22 Weeks – 4/5/2019 to 9/9/2019
Mark is the shortest of the four gospels. It contains no genealogy and no account of the birth and early ministry of Jesus. One author describes the gospel of John as a “studied portrait” of Jesus. Next, he says Matthew and Luke are “colored slides” of Jesus. Then he says Mark is the “motion picture” of the life of Jesus. That is a great description about this book we study! It is graphic, constantly moving, and immediate. Let this series speak to you right now about your Lord and Savior!
His Death, Our Hope
Message 22 in the Series, Airing Week of 9/9/2019
This Week – No other death has had an impact on history like the death of Jesus. His death has an impact on your life and mine whether you and I recognize it or not. This is the last message from our series in Mark. You might be wondering why I’m ending with the death of Christ and not covering the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Actually, we did at Easter Sunday this year. You may have heard it earlier this summer, June 17-21 on CrossHope.
Monday (9/9) – After a quick story about taking my grandchildren to the airport for their return trip to Germany, we talk about Mel Gibson’s movie from 2004, “The Passion”. It doesn’t seem possible, but it was 15 years ago that the movie was made. As one minister put it, the film was 2 hours about the brutality against Jesus in His death on the cross, and only 2 minutes on the resurrection.”
Tuesday (9/10) – We read the text about His death in the Gospel of Mark at the beginning of Tuesday’s episode of CrossHope. The passage speaks for itself, and certainly needs no embellishment on my part. He died a horrible death, taking your sin and mine upon Himself on the cross. You do know that, don’t you?
Wednesday (9/11) – We quote an emotional story by a Catholic author, journalist, and American historian named Gary Wills. He tells a true story of a son’s nightmare and his response. He didn’t respond to his son as an author, journalist, or as a historian. He responded to his son as a father! It just may bring a tear to your eye as this story speaks truth to the death of Christ!
Thursday (9/12) – We quote an Australian minister who explained to an American minister that the story of the cross isn’t about the inhumanity and brutality of man. It’s the story of God’s love for you and me through the cross! When we realize that, nothing is the same! We stand UNDER the cross even if we don’t UNDERSTAND it!
Friday (9/13) – Karl Barth was a famous Swiss theologian who said one thing about the cross that you must know and understand! We close this message with this one thing. We end with the words of the Centurion (Roman officer commanding 100 soldiers) who said at the cross when Jesus died, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” What do you say after listening to this message on the cross?
The Last Meal
Message 21 in the Series, Airing Week of 9/2/2019
This Week – Most people have some familiarity with “communion” or the “Lord’s Supper”. Many know some details of the event of its establishment by Jesus Himself. But most don’t have a sense of its personal implications for my life and yours. I believe I will be sharing some thoughts on this subject that you have never heard before!
Monday (9/2) – Jesus was observing the “Passover” with His disciples. It was at this meal that He used the physical items at the meal as emblems of His upcoming suffering on the cross. We use them today in our remembrance of what He did for us. Some observe it weekly, others monthly, still others once or twice a year. Regardless, there is power in remembering the Lord in this way!
Tuesday (9/3) – The bread represents His body; the cup of wine represents His blood. Jesus talked about the “preparation” of the meal. He also talked about the “shadow or cloud” over the meal; it was the betrayal by Judas later on that evening. We talk about the significance of both the preparation and the shadow. It may speak to you in a personal way.
Wednesday (9/4) – We share something about forgiveness in this program that my guess is you have never heard before! I really mean that! It just may be something that you need to hear because of something that has happened or is going on in your life right now. It’s something that can give you some peace that has been missing from your life for a long time!
Thursday (9/5) – We talk about the humbling nature of “washing someone’s feet”; Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. Think for a moment about the humbling nature of the cross! The operative word is “humiliation”. He not only went through a painful execution on a cross; He endured a humiliation of body and spirit that is beyond words.
Friday (9/6) – We close with what I feel is the most powerful story about the impact of taking communion or the Lord’s Supper. It’s a true story out of a German prison camp in Poland during World War Two. What happened to this British soldier involving communion brought a tear to my eye. It may do that or more with you! Be sure and listen today to this story.
His Promised Return
Message 20 in the Series, Airing Week of 8/26/2019
Mark 13: 32-37
This Week – The second coming of Christ has always been a thing of mystery and intrigue, even to believers. And yet the truth is, Jesus promised to return and emphatically said, “No one knows the day or hour” of His return. Why does it matter? All this week on CrossHope, we discuss this promise of Jesus that impacts how you live, your life and death. It really impacts everything.
Monday (8/26) – We begin with the humorous illustration of a man from Minnesota who liked to play games with his returning home for family gatherings around the holidays. Frankly, I’ve never hear of anyone doing what he did to his parents and four younger sisters. It’s actually a little bazar. We use the story to set up the reading of the text today from Mark 13.
Tuesday (8/27) – The reason you can believe the promise of Jesus about His return because He kept His first promise: to conquer death. He did, and we can believe the “second” promise to come again to claim His own. Verse 32 emphatically states, “No one knows the day or hour!” Why is it then, that people in every generation exist who claim to know the day etc.? What part of this verse do they not understand?
Wednesday (8/28) – Jesus said we are to be “on alert” for His return. People are on alert for stock market changes, for house prices fluctuating, and the price of car to drop. But are we on alert for His return? Most people are not! We talk about “preppers” in our culture today. Jesus never told us to become preppers for a national disaster. He did tell us to be aware of His possible return!
Thursday (8/29) – When you and I live in anticipation of the Lord’s return, it changes the way you live, it can even change the way you and I die! Anticipation of anything in our lives impacts what we do. It’s true personally, emotionally, and even spiritually. Are you living in anticipation of His return? We’re under orders by Christ Himself to do that!
Friday (8/30) – The birth of a baby may come as a surprise, but we usually know something of the time frame. People can’t say they were totally surprised. Nor will be able to say, “I had no idea of Christ’s return!” We know something of His return because of His promise. He kept the first promise; He will keep the second promise. In a sense, the Lord’s return is just as close as the day of our death. Does that give you pause?
Giving Nothing; Giving Everything!
Message 19 in the Series, Airing Week of 8/19/2019
Mark 12: 41-44
This Week – From one of the shortest passages in the New Testament, this is probably one of the greatest lessons on the subject of “giving to the Lord”. It’s a story of a woman who had nothing to give to the Lord; but Jesus says that she gave everything! This message is more than about giving to the Lord financially; it’s about giving that which represents all of us to everything we know about Him!
Monday (8/19) – After a humorous introduction, we read the text that’s only four verses long about the giving of a widow to the temple treasury in Jerusalem. Jesus says that even though she just gave two copper coins worth less than a penny, she actually gave “all that she had” to the Lord. The rich giving their offerings were giving out of their wealth; she gave out of her poverty.
Tuesday (8/20) – I tell the story in an earlier ministry of having to ask the congregation to give an “extra” $100,000 during the month of December my first year there. The surprise to me was, the people gave it! We share in this message about the giving of a widow who had nothing, no savings, and no income whatsoever. Yet she manifested a form of generosity that those people didn’t manifest in a sense.
Wednesday (8/21) – We share about automobile executive, Lee Iacocca who worked for Ford and then Chrysler. He was the only executive who led two major automakers. He was in charge of a fund raising effort for the refurbishing of the Statue of Liberty. We make application to this passage from Mark 12. Believe it or not, it applies!
Thursday (8/22) – Has anyone ever asked you why you do what you do for a living? This story from Will Campbell, a southern Baptist minister will speak to you about that issue. What motivates you to do what you do for the Lord? Hopefully, everything you do for the Lord and His Kingdom flows out of your love for the Lord and for the Body of Christ, His church!
Friday (8/23) – We close with a surprising story about a destitute woman who was told by the church treasurer to “stop giving” to the church. What she told the treasurer may not only surprise you, it may even bring a tear to the eye! She shocked the treasurer with her response, based out of love for her for the Kingdom and the local church.
The Greatest Commandment of All!
Message 18 in the Series, Airing Week of 8/12/2019
Mark 12: 28-34
This Week – There were 613 laws in the Old Testament! Most people have trouble naming all of the 10 commandments in Exodus 20, let alone remembering over 600 in what is called the “Levitical Law”. Try memorizing those this week! In Mark 12, Jesus is asked the question, “Of all of those laws, which one is the most important. This week on CrossHope, we discuss the answer Jesus gives. Hopefully, the most important law to Jesus will matter to us. Does it matter to you?
Monday (8/12) – Jesus states that all of the law and prophets boil down to these commandments: to love God with everything in our lives, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. That’s it! Everything that flows out of your life and mine should flow out of those two loves in our lives. We quote Oswald Chambers who says that the people who have the greatest influence in our lives are those who love God and love us!
Tuesday (8/13) – We quote someone who says, “The more you give yourself to someone or something, the more you love them or that thing.” There is truth in the statement in your life and mine. We talk about a man (Frederick Buechner) who lost his father to suicide when he was just 10 years old. He then had a daughter who was near death from Anorexia. What he did to cope with both issues may surprise you.
Wednesday (8/14) – We conclude Buechner’s story that will touch you in a profound way. We then illustrate loving God with a story told by a British minister, about the influence of a little girl on a train. What she said to a stranger had such an impact on him; he became a believer in Jesus Christ as the Lord of his life. Her question to this stranger is one I would ask you today in 2019.
Thursday (8/15) – The question of the little girl to a stranger was, “Do you love Jesus?” Have you answered that question at some point in your life? According to Jesus, the most important issue in your life is not that you have an intellectual awareness of who Jesus is. The issue is, do you and I love Him? Why? Because Jesus said the greatest commandment was, “Love the Lord your God…..”
Friday (8/16) – You and I are either people who love God and other people; or we are people who don’t! We tell another story of Frederick Buechner and his counseling with a therapist. This just may be one of the most unusual stories you have ever heard! What the counselor did to bring out some of Buechner’s grief and pain will speak to your grief and pain!
Marriage and Heaven
Message 17 in the Series, Airing Week of 8/5/2019
Mark 12: 18-27
This Week – Did you know that Jesus spoke about heaven and marriage in the same verses? He did, in a passage that you may not be familiar with. Many people are actually surprised or “put off” by this passage where Jesus says that there will not be marriage in heaven as we know it! We will be like the “angels of God” in heaven. What in the world does that mean? Listen this week to CrossHope!
Monday (8/5) – What most people think they know about heaven is based on their experiences and knowledge of what happens on earth. That can be a mistake. The Apostle Paul in First Corinthians 2:9 says that we have no concept of what has been prepared for us! We have no point of reference on this earth. Jesus spoke of heaven as a real place. You just may be surprised what He says about being married in Heaven!
Tuesday (8/6) – We read the text where Mark says members of a Jewish sect known as the Sadducees came to Jesus with a “test”, based on a “trick question”. They didn’t believe in the resurrection and life after death. Tell me what you believe about the resurrection and I can tell something of what you are as a man or woman! You will treat your spouse and children differently based on what you believe about life after death!
Wednesday (8/7) – We share a comment of Joseph Bayley who lost three sons! I consider him to be an expert on life, death, and eternity. Why? Because of what he experienced, with losing three sons! What he told a woman who was losing a son will touch you deeply. It just may be one of the most important things you have heard in a long time. It will speak hope to you perhaps.
Thursday (8/8) – We talk about people having no problem believing in demons and the demonic. Some people actually enjoy a movie about demonic activity. Then they will turn around and say they have trouble believing in angels. Hebrews 1:14 tells us that angels are “ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” That’s you and that’s me! Jesus says we will be like the angels in heaven in eternity!
Friday (8/9) – We close with a touching story told by Dr. John Piper about a couple in a nursing home and their love for one another. We then talk about how we love what we know and what is familiar to us. We become attached to this earth! But this earth is not our final destiny; heaven is! Look to Christ and His Kingdom. He’s gone to prepare a place for us that where He is, that’s where He wants us to be forever!
The Most Explicit Parable of Jesus
Message 16 in the Series, Airing Week of 7/29/2019
Mark 12: 1-12
This Week – I’ve never heard or read of anyone calling a parable of Jesus “explicit”. And yet the parable we study as a part of this series in Mark is indeed explicit in terms of what it describes. A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Jesus talks about life and death issues in this story or parable. Why? It’s about His upcoming death on the cross! Maybe you could read the passage, before you even begin listening to this message. It may help your understanding of this explicit passage!
Monday (7/29) – We begin with a quote of a former university president and prime minister of the Netherlands in Europe. What he said about Jesus Christ would be unthinkable today in our politically correct culture, and yet it’s a great introduction to the passage we study today from Mark 12. When Jesus finished telling this parable, people actually started thinking about killing Him. That’s having an impact on an audience to say the least!
Tuesday (7/30) – We talk about rebellion in the kingdom of God. What we say may actually surprise you. Rebellion is to refuse to acknowledge the sin in my life and to refuse to accept the grace of God in forgiveness! You may have never heard that, but it’s not only true; it just may be the most important discovery of your life! Have you acknowledged the sin in your life? Have you accepted the grace of God that’s demonstrated in His forgiveness?
Wednesday (7/31) – We read two verses of this passage, verses 6 and 7 that prophetically talk about the death of Christ on the cross. The cross is not just an “event” in the New Testament that people study in church circles; it’s the most important event in history! But it’s also very personal because you and I are sinners who have sinned against a Holy God. That sin was atoned for on the cross!
Thursday (8/1) – We talk about Jesus being the “cornerstone” of life. We don’t appreciate that in 2019 necessarily. We use an analogy that you may have never heard of before. Most people (even Christians) look at Jesus as one of the “bricks” in the construction of their lives. Other bricks include exercise, good nutrition, and good rest and relaxation. Jesus claims to be the cornerstone of our lives, the most important part of your life and mine!
Friday (8/2) – We close with the story of a seminary professor at an east coast school who didn’t attend church! She lost a 4-year old son and her husband within a year. Everything changed in her life after that. This is a powerful story how she discovered the importance of the local church in your life and mine. More than that, this story is about the One who is the cornerstone of our lives!
A Most Astounding Miracle: Prayer
Message 15 in the Series, Airing Week of 7/22/2019
This Week – Have you used the word “hyperbole” in conversation lately? Probably not, but Jesus often used what the word means in His parables. Hyperbole is the intentional and obvious use of exaggeration in conversation or story. You’ve used hyperbole even if you’re not sure what the word means. Have you ever said, “I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse!” Or have you said, “That sermon lasted forever!” I think you know what I mean. Jesus used hyperbole when talking about prayer. We talk about it all this week!
Monday (7/22) – Jesus used hyperbole when He said about prayer, “You can say to this mountain, be moved into the sea, and it will be moved.” There’s no record of Jesus actually moving a mountain into the sea. There’s no record of one of the Apostles doing so. Likewise, there is no record in the New Testament of any believer moving a mountain into the ocean. The term mountain was a metaphor for any obstacle or insurmountable situation in your life or mine that takes the help of God to “move”. What is the mountain in your life?
Tuesday (7/23) – Deciding that God is or God isn’t just may be the most important decision of your life. Words have power in your life. Words can kill a marriage; they can damage someone’s childhood. The proof of both is in the people reading this. Words create reality. That’s what we discuss in terms of our prayer lives out of Mark 11. Twice, Jesus talks about “speaking” our prayer requests. We talk about that fact today on CrossHope.
Wednesday (7/24) – There’s a connection between prayer and forgiveness. Jesus says that if we want our prayers answered, we need to be forgivers! Ouch, that hurts! One minister we quote said this about our text, “Hold a grudge or have your prayer answered!” That’s the choice. If he’s right, that just may change our prayer life and forgiveness level! Verse 26 says, “If you don’t forgive, then your Father in Heaven will not forgive you!” What if that turns out to be true?
Thursday (7/25) – We talk about a prayer situation at a Children’s Hospital in the Midwest. A young girl in the cardiac intensive care unit has her family surrounding her. In the same ward is a young infant with absolutely no family is there. We talk about God’s concern, love, and grace for both of them! Even if you have been abandoned, you will not be abandoned by the God who made you and gave His Son to die for you on the cross!
Friday (7/26) – I actually had a person years ago tell me at a hospital, “Don’t pray for me!” They didn’t realize what they were actually saying, in my opinion. They were denying the opportunity for another human being to approach the King of Kings and Lord of Lords on their behalf. Prayer is the most important thing that we ever do, if prayer is truly what we say it is! Don’t ever deny someone the opportunity to pray to the Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer of all life to work in your life.
Cleansing the Temple!
Message 14 in the Series, Airing Week of 7/15/2019
This Week – The story of Jesus cleansing the temple in Jerusalem is not only interesting, to some it is perplexing. Jesus acted in anger; but He was angry on behalf of His heavenly Father. Maybe that is the definition of “righteous” or godly anger, when we are angry on behalf of our Father in Heaven. Maybe this message will help us understand what Jesus was doing in what Jesus called, “My Father’s house”.
Monday (7/15) – This message was given on Father’s Day, 2019. We began talking about what a godly man is. It’s not deep or intellectual. A godly man loves God, loves his wife, and loves his children and grandchildren. What a concept! We then transition to this story in Mark 11 of Jesus cleansing the temple. We personalize it because the Apostle Paul would say that we are the temple in I Corinthians 6:19.
Tuesday (7/16) – Jesus “overturned” the tables that were used for buying and selling of merchandise in the temple area. Jesus would say that people in the temple area had turned it into a “den of thieves”. If your body and mine is the “temple” of the Holy Spirit as Paul said, what have we turned our temples into? What’s going on in your life or mine that would offend the Lord? Most people know!
Wednesday (7/17) – What would the Lord want to overturn in your life or mine? What about resentment? What about anger? Most of our anger is self-centered, according to one psychologist. What about bitterness. Bitterness is a response to being wounded. It doesn’t start out as sin, but eventually it can become. What about jealousy? You can finish the list!
Thursday (7/18) – In verse 17, Jesus quotes Isaiah saying the word of the Lord saying, “My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations!” Would those words describe the temple that is “us”? How would you describe your house that is you? Would Jesus call it a “den of thieves” or something worse? What kind of den have we created in what the Lord says is the temple of the Holy Spirit?
Friday (7/19) – We close with a touching story about the writing of a famous hymn, “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus”. The author witnessed the drowning of her husband on Long Island sound in New York. She later became a missionary in Africa and wrote the lyrics of this hymn. What it says speaks to people who truly “temples” of the Holy Spirit of God. When the Spirit of God dwells in you, you endeavor to trust in God’s son in every way! Listen to this story and see if you don’t agree!
Upside Down Principles!
Message 13 in the Series, Airing Week of 7/8/2019
This Week – What makes a person great in your eyes? What would make you feel great or superior to others in your eyes? Jesus deals with these issues because of the desire of two disciples, James and John who asked for positions of honor in the Kingdom of God! Matthew even mentions that their mother came along with them to “make the ask”! It’s an incredible story out of the New Testament!
Monday (7/8) – We open with the story of a woman from Europe who can only read a newspaper or watch a TV that is upside down! It’s a neurological phenomenon that this woman has. We use her story as the introduction to the passage of Mark where Jesus says “If you want to be great, be someone’s servant”. He also said, “Whoever wants to be first must be last!” Upside down values in our world today as well!
Tuesday (7/9) – Jesus asked the two disciples who asked to have positions of honor in His Kingdom if they were willing to accept what was coming to Him. They were talking about positions of “honor and glory”’; Jesus was going to face death on the cross. Often we ask for things from the Lord without having any idea what we are asking!
Wednesday (7/10) – We tell a powerful story out of the Revolutionary War. I’ve never ever talked about the war of independence in all my years of preaching. Yet this story about President George Washington is a great illustration of “servant-leadership”. That is what God has called you and me to. Did you know that? He really did!
Thursday (7/11) – What would you do if you found a stack of endorsed checks made out to someone else? We share this story that illustrates “servant-leadership” as well. Jesus said that even He came to earth, not to be served, but to serve! What a concept! Many people think they are to be served by everone else. We are called by Jesus Himself to be a servant!
Friday (7/12) – The story we close with is probably the most unusual story I’ve ever used! It’s originally told by Eugene Peterson, the man who translated the Bible into what’s called “The Message” translation or paraphrase. He tells about his “early days” in the ministry in New York City. It’s both humorous and sad. You need to hear it!
The Miracle of Understanding What Matters!
Message 12 in the Series, Airing Week of 6/24/2019
This Week – What matters to you in life? What really matters more than anything? Maybe you know right this moment the answer to those questions. We study a passage that many people thinks was a “blanket statement” for all Christians. It’s not! It was a specific command that Jesus gave to a particular man. Jesus tells a man called the “rich, young ruler”, to sell everything he had and give the proceeds to the poor!
Monday (6/24) – We begin with a story of people who hoard “stuff”. It’s no laughing matter. It becomes the domineering force in people’s lives. Jesus talks to a man who was hoarding money! Jesus wanted him not to realign his wealth, but to realign his god! This may be a message that you or someone you know needs to hear.
Tuesday (6/25) – Everything in your life is either temporary or tentative. Those two words just maybe the two most important words you have heard in a long time. We quote author James Michener who wrote a powerful line in one of his novels. A woman says, “If my husband had just had a different god, he might have been a different man!” Our god will always determine what kind of man or woman we are!
Wednesday (6/26) – The rich man is the story runs up to Jesus and falls at the feet of Jesus. We’ve mentioned this before, but sooner or later you and I will have a “fall at the feet of Jesus” moment. Jesus quotes five of the Ten Commandments and one of the many laws in the Old Testament: “Don’t defraud others”. We speculate that just maybe, he was defrauding people! Jesus never said anything by accident!
Thursday (6/27) – Jesus talks about how difficult for the wealthy to enter heaven! It’s very sobering statement made by Jesus. We’re all wealthy by the way by world standards! We quote Tim Keller from New York who defines idolatry in a way I have never heard before. He talks about 20 different idols that you and I might have in our lives! My guess is that you have never heard this list before!
Friday (6/28) – Most people are willing to die for their “idol or idols”! We demonstrate that in powerful ways. I’ve known people who would never give their lives to Christ, but who would give their lives for an addiction! Whatever we are willing to give our lives for is probably our god. If you and I are honest, we will agree with that statement! There is a miracle in coming to believe in what really matters!
The Ultimate Miracle: Resurrection
Message 11 in the Series, Airing Week of 6/17/2019
This Week – What you are going through at this time in your life will probably impact what you believe or don’t believe about the resurrection of Christ. Did you know that? Our current situation comes to bear in our belief system. A health challenge, a death in the family, a marital or family crisis can all have a bearing in what we believe! The ultimate miracle is what we study this week: the resurrection of Jesus from the dead!
Monday (6/17) – We begin by reading a letter from a young wife to her husband in 1946 on Easter Sunday. He has survived the Battle of the Bulge and is now in the occupational forces in Europe. They’re both in their 20’s. What she writes is actually profound in terms of their ages. It’s a great introduction to the passage we study in the last chapter of Mark.
Tuesday (6/18) – We read the first 8 verses of Mark 16. Three women have come to a tomb to anoint the dead body of Jesus after the crucifixion. They weren’t anticipating an angel meeting them and the announcement that Jesus was alive! Mark says they left the tomb, not jumping up and down with excitement; they were trembling with fear and bewildered!
Wednesday (6/19) – The resurrection of Christ impacts everything in your life! My hope in life is tied into an event that happened 2,000 years ago! Isn’t that amazing? Regardless of what we face in life and death, we face it with the resurrected Christ. We share a powerful illustration from the World War 2 battle, Iwo Jima in the south pacific, told by James Bradley. You will be moved by his writing!
Thursday (6/20) – All hope in life is ultimately connected to the Risen Lord! Do you and I understand that? Your life will never be the same once you grasp that fact! We tell a story by Hannah Whitehall Smith that just may describe the way you carry your burdens in 2019. We all have burdens, some have more than others. How do you “carry” them? Listen to her great story of burden bearing!
Friday (6/21) – We close talking about funerals. More and more funerals are being referred to as “Celebratory Events”. On one level there is nothing wrong with that. But the hope in death is not connected to celebrating a life alone; it’s claiming what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross and in His resurrection. Do we all know that?
The Miracle of Humility
Message 10 in the Series, Airing Week of 6/10/2019
This Week – Have you ever thought of the quality of humility being a “miracle”? It probably is if you’ve ever known a really proud man or woman. It’s hard to imagine an extremely proud person exhibiting humility, and yet by the grace of God, they can! God has the capacity to make a proud person humble. For some, that truly is a miracle! Even for you and me!
Monday (6/10) – Jesus confronts the disciples about their arguing amongst themselves. What was the issue? Believe it or not, it was about which one of them was the greatest in the Kingdom of God! Really? Yes. The desire for prestige and honor plagues us all, if we’re honest. We all fight the tendency to elevate ourselves above others. Listen to today’s program and see if that’s not true!
Tuesday (6/11) – We share a story about a Christian organization that was advising its chapters to evangelize young people by going after the athletes, the scholars, the “movers and the shakers”, and lead them to Christ. Jeff Thomas, who told this story said that might be a good philosophy, but it is bad theology. He admits he would not have been sought out by that organization!
Wednesday (6/12) – Jesus admonition to the disciples might surprise you, but He said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and be the servant of all!” That probably contradicts what you and I both truly think in our hearts. We want people to serve us! He uses the example of children. Children represent the people around you that have no power, no clout, and no influence. That’s who the Lord wants us to serve!
Thursday (6/13) – We tell the story of “Margret” who was a person in a previous ministry who was very small in stature physically and otherwise. And yet, the Lord used her in my life as a person of influence. The “Margarets” of the world are the people God has called us to minister to. Who is your “Margaret”? My guess is you know! How could you minister to them this week?
Friday (6/14) – What is it that could possibly keep you from the Kingdom of heaven? You may want to sit down before you read the next sentence. The thing that could keep you or me out of the kingdom is our pride and arrogance! Pride can be the very thing that keeps us from submitting to the authority of Christ in our lives. We close with a story that may be “too strong” for some people to listen to, but it has power if you’re willing to listen to it.
The Transfigured Christ!
Message 9 in the Series, Airing Week of 6/3/2019
This Week – If there ever was a miracle in the New Testament that would lend itself to a movie replete with special effects, it would be this one we study this week. It’s called the “transfiguration of Christ”. Jesus changes physically in His appearance in front of Peter, James, and John. We share what that means not only in history, but in your life and mine in 2019!
Monday (6/3) – We begin with the comments of a “whiskey drinking “minister about the transfiguration of Christ. No joke, you’ll just have to listen to the story to see what I mean! We then read the text from Mark about this unique experience in the life of Jesus on earth. His physical appearance was changed profoundly in front of the “inner circle” of disciples.
Tuesday (6/4) – The transfiguration was not something that happened “to Jesus”; it happened “from” Him. He wasn’t zapped by lightning as in a special effect in a sci-fi movie. I personally believe that Peter, James, and John were given a vision of the “resurrected Christ” in advance! We explain what that means!
Wednesday (6/5) – This was an event that happened in a private moment with the three disciples. We give examples of people who share private moments privately! Combat veterans rarely share their combat experiences publically. What have you shared experientially with other people? At the transfiguration, the voice of God says, “This is my Son, listen to Him!” Do you listen to the Lord?
Thursday (6/6) – We share the story of a dying woman sharing with her minister what the Lord was revealing to her in the last stage of her life. Has the Lord revealed anything to you in your life in general? Pay attention to the Lord’s revealing something to you in life through circumstances, people, and His word! We close today’s program with a strange story, perhaps the strangest story I’ve ever told! Listen to it!
Friday (6/7) – Does anyone sense Christ when they are in your presence? If not, why not? The greatest spiritual comment that anyone could make about us is this: “I sense the presence of God when I’m around him or her.” We tell a dramatic story of a woman who came to Christ, not in a “leap”, but in a staggering movement. Maybe it describes you or me! I have a feeling someone reading this line needs to hear today’s program!
Taking Up Your Cross
Message 8 in the Series, Airing Week of 5/27/2019
This Week – There are phrases in the Bible that are often quoted, yet not necessarily understood. All of us perhaps have quoted a verse or phrase out of scripture, not realizing the import or impact on our personal lives. Such a phrase is the words of Jesus where He says “Take up your cross and follow me!” It’s really a dynamic passage not only in Mark, but in your life and mine!
Monday (5/27) – We begin with a humorous illustration of a minister talking about his “Driver’s Education” classes from high school. He discovered that ultimately he was not in control of the car; the teacher also had a brake on her side of front seat. He discovered that the hard way. When did you discover for the first time that you weren’t in control of a thing called your life? Or have you? Listen to Mark quoting Jeus saying we must “take up our cross”.
Tuesday (5/28) – This message was given during the season of Lent, 2019. Years ago, a Christian magazine shared the results of a poll of what people were willing to give up for forty days. The list included chocolate, soda, alcohol, and swearing. Is that really what would impress the Lord? Is that what taking up the cross means? The cross is God’s tool of redemption, not something that we consider a hassle in life!
Wednesday (5/29) – We talk about what it means to take up the cross of Christ in our lives. It’s not wearing a cross; it’s about living in the spirt of the cross in our lives. It’s not putting up with a difficulty; it’s using the difficulty to identify with the Lord in such a way that glory is brought to Him, not to you or me! We’ll discuss some interesting ideas for real life to take up your cross for Christ in 2019.
Thursday (5/30) – There are two more phrases that we discuss today that we often casually use. Jesus said for whoever loses his life for my sake will save it!” Whatever you “lose” for the sake of the Kingdom of God, that’s what you gain! The second phrase is “What good is it to gain the whole world, yet lose your very soul in the process?” Those just maybe two the most important questions in your life! We talk about those phrases in a dramatic way.
Friday (5/31) – We close talking about some frightening questions to ask you in 2019. They really are. Yet, they not only need to be asked; they need to be answered. One of the questions is what are you willing to “lose” your life for. I know people who would never consider losing their lives for Christ; but would think nothing of losing their life for an addiction! Tell me what you’re willing to lose your life for and I’ll tell you what your God is! What we die for is what we worship!
Opening Eyes, Opening Hearts
Message 7 in the Series, Airing Week of 5/20/2019
This Week – More than 20,000,000 Americans suffer some kind of vision loss. It is a significant problem today, yet nothing statistically to eye problems in the time of Jesus. This week we study one of the numerous times Jesus healed a blind person. Mark is the only gospel that records this specific miracle, where Jesus takes a blind man outside of a town, and privately heals him. The Lord today deals with something far worse than physical blindness: spiritual blindness. It begins at Mark 8:22.
Monday (5/20) – Blindness, along with the lameness were probably the two most common maladies of the day when Jesus walked on this earth. Spiritual blindness is when you and I can’t see the sin in our own lives. Blindness is not seeing our need for forgiveness and our need for a Savior. Blindness can involve not seeing the needs in the people around us. The Lord wants to deal with your blindness and mine.
Tuesday (5/21) – We tell the dramatic story of a woman from New Zealand who was declared legally blind at age 14. At age 24, she fell, hit her head on a coffee table and regained her sight the next morning! She calls her recovery nothing less than a miracle! The Lord is in the business of restoring sight to the spiritually blind. Maybe He has done that with you. Maybe He can do that soon!
Wednesday (5/22) – People, who are friends of a blind man, bring him to Jesus. This speaks well of his friends, because the blind man would have been considered an outcast in the society of the day. We’ve asked the question before in this series, but do you have those kind of friends? Are you that kind of friend? Jesus heals the man in “stages”, meaning in was gradual, but a healing none the less. We grow in our “wellness” with the Lord; it’s a process.
Thursday (5/23) – The Lord gives us spiritual insights into the lives of people to the point that we can recognize things like guilt, bitterness, and resentment. When we come to Christ, we also get insights into our own lives. Why? We get new eyes! We can see the sin in our own lives; we see that Christ is the only hope!
Friday (5/24) – We close with the story of a woman from Indianapolis, whose husband said was beautiful, but who saw herself as homely. He said to his friends, “She’s really beautiful, but she just doesn’t see it.” How do you see yourself? I have two words to suggest for you and me. The words “forgiven” and “sinner”. That is what we are: forgiven sinners!
Message 6 in the Series, Airing Week of 5/13/2019
This Week – Have you ever thought of a person that Jesus healed, was not healed immediately but in “stages”? It’s the only miracle in the gospels that can be described that way. It’s also the only miracle that is recorded by Mark. Matthew, Luke, and John do not include this event in their particular gospel. I’ve wondered why, but really don’t have an answer. It’s about blindness; we talk also about willful blindness!
Monday (5/13) – Have you ever known a blind person? I’ve only known 3 in my life time. Jesus dealt often with blind people in His ministry. But we not only read a passage about Jesus healing a blind man, using saliva as a part of the healing! As unpleasant as that it, it is one of the most powerful miracles in the New Testament. Jesus also speaks to His identity as the Messiah!
Tuesday (5/14) – We talk about people who are blind by choice. Willful blindness is refusing to know something that can be known! We talk about what that may mean in your life today in 2019. We quote a controversial psychologist from Canada by the name of Jordan Peterson who talks about people who only see what they want to see! That has great spiritual implications!
Wednesday (5/15) – We read the specific details of the man’s healing from blindness. He actually heals the man in stages. Everything that Jesus did was intentional. Nothing He did was an accident or chance event. I think that a lot of people come to faith in Christ in stages. They perhaps come first to believe in a creator God. Then they begin to accept the authority of the Bible. Then they wonder, “Maybe Jesus is who He claimed to be!” What happened with you?
Thursday (5/16) – We tell the story of Dr. Fred Craddock from Tennessee and his father dying of cancer. What happens in this story will deeply move you about the power of Christ. It relates to the compassion of Christ and His healing power. It also has to do with changing a man’s vision, spiritually. How’s your spiritual vision at this moment in time?
Friday (5/17) – We close with the true story of a beautiful woman from Indianapolis who saw herself as “ugly” and unattractive. How do you see yourself, spiritually? We suggest that the most truthful way of seeing ourselves is to admit that we are “forgiven sinners”! Seeing yourself that way will change the way you look at everything in this life. It may also impact your vision for all eternity!
The Heart of Everything!
Message 5 in the Series, Airing Week of 5/6/2019
This Week – The Old Testament prophet, Jeremiah said that “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” What does that mean? It means that we can’t trust the leadings of our own hearts. We can be conned by our heart! Jesus would say in the gospel of Mark that the heart is where all kinds of “bad stuff” have its origin in your life and mine! He further illuminated that thought by saying it’s not what goes into our bodies that contaminates, it’s what comes out the heart that does!
Monday (5/6) – We begin with an actual example of a junior high student’s science project. He began a “campaign” to eliminate a chemical from our world called “di-hydrogen monoxide”. His purpose was to point out how dangerous this substance was in our country today. What is it? Ever heard of H2O or water? That’s what the chemical is! We can all be fooled or deceived in life, intellectually and spiritually.
Tuesday (5/7) – Ever been to a doctor who expressed concern regarding your heart? Jesus went so far as to say that “From out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.” He went on to say, “All these evils come from inside (our hearts) and make us unclean!”
Wednesday (5/8) – “Malice” means ill-will. It wants the other person to fail, falter, or flub-up in some area of life. Most people who have malice don’t admit to it or acknowledge it in any way! “Lewdness” has to do with what you laugh at. What have you laughed at in the last week or month? Sin loses its sense of humor however when it involves someone you love! There are two types of envy. We explain the difference. Which one is in your heart?
Thursday (5/9) – Slander is speech that injures! That means that husbands have slander their wives this week! It means that wives have injured their husbands this week. It means that parents have injured sons and daughters; brothers and sisters have injured their siblings. I think you understand the point. Changing of your heart and mine will not happen until there is acknowledgement! What in this list do we need to admit and confess?
Friday (5/10) – More people are seeing a cardiologist in 2019 than ever before! Maybe you’ve seen one in recent months. No one can self-medicate their own heart, spiritually. Jesus is the ultimate cardiologist; He recreates the heart! Don’t assume that you have never been deceived by your own heart or that you never would be. Think again! We all have been conned by our own hearts, and we know it!
Pity or Compassion?
Message 4 in the Series, Airing Week of 4/29/2019
This Week – The miracle called, “the feeding of the 5,000” is the only miracle that’s recorded in all four gospels. There must be a reason for that! But it’s much more than a story about feeding a huge crowd, it’s about the difference between pity and compassion. We discuss both in the message this week. You may discover that you are a person who shows pity, but who doesn’t necessarily demonstrate compassion.
Monday (4/29) – Jesus was followed by large crowds. As His ministry increased, so did His notoriety. People clamored to just see Him. This week, Jesus is filled with compassion (not pity) for the people because they were like “sheep without a shepherd”. That term may describe you and me! We read the text in Mark of Jesus multiplying the loaves and fishes. Was it a real miracle? Yes! We explain why.
Tuesday (4/30) – This is a miracle that people (preachers) try to explain away. The theory is this. Jesus simply encouraged people to share their picnic lunches with others. In some circles, that would be a miracle! But that is not what Mark says, “He multiplied the loaves and fishes.” Multiplication of the food is nothing less than a miracle. The One who could raise the dead can multiply food!
Wednesday (5/1) – Jesus shocks the disciples by telling them to feed the multitude. They’re baffled by His request. Then He takes the food He’s been given 5 loaves and 2 fish and transforms it into a meal that can feed 5,000+! Jesus can multiply what you give Him in terms of time, talent, and treasure. If He can’t, then He’s not God! What could the Lord multiply in your life and mine?
Thursday (5/2) – If you listen today, you will hear a story that truly demonstrates the difference between pity and compassion. It’s about a 15-year old girl that was motherless and almost fatherless, yet helped and loved by the compassion of two people who took her into their home for seven years! Could you give another person just seven minutes of your life?
Friday (5/3) – Does Jesus really care? That’s the question of today’s program. This miracle is a demonstration of the compassion of Christ. What are you willing to yield to Him out of your life? We all “yield” to someone or something. We may “yield” to someone we idolize or something we hold up as an idol. We really do. Yield your life to One who cares for you more than you care for yourself. The proof? It’s the cross!
Message 3 in the Series, Airing Week of 4/22/2019
This Week – This is the only account that I know of in the Gospels where a miracle happens on the way to another miracle. On the way to raise the daughter of one the synagogue rulers from the dead, Jesus is confronted by a woman who was ill for 12 years with chronic bleeding. It’s unusual in that the woman is healed just by touching “the hem of the garment” of Jesus. This is a great story that shows the power of Christ in people’s lives.
Monday (4/22) – We begin with the touching story of a minister from the Dallas area who lost a son in crib death. He next child became very ill one night. The minister ran stop signs and sped to the nearest hospital. At that moment, nothing else mattered other than getting his daughter to the hospital. We then read our text from Mark, where Jesus is approached by a synagogue leader. His daughter was dying. He pleaded with Jesus to come and heal her.
Tuesday (4/23) – On the way to the synagogue ruler’s house, Jesus is confronted with a woman who had a 12-year old ailment. Twice in this account, people fall at the feet of Jesus to plead their needs. Sooner or later, we all will have a “fall at the feet moment” with Jesus! Some of you reading this have had that happen in the last month or year!
Wednesday (4/24) – We share a piece of writing about what chronic illness does in the life of a person who struggles with that. Perhaps you have dealt with that. Perhaps you are dealing with that now. We then share a powerful illustration of a minister visiting a man in recovery, just out of heart surgery in the early days of open heart surgery.
Thursday (4/25) – In route to the house of the sick little girl, Jesus and the father are told, “She is already dead.” Jesus goes to the home, ignoring what they said! There is a powerful story in today’s program about a school teacher visiting a boy in a burn unit of the local hospital. You will be moved to hear this!
Friday (4/26) – We close with a story of Ravi Zacharias with some very unpleasant details. It’s a true story out of the Vietnam War. If you can overlook the unseemly events, you will discover a powerful story about the word of God in a man’s life. The word of God has miraculous power in a man’s life, even with the crudeness of this story. The word of God is living and active!
Message 2, Airing Week of 4/8/2019
This Week – The most dramatic story of Jesus coming against the powers of Satan and hell comes from Mark 5. A man lives in a cemetery, possessed by many demons, too many to count! When commanded by Jesus to identify his “name”, the entity within the man says “legion”. In the Roman army, a legion was 5,800 infantry and 200 soldiers on horses! No small force to deal with in battle!
Monday (4/8) – We begin with commenting on a bumper sticker on a car that said this, “Heaven doesn’t want me, and hell is afraid I’ll take over!” We focus on that first phrase. Many people if they were honest would admit feelings of rejection when it comes to heaven and the Kingdom of God. Maybe you have struggled with the idea that God isn’t interested in you in this life or the next!
Tuesday (4/9) – We begin with reading the entire text of 20 verses. It’s such a powerful text, just hearing it read is a “sermon” or message in itself. The possessed man manifested supernatural strength, as evidenced by his breaking chains and bonds on his body. Nothing could hold him. Parenthetically we talk about Jesus coming to earth to destroy the works of Satan. The first is this: “Physically, Satan seeks to kill.” (Jesus said He was and is a murderer from the beginning.)
Wednesday (4/10) – Secondly, “Intellectually, Satan seeks to deceive.” (He is the father of all lies.) Thirdly, “morally, Satan seeks to seduce.” Fourthly, “emotionally, Satan seeks to destroy.” Lastly, spiritually, Satan seeks to defeat”. Jesus came for the express purpose of destroying the works of Satan! You and I need to know that.
Thursday (4/11) – The demon-possessed man cut himself with stones. Self-injury is not simply a modern day phenomena. It happened in Biblical times! This man recognized the deity of Christ, even in his possessed condition! The demons recognize the power of Christ. Do you and I recognize that?
Friday (4/12) – I’ve spoken in India five times since 2004. As a result, I’ve developed a burden for the country and its people. We close with a powerful story out of the movie, “Slumdog Millionaire”. People were deeply moved by the details of this illustration of two orphans in Mumbai, India. It powerfully illustrates the love of God for you and for me!
The Storm Deliverer
Message 1, Airing Week of 4/1/2019