The Gospel of Mark

Mark - Lesson 9F

Chapter 9:42-50

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  • Well up to this point, we have found the disciples struggling with the sense of status and prominence.

    • Their concern for the glory and greatness to come seems to be clouding their ability to love and serve well now.

      • So Jesus, in the meantime, has taken the much needed time to address these matters of the heart (sin) which is lurking underneath.

    • As you might recall, the service in which these disciples would take on required constant and continual dependence upon the Lord in surrendered humility for the Kingdom Program. (God’s purpose and plan)

      • What we witnessed last week with John’s interjecting point with Jesus regarding service of others “outside the group of the twelve”, was a matter of the disciples’ pride.

      • It was this “bruised ego” that led the disciples to try and prevent the man from doing this mighty act of the Lord.

    • What this showed us was that God’s work is not simply limited to a “select group of elites”, but rather is accomplished through submitted and dependent men and women.

      • So Jesus, seeing this issue, confronts the twelve in their sin so that there may be effective work done for the glory of God, collectively.

      • The reality was the disciples would need to check their hearts and their motives regarding God’s Kingdom Program and prioritize THE priority.

      • For the object of focus (priority) and worship is none other than Christ, Himself!

    • Tonight, Jesus confronts this situation regarding the impact of sin in ones’ life and how sin, if not checked and surrendered to the Lord, can negatively impact a believer.

      • We will see, more specifically, the responsibility that mature and “seasoned” believers have as a witness to the young and more spiritually immature believer.

    • And as we will discover, Jesus gives a heavy verdict to believers of sin that is unchecked and how it impacts others.

      • If I were to structure an outline or flow of thought for tonight’s teaching this is what we will see:

        • 1. A Warning of Leading others Astray (v.42)

        • 2. A Warning of Leading ourselves Astray (v.43-48)

        • 3. A Warm Warning of Correction (v.49-50)

    • If I were to put a tag on tonight’s text it would be: “The Cost of Discipleship: Salted by Fire”.

      • With that being said, I invite you to open up your bibles and meet me in Mark 9:42-50.

Mark 9:42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea. 
Mark 9:43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, 
Mark 9:44 [where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.] 
Mark 9:45 If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell, 
Mark 9:46 [where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.] 
Mark 9:47 If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, 
Mark 9:48 where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.
Mark 9:49 “For everyone will be salted with fire. 
Mark 9:50 Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
  • Let’s Pray.

  • “Oh, be careful little eyes what you see, Oh be careful little eyes what you see, for the Father up above is looking down in love, oh be careful little eyes what you see”.

    • This was a song I used to sing as a child in Sunday school and this song spoke about how God’s children must be careful and cautious of the things we see, places we go, and things we do.

      • For if we are not cautious about these matters, we find ourselves in situations that can be quite costly.

      • But most importantly it causes us to be aware that our Heavenly Father sees all things and knows our hearts.

    • Tonight, we find the disciples in a familiar place to these lyrics and the warning of how sin can destroy us if we do not guard our hearts.

      • Jesus is going to provide us with the means by which followers of Christ must govern themselves in this life.

      • As well as how our lives should serve as a witness to others, the love and grace of God through His death on the cross.

      • Pick me up in verse 42 to see how Jesus will address these matters of sin.

Mark 9:42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea. 
  • It is in verse 42 that there seems to be a continuation of teaching from Jesus regarding the matters brought up from John’s interjection from verses 38-41.

    • And the matters in which Jesus is going to address, as you will see throughout the next few verses, are heavy subject matters that are to be accounted for.

      • If you recall from last week’s teaching, Jesus addressed John’s concern regarding an unknown man who was performing mighty works of God without having been a member of the twelve.

      • To John, this was a problem that needed to be handled quickly because, to the disciples, these opportunities were “only” for them.

    • However, we witnessed that Jesus pushed back on this idea of exclusivity and cliquishness.

      • The reality was that the man was able to accomplish what He did because of His dependency upon the Father by way of His trust in the Son, Jesus Christ.

      • It was in view of the success of this man’s ministry that the disciples became jealous and sought to prevent this man from this work.

      • Instead of seeing their failure as a means of their lack of dependence upon Jesus’ instruction and the Father’s means of provision.

      • In other words, the disciples’ ability to do the work of ministry was not based upon their proximity to Jesus but rather God’s divine power.

    • The disciples should have been humbled by the man’s service to God rather than haughty.

      • Plainly put, it should have been seen as Kingdom Partnership rather than egotistical competition.

      • For if the disciples would have prevented the unknown man from doing the work, it would have caused hinderance (stumbling) to God’s work.

    • Therefore, Jesus brings to the disciples’ attention a warning, and that warning consisted of the danger of being a hinderance to others both personally and collectively.

      • So, while on the topic of sin and its hinderance to others, Jesus continues that thought in verse 42.

      • It’s almost as if you could insert the word “however” or “but” at the top of verse 42, because the statements are inner connected.

    • Where Jesus mentions the reward of the least of the disciples of Christ not being lost, He contrasts that to the consequence of the disciples who cause one to stumble.

      • He says, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him to be cast into the sea with a heavy millstone around his neck.”

    • Notice that Jesus begins with the word “Whoever”. The question becomes: Who is defined here as a “Whoever”?

      • Well within this context, He is speaking to the disciples specifically (believers).

      • However, the context also seems to lend itself to a positive/negative aspect.

      • Meaning that the cause of someone stumbling or being hindered from service to God can also be instigated by that of a non-believer.

    • Within the text, we see Jesus uses the term “little ones” once again to connect to a previous illustration.

      • In this case the term “little ones” is directly connected to last week’s teaching where it refers to believers who may be either new to the faith or immature in the faith.

      • In other words, where these individuals would need to be encouraged and developed in their trust in Christ, the actions of more mature believers should aid the young believer’s dependence in Christ and not detract from it.

    • Jesus further emphasizes this point by the use of the word “stumble”.

      • The word stumble in Greek is the word skandalizo, where we get our English word scandal or scandalized.

      • It means to cause someone to fall into sin, to place as a stumbling block, or to put as a snare (trap) in the way for someone.

    • So for anyone who trips up or causes hinderance for the growth or maturity for a young (child-like) disciple in the faith, Jesus says there is an anticipated fate in which will come to them.

      • And as we will see later tonight that judgement will look different depending upon “whoever” causes the stumbling.

      • This suggests that both the believer and unbeliever have a judgement or consequence, if you will, that must be faced.

      • Check out how Jesus describes the severity of the consequence in verse 42b.

    • He states that it would be better for this person to experience a quick death in light of the judgement they will face than to cause someone to stumble.

      • He states that this plummeting death to the depths of the sea would be accompanied with a “heavy millstone”.

    • Now a millstone was two circular stones that were used for grinding grain.

      • There were some millstones that were used domestically by women in the home and there were also larger millstones for larger projects.

    • Mark’s usage of language here speaks to the weightiness, if you will, or the severity of this kind of consequence – causing one to sin.

      • The Greek word used by Mark here for heavy millstone is onikos mylos which means millstone of a donkey.

      • Here is a picture of what a millstone of a donkey looked like during antiquity.

  • This tool would be placed around the neck of a donkey for the purpose of crushing the grain in the lower stone.

    • The size of these types of stones could be as great as 3,000 lbs (≅1360kgs).

    • So gather what Jesus is speaking about here, hypothetically: For someone to cause a younger follower of Christ to fall into sin, because of hinderance of service to the Lord, it would be better to tie a 3,000lbs stone to your neck and you fall to the depths of the sea.

      • In other words, this type of reckless endangerment towards a disciple because of sin in our own lives being unchecked is something God takes seriously.

      • Friends, this is such a serious matter of offense to God that Jesus uses language to suggest immediate consequences of capital offense.

    • It’s clear that Jesus’ seriousness about sin and its corrosive hold in the hearts and lives of believers doesn’t just impact us personally, it can “leaven the whole lump”.

      • Wasn’t this in fact the warning Jesus had given the twelve not too long ago in Mark 8:15 (Leaven of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herod).

      • That if pride and ego unchecked and not submitted by trusting in the Lord’s provision and power, it could cause one to become self-centered versus Christ-centered.

    • Friends, when sin goes unchecked in our lives to the point that it causes collective hinderance to others, we must check ourselves, for if not, God’s judgement is around the corner.

      • The disciples were to recognize that their sin of exclusivism served as a hinderance to the advancement of the Kingdom Program and as a stumbling block to babes in Christ.

    • Really quickly, I believe what we see from this text, in hindsight, is the beauty of maturity and grace found in Christ – it should bring about humility!

      • The reality is none who would be considered “mature” in the faith today started where they are.

      • Somewhere down the line you didn’t know all that you know or weren’t serving the way that you serve now nor obeying Jesus the way you are or should be today.

      • And it will be in the next few verses that Jesus provides a warning of leading ourselves astray.

      • He sets out a means of urgent discipline to address sin in their lives.

      • Check out verses 43-48.

Mark 9:43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, 
Mark 9:44 [where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.] 
Mark 9:45 If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell, 
Mark 9:46 [where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.] 
Mark 9:47 If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, 
Mark 9:48 where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.
  • It is after Jesus teaches the disciples the importance of not being a hinderance to other young disciples in the faith in service unto God, that He turns the page warning them of the dangers of sin and how to deal with it on a personal level.

    • We see that within Jesus’ description of sin and its unhinged and uncontrollable nature, He provides a solution to these spiritual problems.

      • Notice that the way in which He addresses these spiritual matters is through physical illustration.

    • He establishes within verses 43,45, and 47, three “If/then” statements regarding the disciples and the means to resolve the toil that pride is playing at this point.

      • Notice the three body parts in which Jesus uses: the hands, feet, and the eyes.

    • What we can see from the use of these physical body parts is, as Dr. Grassmick states in his commentary on Mark, these are “the instruments of inward inclinations”.

      • If you recall in Mark 7:20-23, Jesus mentioned that it was not the exterior things that defiled a man, but rather what’s inside.

      • And Jesus provides a very timely yet hyperbolic correction and warning on the matter.

    • However, before I move too quickly past this, notice the word proceeding each “If/then” statement – the word “if”.

      • Meaning there is a strong possibility that, like the disciples, the inclination of sin will rise up, and whenever it tries to rise its ugly head here is how you deal with it.

      • Notice the phrases, “cut off, and throw out” are in the active imperative, meaning this is a constant ongoing process to implement in one’s life.

    • I say this to say, as followers of Jesus Christ, we must always be on guard and alert as to our sin and sin nature.

      • Every believer in Christ should know what you are prone to and therefore there should be safeguards in place to keep you from stumbling into this sense of pride, competition, arrogance, etc which can hinder others from ministry service and loving God well.

      • And it’s clear that Jesus wasn’t playing with the disciples on this issue, and He isn’t playing with you and I.

    • Notice what Jesus says regarding how to resolve this issue of sin occurring in the disciples’ lives.

      • He said if your hand causes you to stumble – cut it off.

      • If your foot causes you to stumble – cut it off.

      • If your eyes cause you to stumble – throw it out.

    • This is some intense language regarding how to do away with sin for the sake of holiness and purity, but also as the context shows us, how to maintain unity in humility and unity with God as well as others.

      • There seems to be this immediacy within the text that Jesus brings before the disciples.

      • That you don’t just let sin have its way to continue to spread and corrupt the whole body, but you are to cut it off right where it is!

    • In other words, our physical condition in this life requires spiritual awareness and therefore spiritual surgery when needed to live well in the life to come.

      • Simply put, Jesus would rather us suffer great loss here in order to attain greater gain in the Kingdom.

      • Whatever temptations seem to have a hold on you and try to tether you to this world, Jesus says it must be eliminated to the point that you cut it off.

    • Now, again, just to be clear Jesus is talking hyperbolically here! He is not saying to literally mutilate your body for the sake of removing sin.

      • Remember, sin is not generated exteriorly, it comes from the inside-out therefore it must be dealt with spiritually! (Mark 7:20-23)

      • And the way to cut sin off is to constantly submit yourself and your desires under the authority and control of God’s word.

    • Your ability to overcome sin is not going to be found in your ability to think you can control it!

      • That bad boy has to be overcome by a Supreme authority and that Authority is Jesus Christ Himself!

    • Friends, when pride is puffed up in our lives and we lack submission under God’s authority, our sin will make us believe that “we got this ourselves”.

      • This is in fact the issue in which the disciples are coming across with this man who they were trying to prevent from doing God’s work in Kingdom Partnership.

      • This man wasn’t in their group and the disciples didn’t like it, so their collective attempt to prevent him becomes their downfall yet again.

    • So Jesus tells them in these verses, cut the sin out of your life or face the judgement to come. He uses the phrase “it would be better to enter in to (zoe’) eternal life with missing limbs, than to enter into hell (Gehenna).”

      • Now what Jesus is saying here regarding believers is not that they will go to hell for being a stumbling block – salvation for believers is secure in Christ.

      • So this begs the question: “Who and what is Jesus talking about here?”

      • Not only can believers be stumbling blocks, but non-believers can too and the answer to this question is found in the phrase “to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire.”

    • The word “Hell” here is the Greek word Gehenna. This word is transliterated from two Hebrew words meaning “Valley of Hinnom”

      • It refers to “the place of future punishment”.

      • The Valley of Hinnom was a place south of Jerusalem where children were once sacrificed to the pagan god known as Molech.

      • We see evidence of this most clearly in 2 Chronicles 28:3. Check out that text really quickly:

2 Chronicles 28:3 Moreover, he burned incense in the valley of Ben-hinnom and burned his sons in fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had driven out before the sons of Israel.
  • It would be later in the reforms of King Josiah in 2 Kings 23:10 that some historians speculate that King Josiah turned this site to a dumping ground for garbage where fire burned continually to consume the worm-infested garbage there.

    • Therefore, this picture of the “Valley of Hinnom” which people were familiar with, would be a constant reminder of what awaits those who were not saved.

    • So this picture of what the eternal state of quarantine for rejectors of Messiah would be was a reminder of the intense judgement of those causing God’s children to stumble.

      • Now you might notice three times, the text within brackets mentions this phrase “Where worm does not die and the fire is not quenched”

    • This served as a reminder of the seriousness of the judgement of God in rejection of His gift of salvation.

      • The worm representing the constant internal conflict of affliction for the non-believer and the fire representing the external affliction of judgement.

      • Friends, this is the reality of what non-believers will face in their failure to trust in Messiah.

    • So what’s at stake for the believer? – What is our punishment or loss in the process of looking more like the world rather than the bride of Christ.

      • Well, scripture tells us that God uses discipline for those in whom He loves, and that discipline will be executed in this life.

      • But not only that but we will also experience a loss of rewards as well.

    • Think of it as a deposit system: What I put in is what I will get out.

      • Therefore, if you constantly make earthly deposits expecting or anticipating eternal things, you are highly mistaken.

        • If you expect to receive greater things in the kingdom, but yet everything you do is worldly Jesus says don’t expect much.

      • There is too much at stake for you and I to live like the world knowing what is at stake and Who’s witness we ruin in the meantime.

    • In other words, Jesus is saying, either you deal with the sin in your life by cutting it off immediately or I will deal with you myself, in Holy Discipline.

      • This is why Jesus stressed to the men earlier, if they are not against us, they are for us.

      • Therefore, get from beside yourselves and aid their encouragement and growth however you can, but do not hinder them!

      • The reality is this hinderance of another can look like several things:

    • 1. My unwillingness to serve someone by using my gifts in an effort to help them grow in theirs because I’m threatened that they will take my spot in ministry. (Jealousy)

      • I remember, serving as the youth pastor at the fellowship and one of the first lessons in leadership Steve taught me was to work myself out of a job.

      • In other words, I need to be building up others under me who can one day do what I do and do it better.

      • Ministry is not a competition it’s a collaboration of like-minded people together under the Spirit’s guidance.

    • 2. Churches diminishing other churches or ministries because they don’t want to lose their flock to another church. (Competition)

      • I see this so many times where gossip cliques start because this pastor doesn’t preach the way that this pastor does.

      • Is the Pastor preaching Christ and Him crucified?!

    • 3. Pastors/Teachers preaching one thing yet living and doing another and the result of that being a new believer sees and their faith becomes shattered. (Witness)

      • You ever heard the people say, sometimes the only bible or Jesus that people will see is you?

      • Your life is a testament to the power of the Gospel and the power of God!

      • How damaging is it when your sin becomes louder than your Savior to the point that you cause babes in the faith to think that is permissible or okay?

    • Check out what Paul says regarding your Christian witness with other believers. Turn with me to 1 Corinthians 8:10-13.

      • This is Paul speaking about our need to be cautious of our liberty as believers and that what we do matters.

1 Corinthians 8:10 For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? 
1 Corinthians 8:11  For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. 
1 Corinthians 8:12  And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 
1 Corinthians 8:13  Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.
  • Our lives should be to the service of others because of what Christ has done in us and for us – not a hinderance or stumbling block to others.

    • As John 3:30 says, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

    • This radical sense of discipleship, walking out our faith well, requires full submission to God in this sanctifying process.

      • The problem becomes when our sin becomes so loud that we fail to realize we need God to deal with our ugliness.

      • This is what we must guard against friends.

      • But thank God that we have the Spirit dwelling within us that he makes us sensitive to these things as we are in community with others.

    • The goal is to glorify Christ in our service and not to glory in service to and for ourselves. For the moment that happens a red flag should be raised.

      • We now arrive to verses 49 and 50.

Mark 9:49 “For everyone will be salted with fire. 
Mark 9:50 Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
  • As we move to the close of Chapter 9, more especially the last two verses here, we must keep in mind the context of Jesus teaching here – He is talking to the disciples.

    • I lead with context being key because not fully grasping the context can cause a bit of confusion regarding the meaning of “salted with fire”.

      • The two words to keep in mind here are salt and fire.

      • The question becomes: “How do these two words fit together?”

    • Within scripture, we are aware that salt’s physical purposes coincide with the believers’ spiritual characteristics within the world – that of preservation.

      • Food during antiquity, because there was no refrigeration, was preserved with salt.

    • We see both these items used together most significantly in the Hebrew Scriptures, more specifically, in Leviticus 2:13 regarding “grain offering”.

      • Check out Leviticus 2:13 really quickly:

Leviticus 2:13 Every grain offering of yours, moreover, you shall season with salt, so that the salt of the covenant of your God shall not be lacking from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.
    • The big question here is: “What was the significance in the use of salt for grain offerings and what was the purpose of a grain offering?”

    • Let’s begin with the purpose of the grain offering.

      • The grain offering was considered “a thing most holy”. We see that from Leviticus 2:3,10.

      • The grain offering was the only offering of them all in which did not require an animal.

    • As a matter of fact, the most common of grain offering used were barley or wheat.

      • The grain offering would follow the burnt offering which dealt with atonement for the sins of Israel.

      • So where the burnt offering served as atonement for sin, the grain offering served as worship and acknowledgement of God’s provision.

      • Interestingly enough, one item that was forbidden from the grain offering was leaven.

    • Now for the next question: Why salt?

      • Salt was offered with the grain offering as a symbol of purification and preservation – completely opposite of leaven and how it corrupts.

    • Salt being used in the grain offering was identified as “a covenant of salt forever”.

      • A salt covenant or contract, if you will, during antiquity was a legally binding agreement to preserve what has been established.

    • So, if we are to put this together to understand what Jesus is saying regarding all His disciples, He is saying: All who are mine will be preserved and refined for His good pleasure and Glory.

      • In other words, those who are the Lord’s, to refine them and make them Holy, they will experience persecution and trial so that they may be made perfect and complete, lacking in nothing as James tells us.

      • I also love what the Lord says in Isaiah 48:8-11. Check out the text

Isaiah 48:8 “You have not heard, you have not known.
Even from long ago your ear has not been open,
Because I knew that you would deal very treacherously;
And you have been called a rebel from birth.
Isaiah 48:9 “For the sake of My name I delay My wrath,
And for My praise I restrain it for you,
In order not to cut you off.
Isaiah 48:10 “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
Isaiah 48:11 “For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act;
For how can My name be profaned?
And My glory I will not give to another.
  • It is this furnace of affliction for the believers in Jesus Christ, that results in us being “salted by fire”.

    • The purpose of the trials and pressure is to produce Christlikeness while removing the hold of the world in our actions, thoughts, and deeds.

    • Lastly check out what Jesus says regarding verse 50.

    • He confirms that the salt is indeed a good thing – meaning being a preservative for things with an expired shelf life (dead things), is good.

      • He then moves on to say that, if the salt becomes unsalty, how will it be able to gain its saltiness again?

      • This could sound a bit confusing, but if we understand the historical and geographical implications of salt in context, we gain a greater picture.

    • Salt is a stable compound of sodium chloride which means it cannot lose its quality, or saltiness.

      • However in the Palestine region, with salt being mixed with other deposits from the Dead Sea, it would cause infirmities to get into the natural salt.

      • Therefore, the salt would lose its “purity” in a sense and could not go back to its “original state” because it has been contaminated.

    • So Jesus is saying as believers, because we are to be the “Salt of the earth” if we become worldly and begin to look like the world, we lose our preservative qualities as disciples of Jesus Christ.

      • The believer in Christ is to not look like the world but should be the source of seasoning, if you will, by which the world thirsts to know about Christ.

      • But how can the world know about Christ if when they see the church our lives look just like those of spiritually dead people?

    • This is a radical call to be in this world but not of it!

      • And Jesus tells the disciples, if you don’t address the sin in your life by submitting under God’s power in humility, you can become unsalty.

      • Not only to the world but even amongst each other.

    • It’s in verse 50b that Jesus says that as believers, we should have salt within ourselves and be at peace, not with the world, but with one another.

      • Our actions within the church should reflect the love of and service of Christ towards one another.

      • The world should be able to look at the church and say, these people are different.

        • Their lives are nothing like what we see in the culture today, but most importantly, they should see Jesus based upon how we love and care for one another.

    • What is beautiful to witness is that somewhere down the line, John got it right, because he includes in John 13 this moment with Jesus before He is betrayed.

      • Jesus tells them this. Check out John 13:33-35.

John 13:33 Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 
John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 
John 13:35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
  • Jesus, knowing the issues of pride and competition rising its ugly head in the apostles hearts, moves to immediately correct their course.

    • Because it will be these men who will be the holders of this message of the Gospel to the world.

    • It would be these men through which the Church would be started, with the exception of Judas Iscariot.

    • These men had to understand that for the Kingdom Program and this radical movement that was coming to work, unity had to be key.

    • There must be peace amongst these men for the sake of a Glorified King and a Glorious Gospel to be made known to the world.

    • Love seems to be best defined by the actions of God’s demonstration of sacrifice on the cross through His Son’s death!

      • This demonstration of Love was a great act of service in which Christ humbles Himself for the sake of the many.

      • And with you and I being in Christ, we too should be willing to give up our own sense of “kingdom” for the benefit of others around us and among us for the purpose of the only Kingdom that will remain – The Kingdom of God.

    • May our lives as disciples of Christ reflect the great grace that has been shown to us. For the way in which this will look for the church is:

      • 1. Abandonment of “us” and embracing God’s plan and purposes.

      • 2. Dying to sin so that Christ may live richly in our lives.

      • 3. Embracing Unity in Christ amongst the body of Christ.

      • 4. Steering others to a love of service for and towards others.

    • Let’s Pray.