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Showing posts from October, 2011

Frustrating Jesus

Scripture Sighing deeply in His spirit, He said, “Why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”
(Mark 8:12 NASB)
Observation Jesus physically stood in the very midst of the people of Israel. Day after day He walked among them. Miracles were performed in almost every town and city that He visited. The lame were walking, the deaf could hear, the blind could see, and even the dead were raised to life. Jesus was preaching the Good News about the Kingdom of God to everyone who would listen, and yet, there were those who came to Him and asked Him for a "sign." We can probably relate to Jesus' response. Jesus signed deeply! Can you just imagine the frustration that Jesus felt. He probably wanted to cry out, "Hello!!!! Who do you think I am and what do you think I've been doing?"
Application And I'm guessing that there are many times today that Jesus is doing the very sam…

Are you helping to write the story?

Scripture The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
(Mark 1:1 NASB)
Observation The Gospel of Mark begins with this one little sentence. The Gospel, Jesus Christ, the Good News...here it is! It starts right here. Then the book of Mark lays out the story of Jesus and His life. However, this little book in the New Testament is just the first part of the story of the Gospel. It may finish by telling of the life of Jesus here on earth, but the story of the Gospel is not finished. This is an unfinished story at this time for the story is in the process of being written or told. The question for us, is whether we are willing to step into the story and help it be written.
Application We, as followers of Christ must understand the mantle which He has placed on us. As His children we are to be transformed into the very image of Jesus Christ. In that transformation we must realize that we are to be Christ to this world. In being Christ to the w…

Stormy Peace

Scripture Having said this, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of all, and he broke it and began to eat.
(Acts 27:35 NASB)
All of them were encouraged and they themselves also took food.
(Acts 27:36 NASB)
All of us in the ship were two hundred and seventy-six persons.
(Acts 27:37 NASB)
Observation Paul was merely a prisoner on the ship when they found themselves in a terrible storm. For fourteen days the storm raged on and they all thought that they would die. These were rough men of the sea and they were most certainly not followers of Jesus Christ. In the midst of it all, Paul seems to keep his cool. Not only does he keep his cool, but he uses every single circumstance to minister and share Jesus with the world around him. This scene becomes reminiscent of the last supper when Jesus is with his disciples. Now Paul, the lowly prisoner on the ship, tells the men what lies ahead and he encourages them to stop in the midst of the storm and ea…

I wanna be a pest!

Scripture “For we have found this man a real pest and a fellow who stirs up dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.
(Acts 24:5 NASB)
Observation Paul spent all the later years of his ministry in prison, and all because he'd been a "pest." The quote above is from the Lawyer that the High Priest brought before the authorities to explain all the "bad" things that Paul had done. This declaration left the Roman officials scratching their heads because they couldn't figure out what was wrong with what Paul had done. Paul was a "pest," he had stirred up "dissension" and he was "ringleader."
Application In reality, Paul was faithful and obedient. He was unwilling to compromise in his faith in Jesus Christ. He knew that he was called to share the Good News with the whole world and absolutely nothing was going to get in his way. However, it should b…

Making Assumptions

Scripture For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple.
(Acts 21:29 NASB)
Then all the city was provoked, and the people rushed together, and taking hold of Paul they dragged him out of the temple, and immediately the doors were shut.
(Acts 21:30 NASB)
Observation The Jews in Jerusalem were determined that they were going to catch Paul doing something wrong. They were so determined that they wanted to believe any bit of gossip which they heard. Not only did they want to believe the gossip, but they were even ready to create that gossip by making assumptions about Paul's behavior. They didn't know Paul personally, they didn't want to get to know Paul personally, but rather, they wanted to assume that he really was the no good man that they thought that he was. So, although Paul's Greek friend, Trophimus had not gone to the Temple, they were just sure that Pa…

Mob Rule

ScriptureSo then, some were shouting one thing and some another, for the assembly was in confusion and the majority did not know for what reason they had come together.
(Acts 19:32 NASB) ObservationThe crowds in Ephesus had been stirred up. They were angry at Paul (at least some of them) because the message he was preaching was affecting their business. However, by the time they all made it to auditorium many had no clue why they were there. They were screaming and yelling and joining into the mob but really had no idea what was going on. They were simply following the crowd that day and joining into the excitement. ApplicationWe are living in interesting days where we have seen, on occasion, that the mob is ruling. As followers of Christ we must step back and ask some critical questions. Do we really know what is going on? Do we know why people are upset? Maybe there are those involved with personal motivations which we would not support and yet, because we ask no …