"I'm blessed to be married to an amazing woman who was the messenger for our football team back in Dallas when we played for SMU. She would be the messenger of our team. We'd run into stadiums around the country and we played some great teams in those days - in Michigan and Auburn and Tennessee and Arkansas and Texas. But every time we'd go into a stadium and play, Debbie Jo would lead us doing hands springs and backflips going into the stadium."
- As a Christian, how are you like John the Baptist chosen as a messenger to represent Christ?
- What character qualities does God want for Jesus as a modern day messenger?
- As Paul Revere warned of the British attack on America, how can you warn your friends and your family of Satan's modern day attacks as you present Christ?
00:14 I am really excited to begin this morning, a several day study of the book of Mark. Mark is the second Bible in the four gospel accounts of Jesus's life. And we read from gospel history that Mark whose mother was also named Mary, literally grew up in the middle of the action of the early church and the life of the disciples after Jesus' resurrection. I mean this guy was in the middle of it all. He also traveled with Paul and Barnabas. You can read through the book of Mark, a whole lot of Peter's personality. So we know that Mark was a friend of Peter, and in about 55AD, just 20, 23, maybe years after Jesus' resurrection, this great gospel account, incredibly accurate, dedicated to the purpose of showing the deity of Christ was written. So, if you're excited as I am, let's get into the study.
01:06 Today we're in chapter one and we're going to be looking at verse one through four. And it says this, "the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the son of God as it is written in Isaiah the prophet," and he quotes Isaiah and he says, "behold, I send my messenger ahead of you who will prepare your way, the voice of the one crying in the wilderness, make ready the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight." John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. You know what? I grew up memorizing a poem and I think all the old guys can relate to this poem. Lots of us memorize it around the country, but it's a poem about a messenger. Somewhat like Paul Revere. I mean someone like John the Baptist and his name was Paul Revere and this is part of the old poem that we memorized.
01:59 If I can remember some of this, he said, "listen, my children and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere on the 18th of April in 75 hardly a man is now alive. Who remembers that famous day and year? He said to his friend, if the British March by land or sea from the town tonight hang a lantern, a loft in the Belfry arch of the North, the church tower as a signal light, one if by land, and two, if by sea." You know, he's gotta be one of the great American heroes. I don't think he'll ever be forgotten. Paul Revere was the chosen messenger that told the American soldiers, the British were coming and America was ready to fight for the death for independence as a nation. What an honor. You can almost hear the general saying, you know what, we can depend on Paul Revere. I can almost hear, you know, they're talking about their words of faith and assurance. Imagine the honor of being chosen to be the messenger. And by the way, some historians say it was actually William Daws and only the poet made Paul Revere famous. But whether it was William Daws or Paul Revere, one and was chosen as a messenger.
03:05 You know, I'm blessed to be married to an amazing woman who was the messenger for our football team back in Dallas when we played for SMU. She would be the messenger of our team. We'd run into stadiums around the country and we played some great teams in those days - in Michigan and Auburn and Tennessee and Arkansas and Texas. But every time we'd go into a stadium and play, Debbie Jo would lead us doing hands springs and backflips going into the stadium. And it was pretty fun going behind her and the cheerleaders. And now, after 38 years, I'm her cheerleader and I'll be her cheerleader til the day she dies. The chosen messenger.
03:45 I have another friend who was a chosen messenger. His name was Dan Roberts. Dan was a great country music writer, songwriter wrote for Garth Brooks and Garth loved Dan. And because of his integrity, Garth would use Dan to open up for him and lead the way as Garth toured the world and some of the great concerts in the middle of his great career, Dan was the, was the messenger. But can you imagine being the, really the honor chosen by God to open up for not a football team, not for a music star, but for Jesus? Can you imagine the honor I chose you, John. You can almost hear God say, I chose you John the Baptist to lead the way for my son. I chose you to pave the highway to prepare the coming. My son will only come to this earth once in all of history to live as a man and die for people's sins. And you know what? His second coming will be so majestic, I won't need an Envoy.
04:48 Here's the questions for today. As a Christian, how are you like John the Baptist chosen as a messenger to represent Christ? The second question to think about today is what character qualities does God want for Jesus as a modern day messenger? And thirdly, as Paul Revere warned of the British attack on America, how can you warn your friends and your family of Satan's modern day attacks as you present Christ? Interesting questions, huh? Can anything, here's a thought for today. There is even a way to be John the Baptist in your home, in your school, in your business. Consider your role in that and embark on that fantastic chosen ride today.