2018-04-29: Jesus-The Ultimate Action Hero – Who’s In Charge?

Sermon Audio: Who’s In Charge?
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Mark 9:14-37
Duration: 27:17
Size: 14.5 MB

Jesus: The Ultimate Action Hero
Who’s In Charge?
Mark 9:14-37

Chapter 9 of Mark’s gospel is really an object lesson in upsetting the default human tendency towards power and the real way God’s universe runs.

I love this account because we, as Jesus’ disciples, face ministry “failures” at times. We think we hear from God, we step out in faith, and then fall flat on our faces.

Here Jesus shows His exasperation. But notice what frustrates Him: unbelief.

It’s like Jesus is saying “I can do anything. The question is: do you believe I can?”

So perhaps the disciples had begun to attempt to drive out demons in their own strength when their initial attempts failed.

But instead of really pressing in to find out from God what’s going on, we just grimace and bear it, or we hide away, or throw a pity party, or solve it in our own strength.

True greatness is measured by how much you serve, not by how much you rule.

When the disciples couldn’t drive out the demon, Jesus spoke of the problem of unbelief, which is really lack of submission and trust in Jesus.

“…But if you can do anything,…”

“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

2018-04-22: Jesus-The Ultimate Action Hero – Why Follow Jesus?

Sermon Audio: Why Follow Jesus?
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Mark 8:34-9:13
Duration: 22:04
Size: 11.6 MB

Jesus: The Ultimate Action Hero
Why Follow Jesus?
Mark 8:34-9:13

Accomplishing God’s tasks with man’s methods never works – so Jesus rebuked Peter.

He wasn’t saying that everyone must die on a cross, but that each of us must set aside our ways and take on a commitment to follow the Lord no matter what.

What you think of Him matters. What you think of His words matters. If you reject them, you reject Him and when He comes back as king he will reject you.

It means a change from within, and not just in appearance but a complete transformation of the entire being.

Imagine what you would have felt if you woke up from a deep sleep to three glorious men standing there?

Suddenly all the glory was gone, and it was just Jesus, now in human form, standing there. What a mind-blowing experience.

But all that didn’t mean the death of Jesus was no longer necessary. So Jesus calls them to think about that aspect of the Messiah.

2018-04-15: Jesus-The Ultimate Action Hero – Incomplete Vision

Sermon Audio: Incomplete Vision
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Mark 8:22-8:33
Duration: 19:39
Size: 10.7 MB

Jesus: The Ultimate Action Hero
Incomplete Vision
Mark 8:22-8:33

It’s a great bridge from the spiritually blind disciples to the physically blind man.

Though Jesus had compassion on the physical needs of people, He never lost sight of His ultimate mission – to heal souls through the cross. To Seek and Save the lost.

Peter declares Jesus is the Messiah – but when we look at him later, after the resurrection, he doesn’t seem to get it.

We are always interested in what gets us what we want now – but Jesus knew the real mission was much bigger than that.

Anything that keeps Jesus from the suffering cross would keep mankind forever in bondage.

So let Him touch the eyes of your heart and give you clear sight into the gift He offers – all you have to lose is your life – and all there is to gain is life eternal!

“Who do you say that I am?”

2018-04-08: Jesus-The Ultimate Action Hero – What Is Faith?

Sermon Audio: What Is Faith?
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Mark 7:24-8:21
Duration: 21:06
Size: 11.8 MB

Jesus: The Ultimate Action Hero
What Is Faith?
Mark 7:24-8:21

Jesus and His men went, presumably, to a Jewish home in order to get some time to rest away from crowds. But alas, such was not the case.

Jesus came first to the Jews but always intended for the gospel to go out from there to the entire world.

The deaf-mute could not ask Jesus for healing so his friends brought him and begged the Lord to touch him.

Often deaf people can speak, but because they don’t hear the sound their speech is not clear.

It’s possible that this miracle took place very near where Jesus freed the man with the demons, on the southeastern shore of the lake.

Mark calls their demand for a “sign” a test – such as where Satan tempted Jesus to perform at his will – so too the Pharisees want to control Jesus.

His point is that introducing self-righteousness or political expediency is dangerous when it comes to relating to God.

2018-03-25: Jesus-The Ultimate Action Hero – Battling the Broken Mind

Sermon Audio: Battling the Broken Mind
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Mark 6:53-7:23
Duration: 21:07
Size: 11.7 MB

Jesus: The Ultimate Action Hero
Battling the Broken Mind
Mark 6:53-7:23

Such was the case for the Pharisees. In their zeal to serve God they ended up serving themselves because they lacked an objective source of truth.

It is the act of reaching out in trust and reliance on Jesus that heals not some piece of cloth or ritual.

Over the years after the Babylonian captivity, the religious leaders had added hundreds of oral traditions that they considered as binding as the Law.

They are not attacking Jesus personally, but by accusing His disciples it is like they are saying “If you were really a holy man and a rabbi, wouldn’t you have taught your disciples to obey the traditions?”

The problem the Pharisees had was they had replaced God’s Word with their own words as the authority over their lives and conduct.

It was not the diet that goes in, but the character that already lives in a person and comes out that matters.

The moment we place our own mind on the same or greater plain as God’s over what is good–we begin to layer over the top of God’s character like varnish on a piece of wood.