2018-08-26: Jesus-The Ultimate Action Hero–Ultimate Worship Ultimate Betrayal

Sermon Audio: Ultimate Worship Ultimate Betrayal
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Mark 13:24-14:11
Duration: 19:51
Size: 9.68 MB

Jesus: The Ultimate Action Hero
Ultimate Worship Ultimate Betrayal
Mark 13:24-14:11

Like in a theater, the house lights dim so the lights can come up on the stage. So too–both at the beginning and end of our account today, we see the lights dim in order to let the enemy have full sway, until the spotlight shines on the Savior–as the suffering Savior, then as the coming King.

He left in clouds and in clouds He will return–but not humbly riding into Jerusalem on a donkey but “in power and glory.”

No matter what happens around you, the words of Jesus will NEVER pass away–words like “I will never leave you nor forsake you” or that nothing can separate you from His love.

The main point here is that Jesus has given us a job to do, and that is to have an active relationship with Him, being transformed into His image by the Holy Spirit and to be a witness to His love and power.

At this point the religious leaders have resigned themselves to arresting Jesus, but they knew they were no match for Him in public and feared the crowds and a potential Roman response to a riot.

Mark puts it here, out of chronological order, to emphasize what Jesus is about to do.

From the ultimate act of worship to the ultimate act of betrayal.

It’s worth thinking about where we are on that scale–from freely giving it all to holding on so tight that we are willing even to leave Jesus behind.

2018-08-19: Jesus-The Ultimate Action Hero–Looking To The End Times

Sermon Audio: Looking To The End Times
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Mark 13:1-23
Duration: 20:06
Size: 10.0 MB

Jesus: The Ultimate Action Hero
Looking To The End Times
Mark 13:1-23

Here in Mark 13, Jesus lets them know what to expect before the military aspect of the Messiah comes about–and that for them, it isn’t about focusing on fighting or ruling but on being ready, being patient, sharing something He called “good news”, and that the intervening time would not be easy.

Jesus isn’t impressed by man’s structures, whether a magnificent temple or an impressive religious system.

So too, there are large spaces of time in between the events Jesus predicts.

Jesus’ words here tell them that disasters and major bad things will continue to happen but it doesn’t mean the end has come.

Don’t focus on signs the world is ending; instead focus on your job to share the gospel.

The disciples needed these words because the very things Jesus said here happened to them after His departure.

Though searching for signs takes us off task sometimes, there is a very specific sign that Jesus wants His people living in the Great Tribulation, to watch for.

In those last times people will want so badly for the Messiah to return that they might be deceived into thinking anyone who proclaims Jesus has returned is the One.

2018-08-05: Jesus-The Ultimate Action Hero–Radical Trust

Sermon Audio: Radical Trust
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Mark 12:38-44
Duration: 17:20
Size: 8.18 MB

Jesus: The Ultimate Action Hero
Radical Trust
Mark 12:38-44

Today we get to see the contrast between the men in charge of this current kingdom, and who will be a part of the new King’s kingdom.

We need to be careful about parading our spirituality and position in Christ around so that people are impressed with us.

They feel they are worthy of so much, but Jesus now shows by contrast what is really worth something in His kingdom.

On the surface, of course, Jesus is saying that the size of the gift is irrelevant–what matters is the spirit in which it is given.

At some point, all of us have to be willing to cash in all of what brings us worth in this age and give our souls, and our destiny to a King in a new age.

Two questions to ask yourself:
Who validates me?
Who is my ultimate Lord?

2018-07-29: Jesus-The Ultimate Action Hero–Who is God and How Can I Get To Know Him?

Sermon Audio: Who is God and How Can I Get To Know Him?
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Mark 12:18-35
Duration: 20:01
Size: 10.1 MB

Jesus: The Ultimate Action Hero
Who is God and How Can I Get To Know Him?
Mark 12:18-35

The Sadducees were enemies with the Pharisees and we see several places in the New Testament where people like Peter and Paul were able to leverage their theological differences to their advantage.

It seems that perhaps this argument was a stock one the Sadducees had used to great affect against the Pharisees in debates.

What created the problem for them and why they came to the wrong conclusion was that they placed their own values on top of the Scriptures instead of letting the Scriptures dictate their values.

The Sadducees didn’t see resurrection in the books of Moses so Jesus takes them to the only Scriptures they recognized and showed them that God is the God of men long dead–from an earthly perspective.

In Exodus 20, the Ten Commandments are broken up into two groups: one group involves staying faithful in our relationship to God, the other involves staying faithful in our relationships with others.

We can give all of the right answers but still not have a relationship with Jesus.

Every other theological debate is irrelevant before coming to terms with that question–is Jesus the Messiah?

In a way you could sum up verses 18 through 37 by saying that we greatly misunderstand who God is because we have overlaid our frame of reference over God.

2018-07-22: Jesus-The Ultimate Action Hero–Ganging Up On Jesus

Sermon Audio: Ganging Up On Jesus
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Mark 11:25-12:17
Duration: 19:17
Size: 9.33 MB

Jesus: The Ultimate Action Hero
Ganging Up On Jesus
Mark 11:25-12:17

The only reason we can ask God for anything isn’t based on our merit but on His mercy and forgiveness.

This begins an extended section where Jesus confronts those directly who hold power in Israel.

They had asked Jesus for His credentials, so He asks them what they felt about John the Baptist’s credentials, hinting that both He and John got their authority from the same place.

Israel was supposed to show the world what a relationship with Yahweh was like, bring in the Scriptures, and provide a line for the Messiah.

Here Jesus clarifies that it was not Israel as a whole that was at fault, but the religious leaders.

What matters is if they believe He is who He says He is and trust Him.

He challenges them to give God the fidelity and faith and obedience that are indeed valuable in God’s kingdom.