Good morning, Community Church. My name is Corey Sanders. It is a privilege and an honor to be here for you. I am one of the pastors here, and it gives me great joy to see all of your beautiful faces. It is an absolute honor to stand before you. And I want you to know that I pray for you often. My prayers are very simple. First, my prayer is that each and every one of you will give back to your God-given purpose. My second prayer is that each and every one of you will have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. I long to see all of you in heaven one day.
If we go through everything that we are going through on Earth and we never get the final reward, if we go through everything that we’re going on, we never punch our ticket. If we go through everything that we are going through here on Earth, and we get to the pearly gates, and we meet Jesus, and he doesn’t say, well done, my good and faithful servant. Then our entire lives were just a waste of time. Why else would you want to live? Where else would you want to live? Give it up for him. I want to see all of you have one day. I have been at Community Church for over a year now. Can we celebrate that? My family and I are so appreciative of Pastor David and Pastor Bekah and all of you for your love, support, and your prayers. And give yourself a round of applause for that as well.
I’m in a celebratory mood today, and I’m from the South. And in the South, we often say that you give people the flowers, but they’re still living. At Church, I was going to say this, we’ve got to do a better job of loving each other, celebrating each other, and honoring each other. Because time isn’t always on our side. But time is our most valuable commodity. All of us get the same amount of time each and every day. But time is so priceless, it is so valuable that we can’t even buy more of it. If you waste time, you can’t replenish it. It has often been said that time is a commodity that is out there, most often wasted by people.
And I want to ask you a question. If we are effective with our time, then how are we getting anything done as the body of Christ? Do you even have the time to first hear from Jesus in a second to act on what you’ve heard? Do you have faith? You must love the faith. To act on what Jesus has spoken over your life. Can you create the space and margin in your schedule for Jesus to interrupt your life? Life is so short, so precious, so limited. If Kobe taught us anything, it is taught us that life is priceless. And I believe that is why we have a God in heaven who has created us to be people who live a purpose in walking our summit. Because every second, every minute, every hour it counts. It matters. It’s a part of our story. And some of you find yourself wasting so much time because you spend too much time participating in things, listening to things, or watching things that don’t help or add benefit to your family life or purpose.
I think it’s fair to say that we all find ourselves in this constant cycle of trying to find the perfect balance between spending time with Jesus and living in the chaos of life. As some of you were there, you could feel the Holy Spirit prompting you is heavy on you to speak to you right now. Whether you are hearing the owners are on that camera, some of you are students, or you’re young adults, and you use your youthness as an excuse not to be mature.
So you’ve decided to live your life the way you want to live it, and Jesus is nowhere in the picture. And some of your parents and your family look to you and depend on you for every day. You can’t seem to break free to find time for Jesus or yourself. There’s some of you have went back to school, had a responsibility, more responsibility to your schedule, and just the thought of juggling more responsibilities. School, work, life, family has overwhelmed you. You find yourself too exhausted to pick Jesus person this season. You give me a minute. I’m just tired of real-life issues. Right now.
Some of you are working two jobs trying to provide for the family, and you can’t seem to catch a break. And it seems like you’re drowning. You don’t have the strength to come up for air. And some of you are grandparents, and COVID 19 has changed your family dynamic. You find your daughter or son needing you physically or financially. And these are supposed to be two years where you’re cozy, you’re chilling, you’re relax, but it seems like the opposite. It is a lot right now. And some of you have doors shut in your face recently, and instead of praying to God, actually depending on the Spirit of God to open another door of opportunity for you, you’ve been exhausted all of your time and energy trying to open the door yourself. This is what I want you to know, that life is demanding, and oftentimes, the demands of life overtake us. It is what Jesus experienced in Mark One. But I’m so glad that we have a Savior that doesn’t see high and looks low. But we have a Savior that draws near, that our Savior can relate to what we go down here on Earth. Because the Bible said that Jesus came among us and dwelled, he dwelt among us.
Today we are going to read Mark One together, and we’re going to talk about how Jesus managed time. Can I get a hallelujah? Let’s go to Mark 1:32-38. “That evening at sunset, the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaim, ‘Everyone is looking for you.’ Jesus replied, ‘Let us go somewhere else, to the nearby villages so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.'” Look at your neighbor and say, “that is why I have come.” Amen. A few things I want you to know about the text, Jesus had a very busy day in the town of Capernaum, and Capernaum was this small fishing village on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. And Jesus was there. He was preaching, and he was healing, he were casting out demons. Can you imagine? These people were experiencing miracles. Jesus was healing, he was preaching. He was casting out demon. The supernatural favor of God was there. Supernatural, meaning the miraculous power of God, was present in that fishing village. These people were experiencing heaven on Earth.
If you turn back a few chapters, you understand and see that the people in the town of Capernaum, they were busy people going about their lives, trying to find a balance, much like we are today. Then when you read in the chapter, you find out that Jesus was just baptized by John the Baptist. Receive the Holy Spirit, After 40 days, 40 nights, take it to the wilderness to be tempted and tested by the devil, came out, passed the test, and now he has been given all the authority to preach the gospel.
It is fair to say that the people in the town of Capernaum heard about Jesus because the Old Testament prophecies had already been fulfilled. But even though they heard about Jesus, Jesus just wasn’t important at that moment. But Jesus shows up. It is performing miracles. He’s healing, and these people realize that they are in desperate need of a savior. They said that the word spread around the city so fast. The one that the prophets have prophesied about years ago is now present in this fishing village. And they said everybody gather at Peter’s door.
Now I want to bring something to life for you before we go to the next verse. Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Filled with the Holy Spirit, fasted 40 days and 40 nights, sent into the world to be tested, passed the test. Now he’s been given authority to preach the gospel. It’s fair to say that the people in the town of Capernaum knew about Jesus. They heard about Jesus because in the Bible, it also says that Jesus went to nearby villages and towns proclaiming the good news. Wanting to establish a new kingdom, transforming the heart and mind of every man and woman. It also said that Jesus was so popular that even when he went to nearby villages and towns, people was already there waiting on him.
So it is fair to say that the people in the town of Capernaum heard about the big man coming. But he just wasn’t important to them at the moment. But he shows up, and I can hear the people in the town of Capernaum. “Hey. Is that him? Is he what they say he his?” And quickly realized that Jesus had something they wanted. In one moment, Jesus was irrelevant. The next moment He was relevant. And this is what I want to tell you that Jesus may not be a priority in your life, but you better make sure that Jesus makes you a priority in His life.
And I get it. I understand we get busy, we get overwhelmed. We go through seasons of our lives where Jesus is just not a priority. Well, let the kids get sick. Let the job get unstable. Let the marriage get rocky. Let’s see it, sickness, death, uncertainty, chaos, hurt, show up at your door. Now you want to make Jesus a priority. Now you want to fall to his feet and surrender. Jesus is exceptionally good. The Bible said that Jesus worked all night doing ministry, that everybody who showed up at the door he was healing.
These people knew that they needed a touch from Jesus. They knew what they did, get a touch from Jesus. They will experience peace, freedom of delivery from their own sin or sickness, just like the lady in Luke eight with the issue of blood. Everybody came around and crowded Jesus. Jesus was barricaded by people. But it did stop the lady with the issue of blood. She pursued Jesus, but she knew. She knew if she didn’t get a touch from Jesus, she wouldn’t be delivered or have freedom from her issue of blood, but let me tell you something Community Church. That is what your relationship with Jesus has to be more than a physical touching or physical healing.
You can only do so much in the physical realm. Let me tell you something. That’s why you have to surrender to Jesus because when you surrender to Jesus, your relationship is more than a one-time encounter. When you surrender to Jesus Christ, your relationship is more than a one-time encounter. When you surrender to Jesus, you can have access to the presence of Jesus at any time.
And I want to say this with all grace and love. We have to stop putting our lack of experience to the Holy Spirit on to somebody else. Say that again for some people in the back. We’ve got to stop putting off our lack of experience in the Holy Spirit on somebody else. The last time I read the Bible, everybody has access to the Holy Spirit. As a son and daughter of the most high, it’s a privilege to have access to the Holy Spirit. Matter of fact, it’s Jesus’ gift to you to help the Holy Spirit. All you have to do is ask for the Holy Spirit in it to come upon you. The Holy Spirit is our teacher and friend. It leads and guides us to help us do the will of God. But all of you need to come in here on Sunday filled with the Holy Spirit instead of expecting somebody else to fill you with the Holy Spirit. Now I’m going to that for the people in the back. Some of you need to come here on Sunday, already filled with the Holy Spirit, instead of expecting somebody else to fill you with the Holy Spirit. It’s how you live Monday through Saturday that allows you to be filled with the Holy Spirit. It’s how you live Monday through Saturday that allows you to come here filled with the Holy Spirit. And you ain’t got to wait till you come here to have Church. You can have Church anywhere. And you can have Church at work, in your community. You can have Church with your family. You are Church! You should be praising Jesus all week long.
In the book of Acts, Peter will fill with the Holy Spirit. God told Peter that on his rock, that he gave his name, changing name to Rock. He said I’m going to build my Church, and the gates of Hades won’t prevail against. And Peter got awarded for building the first Church because he allowed the Holy Spirit to use him. Jesus said, Who I am. He said, You are the Son of God. In the Book of Acts, Peter would feel the Holy Spirit priest, and preach the first message about Jesus Christ. 3000 people. God saved the first Church that started.
This is what I want to ask you. Have you ever thought, “What is God wanted to do in you and for the sake of others? What is God wanted to do in you and through you for the sake of others?” It’s what I want to tell you. Stop focusing on pleasing people. Stop. Focus on pleasing God. Jesus. He not only wants to restore our physical brokenness, but Jesus want to resurrect us and awaken us spiritually. Look at your neighbors, say it is not a one-time endeavor. It’s about the Holy Spirit. It’s not a one-time endeavor. It’s about the Holy Spirit.
Now, let’s go back to Mark together. Let’s go back to Mark, here we go, Mark 1:35. Here we go. “Very early in the morning, while I was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, went off to a solitary place where he prayed.” First point I want to make. Let God meet your needs before you meet the needs of others. Jesus knew his purpose. Jesus was living out his purpose. But even the son of man knew it was only so much he could do in the moment. What are you trying to say, Pastor? What I’m trying to say is there will always be a need at home with your kids, at school, in life, with your family. There will always be a need. Our human minds gravitate towards a need. It’s why we like to partner with, work with, and be part of companies and organizations that are making a difference. It’s just the way God has gifted us. But so often, we are so passionate. And Jesus, he could have stayed in the town of Capernaum all week. Oh, but that is not what God wanted him to do. The Bible said that the people quickly gathered early the next morning, bringing their family and friends who were sick and demon-possessed. But Jesus was nowhere to be found. The Bible said that Jesus got up very early in the morning while it was still dark and went to a solid to place, and he prayed.
There’s two types of mornings in the morning. You get up in the sunshine, then you’ve got the morning you get up when it’s dark, it’s still dark outside. Now, if any of you have got up while it was still dark outside, that’s some serious stuff. Nobody gets up in the morning while it’s still dark outside unless they’re on a mission as purpose. I mean, when I was playing college football. And as an athlete, we used to get up in the morning, and we used to practice while the dew was still on the ground. By the time the sun came up, were taking our showers and heading to class. It was serious business.
As I looked at this text, I said Jesus wanted clarity from God more than He wanted to sleep. Jesus, he wanted clarity from God more than He wanted to sleep. Jesus simply just wanted to be in the presence of God. And I am just admired by the posture he had. I’m admired by his appetite. I’m admired by his hunger and thirst of wanting to be in the presence of God.
I wonder what our lives will look like if we simply took on that Pastor of Jesus and just want to sit in the presence of God. We’re no agenda and with no motive. What would I like to look like, and I believe some of us can’t even fathom or think of that because we’re too focus on pleasing people. But we need to focus on pleasing God. Some of you are full-time caretakers for your loved ones. Some of you are in-between jobs. Some of you have full schedules. Don’t you think it’s important that you go to God for clarity on how to meet that magnitude of weight that you will carry in this season? Instead of running away from God, you should be pursuing God.
Some of you have been pleasing people all your life, it’s so easy for you to give in to peer pressure. But Jesus didn’t allow the crowd’s other disciple to control or influence him. Just because there’s a need doesn’t mean that you are supposed to meet it. You need to have got the clarity so you can make the right choice. Some of you have allowed family, friends, and coworkers that tie you down with so much responsibility. Now Jesus shows up and wants you, he can’t use you, you’re frustrated, you’re broken. You just bogged down. And now Jesus is asking you to make some space and margin in your calendar so He can intervene on your behalf. So he can interrupt your life. Jesus speaks, but you can’t hear him. Jesus is speaking, but you can’t hear him because your life is too busy, it’s too noisy, it’s too much going on. But if we look at the past year of Jesus, Jesus still has people in the town of Capernaum waiting for him. They want to see him preach. They want to see him perform miracles. Jesus still had deadlines to meet. Jesus still had a full schedule. In better terms, Jesus still had money on the table.
But it didn’t matter to him. What mattered to him the most is that he went to His Heavenly Father and got what he needed, so he could be effective and intentional with his time on Earth. At Community Church, I want to know what will your life look like if you were pulled and dragged in every direction by society, culture, your family, and your friends? What if you had a spiritual discipline or set a spiritual rhythm to your life when you just sat in the presence of God? Would you focus on God? Would you got what you need from God? So you can be who you need to be and do what you need to do. What would your life look like if family and friends are good to a certain point, but they become a hindrance? Sometimes you don’t need to have advice from family or friends. Sometimes you can’t help family or friends. Sometimes you need to go in your prayer closet and sit there with God and talk to God and let God give you clarity about the situation, and you don’t know move until he gives you an answer.
This is what I know that Jesus wants to, That God wants to lead us, give us clarity and wisdom so we can be effective with our time. Just because you’re busy, it doesn’t mean you’re effective. Just because your calendar is full doesn’t mean you make the move. The voice of God gives us confidence, and we must draw near to Him so we can see what it is he is trying to communicate to us.
Let’s go back to Mark together. Mark 1:36-37 “Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaim, ‘Everyone is looking for you.'” The second point I want to make God has a specific plan about how you want to spend each moment. Simon goes to Jesus. “Jesus, everyone is looking for you.” And I was as I was studying and reading the text, I was trying to understand what Jesus was trying to communicate to Simon, and it dawned on me. Jesus was trying to communicate to Simon to spend time with his heavenly Father was more important than anything else in his life. Jesus wanted to be effective with his time. Jesus needed clarity, and we can’t neglect the one thing that gives clarity to everything else.
Jesus chose Simon, let us go somewhere else. He had got what he needed from God. He got the clarity He needed from God. He knew where He should have been. He wanted to be effective with his time. And I want to speak into your life for a second. There is going to be seasons of your life where you’re going to be available. But just because you are available doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be accessible. There’s going to be seasons of your life where God is going to make you available. He’s going to open your schedule, and just because you are available doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be accessible. God is going to put you in spaces and places, and He may make you the one who sows the seed, but not necessarily want to see the seed that you sown to come into fruition. There’s going to be seasons where God is going to take your life and allow you to live it out just as easily. God cares how we spend each and every moment.
God had more for Jesus to do, and God has more for you to do. We want you to be effective with your time. Every single day we should be seeking clarity from God so we can live on purpose, so we can have impact and influence the life of others. Psalm 119 said that “The Word of God is like a limp to our feet and a light to our path.” We can’t neglect the one thing that gives clarity to everything else in our life. God has already gone before you. Now, would you go before him with prayer and acknowledgment and get what you need so you can be who He calls you to be?
Let’s go back to Mark together. Mark 1:38, “His reply, let us go somewhere else to the nearby villages so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” The point I want to make is that guy has already ordered your steps. It’s not just by chance. It’s not a coincidence that the creator of the world has already planned out your life. Don’t wait another second. Don’t wait another minute. Don’t wait another hour. Give God the space. Give Him the time. Give him priority in your life so you can be effective with you time.
What would your life look like if you approach God with no agenda? You push God with no motive. You simply want to sit in his presence because he’s your father. You simply want to see his presence because you adore him. You simply want to see his presence. Because you wanted to get what you need so, you can be effective for the people who depend on you? Let me tell you some truth that each and every one of you have influence in some areas and that God has put in over some people, and one day you’re going to get to heaven. One day you won’t be accountable for the people you led straight. But I pray to God that you go to him a seeker, for clarity and wisdom. So the people that who’s following you around won’t trip over you trying to get to Jesus.
What would your life look like if you approached his thrown and you just said there? I don’t know about you, man, but I’m just in this season of my life where I’m tired of coming to Church when people sit there too comfortably at like God ain’t there for them. I’m tired of coming to a place and I can’t see that. I can’t see the Holy Spirit breaking out because people have gotten too comfortable with God. They’ve arrived with God. They don’t know how to seek God and be hoping for God. Each and every day of their life. I need a church that’s going to raise up and say, “We’re going to do whatever we got to do!” We’re going to do whatever we got to do to get what we need from God. What’s this? Doesn’t make for God to see your son, Jesus, creator, your own image, to give you everything you need to live this life, and you don’t use none of it. You live your whole life. You waste all your time living a life, that he never called you to live. He opened up the Book of Life, and he said, Look, we open up the Book of Life. And he said, Joe, this is the life you live in, but this is the life you should be living. You’re Joe and dropped because you can’t believe that a God that sits in heaven could use someone as broken as you.
I know what will happen if more people will sit in the presence of God before they went to their job. More people will sit in the presence of God before they make decisions. More people will see the presence of God before you marry that person, if you dated that person. If you sit in the presence of God, God would give you what you need. More families would be united, and more marriages will be restored. More churches will be affected. There would be more unity than division. More love the hate. More out-pouring of the Holy Spirit. Do you know that revival has always broken out? When there was one group of people, one movement, one Church that was so desperate for the purpose, the plans, and the presence of God, he just came.
Are you desperate enough for the purpose, plans, and presence of God to invade your life? Revival starts here. You can’t create revival, revival starts in the heart. There’ll be more healing taking place. Revival would break out all across America. If people would just sit. What are you in a rush for? Where are you going? Most the time you get there, you don’t even know how to make a decision. You make your mistakes. Why are you, as such in a rush? What won’t you just set your alarm clock two hours before you have to be at work and you sit in the presence of God? So when you go to work, the whole atmosphere is going to change because you brought the presence of God with you. Can you be that person?
I’m going to close with this story. Rachael and I got a good friend that lived in Tennessee, and there’s a couple, they’re a married couple, nice couple, and they actually are keeping our dog Simba right now while we are here in the Poconos. I don’t know why I told you that, it just sounds like it’s relevant, makes the story sound a little better, so they’re keeping our dog. It’s just such a godly couple. And this past weekend, I called and checked on them, and I went and got on the phone with him. We just caught up. We just talking, and her husband, Jeff, has been battling a severe case of COVID, and he’s almost lost his life. We’ve been praying for him. And she Pastor Corey, she said you know, that God never left Joe. She said God actually kept Jeff alive. And she said that because I read the Bible often and I read about the faithfulness and goodness of God, and she said, I can’t believe that I am shocked that God actually healed Jeff. I can’t believe, she said I can’t believe that I’m shocked that God actually healed Jeff. Then I came into the conversation, I said, well, I think none of us know God the way we ought to know God. I said, we allow too many things just to get in the way. And she said, Pastor Corey, she said, it took for Jeff to get sick, it took for my life to slow down from my perception of life to change.
At Community Church, I’m just gonna keep it real simple with you this morning. No persuasive words or nothing. What is your perspective on life? Do you know Jesus? Did you spend time with Jesus? You can’t microwave friendships. Don’t wait till a miracle has to happen before you make Jesus a priority in your life. Don’t wait until all hell breaks loose in your life until you make Jesus a priority in your life. Jesus stilled people in the town of Capernaum waiting on him. He still had a full schedule. Jesus had his reputation, his popularity on the line, but none of it mattered. It cost Jesus something to go to God when everything was waiting for Him.
What is it costing you to sit in the presence of God? Does it cost you something? Are you willing to put some stuff on hold? Are you willing to shut some stuff down? Are you willing to cancel some vacations? Are you willing to say me and my household for the next month, we’re going to pray and fast until God shows up? We’re going to pray and fast until he shows up. We ain’t going to move. Every single morning we are going to sit and pray, and wait on him.
I think that if we had a church that just knew how to wait on God. If we knew how to wait on it, to sit in his presence, reminds me of Moses in Exodus when God saw him on a mountain. Moses said, Do not let me lead these people if your presence is not with me, I don’t want to come. Moses said, I do not want to leave the top of this mountain if your presence doesn’t go with me. I need some faith-filled believers who would say, God, if you don’t go with me in the morning, I don’t want to leave the door. God, if you don’t go with me the morning, I don’t want to drive a car. Lord, if you’re not with me, I don’t want to do nothing.
Jesus set the bar, he raised the bar. He set the standard. He gave us an example to follow. This is what Jesus was simply saying, without clarity from God, all we are doing is wasting time. You live your whole life, and you ain’t never got wisdom and clarity from God. You live your whole life, get before God, and God said you didn’t do nothing that I had planned for you. Let’s be real. If you not living to go to heaven, then what are you living for? Why come to Church, serve, do all this stuff and go to hell? You might as well just stay up. You understand? Why do all this stuff? Why go to all this stuff? To get in front of Jesus and don’t get the final reward? What are you doing?
I’m just preaching Jesus Today. I’m just preaching Jesus Today. I think we all just need a little bit more Jesus. This is what I want you to do. I’m just in desperate need right now, I just want to see the spirit of God to pour out on his people. I want to see more people live on purpose, walk in their assignment. I don’t want you to miss out on what God has. Some of you are dealing with so many things that if you just sat in the presence of God, God would give you instructions. He would give you clarity and wisdom on what to do.
So on the sound of my voice which you raise your hands to heaven, like you’re receiving something from God. And I’m going to pray over each and every last one of you. Father God, we thank you so much for this moment. We thank you for this time. Lord, thank you for your people. Thank you for the vessels they are. I thank you for just the way they are trying to do the best they can. But I pray for the guy, even in his service, Father God, that they will have a hunger and desire to approach your thrown more, Father God, that they would just have the patience, they would have the stamina and endurance to continue chasing you and pursuing you. Father God, I know you created them to be sons and daughters who are making an impact, heavy growth, for them to raise up and be who you called them to be. I pray, Father God, that the weapons that you have given us, this peace in the street, and not in the favor that you given them. I pray we will walk in that authority each and every day. Father God, I know that you created us to be in the game and not be on the sidelines. I pray over each and every person here, over every family, every kid, young adult, student. I pray that today that their lives will be changed forever, but they won’t sit on what you have given them. Lord, we asked more of you, just more of your spirit, more of your presence, because, without you, we’re nothing. If you’re here, keep your head bowed, eyes closed. If you’re here today, you say, Pastor Corey, the word that you preached today is for me because I’ve been wasting time. I don’t waste any more time. I just don’t want to live my life thinking I’m going to die. God called me because I want to know that I’m doing what God called me to do. Just lift your hand up. I want to pray for you. Thank you for being obedient. Stick your hand up, thank you. Thank you for being obedient. Repeat after me, Father God, thank you, thank you for your presence. Thank you for your son, Jesus. Lord, I submit my life to you. I give you everything. Would you take me? Use me for your glory. It’s because of you that I have life. And I am going to take this life and use it for your purpose. Use it for your glory. Lord, thank you for covering me when I don’t even have the wisdom to cover myself. Lord, I ask you today that you will come into my life, and you would change me to look more like this on Jesus. In Jesus’ name, Amen.