Monday Morning Coffee with Mark

When Life is Hard.....what should I do?

February 19, 2024 Mark Roberts Season 4 Episode 8
Monday Morning Coffee with Mark
When Life is Hard.....what should I do?
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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.

Speaker 1:

Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives . Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.

Speaker 2:

Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday Morning Coffee podcast for Monday, February the 19th. I'm Mark. I'm working on some coffee on this chilly Monday morning. I've got some notes from the sermon yesterday and I have my Bible open to the gospel of Mark. It is time for us to think about the week in front of us and what we're going to do and what we're going to read and how we're going to install what we learned yesterday into our lives. It's time. Let's get started Yesterday and I preached from John chapter 11 what to do when life is hard and that every bit of that was just hard. Every bit of that was hard. We've got some folks really going through some difficult things, so I'm working outta John chapter 11 and we're not dealing in the abstract. We've got people who are living that and who are trying to stay faithful and who are doing a great job of staying faithful. It , it it , it was tough. That's, that's just really tough. But this is where the rubber meets the road and this is where we get to decide if we're really disciples or if we're just pretending we're just playing at this. It doesn't really make any difference and I hope more than anything else that you take away from yesterday that John 11 can help us and, and that people have been helped by their faith. And thinking about Shane and Kelly Carrington I think is a tremendous help to us to make a story from a really long time ago and from a very far away place come right into our lives right here, right now. But I hope more than anything out of that sermon you take with you the idea that you are not alone and you are never alone. You are surrounded by God's people, but more than anything else, God cares. Jesus cares. He knows where you are. He knows what you're going through and he cares and what you need to do and what I need to do is stick with Jesus. That's the message from yesterday. No matter how difficult life gets stick with Jesus. And I think you're gonna see in our Bible reading this week, that theme really comes out. Let's turn our attention to the gospel of Mark. It is Monday and today we start in Mark the ninth chapter. We're gonna read Mark nine 30 to 37. There are two parts to this. First there is Jesus once again talking about his death. Jesus is speaking very plainly about this. In fact, he does this three times in Mark's gospel in Mark chapter eight and verse 31 here in our reading today, mark 9 31 and then in chapter 10 in verse 33 and 34, and once again, Jesus is just out of their league. They don't understand the idea of the Messiah dying and rising again. Maybe Jesus is trying to help them. The son of man is going to be delivered or handed over. Some translations have, and that's right out of Isaiah 53 verse six and Isaiah 53 in verse 12. So Jesus is trying to help them see what is going to come. They don't seem to have much understanding for that, but they already in the second part of our reading today to argue about who is the greatest, how ironic that is. They know who should be the greatest even though they don't understand the teachings of the teacher himself. And so Jesus needs to reverse their idea. Can I say this? He needs to reverse our idea of what it means to be great instead of everybody doing for me, instead of I get my way, instead of I am the star. Greatness is going to be found in serving. And so I think the apostles would've imagined that in this new kingdom they would be receiving important dignitaries and military leaders and ambassadors from all around the world. And Jesus says, you need to receive a child, verse 37, to receive someone that was viewed as utterly insignificant in that world. That's about humility. That is about humility. And I'll leave you with this thought. One writer noted that Jesus liked children and kids liked Jesus . It is pleasing to note this writer said, the frequency with which the presence of Jesus around presence of children around Jesus and or his love for them is mentioned in the gospels. It's mentioned in Matthew 14, 15, 18, 19, mark 10, Luke 18, Luke 21, Luke 23. Undoubtedly children felt attracted to Jesus and wanted to be with him. And whenever he wanted a child, there was always one present, ready to do his bidding and to come when he called them. And so it is here. I love that about Jesus. Kids have something pure and innocent about them and they saw pure and innocent in Jesus and they love Jesus. I really, really like that a lot. Tomorrow we'll step away from Mark's gospel for a moment and go see what Luke can tell us about Jesus on the way to Jerusalem. I'll see you on Tuesday. It is Tuesday and today we step over to Luke chapter nine. We're gonna read Luke chapter nine verses 51 to 56. This is a very short reading and I think in some ways short readings like this challenge us. Are we gonna spend the time in the text to really dig out what we should get out of this so that we see Jesus like Peter and John did. We're gonna pay some attention to those questions on the back of the reading schedule. Are we just gonna read these verses and be done with it in about 30 seconds? It's not a very long reading. You should know. Maybe mark this in your Bible. Luke 9 51 is the decisive verse in the gospel of Luke. Everything pivots around that verse. When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem from that verse on until Jesus actually arrives in Jerusalem for the last week of his life. Then everything between Luke chapter nine and Luke 1928 where the triumphal entry is recorded, all of that, some 10 chapters is nothing but Jesus on the way to Jerusalem. That's the journey motif, which is so important to Luke. He loves to travel. If you want to travel, I said this in Bible class last week, you need to journey along with Luke because he goes places all the time and we're seeing that in our Wednesday night Bible class in Acts, there's all these journeys or missionary journeys of Paul. And now in our Wednesday night Bible class, Paul's in the middle of a storm in the middle of the Mediterranean ocean. Luke loves to travel. And so from Luke 9 51, Jesus is traveling to ward Jerusalem and he sends messengers verse 52 ahead of him. That's uh , an allusion to Malachi three verse one, no question about that. And he is going to be taken up. I I need to step back of verse verse 51. That's the only place in the New Testament where that term occurs. There is a similar term in Acts used of Jesus's ascension. Now 52, he sends messengers ahead of him. That's Malachi three one. That's a very strong allusion to that and that may be hinting at the Samaritan mission. That is to come and Acts chapter eight, of course Philip will come here and Samaritans will be baptized and become Christians as the gospel spreads out of Jerusalem. I'm a little impressed with James and John. They have great faith that they can call down fire. We saw last week that sometimes the disciples are not able to do the things that maybe they have been empowered to do. I'm not sure that if they had tried it, they would've been successful. Would God allow such a thing to happen? But Jesus is not going to let something like that happen. That's not the way of Jesus. And we would need to probably sit down on that a little bit and explore why does Jesus rebuke them? What would the disciples take out of that? What's going on here? The Samaritans hated the Jews and Josephus even tells us that some Samaritans murdered Jewish pilgrims on their way from the north to the south. There's no love lost here, but Jesus is not going to have a nuclear holocaust in verse 54. Why not? And what does that tell us about how we should serve Jesus today? Think more on that. And tomorrow we'll head back over to Mark's gospel. It is Wednesday and today we're reading Mark chapter nine verses 38 to 50. This is a bit longer reading and in some ways there are some puzzling text here. Let's get to work on it. Let's start with this business about the fellow that they try to rebuke. And Jesus says we shouldn't rebuke him verses 38 to 41. I think this links back to the section in verses 33 to 37 about who is the greatest? This man's trying to be greater than we are or we are threatened by him. We are jealous of him. Remember that Jesus had recorded or Luke has recorded a commission of Jesus' to the 70. Perhaps this man was one of those 70 and as such, he had been given some spiritual gifting and could do some of these things, but they don't like it because he's not walking with them. Jesus says, we're all on the same team and the apostles need to let go of their spirit of pride and be more tolerant of each other. Now, I should say a quick word here because anytime you say the T word tolerance, that has a tendency to get just bent all out of shape. Does this business of he who's not against us is for us justify all the stripes of denominationalism that we see in the world today? Churches of every kind teaching every kind of different doctrine. And the answer to that is, well, of course it does not. Of course it does not. This man is doing miracles. He could not do miracles if he was teaching error and Jesus wouldn't commend him if he was teaching error. So to try to say, oh, look over there, there's a group. Now they're , they're teaching error about salvation. They don't worship correctly, they don't use the Lord's money in the right kinda way. They're doing all kinds , but oh, we should just tolerate them because he's no, no, no. That's a false understanding of what it is to be for Jesus. To be for Jesus is to teach what Jesus teaches. And those who don't do that, they are not with Jesus. We need to be very clear about that. Then Jesus talks in verses 42 to 50 about what to do about temptation. And he , what he says here is, we need to do whatever it takes to overcome temptation. I've referenced this a couple of other times. I was teaching on the 10 Commandments , uh, a couple Sundays ago talking a little bit about adultery and read what Jesus says in Matthew chapter five about plucking out an eye and cutting off a hand and just noted there that immediately as soon as the teacher will say Jesus, doesn't mean for us to literally do that. Everyone has a big sigh of relief and we just move on. Well wait a minute, wait a minute. No, it doesn't mean that we should literally cut off our hand or cut off our foot. Verse 45, no, or our eye shouldn't be plucked out. Verse 47, that is not what Jesus means here, but Jesus certainly does mean something. What is Jesus saying here? Jesus is saying do what it takes to overcome sin because hell is terrible. There is in verse 43, unquenchable fire. Jesus defines hell there as being forever eternal. That going there doesn't mean that you're annihilated or you disintegrate. There is unquenchable fire, ongoing punishment. That's what's happening there and you don't want to be part of that in any way. Which leads me then to verse 49, for everyone will be salted with fire and this would be a great place for me to say, I've run outta coffee and I gotta end the podcast. But if I do that, I just know I'm gonna get a lot of questions. What does Jesus mean salted with fire? Well, that's a very difficult verse. Let me see if I can give you some options. Some think that it references purification maybe by self discipline, thinking about what Jesus has just said about hands and feet and eyes. Some have taken that to be fiery trials that we're purified through trials, but maybe the best explanation of that is to remember that the sacrifices offered in the temple had to be accompanied by salt. Leviticus chapter two in verse 13, for example. So salt would speak of sacrifice. The thought being, if you want to follow Jesus, you have to be ready to be a sacrifice. If that's not difficult enough, how about salt that loses its saltiness? Verse 50. That's not even a possibility chemically that cannot happen. But of course in Jesus's day, salt is not a hundred percent pure sodium chloride. And there is some writing about how salt particularly taken from the dead sea could lose its savory quality and go flat. And that would have to do with the impurities in that salt that it wasn't high quality salt and so forth. But what that means is that they would be familiar with salt that loses its saltiness that loses that salty quality. Now, what does it mean then if the salt has lost its saltiness? How will you make it salty again, have salt in your cells . Maybe to have salt within yourself means to to have the character of preservation and purity. The things that salt does here that Jesus will often commend, insult, have that within yourself because if Jesus's disciples don't live that way, who is going to live that way, be at peace with one another? That seems to be a big piece of this idea about being salty. We use that to mean I really told somebody off, I got kind of salty with him. Jesus means it here to be kind and forbearing with others to be salt and maybe out of Matthew five to be salt and light. Hope that helps you. Those are two difficult passages tomorrow on Thursday. We'll in Mark chapter 10, see you tomorrow. It is Thursday and we are in Mark chapter 10 verses one to 12. Today is the day that we begin the West Side Preaching Conference and I would certainly ask that you pray for all of us today, both the guys who are doing some teaching that would include me and the guys who are doing some learning and that would include me too. It's a great day at West Side . I hope that you'll be praying for us all day today. This is an important section here in Mark's gospel where Jesus treats marriage, divorce, and remarriage. And what I would want to say about that is I think this is a place where we just need to write the word unexpected all over the text because everyone arrives verse two with the assumption we can get a divorce. Maybe there's some quibbling about why exactly, but everybody thinks divorce is just, hey, that's something everybody does and there's no if ins or buts about that. We're going to propose a little test here and try to trap Jesus, maybe get Jesus to contradict Moses. But what Jesus does is contradict them and they're looking for a loophole and their refusal to honor marriage as God intended it to be. Jesus contends that what Moses gave was verse five because of the hardness of your heart. And one writer noted that that was commanded just as a compromise to reduce the fallout from men's hardness of heart. The legislation about divorce certificates protected wise from being brutally abandoned, it freed a wife from the accusation of adultery when she remarried, it prevented the first husband from destroying her new marriage by trying to reclaim her. So Jesus just cuts across all of their thinking and says, this isn't what God intended. This happened because people didn't want to do what God wanted them to do . It's totally off base, the two that have become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together. Let not man separate, and I have pounded on this theme and I'm going to continue to pound on this theme. We need to quit worrying, arguing , talking about endlessly all the details about this, this and this, and get people to focus on the two being one and God joining them together. That's where Jesus' focus is and that's where our focus needs to be as well. We need to be thinking about how to honor marriage as God gave it. That's what Jesus does today in Mark chapter 10 verses one to 12. If you need more help with that, go back and listen to my sermon on the 12th of this month on covenant marriage. Covenant marriage. Maybe that was the 11th of this month, the 10th of this month . I don't earlier this month, covenant marriage. That's what Jesus is arguing for in our reading today. See you tomorrow in Mark chapter 10 in verse 13. Jesus will have some children around him. See you on Friday. It is Friday. It is Friday. Made it through the week. Looking forward already to Sunday, I'm going to continue the preaching theme this Sunday on the challenges to Christianity and we'll start where many people start the challenge of atheism. How do we know that God exists? Let's look at our Bible reading for today. Again, this is a two part reading verses 13 down to verse 16. Tell us about children and about Jesus and kids. And once again, the apostles show their misunderstanding of the kingdom. The Messiah is way too important. Verse 13 for children, and I think this links back to 9 30, 3 to 37, that servant theme, that humility theme I, I think it's easy here to run off and make children into these amazing cherubs. They're just golden and wonderful. And of course that's not always how children are. Sometimes we'll talk about childish behavior. Children can be spoiled, children can misbehave, but the emphasis here is about humility and about how children have that wonderful trust. They don't have any status. They're easily ignored. The adults push them out of the room and they just have to deal with it. They're just the kids, they're nobodies. Jesus says, we need to think of ourselves as just servants. And in contrast to that, here comes this rich young ruler verses 17 to 22 detail, the rich young ruler. Now I'm gonna call him the rich young ruler. Mark does not. That's only in Matthew and in Luke. Mark doesn't tell us he's wealthy until verse 22. Maybe in some ways that heightens the tension here, but Mark does want us to see that the man is fervent. He comes running up to Jesus. Verse 17, he asks an important question, what must I do to inherit eternal life? Verse 17. And Jesus does not say, there's nothing for you to do. In all the conversation that's going on about grace in our world today, so many people seem to want to diminish obedience. Don't do that. Jesus doesn't do that. What must I do to inherit eternal life? And then Jesus says, do you really know what you're saying when you call me good teacher? You know those commandments? And he says, verse 20, I've kept those from my youth. Notice that Jesus doesn't say, Hey, listen here, son, I know better than that. I know what you have done. Jesus recognizes that what he is is a good law keeping Jew. And that under that covenant, particularly since under that covenant, there was the provisional forgiveness of sins through animal sacrificing. This guy's doing the best that he can. He's a fervent follower of God. He's trying to do what's right. And in many ways, he looks like he would be a great catch for Jesus's band. If you ask the question, what do Peter and John see here? They must have thought, we are getting this guy. He is powerful, he is important. He's gonna help us meet budget. But Jesus looks right at him. Notice verse 21. He loved him. Mark tells us he loved him, but Jesus sees something in his heart that he is blocking him from being able to fully serve Jesus and fully come into the kingdom. And so Jesus does not get him. And we need to think about this guy the next time. We're convinced that we should get the kingdom bigger by any means possible. If we bring people into the kingdom who have other things in their heart, then the kingdom, then the king. We are growing the kingdom the wrong direction with the wrong methods, attracting the wrong people. Jesus won't do that. We shouldn't either. And that closes the podcast for the week. Thank you for listening. If it's helping you, please tell somebody else about it, and please do leave us a rating and review so that more folks will find the show and be helped in their daily Bible reading and in their applying of the word of God as preached on Sunday to their lives. Well, there you go. That's the podcast. Until next week when we'll open our Bibles together again, I'm Mark Roberts and I wanna go to heaven, and I want you to come to I'll see you Monday with a cup of coffee.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with mark . For more information about west side , you can connect with us through our website, just and our Facebook page. Our music is from that's upbeat with two P'S UPP , B E A T , where creators can get free music. Please share our podcast with others. And we look forward to seeing you again with a company coffee, of course, on next Monday.

Sermon Notes
Monday Mark 9:30-37
Tuesday Luke 9:51-56
Wednesday Mark 9:38-50
Thursday Mark 10:1-12
Friday Mark 10:13-22