March 5, 2015
This was a devastating critique of the Sadducees’ theology by Jesus. They affirmed only the books of Moses and denied the resurrection of the dead. Jesus declared them wrong on both. There are many today who claim to be teachers and theologians that Jesus would stand against because they dismiss the Bible and deny the resurrection. Do you know and believe the Bible? Do you look forward to the resurrection? What would Jesus think of your theology?
March 4, 2015
Even Christ’s enemies “marveled at Him” when He answered their question about paying taxes. Jesus displayed amazing wisdom with such brevity and fulness (“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”). He wasted not a single word, yet fully responded to their complex question. Reading the gospels, one cannot help but realize the otherworldliness of Jesus. Both His humanity and divinity are on full display. There is no other like Jesus. Whether one believes or rejects Him, no one who encounters the Christ of the gospels can help but “marvel at Him.”
March 3, 2015
In Christ’s teaching on prayer, He assumed that the disciples would pray standing. I’ve never done a study on the body positions of those praying in the Bible, but it might be an interesting research. Many pray while seated or while lying in the bed. I’m sure these postures are fine. Yet I have found that standing to pray affects not only my physical posture, but my spiritual and mental posture as well. Standing tends to focus my attention and awaken my awareness of God’s holy presence. It keeps my mind from wandering and my body from feeling sleepy. Have you tried standing to pray?
March 2, 2015
Unlike worldly leaders who strive to climb the ladder of leadership, Kingdom leaders serve their way to success. Jesus calls us to be servant-leaders. Are there jobs in your family, workplace or church that are beneath you? Good. Start there and do them wholeheartedly. Faithfulness in little things leads to being entrusted with greater things.
March 1, 2015
This was Christ’s response to the question “Who then can be saved?” The truth is that we cannot save ourselves. Salvation is beyond humanity’s reach. No amount of counseling, religion, or self-effort can change the heart of man. We are drowning in our own sin and unable to reach the shore. But God has made a way for us through Christ. What seemingly impossible thing is defeating you today? Bring it to God. He specializes in accomplishing impossible things.
February 25, 2015
The crowds that followed Jesus as He passed through the Decapolis (“Ten Cities”) were “astonished beyond measure” at Him. These cities were founded by Greek colonists and were given favor under Roman rule. The gospel writer Mark tells this story after sharing a previous encounter Jesus had with a Greek woman in Tyre and Sidon who begged Him to free her daughter of a demon. These stories are predictive of how the gospel will go out from Jewish to Gentile lands and be more quickly accepted in the latter. People who have no knowledge of Jesus are still “astonished” when they hear the good news about Him. For He “has done all things well.”
February 24, 2015
Jesus explained that sin begins with an attitude of the heart before it becomes a behavior. Our problem is within. Focusing on changing the outward behavior is unfruitful when only faith in Jesus will change the heart. The human heart is born with an attitude of rebellion against God saying, “My will,” rather than “Your will be done.” Jesus came to change human hearts knowing that no amount of washing our hands would cleanse our hearts.
February 23, 2015
After Jesus had sent his disciples out two by two to witness, they returned full of excitement and stories to report. They had been following Jesus and learning from him for some time and now after being sent out on their own for the first time, they were glad to be back in the presence of their Lord and to tell him “all things” about their work. Can you picture the excitement? Perhaps the Lord had to tell Peter to sit down and let Andrew tell his story too. Then, after everyone had debriefed their stories with Jesus and he had given them feedback, he invited them to take a retreat to get some rest with him. This is a crucial step to add to our ministry. Take time to discuss your day with Jesus. Tell him “all things” you’ve done and taught. Listen for his feedback. Then, obey when he invites you to get some rest with him.
February 22, 2015
When Jesus returned to his hometown of Nazareth with his disciples and preached in the synagogue, the people were offended. It puts to mind the old saying “familiarity breeds contempt,” because since the people of Nazareth had known Jesus and his family since his youth, they doubted his authority. When we become a Christ follower, often the hardest place to begin telling others is in our “own country” among our “own relatives” and especially in our own “house.” These people really know us and often doubt our life change. Yet, this is exactly where we are commanded to begin our witness. For Jesus taught us to begin in “Jerusalem” and then to the “ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Have you yet shared the gospel with your own family and hometown?
February 21, 2015
This with today’s OT reading in Leviticus 11-12 makes for a revealing juxtaposition. Leviticus details how touching a dead body or a bleeding woman makes one unclean. Mark shows how a touch from the holy Jesus has the reverse affect: The dead girl rises again and the bleeding woman is healed. Their impurity did not make Jesus unclean, but His holiness was transmitted to them making them whole.