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The Essentials for Service

Mark 9:14-29

The space shuttle Discovery landed safely and soundly yesterday, in fact, so much so that space scientists believe that it will fly three more times this year. Our spaceflights are becoming so common that they are almost like everyday occurrences. While this is so the effect of these flights on these who ta...

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Because He Lives

Mark 9:1-10

Years ago someone gave me a little plaque that had written on it the words about one solitary life. You have become familiar with it, but let me read it again. It is one of the finest statements concerning Jesus that you will ever find anywhere. “He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He worked...

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Being Number One

Mark 9:31-50

The desire to be first, to be number one, is deeply engrained in all of us. It can be seen in everyone from the beer-guzzling fan at a professional football game to the petite high school cheerleader punching holes in the sky with her index finger and shouting, “We’re number one! We’re number one!”

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Love That Makes Demands

Mark 10:17-22

In Mark 10:17, Jesus had finished a busy day of teaching. In fact he had concluded talking about little children saying to the disciples, “Allow the little children to come unto me and forbid them not for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Then he left and it says, “There came one running and kneeling to him...

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Marriage—Jesus Style

Mark 10:1-16

There was a young man who was preparing to perform his first wedding ceremony. He was nervous. He was afraid that he would get to the middle of the ceremony and forget the rest of it and not know what to say. So he talked with an elderly minister about what to do. The older man said, “Well, son, if you forget the ceremo...

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The Servant's Heart

Mark 10:42-45

Somebody has said that when climbing the ladder of success you had better stop and check every once in a while just to make sure that when you get to the top you don’t discover that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall. It is possible for a person to be so busy seeking success that they miss what real succe...

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Prerequisites for Blessing

Mark 10:46-52

The great Presbyterian preacher Clarence McCartney was once riding across the city of Chicago with William Jennings Bryan and they passed the coliseum where Bryan had made perhaps his greatest speech in 1896. In that speech he had closed his message by saying, “You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.”<...

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What Keeps Us Going?

Mark 10:32-34

If you ever found it hard to keep going in life, if you have ever been in one of those dark and difficult and demanding situations where you simply wanted to quit, to give up, to throw in the towel, to turn tail and run, then you will understand how Jesus felt when he was on the road to Jerusalem.

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The One Thing Lacking

Mark 10:17-27

“How many points should a sermon have?” Jeff Ray said, “At least one.” The point of my sermon today is this: that no person by human effort can earn his way into the kingdom of God. 

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Today's Devotional

Applied Christianity

I once talked with a man who was convinced that Christianity was a failure. His conclusion was based on the fact that while our cities are full of churches and preachers, our world is getting worse and worse.

If you think about this criticism, you must agree that there is much religion in America that has little effect on the daily lives of people. While the number of church members may grow each year, so does lawlessness and immorality. But does this mean that Christianity is a failure? No. At the close of World War I a soap manufacturer, walking down the street with his pastor, was bemoaning the “failure” of Christianity. He said to his pastor, “After 19 centuries of preaching and teaching Christ, there is still so much evil in the world. I don’t see how you can go on preaching the Gospel.” 

“I don’t see how you can go on manufacturing soap,” retorted the pastor. “Look at the little urchin playing in the gutter. Neck and ears filthy. There’s still so much dirt in the world. Soap is such a failure.”

“But,” countered the soap manufacturer, “If people will just apply the soap, they’ll be clean.”

“Yes,” concluded the pastor, “and if men will but apply Christ to their daily living, they will also be clean.” 

The evil of today’s world is not due to Christianity’s failure, but to our failure to apply our Christianity. As writer G.K. Chesterton said, "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and not tried."

Attend church Sunday, listen to God’s word, then apply it to your daily life and you and the world will both be better because of it.

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