heard more times than you can count, particularly if you've spent a good part of your life in church. Today, Nancy's focusing on a different slant; the ears of your heart.
For all of us "oldies" out there, I think we might remember who Sister Sledge was. Well, maybe not, but we probably remember the song which continues "I got all my sisters and me". Loyalty to family, but what family and how are we loyal? That's the question Nancy is exploring this morning.
Our Good God has a pretty massive recipe box. Each one of us is a unique combination of ingredients, pre-planned and carefully selected. But we're not packaged as an instant recipe. Prep times, baking or cooking temperature, and time required can vary. It's a careful relationship between the Master Chef and the ingredients. He has His part and we have ours. Listen, as we continue in our lessons in Mark's gospel.
As Christians we tend to get comfortable. We settle in. We sit in the same pew, we have friendly conversation with the same people, sing some songs, listen to a sermon, go home and relax or enjoy our favorite activity, get up Monday and start the cycle all over again. Nothing wrong with any of that, but that's not the end game. We're called to be fishermen, but how does all that work? A good fisherman has three tactics: He knows where the fish are, he has the right equipment, and most importantly, he sets the right bait. Today Nancy's beginning a new series in the Gospel of Mark and beginning with the tactics of being a good fisherman.