Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lk 3: Excavation of the Heart.

Luke 3
1  Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,2  Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.3  And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

7  Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?8  Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 

10  And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?11  He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.

12  Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?13  And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.

14  And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

15  And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;16  John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:17  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.

18  And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.

19  But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,20  Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.21  Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,22  And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

23  And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,24  Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son of Joseph,25  Which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Amos, which was the son of Naum, which was the son of Esli, which was the son of Nagge,26  Which was the son of Maath, which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Semei, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Judah,27  Which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Shealtiel, which was the son of Neri,28  Which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Addi, which was the son of Cosam, which was the son of Elmodam, which was the son of Er,29  Which was the son of Jose, which was the son of Eliezer, which was the son of Jorim, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi,30  Which was the son of Simeon, which was the son of Judah, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Jonan, which was the son of Eliakim,31  Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David,32  Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Boaz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson,33  Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Judah,34  Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Terah, which was the son of Nahor,35  Which was the son of Serug, which was the son of Reu, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala,36  Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Shem, which was the son of Noah, which was the son of Lamech,37  Which was the son of Methuselah, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan,38  Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

Observation:  Valleys filled, mountains brought low, crooked places made straight.    That's what the gospel does in the hearts of men and women.    Excavation of the heart so the highway of holiness can be constructed right through it.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Lk 2: Ponder and Wait

Luke 2
1  And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.2  (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; because (he was of the house and lineage of David:)To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.6  And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.10  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.12  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15  And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.16  And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.17  And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.  18  And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19  But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.21  And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

22  And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;23  (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)24  And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.25  And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.26  And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.27  And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,28  Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,29  Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:30  For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,31  Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;32  A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

33  And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.

34  And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;35  (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

36  And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher: she was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity;37  And she was a widow of about fourscore and and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.38  And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

39  And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.40  And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

41  Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.42  And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.43  And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.44  But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.45  And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.46  And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.47  And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.

48  And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.49  And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?50  And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.

51  And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.52  And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Observation:  The shepherds.  The wisemen.  Simeon.  Anna.    The things spoken of by these were added to what Mary herself already had been told-- and knew because of her virginity. But  she just kept it all to herself and thought about it.... waiting.    Then there was Jesus Himself.  He increased in wisdom.  He  amazed the "doctors" in the temple with the answer he gave.   She just kept "pondering" and waiting.

Sometimes I do that.  I ponder the things I have heard and know.  I believe God's word.  I don't know just what He has in store so I just think about what I've heard and I wait.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Lk 1: Just Believe God's Word without Asking for a Sign

Luke 1
1  Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,2  Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

5  There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abijah: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.8  And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.10  And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.11  And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.12  And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.13  But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.14  And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.15  For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.16  And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.17  And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

18  And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man and my wife well stricken in years.19  And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings.20  And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

21  And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he tarried so long in the temple.22  And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.23  And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.24  And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,25  Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

26  And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,27  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.28  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.29  And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.30  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God.31  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:33  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

34  Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?35  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.36  And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.37  For with God nothing shall be impossible.

38  And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. 39  And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah; 40  And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. 41  And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42  And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43  And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44  For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45  And blessed is she that believed for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

46  And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,47  And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.48  For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.49  For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.50  And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.51  He hath showed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.52  He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.53  He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.54  He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;55  As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever.

56  And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.57  Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.58  And her neighbors and her cousins heard how the Lord had showed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.59  And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.60  And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.61  And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.62  And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.63  And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marveled all.

64  And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.65  And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judea.66  And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.

67  And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, 68  Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,69  And hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;70  As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:71  That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;72  To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;73  The oath which he swore to our father Abraham,74  That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,75  In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. 76  And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 77  To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,78  Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,79  To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

80  And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel.

Observation:  When the angel came to Zacharias and told him that he would have a son, Zacharias asked for a sign.  That didn't please the angel, because he said, "because thou believest not my words" but he gave Zacharias a sign-- one that lasted until the birth of the child and no doubt caused him much inconvenience in his life.   A constant reminder, a sign, of what the angel had told him would come to pass and HAD IMMEDIATELY come to pass.   On the other hand, when the angel came to Mary, she just accepted what he said.  She accepted it and rejoiced and was humbled.

Application:   It's better just to believe and rejoice.  God may give a sign but it could be something that is not easy to live with.   Just believe HIS WORDS.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mk 16:To Be Saved, We MUST Accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Mark 16
1  And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.2  And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun.3  And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulcher? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.5  And entering into the sepulcher, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.6  And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.7  But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.8  And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulcher; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.

9  Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.10  And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.11  And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.12  After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.13  And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.14  Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;18  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

19  So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.20  And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Observation:  Jesus said that the gospel must be believed in order for people to be saved.  If they hear it and do not believe, they will be damned.   This not something evangelical ministers made up.

Application:  There is punishment for those who refuse to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mk 15: Sometimes Life IS Tough.

Mark 15
1  And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate.2  And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it.3  And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing.4  And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee. But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marveled.

6  Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection. And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them. But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?10  For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy.11  But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.

12  And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?13  And they cried out again, Crucify him.14  Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.15  And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.16  And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band.17  And they clothed him with purple, and plaited a crown of thorns, and put it about his head,18  And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!19  And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshiped him.20  And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.

21  And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.22  And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.23  And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.24  And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.

25  And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.

26  And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.27  And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.28  And the Scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.29  And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,30  Save thyself, and come down from the cross.31  Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save.32  Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.

33  And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.34  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?35  And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elijah.36  And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.

37  And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.38  And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.39  And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.

40  There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;41  (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.42  And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,43  Joseph of Arimathaea, an honorable counselor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.44  And Pilate marveled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.45  And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.46  And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulcher which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulcher.47  And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.

Observation:  It would be for our benefit to remember the suffering Jesus Christ went through before and as he was dying on the cross.   Sometimes we think we are going through things that are too hard to endure, but He knows what suffering is like and He can end the suffering whenever He chooses to if we trust in Him.

Application: Sometimes things just get tough.  There's no way around the toughness life brings.  But life's tough times are there to show God's grace and strength and to glorify Him.  When our lives are His then we must submit to what He allows and trust Him to bring us through in a way that at the end we'll be better.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mk 14: Jesus Knows What Is in the Hearts of Men

Mark 14
1  After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. 2  But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people.

3  And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she broke the box, and poured it on his head. 4  And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. 7  For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. 9  Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

10  And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. 11  And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.

12  And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover? 13  And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him.14  And wheresoever he shall go say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? 15  And he will show you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us. 16  And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.

17  And in the evening he cometh with the twelve.18  And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me. 19  And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I? 20  And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish.21  The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

22  And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.23  And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.24  And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.25  Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.26  And when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

27  And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.28  But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.29  But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.30  And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.31  But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.

32  And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.33  And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;34  And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.35  And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.36  And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

37  And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?38  Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.

39  And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words. 40  And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him. 41  And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest; it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42  Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.

43  And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44  And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely.45  And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him.46  And they laid their hands on him, and took him.47  And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.48  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me?49  I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the Scriptures must be fulfilled.

50  And they all forsook him, and fled.51  And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him:52  And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.

53  And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.54  And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire. 

55  And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none.56  For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.57  And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying,58  We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.59  But neither so did their witness agree together.60  And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?61  But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?62  And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

63  Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses?64  Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.65  And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.

66  And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:67  And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.68  But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.69  And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.70  And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.71  But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.72  And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.

Observation:  Jesus knew/knows what it is in men.  He knew Judas would betray Him and He knew Peter would deny Him.

Application:  Jesus knows what is in our hearts too.   It's up to us to keep our hearts free from that which would be betrayal or cause us to deny Christ.  He is willing to be there to help us through hard times, but we must choose to do it.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mk 13: God's Words "Shall NOT Pass Away"; We Can Count on What He Has Said.

Mark 13
1  And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

3  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4  Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? 5  And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And when ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.

8  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows. 9  But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.

10  And the gospel must first be published among all nations. 11  But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

12  Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.13  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.14  But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, let (him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judea flee to the mountains:15  And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house:16  And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.17  But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!18  And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.19  For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. 20  And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.

21  And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: 22  For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. 23  But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. 24  But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 25  And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

26  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27  And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. 28  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: 29  So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.

30  Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. 31  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. 32  But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. 33  Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

34  For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. 35  Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: 36  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. 37  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Verse 31   Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Observation:  Sometimes we may not understand things perfectly and we may actually try to figure out how God's word is true in certain situations, but it IS true.  The problem is not with the word; it's with our understanding.

Application:    In all your figuring, never come to the conclusion that God's word is wrong.   You may have picked up a wrong idea from it that doesn't line up, but God's word will stand forever.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to just trust in You and not allow my own thinking to confuse me.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mk 12: The Gospel Is a Heart Religion

Mark 12
1  And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the wine vat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country. 2  And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard. 3  And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled. 5  And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some. Having yet therefore one son, his well-beloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son. 7  But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours. And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. 9  What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others. 10  And have ye not read this Scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner: 11  This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? 12  And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way.

13  And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words. 14  And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? 15  Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. 16  And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's. 17  And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marveled at him.

18  Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying, 19  Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man's brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 20  Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed. 21  And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise. 22  And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also. 23  In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife. 24  And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God? 25  For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. 26  And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? 27  He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.

28  And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? 29  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

32  And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: 33  And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. 34  And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.

35  And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the son of David? 36  For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, the LORD said to my LORD, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool. 37  David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.

38  And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, 39  And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: 40  Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.

41  And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 42  And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. 43  And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 44  For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

Observation:  The gospel is a religion of the heart which is more than doctrines and religious teachings.    It's a heart change that has you from the heart putting God first in all that you do and that has you treat your fellow man right.  It will cause you to give more than what others think reasonable because from the heart you are so thankful for what God is and what He has done for you.   The commandments, the doctrines, the teachings are NOT grievous when the heart is changed because they are seen as helps to keep what we have been given.

Application:  Don't allow your religion to become do's and don'ts.   Remember that it must be a heart religion and the do's and don'ts are given to protect your heart.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mk 11: Jesus Used Wisdom when Answering the Questions of His Enemies

Mark 11
1  And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples, And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him. And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.

4  And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him. And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go.

7  And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him.And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strewed them in the way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:10  Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

11  And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.12  And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:13  And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find anything thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.14  And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter forever. And his disciples heard it.

15  And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;16  And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.17  And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.18  And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.

19  And when even was come, he went out of the city.20  And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.21  And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.22  And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.23  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.24  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.25  And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.26  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

27  And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders,28  And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?

29  And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.30  The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.31  And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him?32  But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.33  And they answered and said unto Jesus. We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.

verses 29, 30

Observation: Jesus didn't feel it was necessary to give me an answer to every question that they asked Him.  He knew they were just looking for a way to tear Him down.

Application:  Use wisdom with those people you know are just being picky and are looking for ways to tear down the church.

Prayer:   Give me discernment to know when someone has honest questions or when they are just asking questions to get answers to undermine.

Mk 10: Our Goodness Comes from God

Mark 10
1  And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again.

2  And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him. And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.6  But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.7  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;8  And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.9  What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

10  And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter.11  And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.12  And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

13  And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. 14  But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.15  Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.16  And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

17  And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?18  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.19  Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honor thy father and mother.20  And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.21  Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.22  And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

23  And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!24  And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!25  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.26  And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?27  And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

28  Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.29  And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,30  But he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.31  But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.

32  And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,33  Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles:34  And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.

35  And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.36  And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?37  They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.38  But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?39  And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:40  But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.

41  And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.42  But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.43  But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:44  And whosoever of you will be the chiefest shall be servant of all.45  For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

46  And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.47  And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.48  And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.49  And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.50  And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.
51  And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.52  And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

Observation:  Why callest thou Me good?  There is none good but God.

Application:   Jesus wasn't into flattery.  He knew that we needed to acknowledge that we did came from a power beyond ourselves and not be lifted up within ourselves for our accomplishments.   If Jesus made sure He stayed humble, how much more should we?

Mk 9: Jesus Did All He Could Do to Grow Our Faith. Believe in Him and His Will to Do Great Things

Mark 9
1  And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. 

And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into a high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elijah with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.7  And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.8  And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.

9  And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead.10  And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.

11  And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elijah must first come?12  And he answered and told them, Elijah verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at naught.13  But I say unto you, That Elijah is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.

14  And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them.15  And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him.16  And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them?

17  And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;18  And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.19  He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.20  And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tore him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.21  And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.22  And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.23  Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.24  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.25  When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.26  And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.27  But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.28  And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?29  And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

30  And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it.31  For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.32  But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.

33  And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?34  But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.35  And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all, 36  And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, 37  Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

38  And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbade him, because he followeth not us.39  But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.40  For he that is not against us is on our part.41  For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.42  And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.43  And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:44  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.45  And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:46  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.47  And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:48  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

49  For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.50  Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

Observation:  Oh, faithless generation, how long shall I be with you?   Jesus was concerned that His followers were not taking hold of the faith in God as they would need to have it  He knew He would not always be there with them.  They needed a personal faith that would take care of what they had to deal with.

Application:  Don't question the word.  Just believe it.  Trying to figure out how God does things only hinders faith.  Accept that God can and God will.  God wants to.  Just trust and believe.

Mk 8: Remember the Things God Has Already Done; Don't Doubt Him

Mark 8
1  In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, 2  I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far. 4  And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness? 5  And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven. 6  And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and broke, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets. And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

10  And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha. 11  And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him. 12  And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.

13  And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side. 14  Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf. 15  And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. 16  And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread. 17  And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? 18  Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? 19  When I broke the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve.20  And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. 21  And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?

22 And he cometh to Bethsaida: and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.23  And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw aught.24  And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.25  After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.26  And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.

27  And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?28  And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elijah; and others, One of the prophets.29  And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ. 30  And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.

31  And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.32  And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.33  But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.

34  And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.35  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.36  For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?37  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?3 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

verses 17, 18

Observation:  Jesus was not pleased when His disciples did not grasp what He was able to do after He had already shown them several times.

Application:   Because something is beyond human comprehension, we tend to immediately think it is hard for God.  But we have seen God do enough that we should have no problem believing that Jesus can do all things.   He is not pleased when we don't believe after He has shown Himself to be God in so many ways.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to treat my human thoughts as mere temptations to be discarded and to believe wholeheartedly that Jesus can do whatever He wills to do.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mk 7: Salvation is a Heart Condition

Mark 7
1  Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. 3  For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brazen vessels, and of tables.

5  Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?6  He answered and said unto them, Well hath Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.8  For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.10  For Moses said, Honor thy father and thy mother; and, whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:11  But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.12  And ye suffer him no more to do aught for his father or his mother;13  Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

14  And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand:15  There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.16  If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

17  And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.18  And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;19  Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?20  And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.21  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,22  Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:23  All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

24  And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into a house, and would have no man know it, but he could not be hid.25  For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet:26  The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.27  But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.28  And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs.29  And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.30  And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.

31  And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.32  And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him.33  And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue;34  And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.35  And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.36  And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it;37  And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

Observation:  Jesus is accused of ignoring "righteousness" because he ignored the traditions of the religious elders.   Religion had gone so far from where God had intended because man got involved and began adding what he thought would make it better.  With the coming of Jesus the prototype of the law was to be done away with.   Jesus came to bring the reality that model was leading to: religion that comes from the heart, not by forms and ceremonies.   Out of the heart are the issues of life.

Application:  Never fall into a way of life that has you believing you are "righteous" just because you follow a certain way of doing certain religious rituals.   Salvation is a heart condition and if the heart is not right, the religion is not right.  A right heart will produce right actions.  Right actions do not necessarily mean the heart is right.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to keep my heart.