Mark’s gospel records a series of encounters between Jesus and a particular group. Read the following accounts of these encounters and try to determine the identity of the group.

Encounter #1 in Mark 1

Jesus met one of the group as he entered the synagogue in Capernaum. Upon seeing Jesus, this one cried out “I know who you are–the Holy One of God.”

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Glowing sunset with cross and some cheering peopleIn Mark’s gospel we read of the account of Jesus healing a paralytic who was let down through the roof. When Jesus healed the man by declaring that his sins were forgiven, questions arose in the minds of some in attendance. Jesus responded to their questions even though they did not ask them out loud.

Jesus indicated that no difference in difficulty existed between declaring this man forgiven or physically healed. Those with questions understood that only God can forgive sins. Jesus’ response indicated that he had been given authority to forgive sins. Several times in the gospels, Jesus spoke about authority given to him by the Father. This authority linked him essentially with the Father.

My focus, however, is on the response of the rest of the people. Instead of accusatory questions in their hearts, their response was one of sheer amazement leading to their glorifying God.

They were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

–Mark 2:12

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Spurgeon on Character

Would you buy a cookbook put together by somebody who avoids the kitchen?

How about a weight loss book written by the person who has added on pounds every year for decades?

Maybe a business manual penned by the teenager who sorts mail in the basement?

So why is a Christian publishing house going to try and sell us a book about church by an author who admittedly skipped church for over a month to finish the book on church?

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The Cleft in the Rock

July 7, 2014

cleftI love it when the Lord makes something crystal clear by communicating the same message at multiple times and through multiple mediums. Such was the case for me yesterday and today.

Yesterday my pastor, Dr. Buz McNutt was preaching about Esau and Jacob from Genesis 25 and Romans 9. In Romans 9, Paul quoted a verse from Exodus 33,

And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.

–Exodus 33:19

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begg storm promise

Here are the ten most read articles for the 2nd quarter of 2014. Catch up on the ones you have missed. The date besides the article title is the month and year in which the article was written and posted on this blog.

  1. Praying for Adult Children (December 2009)
  2. God Remembered Hannah (July 2010)
  3. What Makes a Man a Sissy? (December 2009)
  4. “Heaven is for Real” is Fiction (April 2014)
  5. Teaching at FirstBoynton (April 2014)
  6. May Your Power Rest On Me (December 2009)
  7. 5 Criticisms of Martin Luther by John Calvin (July 2009)
  8. The Scariest Verse in the Bible to One Agnostic (August 2010)
  9. My Experiences with VA Healthcare (May 2014)
  10. The Empty Nest Family Shepherd (June 2014)

On Sunday I had the privilege of preaching the sermon for the folks at FirstBoynton. This was the first time that I have stepped behind the pulpit of a church since 1997. Before that time I preached in churches well over a thousand times. For a long time I thought I would never do so again.

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