Sunday, March 29, 2009

Chapter One...Preparation FOR Jesus.

We spent two whole months looking at chapter one.  I personally was surprised at about how much stuff is in that first chapter.  I challenge the guys to meditate on passages of scripture each week to get out of it what it's telling us.  Why was it so important that the passage was even included in the gospel?  Mark goes pretty fast through Jesus' life so it seems that what he's included might just be important.

On our blog "The Silbermans" I posted what I saw as an overview of Chapter One.  It was interesting to me to see that it looks like it boils down to preparation.  Preparation FOR Jesus (1-8), Preparation OF Jesus (9-13), and Preparation BY Jesus (14-45).

John the Baptist prepared the way FOR Jesus' arrival.  He prepared the people for who Jesus is and what he had to say.  It was really interesting to see how much similarity there is in that to us.  We have a ministry of John the Baptist.  We are in a sense "preparing the people" for Jesus' coming.  Only this time, he's not coming to die on a cross and be rose again, he's coming to take his people home.  Not only is this passage great for encouraging evangelism, but it's great for evangelism itself.  Are you ready for Jesus to return?

One of the things I like most about John the Baptist is that his message points TO Jesus.  He had a number of followers, but he humbly directed them TO Jesus.  "After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.  I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

There are a lot of different beliefs and religions in the world today.  NONE of them are correct if they don't point to JESUS!  Does your spiritual leader point you to Jesus?

Mark 10:45

The first thing I had the guys do was memorize this verse: "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."  The selflessness, the servanthood, not looking to be served or glorified for His Father receives the glory.  What humbleness!  What leadership! What Sacrifice!  What an attitude and characteristic to follow!

Lord, give me the grace to not live a selfish life, but to serve others to bring glory to You!  Have mercy on me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

An Introduction

Since mid-January, I've been meeting with four guys in our youth group on Tuesdays at 5:30am in my office to study the book of Mark together. It's been a real good time. The plan was to meet at 6am, but I told them if they wanted coffee to come at 5:30am...they came at 5:30am! So, I've been making them mochas with our tired espresso machine.

The desire to meet with these guys was birthed during some quiet time I was having with the Lord one morning.  While I was studying, I felt the Lord speak to me to meet regularly with one of our student leaders.  Martin (22) has been mentoring a couple of guys in our youth group for a while now and has not had the opportunity to have someone mentor him on a weekly basis.  So, I invited him to come and study the book of Mark with me.  Then, I thought about his brother Ruben (17) who was meeting with me last summer and Julio (18) who previously was meeting with me also but had some spiritual set-backs, got discouraged, and no longer wanted to meet together (probably because of the accountability issue).  So now, before we even started studying together, the meeting was with Martin, Ruben, and Julio.  I also felt led to invite Julio's brother Gollo (16) who has never had the opportunity to meet with anyone on a weekly basis.  This was a great opportunity to develop a better relationship with all of them.

The purpose of the meeting is two-fold:  1-so that their hunger for God and His Word grows and 2-so that they would have an anxiousness to share with others about God and His Word.

I will be posting from time to time what we've been learning.  Feel free to comment and follow along with us as we grow together.  We have been meeting for two months now and we just finished chapter one.

In the meantime, check out Mark 10:45 as a main verse for the whole book.  What does it say about Jesus?  What kind of characteristics do we see in him?