Our sermon theme to start this year has been Pursue.  We have considered several portions of Scripture related to this subject, and we recognize the continual need for our lives to grow like Christ.  Our relationship with Him is secure, and our destiny with him is sealed, but there continues to be the need for our lives to resemble him more.

Mark 15:43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. 

In this verse from the Gospel of Mark we see a statement made about this man named Joseph of Arimathaea.  Scripture says he was an honorable man, he was well respected, and he was a counsellor, most likely a member of the Sanhedrin.  Mark continues by stating that he was a man who truly waited for the kingdom of God.  Lastly, he says that this man Joseph ‘craved’ the body of Jesus.

The word craved is an interesting term, according to Webster it means: to ask for earnestly, to want greatly, to yearn for.  The Greek term translated here means ‘to ask, beg’ in the context of making a request.  To put it mildly this was an enormous request to make before Pilate, and to make this request would publicly display his faith in Christ.

Webster goes on to indicate that this term indicates a strong, inner desire.  From this deep inner desire, Joseph went out, put action to his convictions and did something that most would have called radical or at best foolish.  Joseph is a great example that when we truly crave something we will do the unexpected to achieve our desires.

History shows that from an intense desire to glorify and proclaim the name of God, American missionaries have been sent out all across this world.  Why?  Because there were some men and women who so thoroughly craved Jesus Christ, that they moved forward to do the missionary work that many thought was foolish, men like Jim Elliott.

I just wonder how intense is our craving?  Would we do the unexpected simply because we crave Jesus Christ and desire to proclaim his name.

Right now in our church, I believe as strong as ever that there are some people on the verge of doing what is not the norm.  There is a group of people making decisions about doing the unexpected and going to Cape Verde on a mission trip.  Let me say:  mission trips are not the norm, mission trips are not a vacation, and mission trips will stretch your faith.  I am so excited to see what God does through this group!

Would you be in prayer for the hearts that God is leading, as well would you pray that God would bless the fundraising efforts.  Where God leads, he always provides!

Remember:   Craving Jesus Christ produces the unexpected in our lives!

to crave  =  the unexpected

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