Sunday, April 19, 2015

I AM NOT FIRST: SCS No. 44


Sunday, April 19, 2015, Stoney Creek Sermonette: Number 44

(This is a series of sermonettes on The Gospel According To Mark. )

(Ed Cooper is an ordained Elder and minister in the Christian Church/Churches of Christ which are a part of the Restoration Movement started in Appalachia in the early 1800’s. Ed started preaching as a teenager in the village churches around Mashoko Mission, Zimbabwe, Africa when he was there with his parents in the early 1960’s.)

SCRIPTURE for Today: Mark 9: 33-37 King James Version (KJV)
33 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?
34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.
35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,
37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.
SERMON for Today:
I am not first.  Do you think you are?  This teaching of Jesus is much harder than it seems at first glance.  Humility is not something that comes easy to any of us.  It certainly is not one of my foremost traits.

The attitude of heart Jesus is teaching does not even overlook a lowly child but receives, and thereby cares for, such a little one in Christ’s name. In contrast to the status-seeking of the disciples , Jesus is showing them they should willingly take on lowly, often unnoticed tasks and care for those who have little status in the world. Anyone who does this, Jesus says, receives me and in so doing also receives the Father. Humbly caring for people of lowly status out of obedience to Christ will be rewarded by rich personal fellowship with both the Son and the Father.

To become a servant rather than be the one served is hard, but it is what Jesus requires of His followers.  He does not demand perfection, but He does demand servanthood.
 
NEXT WEEK: The subject will be Divorce.  Mark 10: 1-12

 
PRAYER for Today: Matthew 6:9-13 King James Version (KJV)
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.


© Ed Cooper, April 19, 2015, Stoney Creek, Tennessee
   All rights reserved

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