2nd look

The Grand Invitation

Howdy folks-
The 2nd Look is here. I hope you had a great Labor Day. It’s interesting how a passage, like the one we studied in the sermon this week, has for many of us, become a source of labor and striving to us. In Matthew 5:1-12, Jesus gives us a list of blessings and we turn it into a list of requirements. But what if the things Jesus lists in Matthew 5 are not requirements we must meet in order for God to bless us, but rather a grand invitation to all kinds of people, especially those who you wouldn’t think would be invited to the kingdom? Here’s a quote from the sermon this week:
 
“Jesus isn’t saying: Folks you need to be these things in order to enter the kingdom. He’s saying: Hey you people, who are these things, the kingdom is for you and there is redemption here- there is hope- there is healing- there is new power- there is the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow of searching, there is hope even in the midst of your suffering. All of your struggle finds its home and redemption in my kingdom and my friend- you are invited!”
 
I invite you to take some time with this quote and with Chapter 3 of The Good and Beautiful Life. In what ways does this challenge or encourage you? Take this to prayer with the Lord.
 
Have a great week everyone!
Pastor Ryan



The Gospel Many People Have Never Heard

Hello Everyone!

2nd look time!

 

Below is a quote from the chapter this week. As you read it, consider what it is saying.

What do you think about this?

How does this challenge you?

How does it open your eyes?

I invite you to take this to the Lord in prayer.

 

Here’s the quote:

“The Kingdom of God is a present reality that will be fully consummated in the future. It is here and is as real and powerful as it ever will be. Everything Jesus said about the Kingdom is true in our lives. Yes, one day it will be the governing power over the entire universe, but for now it is intended to be the governing power over you and me…”

 

“The Kingdom of God exhibits the greatest power in the universe. Sickness and storms can be brought under its power. Demons are subject to a single word uttered from the Kingdom. Paul stated it clearly: “The Kingdom of God depends not on talk but on power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20) So when Jesus invites us to be with Him in order to become like him, He assumes that we will experience the same authority and power that He has.”

 

May the peace of God be with you this week my brothers and sisters!

Pastor Ryan



The Good and Beautiful Life Intro

Hello everyone and welcome to the 2nd Look.

 

(Please note that if you are in a small group the second look may repeat some of what you will cover in your group session, but it doesn’t cover all of it. This is the benefit of being in the small group, and this book is really BEST to go through with other people. This is my little disclaimer.)

 

I invite you to read Matthew 7:24-27. Read it several times this week. What do you notice? What strikes you or stands out to you?

 

If you need some help picturing what Jesus is talking about. Check out this video:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzhikWJ2RQY

 

This is a modern day rendering of the home without a good foundation.

 

May God bless your reading of Chapter 1 this week. Next Sunday we will cover Chapter 2 of the book. Also please don’t forget to try the soul training, it’s really an awesome part of this book and takes what you learn to the next level!

 

Have a great week everybody!

 

Pastor Ryan

 



Recapturing: Know, Live, Share

Hello everyone and welcome to the 2nd look!

 

This past Sunday we looked at Hebrews 10:19-25.

I closed the sermon with this set of phrases:

 

This passage calls us to:

Draw near to God… Because we can

Spur one another on…. Because we are meant to

Encourage each other…. Because we need it

Live in view of Jesus’ return… Because he is going to!

 

The idea I tried to propose here: if we build our lives on these principles, we will live blessed. Think about this:

 

·      The Bible tells us that as we walk with or draw near to God we will see the fruits of God’s Spirit grow in our lives. More love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. We will be TRANSFORMED slowly but surely!

·      As we spur one another on, we also get spurred on ourselves. We get inspired and challenged and we learn a ton. We find part of our meaning and purpose in life through this!

·      When we encourage one another, we are living out one of the greatest callings for us as a church- but we also find how much others encourage us as well.

·      When we live in view of Jesus’ return, we are continually returning to hope in the midst of life. We grow to be more grateful and hopeful people.

 

All of these things are meant to become more and more true of us as we progress down the road with God. As these things happen in our lives we find more and more blessing. It’s really awesome!!! How great are these things?!?!

 

  Oh Lord, How gracious you are to us.  Would you lead us by your holy Spirit this week as we reflect upon these things?  May all of this lead to you having more and more of our hearts and our lives, so that we might become more fully devoted followers of you!  Most of all, we pray for your glory to be wrought through us!

 

We love you Jesus.  Thank you for loving us first!

 

Have a great week everyone. 

Pastor Ryan



The Passion of Jesus Part 3: The Road Through the Cross, Mark 14:43-16:8

Hello, and welcome to our final 2nd Look in our “Enjoying Jesus” series.

Yesterday afternoon, after church ended, I began moving all the files I had on my computer desktop that were accumulating during the last 2 years we’ve done this series. I had logos and backgrounds for sermon slides on my desktop where I could easily find them. It was a bittersweet moment moving them into my “Sermon Vault.” It’s been quite a journey to get to this place. There were so many sermons I preached from the Book of Mark; it’s hard for me to remember them all! But it also got me thinking: Were there some moments I remember from this series? What was a sermon that stood out to me? Can I remember back that far??

 

In order to help me remember, I looked back in the vault at the titles.

“Geesh, there’s a lot here!”

 

Here’s some stuff I remember:

  • “Jesus has this annoying habit!”

This was one of my favorite sermons from this series. Jesus has this annoying habit of hanging out and loving people who don’t deserve him. I loved this sermon and it seems this line kept surfacing for me throughout the series.

  • “When faith is M.I.A; fear is not far away”

Our faith is Misplaced when we see Jesus Inaccurately and this leaves our faith’s power Absent.

This was another one of my favorite sermons from the series. This is the story of Jesus calming the storm.

  • “We are children of the Father’s blessing”

This came out of the 2nd sermon- where we looked at all God did to bless his son and how he does the same for us. This was a very powerful reminder to me, something I’ve needed to be reminded of again and again.

 

These are just three examples of things we’ve looked at over the past 2 years! I truly had a great time Enjoying this book with all of you!

 

Let me give you something to ponder this week.

If you remember we taught repeatedly that Mark’s main message is that Jesus is a messiah who suffers for his people, and that we as his people will be called to walk in his path of victory. This path will likely lead us through suffering in various forms but we know Jesus is ultimately victorious.

 

What does this truth mean for you this week?

What does it mean to you that Jesus chose a path of suffering to redeem and rescue you?

What does it mean that he reigns victorious and his promise is true no matter what season of life you are in?

What does it mean to you that walking in his path means walking sometimes in a path of suffering?

 

These are deep questions I want you to ponder this week.

 

Once again everyone, thank you so much for joining me on this wonderful journey through such a beautiful book of scripture!

 

Oh, and one last thing. Here’s a link to the video from the Bible Project. It may remind you of the journey we’ve been on.

May God bless you all this week with his incomparable peace in Jesus Christ!

 

Your pastor who’s feeling very nostalgic!

Ryan Low



The Passion of Jesus, Part 2: The Final Super, Mark 14:12-42

Howdy everyone and welcome to this week’s 2nd look!

We are one week away from our concluding sermon on this series!

 

This week I invite you to read the passage we looked at on Sunday and ask yourself this question:

Out of everything I’ve read, what is something that inspires respect, or adoration in my heart towards Jesus? What is something I see here that I really enjoy about Him?

 

So let us read Mark 14:12-42 this week.

Take some time after you’ve read it to simply praise and thank Jesus for his sacrifice for you!

 

Have a great week everyone!

 

Pastor Ryan



The Passion of Jesus: The Plan Is Set In Motion, Mark 14:1-11

Hello SNC brothers and sisters!

Welcome to 2nd Look.

 

There is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that has ministered to me through the years. In many ways, the lady in this week’s passage reminds me of this song. I invite you to listen to this song as you read Mark 14:1-11 again.

Here’s the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cel_O-qy0i0

 

There’s a concept that emerged in studying the sermon.

Consider this:

This woman could give to Jesus what she prized the most because she realized her truest and greatest prize was and is Jesus Himself.

What does this concept mean to you? 

 

May God grant you more of his glorious peace this week as you walk with Him!

 

Pastor Ryan

 

 



Jesus and the Temple Battles Part 1, Controversy 1, Mark 11:12-12:12

Hello everyone,

 

For the 2nd Look this week I have more questions for you to reflect upon:

 

How have I changed as a result of knowing Jesus?

What has Jesus taught me over this past year?

 

If the Holy Spirit is present in your life then it is completely reasonable to expect that He would be doing something in your life. What is that thing?

 

Take some time this week to consider this. Maybe even write it down somewhere. Let it be a matter of prayer for you. I often like to return to this question because it reminds me of just how much God is showing me. But it also may help me take a good hard look at things when it seems like I’m really distant from God’s hand in my life.

 

I pray for God’s peace over you this week!

 

Pastor Ryan



Jesus Enters Jerusalem and the Temple Battles Begin, Controversy 1 Mark 11:1-33

Hello everyone,

This week I invite you to enjoy Zechariah 9:9. In particular, I want you to consider the line in the verse that says:

 

“See, your King comes to you, righteous and victorious…”

 

What does it mean to you that Jesus is these things and not only that, but He has given you these things as well?

What does it mean to you that your Lord is righteous?

Does it help you trust Him more? How?

What about Jesus being victorious, what does this mean to you?

 

Take some time this week to reflect upon these things.

 

Have a great week everyone and may God’s peace be upon you all!

 

Pastor Ryan

 



Jesus’ Final Miracle in Mark: The Blind Beggar, Mark 10: 46-52

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s 2nd Look.

This week I invite you to meditate with me.

 

Um what? Meditate? Ryan have you lost your mind?

No, actually. Prayer is a form of meditation. Don’t let the word scare you. There is a lot of wonderful fruit in this practice.

 

Let me give you a very simple thing to try with me this week. You may find it helps you to relax, gives you hope and joy, or even reinvigorates you! Don’t knock it before you try it. Seriously.

 

So here is how you do it.

 

  • Find a quiet place.
  • A place with minimal distractions. Set aside your phone.
  • Get comfortably seated.
  • Find a comfortable chair; sit on the ground; or on your bed. I do not recommend you lie down because you may fall asleep. If a nap is what you need, then by all means take one, but this isn’t naptime. Try your best to sit up straight.
  • Set a timer for 5-10 minutes.
  • This is super-helpful so you don’t wonder how long you’ve been meditating.
  • Begin by saying or thinking the phrase: Lord Jesus, Son of God.
  • Then breathe in deeply either through your nose or mouth.
  • Listen to the air as it goes into you. Feel it.
  • Once it’s in, gently hold it and think: You call me to you.
  • Then breathe out.
  • Repeat process for 5-10 minutes.

 

You can change up the phrases if you want. This is an ancient practice called: “Breathing Prayer.” It was something that allowed you to intentionally sit with the wonderful truths of the gospel and allowed yourself time to reflect, letting in these truths. In addition to that, you are in a way, breathing these truths deeper into your mind and heart. I know it may feel weird, but give it a shot.

 

With my panic and anxiety issues, meditation has come highly recommended to me. I’m learning this new way of living and I can honestly say, I’m enjoying it. It is just awesome to be able to sit with these amazing truths and let them minister to my soul:

Lord Jesus King of Kings: You have made me holy and blameless

Lord Jesus Son of God: You have mercy on me, a sinner

Lord Jesus: You defeated my sin

Father God: How you love me and call me your son

Holy Spirit: you never abandon me

 

It can be all kinds of phrases but I encourage you to only use one or two phrases and simply breathe and reflect on them.

 

One last suggestion:

If you get distracted, that’s ok. Simply offer those thoughts up to God and return to your exercise. We all get distracted. Over time, you’ll find you’ll be less distracted.

 

I hope this blesses you as it is blessing me!

Have a great week and may God’s wondrous and incomparable peace be with you!

 

Pastor Ryan