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Friday, May 30, 2014

The Path to Spiritual Awakening (Pt. 2)

(Taken from the Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus series.)

“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make your fishers of men. At once they left their nets and followed him.”

                                                                                                Mark 1:16-18

The next step, after repentance, towards spiritual awakening is the determination to come and follow Jesus. Christ’s desire is for each of us to move beyond a “watch and see” type of relationship with him to a “come and follow” relationship.

Watch and see is best described as simply being a spectator. These individuals are the Sunday morning followers who fill church pews once a week; watching and listening to everything that’s happening, but demonstrate little evidence of their faith throughout the rest of the week.

Jesus is calling us to a greater walk with him. His desire is that we follow. Those individuals, who chose this deeper walk with him became known as disciples; indicating a desire to learn, imitate, and apply the teachings of Christ to their lives every day.

In choosing the twelve men, whom would become his closest companions during his earthly ministry; Jesus demonstrated his desire to reach every social stratum. He chose fisherman, tax collectors, and social activists. On the surface it does not appear that these men have anything in common. 

However, what they had in common is another key ingredient in our spiritual awakening. On one occasion Jesus had an encounter with a rich young ruler. By all appearances this young man had it all together, but beneath the surface he had an unhealthy love for money that caused him to walk away from Christ. After seeing this young man with so much to offer walk away, Peter turned to Jesus and said:

“We have left everything to follow you! What will there be for us?”

                                                                                    Matthew 19:27

What did they all have in common? They were willing to leave everything associated with their old way of living to follow him.

Jesus told Peter:

“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”

                                                                                                Matthew 19:29

Walking in the footsteps of Jesus means that we must leave everything connected to our old sinful life behind, in order to enjoy the abundant life Jesus has in store for us.


Pastor Scott Burr                                                                    



Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Path to Spiritual Awakening (Pt.1)

(Taken from the Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus series.)

“It is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way. A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”

                                                                                                                        Mark 1:2-3

Hundreds of years before his birth, Isaiah prophesied the coming of John the Baptist and described his mission. John’s mission was to prepare the way for Christ; to awaken a nation that had spiritually fallen asleep.

For over 400 years, since the days of Malachi, the nation of Israel had not heard the Word of the Lord spoken through a prophet. John’s emergence on the scene wearing a camel’s hair garment coupled with his brazen message garnered the attention of the people. And what was his message?

“And so John came baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”

                                                                                                                        Mark 1:4

Every great spiritual awakening begins with a deep commitment to repentance. Charles Finney was an American Presbyterian minister and a leader in the Second Great Awakening. He has been called The Father of Modern Revivalism. He was once quoted as saying:

“Revival is a renewed conviction of sin and repentance, followed by an intense desire to live in obedience to God. It is giving up one's will to God in deep humility.”

Finney recognized, like John the Baptist that the path to spiritual awakening begins with repentance. Walking in the footsteps of Jesus begins with a spiritual awakening in each of us; beginning with repentance while focusing on the person and the power of Christ. John the Baptist declared:


“After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

                                                                                                Mark 1:7-8

Repentance frees us from the bondage of sin, so that we can be awakened to pursue the abundant life offered to us through Jesus Christ.              


Pastor Scott Burr                                                                    



Thursday, May 15, 2014

Turning Water to Wine (Pt.2)

(Part 2 of 2)

“Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned to wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servant who had drawn the water knew.”

                                                                                                John 2:7-9

Jesus turning the water into wine is considered the first recorded miracle of Jesus.  This miraculous event pointed to a greater work of transformation that Jesus intends to see happen within each of us.

When we put our faith in Jesus Christ; old things pass away and all things become new. Jesus, through the work of the Holy Spirit, begins the work of transforming our hearts and minds. Just as he created the very best robust wine inside each of those stone jars, he likewise is creating the very best in each of us.

While the work of transforming water into wine is truly miraculous, the turning of wine into water is no miracle at all! If you were to pour water back into those jars filled with wine, you will find that the wine will very quickly lose its potency and eventually become as though it had never been transformed in the first place.

Too often Christians allow themselves to become so diluted by the things that God delivered them out of that they too lose their potency to the point that the life transforming work Christ had done in their lives becomes negligible.

Don’t allow what God has done, the transformation that has taken place, to be lost because you are allowing yourself to be filled again with the things of this world: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life!

In fact, what Jesus intended for those who are being transformed is that they no longer be a reservoir to receive what the world is wants to pour into them, but according to John 7:37-38:

“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

You were not created to be a container for ungodliness, wickedness, and sin. Rather you were created to be a fountain, releasing the life of God onto the world around you. This is the potential you carry! Jesus desires to create His best in you. Be transformed!


Pastor Scott Burr                                                                    


Monday, May 12, 2014

Turning Water to Wine (Pt. 1)

(Part 1 of 2)

“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

                                                                                                                        John 2:1-3

It is here in the town of Cana that Jesus is about to perform his first miracle; a miracle that would reflect His ultimate mission and set the tone for His earthly ministry.

Jesus seeing six stone jars seated nearby, instructed the servants to fill them with water:

“Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine.”

                                                                                                                        John 2:6-9

Upon tasting the wine the master of the banquet pulled the groom aside and accused him of holding out and waiting to bring his best wine out towards the end. Jesus didn’t just create jars of average, run of the mill wine, but it was the most flavorful, robust wine the banquet master had tasted all day.

Through this miracle transformation, Jesus demonstrated his ultimate mission. Within those clay pots was the potential for something great. The jars, themselves, were nothing to write home about. They were simple stone jars. Jesus took those ordinary pots and transformed what was inside of them.

However, the water, apart from Christ, would have never become what it did without His help. So it is with you and I! We are clay pots full of potential, but on our own we are never going to be what God intended; without His help.


Just like with those pots of water; it is an inside-out process. He takes what seems very ordinary and unimpressive and creates in us the very best. Transformation!


“This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.”

                                                                                                            John 2:11

If Jesus’ glory was revealed through the transforming of water into wine, how much more is his glory revealed through the transforming work he is doing in each of us. As impressive as this miracle was, it was only a foreshadowing of the work Jesus Christ desires to do in you.


Pastor Scott Burr                                                                    



Thursday, May 1, 2014

Christian or Christ-like?

“Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.”

                                                                                                Acts 11:26

Are you a Christian or are you Christ-like? Many of you may be reading this and asking yourself, “What’s the difference?” Aren’t all Christians Christ-like? The answer, unfortunately, is no.

It truly grieves me to see the number of people who call themselves Christian, yet make no real effort to be Christ-like. Initially those words were synonymous, but sadly today many want the title and benefits of Christianity without the sacrifice, suffering, and discipline it takes to be like Him.

When the disciples were first called Christians it was a designation that distinguished them as those who believed and lived out the teachings of Jesus Christ.  However, it was not a title they gave themselves. A careful reading of the Book of Acts teaches us that the early church referred to themselves as believers (Acts 2:44), disciples (Acts 6:1-2), saints (Acts 9:13), and the church or ekklesia (Acts 5:11); but never did they refer to themselves as Christians.

The term Christian was bestowed upon them by the Romans as a mean of identifying them among the various sects and ethnic groups. Some believe that it may have even carried a negative connotation, but irregardless of its intent, those who followed Christ had distinguished themselves in such a way as to create a distinction among the people.

Those earning the distinction of being a Christian were not authenticated by other believers, but it was the Gentiles who recognized by speech and behavior those who held to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

What a radical thought. Do unbelievers know you are a Christian? Is it because you tell them you are or are they convinced by your Christ-likeness? Do you follow the teachings of Christ so closely that you distinguish yourself as being a disciple of Jesus Christ?

Confessing to be a Christian without being Christ-like only generates confusion and projects a distorted image of Jesus Christ.


Pastor Scott Burr