Praise Louder!

“Son of David, have mercy on me!”  Mark 10:46-52  Knowing Jesus was near, Bartimaeus cried out. He just wanted to see again. One would think that the crowds would be more sympathetic but instead they tried to shut him up! Bartimaeus however, had nothing to lose, so he cried louder and Jesus responded to his cry. Whatever our situation, ignore the naysayers. We’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. Know that Jesus is near and continue to praise God and if you have to praise God louder.

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Special Consideration

“You know that among the Gentiles, those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them. But it is not so with you.”  Mark 10:32-45  Up to this point things between the twelve were going fairly well. Until brothers James and John decided to start some drama. At the time of Jesus glory, they wanted special consideration and the other ten got pretty indignant about it. Did James and John really think that no one would mind? Did they even care? No doubt Jesus is shaking his head, but instead of chastising the brothers for thinking ahead. Jesus reminds them that together they were chosen for a reason; serve God and serve one another. If each of us remembers to just do that  –  special consideration according to God’s grace is given to all who believe.

Making Room For Faith

“You lack one thing … sell what you own and give the money to the poor.” Mark 10:17-31  You never know how attached you are to something until someone asks you to give it up. But to give something up means you now have room in your heart for something else. The rich man in the passage asked for eternal life but he didn’t realize that eternal life didn’t need his treasured possessions only his faith. Jesus encourages us, to not be found lacking! Make room for faith and have treasure in heaven.

Let The Children Come

“… for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” Mark 10:1-16  The earliest gift I remember receiving as a child was a green bicycle for Christmas. Although it came with training wheels on it, that following summer my father took my sister and I to the parking lot of a neighborhood school, removed the training wheels and taught us to ride a two-wheeler! I was 4 years old. As I think back on it the true gift was the look on my dad’s face. He had a tremendous smile as I rode all around that lot. I think the Kingdom of God is full of images just like that one. Let us not deny the Father every opportunity to smile.

Hand, Foot, Eye

“…cut it off.” Mark 9:42-50  The gift of our hands our feet and eyes are all meant to glorify God. But in this world, they can be lead to work against our intended nature to love and serve God. Literally, cutting off our hand or foot and tearing out our eye is gruesome and extreme. However, the significance of Jesus’ command is that if God’s kingdom is our goal it is far better to lose a part of the physical body than the whole of the spiritual life.  If our hand touches, our feet takes us places and our eye sees and perceives according to the world, Jesus could just have easily said; cut off those things that you touch, the places that you go and the things you look at, but would you have listened? Instead Jesus catches our attention and gives us more of an incentive to change according to God’s will and not our own.

Speechless

‘Why could we not cast it out?’ 29He said to them, ‘This kind can come out only through prayer.’  Mark 9:14-29  There are times when our words fail us. Nothing we say can help the situation. The words we use to invoke the Holy Spirit upon our lives are being attacked by words of discouragement. That’s when prayer is at its best. Take it to the altar, let it go and trust God.

No Longer A Mystery

And he was transfigured before them. Mark 9:2-13   It is not God’s desire to be a mystery. As believers, no longer should our life in Christ be a mystery. All that God transforms within us should be seen and experienced by others.  Yet to those who won’t believe and hold steadfast to their own precepts, God will always be a mystery.

A Kind Legacy

“Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul to whom I may show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”           2 Samuel 9:1-13   Because of his love for Jonathan, a blessed David didn’t allow Saul’s acts against him, to turn his back on God’s law. The legacy we leave will be the one we live everyday. We have only to live according to God’s Word and not in response to the world’s actions against us. As for those who choose to begrudge us because of our blessings towards others; tell them to take it up with God!

A Divine Plan

“… you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’” Mark 8:22-33 

In business, every new venture has it’s rough period. For all the great ideas and carefully constructed strategic planning, there are variables that are either miscalculated or unidentified at the time of launch and things ultimately get worse before they get better. To be successful, one must be able to manage these variables and adapt to unexpected changes. However, once you are able to get through the rough periods (@ 5years) and become more experienced in your field, you will begin to see your strategic plan begin to live up to that great idea.

Jesus’ ministry was part of God’s greater plan for his kingdom. When Jesus began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, ten -to-one, Peter, partly out of ignorance and partly out of compassion, probably never heard the good news “and after three days rise again.” His mind was set on the physical and not on the spiritual; on the plan and not the future hope.  Jesus recognizes the variable of ignorance (Peter’s inability to see the full picture) and immediately manages the enemies attempt to use Peter. Like Peter, we may not always be able to see the full picture, yet know that our striving everyday has already been taken into consideration by God. If we set our mind on the divine through Christ, God’s greater plan will also be revealed in us.

Our Utmost – His Highest

“See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” 2 Samuel 7:1-17 There a song written by Bobby Womack that says “No matter how high I get, I’ll still be looking up to you.” In a physical world hierarchy is fleeting. It’s part of the ebb and flow of life that happens because sometimes we are not always at our very best. However in our spiritual relationship with God, His ways and thoughts will always be higher than ours. Though our utmost may be limited,  God is always at his highest. David in the above passage was speaking from a physical place. God reminds David and us that his presence and what He does for us can’t be contained. When you think about it, why would we want it to be?

Where can I go from your spirit?
   Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
   if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
   and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
   and your right hand shall hold me fast.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me,
   and the light around me become night’,
even the darkness is not dark to you;
   the night is as bright as the day,
   for darkness is as light to you.          Psalm 139:7-12