"Jane, I need to talk to you. Please call me back!"
As I listened to her message I could feel the urgency in my friends voice. Something was happening and she wanted me to know right away.
Maybe you've had a phone call like this. Maybe you've been the one making the call.
These are all words that have entered my mind as I've been reading through the Gospel of Mark over the last few months.
Unlike the other gospel writers Mark begins his book at the start of Jesus' ministry.
He bypasses the story of Jesus' birth.
We don't read a genealogy here.
Nor will we find any mention of Jesus in the Temple as a boy.
No, Mark gets right to the point of the life of Jesus.
Even the first few verses, though they speak of one who will prepare the way, are all about Jesus.
"This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. It began just as the prophet Isaiah had written: 'Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way. He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the Lord's coming! Clear the road for him!'" Mark 1:1-3
This urgency continues throughout the book.
We can learn a lot about our faith from this urgency.
I've found three ways I need urgency in my own faith.
First, I need to be urgent in knowing who Jesus is beyond a baby in a manger...and a man on a cross. The only way to truly know Jesus beyond the stories of His birth and death is to get into His Word.
Urgent study of God's Word leads to deeper understanding of His person.
Is this how you approach God's Word, with an urgency to know Him deeper?
How can you make study of His Word a serious thing in your life? What changes need to be made in order to do this?
Second, I need to be urgent in proclaiming His Good News to others.
After spending a day and half a night healing people and casting out demons, Jesus rose early to have some time with His Father. When His disciples came to find Him, telling him everyone was looking for Him, Jesus replied:
"We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them too, That is why I came." Mark 1:38
Jesus didn't save us in order for us to sit around singing praise songs all day. Yes! We are to praise Him but His sole purpose in saving us is so we will make disciples of others. (See Matthew 28:18-20)
Urgently speaking of Jesus unleashes His Spirit to work in other's hearts.
He came to save the world. The world needs to hear about Him. How urgently do you share your faith? What can you do to make disciples? How can you make this an immediate practice in your life?
Third, I need to be urgent in looking for the signs of His second coming.
John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way for Jesus in His earthly ministry. Jesus promised to come again and God has given us signs to look for. Though no one can predict the day of Christ's return (the Bible tells us even the Son doesn't know the day) we do need to remember this world is not our home.
We don't look for signs out of fear but in anticipation. And as we see the Day approaching we need to be more urgent in our witnessing.
God doesn't desire anyone to be lost but for all to know Him and be saved. Jesus told Simon and Andrew:
"Come, follow me and I will show you how to fish for people." Mark 1:17
Urgent study of the end times gives us boldness to share Jesus with others.
What do you know about the end times and the return of Jesus? What are your feelings toward this...are you fearful? How can you overcome this fear? Where do you need boldness to witness for Jesus...in your work place, with your friends, in your own home?
How urgent are you in your faith?
Ask God to make you more urgent in studying His Word and in telling others about Him.
"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus." Acts 4:13
May others know we've been with Jesus through the urgency by which we live for Him!