11 Weeks – 5/26/2014 – 8/8/2014

Overview – Most people talking about the actions of Jesus usually use the past tense.  It’s always referred to as an event long, long, ago.  The Gospel of Mark is big on what Jesus did.  More than any of the gospels, Mark emphasizes what Jesus did, more so than what Jesus taught.

The purpose of this series is to stress that what Jesus did, He can and does do!  He had power and authority over disease, the demonic and even death itself.  He still does!  That power and authority were not limited by a date on a calendar or a specific era in history.  He was Lord then; He is Lord now!

We need to know what Jesus did.  Why?  It helps us to know the range of His power and authority in our lives today.


Week 11 – 08/04/2014

Laying Down the Law!               

Overview:  The last message in our series from Mark recalls the conversation that Jesus had with a lawyer of the day, an expert in Old Testament law.  I think he sincerely asks Jesus this question: “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”  Jesus said, “The most important one is this: to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.  The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself”.  Then Jesus added this sentence: “There is no commandment greater than these!”  How do those two commandments rate in your life and mine?

Weekly Compilation:


Monday – Part One – We begin with a story of a Christian author and his wife from Ireland who help a stranded American woman in downtown Dublin.  The woman was searching her ancestral roots in Ireland.  Her words were: “I want to find out who I am.”  Today, we ask a question about our identity.  Are you and I people who love the Lord and who love people?  Why? Jesus says those are the two most important commandments of all! Our text is Mark 12:28-34.


Tuesday – Part Two – When you mention the term, “Biblical law”, most people think of the 10 Commandments from the book of Exodus.  Most people however, don’t realize that Moses was given over 600 laws by God!  We talk about some of them today covering the waterfront of human experience.  Some of what we share will actually surprise you!


Wednesday – Part Three – When you love someone, you open up your life to them.  When you love the Lord, you do the same thing!  When you love someone, you yield your time, talent, and treasure to them.  When you love the Lord God almighty, you do the same thing!  We tell a humorous story about how our loving people should actually help them.  Not everything we do for others is beneficial!


Thursday – Part Four – Loving God and loving other people actually brings out the best in us, whether we realize or not.  We share a powerful story of a surgeon’s nine-hour surgery on a plane crash survivor and how it brought out the best in him as a person.  What has love for the Lord and others brought out in your life?


Friday – Part Five – Who do you think you are?  Hopefully, your identity is connected to the two greatest commandments of all:  loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength,  then loving other people.  The apostle John says bluntly, “If we say we love God, yet we hate our brother, we are liars!”  Everything in your life and mine takes a back seat to those two commandments that Jesus said trump all the other laws.



Week 10 – 07/28/2014

Cleansing Temples, Cleansing Hearts!

Overview: One of the most dramatic incidents in the life of Christ has to be what’s referred to as the “cleansing of the temple”.  Jesus saw that God’s house had been turned into a flea market atmosphere with booths set up by money changers and vendors.  He quotes the Old Testament while literally driving people out of the area, saying: “My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of robbers.”  What Jesus did with the temple, He does with your heart and mind.  The text is Mark 11:15-18.

Weekly Compilation:


Monday – Part One – Jesus not only experienced anger, He manifested it publicly in the most sacred place in the life of a Jew:  the Temple in Jerusalem. But His anger was not self-centered; it was on behalf of His heavenly Father.  Jesus saw the temple desecrated by those who were misusing and abusing the place.


Tuesday – Part Two – Money changers in the temple courtyard would charge exorbitant exchange rates; sellers of doves would charge 10 times the going price. They took advantage of people as “captive customers”.  Jesus drove those sellers out.  What would Jesus want to drive out of your life?  Most people know instantly what that would be.  Right?


Wednesday – Part Three – Mark says that Jesus not only drove out the sellers and money changers, He overturned their tables.  The Lord wants to “overturn” things in our lives like our value systems, what we love and cherish, and what we think about all the time.  He turns things upside down and right side up in our lives!


Thursday – Part Four – In verse 16 of this passage, Mark says something that Matthew, Luke, an John don’t mention.  He forbade people from even carrying merchandise through the temple area.  They would carry things through the temple courtyard, using it as a shortcut.  What things do we “carry” in the presence of God?  Don’t we know those who carry anger, resentment, bitterness, or lust in their hearts?


Friday – Part Five – Rajan Ipe is a minister/missionary in India.  He tells a powerful story about mental hospitals in India, 100 years ago.  It powerfully illustrates our having to clean up continual emotional messes in our lives.  We need the power of the Christ who cleansed the temple, 2000 years ago, to cleanse our hearts today in 2014!



Week 9 – 07/21/2014

Money Changes Everything!

Overview: Probably the most misquoted verse of the Bible is Paul’s admonition to Timothy about money.  You will hear most people say, “Money is the root of all evil.”  Unfortunately, that’s not what the verse says.  First Timothy 6:10 actually says, “The LOVE of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”  Money is the most sensitive issue of people’s lives.  All this week, we share a message about that issue in a man’s life and how it impacted his decision about Christ.

Weekly Compilation:


Monday – Part One – Have you ever noticed how a discussion changes dramatically when money is introduced into the equation?  It happens in families and in friendship.  We read the famous passage about the “rich young ruler” that meets Jesus by falling on his knees in front of Him.  A short time later, the man walks away from Jesus. Find out why today from Mark 10.


Tuesday – Part Two – Jesus tells the man to “sell everything he owned, and give the money to the poor”.  People think that this possibly is a mandate for the entire church.  It isn’t, but that is what Jesus asked this man to do.  Why?  Money had become his god!  Jesus was asking him to change gods.


Wednesday – Part Three – Today we discuss three things that money does in your life and in mine.  They are the three things that impacted the “rich young ruler” 2,000 years ago; they impact our lives today in 2014.  Which one(s) describe you and me?  Everything in this life is “tentative” and “temporary”.  The word tentative means not certain.  Temporary means not permanent.


Thursday – Part Four – We share a true story about a couple winning the largest lottery award at the time and an imaginary story connected with it, told by author Brennan Manning. It illustrates how we can forfeit true treasure in life, all in the pursuit of the temporary and the tentative.  Sound familiar at all?


Friday – Part 5 – We close with the true story of people coming forward at a church service by literally running down the aisle.  They weren’t sure why they were coming; they just wanted to be a part of what was going on.  The rich young ruler ran toward Jesus and then fell at His feet.  After hearing what Jesus wanted him to do, he simply walked away!  May that never be our legacy!



Week 8 – 07/14/2014

Pride, Prejudice, and Worse!

Overview: Most people see pride in other people, but don’t see it in themselves.  If you and I are honest, we have to say that’s the case with us.  We react to it in others, but overlook it in ourselves.  This week in Mark 9:33 and following, we read about the disciples arguing among themselves about who was greatest in the Kingdom!  Mark also deals with “religious prejudice”.  But most frightening of all, He deals with those who lead children “astray”.  To me it’s the most sobering thing Jesus ever said!

Weekly Compilation:


Monday – Part One – Have you ever overheard your children arguing, and asked them what they were discussing?   Perhaps you knew full well what the subject matter was, but you were curious as to their answer.  That’s what happens today as Jesus confronts their arguments over status in the Kingdom.  He then gives them a visual object lesson in humility that speaks to us all.


Tuesday – Part Two – Jesus places a child in front of the disciples and says, “If you want to be great in the Kingdom”, you humble yourself.  You become a servant, and then you can become a leader. Jesus was elevating the role of children in the culture, as well as giving the disciples an example to follow in life.


Wednesday – Part Three – The disciples observe a stranger “casting out a demon” in the name of Jesus. Believe it or not, the disciples tell the man to stop!  “You’re not one of us, so how could you possibly do what we do?” Jesus rebukes them saying, “If he is not opposing us, he’s for us, don’t stop him from doing something in my name.”  This really speaks to the “religious prejudice” that exists in Christian circles today!  We forget that Satan is the enemy, not people from “other churches”.


Thursday – Part Four – Today, I am sharing what I believe to be the most frightening passage of scripture in the entire Bible.  Listen only if you dare!  It truly should give everyone listening pause, because of what Jesus says is the fate of anyone who leads a child astray.  It’s a picture of the damnation of the soul in a graphic way. (Parental advisory for today’s program)


Friday – Part Five – We close with the sharing of a story by American author O. Henry that is one of most convicting short stories you have ever heard.  I almost didn’t use this story as an illustration because of its content, but I decided that it should be heard. (Again, parental advisory for this program as well)



Week 7 – 07/07/2014

Opening Eyes, Opening Hearts

Overview: 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.

Weekly Compilation:


Monday – Part One – 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 – Part Two – 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 – Part Three – 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 – Part Four – 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 – Part Five – 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!




Week 6 – 06/30/2014

The Heart of the Matter

Someone said years ago about their health, “When the heart’s not right, nothing is right”.  That’s not only true physically, it’s true spiritually.   In the passage we study from the gospel of Mark, Jesus identifies the heart as the source of all things evil and sinful. He mentions evil thoughts to arrogance and folly, and a lot more in between.

Weekly Compilation:


Monday – Part One – Jesus confronts the most religious people of His day, the Pharisees, a Jewish sect.  They would actually honor their man-made traditions over the Ten Commandments themselves!  Jesus said that their traditions nullified the word of God.  What an indictment in Mark 7:1-23.   Read the passage today.


Tuesday – Part Two – To nullify means to “deprive of authority and power”.  Is there anything in your life that deprives the word of God of its power and authority for you?  How does that happen?  It happens when we say, “I know what the Bible says, but I think this or that.”   We can elevate our opinions and ideas over biblical truth or commands.  It happens all the time in the lives of people we know and love!


Wednesday – Part Three – Traditions can be important in a family, in a high school, or in a college.  We can all have great memories surrounding the traditions in our lives.  But in the church or the Body of Christ, a tradition can outrank the word of God and outrank our concern for those who need the Lord.  We share examples this today from everyday life.  Jesus says that we can “honor God with our lips and yet our hearts are far from Him”.


Thursday – Part Four – Jesus lists all the evil that can come out of your heart and mine.  Here are just a few that Jesus mentions: evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, envy, and slander.  That’s just for starters!  Read the text or listen to all that Jesus mentions in today’s program.


Friday – Part Five – The last evil that Jesus identifies in His list is “folly” or foolishness.  Some think it’s a reference to joking.  I’m not so sure.  Folly is to know what God says about something in my life and then turn around and say, “But this is what I think about that.”  Folly is to reject God’s word and to nullify or deprive it of power and authority.  Now that is foolishness or folly.  How’s your heart?  Physically?   No- spiritually!



Week 5 – 06/23/2014

Meeting Needs, Again and Again

Jesus is the ultimate “meeter of needs”.  Whatever people’s needs were, Jesus was not only capable; He was willing to meet those needs.  This week we study the passage in Mark where Jesus raises a 12 year old girl from the dead.  On the way to the home of the little girl, He would heal a woman who had been plagued with a disease for 12 years.  Both needs were no match for the giver and sustainer of life!  He is the One to meet needs in our lives today!

Weekly Compilation:


Monday – Part One – The first funeral I ever conducted in my life was that of a 12 year old girl.  Today we discuss in Mark 5:21-43 where Jesus is approached by a synagogue ruler, named Jairus, who pleads with Jesus to come to his home to “heal his daughter so she would live”. On the way to his home, a woman is healed of a disease just by touching the hem of the garment of Jesus.  If you haven’t read this story, do so right now!


Tuesday – Part Two – Mark tells us that both the father of the little girl and the woman with a 12-year malady fell at the feet of Jesus when they approached Him.  At some point in your life, you and I will have a “fall at the feet of Jesus moment”.  If you live long enough on this earth, or go through enough experiences, that moment will come.  For some, it happened recently.   For others, it will happen soon, perhaps.


Wednesday – Part Three – There is no evidence in scripture that someone told the woman that if she would simply touch the hem of Jesus’ robe, that she would be healed.  She came to that thought on her own.  Was it possibly something that was revealed to her spirit to do?  We talk about how the Lord prompts our hearts to do something, to say something, or to think something- just by reading His word or hearing a message.  Have you ever felt prompted in your spirit to do something?


Thursday – Part Four – We tell the story today of a minister from Detroit, Michigan who ministers in the poorest zip code in America!  He’s in the business of spiritually raising people from the dead, back to life.  That’s what happens when a man or woman comes to Christ in a very real sense.  They are “raised from the dead” back to life in Christ.  That can happen to you and me.  You see, what Jesus did, He does!


Friday – Part Five – We close with a story told by John Piper in his book, “Don’t Waste Your Life!”  He tells of a couple who were financially able to retire in their 50’s, talking about their plans to boat, plan soft ball, and collect shells for the remaining years.  John comments on the sadness of that when we can partner spiritually with the One who raised a 12-year girl from the dead, and healed a woman who was in bondage to an illness for 12 years!  He can work in us and through us to change lives, through the power of the cross.



Week 4 – 06/16/2014

Changed Lives – Big Time!

When we say Jesus changed the lives of people, which is putting it mildly.  If you’re a person with a terminal situation or facing the struggle of your life, there is nothing small change about that.  This week we look at 20 verses that are so powerful that the mere reading of them out loud could have a profound impact on those listening.  Jesus confronts and delivers a man possessed not by a single demon, but many.  The word “legion” is used.  In Roman army terminology, a legion was 6,000 soldiers!



Monday – Part One – We begin with the partial reading of the text in Mark 5:1-20.  The description of a man living in a cemetery, cutting himself with stones, screaming in the hills, and unable to be subdued is the stuff of novels and films.  Yet, it’s the story we study this week.  By far and away, this is the most dramatic encounter Jesus has with the demonic.


Tuesday – Part Two – After completing the reading of the story of the man delivered by the power of Christ, we share a recent story of a man who told me that he didn’t need Christ and Christianity “dominating” his life.  I shared with him that Jesus wasn’t into domination, but into deliverance.  He needed the Lord to deliver him as we all do.  Deliverance is the common need of anyone who lives on this earth!


Wednesday – Part three – Luke’s gospel adds the detail that this man was naked, living in a cemetery, totally out of his mind, and cutting himself with stones.  Today we read about SI or “self-injury”.  We make the point that although cutting one’s self is not proof of demon possession, it is connected with it in this account.  Satan is THE destroyer, a destroyer of life and wholeness.  It’s one of his titles!


Thursday – Part Four – We discuss the 5 works of Satan, and what they are.  They involve every part of a person’s life, physically, emotionally, morally, and spiritually.  The Bible says that Jesus came for the express purpose of destroying the work of Satan. (I John 3:8)  If that is true, you and I need Him in our lives more than anything or anyone else!


Friday – Part Five – We close with the comments of Dr. David McKenna on this passage in Mark.  He believes that “Satan is never content until the image of God is destroyed within the life of a person.”  That describes what Satan was doing in the life of this man in a cemetery.  His life was being systematically destroyed by the power of the demonic.  The most beautiful sentence in this passage is verse 15 that says (after his deliverance) that the man was “sitting there, dressed and in his right mind.”




Week 3 – 06/09/2014

Healer AND Deliverer

People ask how it is that I decide which books of the Bible from which to preach.  I picked the Gospel of Mark for a specific reason or prompting.  Listening to the radio, I heard a professor of Bible from a large university being interviewed.  He didn’t believe in the Bible as God’s word, simply as literature.  He claimed to be an agnostic.  He made the comment that there was nothing in the book of Mark to lead us to believe that Jesus claimed to be God.  That’s why I committed to preaching from this book!  This week we study Mark where we read that the demonic spirits know full well who Jesus was.  So should you!


Monday – Part One – We begin with the text from Mark 3:1-12 where Jesus heals a man with a withered hand.  The arm probably hung lifeless at his side, perhaps injured and then withered from “disuse atrophy”.  Jesus heals him and restores life to his hand and arm in front of a group of people.  Mark says that the Pharisees (a religious sect) began to plot with another sect how they might kill Jesus!  Talk about irony: people wanted to kill the One who brought life!


Tuesday – Part Two – After Jesus heals the man with the shriveled hand,  he withdrew to the sea of Galilee, but the crowds of people pressed Him wanting to be healed or delivered from demonic spirits.  Mark says that whenever the evil spirits saw him, they “fell down before Him and cried out, “You are the Son of God!”  Do you and I recognize who Jesus is?


Wednesday – Part Three – Mark shares a sad but interesting detail of the healing of the man with the withered hand.  Right before the actual healing, Jesus looked at some of the crowd in anger, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts.  Their stubbornness manifested itself in their refusal to believe and accept who Jesus was.  Just like today, people resist Christ out of stubbornness!


Thursday – Part Four – The greatest decision that a man or woman makes in life is to agree with the demons and say, “Jesus, we know who you are.   You are the Son of God!”  Until we do that, our life is incomplete.  Why?  If Jesus is who He claimed to be, there is nothing more important in life than knowing Him, loving Him, and obeying Him.


Friday – Part Five – We read the text today from the Message Paraphrase of the New Testament by Eugene Peterson.  In a graphic way, this version describes the encounter Jesus not only had with the man with the shriveled hand, but his encounter with people possessed by demonic spirits.  Ironically, my ministry is basically calling people to do what those demonic spirits did: acknowledge who Jesus was and is.  Three words say it all: Jesus is Lord!  That’s where life is with a capital L.



Week 2 – 06/02/2014

Stretcher Bearers

The term “stretcher bearer” creates images of a battlefield.  We see medics carrying away a wounded soldier, taking him or her to a mobile army hospital for surgery or treatment. Spiritually speaking, the term stretcher bearer means anyone who carries someone to the Lord God Almighty in prayer.  Are you a stretcher bearer?  Has anyone carried you to the throne of God in prayer?  We look at one of the most famous stories in the New Testament.  It’s about the paralytic taken to Jesus by four friends.


Monday – Part One – We begin talking about people who are sleep walking through life.  We talk about people who are spiritually paralyzed by guilt, grief, resentment, or bitterness.  Unfortunately, they don’t even know it.  We read the story of four men who bring a paralyzed man to Jesus.  It’s from Mark 2.  When Jesus saw their faith, he responded to the man who needed healing and forgiveness.  So do you, so do I!


Tuesday – Part Two – The four friends realize that they can’t get through the crowd at a house where Jesus is, so they lower the man through the roof on a mat with four ropes!  Do you have four fiends like that?  When Jesus saw their faith, He said, “Son, your sins are forgiveness”.  Greater than his need for healing, was his need for forgiveness.  That’s true for you and me.


Wednesday – Part Three – Jesus claims to have the authority to forgive sins.  If that statement is true, why would we live with the guilt of our sin all our lives, and not trust Him to forgive us?  As a Christian, and I have the capacity to speak forgiveness into other people’s lives, by introducing them to the “Forgiver” of sin.  We speak all kinds of things into people’s lives; why not speak forgiveness.


Thursday – Part Four – We talk about Dr. Laura Schlesinger’s book on the Ten Commandments.  She believed her life was initially ruled by superiority, arrogance, elitism, stupidity, foolishness, short sightedness, and selfishness.  Does that resonate with anyone?  What rules your life? That’s why we need the healing power of Christ in our lives!


Friday – Part Five – We close with a story of a father who dealt with the unexpected seizures of his son from time to time.  Yet, the father never seemed embarrassed over his son’s condition.  God is not embarrassed to have a relationship with us through His son, Jesus.  If He could endure the cross, He can endure you and me!



Week 1 – 05/26/2014

The Beginning…

Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels.  More than any other of the Gospels (accounts of the life of Christ), Mark emphasizes what Jesus did, more than he does what Jesus taught.  You and I need to know what Jesus did.  Why?   We need to know what He can do in our lives today. Jesus claimed authority over disease, the demonic and even death.


Monday – Part One – The gospel of Mark begins by talking about John the Baptist and his preaching a message of repentance in the wilderness.  He practiced what was called a baptism of repentance, asking people to confess tier sins in repentance to God.  He’s referred to as the “way preparer” for the Messiah.  It was there that Jesus asked John to baptize Him! 


Tuesday – Part Two – What did it mean that John preached a message of repentance?  There is no wholeness in your life or mine without repentance and confession of sin.  Men and women today, receive a blessing from confessing a sin to the Lord and repenting of it that they don’t receive in any other way!  The only way we find that out is to do it!


Wednesday – Part Three – Jesus was baptized as our example; He also did it as an act of identification.  He identifies with you and me.  That’s now small thing.  The trinity is also reflected in the baptism of Jesus.  God the Father spoke, God the Son was in the water being baptized, and God the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus at His baptism.  It was a defining moment, to say the least.


Thursday – Part Four – After His baptism, the Holy Spirit sent Jesus into the wilderness for 40 days and nights to be tempted or tested by Satan.  The King James Version says He was “driven” into the wilderness by the Spirit of God.  What has the spirit of God ever led you to do?  Has the Lord perhaps sent you somewhere?  Acts 17:26 says the Lord even determines the times and places where people live!


Friday – Part Five – When Jesus was baptized, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am pleased”.  Immediately He was driven into the wilderness to a most difficult time in His life and ministry.  Sometimes when we commit to the Lord, we face temptations we never dreamed of facing!  Many a man or woman has observed that temptations came upon them with a vengeance after committing their lives to Christ.  Sound familiar?

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