Posts Tagged ‘ Remember ’

Sermon: Remember: A Love Note from God – Mark 14:12-31

I preached again!

It was my turn in our usual rotation (pushed back a week due to Pastor Scott getting sick and throwing the rotation off), and it was also Communion week. (I am more a fan of Communion happening every week, but it is not something I will break fellowship over!)

What makes it extra special that it was Communion week is that I got to preach on the Passover meal (Last Supper) which includes the institution of the Lord’s Supper – Communion.

As usual, here are my notes. Remember that I do not necessarily stick strictly to the notes. In fact, I added quite a bit this time (I tried making adjustments on my iPad, but it did not want to let me), and I switched a couple parts around slightly.

(And the audio for our official church video was messed up, so here is the recording I made from my phone! I almost lost it a few times while preaching, so there will be some moments of silence … and maybe you’ll want to cry too.)

Remember: The Love Note from God  —  Mark 14:12-31

INTRO:

In all of my preaching classes I was told over and over that we need a good introduction that ties in with the whole message. Something that we can refer back to throughout the message, even in the conclusion.

In conversations, I tend to be pretty good about that: making connections throughout to things we’ve said before. I even connect a lot of it to the Bible.

For some reason, I often am not that great at it when preaching. And here is a great example.

This intro has almost nothing to do with the rest of the message, but I like the connection I can see in my mind. I cannot suggest everyone see this PG-13 movie, because there is a decent amount of vulgar language and violence (much like a video game) throughout, so do not take this as an official endorsement or suggestion to see it.

That being said, I got to see Free Guy (with Ryan Reynolds) this week. It really is a fun movie, especially if you enjoy quite a bit of nerd-culture (comic books, video games, YouTube, movies, etc.). Many, if not most, of my friends said one of the best scenes in the movie is one jampacked with references to recent popular movies, and it indeed is hilarious.

My favorite scene, though, comes a few minutes after this. When two of the other main characters are talking, and this line is said,

“I’m just a love letter to you. The real question is who is the writer?”

Today, we talk about God’s love letter to us. Technically, yeah, it’s the Bible. More specifically, it’s the Person of Jesus Christ. Most specifically, it’s about how much God loves us, that He came for us, died for us, and welcomes us in. All for His glory and our benefit. Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

And the love note we get to enjoy “as often as we drink it, in remembrance of” Him.

MESSAGE:

[vv. 12-16:]
Firstly, what is the Feast of Unleavened Bread? The celebration of Passover. Remember way back, about 1500 years earlier, Israel was enslaved by Egypt, and Moses came to free God’s people.  After nine plagues, came the 10th: the death of the firstborn. This is the inauguration of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because, as Exodus 12 reminds us, the Lord struck down all the firstborn children in Egypt (including animals), except for in the homes where a lamb was slaughtered and its blood painted over the doors. This was the sign for the Spirit to Pass Over their houses.

But why is it called Unleavened Bread? Because the Israelites did not have time to let dough rise for bread. This serves as a reminder that the Lord can take us at any time, like He did with the Egyptian firstborn. The entire week-long feast is done with unleavened bread, to remind the people of the time they were redeemed by God, and quickly. (It is possible this can point to the Rapture, as well.)

Now, Jesus and His disciples (specifically the Twelve … possibly with some others, as we note that some disciples prepared the Passover before Jesus arrived with the Twelve, and this meal was usually held with family present) were going to eat the meal together, but they needed a place. Remember that none of the various groups of this time were completely correct on what the Messiah would be like and do, but the group that came the closes was the Essenes.

Who were the Essenes? A group expecting the soon coming of Messiah who secluded themselves from the rest of society (something Jesus/the NT actually warned not to do) to live purely and to copy the Hebrew texts (not just books we find in our Bibles nor only in Hebrew/Aramaic), and only men could become priests. (They were basically their day’s version of a Roman Catholic hippie commune.) They were the closest to understanding the Messiah.

But they also kept at least one house in nearby cities, to be cared for by priests and for getting supplies as needed.

Why is this important?  Because in these days, only women carried water jars around. Unless they were of the Essene priesthood and maintaining the city-home. And, therefore, it is very possible that Jesus was working with the local Essenes to have a place ready for His final meal with His disciples. (He also could have miraculously known who would let Him use a place with a large room for the dinner!)

[And notice, again, the use of water. The earth was formed out of water by God, destroyed again by water by God. Through water Israel was saved. By water we are baptized as our Lord was. His first miracle was turning water into wine. Now, water is the sign that will lead the disciples to the Last Supper – where the sign of the new covenant is given.]

We also know from Luke that Peter and John were the two who prepared everything. And it was probably Thursday that much of this took place, with the meal beginning in the evening, as prescribed by Exodus 12. This would have put the dinner, arrest, and crucifixion all on Friday by Jewish time-telling.

[vv. 17:]
We see that meal does not even begin until the evening. We remember from the other Gospels that they arrive, and Jesus washes their feet. A major sign of humility, even shaming the one who was seated in the lowest place (probably Peter, actually) who was usually the one (without servants) to wash everyone else’s feet.

I think it is also good to jump around a little in our passage today, because Jesus has just washed their feet and is getting ready to enjoy the meal with them. But how hard was this time for Him?

Why?

[vv. 18-21:]
We remember from last time that Judas has already made an agreement with the Jewish leadership to betray Jesus, so we are not surprised by this.

Neither is Jesus. The other gospels help us to see that they have been eating together for a time, and Jesus even calls out Judas (quietly, implying the two seats of honor at the table are taken by John – who leaned on Jesus during the meal – and Judas – who could be secretly talked with during the meal!) The other disciples just think that He leaves to take care of the business needed for the feast, which helps to imply that he was not actually there when the Lord’s Supper was instituted.

So, Jesus goes into this meal thinking about the man who will betray Him to death. Someone who has been with Him for over three years and been considered a friend.

A friend who not only turns his back but also (almost literally) stabs Him in the back. How must that have felt?

Have you wondered how about Jesus’ words here? “It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Maybe, like me, you have wrestled with the idea of a sovereign God who would create someone just to be destroyed. How could He?

But we also know God created us with free will. Judas chose to betray his friend, and our God – who is sovereign – works this man’s evil intents into His plan for our salvation.

And Jesus laments that His friend is choosing not only to reject a friend but God Himself. He has seen God face to face, and now he must face eternity having rejected Him.

But there is more. After they leave the meal, on their way to Gethsemane …

[vv. 26-31:]
Jesus tells His disciples – especially Peter – about their and his denial. First there is the backstabbing friend He knows about. Now we see He knows one of his closest friends is going to leave Him hanging (pun intended) in His darkest moment.

Jesus is having dinner with his closest friends, knowing that He is on His way to the cross, knowing that one of His friends is sending Him there and all of His friends, including one of His best friends, will abandon Him.

So what do we learn?

What have we called this series in Mark? Power Serve. What does it look like to serve others with the power of God? Humility in the face of hatred. Grace in the middle of greed. Love in the light (and in spite) of loss.

We are not really given permission to hide ourselves away when painful circumstances come our way. The example our Lord and Savior has given us is that when we know no one is there for us, when people abandon us, when we are at our darkest moments, that is the exact moment we need to rely on the Father to guide us through and show the most humility, grace, and love. We serve others with the Good News of Jesus Christ, in His power and love, by His grace, humbly and without complaint.

Because that is what He did.

Think about it. What, really, was His example?

This is a Passover meal. They probably discussed how God spared Israel when all of the firstborn were slain. And Jesus – the Firstborn of God, fully God and fully Man – has come to be the only firstborn whose blood is shed to save all other people who call on His Name.

Instead of a year-old lamb, Jesus is the Lamb of God.

Instead of the blood being painted over the door of our homes, The Door poured out His blood.

Instead of death coming for us, He defeated death through taking away our sin by becoming sin on the cross and then rising from the grave.

In other words, Instead of unleavened bread, we have the Bread of Life who was broken for us and rose again to Life.


He became a friend when His friends abandoned Him.

And He gave us a reminder to celebrate it. A love note to remind us “as often as [we] drink of it”.

[vv. 22-25:]
So, we take communion to remember that He has done all the work. It is not so much our story. We are a part of His story. All of this – literally everything – is about Jesus.

We take communion to remember His humility and sacrifice for His friends.
For those who abandon and ignore Him.
For those who put Him on a cross to suffer.
For those who mistreat Him, mock Him, and turned away from Him.

But we have this hope: that He has forgiven us by His blood, and we will one day enjoy a meal with Him again.

But until then, we proclaim His life, death, and resurrection. So, join me in partaking in communion.

RESPONSE:

1 Corinthians 11:23-25:
the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance
of me.”

VerseD: 1 Peter 3:15

but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect
1 Peter 3:15, ESV

We must share our faith, but we remember that we are talking to people like us: sinners in need of a Savior. This reminds us to have the same gentle compassion Christ had with us.

VerseD: John 14:26

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
John 14:26, ESV

Jesus was not saying we do not need to read the Bible. Rather, the Holy Spirit will help us understand and remember what the Bible says, and He will encourage us through His Church.

2014 in review for a simple man of God

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 27 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Back from the Dead: Remembrance of Veterans

Find reminders of the source of wisdom at Proverbial Thought!

Two years ago I typed up this little post. I re-post today with only a few edits (to account for the change in date and add a couple sentences).

Remembrance of Veterans

This past day saw celebrations in many nations for those who have served in the military. Whether it is called Veterans’ Day, Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day, this is a time to recall those heroes who have served, fought, and even died in the service of country and/or freedom.

This is good. We should remember those who have gone before and fought for freedom. We should thank those who have served in the military, for it is a great sacrifice for most who do serve. It can mean the loss of time (doing preferred tasks, with family and friends, pursuing a career), limbs, and/or family. Soldiers have often given much and deserve to be remembered.

But, dear Christian, there are more who are at least as deserving if not more deserving of remembrance.

Hebrews 11 reminds us of some heroes:

  • Abel
  • Enoch
  • Noah
  • Abraham
  • Isaac
  • Jacob
  • Joseph
  • Moses
  • Gideon
  • Barak
  • Samson
  • Jephthah
  • David
  • Samuel
  • the Prophets

These were people who stood firm for God and laid the framework for the coming Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth.

Yet, there are more!

The New Testament has a list of heroes:

  • John, the Baptizer
  • Simon Peter
  • Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother
  • James, son of Zebedee
  • John, James’ brother
  • Philip
  • Bartholomew
  • Thomas
  • Matthew
  • James
  • Thaddeus
  • Simon the zealot
  • Matthias
  • Mary
  • Paul
  • Stephen
  • Barnabas
  • Mark
  • Luke
  • Philip
  • Procorus
  • Nicanor
  • Timon
  • Parmenas
  • Nicolas
  • Lydia
  • Priscilla
  • Aquilas
  • Phoebe
  • And many, many more!

Notice there are even women listed! If we dug through the Old Testament we would find more women, such as Ruth, Esther, and Deborah, to name but a few.

We need to also remember history since the end of the First Century, those who have carried the Church forward:

  • Augustine
  • Eusebius
  • Tertullian
  • Jerome
  • Origen
  • Pelagius
  • Francis of Assisi
  • Martin Luther
  • John Calvin
  • Loyola
  • Joan of Arc
  • John Wesley
  • C.S. Lewis
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Mother Teresa
Just to name a very few.
We need to remember these names and so many others for the work they have done to push the Gospel further into the world, deeper into our hearts, and on into the future until the return of our Lord.
Church history is important. We need to know about the ancient past, the past 2000 years, and recent leaders. We need to know why so many things are important.
Too much of recent Church history was resolved in the first few hundred years of Church history, but we have turned our backs on these giants of the faith.
Many recent Church problems have arisen largely due to an ignorance of what has come before.
Some of the time our ignorance of what has been discussed leads to problems.
Some of the time our ignorance of what has been done and why leads to problems.
Most of the time our ignorance of each other leads to problems.
Every time our ignorance of God leads to problems.
We get so focused on our differences that we lose focus of what has come before and who God is.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.
Hebrews 12:1-8

Remembrance of Veterans

This past weekend saw celebrations in many nations for those who have served in the military. Whether it is called Veterans’ Day, Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day, this is a time to recall those heroes who have served, fought, and even died in the service of country and/or freedom.

This is good. We should remember those who have gone before and fought for freedom.

But, dear Christian, there are more who are at least as deserving if not more deserving of remembrance.

Hebrews 11 reminds us of some heroes:

  • Abel
  • Enoch
  • Noah
  • Abraham
  • Isaac
  • Jacob
  • Joseph
  • Moses
  • Gideon
  • Barak
  • Samson
  • Jephthah
  • David
  • Samuel
  • the Prophets

These were people who stood firm for God and laid the framework for the coming Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth.

Yet, there are more!

The New Testament has a list of heroes:

  • John, the Baptizer
  • Simon Peter
  • Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother
  • James, son of Zebedee
  • John, James’ brother
  • Philip
  • Bartholomew
  • Thomas
  • Matthew
  • James
  • Thaddeus
  • Simon the zealot
  • Matthias
  • Mary
  • Paul
  • Stephen
  • Barnabas
  • Mark
  • Luke
  • Philip
  • Procorus
  • Nicanor
  • Timon
  • Parmenas
  • Nicolas
  • Lydia
  • Priscilla
  • Aquilas
  • Phoebe
  • And many, many more!

Notice there are even women listed! If we dug through the Old Testament we would find more women, such as Ruth, Esther, and Deborah, to name but a few.

We need to also remember history since the end of the First Century, those who have carried the Church forward:

  • Augustine
  • Eusebius
  • Tertullian
  • Jerome
  • Origen
  • Pelagius
  • Francis of Assisi
  • Martin Luther
  • John Calvin
  • Loyola
  • Joan of Arc
  • John Wesley
  • C.S. Lewis
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Mother Teresa
Just to name a very few.
We need to remember these names and so many others for the work they have done to push the Gospel further into the world, deeper into our hearts, and on into the future until the return of our Lord.
Church history is important. We need to know about the ancient past, the past 2000 years, and recent leaders. We need to know why so many things are important.
Too much of recent Church history was resolved in the first few hundred years of Church history, but we have turned our backs on these giants of the faith.
Many recent Church problems have arisen largely due to an ignorance of what has come before.
Some of the time our ignorance of what has been discussed leads to problems.
Some of the time our ignorance of what has been done and why leads to problems.
Most of the time our ignorance of each other leads to problems.
Every time our ignorance of God leads to problems.
We get so focused on our differences that we lose focus of what has come before and who God is.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.
Hebrews 12:1-8

The Marriage Month

June is historically the most popular month for weddings. I am not getting into the history or anything like that (here is some interesting history, though). Today is more of a celebration.

My wife and I just had the opportunity to take a month, a holiday, if you will, and visit family and friends. We had a lot of fun, got to meet and know better family members and friends on both sides, and go to places we could enjoy together.

This month was also a celebration of life and love.

Our trip began because friends of mine were getting married. We were able to celebrate the start of a marriage with loved ones.

My parents celebrated 29 years of marriage while my wife and I celebrated three years. We were able to celebrate marriages in the middle together, one couple with grown children and another without children.

We celebrated the loss of a wonderful woman who lived for over 90 years, making a great impact on many lives. The day her life was celebrated in a very beautiful and spirit-filled memorial service, a child was born to a young couple within the family.

On the final weekend of our trip, we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of that newborn’s great grandparents surrounded by extended family and friends (her side … but really for both of us), including that newborn baby girl Zoe (which means Life!). We were able to celebrate a marriage that is full and long.

Through all of this, we were able to remember all of the good times and bad times our families have struggled through; we were able to remember all those whom we have lost; and we were able to build and strengthen relationships, new and old.

Treasure the moments you have with family and friends. Enjoy them, as you should, and give praise to God, as you should.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

My Re-Birthday

On this day 12 years ago, at 6:46 PM CST, I began consciously following Jesus Christ as my Savior (arguably, it was another six months and 17 days before I consciously made Him my Lord).

I call it my Re-Birthday, because, at least in the Evangelical world, it is said you become born again when you believe in the saving work of Jesus Christ through His life, death, and resurrection. Therefore, I am re-12!

I like calling it my Re-Birthday, also, because it is fun!

12 years ago today, I began to willfully choose to at least try to listen to God and believe that He saved me through Jesus Christ. I like to celebrate this day as a special reminder (kind of like Christmas or Easter/Resurrection Sunday, but slightly more personal), and I encourage all followers of Christ to do the same. If you are not sure what day you truly believed, you can go off of your baptism, as most churches keep a record of that day. If you do not know what day you were baptized or were baptized as an infant, just use your actual birthday.

Honestly, this is something that should be done continually and every day, but it is also fun as well as one more way to share your faith.

Also, please join me in wishing my wonderful mother-in-law a happy birthday. It is her actual birthday today, and without her I would not have my amazing wife!

God bless you, and remember that Jesus Christ is the reason we live and move and breathe and have meaning!

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 11/27/2011

My Thanksgiving Day post was about why I am thankful, so today’s poem is a reminder of that.

 

 

here is why
daniel m  klem

why were there screams
and all of the cries
that the Son of Man
should be crucified
the senseless violence that
could have been stayed
was acted through
on that horrible day

why did God allow it
if His Son had to die
it happened so you
could keep your life
Christ died to set
our souls completely free
and wash sin from everyone
including you and me

 

Taken from simple words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 116.

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 09/18/2011

Speaking of remembering things, here you are:

remember
daniel m  klem

when running from your fear
remember that bad day
when fleeing from danger
remember stay away
when leaving a bad place
remember to save life
when escaping a city
remember lot s wife

Taken from simple words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 79.