Christianity is the only major religion to have as its central event the humiliation of its God. Which might seem odd in light of the transfiguration we studied last week.
If there was one event that would make for an amazing central event, Christ's appearance in radiant glory to three of his disciples would certainly be a top contender.
But it was at the cross where Christ was exalted. In Philippians 2 we learn about what Christ was thinking as He came to serve, suffer, and save. Watch or listen to our study from Sunday as guest speaker Pastor Nate lead our time in Philippians 2:5-9.
Join us Sunday at 10am (central) as we worship the Lord & study His word. We gather in-person at 912 W. St. Germain Street, St. Cloud, MN; online at https://live.refuge.mn; and on the radio at 96.1 FM (St. Cloud) or at https://refuge.fm.
While mountaintop experiences with God are amazing, we eventually need to get down. It’s true that we are to regularly and habitually seek the Lord in solitude, we are not to remain there. We are not intended to spend our lives in solitude.
We are to be in the world, but not of the world—because that is where God has sent us. He needs us to be the salt and light in the world that is suffering in and because of darkness.
So like Peter, we realize it is good for us to be here—with Jesus, in retreat from the world, getting clarity about who He really is. But Jesus will eventually lead us back down the mountain, into the places and next to the people who need to hear the hope that only Jesus can give them.
Take the time to seek the Lord in solitude and enjoy those times of refreshment and clarity on the mountaintop with Him—so that you can come back down and serve those who are lost, broken, and hurting with what He has given you.
In Mark 9 James, John, and Peter have a mountaintop experience. In their time with Jesus, they receive amazing clarity concerning who He truly is. As Jesus is transfigured before them, they see the divinity of Jesus through His humanity. He is the Song of God, the promised Messiah!
We can also have mountaintop experiences in our regular times of solitude with Jesus. But these times are intended to be temporary—we receive clarity about Jesus so that we can come down the mountain and minister to people who are suffering in the dark.
Watch or listen to our study in Mark 9:1-29 as we considered the importance of solitude before service.
Join us Sunday at 10am (central) as we worship the Lord and continue our study in the Gospel of Mark. We gather in-person at 912 W. St. Germain Street, St. Cloud, MN; online at https://live.refuge.mn; and on the radio at 96.1 FM (St. Cloud) or at https://refuge.fm
Receiving Jesus as your Savior is one thing.
Receiving Him as your Lord is another.
Becoming a child of God saves us from the tragedy of spending eternity apart from Him. Being a disciple of Jesus saves us from the tragedy of a waste life while we are waiting for His return.
We are not to just be born again, and then wait around until He returns. We have work to do that He has called us to do. We are to occupy until He comes and be busy about our Father’s business.
His business is saving souls and making disciples. In order to co-operate in this work, we need to learn what it means to deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow Him.
We must understand this. Jesus did not to come to save us from our circumstances. He came to save us from our sin. In order to do that, Jesus needed to suffer and sacrifice Himself. In order for us to be His disciples, we must understand that He is calling us to a similar life—a life of suffering, self-denial, and self-sacrificial service so that others can be saved too.
Are you reaching others for Him by living like Him? It’s a life of love, self-denial, self-sacrifice—a life that’s full, a life that’s truly life!
Jesus didn’t come to save us from our circumstances. He came to save us from our sins. But in order to do this, Jesus needed to serve, suffer, sacrifice, and die.
Once we are saved, He wants us to and calls us to participate and co-operate with Him in what He is doing. Like Jesus, we must be willing to live a similar life—a life of serving, suffering, and sacrifice—not to add to anyone’s salvation, but to lead others to salvation.
This is where the life that is truly life is found—in being a disciple of Jesus, The Messiah. Watch or listen to our study from Mark 8:27-38 as we learned what it means to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord.
When it seems like Jesus isn’t listening, He is. When it seems like Jesus is being mean, He isn’t. He may be endeavoring to draw something deeper out from you. He loves you and would do anything for you if it would bless you and bring glory to God. Remember—Jesus is God. There is nothing too hard for God, so there’s nothing too hard for Jesus.
Often, we convince ourselves that we need to approach Jesus in a certain way or though a specific method. But Jesus isn’t impressed with religion or ritual or a formula. When you simply and honestly say, “Lord, help me! Lord, save me!” He will turn towards you and answer you.
So pursue Jesus passionately—even if it seems like He isn’t listening, or if it seems like He is being mean, or even if He turns around and calls you “a little dog,” “a dirty dog,” or “a filthy sinner,” because that is what you are apart from Him. That’s hard to accept, isn’t it? Yet this must be acknowledged in order for you to have a real, raw, genuine saving faith to receive God’s gift of salvation.
You must admit that apart from Jesus, you are a hopeless and helpless sinner, and ONLY Jesus can save you—because He loves you. Jesus is God. And there is nothing too hard for God…even saving sinners.
For the last couple of Sundays, we have had this odd question reappearing in our studies: have we learned the lesson of the loaves yet?
If you remember, Jesus walked on water not long after Jesus fed over 5,000 with only five loaves and two fish. The apostles were astonish and greatly marveled at this because “they had not understood about the loaves…” (Mark 6:52). Their hearts were hardened and they were not fully accepting of the fact that Jesus is God and there is nothing too difficult for Him.
What about you? Is your heart hardened? Do you understand that Jesus loves you and would do anything for you if He knew it would bless you and bring God glory?
You can trust Him and pursue Him passionately—just like we saw in several scenes from our study this past Sunday. Watch or listen and continue to learn the lesson of the loaves—Jesus loves you and there is nothing too difficult for Him.
Join us Sunday at 10am (central) as we worship the Lord and continue our study in the Gospel of Mark. We gather in-person at 912 W. St. Germain Street, St. Cloud, MN; online at https://live.refuge.mn; and on the radio at 96.1 FM (St. Cloud) or at https://refuge.fm.
From Pastor Dom...
When I first gave my life to Jesus, there were friends in my life who helped me to grow in my understanding of God, through His word, and for those friends