Thursday, June 23, 2005

cheap gas?


you think your gas is expensive take a look at the gas prices at an exxon (designated with the "A" makrer) not far from my house. i took this picture last week and used it in my sermon last sunday night (this will be posted soon). keep your eye on the decimal point.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

compassion of Christ and works in progress

Jesus feeds 4,000
Compassion of Christ and Works in Progress
Matthew 15.29 – 39 and Mark 8.1 - .13

Matthew follows the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 men (Matthew 14.13 - .21) with the story of Jesus feeding 4,000 men (Matthew 15.29 - 39.) Mark records the story (Mark 8.1 - .13) shortly after the feeding of the 5,000 (mark 6.30 – 44). If you read these two stories together they are essentially the same. In both stories a large crowd is with Jesus. There is nowhere for them to get food. The disciples have a little bit of food and Jesus uses that to feed the crowd. The specifics in each story differ but the overall stories are the same. Which leaves us with a big question, “Why tell this story?”

We already know from reading the 5000 that Jesus can do a lot with a little. We also already know that when God gives us a flock to care for we must do that. Both of these lessons are learned again in the feeding of the 4,000. So why tell this story?

I am going to focus on two reasons that I see.

First, this story demonstrates Jesus’ love and compassion for us. He has been healing and teaching the crowd with him for the last 3 days and they have nothing to eat. He looks out at the crowd and tells his disciples that He has compassion for them. The disciples ask him where will they get enough food to feed them. Jesus asks them how much food they have. He takes their 7 loaves of bread and the few fish they have and feeds the hungry crowd. Once again Jesus’ love and compassion for us is demonstrated. He doesn’t just tell us he loves and cares for us but shows it with his actions.

The second reason I think this story is told is to show us that the disciples, like us, are works in progress. They are still learning to rely on Jesus and his power. He takes the small amount of food they have and feeds all the people. Again he shows them his power so that they will learn to rely on it. Again they are shown that no matter how powerless they feel He will take what little we have and do great things.

Matthew and Mark tell us this story to show us that Jesus has compassion and love for us. When we are in need and can not provide for ourselves, Jesus is there for you and me. They also tell us this story to show that the disciples are still learning. If you don’t know all there is about being one of God’s people. If you don’t know how to rely on Jesus Christ’s power instead of your own. Don’t worry you are in good company the disciples didn’t either but they learned over time to rely on Christ’s power. They learned more and more about living as one of God’s people by following the SON.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

meals of jesus return!

Feeding the 5000
John 6.1 - .15
Luke 9.10 - .17
Mark 6.30 - .45
Matthew 14.13 – .21

After about a two-month break I am returning to my series on the meals of Jesus. Looking at the largest recorded meal that Jesus was a part of. This meal is traditionally called “The Feeding of the 5,000” and can be found Matthew 14.13 - .21, Mark 6.30 - .45, Luke 9.10 - .17 and John 6.1 - .15. Interesting fact about this meal it is the only miracle (other than the resurrection) that is recorded in all four gospels! It is obvious to me that this event, this miracle had a huge impact on the Matthew and John as participants in the event and on the sources for Mark’s and Luke’s gospel accounts. I think I know why.

Several days earlier Jesus had sent the 12 Apostles out in pairs to teach and heal (Mark 6.1 – 13 & Luke 9.1 - .6). They were given he authority to drive out demons and heal the sick. They were told to teach in the towns and villages they went to. They were also told to “take nothing” with them. They were to rely on the LORD for their provisions. The LORD would give them a place to stay and food to eat but they weren’t to take anything with them. Shortly before they return Jesus gets the news that Herod the Tetrarch has beheaded his cousin, John the Baptist (Matthew 14.1 – 13, Mark 6.14 – 29 & Luke 9.7 - .9). When the 12 return they want to tell Jesus all about what they did and He wants to take them to a solitary place to process their trip and mourn the loss of his cousin.

So they get in a boat to go to a solitary place and are thwarted by the crowd. Jesus gets out of the boat and finds a crowd waiting for him (Matthew 14.13 - .21, Mark 6.30 - .45, Luke 9.10 - .17 & John 6.1 - .15). He sees them as sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6.34) and begins to shepherd them by teaching them about the Kingdom of God. The day is getting late and the 12 come to Jesus and ask him to send the crowd away to the surrounding towns and villages to find food cause there was no where to buy food where they were. Jesus answer is essentially “NO, you feed them.” John tells us He does this to test them and he already knew what he was going to do.

They are stunned by his answer and proceed to tell him why they can’t take care of all these people. First, they don’t have enough money it would take 8 months wages to feed them. 8 month’s wage is tremendous amount of money then and now. Secondly we only have 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish for ourselves. My guess is that by this point they have failed the test. Jesus tells them to give him the food and have the crowd sit down. He then gives thanks for the food, blesses it and distributes it to everyone there. Then the most amazing thing happens not only does everyone get to eat but they are filled and there are left overs!

So why is this in every gospel? What lesson did these guys learn that made them all tell it? The first lesson I see is feed your sheep; take care of the flock God blesses you with. Jesus gets off the boat and there before him is a lost crowd he sees as sheep and he begins to shepherd them by caring for their souls through teaching them and then taking care of their bodies by feeding them until they were full. The LORD blesses each of us with people we are to care for and he expects us to do that. Just like Jesus expected the 12 to care for the crowd. You may not feel like you have the resources, time, money or energy to do that! Don’t worry that brings us to the second lesson I see, the LORD can do and does do great things with the little we have. If you stop and thing about it we really have nothing compared to all that the LORD has but He takes our nothing and through his power does great things. Jesus took 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish and feed over 5,000 people! Imagine what he can do with the wealth we in this country have been blessed with. These are only two lessons that I see and have the space to explore. Read these texts for yourself and feel the power of this story!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

as promised

july song

lots of links and tunes!

to all my friends back home in atlanta don't be mad that we made a trip down there over memorial day weekend and didn't see ya'll. it was a last minute thing and mainly to go to my memaw's 90th birthday party. so we were only in town for two days. next time we will be down longer and we will try to "hook up with all our peeps." (can you tell i am a youth minister?) got two songs for you this morning.

here is your predictors song of the week "ballad of phil".
history lesson when your all alone you can always date yourself

here is the song bob wrote about memaw for her birthday it is titles "july song" (the link isn't up yet when it is i will update this entry.)

you should also surf on over to the trinity vineyard website to see if they put kris sermon from sunday night the 29th of may it was really good! i just checked the site and the lesson is up it is titled "foundations"