Trinity Church
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Where Grace and Truth Meet


Here you will find audio files of some of our sermons on Sunday morning. Under each date (found in Orange), there will be an audio link to the message, along with either a sermon outline or summary.
December 29, 2019 (Allen Marsh)
                           Sermon Audio (12/29/19)

Title: Re-New Year

Text: Psalm 51:10-12 NLT

Brief Summary:

The end of the year and the start of a new year is a time of reflection and looking forward for many people. We all want to do better. We can look back at our year and see that we wasted a lot of time, really blew it, didn’t devote as much of our lives as we would have liked to God. There is something in all of us that says we should do better. We all know it. This feeling either propels us to make the necessary changes in order to devote more of our lives with God (restructuring our lives) or it produces shame that keeps us from ever trying to move forward.We will see a glimpse this morning of how renewal and restoration in our relationship with God is huge.

Psalm 51 shows the complete repentance of a sinner when David, who had committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, and was rebuked by the prophet Nathan. In 10-12, David asked God to create in him a new heart and to renew a loyal spirit within him. Confession and cleansing are necessary steps to the restoration of our relationship to God. It requires a renewal of the inward spirit from which the human purposes and actions flow. These characteristics in the text are indications of enduring change and transformation that provide the firm foundation for continuing relationship with God.

What are practical things we can do this year?

  1. Bring our feelings of shame and condemnation to God. 

  1. Understand that Jesus is for our renewal (restoration).

  1. Begin this year with a renewed commitment to the priority of God in our lives (Matthew 6:33, Colossians 3:1-2)

  1. Begin this year with a renewed commitment to pray.

  1. Begin this year with a renewed commitment to the Bible (Colossians 3:16)

December 22, 2019 (Allen Marsh)
                         Sermon Audio (12/22/19)

Title: Prince of Peace

Text: Isaiah 9:1-7 NLT (Part 4)

Brief Summary:

We are in our fourth installment of our Isaiah 9:1-7 series. We have been looking at the names of Jesus in Isaiah 9:6. Today, we are looking at “Prince of Peace.” In Hebrew that title is Sar Shalom

Sar: means the one in charge, lord, chief, general.

Shalom: means rest, tranquility, wholeness, completeness.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace…

  1. Who ______________ us (John 14:27, Philipians 4:6-7)

  1. Who ______________ us (Romans 5:1) (Ephesians 2:13-14)

People look for peace in many ways, but as we will see, there’s only one way to have peace with God. That is through a relationship with Christ. We experience God’s peace when we submit our lives under the lordship of the Prince of Peace. 

December 15, 2019 (Allen Marsh)
                          Sermon Audio (12/15/19

Title: Everlasting Father

Text: Isaiah 9:1-7 Part 3

Brief Summary:

In our third part of this series dealing with the names of God in Isaiah 9:6, we see how Jesus is our Everlasting Father. The image of God as father invokes different images for each of us. We tend to view our heavenly father through the lens of our earthly father. This should be a reality check for all of us who are parents.

When we look at Jesus through the lens of an earthly dad, we may see...

  1. A Father who is never ______________.

  1. A Father who is always ________________.

  1. A Father who is seldom ________________.

When we look at our Everlasting Father through the lens of Scripture, we see that…

  1. Our Everlasting Father is _______________ (Psalm 103:8, Matthew 11:28-29).

  1. Our Everlasting Father is _______________ (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, 1 Peter 5:6-7).

  1. Our Everlasting Father is always ________________ (Hebrews 13:5).

December 8, 2019 (Allen Marsh)
                          Sermon Audio (12/8/19)

Title: Mighty God

Text: Isaiah 9:1-7  NLT (Part 2)

Brief Summary:

In Isaiah 9:1-7, the prophet Isaiah delivered a prophecy to the people of Israel while they were facing a threat from the growing superpower of Assyria (which would eventually destroy the northern kingdom of Israel and lead many Jews into captivity). Isaiah addressed this situation by promising the coming of a future King. The seven-hundred-year delay was not because God was unable to fulfill his promise sooner, but because he wanted to give his people the hope of a future King to sustain them through dark times. The long period between promise and fulfillment was, in fact, a gift from God to his people. This is actually a prophecy about Jesus’ birth, and this was prophesied 700 years before His birth. In this passage, this promised child has four names. Last week we talked about the first one, Wonderful Counselor. This week we are talking about the second name, Mighty God, or El Gibbor.  “Mighty God” indicates that Jesus will be divinely strong and powerful — amazing news for those who are weak. 

1)    Jesus’ power is at work _________ you (Philippians 2:13)


2)    Jesus’ power is at work _________ you (Isaiah 40:29-31, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

3)    Jesus’ power is at work _________ you (Acts 1:8, 2 Corinthians 2:4-5)

December 1, 2019 (Allen Marsh)
                         Sermon Audio (12/1/2019)

Title: Wonderful Counselor

Text: Isaiah 9:1-7 (Part 1)

Brief Summary:

By choosing their own way rather than God’s way, the nation of Israel had plunged itself into darkness. The Assyrians were getting ready to overtake them. Isaiah prophesied that in the midst of their darkness God promises that a light will dawn. Although the people would experience the grief and despair of the conquest, God promised to bring victory and defeat his enemies through the birth of a child. In Isaiah 9:6-7, this child is given four names. We will focus on the first one today--Wonderful Counselor. 


  1. The word "_________________" meant so good it was beyond understanding or incomprehensible.

     2. The word "__________________" is not like what we think of as a social worker or school guidance counselor, but a wise and trusted ruler.


  1. Jesus comes for the spiritually ___________. (Luke 5:27-32)


  1. Be brutally ______________ with the counselor (John 4:16-17, Psalms 55:22)


  1. Listen to the counselor’s _______________ (Mark 9:7, John 10:27)


  1. We need to do what the counselor _________________ us to do (Mark 10:20-22)


October 27, 2019 (Allen Marsh)
                    Sermon Audio 10/27/2019

Title: How’s Your Reception? (Part 3)

Text: Mark 4:7-8, 18-20


Jesus tells of seed that is planted in thorny soil. The plants grow but are quickly choked out by thorns. Jesus later tells us that the thorns represent the distractions and worries of this world that rob of us true life with God. In the text today, we will see several points that will be helpful for our walk with God. 


Mark 4:7-8; 18-20

  1. The thorny ground represents those who are consumed by the cares and anxieties of this physical life and the deceitful enticements of wealth. 

  1. The good ground corresponds to those whose hearts and minds are softened by God's calling and receive it genuinely. 

  1. The greatest amount of fruit produced was not determined by how rich the soil was, but how yielded to the plow it was (all things were removed).

What we can learn from this

  1. The anthem for our modern world: I’m too _________!

  1. Part of our difficulty involves the unprecedented number of people and things that ________________ for our time. 

  1. We know we should _______________ ourselves to God, but there is always something in the way.

  1. The invasion of the “thorns” is an ever-present danger, and great care must be taken to cultivate the ground to clear away the thorns to allow the seed to grow and multiply.

  1. This doesn’t mean that we are totally isolated from the society around us, it’s the question of what we _____________- for. 

  1. The good soil bears fruit.


    7. There’s no discussion here of the sower, ______________ will do.

October 20, 2019 (Allen Marsh)

Title: How’s Your Reception? (Part 2)

Text: Mark 4:5-6, 16-17


Mark 4:5-6

  1. In Palestine there are large plates of limestone rock that lie beneath the surface and beneath the plow.

  1. Seeds scattered in a place like this would  spring up quickly in the shallow soil that covered the rock. 

  1. When the sun scorched the plants, they would die, because they did not have a root system.

Mark 4:16-17

  1. Jesus’ teachings made them self evaluate, which was __________________. 

  1. This is a person who has _______________ faith.

  1. When problems or persecution arise, this person ______________ away.

  1. They are all too concerned with saving their __________ skin than enduring persecution that comes from embracing and standing firm of the Word. 

Application Points

  1. The parable actually encourages those who will be sowing the word in the future. Jesus was saying that we are to sow without looking at the ____________.

  1. Trouble and persecution do two things: 1) they ___________ believers, and 2) they _____________ non-believers. 


    3. ____________ is reality to a true Christian, but just exuberant, emotional joy, excitement, enthusiasm doesn’t necessarily indicate true faith. 


    4. You can have joy without ______________ to the King. The roots are real short. It’s not the deep thoughtful profound joy of a devoted heart. It’s just a superficial deal.


October 13, 2019 (Allen Marsh)
                       Sermon Audio 10/13/19 (Click Here)

Title: How’s Your Reception?

Text: Mark 4:1-4, 9-15 (NLT)


In Mark 4:1-20, Jesus tells a parable about a farmer who scattered seed on the ground. The seed fell on four types of soil. Jesus was not commenting on farming problems but explaining the strange way in which the Kingdom of God was arriving. Jesus was trying to open their eyes and ears to see and hear what God was actually doing. This agricultural illustration is an explanation of why some people repent and believe the Gospel while others reject it. The soil represents the state of a person’s heart in hearing and responding to the Gospel. The first part of this text says the seed fell on the footpath (or road) beside the field.

Historians tell us the paths along the fields  were normally only about three-feet wide so that not an undue amount of land was wasted on pathways. As a result they were uncultivated. And Israel is very dry so they were unwatered. And they became hard, beaten paths, beaten down by the sun and the wind and the feet of those animals and people who walked on them. Seed falling on that kind of ground couldn’t penetrate it. And even though seed had a little point on it that allowed it to burrow its way into the ground, gradually it couldn’t penetrate that  hard beaten path which would have been like concrete. It would just lie there, verse 4 says, until the birds came and ate it.

Jesus gives the meaning of the parable in the latter portion of this text. God is the farmer and the seed is the Gospel. The message is about the fact that God is king over a spiritual kingdom, and He is inviting people to come into that kingdom. Since God has given Christians the task of inviting the world into God’s kingdom,, we can say that the farmer is anyone who proclaims the Gospel to others.  The footpath represents the hard-hearted person that hears God’s Word but is never moved by it. In other words, some people’s hearts are so hard, the Word makes no impression on them. The Gospel does not penetrate their hearts.. 

What can we do to sow the Word  more successfully? The first and most important answer is to ask ourselves how much mature growth, how much fruit, the Word is producing in our own lives. If we have ears, we must learn to hear. We have to look at our own hearts. Are we  that hard dry road at the end of the field? Has our lives been hardened by sins that we’ve constantly tread over our hearts so that the powerful, productive seed of God’s Word never can penetrate?

October 6th, 2019 (Allen Marsh)

                      Sermon Audio 10/6/19 (Click Here)


Title: Are You My Mother?

Text: Mark 3:31-35


In Mark 3:31-35, while Jesus is teaching, someone lets him know that his family has arrived to talk to him. Because of the way in which the family unit was valued in the first century culture, Jesus responded with what would have been a shocking answer. “Who is my mother? And who are my brothers? Jesus says that anyone who does God’s will is his mother and brothers.

Jesus is introducing his spiritual family. He is starting a new family, a new holy people, and is doing so without regard for ordinary human family bonds. The only relationship with Jesus that matters is the relationship of one who obeys the Word of God---Who obeys the will of God as expressed in the Word of God, and therefore obeys the Gospel of Christ.

After we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, we desire to do God’s will. Sometimes, however, God’s will can seem elusive. It can feel like trying to find bigfoot. In other words, God’s will sometimes feels out of reach or at least saved for the special elite. That leaves most of us with a sense of not feeling like we can find God’s will or know what it is.

If we want to do God’s will, we need to:

  1. Obey His Word

  2. Be continually aware of God’s presence and learn to respond to the Holy Spirit’s promptings

  3. Look like Jesus

  4. Understand God gives us say-so

  5. Spend time with God through prayer, reading the word, and fellowshipping with others

September 29, 2019 (Allen Marsh)
                                  Sermon Audio 9/29/19 (Click Here)               


Title: Unforgiven?

Text: Mark 3:20-30


Mark 3:28-29 has caused many people great pain and anguish. This is where Jesus says that if you “blaspheme the Holy Spirit, you have committed an unforgivable sin.” It reminds me of a story of a lady that went through hard times when she was 19 years old. In her pain, she lifted her fist towards heaven and shouted some horrible things about God that she later deeply regretted. She went to her pastor, told him exactly what she said, and asked if she had committed the unforgivable sin. Her pastor said, “Yes, you did.” This lady spent the next 40 years in and out of  mental institutions. Imagine what it would do to your psyche if you believed that you were no longer able to be forgiven by God and destined for “hell.”

Furthermore, something doesn’t seem to add up. For example, 1 John 1:9 says that “if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Jesus says in John 6:37 that “whoever comes to me I will not drive away.” So, what is the deal with Mark 3:28-29? As we work through this passage, we will see that the context means everything if we are to get a clear picture as to what is going on here.
September 22, 2019 (Allen Marsh)
                          Sermon Audio 9/22/19 (Click Here

Title: Finding Your Calling

Text: Mark 3:13-19


Jesus went up on the mountainside and chose twelve of his disciples for special service. Luke (6) tells us that Jesus disciples (large crowd) followed him to the mountain, but then he chose twelve  out of that large crowd of disciples. Why did he choose twelve? What is significant about that number? The twelve corresponded with the 12 tribes of Israel, sons of Jacob. Ten of the 12 tribes had been lost seven centuries earlier when the Assyrians invaded and carried them off. But the prophets had spoken of a coming restoration, and a great many Jews were longing for it. The time would come, they believed, when their God would turn everything around and make them a great nation once again. This did not happen physically, but spiritually. The number twelve recalls the twelve tribes of Israel and therefore symbolizes the new or restored people of God, which later came to be known as the church. 

These twelve were known as apostles, which means “one who is sent off.” Our English word ‘missionary’ is a variation of this word. It is one who is sent off on a mission. These twelve disciples were called out for a special mission. What was their mission? They were the new leaders of the new Israel (the church). Notice they were called to do three things: to accompany Jesus, preach, and cast out demons. Now, if they were going to be sent out to preach and cast out demons, first they had to be with Him to be trained. They weren’t going to be able to be sent effectively if they hadn’t been with Him and been trained effectively. We get our power to do ministry from Jesus. We cannot rely on our own source of strength. We have to be connected to Jesus. It is His power working through us. It is also important for us to see that these twelve disciples were ordinary people. They were farmers, fishermen, tradesmen, craftsmen, tax collectors, and zealots. They had faults and character flaws, yet they carried on a ministry after Jesus’ ascension that totally turned the world upside down. Their ministry is still going on today. We are a part of this legacy.

What about the calling God places on our lives. How do we find it? There are a few things we should consider from this text. 1)If we are going to discover our calling, we have to take time to get alone with God and seek this out. It won’t happen in the busyness of life (3:13). In the Bible, mountains are a place to meet with God (remember Moses and Elijah’s experiences in Exodus 3 and 1 Kings 19). 2) God calls us to Kingdom service, but this will look differently for us all. 3) God uses ordinary people. He can use all of us. We do not have to be someone special. We have to have a heart that is open to receiving what God may have for us. We have to have a heart that is willing to obey Jesus when He calls us to do something.

September 15, 2019 (Allen Marsh)
                         Sermon Audio 9/15/19 (Click Here)

Title: What Really Matters?

Text: Mark 3:1-6


Jesus is teaching in the synagogue and notices a man with a deformed hand. He brings attention to the man and heals him right there in front of everyone. The kicker is that this all took place on the sabbath. The Pharisees had laws against helping people on the sabbath. They decided that to help someone was considered “work”, and it was not to be allowed. The Old Testament had laws for the sabbath but no law said that you were not allowed to help others in a time of need.


The Pharisees, bless their hearts, had a distorted view of Jesus and saw him as a threatening figure. We will see today that Jesus did not “fit into their box.” Jesus revealed that the Pharisees had their priorities wrong. They cared more about their traditions than meeting the people’s needs. Churches today can fall into the same trap. We have all heard of some people’s experience with churches where they care more about their own traditions than reaching people for Jesus. Here are seven harmful traditions that exist in many churches today:


  1. Thinking the church is a building, not a movement.

  2.  Refusing to honor and engage other generations. 

  3. Expecting the church to disciple our kids. 

  4. Thinking the church exists to serve us rather than being our opportunity to serve others. 

  5. Making church services something we endure rather than enjoy.

  6. Focusing on our outward appearances rather than the inward state of our hearts.

  7. Choosing to reject culture rather than redeem it.

September 8, 2019 (Allen Marsh)
                         Sermon Audio 9/8/19 (Click Here)

Title: Stale: It Happens to Everybody (Part 2)

Text: Various Texts


Last week, we looked at Mark 2:18-22. The point in these early chapters of Mark is that God is doing something new through Jesus. Some of the first century audience couldn’t accept the new thing God was doing, because they were clinging to the old way of life (Judaism).  I want to go down a side road today. God wants to do something new in our life. When we do the same things over and over, they can become monotonous and lose their meaning. Sometimes our relationship with God feels stale, and we feel as if God is distant.

C. S. Lewis (1898–1963) said, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing Christianity cannot be is moderately important.” Our relationship with God is not to be something we are to be half hearted committed to or approach with indifference. This morning we will address two questions: What can cause our relationship with God to become stale? What can we do to rekindle a passion for God? We will roll these questions into one discussion.

1. Ask God to ____________ our hearts- the good, the bad, and  the ugly (Psalm 139:23-24)


2. _____________________ the competition (Matthew 6:24 and 6:33)

3. Make a ________________________ to spend time with God (Mark 1:35)

4. _______________________ your daily schedule (Psalm 46:10)

5.Spend time with others who _____________________ you in the Faith  (Hebrews 10:25, 1 Peter 4:10-11)

September 1, 2019 (Allen Marsh)
                         Sermon Audio 9/1/19 (Click Here)

Title: Stale: It Happens to Everyone

Text: Mark 2:18-22 (NLT)


In Mark 2:18-22, we see that Jesus’ disciples are accused of not following “tradition” (2:18), for they do not practice fasting in the same way as others. The Old Testament required one day of fasting for “Yom Kippur” (Lev.23:27). The Pharisees, of course, had added many things to God’s original command and fasted twice a week-every Monday and Thursday (Luke 18:11-12). For them, it was a way to show others how “righteous” they were, so we can imagine how it didn’t set well with them to see Jesus ignoring their “added rules.” 

Jesus answered his critics with three illustrations--a wedding reception, mending old clothes, and wineskins (2:19-22). Like a set of telescope lenses, each of the three images gives a slightly different focus, but when we put them together in a row, we are able to see the picture sharp and clear. No one “fast” during a wedding feast, instead it is a time for celebration. No one patches old garments with new material, because the new material will shrink and make a bigger tear than the original. No one puts new wine into old wineskins, because the expanding wine will burst the old brittle containers. 

There are at least four things we can take  from this text. 1. The people of Israel were truly zealous for God. But their zeal had been misdirected. 2. We can't put new ideas into old mindsets. We can't get new results with old behaviors. 3. When God is doing new things, we should join the party, not grumble because the new wine is threatening to burst our poor old bottles. 4. Jesus is not something that we “add” to our life. He becomes our life. 

It is easy to feel like our relationship with God has become stale. When we do the same things over and over, it becomes monotonous. God is wanting us to experience new things with him. We need to examine what part of our “walk” with God has become stale and make a change to be reinvigorated with Jesus’ love. There are a few questions we might want to consider. What are we not willing to let go of in order to have an open hand to receive the life God wants us to have? What things in our lives are incompatible with Christ? Are we resisting Christ and the changes he is trying to bring in our lives? Remember, Jesus wants to free us from our sinful ways and lead us into new ways of living. He wants to grow us in our faith and knowledge of him. He wants us to know the joy of living in Christian fellowship. Trying to restrain what God is doing in our life is like pouring new wine into old wineskins,  patching old clothing with new material, or fasting during a wedding celebration. It just doesn’t make sense and never works.

 August 25, 2019 (Allen Marsh)
                       Sermon Audio 8/25/19 (Click Here)

Title: Seeing What God Sees

Text: Mark 2:13-17 (NLT)

Brief Summary:

In Mark 2:13-17, Jesus heads back into Capernaum and stops at a toll booth. Here, he notices Levi (also called Matthew) working the booth. Some scholars think Levi was a customs agent, charging import duties on products brought through this town on important nearby trade routes. Others think Levi was a general tax collector working for Herod Antipas. Regardless, many people regarded Levi’s work as unwholesome. Jewish tax collectors worked for the Romans, who ruled the area at that time. They were seen as traitors. The tax system favored Roman interest against those of the Jewish poor. Many religious people hated tax collectors so much that they were barred from the synagogue and forbidden to have any religious or social contact with fellow Jews. In fact, they were often ranked along the same lines as unclean animals.

It was to this man, the most despised of the despicable to whom Jesus said, “Follow me.” The simple call of Jesus was enough for Levi to turn his back on everything he was and possessed to follow him. Levi knew he would not be able to return to his post if he left. He counted the cost and followed Jesus. Far from being depressed about what he left behind, his heart overflowed with joy. Levi’s first thought was to tell his friends about the Savior. He was so overwhelmed that he threw a banquet to present Jesus to his friends, all social outcasts. Levi introducing his friends to Jesus gave them a chance for their lives to be changed and to become part of Jesus’ larger network of disciples. 

Jesus extending His forgiveness to the outcasts of society and dining with them didn’t set well with the Pharisees. Sharing a meal together was seen as an intimate expression of friendship.  The main point, and what offended the Pharisees, was not that the outcasts were willing to associate with Jesus, but that Jesus was willing to associate with them. Jesus responded to the criticism of the Pharisees with an illustration of sick people needing a doctor. The Pharisees could only see the “sinners’” failures, but Jesus could see their needs.

Jesus sees who a person can be, not just who they are right now. He doesn’t concentrate on what others think about a person, instead he loves the outcasts and the unloved, and offers them a chance to come into his Kingdom. We have to realize our need for God’s transformative work in our lives and see others in the same way that God sees them. We can pray that God opens our hearts to what he wants to do within us and for us to not have such a critical spirit towards others. We have to remember that we are all sinners, and we can all be forgiven if we realize our need for God. For a heart that is receptive to him is a heart he can use for his glory.

August 18, 2019 (Allen Marsh)
                      Sermon Audio 8/18/19 (Click Here)

Title: Unexpected: Hearts Exposed

Text: Mark 1:14-15 (NLT)

Brief Summary:

We are concluding our three-part series out of Mark 1:14-15 today, focusing on the phrase “Repent and believe the Good News.” We have seen where Jesus’ message about the Kingdom disrupted some of his audiences’ lives and challenged their beliefs. Today we will see that his message also exposed their hearts, in particular what their hearts trust in for life. The same applies for us two-thousand years later. Jesus’ message oftentimes disrupts our lives, challenges our beliefs, and exposes our hearts (where we take our hearts to get life).

We think we know what it means to “repent and believe,” but the problem is that oftentimes we only see things from a “western” point of view. For example, the call to repent is often heard as a call to feel really sorry for all the bad things we’ve done, make amends by confessing them in a prayer to God, and then joining a church to show that we are serious about how sorry we are. Repentance, then, becomes little more than behavior modification, which doesn’t lead a person to fully experience the freedom offered in Christ. In the same way, we think to “believe” is to mentally agree with a certain doctrinal truth. For some people what assures them they are saved is that they feel confident they believe the right things. The problem is that “head knowledge” alone doesn’t save. 

Jesus and his audience were from the “Eastern” culture, and we need to view this phrase from their angle if we are to fully understand what Jesus is saying to us. The phrase “repent and believe” means, “Give up your agendas and trust me for mine.” They were to turn away from the social and political agendas they were trusting in for life. Jesus was telling his hearers to give up their agendas and trust him for his way of being Israel, his way of bringing the kingdom, and his kingdom agenda. “Repent and believe” goes far deeper than sin management and being mentally certain about some truths. Rather, Jesus was saying, “There’s a new way of doing life! You’ve been doing it wrong this whole time. Give up your way of doing things and follow my teachings instead.”

“Repent and believe” involves a commitment to trust and to be trustworthy in a relationship with Jesus. He wants a profoundly interpersonal, covenantal relationship with us that is characterized by honesty, trust, and faithfulness. This means that “believing” is about 

trusting in the beautiful character of Christ as our heavenly husband, being transformed from the inside out by the power of his undying love and learning to live in the power of the Spirit as a trustworthy spouse. Jesus’ message exposes our hearts to what we really trust in for life. He wants us to trust Him alone for the fulfillment of life. 

August 11th, 2019 (Allen Marsh)

Title: Unexpected: Beliefs Challenged

Text: Mark 1:14-15 (NLT)

Brief Summary:

We are in part two of our “Unexpected” series out of Mark 1:14-15. For this series, we see that for the most part, the arrival of the kingdom of God didn’t meet the first-century Jews’ expectations. As a result, their lives were disrupted, their beliefs were challenged, and their hearts were exposed. This week we are addressing the second point, that their beliefs were challenged. Hence, we are entitling this message, “Unexpected: Beliefs Challenged”, and focusing on Jesus’ phrase in verse 15 that “The Kingdom of God is near.”

The predominant meaning of “kingdom” in both the Old and New Testaments is “reign.” It is the idea of dominion, meaning, “the reigning presence of God.” In fact, throughout the Old Testament, there was a rising expectation that God would set up his kingdom, establish justice, crush opposition, and renew the very universe. Mark’s language about the Kingdom is not abstract and becomes real in the ministry of Jesus. Notice how the Kingdom is emphasized as having drawn near in the person of Christ; therefore, we cannot separate Jesus from God’s kingdom. Through Jesus, God’s rule has invaded the world. This message challenged the belief of some of the first century audience, because different groups of people thought there were different activities that would contribute to the bringing about of the Kingdom of God.

Think about the ways Jesus’ message challenges our beliefs about the Kingdom. Many Christians live as if the Kingdom is distant and far off and think of the Kingdom only in the future tense in that Jesus will come back to earth and set up his throne and rule here. The problem with thinking about the Kingdom only in a future tense is that it robs us of the power of living actively in God’s kingdom in the present. What we need to understand is that because of Jesus, the Kingdom is a present reality not something distant and far off. And if we understand the Kingdom is a present reality, this should change the way we live, and give us purpose and motivation to live our lives for God. Because the Kingdom is in the present, we are to be active participants today. We do this by looking like Jesus and doing Jesus-like things, because the Kingdom always looks like Jesus.

August 4th, 2019 (Allen Marsh)
              Sermon Audio 8/4/19 (Click Here)


Title: Unexpected: Life Disruptions

Text: Mark 1:14-15 (NLT)

Brief Summary:

We are starting a three-part series out of Mark 1. We are calling this series “Unexpected”. We see that the arrival of the kingdom of God didn’t meet the first-century Jews’ expectations. As a result, their lives were disrupted, their beliefs were challenged, and their hearts were exposed. Today, we are focusing on the first of these, hence the title of the message, “Unexpected: Life Disruptions.”

In Mark 1:14-15, Jesus is announcing his message that sets the tone for the rest of the book. His message is about the arrival of God’s Kingdom. Jewish religion was expecting a sign from God, but remember it had been 400 years of perceived “inactivity” on God’s part (from Malachi to their time). And the sign from God they were expecting was certainly not what they received. The Jews were hoping for a Messiah that would lead them to freedom from Roman oppression, not someone who called them to repent and believe for the “kingdom of God is near.” Actually, for much of the audience, Jesus’ message would have been offensive, because it challenged their belief about salvation. This challenge was an “unexpected disruption” in their lives, as we see throughout the Gospels. God used this “unexpected disruption” to knock them out of their comfort zones, and as a result, they had a chance to grow and encounter God up close and personal in a way they never had before. It was their choice. Sadly, for the most part, they chose otherwise. 

In our lives, we will experience “unexpected disruptions.” As with the first-century audience, life’s disruptions are an invitation to know Jesus more deeply, change, and live the life He has for us. We can allow God to use life disruptions as a way for Him to grow our character and faith. If we don’t, then we will be more likely to lose heart and blame God when something goes wrong in our lives. We will end up discouraged and disappointed that “God didn’t come through for us.” Imagine if all of us lived with such trust that we could surrender our “disruptions” to Him, so He can fill us with His life more than we have ever known before.