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“Then Jesus said, ‘Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.'” (Mark 6:31 NLT)

February 23, 2014

A sharpened saw cuts more efficiently, but you have to take a break from sawing long enough to sharpen the blade. Long before Covey wrote “The 7 Habits,” Jesus taught His disciples to pull away with Him to rest. Working without rest results in diminishing returns. A rhythm of work and rest produces the best outcome. This rest must include certain aspects: 1) “Let’s” – Spiritual rest means time alone with Jesus, 2) “go off” – Physical rest requires a pulling away from work completely. 3) “by ourselves” – Social rest involves time away from others, and 4) “quiet place” – Mental rest means a place where input from various media is cut off, so that the mental faculties can recover. When we follow Jesus in this rhythm of work and rest, we discover new strength and insight for life.

“For she thought to herself, ‘If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.'” (Mark 5:28 NLT)

February 21, 2014

This woman had suffered with a continuous issue of blood for 12 years. She had bankrupted herself spending on doctors but found no relief. Her condition meant that by Levitical law she was unclean. She could not enter the Temple to bring sacrifice. She could not be with her husband or touch another human being, for that would make them unclean as well. She was like a societal leper. She risked everything by being in that crowd following Jesus. She risked even more by touching the hem of His robe. Yet, her faith was rewarded. After 12 terrible years, she was instantly healed with just a touch. But she didn’t get away with a stolen miracle. Jesus took notice. He knew. He called her “Daughter,” welcoming her to the family of faith. Her impurity had not made Jesus unclean, but His holiness had been transmitted to her making her whole.

“So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them” (Mark 5:20 NLT)

February 20, 2014

Jesus and the Twelve crossed to the Eastern side of the Sea of Galilee to a Gentile region known as the the Gerasenes near the Decapolis (Ten Cities). They went through a terrible storm on the way across that so terrified the disciples that Jesus had to calm it. Then, as soon as they landed they were met by a demon-possessed man that lived in the tombs. After Jesus cast the demons out into a nearby herd of pigs, the locals were so afraid of Jesus that they begged Him to leave. The healed demoniac however, begged to go with Jesus. Instead, Jesus appointed him to go to the Decapolis and tell what God had done. When we read this story, it appears that Jesus crossed over to a Gentile land, in spite of a terrible storm, to heal and ordain one demoniac to be a disciple. Jesus is still calling us to cross over to the other side to call those that He wants to save.

“He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts” (Mark 3:5 NLT)

February 17, 2014

The Pharisees brought out the full range of emotion from our Lord Jesus. When He tried to show them the spirit of the Sabbath, they clung to the letter of the law, even that which they themselves had added to it. He asked them a simple question, one that begged a correct response. He asked whether the law permitted good on the Sabbath or evil? They wouldn’t reply. So, he put the man with the withered hand before the whole assembly in the synagogue and healed him. The man and his family rejoiced, but the Pharisees left angry, plotting with the Herodians, whom they normally hated, to plot the killing of Jesus. This scene caused conflicting emotions in Jesus. He was both angry and sad. Angry at the sinful pride that wouldn’t answer His question. And sad at the hard hearts that wouldn’t listen.

“John announced: ‘Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!'” (Mark 1:7-8)

February 15, 2014

John the Baptist was God’s appointed Messianic forerunner, coming in the spirit of Elijah, announcing the coming of the Christ. John’s birth was surrounded by miraculous events: an angel’s announcement, a priestly father’s doubting muteness, a barren mother’s pregnancy, an unborn baby leaping with the Spirit’s joy. John was larger than life. Jesus called him the greatest ever born of woman. Yet, John knew his role. He was merely the herald of the coming King. He was a servant of the One who would baptize us not with water, but with the Holy Spirit.

“P” is for Personality

February 2, 2014 | Mark 12:28-31 | discipleship

Pastor Gary Combs continues the “Shaped for Significance” series with this message from Mark 12:28-32 about Personality. This message focuses on the four aspects of humanity, our heart, soul, mind and strength, that we are to fully use in our love of God and also of others. These four aspects might be viewed through the lens of human personality. The study of personality is helpful in understanding our unique differences and how we need each other. It helps us to show grace to one another. It also refines our search for meaning as we align our work with our SHAPE.

Ignite – Setting the Spark for Revival Through Repentance

August 25, 2013 | Mark 1:14-15 | revival

Jonathan Combs continued our Ignite sermon series by helping us understand the blessing of repentance – that when we receive the Kingdom of God through Jesus Christ, we can repent and believe the Good News that God will not count our sins against us.

The Gospel is About Surrender, not Self-Improvement

April 21, 2013 | Mark 10:17-31 | easter, gospel

Pastor Gary Combs concluded the sermon series EVANGELIUM with this message from Mark 10 about the encounter of the rich young ruler with Jesus. The gospel is not a call to add something on to your life, but a challenge to let go and leave behind. It is a call for your complete and total surrender

“Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” (Mark 16:3 ESV)

March 12, 2013

This was the question the women who wanted to anoint the Lord’s body had as they headed towards the tomb on that first Easter morning. Arriving there, they found the huge stone had already been rolled away, revealing the empty tomb. Do you know someone that seems close to believing, yet there is a kind of unmovable stone standing in the way? You can lead them to the cross and to the tomb, but only God can remove the stone. Pray that the stone is removed, so that they can finally see and believe.

“And Jesus said, ‘I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.'” (Mark 14:62 ESV)

March 10, 2013

This was Jesus’ response to the high priest who asked whether he was the Christ. His answer? “I am.” Jesus used both the Hebrew name for God and the prophetic title of “Son of Man” in his answer. Jesus was crucified for claiming to be the Messiah. Then, three days later he defeated death and the grave and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that His claim was true!