Today I listened to one of the best sermons I have ever heard my pastor preach. His message was titled “Radical?” and it centered in on Mark 8:27-38.
His message was titled in relation with David Platt’s popular book “Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream” seen here and available for purchase at any Christian book selling establishment. Pastor Marty added a question mark to his message title to suggest that while obedient Christian behavior may seem radical today, it is actually practical and clearly stated in Mark 8:27-38. Pastor Marty passionately expressed his desire throughout the message that what may seem radical needs to become the norm.
Click here to view Mark 8:27-38.
So why did I find this message so impacting on my spiritual walk? Honestly, I saw myself in Peter. I saw myself as a man who continues to daily toss up to God, irreverently, things that concern man while completely neglecting the things that concern God. In hearing the message, I began to think on how much of my daily thoughts are fraught with everything but the glory of God. It is amazing to me how tainted my world can be by neglecting this fundamental thought. Jesus makes it clear to Peter and to His disciples that the business of the Christian is God’s business. The concerns of the Christian are God’s concerns. And what concerns God?
His glory. Plain and simple.
How is that lived out? It is through the gift of Jesus Christ who died for our sins and offers eternal life to those that would surrender their life to Him and live that purchased life devoted to glorifying God. I think about Peter and John in Acts 4:19-20 who could not help but preach about what they had seen and heard.
What a message! Pastor Marty inspired me with his words today. He inspired me to realize that the message is practical. Jesus wants me to aspire for Him, to be on His band wagon. That doesn’t include me understanding everything about His plan, but it does mean that if I am surrendering my life, then I have to trust that He will guide me. It is sad that what is practical is in fact “radical” today. But, honestly, as one who complicates and “web-weaves” for my own glory, I have to say that I am refreshed when a pastor can get up there and say very simply, here are the watershed verses and they are practical. Obedience. What concerns God, not man? Lose your life in Jesus daily. Be not ashamed to spread the Gospel, but rather be compelled to like Peter and John because of the work He is doing in your heart. Wow!
In a season where there is so much emphasis on family, tradition, and unity in the secular world, there can be no doubt that there will be many opportunities to share the Gospel. Taking Pastor Marty’s advice, I am more confident that people will see the joy of Jesus in my eyes if I take the words of Jesus to heart in this passage and seek after what concerns God, and not what concerns man. Praise the Lord.
Pastor Marty Jacumin has been Senior Pastor at Bay Leaf Baptist Church for five and a half years. He and his family have been interconnected with Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (where I attend) for many, many years. He not only teaches at the school but also works with the school in maintaining its biblical foundation and mission emphasis.