This is our Easter Sunday message in 2018. We live in a culture that says the Bible is an ancient text not really drawn up for today – It was useful once, but is no longer useful. However, Christianity and the message of the Bible stands on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That changes everything. One of the first witnesses to the resurrection recounts his memories of Jesus, and in Mark Chapter 5 tells a story of a “dead-man” walking who finds life, hope and peace in Christ. There is hope for everyone. The Hill Church will never ever give up, looking for the living amongst the dead.
Jesus has been calling people to go with him to the other side. To the uncomfortable, costly, messy and risky place where the people who need him are. We need this willingness and experience to grow, to see Jesus for who he is and to sacrifice our ‘pigs’ for the sake of people made in the image of God – no matter how broken, beaten, battered or bruised. Text: Mark 4:35-5:20.
When we experience tough seasons we can often look for answers from God as to why He would allow it or even cause it. Sometimes it can feel the only reason for the season even happening is because we followed him. In those moments it is critical that we ask the right question, which is not why is this happening?, but who is this who is with us?
Text: Mark 4:35-41
Mark chapter 4 contains four important stories that Jesus uses to teach us about the work of the Kingdom of God in the world and in our lives. This talk is the third talk focused on Mark chapter 4 and covers the final two stories. It centres on a truth that is at the heart of Christianity. If you see that truth, and know that truth it will set you free. (Mark 4:26-32)
The work of God is an unstoppable force with incomparable contrast. However, it is clear in the second story Jesus tells in Mark (4 verse 21) that there is an expectation that the most growth will come when we keep Jesus front and centre in every area of our life.
Jesus said that he has given his followers the secret of the Kingdom of God (Mark 4 v 11). It is not dependent on our circumstances but on our willingness to lean in and listen to Christ with an open heart that says to Him access all areas. Jesus describes our life as a patch of ground where seed can be sown in multiple areas at any one time.
Text 4:1-3. The opening verses of Mark Chapter 4 reveal that God is a teacher and teaches us through stories. Here we see Jesus calling those around him to lean and really listen – to squeeze the seeds of the gospel, the secret of the Kingdom of God and their lives for meaning – whether it be past, present or future.
Mark 3:20-35. God does not line up with us, we are called to line up with Him. History is full of cultures, countries, cults, religions, churches and Christians bringing their plans, agenda & identity with the expectation that God will line up to them. The issue with that is it creates dim vision, low expectancy, small hope, weak faith and quiet worship. In this message we discover the importance of obedience and surrender which this leads to true freedom for anybody.
Mark 3:20-35. This is part 1 of 2 talks around this text. The message explains how we see the power and authority of Jesus is capable of bringing freedom. It also highlights the importance of recognising the identity of Jesus and the relevance of standing upon his promises.
Mark 3:13-19. People matter to God. He knows. He cares. He calls. People are called by God. That is how he works and always has. First he called the Prophets, then the Apostles, and now us. Every generation is called to do the same. He calls you out, those he wanted to go with him. We might have different backgrounds and beginnings, but do not judge or write yourself off, others off. God didn’t, doesn’t and won’t. We will all have different stories and endings but we are connected in that call to Christ.