Text: Mark 4:1-20 | Speaker: Levi Bakerink | Description: Jesus begins His kingdom parables with the famous story of the sower who goes out to sow. Jesus Himself is sowing gospel seeds, the only question is how will we respond to His message? There are many reasons why we neglect the good news, but for those who accept His message will receive abundant life.
The Look Like Their Savior
Everybody loves a good illustration... UNTIL they become the illustration.
Living illustrations... orchestrated and ordered by God, can often be unprecedented, unpredictable and unprotected from the scrutiny of men.
Summary bullet points from the transcription of the message.
• Jesus' identity and purpose.
◦ Pastor Nick emphasizes the importance of praising God in both good and bad times, citing John 19:18 and Isaiah 53 as sources of encouragement.
◦ Holden explains how Jesus' sacrifice and peace are not temporary, but everlasting, and can be found through trusting Him, as seen in John 20 and 21.
◦ John emphasizes Jesus' identity as the Son of God and Messiah, citing His miracles and claims to be the Anointed One.
• Jesus' purpose and Pilate's recognition of his divinity.
◦ Pastor Nick emphasizes the importance of purpose in life, citing John's purpose in writing his gospel as an example.
◦ John's gospel highlights Jesus' life and death, with Pastor Nick noting that Jesus' qualifications for death came from the life he lived (Chapter 19).
◦ Pilate questions Jesus' identity, finds no fault, and releases Barabbas to the crowd.
• Jesus' trial and crucifixion.
◦ Barabbas was a known robber and possibly a murderer, with a history of rebellion against the governing authorities.
◦ Jesus was preferred over Barabbas by the crowd, despite his criminal past, because he came to die and bear witness to the truth of our salvation through his sacrifice.
◦ Pastor Nick describes the mistreatment of Jesus by the Roman soldiers, including the placement of a crown of thorns on his head and a purple robe.
◦ The chief priests and officers cry out
Text: Mark 3:20-35 | Speaker: Levi Bakerink | Description: Perhaps some phrases in the Bible are more famous than they deserve to be. That is certainly the case with the warning against the "unforgivable sin" of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Far from being a cause of undue concern for the Christian (have I committed the unforgivable sin), this passage should comfort us because Jesus tells us plainly that He has bound the strong man, Satan, and set free His people. And if we are in Christ, then we truly are His family.
One of the big dangers that the Church faces today is bad pastors and selfish leaders. We must beware of those who want respect because of the clothes they wear, or who makes long prayers for pretense. A pastor is nothing more than another redeemed rebel whom God has given the gift of teaching. Those pastors who are intent on their own aggrandizement and fleecing widows are not God's shepherds. The Jewish scribes only saw what everyone was able to give, but Jesus wants only a faithful heart – as was demonstrated by the poor widow who gave all she had to the Lord. Jesus does not act like these scribes. He – the King of kings – humbled Himself and came to serve others and die for sinners. That's who we need to follow and worship – the One Who is our Good Shepherd.
Text: Mark 3:7-19 | Speaker: Levi Bakerink | Description: After Jesus has several confrontations with the Pharisees, Mark summarizes the extent of his ministry in Galilee. Crowds of people are flooding to see Jesus, but not so much to hear his message of repentance and faith in the gospel, but more so that they might be healed. Demons likewise cry out in desparate attempts to stop his ministry. This is the spiritual state of God's people, but Jesus is going to rebuild them. And to do that, he calls the Twelve to be sent out with authority to preach the good news that the kingdom of God is here.
Text: Mark 2:23-3:6 | Speaker: Levi Bakerink | Description: Jesus continues to tear down all the man-made regulations of the Pharisees, and he does so powerfully in this passage with the Sabbath. In order to prevent themselves or anyone from doing any work, the Pharisees had created a large, intricate hedge around the Sabbath day, to the point that they weren't even allowed to do good to fellow human beings, like helping the man with the withered hand (3:1-6). But Jesus corrects their misguided zeal. Man was not made for endless Sabbath rule-keeping; the Sabbath was made for man, for his benefit and his enjoyment.
Text: Mark 2:18-22 | Speaker: Levi Bakerink | Description: Jesus continues to clash with the religious leaders of the day. They cannot understand why He and His disciples do not fast like them. Don't the know the tradition and laws of their religion? But Jesus corrects them by showing that He brings something completely new. The old has been put away, and the new is come.
Greetings and welcome! This is our daily devotional for October 26, 2023. Today we continue our study in the Book of Acts in chapter 15 where we see the beauty of resolved conflict and the ugliness of unresolved conflict. Oh that we would protect our unity. Thanks for joining us.
The latest message from Emmanuel Reformed Church. This morning we welcomed Rev. Cody Schwichtenberg to the pulpit for our annual Mission Fest Sunday. For Sunday School, Rev. Schwichtenberg spoke about missions in a small town. Rev. Schwichtenberg is the pastor of First Reformed Church in Herreid, SD.
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What is the most important of all the commandments in the Law?
This is the first instance we have in the Gospels of someone coming to ask Jesus a question in sincerity. He replied to the scribe who asked this question by quoting the Shammah from Deuteronomy 6, which teaches us that we are to love God and love our neighbor. This is more important than any number of burnt offerings or animal sacrifices that we could ever offer.
If you kept all the Lord's commandments – loving God and loving your neighbor, you'd be perfect and you'd go to heaven. That's terrifying news, though, because none of us can do this. We fail at it.
So what hope do we have? The answer was standing right in front of the scribe in the Temple that day. Jesus, the embodiment of true love – was standing there and fulfilling the work of redemption for us, who could never keep the Law. Not only does He tell us that we are not far from the Kingdom of God, He also brings us into it!
Text: Mark 2:13-17 | Speaker: Levi Bakerink | Description: During his ministry, Jesus walked by a tax collector named Levi. He called for him to follow and at once he became a disciple of Jesus. In response, he held a party to have more tax collectors and other outcasts join Jesus for dinner. The Pharisees could not believe Jesus would willingly dine with such sinners. But that is what he does; he is the Friend of sinners.