Monday, March 1, 2021

A Time for a Sabbath Rest

TEXT: Mark 6:31 (NASB) - "And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest awhile.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)

From January 2018 through the end of February 2021, I have been lead by the Lord to write these daily blogs - "Doc's Musings." I have posted them faithfully on Facebook for many to read and be encouraged, challenged, and grow from these words. I have been blessed by the numerous comments over these years, and have let God moving in using these in many lives.

After much prayer, meditation, and searching of the Father's heart, I feel that the above verse has been given to me at this time. He has opened many doors of opportunity to me and has led me into many new challenges and blessings.

Having said that, I believe that at this point in time, God is calling me to take a hiatus from the production of these devotional and instructive thoughts. I pray that one day soon He will lead me back into this ministry for Him. These have all been written to bring Him honor and glory. I praise His Name for using me this way. May all praise, honor, and glory be given to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and may we one day share together again.

To go back and read some of the previous posts I have written, please feel free to go to my Blog - Doc's Musings - at:

http://tfmarshall.blogspot.com

God bless.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

The Gospel and the Kingdom - Matthew - The Conversation Down the Mountain

 

TEXT: Matthew 17:9-13 – “Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.” 10 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”

11 Jesus answered and said to them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. 12 But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist.”

We are going to continuing in Chapter 17 today. In this chapter, we saw yesterday that God confirms Peter’s earlier acknowledgment of the deity of Christ with the Transfiguration on the mountaintop. This of course created a series of thoughts, concerns, and questions. So today we will consider their conversation as they came down from the mountain-top.

We are first told of the Command in verse.9. Jesus told them to not share what they saw until His Resurrection. Of course, the disciples then express their Confusion, they want to know if Elijah would come before the return of the Messiah? They are getting the picture that Jesus is teaching He is the Messiah, however, it did conflict with their understanding of the Scriptures.

So, Jesus gives His Clarification of what the Scriptures were teaching. His answer was in two parts:

  • Vs. 11 – Elijah will indeed come
  • Vs. 12 – Elijah has already come

It was then that the Disciples came to an understanding in verse 13, what He was showing them. They understood that he is referring to John the Baptist.

So, how do we apply this account to ourselves today? Let me give you two quick takeaways.

  • First, we have learned that Jesus is the Beloved of the Father.
  • So, the pertinent question for you and me today is, “Who is Jesus to you?” If asked who He is, what would you answer? Do you truly understand who Jesus was and is?

 So, ponder today exactly what your answer would be. 

Saturday, February 27, 2021

The Gospel and the Kingdom - Matthew - The Confirmation on the Mountain

 

TEXT: Matthew 17:1-8 – “1Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.”

We are going to start Chapter 17 today. In this chapter, we see that God confirms Peter’s earlier acknowledgment of the deity of Christ with the Transfiguration on the mountaintop.

Jesus takes Peter, James, and John with Him. (vs.1) Jesus did have twelve disciples in whom He strategically invested. However, He also had three disciples that He took to a different level than the twelve. Peter, James and John might well be considered the inner circle of the original twelve disciples.

A quick survey of the Gospels reveals that there were some places that Jesus only took Peter, James, and John. He did not take the twelve everywhere He went. How and why Jesus took these three to places where he did not take the other nine we will never know. The fact remains that Jesus took Peter, James, and John to places He didn’t take everyone else. 

If you read the Book of Acts, the only disciples mentioned out of the original twelve are Peter, James, and John. It appears that they took leadership responsibility after Jesus left that the other nine did not take.

  • Peter preaches at Pentecost.
  • Peter and John heal the lame beggar while going into the temple.
  • Peter and John are brought before the Jewish council.
  • Peter and John were sent to the Samaritans when they received the Holy Spirit.
  • James is killed by Herod in Acts chapter twelve.

None of the other disciples are mentioned in the Book of Acts, leading us to believe that the fact Jesus spent more time with them was preparing them for more responsibility than the rest.

So, here is the question of the day is "Who are your three?"

  • Who are the individuals you are pouring your life into at a deeper level than anyone else?
  • Who are the individuals you are taking places in ministry that you don’t take anyone else and who are you giving more responsibility to?
  • Who is in your inner circle? 

So, in verses 1-3 we are shown what they see. The Appearance of God’s Messiah (vs. 2). His face and clothing shine like the noon-day sun. The Greek word translated transfigured metamorphoĊ means to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure. His clothes were perfectly white – bright as light. What the disciples were privileged to see was Christ shown not in His humiliation, but in His glory.

They also saw the arrival of God’s messengers – Moses and Elijah appear and speak to Jesus. (vs.3). Why these two? To the Jews (remember who Matthew is writing to) Moses stood for the Law, and Elijah stood for the Prophets. In other words, all the Old Testament Scriptures. Jesus came to fulfill the Scriptures, not take them away.

In verse 4 we observe what the disciples say – They want to build 3 shelters (tents) for these important people. While Peter has made this suggestion, all the Disciples hear the Father speak from Heaven declaring His love for His Son. (vs.5) When this happens, we read what the Disciples did (vs. 6-8). They are driven prostrate and were greatly afraid – they have heard the voice of God. (vs. 6). However, Jesus comes and reassures them (vs. 7). And when they looked up – there was no one there now except Jesus.

So, as we could imagine, this prompted what we will consider tomorrow, their conversation coming down the mountain.

 

 

 

Friday, February 26, 2021

The Gospel and the Kingdom - Matthew - The Rewards of Being a True Disciple

 

TEXT: Matthew 16:27-28 – 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

We are finishing up our study in Chapter 16 today. In this chapter, we saw that Jesus refuses to give the Pharisees a sign to prove His divine identity. Also, we saw Him warn His disciples to beware of the Pharisee's false teachings. And ending our study with Peter correctly identifying who Jesus is. As we continue, today we pondered over Jesus Reminder, Revelation, Rebukes, and the Requirements. Let’s end on a high note of the REWARDS for being a true disciple.

He starts with the general rewards of all of Jesus’ disciples (vs.27).

This will occur at His Second Coming. We read from the Apostle Paul in 2 Cor. 5:10 – “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” This judgment is not about Salvation, but rewards for our service. Every disciple or follower of Christ will go through this.

It is often called The Bema Seat. Paul describes this for us in 1 Cor. 3:12-15 –

If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, each one’s work will become obvious. For the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will experience loss, but he himself will be saved—but only as through fire.”

Jesus does make a reference to a specific reward that will go to three of Jesus' disciples (vs.28) – Peter, James, and John will soon be allowed to witness the transfiguration of Christ (next chapter).

So, how do we apply this account to ourselves today? 

We need to stop and look truthfully at ourselves. How do we measure up to the requirements of a true disciple? Do we daily:

  • Deny ourselves?
  • Take up our cross?
  • Follow Him?

 

Yes, I asked these same questions yesterday, but that is because they are vital questions that we must truthfully answer. Not just a casual glance. Not just a nod in their direction. But do we daily seek to be a true follower of Jesus Christ? And if we do, there are rewards in the life to come.

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