Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode ONE of the Bible 2021 podcast! Today we are focused on: How We Respond to Jesus. Bible 2021 is a daily podcast, where we will dig into ten minutes of truth from the Word of God. We will read one Bible chapter a day, usually in the New Testament, but we’ll have an Old Testament day each week and a Psalms day each week. Every day we will discuss the chapter we’ve read, point out some important truths and hear some great wisdom from spiritual giants from the past and the present. Ten minutes isn’t much time, but it lets us go beyond a shallow reading of the Word and it’s a perfect way to start – or end – your day by focusing on the Word of God. Every month we will also memorize ONE verse from that month’s readings, so stay tuned for that at the very end of each show.
Everything is under construction here, so bear with us for a week or so. Our website, www.Bible2021.com will be out and available shortly. If I call the show the Bible reading podcast a time or two, will – old habits die hard, I guess. The title and the artwork will probably take 48 hours to disperse into all of the platforms…and the format of the show will develop over time. Also, we should have a downloadable reading plan for those of you that would be interested in that, and it will be available on our website in the next few days. One last thing: When I say ten minutes of truth…you should hear me saying, “tennish” minutes of truth. Sometimes we might be a little short, sometimes a little over (depending on the length of the chapter of the day), but I think we will hit right around ten minutes when averaged out.
Today we are focused on how to respond to Jesus and His message, and our focus verse of the day is also our Bible memory verse for the month of January, and it is Mark 1:15 15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
Let’s read our Mark 1 passage and then discuss some of the highlights.
At the Bible 2021 bunker, we usually have ‘Bible time’ every night, where my wife and I and our five kids read and briefly discuss a chapter of the Bible. I know that is the most incredibly creative name ever, so feel free to use it, and you don’t have to pay me any license fees. Tonight we read Mark 1, and my wife noticed something I’ll bet many of you did too – Mark just jumps straight into the ministry of Jesus, and before you can catch your breath, by the end of the chapter, Jesus’ ministry has taken off to the point that He can’t go into cities because of the crowds. There’s no birth narrative about Jesus, almost nothing about His family…He just gets baptized and starts ministering! Interestingly, Mark actually slows down at the end, and puts a heavy focus on the crucifixion of Jesus and His last week. In today’s reading, we see Jesus baptized, tested in the desert, choose His disciples, cast out a demon, heal Peter’s mother, heal some lepers, and preach the good news of the Kingdom.
Of extreme importance, we hear Jesus say for the first time what His mission is: “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.” Jesus has come to teach and preach truth. He has come for other reasons, as well, but this is certainly one of the most important. Our focus verse tells us exactly how we should respond to Jesus, and I hope you can appreciate how simple it is compared to the message of other religions. The way to respond to Jesus is to “repent and believe the good news.” Turn away from our sin, and BELIEVE the message of Jesus. It is wonderfully simple, and yet involves the whole course of our lives changing, doesn’t it?
Let’s close with some wisdom from the spiritual giant Charles Spurgeon on this passage:
OUR Lord Jesus Christ commences his ministry by announcing its leading commands. He cometh up from the wilderness newly anointed, like the bridegroom from his chamber; his love notes are repentance and faith. He cometh forth fully prepared for his office, having been in the desert, “tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin;” his loins are girded like a strong man to run a race. He preacheth with all the earnestness of a new zeal, combined with all the wisdom of a long preparation; in the beauty of holiness from the womb of the morning he glittereth with the dew of his youth. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for Messias speaketh in the greatness of his strength. He crieth unto the sons of men, “Repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Let us give our ears to these words which, like their author, are full of grace and truth. Before us we have the sum and substance of Jesus Christ’s whole teaching—the Alpha and Omega of his entire ministry; and coming from the lips of such an one, at such a time, with such peculiar power, let us give the most earnest heed, and may God help us to obey them from our inmost hearts.
C. H. Spurgeon, “Faith and Repentance Inseparable,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 8 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1862), 397.
End of the Show: Bible memory verse for January: Mark 1:15 15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
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