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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

Prayer and Work

A minister who was conducting worship services in the White House quoted a maxim of Augustine: “I will work as if everything depended on me; I shall pray as if everything depended on God.”

Prayer and work naturally go together. Jesus said, “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1). Prayer is important but prayer is not a substitute for work; it is a desperate effort to work further and to be efficient beyond the range of one’s powers. It is not the lazy who are most inclined to prayer; those who pray most care most, and who, having worked hard, find it intolerable to be defeated.

While the Bible repeatedly urges us to pray, it also urges us to work. For example, it says, “Let us abound in the work of the Lord” and “Let us not be weary in well doing.” Work and prayer are an unbeatable combination. To live life at its best give both of them a prominent place in your life.

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