The following is to be preached at an outreach to the poor and homeless in West Philadelphia on October 15, 2010.
In Mark chapter 6, we find Jesus sending out the apostles. He sends them out to preach to the multitudes about repentance from sin. This they do, and in v. 30 we find them returning to Jesus and reporting to him everything that they had said and done.
6:31 – And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate [ἔρημος: desert, wilderness] place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.
Jesus and the disciples get into a boat and leave for the wilderness place by themselves.
6:33-34 – Now many saw [Jesus and the disciples] going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When [Jesus] went ashore he saw a great crowd….
At this point, what would we expect of a human leader? In normal circumstances, what would we expect? What would we expect of one who was so busy with something that he didn’t even have time to stop for a meal break? Read more »
Mark 10:17-22 – A Hard Answer to A Serious Question
by Dr. John Davis
What must I do to inherit eternal life? This is a legitimate and important question, which can be rephrased in many different ways. How can I be sure of life after death? How can I as a sinner be ready to meet a holy God? What relationship is there between what I do now and where I will spend eternity?
Matthew tells us this man is young and Luke tells us that he is a ruler. Each of the synoptic gospels informs us that he is rich. Does it seem strange to you that a rich, young ruler is thinking about things that are profound, spiritual, and eternal? Do men like Donald Trump ever consider the state of their soul and the question of the afterlife? Read more »
How much more powerfully effective could the Church of Jesus Christ be in its gospel witness if, when every time a Christian got a raise in pay, he or she simply increased the percentage of income given away, instead of raising his or her standard of living?
God does not bless us financially so that we can live fat and happy in our cul-de-sac heavens. He is looking for slaves who are radically devoted to the propagation of the saving gospel message into every nook and cranny of the entire earth.
What we spend our money on reveals our true desires. When we spend our raises on feeding our own fleshly desires, we are displaying what and who it is that we truly care about. And it’s not God.
Instead of bowing down at the altar of self, like the rest of the fallen world, Christians are called to a radical lifestyle of self-sacrificial service, even to the point of pain and suffering if necessary.
Following is an example of a man who modeled such a gospel- and other-centered lifestyle for us…
An excerpt from Joe E. Trull and James E. Carter, Ministerial Ethics: Moral Formation for Church Leaders (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009), 76:
John Wesley’s rule of life was to save all he could and to give all he could. When he was at Oxford, Wesley had an income of 30 pounds a year. He lived on 28 pounds a year and gave away 2 pounds. As Wesley’s income increased to 60 pounds, 90 pounds, and 120 pounds annually, he still lived on 28 pounds and gave the balance away.