Tim Baker, Founder and President of Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village, shares his story of God’s faithfulness in the journey that led them to start an orphanage for special needs children in China. Tim’s heart for these children, who are often abandoned by their families as unwanted or useless, comes through with passion as he describes the sovereign twists and turns along the way. This presentation is filled with personal stories of how these children come to Shepherd’s Field, and how their stories shape the direction of their ministry to these Chinese kids that Jesus said in Matthew 19,” the kingdom of heaven belongs to”.
In this transitional passage of Mark 8:34-38, Jesus tells his followers what He expects of them: that they be “all in.” Jesus calls us, too, to surrender our idols to Him, not expecting to get more than Jesus Himself which is all we really need. Like the disciples, teaches Pastor Mark, we want the Lord AND…. We want Him to provide us with influence, fame and success. Jesus reminds us that He is a King with a cross. Through suffering and submission He leads us to a new identity, new hope, and ultimately true freedom.
“The infinite abyss can only be filled by an immutable and infinite object…God.”—Blaise Pascal
All of history, as well as our own spiritual lives, can be divided into two eras, the BC, Before Christ, and AD, After Christ. From Ephesians 2:4-10, Pastor Mark, explains how Before Christ we were spiritually dead, disconnected from God and bent on self-dependence. Yet, by His mercy, we crave something more. “We are hardwired to find what we are seeking in Jesus” (Paul Tripp) After we embrace Christ, we “come to life” in a completely new way, as we leave behind our old self-dependence and enter into our new life in Christ.
In this watershed passage (Mark 8:31-33) Jesus moves from establishing his identity to explaining his mission. And it is not one that his disciples expect. Jesus’ intention was not to become the Jewish conqueror, rescuing His people from the Romans. He did not intend to usher in a new golden age for the Jews. Instead, The Son of Man reveals His concept of kingship which includes rejection and death. This is a kingship intertwined with real life suffering. According to Pastor Mark, this anointed king would indeed rescue His own at the costly expense of His life, in order to liberate us. His purpose is to establish an eternal and internal kingdom for the Father’s glory.