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Mark 4

Words like “evangelism”, phrases like “sharing the Gospel”, and activities like “witnessing” can cause our chest to tighten, our breath to shorten, and our hands to get clammy. What if God has already given us the skills we need to begin sharing the good news about Jesus today?

 

Mark 4 is a 4-week expositional preaching series from, you guessed it, Mark chapter 4! In this 41-verse chapter, we have down-to-earth helps, teaching, and demonstration of Jesus himself. In these weeks Jesus is going to help us help others find and follow him with a straightforward style that’s kind and clear. With instruction ranging from telling stories to shining lights we’ll be given clear handles on what to do to share the Gospel and, even more importantly, why!

 

These 4 weeks can be transformative for your life, our church, and for those around us who don’t know Jesus. Don’t miss your opportunity to be involved in God’s global mission. Making disciples and planting churches starts here. Your home, your neighborhood, your workplace, and the marketplace can be changed forever by your participation!

Sunday, January 14

Text:

Mark 4:1-20

Title:

Mark 1: Telling Stories (Sowing)

Summary:

Jesus teaches us a valuable lesson on proclaiming the gospel as that proclamation is compared to a farmer sowing seed. The word parable literally means “comparison.” Jesus details 4 different types of hearers of the gospel: 3 with a negative response and 1 with a positive response.

We clearly see that the farmer’s seed is the word of God. Those who have received the word faithfully in good soil are God’s chosen believers. The parable ends with an emphasis on multiplication! All believers are meant to bear fruit (thirtyfold, sixtyfold, and a hundredfold). Bearing fruit means multiplying.

 

Focus for the week – Your Home — Mark 4 areas during this series – Your home, your neighborhood, your workplace, and the marketplace.

 

Discussion Questions:
1. What part of the text or sermon had the greatest impact on you? Where were you most encouraged, intrigued, challenged?
2. Who was the best teacher you’ve ever had? Why?
3. According to this parable what different responses are possible when God’s word is proclaimed?
4. What kind of soil described by Jesus best matches your own spiritual condition just now? Why? What needs to change?
5. Read Matthew’s version of the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:1–23. Compare and contrast the two accounts. What observations can you make about each?
6. Following the model of Jesus, which Bible stories could you share with a family member, friend, co-worker, or neighbor to help them come to know Jesus?
7. Consider the 4 areas you’ve been asked to Mark – home, neighborhood, workplace, and the marketplace. Pray for your eyes to be open to people around you, your heart to be sensitive to God’s prompting, and for your will to be obedient to share the good news about Jesus.

 

Sunday, January 21

Text:

 Mark 4:21-25

Title:

Mark 2: Shining Bright

Summary:

“This Little Light of Mine” has often been relegated to simply a kid’s song. May that not be the case any longer after we encounter Mark 4.

Every Christian has a light and every follower of Jesus is to shine the light for all to see.

Evangelism is intimidating, but it was never intended to be. Sharing Jesus without freaking out is part of what we were made to do. Talking about Jesus ought to be as natural as a light shining. And just so you know there are no dim lights in God’s Kingdom.

There’s nothing worse than being lost in the darkness and there’s nothing more joyful than being found by someone who’s got a bright light and knows the way!

 

Focus for the week – Your Neighborhood — Mark 4 areas during this series – Your home, your neighborhood, your workplace, and the marketplace.

 

Discussion Questions:
1. What part of the text or sermon had the greatest impact on you? Where were you most encouraged, intrigued, challenged?
2. What’s the difference between hearing and listening?
3. Why does Jesus say, “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear?”
4. Trace the theme of light from cover to cover in the Bible. Consider Genesis 1:3, Psalm 119:105, John 8:12, and Revelation 21:22-26. What do we learn about light from these verses? Share other verses you know and find as you work through this question.
5. Compare and contrast today’s passage with Matthew 5:14-16. What observations can be made from these two passages?
6. Share with others your most recent encounter of “letting your light shine.”
7. Consider the 4 areas you’ve been asked to Mark – home, neighborhood, workplace, and the marketplace. Pray for your eyes to be open to people around you, your heart to be sensitive to God’s prompting, and for your will to be obedient to share the good news about Jesus.

 

Sunday, January 28

Text:

Mark 4:26-34

Title:

Mark 3: Growing

Summary:

After sowing seed and lighting up darkness with the gospel, we shift gears to see multiplication take root. In this sermon, we focus on growth more than multiplication. However, without growth in a new field, the second generation can never get to multiplication itself.  

 

Focus for the week – Your Workplace — Mark 4 areas during this series – Your home, your neighborhood, your workplace, and the marketplace.

 

Discussion Questions:
1. What part of the text or sermon had the greatest impact on you? Where were you most encouraged, intrigued, challenged?
2. Rather than lecturing his audiences with big, obscure theological words and ideas, Jesus, the master teacher, told down-to-earth stories about everyday life. He related simple parables to his listeners, featuring common objects and practices. Why are stories like this so effective in communicating spiritual truth? 
3. Would you describe yourself as a faithful sower? What does a faithful sower look like?
4. What is the relationship between sowing and harvesting? Carry this through to its spiritual implications. Discuss the implications.
5. What are some Bible stories you know that could be easily told to others in order to communicate the message of the Gospel?
6. Consider the 4 areas you’ve been asked to Mark – home, neighborhood, workplace, and the marketplace. Pray for your eyes to be open to people around you, your heart to be sensitive to God’s prompting, and for your will to be obedient to share the good news about Jesus.

 

Sunday, February 4

Text:

Mark 4:35-41

Title:

Mark 4: Peaceful Storms (Trusting)

Summary:

In sowing seed, shining into darkness, and seeing incredible growth individually as well as in making disciples and planting churches, we must trust Jesus above all things. We must realize that everything depends on Him.

Jesus said this to His disciples in Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Jesus “Marked 4” areas that He decidedly told the disciples about. The power they were to receive from the Holy Spirit would propel them to this church planting effort.


Focus for the week – The Marketplace — Mark 4 areas during this series – Your home, your neighborhood, your workplace, and the marketplace.

 

Discussion Questions:
1. What part of the text or sermon had the greatest impact on you? Where were you most encouraged, intrigued, challenged?
2. Have you ever felt distant from God? Have you ever felt God was distant from you? Have you ever felt abandoned by God? Read Mark 4:38. How did the disciples feel?
3. Do you see storms as challenges or opportunities?
4. What was the response of the disciples to the storm? To Jesus’ calming of the storm?
5. Read Mark 5:1-2, then Mark 4:4:21, then Mark 4:35-40. What can we learn about Jesus as it relates to these verses? What was he modeling for his disciples? For us?
6. Consider the 4 areas you’ve been asked to Mark – home, neighborhood, workplace, and the marketplace. Pray for your eyes to be open to people around you, your heart to be sensitive to God’s prompting, and for your will to be obedient to share the good news about Jesus.