‚ÄčAn excerpt from yesterday' sermon... (full text attached)

 

Our Lenten journey will take us to the cross, and there we receive the gifts of grace and peace.  But the journey begins and continues with the process of repentance.  Repentance isn’t a one-and-done act… we don’t just one day fall on our knees, confess our sins, receive grace, and live happily ever-after.  Repentance is an ongoing part of our lives.  That must be the case because sin is an ongoing part of our lives.  Repentance is a diagnosing of a deep and deadly disease.

 

We need reminders once in a while—well, pretty much constantly—of our need for grace.  We have that in this text.  There are two phrases I would encourage us to really take to heart.  First of all, Jesus’ harsh words for Peter, which come right on the heels of Jesus praising Peter for expressing and confessing that he believed Jesus was indeed the Messiah/Christ.  But Peter reacts to Jesus’ description of what was going to happen to Him when they reached Jerusalem by rebuking Jesus.  After all, that was not what the Messiah was supposed to do.  The Christ was to come and defeat Israel’s enemies, not be killed.  Make things easier, not harder.

 

Jesus’ response is shocking: "Get behind me, Satan!  For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things."  My challenge for us is this: where are we setting our minds… on divine things or on human things?  In case we are confused by what that means, Jesus goes on to clarify.  To set our minds on divine things means we understand that we are called to follow Jesus, which is not merely believing in Him, and not simply being marginally grateful that He has forgiven our sins.  

 

Jesus calls us to take up our cross and follow Him.  He speaks of losing our life for His sake and for the sake of the Gospel.  

 

In Repentance with You,

Mark

 

   November 2018   
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