Friday, February 15, 2013

February 16

today's reading: Mark 1:29 - 2:12

A Little Analysis

Reading through the first four books( the Gospels) of the New Testament, you will see four unique narratives of the Life of Jesus Christ.

Having just begun the Gospel of Mark, I thought I would take today to share with you a brief overview of the book.

The Gospel of Mark is the shortest of the four books referred to as "the Gospels". 
Mark was a companion of Simon Peter and worked alongside him and the other apostles to build and encourage the early church.
Mark shows his desire to let the amazing works of Jesus provide testimony of His deity.
He also frequently alludes to the human feelings that the Lord experienced; such as disappointment, tiredness, weariness, as well as his affection for people.
Mark loves to share with us the mighty works of Jesus! And we will study them all in the next few days.  

In today's reading we see several miracles being performed, and notice that the communities began to respond to Jesus by coming to listen to him teach.
The population would travel to wherever He was staying to bring their sick to him for healing. They would listen to Him teach and preach for hours.
Also, most importantly, Jesus began to reveal his ability to forgive sin.

Immediately, we see the religious leaders of the day taking particular notice of His ministry; not because they wanted to know God the Father better or understand that Jesus was the Messiah.
But because they felt threatened by His popularity among the people and became jealous of His Power.

How you would you respond to Jesus coming to your town today?

You could sit under His teaching, and then witness the mighty miracles of healing people from all their diseases, see demons cast out, hear the Lord Himself say, "your faith has healed you. Your sins are forgiven."

What would your reaction be to this miracle man?
Would you believe Him to be the promised One; the Messiah?

Would you do everything possible to bring all your loved ones to Him for a touch or a word of truth?

Will you?

February 15

today's reading: Mark 1: 1-28

I hope you are pleased that you have completed the book of Matthew!
See how easy it is to make your way through scripture when you take it just a little each day!

I pray for each of you, that the Holy Spirit is revealing more and more of the nature and character of the Lord each and every day~!

I would ask that if you aren't already doing so, you would pray before you read, asking the Lord to open your heart and mind to whatever He would teach you today.

Stay with us as we dive into the book of Mark!

  • When you find yourself in the desert and temptations are threatening to undo you, realize that you too can use the weapon of scripture to overcome the enemy!

  • Would you drop everything to be obedient to Christ?

  • Know that YOU CAN TRUST HIM even when you don't see where to place your foot to take the next step.
         Just BELIEVE AND FOLLOW HIM..........


Thursday, February 14, 2013

February 14

today's reading: Matthew 28:1-20

Love Story

There is no greater love than that a man would lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13

It seems that the end of Jesus life on earth has several similarities to it's beginning.

The angel of the Lord comes to make the holy announcement........
            to confirm that prophecy has been fulfilled at this moment in history....
        The good news is given,telling where they will be able to find Jesus.......

There is hurrying away to share the news.........
       this time it is not shepherds, but the women who had followed Jesus
                running to tell the disciples all they had seen and heard...............

There is even the plotting of the shifty leadership .............
             to make sure that people were not allowed to know the truth...........

When the disciples went to the mountain............
           they worshipped Him..........................

Just as in the beginning of Jesus it was at the end..............
          He would be worshipped.
And so it is today................
         He will be worshipped, in love, by those who realize who He really is.


  What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

February 13

today's reading: Matthew 27: 54-66


It is amazing what fear will drive people to do, isn't it?

The fear of the unknown must have been suffocating in the hours surrounding the death of Christ.

Just before He died, there were three hours of utter darkness in the middle of the day! The "sixth hour" until the "ninth hour" was actually noon until 3pm. Not usually a time of darkness.

As soon as Jesus gave up His life, the curtain in the temple(which was a very heavy cloth) was torn from top to bottom.
The earth shook SO violently THAT ROCKS AND BOULDERS SPLIT!
The most unusual event was that tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were RAISED TO LIFE!
Now, that's one POWER FULL earthquake!
It is no wonder that Pilate wanted to be absolutely certain that the body of the One whose death would precipitate these earthly phenomena, would be securely sealed in that tomb!
His fear and that of the soldiers, elders, and priests, was that the body of Jesus would be stolen to make people believe that Jesus had actually risen from the dead.
Do you imagine that there might have been some fear in them that it
But, they would not have wanted it to be true, would they?
They would not want to have..........

       crucified one who would rise from the dead on the third day.....
               just as prophecy had said would be the case for the Messiah......

                      just as Jesus Christ had said He would do.......
                       .......... that would be too much ................


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

February 12

today's reading: Matthew 27: 32-53


Simon, a man from Cyrene-forced to carry the heavy cross to Golgotha.
The only reason the brutal Roman soldiers would have removed this burden from Jesus, would be His complete inability to continue.
And after what had been done to His physical body, isn't it amazing that He could walk on His own?

Crucified alongside the Lord Jesus Christ, were two thieves who were guilty of the crimes for which they were perishing.

This was no ordinary crucifixion day, as if any could be described as "ordinary".

On this day...........

....the Lord of Heaven took the sin of ALL OF HUMANITY upon Himself.

Can we explain what this really means? those moments, He took every dark, wicked, evil thought or deed, committed by every living soul, from the beginning to the end of time, INTO HIS SINLESS SELF.............

..........................The agony of this would surely have been excruciating beyond anything our words could explain. 

Fall on your knees........
                     Receive the mercy
                                  bought with the blood of the precious Lamb of God.
                                              Receive the love
                                                          poured out of His life into yours.


Monday, February 11, 2013

February 11

today's reading: Matthew 27:11-31

Pontius Pilate

Today we are introduced to yet another key character in the historical account of the death of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

Just who was Pontius Pilate? He was a Roman governor sent to rule over Judea.
He was a prominent figure of Roman rule, which was resented deeply by the Jewish population. He had been in power when Jesus began His ministry, so had no doubt been hearing the amazing stories that revealed Jesus Christ as the Messiah.

Scripture indicates that he was brutal and sacrilegious, but wished to avoid the problem of "Jesus" and squirmed , trying over and over again,  to find a way to release the Lord, rather than sentence Him to death.

Even Pilate's wife played a role, as she warned him to have nothing to do with "that innocent man", saying she had suffered greatly from dreams she had concerning Him.

Reading through today's events, we can see the power of the enemy to take over a situation where people are not seeking the Lord's guidance.

The "mob mentality" is played out to it's miserable end as the Jewish leaders exerted their influence over the crowd to demand the crucifixion of Jesus by the governor.  

Pilate must have seen the folly of it, as he washed his hands of the matter, literally. He looked for every excuse to set the Lord Jesus free, but that crowd would have none of it.

They wanted blood, and in the end, Pilate gave in.

We are called into the picture again as we witness, through the reading of the Word, the beating, humiliation, mocking, the degradation, the heartless and relentless injury.

How do we take it in?
How will you respond?
Do not give in to complacency.
Do not give in to fear.
Do not give in to any emotion
that would ever tear you away from the Savior
 who will never forsake you... not even as He suffers to pay for your sin.... 


Sunday, February 10, 2013

February 10

today's reading: Matthew 26:67- 27:10

Buyer's Remorse

Today our character study takes a nasty turn as we highlight Judas Iscariot, a disciple- one of the Twelve of the "inner circle"...trusted friends and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Judas is a rather unseemly character.

One telling scripture in John 12: 4-6, describes him as a thief.
He complained about Mary pouring an expensive perfume on Jesus feet. The scripture reveals to us that his complaint, that "the perfume should have been sold and the money given to the poor", was merely a cover. He did not care about the poor, but cared only for himself. He was oddly,"the keeper of the money bag and used to help himself to what was put into it."

Money was obviously very important to this exceedingly greedy fellow.
He was willing to sell Jesus Christ out to the chief priest and elders to kill, for 30 pieces of silver.

He also shows his willingness to lie. Earlier in this chapter vs 25, after having already made the deal with the chief priest to lead him to Jesus in exchange for money, he can say to the Lord in the Upper Room, "Surely it is not I who will betray you, Rabbi?"

These are the very same characteristics of our enemy the devil, whose goal it is to steal, kill, and destroy.

Judas has a moment when you may wonder if his heart had softened.
We only see him as a man filled with torment, after his betrayal of Christ. Seeing the Lord was condemned to death, his tortured mind caused him to throw the money down, acknowledge that he had sinned, and then unable to comprehend his heinous crime, his last act was to hang himself.

I would say that is a very sad case of buyer's remorse. 
He purchased the death of the Savior.
A sin for which there was no recovery.

We scowl at the mention of the name "Judas".
How could he have been so cold, so calculating?
How could he have handed over to death, the one whom had shown him the way to life?
The Messiah.......handed over to death by this man in his sin.

And yet
do we
and again.
But for His own saving grace...
would we not consider
that we also
hand Him over to death by our
our sin?
Forgive us Lord. Help us to confess our sins daily to You,
 and to live in the freedom of Your very costly mercy.