Good News!

1 09 2013

In October my church is launching a Christianity Explored course, (please let me know if you’d like more info!), and so in place of today’s sermon we watched the first video from the course, the introduction, by Rico Tice. It looks *really* good, it’s a few weeks plus one away day, looking at the Gospel of Mark! If you aren’t local to me, but are still interested in hearing more about Jesus, find a course near you!

“In this song the actions praise His name.
I want my actions every day to do the same.”

“Name above all names,
You are worthy of all praise.
My heart will sing,
‘How great is our God.'”

Good NewsMark 1 vv 1-20

Think of somewhere beautiful part of nature you’ve seen. A river, a meadow, a mountain? Table mountain was the example given:

Do you really think something that stunning could have happened by chance?

You are incredible! In your body there are about 100 trillion cells, each of which contains DNA. If you stretched out the DNA in one cell it would be about 2 or 3 metres. If you put all the DNA in your body in one long line, then, depending on what website you look at it’d stretch to the moon, or to the moon and back 8 times, or to the sun and back 4 times… whichever it is, it’s a long long way! You are incredible!

Christianity is not about churches, rules, leaving your mind at the door and ruining your fun. It’s about Jesus Christ: “The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah” – v1a.

It was risky for Mark to call him Christ. At the time Roman Emperors were said to have the divine authority.

Gospel = Good News. And not just average good news. This is dancing in the street, end of the war Good News!
If you’ve heard it, and don’t think that it’s the best news you’ve ever heard then you haven’t understood it.

Mark was written around 45-60AD and he was guided by Peter, one of Jesus’ closest followers.

It all gets a bit weird in verses 9-11, heaven tearing open and a voice booming out – the people even thought it odd at the time, but they’d been told in advance! (vv 2-3)

Jesus is more than an ordinary man, we should be surprised that extraordinary things begin to happen.

Mark is just getting started.

We have a responsibility not to keep this to ourselves in the Great Commission.

Go forth and tell! O Church of God, awake!
God’s saving news to all the nations take;
Proclaim Christ Jesus, Savior, Lord, and King,
That all the world His worthy praise may sing.

Go forth and tell! O Church of God, arise!
Go in the strength which Christ, your Lord, supplies;
Go till all nations His great name adore
And serve Him, Lord and King, forevermore.

Putting your name in

18 08 2013

I don’t know if you’ve ever put your name in John 3v16, it’s something we did once or twice on youth weekends away.

It starts like this

For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believed in Him would not die, but have eternal life.

So then you insert your name instead

For God so loved Ineke that he gave His one and only Son, so that if Ineke believed in Him would not die, but have eternal life.

Try it out!

For God so loved ______________ that he gave His one and only Son, so if ______________ believed in Him would not die, but have eternal life.

This morning during communion a similar thought struck me that the same thing works in.

Even if you were the only person on the planet, God would have still given up His only Son to die for you!

I tried putting in my name

Even if Ineke was the only person on the planet, God would have still given up His only Son to die for Ineke!

Try it for yourself!

Even if ______________ was the only person on the planet, God would have still given up His only Son to die for ______________!

I reckon this’d work with a whole host of verses! Any suggestions?

The Parable of the Net

11 08 2013

Over the summer we’re doing a series on parables at church, and this morning’s was The Parable of the Net. I’d never even heard of it before! Neither had the girl next to me, neither has my housemate! Have you?!

Matthew 13:47-52
47 ‘Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51 ‘Have you understood all these things?’ Jesus asked.
‘Yes,’ they replied.
52 He said to them, ‘Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.’

So as mentioned last week, I thought I’d share some of my notes from the sermon incase they’re helpful to anyone out there on the internet!

In this parable, the net represents the gospel. The gospel is to be put out to all mankind, there is no discrimination.
God so loved the world. – The gospel is for all!
In Matthew 4vv18-20, Simon Peter and Andrew are called to be fishers of men.
All we have counts for nothing really, the one thing we really need is eternal life.
Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Our responsibility is to share the gospel with all we come into contact with. It’s never too late. For example the criminal on the cross in Luke 23, Jesus didn’t discriminate there!
We mustn’t write people off because they’re drunkards, criminals, or even because we think that they wouldn’t want to know.
On the last day, the net will be sifted with all mankind, but it won’t be us who decide. The criteria has been set by the fisherman, that is, God. The criteria is not who is good or who is bad. It is not who is in or out of church. All have fallen short of God’s glory. The criteria is who has accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. Who is saved, who is not.
We have a responsibility, let’s take it seriously.