Sunday, January 26, 2020

Am I Following Jesus?

Submitted to our Master 
Andrea Toews Children's Pastor 
Just back from 4 month Sabbatical
Mark 3:13 Carol read the Scriptures
In Mark there is a lot of hurry up.
Twitter or Instagram define your value by followers. 
We follow people with our brand. Who do you follow? I follow Survivor. 40th season coming up. Love Disney World. 
Our world gives us lots of opportunity to be led. 
We declare ourselves as followers of Jesus. What does that mean? 

Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain and called out the ones he wanted to go with him. And they came to him. These are the twelve he chose: Simon (whom he named Peter),
Mark 3:13‭, ‬16 NLT

Disciples believe and follow Jesus. Apostles were the 12 that he selected. 
Jesus calls. They had a choice. We have a choice to repent of our sin. 
Being with him building a relationship. 
Abide Always Being in Embrace
She's a wonderful singer. 
Went for a walk and there was ice in above freezing creek. 
Sitting with Jesus to have his embrace. 
You might feel closest to God when you sing or serve. V20 Jesus's mother wanted to interrupt him. Was he embarrassing them? The leaders thought he was possessed by Satan. 
Who is my brother? Anyone who does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."
Mark 3:35 NLT
Following is building relationships
Following is active. Not turn away. Pay attention to the beggar. 
Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.
Mark 8:34 NLT
Read and abide in the message of the seed parable.
"Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed.  And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God's word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!"
Mark 4:3‭, ‬20 NLT
In a not abiding season we might forget the message and be distracted. 
Respond available to Jesus. Building relationship. 
Following is choice 
Dave & Louise decided to follow Jesus into Thailand. 
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, "You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.
John 8:31 NLT
Not just a fan. 
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,  the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
Ephesians 3:14‭-‬16‭, ‬20 NLT

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Trouble with Authorities

Jesus was going through the grain fields on a Sabbath, and his disciples began to pick some heads of wheat as they made their way. For this reason the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."
Mark 2:23‭, ‬28 NET

Johnny Dodsworth 

As a kid my dad was the stay at home dad. He loves talking. We were always late. I had to run to keep up with him. 
There are always all kinds of gaps between people. 
The leaders of Jesus's day worked hard to maintain the gaps. Jesus worked hard to close the gap.

Jesus brings forgiveness outside the religious system. 
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."  Now immediately, when Jesus realized in his spirit that they were contemplating such thoughts, he said to them, "Why are you thinking such things in your hearts?  But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins," – he said to the paralytic – "I tell you, stand up, take your stretcher, and go home."
Mark 2:5‭, ‬8‭, ‬10‭-‬11 NET
He associated with traitors and sinners. 
When the experts in the law and the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?"  When Jesus heard this he said to them, "Those who are healthy don't need a physician, but those who are sick do. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
Mark 2:16‭-‬17 NET
Those who acknowledge their sin can get help. 
Jesus makes analogies. Wedding. Patching. Wine skins
Fasting. Sabbath. 
Jesus breaks the traditions. Why does he ignore God's sabbath law? 
Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath.
Mark 2:27 NET
Religion had distorted the law. 
When Jesus entered the religion's territory he asked them questions. 
Then he said to them, "Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath, or evil, to save a life or destroy it?" But they were silent.
Mark 3:4 NET

Jesus closes the gap between God and the people. 

Like parents walking with the little kids. God is all about restoring lost people to himself. 
Are we like the pharisees? Or like Jesus closing the gap.
Look after others at food banks. Fight trafficking. Take the hungry for lunch. Walk with people. 

If you need healing, come to Jesus today. No matter how you feel about your life. 
Jesus cares about your motivations. You can be healed in life. Not just to avoid hell. 
Jesus is inviting you to join him in restoration. 

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Patrick at Seine River church

The Lord of Hosts will sustain you. 

Break my heart for what breaks you. 
Kevin Janzen introduction of
Patrick Director Founder of Our Father school in Uganda

Speaker for today 
Greetings from Uganda. Arrived at midnight last night. 
Married to one wife and she's a beautiful woman. Have 2 daughters. 

We run the school and medical facility and a clean water well to lift the name of Jesus high. 
The late Pastor Ed was in Uganda to train 300 youth. We were expecting him again in December. Shocked to hear of Pastor Ed's passing. 
Still saying God is faithful. 
Pastor Ed was a friend, pastor, teacher. He spoke at our wedding. Spoke of joy. 
We shall see him again. Comfort Jessie his wife. 

We are trying to charge our spiritual lives. Jesus knows you. 
Pastor Philip has already preached
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. Now a man named Zacchaeus was there; he was a chief tax collector and was rich.
Luke 19:1‭-‬2 NET

In Africa the president has to consult the chief before he comes to a village. 
The chief tax collector Z had so much but not enough. He needed to see Jesus. He was too short. Pygmies in Africa had big heads and when they fell down they needed help to get up. 
Z had a wall bigger than Trump's. Had a friend that wanted to hate God. Prayed with him and he decided to follow Jesus. 
Jesus had never met Z but called Z by name. God knows you by name. That's enough. Trust Jesus. He knows you. What is Jesus saying about you? He is ready to stay with you. If it wasn't for Christ I might be in the gutter somewhere. 

Now, this is what the Lord says, the one who created you, O Jacob, and formed you, O Israel: "Don't be afraid, for I will protect you. I call you by name, you are mine.
Isaiah 43:1 NET

Look unto Jesus. He knows what you're going through. God knows you and has better plans. 

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Who do you say I am?

Jesus kept answering the question Who do you say I am? 

That is the most important question in history. Mark answers it. 

Johnny Dodsworth Life Groups Pastor 

Advent has just passed. Anticipation of the second coming is where we live today. 

The people of the NT times had been waiting 400 years. 
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,  " Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way,  the voice of one shouting in the wilderness, ' Prepare the way for the Lord, make his paths straight. '"
Mark 1:2‭-‬3 NET

Wake up. The story is continuing. Mark's readers would have known this passage well. A 4 second audio clip from Star Wars immediately brings to mind scenes. 

Mark starts at Jesus's baptism not birth. 

Now in those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan River.  And a voice came from heaven: "You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight."
Mark 1:9‭, ‬11 NET

N T Wright said God sees us the same we he looks at Jesus 
 "You are my dear child; in you I take great delight."

We now live in Christ. The beautiful story of the gospel. We can live in Jesus. If you haven't been baptized yet, why not? 
February 9 we will celebrate baptism here. 

When we are defined by God as his children we are free indeed. Participate in his kingdom. 
If Jesus is just your influencer you are alone. You need to be in relationship with God. 

Who do you say Jesus is? 

"As for this temple you are building, if you follow my rules, observe my regulations, and obey all my commandments, I will fulfill through you the promise I made to your father David.  I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel."
1 Kings 6:12‭-‬13 NET

God's heart desires to dwell with His people. He wants you to live as his child. He wants everyone to walk with him. 

Pause. Reflect. Invite Jesus to speak to you. How are you inviting me to experience life as your child? 

Lord, what is in your heart for me this morning?