A TIME IN THE WILDERNESS

- 6 week sermon series

MARK 1 and MATTHEW 4

Jesus’ wilderness time “immediately” followed his baptism and the powerful affirmation of who he was: "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." (Mark 1:11). The Gospels say that the Spirit who descended on him at his baptism drove him out into the bleak, lonely, and dry Judean wilderness for forty days of testing. Wilderness time is a part of our lives too. We cannot live and love and engage life in meaningful ways without sometimes ending up in the wilderness. Wilderness times are those times when we feel we are tested to our limits, and we describe those times in wilderness terms: dry, desolate, lonely, trying, difficult, agonizing. We speak of hunger, thirst, and longing in the wilderness. This series explores this reality in a Believer's life.


If you miss a week you can listen under resources/media or on iTunes.


SUNDAY, February 18 - A Time for Learning

Mark 1:12-15 - Life presents us with many options—a myriad of ways to use our resources, time, abilities, and influence. Without a clear sense of what is most important, we can spend it all and at the end of the day find that we have not taken care of what matters most.

SUNDAY, February 25 - A Time of Challenge

Mark 1:12-15; 2 Corinthians 4:8-11 - Mark says that there were wild beasts in the wilderness with Jesus. Aren’t our wilderness times complete with wild beasts?  Fear - Temptation - Despair.   These are times of challenge. Our faith, our values, our trust in God, what we believe, are all tested in the wilderness.


SUNDAY, March 4 - A Time of Dependence

Mark 1:12-15; Hebrews 4:14-16 - Remember that Jesus taught us to pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Jesus was telling us that every day we should acknowledge who the source of everything is. Jesus was telling us to acknowledge every day our dependence on God.


SUNDAY, March 11 - A Time of Doubt

Mark 1:9-15; Mark 9:24 - Our cry in the wilderness is often the cry of the father recorded in Mark: “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) The cry of that father seeking healing for his son was not the first such cry, nor would it be the last. People of faith down through the ages— including the greatest Christian leaders—have experienced doubt in the wilderness time.  The truth is doubt is a part of our faith journey.


SUNDAY, March 18 - A Time of Comfort

Mark 1:9-15; 2 Corinthians 12:7b-10 - The wilderness is a difficult and often frightening place; so what sustains us in the wilderness? How do we cope? From where does our strength come? We sometimes believe that pure optimism is the key to making it through the wilderness. And there’s no question that optimism can be powerful, but is optimism enough?


SUNDAY, March 25 - A Time of New Beginnings
Mark 1:9-15; 2 Corinthians 5:14-19 - The KJV Bible has the phrase "it came to pass" in it over 430 times.  The ESV uses the phrase "after many days"  Wilderness times come. But, they don’t stay. They are not permanent. They pass. Wilderness time always comes to an end and is always followed by a new beginning.