Ash Wednesday Worship

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Jesus Call Us – Mark 2:14-17

Jesus was teaching people beside the Sea of Galilee. As he walked along he saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting in a toll booth. Levi had another name: Matthew. Jesus called Levi to follow him. The text reports that Levi “got up and followed him”. (vs.14)

Later, Levi threw a party to celebrate his new life of discipleship. All kinds of people were present at the dinner party, including tax collectors and Pharisees. The Pharisees were troubled for they saw Jesus eating with tax collectors, who were considered the worst kind of sinners! Jesus told the pious Pharisees, “”It’s not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners”. (vs.17)

Like Levi, Jesus calls us to follow Him! Following someone requires letting them go ahead of you. Many of us struggle with following Jesus because we want to chart our own way in life. We want to “call the shots”, make the decisions, and decide our course of life. But following Jesus requires that we set our own selfish agenda aside, and put Jesus in front of us.

For you, following Jesus might require that you begin setting aside some time to pray and read your Bible every day. Or, following Jesus might mean that you give up a bad habit or addiction. For someone else, following Jesus might mean getting serious about their relationship with His church and becoming a member.

What’s important is that all of us respond positively to Jesus’ call to follow him. Be like Levi! Levi didn’t ignore, refuse, or question Jesus’ call to follow Him. “Levi got up and followed him” and we all should do this too!

Financial Peace Video

Click Below to see another promo video for Financial Peace University that starts at our church on Feb 15.

Jesus Forgives – Mark 2:1-12

“But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…..” He said to the paralytic, “I tell you, get up, and take your mat, and go home” (Mark 2:10-11)

In this moment, Jesus shows us the main point of MARK 2:10-11- That Jesus forgives sin.
Put in Jesus’ words here, He has the authority on earth to forgive sins. As stated in the message on Sunday, this is a simple statement, often taken for granted by Christians, that has huge implications. For this devotion, I want to give you a few questions to ponder and pray through. Take this with you out on a prayer walk or pray through these questions with a cup of coffee at your side.
How would truly believing that Jesus has the power and authority to forgive sins change the way you relate to Him? When you confess your sins to God do you find relief? If not, why do you think that is? Do you think God wants you to continue to carry guilt after you are forgiven? Spend some time now in quiet confession to God
Then, read this from 1 John 1:9. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”
What in 1 John 1:9 helps point to the truth in Mark 2:10-11? How could this verse help you to truly believe your sins are forgiven? How could the truth that Jesus forgives change the way you live your life toward Him and toward other people?
Spend time praying for God’s direction in terms of letting go of sin, loving Him, and loving others.

You're Good To Go – Mark 1:35-45

Have you ever shared your Christian faith with an unbeliever? God has given us all the tools we need to share our faith: He’s given us His precious Word which shows unbelievers the way and means of salvation, God’s given us His Holy Spirit to move in the heart of our unbelieving friend or family member and to guide our speech as we share and the Lord has given us the command to witness or share our faith!

Jesus came to introduce the kingdom of God. His primary emphasis was on preaching, sharing the good news of the kingdom. In the text, Jesus makes it clear that his primary mission is preaching: “Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else-to the nearby villages so I can preach there also. That is why I have come”.

Observe that Jesus chose risk over comfort. He could have remained in Capernaum, a small village where everyone seemed to like him. But Jesus knew he had to move out from the comfortable, the familiar and take a risk. We too should chose risk over comfort in sharing and living our faith!

Second, Jesus practiced good deed evangelism. In the text Jesus healed a leper of his leprosy. Consider the way you live your life. Do your actions point people to Jesus? Or do they point people away from Jesus? If you’re cranky, self-serving, and difficult to get along with, these traits will hamper your Christian witness.

Third, Jesus spoke freely and passionately. Jesus had commanded the healed leper not to speak about his healing but he did so anyway. Though he clearly disobeyed, his passion attracted people to Jesus. Look in vs.45c “Yet the people still came to him from everywhere”. Do you speak freely and passionately about your faith? People respond to passion! So, share your faith with unbelievers. Choose risk over comfort, practice good deed evangelism and speak freely and passionately.

Parenting Conference Interview

Click below to see Janet on The Dove Tv interview all about the upcoming parenting conference.

A Doctor That Still Makes House Calls – Mark 1:21-34

In our text, Mark reports that Jesus went to the town of Capernaum, a town on the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee. This was the hometown of the four fishermen Jesus had just called to follow him.

Jesus went into the synagogue to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching because He “taught them as one who had authority.” The word “authority” in the original text means “out of the original stuff”. Jesus did not possess a derived or secondary authority but an original one! Jesus had divine power and authority!

While He was teaching, a demon possessed man interrupted his ministry. Jesus cast out the demon and the people were amazed at this exorcism. After this, Jesus went to the home of Simon Peter and healed his mother-in-law from a fever. Late that same day, hundreds of people flocked to the home and Jesus healed these people of “various diseases” and cast out many demons.

We learn from this account that Jesus has power and authority to heal people! Jesus can heal us from evil spirits and physical illnesses and diseases. The power Jesus demonstrated two thousand years ago still exists today! Jesus has so much power He can heal us in any way that we experience brokenness: a broken marriage, broken dreams, broken inner spirit, broken mind or body!

In what way do you need to experience Jesus’ healing touch and power? Are you battling a chronic disease? Perhaps you recently lost your job. Maybe you suffered abuse in a former marriage or in childhood and you still carry the painful scars. Jesus has the power and authority to heal us! We simply have to ask him to pour out his healing power into our lives. Do so, in prayer!

Finanical Peace Video

Click Below to see the promo video for Finanical Peace University that starts at our church on Feb 15.

Sounds Pretty Fishy To Me – Mark 1-9-20

This passage opens with the baptism of Jesus. Why was Jesus baptized? He didn’t need to repent of anything! Jesus’ baptism signaled the initiation of his three year ministry and He demonstrated His willingness to identify with God the Father’s design and plan for his ministry on earth.

Immediately after His baptism, the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness where he battled Satan for 40 days. Note that Mark (and the other gospel writers) treat Satan as an actual enemy not simply a myth as many modern folks view Satan. Though the forty day period came to an end, Jesus had to contend with Satan throughout his three year ministry.

In vs.15 Jesus began speaking about the main theme of his messages: the kingdom of God. Jesus wanted all those who heard his message follow him.

Jesus wants us to follow him! How do we follow Jesus? We follow him by repenting of our sin and believing the good news (vs.15) Is there something in your life that’s sinful such as a bad habit, an addiction or a misplaced priority? To follow Jesus, repent of your sin! The word “repent” means to “change one’s mind, to change direction”. Second, we follow Jesus by being open and willing to change. I believe that one of the reasons Jesus selected these four fishermen was that he sensed within each man an openness and willingness to change. Without hesitation, they left their nets and their very livelihood to follow Jesus! Are you open and willing to change? It’s easy to get stuck in our comfortable lives. But in order to grow spiritually, we must take risks and trust the Lord even though we don’t know where He might be leading us. This brings me to my last observation about following Jesus: we follow Jesus by obeying his call completely. All of the original twelve disciples with the exception of Judas were faithful in their obedience to Jesus. Ten of the disciples were martyred for their faith! Only John lived to be an old man. When Jesus calls you to follow him, repent of any sin that might be present in your life, to be open and willing to change and obey Jesus completely.

Straight Talk From A Simple Guy – Mark 1:1-8

The opening verses of the gospel of Mark tell us about Jesus, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God”. Mark then informs us about the herald or messenger that God sent to announce Jesus’ impending arrival. His name was John the Baptist. John the Baptist lived and moved in the prophetic tradition in Israel. This is why he wore camel’s hair and had a weird diet. His mission was to point his people, the Jewish people to Jesus. He did this with his words and actions. He spent his time, “preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins”. (vs.4) We can learn from John the Baptist’s example. Like John, we too can point people to Jesus with our words and actions! How can we do this? First, we should speak and minister to people’s needs. John knew his people needed to repent of their sins and turn to following Christ. So, he encouraged them to do this! Second, we can direct people’s attention away from our self to Jesus. We live in a day and age of rampant narcissism. Social media sites such as Facebook encourage narcissism and self-absorption. I see people constantly posting pictures of themselves on Facebook. Jesus wants us to point people to Him, not ourselves! Finally, know your ministry role and serve in it effectively. The Lord has given every believer at least one spiritual gift and He wants us to use it for His kingdom, His glory. Do you know your gift (s)? Are you using them to help the kingdom of God grow? Let’s be like John the Baptist! Let’s point people to Jesus in all we do and say!