Thursday, March 31, 2016

Great Faith



March 30

Daily Bible Reading: Luke 7:1 – 30

Verse of the Day: Luke 7:9 – 10 – “And when Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned and said unto the multitude that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole.”

This is one of the only two places in the New Testament that says that Jesus marveled. In Mark 6:6, he marveled at the unbelief of those in His hometown. Here, He marvels at the faith of a Gentile.

Think about the contrast. Those who were of Israel didn’t believe Him, the Centurion believed. Do we who know Him lack trusting faith in His ability to meet our day-to-day needs? Do we lack the belief system that trusts Him to accomplish what only He can do? Do we need to re-evaluate our trust and faith. Pause today, and seek to have Jesus “marvel” at us in the right way.

Prayer: Jesus, I believe, help my unbelief. I ask You to strengthen my faith in You and Your ability to uphold me today. Amen.



Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Jesus Marveled



March 30

Daily Bible Reading: Luke 7:1 – 30

Verse of the Day: Luke 7:9 – 10 – “And when Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned and said unto the multitude that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole.”

This is one of the only two places in the New Testament that says that Jesus marveled. In Mark 6:6, he marveled at the unbelief of those in His hometown. Here, He marvels at the faith of a Gentile.

Think about the contrast. Those who were of Israel didn’t believe Him, the Centurion believed. Do we who know Him lack trusting faith in His ability to meet our day-to-day needs? Do we lack the belief system that trusts Him to accomplish what only He can do? Do we need to re-evaluate our trust and faith? Pause today, and seek to have Jesus “marvel” at us in the right way.

Prayer: Jesus, I believe, help my unbelief. I ask You to strengthen my faith in You and Your ability to uphold me today. Amen.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Don't Quit



March 29

Daily Bible Reading: Luke 6:27 – 49

Verse of the Day: Luke 6:37 – “And judge not, and ye shall not be judged: and condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: release, and ye shall be released:”

If you are like me, you have blown it this week. In fact, I can’t remember a day that when I am honest that I didn’t blow it. Sorry, but I am human (just as you are).

And, I have found that Satan smiles whenever we blow it. Especially if we allow ourselves to become discouraged and quit. That’s it. Throw in the towel. Quit. I blew it so that’s it.

No it’s not. I know, I’ve felt this way, too. However, when I remember that the enemy hates love and forgiveness, I know where those thoughts come from. God offers forgiveness, grace, mercy, and restoration. Not only for us, but also for anyone who will receive it. 

So, let’s give this to others we come in contact with (and ourselves if we need it).

Prayer: Father, I thank You for Your grace, mercy, love, forgiveness, and restoration. Amen.



Monday, March 28, 2016

Riot or Revival?



March 28

Daily Bible Reading: Luke 6:1 – 26

Verse of the Day: Luke 6:26 – “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for in the same manner did their fathers to the false prophets.”

We, as Christians, often believe that because we are believers that people should like us and what we believe. However, even from early in His ministry, Jesus makes it clear that the world is no friend of grace. He gives this warning to us in what we call the Beatitudes. We read them (here and in Matthew 5) and look at the promises and see what wonderful things we can receive (being satisfied, gaining the Kingdom, comforted, filled) and miss some of the poignant considerations that Jesus gives.

We will not be liked by all. In fact, the world in general will tolerate at best and persecute at worst. Those who walk in the faith will find that we must be focused on God and not the reactions of those around us.

Prayer: Father, as I seek to walk in Your way, I will find those who like me and those who don’t. I will not succumb to popular opinion, but to Your approval. Amen.


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Keeping the Main Thing



March 27

Daily Bible Reading: Luke 5:17 – 39

Verse of the Day: Luke 5:37 – “ And no man putteth new wine into old wine-skins; else the new wine will burst the skins, and itself will be spilled, and the skins will perish.”

We spend a lot of time in our religious circles holding on to traditions and struggling over any change that we might face in presenting the message of Salvation through Jesus Christ.

I was meditating on this verse and saw something in it to consider. Jesus is making a point that we must be concerned with what is the main thing, and not be hung up on the secondary items.

The wine in this passage is the main thing. It is what is important. It stands for the gospel, timeless and ageless. The wineskins are the secondary, structure, methods, traditions, etc. We need to keep our focus on the main thing and use whatever secondary things can make it successful. Keep the main thing the main thing.

Prayer: Father, help me keep the main thing the main thing every day. Amen.






Saturday, March 26, 2016

Withdrawal needed



March 26

Daily Bible Reading: Luke 5:1 – 16

Verse of the Day: Luke 5:15 – 16 – “But so much the more went abroad the report concerning him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed of their infirmities. But he withdrew himself in the deserts, and prayed.”

Ever feel overwhelmed? Feel like you are being cornered and unable to escape? Everyone is crowding you and needing you? Feeling anxious and it seems more than you can handle?

Sometimes we must do what Jesus did. He is the God-man, and yet there were times that He physically needed space. He understood (after all He made man in the first place) His physical needs (and ours). 

What did He do? He spent some quiet moments with the Father. What makes us believe that we can handle everything ourselves without going to the Father, when even Jesus sought to meet His needs in the Father?

Prayer: Jesus, may I learn from Your example, may I take small moments of quiet to commune with the Father each day. Amen.



Friday, March 25, 2016

Convicted



March 25

Daily Bible Reading: Luke 4:33 – 44

Verse of the Day: Luke 4:38 – 39 – “And he rose up from the synagogue, and entered into the house of Simon. And Simon's wife's mother was holden with a great fever; and they besought him for her. And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she rose up and ministered unto them.”

As I was pondering this account in Mark, I became aware of an important point in it. I have always focused on the importance of Jesus’ healing ministry here. I have also saw that the Apostles had lives like ours, they worked, they married, they had the same everyday occurrences.

What struck me in reading this account again and meditating on it was that she “immediately she rose up and ministered unto them.” How often does God work in our lives and we don’t do anything in response? How should we respond to His blessing?

Prayer: Father, forgive me for the many blessings I have received and taken them so lightly. I praise You for Your care. Amen.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Passing the test.




March 24

Daily Bible Reading: Luke 4:1 – 32

Verse of the Day: Luke 4:1 – 2 – “And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led in the Spirit in the wilderness during forty days, being tempted of the devil. And he did eat nothing in those days: and when they were completed, he hungered.”

The Temptation of Jesus Christ. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all include this in their redemptive biographies of Jesus. Consider this, Matthew wrote about Jesus as a King, Mark wrote about Him as a servant, and Luke wrote about Him as the Perfect Man. John wrote about Him being Deity. Muse over the reasons why they included or left out this account.

Jesus as the Last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45) would go on to be the Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:15) who has been tempted just as we are. One big difference, He does not fail the test as we are prone to do. Therefore, He understands what we face, and demonstrates that through God’s Word we can pass the test also.

Prayer: Fill my mind and heart with Your Word, O God. Amen.







Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Baptism




March 23

Daily Bible Reading: Luke 3

Verse of the Day: Luke 3:7 – “He said therefore to the multitudes that went out to be baptized of him, Ye offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”

Βαπτισθηναι. Baptizo, the Greek word that we transliterate as baptize creates a lot of discussion in Christian circles. Consider some thoughts from the Greek word itself.

The Greek word was not a religious word to begin with. It was used in everyday language. It meant to immerse, or submerge (of vessels sunk); it also meant to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one's self, to bathe. 

The Jews were used to Gentiles being baptized into Judaism, but John’s baptism was new to them. It symbolized renouncing their old life and preparing their hearts to receive the coming Messiah. Later, we see that baptism showed that a person had repented and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Prayer: May I be totally immersed in my relationship with Jesus today and forever. 




Tuesday, March 22, 2016

He Understands



March 22

Daily Bible Reading: Luke 2:25 – 52

Verse of the Day: Luke 2:52 – “And Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”

This is a very informative verse about Jesus as a human being. It states that He developed from a baby into a man in the very same way that every other human being does. When we take apart the different words (from the Greek) we see a picture of how He grew up.

The word advanced in this verse is in an imperfect, active, indicative form. This means that it is a continuing action that happens, and that the word is a simple statement of fact. He did not come as a baby with full capacities as a human, but went through the process just as we do. 

He grew in wisdom (the mental ability or intelligence), stature (age and height), and favor (the goodwill with others) on a steady basis. He knows what we go through at any stage.

Prayer: Jesus, I know that You understand all that I go through each day, both as You watch me and experientially Yourself. Amen.



Monday, March 21, 2016

The Greatest Story



March 21

Daily Bible Reading: Luke 2:1 – 24

Verse of the Day: Luke 2:6 – “And it came to pass, while they were there, the days were fulfilled that she should be delivered.”

We are guilty of relegating the second chapter of Luke to the Christmas season. We hardly read it other than Christmas Eve or Day. What a great mistake that is. This passage contains “the greatest story every told.” 

It is too important, too magnificent, to encouraging to be only a Christmas tradition. Today, read the verse of the Daily Bible Reading out loud. Muse over what it meant for the Creator of the Universe to step down from His Throne and wrap Himself in the flesh of a helpless little baby. To make His residence here. To become like us so that we can become like Him. This section of Scripture deserves our praise as we accept the challenge to adore Him today. Now. Completely. Without hesitation.

Prayer: Jesus, I pause to bow before You in pure adoration and worship. What You did by coming as a baby and growing into the Man who would die for me, provide my restoration and redemption to the Father. All glory to You.






Sunday, March 20, 2016

The "Benedictus"



March 20

Daily Bible Reading: Luke 1:57 – 80

Verse of the Day: Luke 1:67 – “And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,”

In this set of verses today, we find the “Benedictus” or the song of Zacharias. The title “Benedictus” comes from the first word in the Latin translation of this passage. We see it translated into English as blessed from the Greek word ευλογητος. 

God’s Spirit came to Zacharias allowing him to announce the promise of God. Zacharias was part of the priestly line, but God here uses him as a prophet. There are three types of prophecy in the Bible: 1) foretelling future events; 2) forthtelling the Word of God; and, 3) praising God. This prophecy of Zacharias under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit contains all three forms.

Prayer: Spirit of the Almighty God, open my mind, my heart, and my eyes to see the wonder of Your great plan You have revealed in Your Holy Scriptures. I praise You for You plan that allows me to be restored to You and Your family. Alleluia. Amen.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Here I am, use me.



March 19

Daily Bible Reading: Luke 1:24 – 56

Verse of the Day: Luke 1:38 – “And Mary said, Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”

What must it have like for Mary on that day long ago? The Angel Gabriel shows up and tells her that he has news that will change her life forever. She appeared fearful over what was happening so Gabriel tells her “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God.” (Luke 1: 30). Can you even begin to imagine the thoughts that must have been going through her young, teenage mind?

She may have been stunned, confused, puzzled, and surprised, yet never do we see her saying “No way. I won’t do that.” She submitted to the will of God and we have salvation available today by her submission and obedience. How can God use you?

Prayer: Father, I am Your servant. I bow to Your Will and seek to be used by You today. I may not know right now what it will require, but I am willing to allow You to utilize Me for Your honor and glory. Amen.






Friday, March 18, 2016

A historical approach



March 18

Daily Bible Reading: Luke 1:1 – 23

Verse of the Day: Luke 1:1 – 4 – “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to draw up a narrative concerning those matters which have been fulfilled among us, even as they delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, it seemed good to me also, having traced the course of all things accurately from the first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus; that thou mightest know the certainty concerning the things wherein thou wast instructed.”

Today we begin a 50-day study in the Gospel of Luke. Luke, a doctor, wrote this letter with the Greeks in mind. He covers the coming, seeking, and saving Savior. He gives us a historical look at Jesus and His ministry. Written around 59 to 63 A.D., to a man named Theophilus, it is the only Gospel with a sequel. Luke continues the history in the book of Acts.

Prayer: Jesus, we seek to see your life and ministry through the historical writings of Luke. Father, open our eyes that we may see Him and his purpose of coming, seeking, and saving. 


Thursday, March 17, 2016

When God is in the equation



March 17

Daily Bible Reading: Mark 16

Verse of the Day: Mark 16:4 – “and looking up, they see that the stone is rolled back: for it was exceeding great.”

Very early on Sunday morning, the women had prepared and were on their way to the Tomb to anoint the body and finish the burial proceedings. They discussed about how they would get the stone rolled back from the entrance. It was huge and heavy. As they come into view of the Tomb they see it. The Stone is rolled away and the entrance is standing open. They will shortly find out that He is not there, not among the dead but with the living. He had arose.

When God is involved anything can happen. He guided the stone from the sling of David between the eyes of Goliath. He leveled the walls of Jericho. He divided the Red Sea into two massive walls of water.

When we believe that the situation is impossible, don’t count God out. He changes things.

Prayer: Thank You God! Amen.



Wednesday, March 16, 2016

One moment in time



March 16

Daily Bible Reading: Mark 15:27 – 47

Verse of the Day: Mark 15:37 – “And Jesus uttered a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.”

It was on the Cross. One awful terrifying moment. Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God took all of my sins upon Himself and satisfied the righteous demand of the Father. Yours, too. And at that moment He completely, instantaneously, and forever cleared away the debt that we had. Our sin is not only forgiven but taken away. Our being slaves to the sin nature is broken. Set free. Set Free from sin’s penalty. Set free from sin’s power. And, one day we will be set free from the very presence of sin. What a wonderful Savior. His death was complete. It left nothing undone to be finished. Our pardon was sealed with His blood. Our position was established in Heaven with the Father. One moment in time. One moment was all that was needed for the Son of God to restore what sin had destroyed. I am His, and He is mine.

Prayer, Jesus, O how I love You. How I owe You my very soul. I cannot comprehend all that You have done, but thank You! Amen.



Tuesday, March 15, 2016

They crucified Him



March 15

Daily Bible Reading: Mark 15:1 – 26

Verse of the Day: Mark 15:25 – “And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.”

9:00 am in the morning. And on a hill outside of the city of Jerusalem, the Roman soldiers crucified Jesus. Mark’s gospel is terse and to the point. No long descriptions. Just the stated fact.

Mark’s gospel appears to be written to a Roman readership. They wanted the facts, short and sweet. Also, they were totally familiar with the horrors and extreme torture that this system of execution provided. They did not need to have it described.

How often today do we consider the life of Jesus, and maybe like the Romans feel that we totally understand it? We pass over the full impact of what happened, on the cross and in the eternal realm. The King of Creation was murdered by His creatures. Why? To bring us into full fellowship with the Father.

Prayer: Jesus, as I contemplate Your death today, may I feel the fullness of what it cost and what a gift I have received from You. Amen.

Monday, March 14, 2016

I AM




March 14

Daily Bible Reading: Mark 14:51 – 72

Verse of the Day: Mark 14:60 – “But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and saith unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”

In a mock trial, the Sanhedrin (the religious ruling body of the Jews) seeks to condemn Jesus. False witnesses were called to give various evidence against Him. Over and over He was enticed to respond, yet He was silent before them (consider the prophecy of Isaiah in the Old Testament). Finally, we see in this verse the High Priest directly asks Him if He is truly the promised Messiah, the Son of God. Jesus will not lie, nor reject Himself, and responds to the High Priest. “And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” (Mark 14:62).

Jesus knew full well what that proclamation would lead to. He proclaims Himself as the promised Messiah.

Prayer: Jesus, Son of the Most High God, Savior, Redeemer, Creator, Restorer, may I give You the full measure of Praise today. Amen.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sweet Hour of Prayer




March 13

Daily Bible Reading: Mark 14:26 – 50

Verse of the Day: Mark 14:32 – “And they come unto a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith unto his disciples, Sit ye here, while I pray.”

In our passage today, we see Jesus demonstrating to us real prayer. We often delegate prayer to a rote nicety that we recite before lunch or at bedtime. Here we see the full impact of what true prayer is, the kind that Jesus modeled and taught.

Prayer is realistic, spontaneous, plain everyday communication with the Living God of Creation. It results in a relief of personal anxiety and gives us a calm assurance that God is in full control of all the circumstances in our life. What we have is a summary of His prayer; in verse 37 Jesus mentions them waiting one hour while He prayed. When was the last time that a crisis or trial caused you to spend an hour in prayer with the Father? We are quick to send up flare prayers and move on. Let’s take a lesson from Jesus today.

Prayer: Father, I come to You today and seek to spend time with You in Prayer….



Saturday, March 12, 2016

Who will betray Him?





March 12

Daily Bible Reading: Mark 14:1 – 25

Verse of the Day: Mark 14:17 – “And when it was evening he cometh with the twelve. And as they sat and were eating, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you shall betray me, even he that eateth with me. They began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I?”

Imagine being at the table with the Lord that night. He says that one of them would betray Him. The question that they each asked is actually worded in the Greek as a negative question that would imply a negative answer. Each expected Him to say, No, not you. Yet, before the evening ends, Judas betrays with a kiss, Peter betrays with his denial of Jesus, and all of them had run away.

Don’t we do the same today? We think, “Oh no, I would never betray Jesus.” Yet, in our own ways we do exactly that. It is because of grace that we have the forgiveness and relationship we have.

Prayer, Jesus I praise You for Your marvelous Grace and Mercy. I live today because of what You have done in me. Amen.



Friday, March 11, 2016

Present, active, imperative




March 11


Daily Bible Reading: Mark 13:14 – 37


Verse of the Day: Mark 13:33 – “Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.”

This verse is in the present, active, imperative form in the Greek. That’s a mouthful that means that it is of high importance. It means that it is taking place continuously right now (present), that I am to do it (active), as it is commanded by Jesus (imperative).

Taking heed means that I am to see and perceive my surroundings. To watch literally means to not be sleeping. To pray means to be in communication with God. Since we do not know when Jesus is coming back, we are to be in active anticipation and preparation for His return. That should make a major difference in how we live our lives each day. Constant vigilance in or watching for Him will help us to walk in the right way and live the right life.

Prayer: Coming King, I eagerly wait in anticipation of seeing You. I turn my thoughts and life to watching for Your return. I know that it may be years, or it could happen before I finish this sentence. Come. Amen.





Thursday, March 10, 2016

Don't be deceived



March 10

Daily Bible Reading: Mark 13:1 – 13

Verse of the Day: Mark 13:5 – “And Jesus began to say unto them, Take heed that no man lead you astray.”

Chapter 13 of Mark is a section of Scripture that Jesus teaches on the end times (see Matthew 24 also). He instructs on the signs of the end times, the great tribulation, and His return.

He starts in this verse by saying that there will be those who will seek to deceive the believers from holding strong in their looking for Him. The last days will include religious deception, international conflicts, earthquakes, famines, and persecution of Christians. 

The whole earth will be a place of chaos. However, Jesus reminds us in this section that the gospel will continue to spread. It will ultimately triumph in the return of the King. Don’t lose heart, speak up and stand strong.

Prayer: Jesus, we look forward to Your return. To see You face to face is a heartfelt desire. Give me the courage to stand and speak to those who need Your Saving Grace. Amen


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Complete, Unabandoned Love



March 9

Daily Bible Reading: Mark 12:28 – 44

Verse of the Day: Mark 12:27 – “Jesus answered, The first is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one: 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.”

The Scribes asked, “What commandment is the first of all?” Or, what is the most important commandment for us? Jesus never hesitated when He responded with the about statement. Knowing about God is an important pursuit in life. Knowing God is major importance, yet it is only half of the story.

We must not only know about God (the demons do and tremble, James 2:19), it is vital to know God, but the ultimate response to knowing God is to love Him. Love Him with every part of us. Today, meditate upon where God is in my life, and do I love Him in totality.

Prayer: Gracious God, it is my heart’s desire to love You with all my totality. I fail so often, and I ask your forgiveness. Help me to turn my every thought, my life to loving You every moment of every day. Amen.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Where is your reservation?



March 8

Daily Bible Reading: Mark 12:1 – 27

Verse of the Day: Mark 12:27 – “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living: ye do greatly err.”

Jesus in this verse today gives us insight and reinforces the concept that a person continues throughout all eternity. The word He uses for death here, νεκρων, means separation, never annihilation or non-existence. It is referring to the separation of the spirit from the body. It is the concept of the body being dead and buried.

Man will continue to exist after he is buried. God is the God of the ζωντων, the living. A person may cease to exist bodily, but they will continue on in eternity forever and ever. We are not told exactly what the form the person will take, but the New Testament makes it clear that it will be a form that we will recognize one another (1 Corinthian 13:12; 15:44). The important point to consider is this, where will you spend eternity? You choose now where that will be.

Prayer: Eternal Father, I choose to spend my Eternity with You. I trust in Your provision for my destiny. I hold to You. Amen.


Monday, March 7, 2016

Rabbi



March 7


Daily Bible Reading: Mark 11:20 – 33


Verse of the Day: Mark 11:21 – “And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Rabbi, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.”


Rabbi. In the New Testament times, the term Rabbi was a title of respect given to one who was learned and versed in the Mosaic Law. The title is from a Hebrew word that means “great,” and is often translated as “Master.” In the Aramaic (the language Jesus spoke), the word is Rabboni. This expresses an affectionate respect for the teacher. Both the disciples and the Jewish teachers of the Law called Him this.


Jesus cautioned His disciples from claiming this title for themselves, because there is only One true Master, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Today, let us pause and focus upon the One who is the true Master and Teacher. Ponder upon what He is teaching us through His Word.


Prayer: Glorious Rabbi, Teacher, Master, help me to find my understanding in You. The day may bring lessons and challenges, help me to turn to You for the knowledge and assistance I need. Amen.




Sunday, March 6, 2016

Cleanse me



March 6

Daily Bible Reading: Mark 11:1 – 19

Verse of the Day: Mark 11:17 – “And he taught, and said unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations? but ye have made it a den of robbers.”

For those who want to think of Jesus as “gentle, meek and mild,” the accounts of His cleansing the Temple (one at the start of His ministry and now at the close) create a problem. What we see in the account is not someone who is weak and mild, but One who is indignant and action oriented.

He quotes from two Old Testament prophets (Isaiah and Jeremiah), and shows how far the people had drifted from what God wanted. Are we guilty of this today? Maybe we are. Are we selling an inferior product to the world? We need to present the One who is the Truth, the Way, and the Life (John 14:6) for the world to see and desire.

Prayer: Father, I have been cheating others by giving them a poor view of Your Son by my words and actions. Cleanse me and use me today to show Him to others. Amen.


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Ask specifically



March 5

Daily Bible Reading: Mark 10:32 – 52

Verse of the Day: Mark 10:51 – “And Jesus answered him, and said, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? And the blind man said unto him, Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.”

I have often thought about this passage, and wondered why Jesus would ask a blind man what he wanted Him to do. Don’t you think this would be obvious?

However, as I have pondered this over the years, I have come to the conclusion that Jesus was not seeking what the man wanted, He was wanting the man to ask for what he wanted. Jesus knew. Being a beggar, it was not unusual for them to call out to those passing by for mercy (wanting money). Jesus wanted this man to show his faith in Him that he would ask for the very thing he needed most. Sight. Jesus then gave it to him.

Today, when you pray to Jesus for something, be specific in the request that you make. He is waiting for you to ask.

Prayer: Jesus, I come to You in full assurance that You hear and answer. Amen.


Friday, March 4, 2016

Bring, not hinder




March 4

Daily Bible Reading: Mark 10:1 – 31

Verse of the Day: Mark 10:14 – “But when Jesus saw it, he was moved with indignation, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me; forbid them not: for to such belongeth the kingdom of God.”

Are we guilty as the disciples of trying to make the way to Jesus complicated and for those who are what we would consider appropriate to come to Him? In the preceding verse, it states that Jesus was moved with indignation at them. The Greek word used here is made up of two words that mean “much grief.”

We can make it hard for someone to come to Jesus by being in his or her way. We could do that by our actions or our words. We can set standards that they could not meet, or we could simply not tell them about Him.

Today, watch whether we are standing between someone and Jesus, and seek to remove any hindrance from their way.

Prayer: Jesus, I do not want to cause You grief, help me to bring others to You. Amen.



Thursday, March 3, 2016

Hyperbole




March 3

Daily Bible Reading: Mark 9:30 – 50

Verse of the Day: Mark 9:43 – “And if thy hand cause thee to stumble, cut it off: it is good for thee to enter into life maimed, rather than having thy two hands to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire.”

Does Jesus mean for us to literally mutilate ourselves because of sin? Some religions teach this concept, but we can understand from all of Christ’s teachings that his is an account of hyperbole (when more is said than literally meant). It is a form of exaggeration used to emphasize the point being made. It is making a superlative degree of implication.

Jesus wants us to understand that sin and Hell (Greek gehenna) are so hideous that one should take great lengths to avoid them. Avoiding sin can require drastic action on our part. Today, meditate upon the sin in my life, and how I must seek to avoid it at all costs.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, too often I do not see the utter hideousness of sin. I do not realize the depth of depravity and punishment that it can bring. Help me today to focus on Jesus and His ability to cleanse and restore. Amen.




Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Prayer [and Fasting]



March 2

Daily Bible Reading: Mark 9:1 – 29

Verse of the Day: Mark 9:28 – “And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, How is it that we could not cast it out?”

In our reading today, we go from the Mountaintop to the valley. From seeing the revelation of God’s glory in Christ to the ineffective work of the disciples. Having watched Jesus as He released people from sickness and demonic holds, they were able to understand why they were so ineffectual at this time.

Jesus in reply stated that we must rely upon prayer (and some manuscripts add fasting) to prevail in particularly difficult circumstances. It is imperative that we, as disciples, understand that anything we do is only through the will and power of God. Prayer is our means of both requesting and hearing from God, while fasting helps to focus us on what we are seeking.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, let me never forget that all Power and work comes only by Your Will in our lives. Let us seek to focus upon You and what is Your purpose and plan. Amen.



Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Leaven problem



March 1

Daily Bible Reading: Mark 8

Verse of the Day: Mark 8:15 – “And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”

Jesus speaks to His disciples and warns them against ζυμης, leaven. Leaven is used to cause dough to rise – we call it yeast. A little pinch of yeast will quickly spread throughout the entire ball of dough.

In Scripture it can mean yeast (as in the Old Testament Passover where they were told to use only unleavened bread – bread without yeast), or it can be used metaphorically to stand for mental and moral corruption, viewed in its tendency to infect others.

Jesus is warning his disciples against the false teachings of the Pharisees that will infect them, and spread throughout the teachings of the church.

Prayer: Jesus, give me wisdom to see and reject the error that is so easily infecting our churches today. May I discern and hold to Your Truth and Your Truth – Jesus – only. Amen.  


Bible Gateway Scripture

Lookup a word or passage in the Bible



BibleGateway.com
Include this form on your page
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------