David, who wrote Psalm 27, knew the pleasure of God’s presence. In fact, seeking God’s beauty and presence were the “one thing” he wanted above all things. This message focuses on Psalm 27:4 and offers some direction in seeking the presence of God.
Do you associate the presence of God with pleasure? Would it rank on your top 10 list of pleasures in life? This message looks at the benefits of being in God’s presence: joy, satisfaction, delight, and pleasure.
Romans 1 teaches us an indispensable truth about ourselves: sin messed up our thinking–especially our thinking about God. This is called the “noetic effects” of sin (from the Greek word for mind: nous). This helps us appreciate what God’s grace does for our minds in salvation.
Psalm 139 shows us the pervasive presence of God. Everywhere you go, there he is. This might sound scary or “Big Brother-ish” but David, who wrote the Psalm, loved the idea that God was intimately acquainted with him.
In fact, he found it a cause for complete transparency and openness to God. Hopefully this message will encourage you the same way.
Mark ends his gospel with some of Jesus’ followers coming to his tomb Sunday morning and finding it empty. An angel tells them he has risen and exhorts them to go tell the rest of his disciples. This message also looks at the textual issues surrounding the ending of Mark.
God’s story revolves around the cross. Mark 15 gives us the account of Jesus’ trial, death and burial. Jesus’ death, as we learn in the New Testament letters (Romans-Revelation), is the sacrifice that paid the pride for our sins. Jesus died as a substitute for us, justified us (cleared the divine charges that were against us because of our sin), and reconciled us to God.
In Mark 14 everything begins to fall apart: Judas turns Jesus over to the authorities for trial, the rest take off when Jesus is arrested, and Peter denies even knowing Jesus. The night begins the trial of Jesus that will end in his crucifixion the next day.
Mark 13 gives us Jesus’ breakdown of the future. It starts with a question from his disciples and ends with Jesus exhorting his followers to stand firm during persecution and to be alert and serving him and his mission. How does this relate to us? At the end of the chapter Jesus compares us to servants in a household–each with a task to be busy about until he returns. This should be our pursuit and passion: to use what God has given us (talents, relationships, possessions, etc.) to grow his kingdom.
In this message, new church planter in Mexico City, Jesús Rodríguez looks at Paul the Apostle’s exhortation in Colossians 3 to depend on Christ to change us. It is common for us to depend on our own efforts to grow as Christians. But the Bible makes clear that God is a work in us and that we are to look to his Spirit’s power to live the Christian life.
For those of us who think of Jesus as weak, narratives such as that in Mark 12 should help dispel that notion. Jesus was smart, principled and courageous. In this chapter he is confronted with the religious leaders’ attempts to trip him up and compromise him to the Roman government or the Jewish people. He handles the conflict stunningly.