Great Expectations

My name is Mark Smith. I'm a guy who loves Jesus, His Word, and His Church. I am filled with Great Expectations for what the future will ultimately bring - Matthew 24:14.

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Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

My favourite verse is Psalm 16:11, my other favourite verse is Acts 20:24, my other favourite verse is Habakkuk 3:17-19, and my other favourite verse is Matthew 24:14.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Make Sin Visible

I do a lot of reading to prepare for my Sunday School class with my primary sources, outside of simply reading the passage over and making sense of it myself, are the notes in my Study Bible, my Bible College notes on Galatians, Precept-Austin and the commentaries it leads me to on Galatians, and John Piper's sermons on Galatians.

This conclusion to a Piper sermon really struck me this afternoon. After explaining one primary purpose of the law throughout the Bible was to expose sin and make it visible he says:

Finally, if God thought it wise and helpful not to let the sediment of pride and rebellion and distrust lie quietly at the bottom of the human heart, but instead, stirred it up and made it visible by demanding the obedience which comes from faith, then that's what my preaching should aim to do. More than ever I see the need for pastors to preach and Sunday School teachers to teach and members to admonish each other in such a way that the sediment of sin in the lives of so-called "carnal Christians" be stirred up and come to a crisis. Could it be that one of the reasons we see raindrops of blessing at Bethlehem instead of showers is that week after week several dozen people sit in these services with a layer of sinful muck at the bottom of their lives with no intention of doing anything about it? If so, let's pray that God use the Word to stir it up, so it can be seen for what it is, so there can be repentance and forgiveness and cleansing and renewal.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Jesus Heals Lots

I loved scanning through the Gospel of Mark and reading about Jesus healing people while at the prayer time on Sunday Night. Much like when we scanned through Matthew reading of Jesus healing it amazed us all again at how Jesus, while going around doing his big teaching circuit, was healing tons of people "left, right, and center" everywhere he went. My favourite little passage that stuck out to me was Mark 6:53-56

53 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. 54 And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him 55 and ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.

I can just imagine people hearing that Jesus was near by and then taking off running all over the place finding all their sick family and friends and strangers and quickly getting them on to beds and hauling them down to where Jesus was. I bet people ran the fasted they had ever run in their lives!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

What I Thought of Rick Warren's Message

I watched Rick Warren's message from the Desiring God National Conference on Sunday and thought it was really good. I was interested to watch it both because I wanted to learn from him and because I was curious what his message would be like in the light of the criticism John Piper took for inviting him to be a speaker. I thought the primary teaching content of the message was really good, especially his very first point which was "Don't believe everything you think" which he expanded on with some Scriptures about how we can deceive ourselves and some other points such as the fact that we all have blind spots.

I thought the sidebars to his message were interesting too when he sort of defended himself a little bit to some of the critical people watching him by pointing out Jesus talking about "felt needs" and mentioning how his church is not just about being huge but is about sending out lots of missionaries.