Daddy's Daughter

The Sermon You Need in Your Life

Yesterday Dad preached a sermon on a psalm I love -- Psalm 47.

Its theme? Celebration. That's an idea you can't hear too much about. But what kind of celebration? The purest, most fundamental, most everlasting kind. Celebration that God is king.

Do you need joy today? Do you need peace? Do you need courage? Do you need faith? Then listen to this sermon and soak in the richness of the truth that God is reigning now and forever.

Listen to Dad's sermon here.

Daddy's Daughter: Insights on My Dad's Sermon

"You can never be too young, too old, too smart, too dumb, with hair too long, or hair too short, to answer the question, Who is Jesus?" said Dad yesterday morning in his sermon, "Jesus: The Messiah" (Mark 8:27-30). If you've been following my Daddy's Daughter posts as Dad has preached through Mark, you'll know that the purpose of this series is to discover the answer to the question Who is Jesus?

So Who is Jesus? Many answers have arisen over the years. Some have said He's a good teacher. Others have called Him a moral man, Who taught some good life lessons. Still others have claimed He's a mad man, the leader of a cult. Some have even called Him a prophet.

"But Who do you say I am?"(Mark 8:29)

Is Jesus just a good teacher? Just a prophet? Just a moral man? Or is He something more? Is He the Son of God? (Mark 1:1) Is He the Lamb of God? (John 1:29) Is He the Messiah, the Christ? (John 1:41) Is He the Word? (John 1:1) Is He the image of God? (Colossians 1:15) Is He the Light of the World? (John 1:9) Is He sovereign? (1 Timothy 6:15)? Is He Creator (Colossians 1:16), Life-Giver (Mark 5:35-42), Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8), King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 17:14), Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23)?

Who is Jesus?

Daddy's Daughter: Insights on My Dad's Sermon

Yesterday my dad preached on Mark 8:11-21, in "Jesus: The Patient One." The two main things that played out in the text are that:
  1. The Pharisees Didn't Get a Sign, and
  2. The Disciples Didn't Get Two Signs
Let me explain. In the first half of the text (Mark 8:11-13) the Pharisees approach Jesus. As we've learned through past texts, these pious religious leaders weren't coming to encourage Jesus or invite Him over for a friendly cup of coffee. They came with one purpose in mind - to argue. But what did they want to argue about? A sign. They wanted Jesus to give them a sign. But not just any sign. They didn't want to see Him heal a lame man ... because they'd already seen that. They didn't want to see Him cast out a demon ... for they'd seen Him do that too. They didn't want to see a leper healed of leprosy or sight restored to a blind man because they'd seen it all before. They wanted something big and flashy ... to suit their desires and whims and wishes. So did Jesus comply? "And [Jesus] sighed deeply in his spirit and said, 'Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.'" So even though those nasty Pharisees wanted a sign, they didn't get one.

But in the second half of the text (Mark 8:14-21), our focus turns from the Pharisees to the disciples. The disciples and Jesus have just gotten in a boat, and it's nearing lunch time. But, what do you know, our crazy disciples have forgotten to bring food! Well, Jesus, ever the Wise Teacher, uses this as a teachable moment. He begins to warn them about the Pharisees and about wicked King Herod Antipas, feeding them spiritual food. But the disciples want physical food. Their growling stomachs seem to drown out Jesus' spiritual insights. Mark tells us Jesus was aware of this. So He turns to them and asks them, "Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up? ... And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up? ... Do you not yet understand?”" (Mark 8:17:21) You see the disciples didn't get two signs. They didn't understand their significance. 

But thank goodness that Jesus is the Patient One! He was patient with the disciples, and He's patient with us. Let's strive to model after Christ's pure and perfect example of patience. 

Daddy's Daughter: Insights on My Dad's Sermon

Why do you go to church? Dad opened yesterday's sermon with. It may be because you've always gone to church. Maybe it's because your parents go to church. Or maybe it's because you just feel guilty. But in the text, Psalm 29, we discovered that all those reasons are wrong. There's only one pure, Biblical reason for going to church, and it's to worship Christ. But what do we mean by worship?

Dad's sermon-in-a-sentence was: Worship is not an option; it's defined by God, it's directed by God, and it's demanded by God.
  1. Worship defined. True worship, as found in Psalm 29:1-2, is giving glory to God. This is often misunderstood. Our giving glory to God is not an act of us giving God something that He needs. Nor is it us giving God something we have that He doesn't. Our giving glory to God is entirely because He deserves it. We give glory to God (i.e. worship Him) because He is worthy to be worshipped.
  2. Worship directed. What this means is that true, Biblical worship is directed by God (Psalm 29:3-8). He is the motivation and the means by which our worship comes, and He is, of course, the object of our worship.
  3. Worship demanded. As we learn in Psalm 29:9-11, God demands our worship. There is no way to get around it. We will either bow the knee now, or we will bow the knee the moment after we die. God will be worshipped. He will be worshipped through His mercy in granting some salvation, and He will be worshipped through His judgement on those who rejected Him. 
So why do you go to church?

    Daddy's Daughter: Insights on My Dad's Sunday School Lesson

    Yesterday in Sunday School we tackled part one of 1 Corinthians. My dad opened with the following article, and I thought I'd share it with you!

    A church was in need of a pastor. One of the deacons was interested in knowing what kind of minister they desired. He therefore wrote the following letter, as if he had received it from an applicant, and read the letter before the pulpit committee:

    "Understanding your pulpit is vacant. I should like to apply for the position. I have many qualifications that I think you would appreciate.
    • I have been blessed to preach with power and have had some success as a writer.
    • Some say that I am a good organizer. I have been a leader in most places I've gone.
    • Some folks, however, have some things against me.
    • I am over 50 years of age.
    • I have never preached in one place for more than three years at a time.
    • In some places, I have left town, after my work caused riots and disturbances.
    • I have to admit that I have been in jail 3 or 4 times, but not because of any wrong-doing.
    • My health is not good, though I still get a great deal done.
    • I have had to work at my trade to help pay my way.
    • The churches I have preached in have been small, though located in several large cities.
    • I have not gotten along too well with the religious leaders in different towns where I have preached. In fact, some have threatened me, taken me to court, and even attacked me physically.
    • I am not good at keeping records. I have been known to forget whom I have baptised.
    However, if you can use me, I shall do my best for you, even if I have to work to help with my support."

    After reading this letter to the committee, he asked if they were interested in the applicant. They replied that he would never do for their church; they were not interested in an unhealthy, contentious, trouble-making, absent-minded intellectual. In fact, they were insulted that his application had even been presented. They they inquired as to the name of the applicant, whereupon the leader answer: "Paul, an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ." - author unknown

    Daddy's Daughter: Insights on My Dad's Sermon

    Yesterday, Dad preached on Psalm 23, a familiar passage to many. One thing that really stuck out to me was something he mentioned about the very first verse, Psalm 23:1 ("The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures.") It was specifically in the first half of verse one: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." What does that phrase mean - "I shall not want"? It's an interesting statement if you think about it. David, the author of Psalm 23, just finished saying that the Lord is his shepherd, or his leader, his guide, his comforter, his provider, and his conclusion is I shall not want. But what does that mean, we're still wondering? Basically, David is saying that he has such complete and utter trust in the Lord, his shepherd, he wants nothing more. He is totally and fully satisfied in his Maker. He doesn't want the Lord + anything. He just wants the Lord. 

    Many people who call themselves "Christians" seem to have a much different view. They are not satisfied with only the Lord. They think they need a person + the Lord to satisfy. Or an activity + the Lord. A possession + the Lord. Money + the Lord. Something + the Lord. He is not enough for them. They may think He's their shepherd, but they still want. So what does that say about them? If they want anything but the Lord to satisfy them, then the Lord is not their shepherd. Now, just because we sin in not being totally satisfied in the Lord all the time, that doesn't mean we're not Christians. It means we simply must repent of our sin and pray that the Lord would bring us to the point where He is truly all we need.

    So let's focus our desires on the Shepherd, not on money or people or possessions, so that we can wholeheartedly say with David, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."

    Daddy's Daughter: Insights on My Dad's Sermon

    "... This people draw near with their mouth and honor me [the Lord] with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men!" thundered Isaiah (Isaiah 29:13) to a church full of wayward 21st century Christians. Er ... sorry there. I seemed to have gotten a bit confused. No, these words of the Lord that Isaiah prophesied weren't to a group of modern day church-goers, but a group of ancient day church-goers, the Israelites. And you see, that prophecy was fulfilled back then, it was fulfilled in Jesus' time, as we learned in today's sermon on Mark 7:1-13 ("Jesus: Better than Traditions"), and that prophecy is still being fulfilled today. Isaiah's bold, condemning words flashed like fire on these lukewarm Israelites. "You go to church on Sunday and sing of your commitment to God. But in your heart, you could care less of a commitment to God. On Sundays, you're all about worshiping God, God, God. But then comes Monday-Saturday, and your worship turns to you, you, you! You're hypocrites! You fill the pews in body, but your mind is anywhere but God's house!" Now you may be able to see why I confused the time of these words. 

    Those ancient words of Isaiah sound like they could be pretty applicable here in 21st century North America, where thousands of lukewarm Christians fill the pews, sing the songs, put in the offering check, take notes during the sermon, but in their hearts, they're not worshiping. Their hearts are tuned to their wants, not God's wants. People are confessing Christ with their lips, but denying Him with their actions. 

    So let's not be hypocrites. Let's not be like whitewashed tombs, as Jesus condemns the Pharisees in Matthew 23:27, "For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness." Let's forget about trying to wear the perfect "churchy" look, talking the right talk, walking the right walk, but meanwhile neglecting the insides. Let's work on the insides first, by professing Christ with our actions and with our lips. It's not one or the other; it's all or none. Let's never be like the wishy-washy believers Paul spoke of in Titus 1:16, "They profess to know God, but deny Him by their works."

    Daddy's Daughter: Insights on My Dad's Sermon

    Today my dad preached on Psalm 1. In his sermon ("Two Ways to Live"), he shared a fantastic quote by C. H. Spurgeon on "The Man Who Meditates" that I thought I would share with you!
    “This was both the effect of his love and the cause of it. He meditated in God's word because he loved it, and then loved it the more because he meditated in it. He could not have enough of it, so ardently did he love it: all the day was not too long for his converse with it. His main prayer, his noonday thought, his evensong were all out of Holy Writ; yea, in his worldly business he still kept his mind saturated with the law of the Lord. It is said of some men that the more you know them the less you admire them; but the reverse is true of God's word. Familiarity with the word of God breeds affection, and affection seeks yet greater familiarity. When "thy law," and "my meditation" are together all the day, the day grows holy, devout, and happy, and the heart lives with God.”

    Daddy's Daughter: Insights on My Dad's Sermon

    Today my dad preached on Mark 6:45-52, the fairly familiar story of Jesus walking on water. But something that wasn't familiar to me at all stuck out of the sermon like a nail on a wooden plank. It comes in Mark 6:46:
    "And after he [that is, Jesus] had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray."
    Have you ever wondered why Jesus prayed? In Mark, it records Jesus praying only twice, once in Mark 6:46, when Jesus had to leave the crowds and go and spend some time with the Father and once more at Gethsemane, right before His betrayal and crucifixion (Mark 14:32). So why did Jesus pray? Did He need to pray? On top of that, you may be thinking, "But I thought Jesus was God. Does God pray to God?" So what's up with this? The answer is simply that, yes, Jesus is fully God, but He is also fully man. Jesus needed to commune with the Father, just as we do. Why? Well, for one, He needed instruction, what to say and what to do. John sheds some light on this in John 12:49, when we hear Jesus say,
    "For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak."
    Jesus was led by the Father in what to do through His communion with Him, through His prayers. Jesus also prayed because, as a human, He needed rest and refreshment and encouragement, just like we do. Jesus got tired; He needed rest. Jesus even got discouraged; He needed encouragement from the Father, just like us.

    So be encouraged in your prayer life! As you seek communion with the Father, remember Jesus and His perfect communion, His perfect prayer life, that we can never achieve, yet that we can strive with all our being to emulate.

    Daddy's Daughter: Insights on My Dad's Sermon

    I know - I've made myself rather scarce around the Garden the past little while. But as school and all my yearly activities draw to a close, I should have more time to blog. Here's some insights on my dad's sermon yesterday, called "On Mission with Jesus," preached from Mark 6:6b-13.

    At the beginning of the sermon, my dad said, "Many times, people go home from a Sunday service and, when asked what the sermon was about, they don't have an answer. So for this sermon, I'm giving you that answer. When somebody asks you what the sermon was about today, you can say, 'We need to be on mission with Jesus.' That's it. Now let me explain what I mean.'"

    Dad proceeded to explain that being on mission with Jesus meant that you are basically a Jesus missionary. And the world is your mission field. Being on mission with Jesus means living a life of worship to Jesus and sharing His gospel with the world. Let me share Dad's awesome alliterations on what Jesus wants you to know to be on mission with Him:
    1. You will receive provision from the Father. In Mark 6:8, Jesus sent out His disciples to be on mission with Him. He told the disciples basically not to take anything. Why? Because the Father was going to provide all their needs. So when we get on mission with Jesus, let's not worry about how much of this we have or if we need more of that. We don't need anything to be on mission with Jesus, except the willingness to go, for the Father will provide all we need.
    2. You will receive preparation from the Son. In Mark 6:11, Jesus prepares His disciples for rejection. And Jesus prepares us for rejection. The thing is that if we go out and tell people about Jesus and hand out gospel tracts and pray in public and preach the name of Christ, people aren't going to like us. In fact, they're going to reject us. That is why we must prepare for rejection and not let it destroy our faith.
    3. You will receive power from the Holy Spirit. When my dad said this, I instantly thought of Acts 1:8 - "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” When we get on mission with Jesus, the Spirit will indwell us. How else do you think that the disciples were able to heal the sick and cast out demons (Mark 6:13)? It was because the Holy Spirit gave them power.
    So will you get on mission with Jesus? 

    To listen to "On Mission with Jesus," click here.

    Daddy's Daughter: Insights on Our Church Bulletin

    Yesterday afternoon, June 12, our church headed out to York Redoubt Park for our annual Sunday School Picnic. If you've never been a part of a Sunday School Picnic (or any church picnic for that matter) and wonder what it's all about, my dad included an excerpt from John Piper's excellent article ("Toward a Theology of Church Picnics") in our bulletin. I thought I'd share it with you.

    1. Meeting as a church out-of-doors is an affirmation and celebration of God as creator of the world. (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 19:1). It is fitting that the people of God gather corporately beneath the heavens to hear the proclamation of the firmament. Surely, the sky should join us in worship once a year. The admiration we feel for the Maker of the world is doubled when we exult in it together.

    2. Informal togetherness, especially involving recreation, cultivates the unity of God’s people, which we are commanded to maintain (Ephesians 4:3). It does this in three ways.
    1. There is unpressured time for natural, extended conversation—and significant relationships take time.
    2. We are thrown together with people we don’t otherwise talk to. And some of the inevitable walls of separation between groups are penetrated.
    3. We feel a new kinship with people when we see them dressed differently and involved in recreation. For example, some people probably think the pastor is a real dud. But did you know that Noël and I almost won the three-legged couples’ race last year? And I wasn’t wearing a suit! It was like the time I first learned in college that my philosophy teacher cut his own grass—with jeans and a T-shirt!!
    We are commanded, “Love one another with brotherly affection” (Romans 12:10). It is much easier to develop affection for a person if you see him tumble in the grass. And of course, this goes for all of you. Stodgy stereotypes need to be broken. Picnics are great for this. It makes for the “family-feel”…and affection.

    3. A leisurely afternoon together affirms the need for rest and re-creation. “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while,” Jesus said to the weary twelve (Mark 6:31). We are not God. And he invented the Sabbath to remind us of that. It is theologically appropriate that now and then lawn chairs replace church pews.

    Daddy's Daughter: Insights on Man Who is Not My Dad's Sermon

    As my dad was feeling under the weather this week, he got a gentleman from the church, Mr. Jacob Westcott, to fill in for him at the pulpit this morning. Mr. Westcott preached a very good sermon on James 2:14-26, entitled "Faith Without Works is Dead."

    The "sermon in a sentence" (as our previous pastor used to always give) was the title of Mr. Westcott's sermon - faith without works is dead. That was the sermon in a nutshell. Saying that you have faith, but not living out that faith through works is nothing; it's a dead faith. I've thought a lot about this, since I wrote a speech for the Maritime Speech Meet last month on our teen's apathetic faith and their belief that all they have to do is say that they have faith in God, but they can deny Him by their works. This is a topic that is so relevant today, not just among youth, but among people of all ages.

    One of the problems is that many people don't understand that, whether they say it out loud or not, their lives make a statement. And that statement will either be - I have faith or I don't. That's not something that can just be said. Simply saying that you have faith does not make that your life statement. You have to live out your faith, by producing works, for your life statement to be - I have faith.

    So what does your life say? Do you live out your faith in Christ, or do you live out a dead faith, a faith without works?

    Daddy's Daughter: Insights on My Dad's Sermon

    Today my dad preached on Mark 5:1-20, when Jesus casts at least 2,000 demons out of one man and into a herd of pigs. As this is not a post on a recap of my dad's message, but my insights on it, I won't give you the full story, though. But I'd strongly encourage you to check it out! So here are my insights:

    In today's text, there was a demon-possessed man, tormented by at least 2,000 demons! One clear characteristic about this man was that he was obsessed with death. He lived in a graveyard for goodness' sake! (Mark 5:3) He wasn't comfortable living with the living; he had to be around the dead. He was so obsessed with death.

    Our culture today isn't much different. Have you ever looked at clothing or accessories in most any local Wal-Mart or mall? You can buy clothes, purses, backpacks, hair supplies, keychains, and about a million other little trinkets with skulls on them. Or how about this new obsession with vampires and the "undead"? With the Twilight saga sweeping over North America, teenagers, kids, and adults invest hours and hours of their lives poring over books and watching movies about the dead and death. What about video games where you fight demons? Or books about spirits coming back from the grave to haunt you? These may seem like innocent fun at first, but you can get in big trouble if you decide to continue down this dangerous road.

    But let's turn our eyes away from death. Let's instead focus on life! Though we were once dead in our sin, we are now alive in the Lord, because of Christ's shed blood for us! This demon-possessed man was obsessed with death for a long time, but the day he met Jesus, everything changed. When the demons were cast out of him, he fell on his knees praising God that he was now alive in Him! So let's turn away from death and darkness and, just like this man, rejoice that we, who have repented of our sin and trusted in Christ, are now light in the Lord!

    "And you, who were dead in your trespasses ... God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses." Colossians 2:13

    Daddy's Daughter: Insights on My Dad's Sermon

    As today is Mother's Day, my dad preached a special sermon from 1 Samuel 2:1-10, called A Mother's Prayer. In this passage, the Lord reveals to us two distinct traits a godly mother has:
    1. First, a godly mother knows her God. She is seeking to know the Lord and His truth better and better every day. She seeks to understand God's goodness, His holiness, His power and His sovereignty. She wants to know God more.
    2. Secondly, a godly mother responds rightly to her God. What is the right response to God, you ask? It's on our knees, humbly recognizing our total dependence and neediness of God. We're absolutely nothing without Him. We must recognize that and respond accordingly.
    Though in this context the light is focused on mothers, these apply to every one. These two things show us as daughters, aunts, dads, grandpas, cousins, and every thing in between how we can be godly people.

    Daddy's Daughter: Insights on My Dad's Sermon

    So my dad was getting a little worried at the lack of Daddy's Daughter posts appearing at the garden. But not to worry, Dad! I'm back with some insights from this morning's sermon, on Mark 4:35-41, called "Jesus: The One Who is God."

    The text this morning covered the storm on the Sea of Galilee, and the disciples' worry and fear. This story was pretty applicable, because I bet that I can safely say that every single one of you have experienced a time in your life when fear, worry, and doubts crowded your mind. You've probably, at one time or another, responded to these fears the same way the disciples did: "Lord! Don't you care that we're perishing?"

    So how do we get rid of our fear and worry? Here's three practical ways to overcome and combat the lies and deception our fears and worries feed us:
    1. Confess your sin. Sometimes we don't realize that worry and fear are sins, but they are, and, like all other sin, they need to be repented of.
    2. Ask for God's help. Without Him, overcoming fear and worry is hopeless, pointless, and impossible.
    3. Focus on Who God is. Dwell on His goodness, His sovereignty, and the fact that He is in control. Block out your problems and focus on Who He really is. Focus on Jesus' sacrifice of His life to cover your sin of worry, fear, and doubt with His precious blood.

    Daddy's Daughter: Insights on My Dad's Sermon

    Today's sermon was part two of "Jesus: The Master Teacher." The text that this two-week series focused on was Mark 4:1-20, better known as the Parable of the Seeds or of the Sowers, or as the Parable of the Soils like my dad calls it. Let's remind ourselves that a parable is a story with a lesson.

    Jesus is teaching by the sea to a large crowd in this text. He begins His parable by talking about a farmer. Listen to the words of Jesus, the Master Teacher, Himself:
    "A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold."
    The point of this parable is that there are four soils. They are like this:
    1. The first bit of seed falls along the path and is soon eaten by the birds. These are that Satan has snatched away. They've turned their back on God, refused to believe in Him and have become, as the term today deems them, atheists (people who do not believe that God exists).
    2. Some more seed falls on rocky soil. These are the people that "get saved" either at a revival meeting or maybe at Vacation Bible School and they're told that 'with Jesus, you're life will be wonderful!' They become a "Christian," but their salvation was shallow. Suddenly troubled times come along. Maybe a family member gets sick or they lose their job, and that's it. They thought that being a "Christian" would be fun and easy. But they never expected trials and tribulation, though God promises that they will come. (Matthew 24:9)
    3. The next bit of seed falls on thorny soil. This is the person who accepts Jesus, but then the lure of the world and the deceit of riches and other things pull them away. The world chokes their "faith" out of them.
    4. But the last seed falls on much different soil. This is the good soil. These are the people that truly understand what salvation is and repent of their sins and trust their lives to Jesus. Then, they get out there and they become the sower. They sow seeds, and reap thirtyfold and sixtyfold and one hundredfold.
    So which are you?

    Daddy's Daughter: Insights on My Dad's Sermon

    Over the past few months, my dad's sermon titles have consisted of Jesus: The One Sent to Forgive, Jesus: The One Sent to Heal Sickness, Jesus: The One Who Broke the Mold, Jesus: The One Who Called the Apostles, Jesus: Crazy, Corrupt or King, and today was Jesus: Who Is His Family? This question (who is Jesus' family?) puzzled people back in Jesus' day and continues to puzzle people here in our day and age. But Jesus answers this question as simply as pie in today's text - Mark 3:31-35.

    "And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, "Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you." And he answered them, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.'" (Mark 3:31-35)
    The answer to today's question was simple. If you do the will of God, then you're in Jesus' family. But what is the will of God? It's what He wants you to do! It's first repenting of your sins and trusting in Him, and then doing what He wants and commands. For example ...
    • Evangelizing to nonbelievers (Mark 16:15)
    • Being kind to everyone (Ephesians 4:32)
    • Loving each other (Leviticus 19:18)
    • Making God first in our lives (Exodus 20:3)
    • Giving the best of our everything to God (Exodus 34:26) 
    So are you in God's family?

    Daddy's Daughter: Insights on My Dad's Sermon

    Today the sermon was summed up in the title: Jesus - Crazy, Corrupt or King. The text was Mark 3:20-30. What was discovered this morning's was that there are three groups of people in this text - the crowds who were surrounding Jesus, Jesus' family who thought He was crazy, and the scribes who thought Jesus was corrupt. The message of the sermon (and this post) is simple. There are many issues you can remain neutral on today, but this isn't one of them.

    Who is Jesus to you? Is He crazy? Definitely not. Is He corrupt? Of course not! Then all that's left is that He must be King.

    Daddy's Daughter: Insights on My Dad's Sermon/Praying Without Ceasing Review

    Something that stuck out to me in my dad's sermon today was kind of a review of my praying without ceasing series. What stuck out to me was revealed to us in the first half of the first verse. The text this morning was Mark 3:13-19. The verse that stuck out to me was verse 13: "And he [Jesus] went up on the mountain." Now this may not sound too important at a first glance, but it leads to a few questions (at least for me). My first question is - why did Jesus go up on the mountain? And though Mark doesn't deem fit to tell us why, good, old Luke does, in Luke 6:12: "In these days he went out to the mountain to pray." Aha! Jesus went up to the mountain to pray. How interesting.This story in this passage is Jesus' call of the 12 apostles. But before He calls them, He prays. Another interesting thing that Luke provides in this story is included in the second half of verse twelve. It reads, "And all night He [that is, Jesus] continued in prayer to God." This was not a bang off a quick list, do a pray-and-run. This was all night. This was a good ten hours on His knees. My dad mentioned this, and it really convicted me. How often do we find it hard to spend ten minutes in prayer, let alone ten hours? We get so caught up in our busy lives that we find it difficult to make time for God. How convicting!

    But let's let Jesus be our example that we shouldn't just rush through prayer, and only pray when we have a problem or a request, but everyday, all day. We need to make sure we're reviewing the command to pray without ceasing often and re-apply it to our lives.

    Daddy's Daughter: Insights on My Dad's Sermon

    We need to be needy. But how many of us like to be called "needy"? I know that when I think of needy I think of that person who only phones when there's a crises or who always needs your help, or your money, or your time. But this needy is something different. It means total dependence, but we shouldn't be dependent upon a human being. We must be totally needy for Jesus Christ.

    Yet so often we forget our neediness. Sadly this is the truth:

    When we forget our neediness, we're one step away from self-righteousness. - Dad (from his sermon, Jesus: The One Sent to the Needy)
    When we forget our dependence on Jesus, we're just a stone throw away from a prideful heart.  This is a dangerous thing and we must be careful and watchful. When we forget that we can't even take a deep breath without Jesus we're entering a danger zone. We need Jesus for everything and we must remember that and guard ourselves from self-righteousness.