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Mark this...

In my preaching and internet radio show this month, I'm looking at the Gospel of Mark and digging out the deep truths from this masterpiece of spiritual writing.  Its essential message is straightforward and early it on spells out the Gospel message. The word Gospel means good news - it is, at heart, this simple announcement, in this case from Jesus himself: “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1:15 (NIV). The long-awaited Saviour or Rescuer, who was to fulfill all those old prophecies, had finally arrived! Jesus, God himself did come as a man to solve the problem of sin in the world. Before we can follow Jesus, we must recognize our sin. We all have sinned (see Romans 3:23) but we can respond to Jesus' calling and, with his help, turn away from our sins. Jesus came to reconcile us to himself, to God. God is too holy to accept sinful humans, but Jesus paid the consequence for us. Now, we can simply believe in him and be saved from our sins. Once we repent and put our faith in Jesus, his Spirit changes us and teaches us. The message is simple. Now is the time. Turn away from your sins, and follow Jesus!  That is the message that the Gospel of Mark announces but that's not all by a long way - watch for more right here on this blog.

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Jesus Loves You: This I Know

Jesus loves me! This I know
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong.
They are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

(Words by Anna B. Warner 1860; Music by William B. Bradbury 1861)
(Whitney Houston singing Jesus loves me: click here)

Is this simple song familiar to you? Did you ever sing it as a child? Kenneth Osbeck writes in 101 Hymn Stories, “Without doubt the hymn that has influenced children for Christ more than any other is this simply stated one, written in 1860 by Anna Bartlett Warner. Miss Warner wrote this text in collaboration with her sister Susan as a part of one of the best-selling novels of that day, a novel written by Susan entitled Say and Seal. Today few remember the plot of that novel…but the simple poem spoken by one of the characters, Mr. Linden, as he comforts Johnny Fox, a dying child, still remains the favorite hymn of children around the world to this day.” Osbeck writes that…