$3.13, 200 denarii, or everything?

$3.13.  That’s what was in our bank account the last 2 days.  I don’t tell you that so that you feel sorry for us.  I don’t tell you that to convince you we need help.  I know I need plenty of help.  LOL!  I tell you this as a point of reference as you read Mark 6. If you’d like go ahead and do that now…go ahead, I’ll wait…it’s a little long as far as chapters in the Bible go but I’ll wait…it’s good…

Okay, there, so now that you’ve read that I want to point out a few things as far as the disciples go.  Here are a few snap shots:

Verse One:  “…and His disciples followed Him.”  They left everything to follow Jesus.  Good start.

Verse 7, 8, and 9:  Jesus sends them out two by two and tells them to take a staff, one pair of underwear (okay, a tunic would cover you neck to feet) and a pair of sandals but nothing else.  No food, no bag, no money, just go and do what I say.  They go.  They do what He says.

Verse Verse 30:  They come back.  They reported.  Jesus says lets rest.

Verse 35 and 36:  Lot’s of people found them.  It was late.  The disciples decide to tell Jesus that the people are hungry and to send them away so they could go buy their own food.

Verse 37:  Jesus says:  “You give them something to eat.”

Let’s stop here for a second.  What would have been going through your head if you were one of the 12?  You would think that after coming back from a trip where you did what Jesus said and He provided everything you needed you might look at Him with a certain glimmer in your eye and thought maybe the next miracle, right?  But what did they say?

Verse 37 cont.:  The disciples ask Jesus if they should go spend 200 denarii to feed all these people.  (200 denarii, think $14,500)  I don’t know, maybe the statement back to Jesus was more like, “Yeah right Jesus, let’s go spend $14,500 on these people.  LOL!”  Or maybe they had the money in the treasury.  I really don’t know.

Verse 38:  Jesus respond:  “How many loaves do you have?  Go and see.”  They went and found 5 loaves and 2 fish.

Verses 42-44:  They all ate and were satisfied.  No want.  Just plenty of left overs.

And I ask you:  How big is the God you serve?  Is He big enough to take care you you?  Is He big enough for you to have left over?  If you follow Him and obey Him do you believe He will meet your needs?

Because here’s the thing.  Followers of Jesus are a part of the Kingdom of God.  You have been provided for.  You are provided for forever.  Even with $3.13 in your bank account.

My family is always fed.  We always have clothes.  But even if we didn’t, guess what, there is a mansion waiting for us forever.

And then the end of the chapter culminates with the disciples without Jesus in a boat in a storm.  Jesus walks up to them on the water and they are afraid.  Jesus says what every believer should believe then, and should believe now:

Verse 50:  “Take heart; it is I.  Do not be afraid.”

Is there anything else we need to hear.  He has got me.  No matter what.  Forever.

What if I lived in that.  I am doing my best starting now.  And I’ll remind myself tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day…Follow Him…Obey Him…Rely on Him…Think BIG of Him…Remember…Repeat.

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Wanna be a Neighborhood Superhero?

I noticed many weeks ago the amount of trash that was accumulating on our block.  It was pretty bad.  Then I thought, “Why don’t I do something about that?”  So I did.

I went to Home Depot and got one of those handy dandy trash claws.  I took two Target bags from under the sink and I went outside and picked up the trash in the neighborhood.  

Let me tell you, I saw some really disgusting things, which I picked up.  I cannot even tell you how disgusting one of the things was, you would never look at me the same.

Anyway, I digress…some of my neighbors, came out and started thanking me.  Like, really, genuinely thanking me.  It was like I was the Neighborhood Superhero!  Just for picking up some trash.  It gave me a moment to talk to some people I had never chatted with before.  It was nice.

You should give it a try.  Make sure you take a claw…and some hand sanitizer.

Christian = Missionary

Christian = Missionary

Did you know that?  That as a Christian your life means you are a missionary?  

I’m not just talking about telling people about Jesus, although that is part of it:  “Go into all the world and preach…”, I’m also talking about living a life that shows that God is pouring His love into you, and that love is pouring out onto others.

That’s what missionaries do.  They pour love onto others.  With their words of really good news, and their actions that are really good news.  

Your life should be a life that brings THE really good news into the lives around you.  No matter where you find yourself today.

Priority List

I’ve often heard people talk about their priority lists.  Recently I’ve been pushed into obliterating mine, in light of Jesus.

Priority list in the past:

1.  Jesus

2.  Wife

3. Children

4. Church

5.  Work

6.  Extended Family

7.  ETC.

New Priority List (Made when the above priority list was obliterated):

1.  Jesus

“Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.”

Before you get all riled up, don’t think for a minute that I am leaving my wife, children, church, etc.  I am not.  The greatest thing I could pursue for my wife, children, church, etc., is Jesus the Christ. When I pursue Him with all of me, all of those other “priorities” will recognize how much they are loved by me because of the God of the Universe.

Jesus the Subcontractor?

The Jehovah Witnesses I talked to today told me that Jesus was a “subcontractor” of sorts.  They said He was a god, not the God.  I enjoyed our conversation about Jesus but I had to think, when I walked away, that Jesus is so much more than a subcontractor.  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  He said so:

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

He also said that He was God:

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Those who knew Him, who wrote the Bible, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said He was God:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”–John

So I’ll continue to believe that Jesus is God, is eternal, is the way, the truth, and the life.  He is so much more than a subcontractor.

Breathing Optional

“It is more important to remember God than to breathe.” –St. Gregory the Theologian

I guess that would make breathing optional.  As long as you first remember God.  This world is so prone to putting such emphasis on the here and now.  It’s not until we realize that the most important things in this life are actually optional that we truly grasp the magnitude of the Kingdom of God.  Sermon started.