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A Reading Plan for Lent

Chances are you just started a Bible reading plan just 7 weeks ago or so. If you’re still trucking along with that, good for you.

If not, and you need a reset, try out this Lent devotional, From Dust to Glory: Readings and Reflections for Lent.

It will take you through the second half of Mark’s Gospel in 40 days and other select Scriptures that correspond to various Lenten themes.

I hope you enjoy it. And if you do, why not share it with someone else?

Download From Dust to Glory for FREE!

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Resources

Praying for the Little Things

In this excerpt from our latest podcast episode, I share that God cares about the small details of life. Here’s a snippet. Listen to the full episode.

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Disciple-Making Resources

New Podcast Episode: Prayer

Today, my wife and I released the third episode in our podcast series, “How to Grow as a Disciple.” In this episode we talk about prayer.

Is prayer as complicated as we think? Does it always have to be a formal, scheduled time where you sit down for an hour with God? Or can it be more conversational and “as you go” about your day? What do you do when you don’t know what to say? How can God’s word transform your prayer life? We get to these issues and more in this episode.

If you enjoy our podcast, subscribe, pass it on to others, and leave a review. Thanks for listening

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Our Very First Podcast Episode

My wife and I (finally) started a podcast, Everyday Disciples. You can read more about it here.

Our first episode, “What is Discipleship, Really?” drops today! You can listen on Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or most other podcast platforms. Would you consider subscribing and sharing it with your friends?

We recorded this first episode last month and delayed the release due to George Floyd’s death and the events that followed it. We do hope and expect to address some of the issues surrounding race in our country in future podcasts. But likely we’ll talk about the issues as they relate to the church and how we as Christians, particularly white American ones, can learn, listen, and respond. We have a lot to learn ourselves and we hope you’ll listen in and process with us.

Thanks for listening!

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Jesus Is Good News

But [the leper] went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.

– Mark 1:45

From the sermon, Jesus the Cleanser, that I recently preached at our church:

Mark is foreshadowing. He’s pointing forward to that moment on the cross when Jesus is alone. An unclean outcast. Dying outside the city gates. Bearing the curse of our infection. Becoming a curse for us. Mark is pointing forward to that moment in his gospel when he quotes Jesus crying out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

And it’s right here that Mark draws us in to the story. He’s not just foreshadowing. He’s preaching the gospel to the reader. Have you ever wondered why the gospel writers don’t spell out the gospel like…Paul? Like 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”? That’s very propositional. It’s very theological sounding. Technical. The Gospels never sound like that? Why? You ever wondered that? I have. All the time. 

Here’s the answer, I think: The gospel writers don’t sound like that because they’re writing the story of Jesus living it. Paul can tell you good news. Jesus is good news, as Todd said when this series began.

Jesus trades places with the leper to show us we have something worse than leprosy going on. We are infected with spiritual leprosy. Sin. It’s not something that can be covered up or scrubbed off….

It dirties us from the inside out so that we are outcasts before the presence of Almighty God. It even isolates us from each other. We need cleansing to be welcomed back.

And the only way to be clean is if Jesus trades places with us. He comes to ransom, buy us back. He becomes unclean. He becomes the Infection. He loses everything, even his Father, in a moment, bearing the sentence we deserved. Look at him, dying for you and me. The lepers. It cost him everything to make us clean.

Listen to the whole thing.