Emotional Health

Fundamentalist in Ephesus: All Head, No Heart

Pastor Mark preaches on Jesus’ letter to the church in Ephesus from the ancient city of Ephesus itself. Jesus commends the Ephesians for how they serve faithfully, endure hardship, have sound doctrine, and hate heretics, but his big criticism is that they are not very loving. Instead of merely criticizing the Ephesians, we must read Jesus’ words humbly and realize how we could become like them.

Disgrace and Grace

Sexual assault is an epidemic: 1 of 4 women and 1 of 6 men have been assaulted—including Pastor Mark’s wife, Grace. Sin would leave us as shamed, defiled victims, but in Jesus, we are cleansed from all unrighteousness if today we turn from sin and trust in him. Two key books on assault from Mars Hill leaders: Rid of My Disgrace and Redemption .

Sex: God, Gross, or Gift?

Before sin entered the world, God created sex for marriage between one man and one woman. People distort this gift and tend to see sex as either god or gross. However, the Bible gives six ways in which sex is a gift from God: for pleasure, children, knowledge, protection, comfort, and oneness. When God tells you to be faithful to your spouse, to practice chastity before marriage, to enjoy fidelity within marriage, what he’s saying is, “I want the best for you.”

Taking out the Trash

Every house—like any relationship, particularly a marriage—has trash that must be taken out. You’re going to sin against each other. Trash is going to accumulate. If you don’t take out the trash, it will stink up the whole relationship. Don’t fight with criticism, contempt, defensiveness, or stonewalling. Rather, fight to the glory of God by recognizing sin and repenting of sin. Repentance is three things: confession, contrition, and change. It takes a sinner to repent. It takes a victim to forgive. It takes two people to reconcile. The only way your relationship will be enduring and endearing is if repentance of sin and forgiveness of sin are practiced; otherwise, it will not get better, it will get bitter.

The Respectful Wife

A wife is incredibly powerful in the life of her husband. The wife is to respect her husband (Eph. 5:33), which means “to notice, regard, honor, prefer, defer to, encourage, love, and admire” him. A respectful wife has a head of respect (How do you think about your husband?), a heart of respect (How do you feel about your husband? What do you say about him?), and hands of respect (What do you do for your husband?). A disrespectful wife may be silent and compliant, or loud and contentious. Still, it is possible to disagree respectfully. Do you respect your husband?

Friend with Benefits

God the Trinity is a friend and has friends, and he made us in his image and likeness for friendship with him and one another. Marriage is about friendship. Your spouse is to be your “lover and friend” (Song 5:16); in other words, your friend with benefits. Marital friendship is to be: Fruitful, Reciprocal, Intimate, Enjoyable, Needed, Devoted, Sanctifying. How’s your friendship with Jesus? With your spouse?

New Marriage, Same Spouse

Pastor Mark Driscoll kicks off the Real Marriage campaign by sharing his and Grace’s marriage testimony, in which God has given them a new marriage with the same spouse. You don’t need a new spouse; you need to be a new spouse. You can have a new marriage with the same spouse; you can defeat Satan in your life and marriage by the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 12:11). Jesus died for sin so you can put your sin to death. Because of the blood of the Lamb, there’s a testimony. A biography is about me; a testimony is about Jesus. A biography is about what we do; a testimony is about what Jesus does. In a biography, we’re the hero; in a testimony, Jesus is the hero. What’s your testimony right now?

Jesus Heals a Leper and a Paralytic

Jesus changes lives, and we see two examples in Luke 5:12–26. There, Jesus heals a man full of leprosy; not only that, but he reaches out and touches him, like he touches all who are unclean. Jesus also heals a paralytic and forgives him of his sin. The religious people question Jesus and accuse him of blasphemy. They just don’t get it: Jesus cleanses us from our filth, Jesus forgives our sin, and Jesus saves us from our religion.

Jesus without Sin

Temptation is like bait on a hook. Satan will bait the hook with anything enticing enough to get you to bite, then he will reel you in to death. Jesus was tempted in every way by Satan, but never sinned. Jesus responded by quoting Scripture, that is, the sword of the Spirit, even after Satan tried to turn the sword against him. In light of Luke 4, Pastor Mark shares ten temptation truths to help us resist the bait: # Satan is a real Enemy; # Satan will H.I.T. you; # Jesus is your victorious Warrior-King; # The Holy Spirit is your power; # Biblical truth is your counterpunch; # Christ is your identity; # Escape is always possible; # Satan eventually taps out; # Repent whenever you tap out and fight another round; and # Life is a battle with many rounds.

MARY’S SONG

Mary is a chief example for us of faith and worship in response to God. She sings a song of praise to God, and in it lists at least 17 attributes of God and echoes a multitude of Old Testament Scriptures—even though she was likely illiterate. From her song, we are encouraged to replace worrying with worshiping, replace coveting with worshiping, and replace anxiety with history. Even though Mary has plenty to worry about, she worships God and is a happy worshiper. She knows that God has “done great things for [her],” and one practical way we can worship is by recording and remembering evidences of God’s grace—how he has done great things for us personally and for others we know.

How Human Was Jesus?

The issue of Jesus’ divinity and humanity has been one of the most controversial and confusing issues in all of Christian theology.