Where the West separates knowledge and beliefs, Jesus invites us to live the life of the Kingdom, where the two, ‘mind and heart are inextricably linked’. The spiritual knowledge of God’s Kingdom is discovered when you commit to it, seek it and dwell in it.
As we fast and pray during Lent, the hunger of our body and spirit is for what is lost. We ache for Eden where God’s righteousness reigned. In Luke’s account of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, Jesus demonstrates how to walk in the opposite spirit when we are met with trials and temptations, even when we are at our most vulnerable. Mark encourages us to walk in the opposite spirit because it is not just about us as individuals but it is about interceding on behalf of our broken world.
Drawing the four week series to a close, Joshua Butler reminds us that there is an 'organic unity to the human race', that we are not only created 'for one another but from one another'. When we pursue holiness, we invite the temple presence of God to return to humanity.
The information we acquire, the experiences we gain, the things we consume, the people we are surrounded by, all fill the vessel of our inner lives. Whatever we fill our hearts with will overflow from us.
Mark shares Joel 2's image of lives overflowing with new wine and grain, enough to satisfy, which is poured out when God's people consecrate their lives to Him and His purposes. As we approach the season of Lent, the invitation is to seek the Spirit as the primary input in our lives through a posture of 'serious prayer' and fasting.
In our time of countless distractions that can lead us to despair or destruction, the Word consistently points us to adopt a posture of praise. Mark reminds us that worship is focus. It demands our heart, mind and thoughts are all directed in praise to God. As our focus is reoriented to Christ in praise, we become more like He who we gaze upon.
Unpacking the current disconnect in Western society between the spiritual and physical, Mark reminds us of the message of 1 Peter 2 that we are 'living stones' being built into a 'spiritual house'. As the church and disciples of Jesus, we are invited to be living as a bridge between heaven and earth.
AM service Pastor Ryan unpacks the propensity of the human heart to trust either in our own strength or on the tangible things of this world.
In looking ahead to what God has in store for 2019 - the encouragement is to focus only on God so we can experience a Church marked by followers of Jesus leading flourishing and meaningful lives.