The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper, A Thought

For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:2-5

You know something? I don’t have to preach like anybody else I have ever heard.

I get to make much of God when I proclaim His Word. I get to lift Christ on high and know nothing except him crucified. I get to be totally and utterly dependent on the power of the Holy Spirit.

What a joy it is to preach the passage at hand. What a relief it is that I don’t have to mention the verse once in the sermon, then go on my own diatribe and spit out my own opinions. What heart-filled gladness that I can see the magnificence of God exalted and in falling so short, I would my very best to explain to others what I am seeing.

But oh, how naïve of me: to be called to preach but only preached just a few sermons. Every single little opportunity savored, gracious and humbled to get that one shot to preach the gospel of God—well, that is maybe your one and only shot. You may not be asked back. You might be barred from preaching there ever again. You might not make it back to preach again next Sunday.

But you get another try at it. God’s grace abounds and you get one more chance to love, serve, and feed His flock. You get to swallow your pride and open your heart and mind and let His Spirit work through you.

So, what are you going to do with that one shot?

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; 2 Timothy 4:1-2a

Devotions in Mark: A Few Resources

Here just the very small list of resources on Mark that I have found most helpful.

The Bible – Should go without say. However, many times, many teachers, preachers, and small group leaders (myself included) will “cut straight to the chase” and engage the commentary instead of engaging the Word of God. Remember, the commentaries are not without error—they are the observations of the author. Slow down, pray, read, chew and meditate.

ESV Study Bible – Incredible resource. I use the online more than the actual book.

The Gospel of Mark (NICNT) by William L. Lane – Incredible thorough and wonderfully written, Dr. Lane walks the reader masterfully through not only the Gospel but the perspective of the writer Mark.

Calvin’s Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) by John Calvin – I like to keep an old school commentary for better perspective. (Note: if you don’t find the exact passage in this commentary, just locate the commentary for the similar passages in Matthew and Luke.

Savior of the Suffering (Mark) at Internet Monk – I was looking for a cool Byzantine picture of St. Mark and ran into this very cool resource that lays out Mark, using the aforementioned Lane commentary as resource, for your studying pleasure.

Mark (St. Andrews Expositional Commentary) by R.C. Sproul – I got this for my birthday this year. As I reading from page 1, I am using this as a reference for where we were at. Excellently written and a real joy to read thus far.

Update:

  1. Added the book, Mark by R.C. Sproul