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How To Increase Your Faith – Mark 5:21-43

Just as our bodies need exercise to stay fit, our faith in Christ needs exercise too.  Exercising faith in Christ helps our belief stay in shape and it also helps our faith grow.  Exercise faith in Christ so your faith can grow!

 

How do you need to exercise faith today?  You might have a loved one who needs to be healed and you can exercise faith and trust the Lord for this healing.  Or, you sense the Lord moving you to become more involved in our church and this requires exercising faith on your part. Maybe your boss at work has asked you to take on some new responsibilities and this requires exercising faith in Christ.

 

In the text, Mark weaves together stories of faith about two vastly different people: a synagogue official named Jairus who was highly respected by the people and an unnamed woman who had been bleeding for twelve years.  The Jews viewed bleeding women as unclean.  So, this woman was considered a social outcast, a social pariah and people avoided her like the plague!

 

We observe the virtue of humility in both Jairus and the unnamed woman.  Both Jairus and the woman fell at Jesus’ feet and pleaded with Jesus to help them.  Exercising faith in Christ requires humility.  Exercising faith in Christ also requires taking a risk.  Both Jairus and the bleeding woman took risks in seeking Jesus.  Jairus risked his prestige, honor and popularity. The woman risked having yet another person reject her.  Taking risks for the Lord can be difficult.  But this can also result in great blessing!  Finally, exercising faith in Christ requires believing that Jesus can meet your needs.  In vs.23 and vs.28 Mark records evidence of Jairus and the bleeding woman believing that Jesus could meet their needs for healing.  They approached Jesus humbly, took a risk and trusted Jesus to meet their needs.

 

What a great example for us! Let me encourage you to take your need, concern, relationship, problem to the Lord and exercise faith in trusting that He will give you the wisdom, power, strength, whatever it is to deal with your concern or need.

 



Know How Much The Lord Has Done For You – Mark 5:1-20

The message this Sunday was a challenge to go and tell how much Jesus has done for us. As stated the message, we can’t effectively do this unless we have a firm grasp on all that Jesus has done for us. With that in mind, I want to encourage you to spend time praying and remembering this week.

Pray that the Holy Spirit would remind you of how much the Lord has done for you. Start with the Cross, the ultimate act of love that Jesus has done for us. Everything else simply falls in the shadow of this Greatest of Gifts. So, start there. Spend time reflecting on the Cross, its meaning, and all that Jesus did for you there.

Next, think on your life. Where have you seen God’s faithfulness to you? What were some times where He literally saved you or called you back from a lifestyle that was destructive? What are moments in your life that you can only look back and say “Wow, Jesus saved me.”
Spend time reflecting on these times and thanking God for His mercy and grace.

Last, think about your life right now. What is Jesus doing now to save you and lead you? What do you need Him to do? Spend time praying and asking for the Lord’s direction in your life now. Pray about what it would look like to tell others about the things you have reflected on here. Pray that God would use that to proclaim the Good News to all who hear.



Life With Jesus is Stormy Still – Mark 4:35-41

Many of us are over familiar with the occasion of Jesus stilling the storm.  We quickly and rightly apply it to the ability of Christ to still the emotional storms in our lives.  However, there is so much more to this incident.  The key question posed in this passage is from the lips of the disciples.  “Who is this?”

 

This is still the key question for all of us today.  Who is Jesus?  Who is He to us as Christians, who is He to the non-believing world?  It is simply not enough to say He was a good and moral man with valued and right teachings.  He clearly demonstrates here and in other places His supernatural power over creation.  “Even the wind and waves obey Him!”  The only one who is in control of the weather is God the creator and sustainer of all things.

 

Here, therefore, is one of the many passages that point to and show that Jesus is GOD.  This is the knowledge that the disciples lacked at this moment they did not have the faith that Jesus tells them they need.  This is the faith that we possess as a gift from God through the Holy Spirit that enables us to be still amid the physical, spiritual and emotional storms that rage around us.

 

Although Jesus can still storms, He also teaches us through them.  If you are going through a storm at this moment, thank and praise God that He is with you during it and has already got a plan for bringing you out the other side.



God Grows His Kingdom – Mark 4:21-34

This passage includes three parables: the Parable of the Lamp on a Stand, the Parable of the Growing Seed and the Parable of the Mustard Seed. These three parables share a common theme: God grows His kingdom!

In the first parable, Jesus teaches that the light of God’s truth will be revealed one day. God’s kingdom will grow when this happens! In the second parable, a parable unique to Mark, we learn that God’s kingdom grows constantly, imperceptibly and inevitably. All the man does in the parable is scatter the seed and harvest the plants! God does the rest! In the third parable, we observe that the kingdom of God grows from something very small to something very large.

If God grows His kingdom, what’s our role? First, we must be the light of our world. In Matthew 6:14 Jesus stated it clearly, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” We should let our light so shine before people that “they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven”. (Matthew 6:16) Letting our light shine before others means living like Jesus. This means that we pray for healing, for sick and broken people, feed the hungry, treat women with dignity and respect, challenge the greedy and selfish and put the Lord first in our lives.

Second, we should witness to our faith and exercise care for new believers! Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples of all nations. We should be able and willing to share our faith story with unbelievers. We should pray for more laborers for the harvest. We should mentor new believers.
Third, never be daunted by small beginnings. If the Lord calls you to start a Bible study and you invite ten people but only two attend, don’t give up! Do what the Lord calls you to do regardless of size! Jesus started with just 12 men and look at the Christian church in the world today: over 2 billion people claim to be Christians! God grows His kingdom!



Receive God's Word And Produce Fruit – Mark 4:1-20

We encounter a rare occurrence in the gospel of Mark: a parable! Mark only records six of Jesus’ thirty-plus parables. A parable is a story, a type of literary genre which normally teaches a single point. Here’s the point of the parable of the sower: receive God’s word and produce fruit!

Jesus described seed falling on a variety of soils: a path, rocky ground, among thorns and good soil. The disciples asked Jesus the meaning of the parable. Jesus explained that like seed falling along a path, God’s word can be rejected. Like God’s word which falls on rocky ground, it can be received briefly and then since it has no real roots, can only last a brief time. Like seed which falls among thorns, God’s word can be restrained because wealth, the worries of this life and coveting other people’s goods can strangle God’s word entirely. Finally, like seed that falls on good soil, God’s word can be heard, accepted and it can be received. Only when the word of God is received will it produce fruit.

The sequence for the seed sown on good soil is important: hear the word, accept it and produce fruit. Be careful of trying to produce fruit without first hearing and accepting the word of God! God’s word provides a sure foundation, it helps mature us and shape our character. So, are you producing fruit for the kingdom of God? Keep reading the word, accepting it as true and correct, putting the word of God into practice through serving and you will produce fruit.



New Cross

Some of you will have seen that we have a new cross at the church. This was put up for Easter this year. IT will be up for a couple of weeks a few times during the year. We are thankful to the team that constructed and installed the cross in time for Holy Week. Here are some photos of the installation.

Click on the thumbnail to enlarge the photo

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Lunch with the Pastors

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How To Find Real Meaning In Life – Mark 16:1-8

People search for meaning and purpose in their lives through many different routes.  Some seek meaning in life through their work.  Others seek meaning in their lives through their family.  Still others seek meaning through humanitarian work or the acquisition of things or the enjoyment of a particular hobby.

 

But the Christian faith teaches us that we find real meaning in our lives through an active faith in Jesus Christ.  Do you have an “active faith in Jesus Christ”?

 

A person with an active faith practices their faith!  They strive to live what they believe!  An active faith in Jesus begins as a response to our situation.  The women who witnessed Jesus’ death and burial decided they wanted to anoint Jesus’ body with spices.  I believe that God prompted them to act!  God wanted these women to serve as the initial witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection.  God works in our lives in similar fashion.  God often prepares us for things we do not fully know or understand.  This is how faith begins.

 

An active faith in Jesus builds on God’s work in our lives.  God worked through the events of that first Easter morning.  The women were “alarmed” at the sight of the empty tomb. It really scared them!  But they didn’t flee; they listened to the angel who spoke to them.  Like the women, our faith often grows through hardships and difficulties.  When you experience hardship, pray that God would teach you the lesson or lessons He wants you to learn.

 

Finally, an active faith in Jesus believes that Jesus lives and has opened heaven for me! The women believed that Jesus had risen from the dead. Believing in the Resurrection of Jesus is central to the Christian faith.  If you have never invited the living Lord into your lives, do so today!  Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins and he rose on Easter to open the gates of heaven for all who believe.