Mark 2:18-22 Jesus is the Bridegroom

Mark 2:18-22 ESV Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. And people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”

1. Is Jesus with us physically like you are with me or your mom is with me at this dinner table?

Jesus is physically not here. He is with us in spirit (through the Holy Spirit) but he is in heaven ruling and reigning, personally mindful of us all and praying for each of us.

2. Is Jesus coming back?
Matthew 24:23-31 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

3. Does your mom misses me when I am away? Do I miss your mom when I am not with her?

The more I love your mom, the more I miss her when I am not with her. Think: if we choose to love God and God grows in us, don’t you think we will want to see him more and more?

What if Jesus came back to get us before you got out of school? Before you got married? Before you had kids of your own? What if he came back before I could ever preach? What if Jesus came back before we got to anything we wanted to do?

4. How should we wait for Jesus?

Until we see Christ face to face, what should we do?

Fast (Esther 4:16, Ezra 9:5, Luke 18:9-14)
Pray (Matthew 6:5-15)
Love one another (1 John 3 – 5)
Give (2 Corinthians 8 – 9)

5. What is the number one thing we are to do until he gets back?

Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:14-20, John 21:15-19, Acts 1:6-8

 

Series: I have made mentioned of our family devotions on the Internets and gotten a few requests for my notes. So that is what I am doing just that here. Every Wednesday as a regular weekly series, I will share my notes that I write in preparing for family devotions.

Here is Love

Here is love, vast as the ocean,
Lovingkindness as the flood,
When the Prince of Life, our Ransom,
Shed for us His precious blood.
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten,
Throughout Heav’n’s eternal days.

On the mount of crucifixion,
Fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
Poured incessant from above,
And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love.
Let me all Thy love accepting,
Love Thee, ever all my days;
Let me seek Thy kingdom only
And my life be to Thy praise;
Thou alone shalt be my glory,
Nothing in the world I see.
Thou hast cleansed and sanctified me,
Thou Thyself hast set me free.

In Thy truth Thou dost direct me
By Thy Spirit through Thy Word;
And Thy grace my need is meeting,
As I trust in Thee, my Lord.
Of Thy fullness Thou art pouring
Thy great love and power on me,
Without measure, full and boundless,
Drawing out my heart to Thee.

by William Rees and William Williams.

Here is Love, An Introduction

What is love?

Isn’t that a question for the ages and especially, in our day and time? Some think it is abstract and for some, more substantial. Some flee from love and desire it all the more. Others attempt to change love in order to fit their lives and their hearts.

Often, we see these questions in our culture even when culture are not using those three little words, “what is love?”. Look at the political realm: what are the hot-button topics of our day?

Who should have the right to marry?

Should women have absolute, sovereign rights over their bodies and everything within their bodies?

What should the government do, if anything, to combat poverty?

Should illegal immigrants be allowed to stay in this country or should they be treated like common crooks?

Even these questions get easily broken down into those three little words if we know the heart and love of God and examine them from the Christian viewpoint:

How should we love the widow (divorced, single moms)?

How should we love the orphan (the unborn baby, kids with no dads)?

How should we love the poor (homeless, underemployed)?

How should we love the lost (the immigrant, the stranger in our land)?

The world might ask, “What is love?” Yet, once we know and love God and trust in Word, the rightful question ends up:

Who is love?

In 1 John 4:7-8, John ends the thought with the ultimate declaration that “God is love“. If that is really the case, how do we evaluate love? How do we really know love? If what we call love does not stand in the light of an Almighty gracious, wonderful, beautiful and righteous God, then what do we really have?

Are we so brave to examine our thoughts about love? Maybe what we know about love is wrong. Maybe what we call love is not fulfilling, not satisfying—not loving.

In midst of all our perspectives, upbringing, hurts, desires, pains, torments, frustrations, abuses, and sin, God mercifully, majestically, humbly, and graciously responds to all of the world’s guesses and theories to the eternal question of love and altered the course of the world forever.

God, through his Word, powerfully proclaims, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10

Here is love: love of God made manifest, tangible, and real.

Here is love: love of God was sent into the world.

Here is love: that we might live through him and be with him forever.

Join me as we throughly and joyfully walk through the God’s declaration of “Here is love”.

 

Is Faith Knowing What’s Going To Happen?

Upon this pinnacle stands Abraham. The last stage he loses sight of is the infinite resignation. He really goes further, and reaches faith; for all these caricatures of faith, the miserable lukewarm indolence which thinks, “There surely is no instant need, it is not worth while sorrowing before the time,” the pitiful hope which says, “One cannot know what is going to happen … it might possibly be after all”–these caricatures of faith are part and parcel of life’s wretchedness, and the infinite resignation has already consigned them to infinite contempt.

Abraham I cannot understand, in a certain sense there is nothing I can learn from him but astonishment. If people fancy that by considering the outcome of this story they might let themselves be moved to believe, they deceive themselves and want to swindle God out of the first movement of faith, the infinite resignation. They would suck worldly wisdom out of the paradox. Perhaps one or another may succeed in that, for our age is not willing to stop with faith, with its miracle of turning water into wine, it goes further, it turns wine into water.

Søren Kierkegaard. Fear and Trembling, 2012. Kindle 388.

Dancing In Midair

On those who possess actual faith in God:

“It is supposed to be the most difficult task for a dancer to leap into a definite posture in such a way that there is not a second when he is grasping after the posture, but by the leap itself he stands fixed in that posture. Perhaps no dancer can do it–that is what this knight does. Most people live dejectedly in worldly sorrow and joy; they are the ones who sit along the wall and do not join in the dance. The knights of infinity are dancers and possess elevation. They make the movements upward, and fall down again; and this too is no mean pastime, nor ungraceful to behold. But whenever they fall down they are not able at once to assume the posture, they vacillate an instant, and this vacillation shows that after all they are strangers in the world. This is more or less strikingly evident in proportion to the art they possess, but even the most artistic knights cannot altogether conceal this vacillation. One need not look at them when they are up in the air, but only the instant they touch or have touched the ground–then one recognizes them. But to be able to fall down in such a way that the same second it looks as if one were standing and walking, to transform the leap of life into a walk, absolutely to express the sublime in the pedestrian–that only the knight of faith can do–and this is the one and only prodigy.”

Søren Kierkegaard. Fear and Trembling, 2012. Kindle 448.

The Sound of the Bloody Cross Gospel

I say to my non-Christian friends and neighbors, if you want to see the gospel of Christ, the gospel that has energized this church for two thousand years, turn off the television. The grinning cartoon characters who claim to speak for Christ don’t speak for him. Find the followers who do what Jesus did. Find the people who risk their lives to carry a beaten stranger to safety. Find the houses opened to unwed mothers and their babies in crisis. Find the men who are man enough to be a father to troubled children of multiple ethnicity and backgrounds.

And find a Sunday School class filled with children with Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy and fetal alcohol syndrome. Find a place where no one considers them “weird” or “defective,” but where they joyfully sing, “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.”

That might not have the polish of television talk-show theme music, but that’s the sound of bloody cross gospel.

– Russell Moore, Pat Robertson vs. the Spirit of Adoption

Mark 2:13-17 Jesus is the Good Doctor

Mark 2:13-17 He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

1. Whom did Jesus hang out with?

2. Does Jesus wait to want you when you are really good? Did Jesus start loving you when you started to do good things?

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8 ESV)

3. Did Jesus come to save good people or did he come to save sinners?

She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21 ESV)

 

Series: I have made mentioned of our family devotions on the Internets and gotten a few requests for my notes. So that is what I am doing just that here. Every Wednesday as a regular weekly series, I will share my notes that I write in preparing for family devotions.

The Logic of Miracles

The other hidden premise in the statement “miracles cannot happen” is “there can’t be a God who does miracles.” If there is a Creator God, there is nothing illogical at all about the possibility of miracles. After all, if he created everything out of nothing, it would hardly be a problem for him to rearrange parts of it as and when he wishes. To be sure that miracles cannot occur you would have to be sure beyond a doubt that God didn’t exist, and that is an article of faith. The existence of God can be neither demonstrably proven or disproven.

Timothy Keller. The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. Dutton Adult, 2008. 76.

“Ha, ha! Too Late!” said God never

Modern people inevitably think that hell works like this: God gives us time, but if we haven’t made the right choices by the end of our lives, he casts our souls into hell for all eternity. As the poor souls fall through space, they cry out for mercy, but God says “Too late!” You had your chance! Now you will suffer!” This caricature misunderstands the very nature of evil. The Biblical picture is that sin separates us from the presence of God, which is the source of all joy and indeed all love, wisdom, or good things of any sort. Since we were originally created for God’s immediate presence, only before his face will we thrive, flourish, and achieve our highest potential. If we were to lose his presence totally, that would be hell—the loss of our capability for giving or receiving love or joy.

Timothy Keller. The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. Dutton Adult, 2008. 76.