"Do not just hear the Word of God and think hearing is enough. DO what it says!" James 1:22

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mark Lesson 2

Mark 1:1-20
object lesson: Use a broom to sweep the area as if "preparing" for a party.
Have another adult volunteer and step in to do the "preparing"
so that you can work on the invitations.

How prepared are you?

You're going to have a party.

What do you do to prepare for a party?

clean the house
prepare the food
invite the guests

Basically, these three things are the main things
most people do when having a party.

Wouldn't it be nice to have someone else "clean the house" and "prepare the food" for you?

Many people actually hire "party planners" to do these very things.
A party planner will even prepare and mail your invitations for you.
YOU still have to be the one responsible for making the guest list.
It is YOUR party afterall.
The party planner can't send invitations if he or she doesn't know who the guests are.

So how prepared are you?

The people of Israel knew a Savior was coming. In the very first part of our lesson this week we know they knew of a Savior because they had the prophesy quoted in Mark 1:2-3
(which was prophecy from Malachi & Isaiah)
"I will send a messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare the way for you."

For years, the people of Israel had asked God for a KING... someone to rule over them.
(Deuteronomy 17:14)
So God let them have earthly kings...
time and time again the people and the kings would sin against God.
The people wanted their kings to "save them."
The people of Israel refused to prepare their hearts for a True King
who was the only King who can save anyone.
Isaiah 33:22 says, "For the LORD is our Judge, the LORD is our Lawgiver, the LORD is our King;
only He will save us."

How prepared are you?

John was sort of like a "party planner" for Jesus. He "prepared the way for the Lord."
And since John was doing all of the planning and preparing, Jesus took care of the guest list.
In Mark 1:16-20, Jesus calls Simon and Andrew and James and John...
"Come follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men."

Have you ever seen the TV show "Hoarders?" It's a very sad show.
The people on the show have extreme clutter
(sometimes to the point of no entry) within their homes.
Would they be prepared to have a party?
There is too much clutter and mess and sometimes dirt within their homes
for them to even consider having a party. They would first have to CLEAN their homes.

John can still be considered a "party planner" for us today.
"Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him."

"Make straight paths for Him."
Mark 1:3b

You're being asked to have a party. How prepared are you?
Your heart is your home.
Is it cluttered with sin and dirty with things such as selfishness, worry, being too shy,
being too loud or rowdy, being bossy, wanting your way too often,
being told to help out, arguing with a sibling.
Sometimes our hearts are like the homes of hoarders with so much clutter
there is no way we could have a party.

When John said, "Make straight paths for Him," he meant, "Clean up your hearts!"

Jesus WANTS to come to your party. Jesus WANTS to enter your home... your heart.
What will you do to "clean up" your heart and
prepare the way for the Lord to enter into your heart?
Even if you've already invited Jesus into your heart, sin is always in the corner of our hearts.
Just like we always clean our homes, our hearts are always in need of a good sweeping.
The only way Jesus can enter our hearts and enjoy a party with us is
when our hearts are clean from sin and rid of bad behaviors.

Will you seriously look at the "problem areas" of your life and clean up your hearts for Jesus?