Saturday, March 9, 2013

March 9
today's reading: Mark 14:22-52
22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”
23 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
24 “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 25 “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
27 “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written:
“‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered.’
28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
29 Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.”
30 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.”
31 But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.

32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”

35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.

41 Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

Jesus Arrested

43 Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders.
44 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” 45 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46 The men seized Jesus and arrested him. 47 Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
48 “Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” 50 Then everyone deserted him and fled.
51 A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, 52 he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.
Help us, Lord, to understand this message today. Help us to take YOU seriously.
You know us so well, Father, much better than we know ourselves. You know exactly what will be temptation to us, and you teach what we must do to fight it.
But do we listen and follow through?
So often we do not.
........We FAIL
................because we fail to follow your lead.
We fail to pray BEFORE we step onto the battlefield.
Trying to walk alone through the minefields ahead, we use our weapon of Prayer only when we find ourselves standing in a precarious spot... you know the place. T
The place where any movement at all will set off the blast.
 And then-we PRAY like crazy.
Help me, Lord, to PRAY daily in preparation for whatever may happen.
Keep me vigilant and make me ready to Live each day for YOU!

Friday, March 8, 2013

March 8

today's reading: Mark 14:1-21
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
14 Now the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were scheming to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. 2 “But not during the festival,” they said, “or the people may riot.”3 While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.

6 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. 11 They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

The Last Supper
12 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

13 So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. 14 Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.”

16 The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.

17 When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. 18 While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.”

19 They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?”

20 “It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me. 21 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

I long to give extravagant gifts to the Lord!
I want to come aside everyday to meet with Him in a holy personal time of communion?
He believes that to be the extravagance that He desires!
How amazing and unfathomable is it, that the Creator of the Universe delights in spending time with us!
Plan today to take a coffee break with the Savior... and in those priceless moments
enjoy something of His creation; a beautiful sunrise, the beauty of the sunlight filtering through the trees, the birds........a rock formation or a snowy field.
Most importantly, ENJOY HIS PRESENCE!
Give Him your full attention and your self. That will be a most extravagant gift..
to Him

Thursday, March 7, 2013

March 7

today's reading: Mark 13:14-37

Tough Times Ahead
14 “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let no one on the housetop go down or enter the house to take anything out. 16 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 17 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 18 Pray that this will not take place in winter, 19 because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now—and never to be equaled again.

20 “If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them. 21 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.

24 “But in those days, following that distress,
“‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
25 the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
The Day and Hour Unknown
32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.

35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”
Staying faithful to God when the whole world is falling apart, is a very difficult thing to do.
And yet, that is the time when we most need to be right in the middle of the Word of God, standing on His Promises to sustain us and hold us up, by His mercy.
When times get tough, don't forget to pray! The Lord is always ready to listen to your heart.
It is possible to have that precious peace that passes all understanding in the very midst of suffering and distress. But to do it, you must stay in the Word, and stay on your knees in prayer. You must exercise your faith! Make the choice every day, every time fear and doubt launch an attack on your peace.......make the choice to BELIEVE GOD!
Live each day as though it were your last.........and press on......all the matter what the days ahead hold ..... can be sure that Jesus Christ is holding on to YOU!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March 6
I have realized that many of you are reading the blog on your phones or IPADs, and may not have your bibles with you when you are reading this page.
So even though it takes much more space, I am going to post the scripture reading for you. I would still encourage you to read the scripture from your own Bible, if you can.
We are praying for the Lord to bless you abundantly!
today's reading: Mark 12:38-13:13
38 As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”

The Widow’s Offering
41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times

13 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”
2 “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”
5 Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 6 Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. 7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11 Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 13 Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

These days there is a lot of emphasis on "Self-Image"  and we see it everywhere! You can't escape the media telling you how important it is to be the best at everything you do, to look fabulous while you are doing it, and to stop at nothing to achieve success. People who are at the top of the social scale are often( not ALWAYS) aloof and self-serving. They care much about maintaining their image of perfection and superiority. These people dwell in the most beautiful and lavish homes, may have a cushy job, enjoy extravagant vacations in exotic locales, and consume the richest of foods. 
But what does the Bible say about the real value of these things?
It is not a sin to be wealthy, but it is a sin to spend the gift of life pursuing wealth only to use the resources on the pursuit of even more wealth. 
We have an obligation........even a heavenly calling to help those in need, and those who are helpless throughout the world.
Most importantly, we have a reach them with the love of Jesus Christ and the message of His salvation!
Please spend your resources... and your "self" on those things that will have eternal value! And determine that you will learn to be less of YOU, and more of Jesus Christ,
until His Image is imprinted on your heart and is visible in all that you do!  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March 5
today's reading: Mark 12: 18-37

Marriage at the Resurrection

18 Then the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 19 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 20 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died without leaving any children. 21 The second one married the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It was the same with the third. 22 In fact, none of the seven left any children. Last of all, the woman died too. 23 At the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”

24 Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? 25 When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 26 Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!”

The Greatest Commandment

28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

Whose Son Is the Messiah?

35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, “Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared:
“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies
under your feet.”’

37 David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”
The large crowd listened to him with delight.
Vs 25: Now just think about this for a moment. Think about how much of life revolves around marriage.  Most everyone seems to desire it. It is a predominate subject of movies, advertising, books, and even plays a part in war and the building of nations.

vs 32-33: Surely the second is impossible without the first. When I can't seem to love all of humanity, I must need to work on loving God more! Now, how can I accomplish that?
Wake Up , my little bride
I hold out this garment of .....repentance on the inside, forgiveness on the outside, all day long seven times seventy times for you. I've heard your excuses, I've seen your heart.
I know your thoughts:
"Do we need to do that much?Won't a little private ceremony over on a hill somewhere suffice? I've got a headache! You know, I'm really tired tonight.
I've had a hard week. Won't a blown kiss do for you?"
Please don't turn your back on me. Won't you publicly put on your wedding garment? Won't you walk down the aisle for Me? For all to see?
Won't you publicly declare your love for Me? Wont' you dance this wedding dance with Me?
Oh, Wake up my little bride!


Monday, March 4, 2013

March 4

today's reading: Mark 11:27- 12:17


As you read through the Gospel accounts of Jesus Christ, do you notice again and again, how very afraid the religious leaders and teachers were of Him?

What is it that would move them to fear Him? After all, they had access to the written word of God as no others did at that time, and so would have been expecting the Messiah.
And wouldn't they have known all the prophecies about the coming Messiah? 
Wouldn't they have been able to see how perfectly the life of Jesus Christ fulfilled those ancient prophecies? 

We scoff at these teachers and priests, but would we have seen Him, had we been among them?

It seems that as human beings, we can so easily miss the very thing we are looking for!

So, do we see Him now, in the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers?

I wonder how many times we have refused to believe the testimonies of those who have experienced miracles in their lives.

How many times have we explained away the supernatural work of God in our own life, even though that work may be an answer to our very own prayer request?
Could it be the same fear factor weighing in, in our own spiritual life?

Are we afraid to acknowledge the supernatural power of God, knowing that once we see it and believe it, we will have to give up our selfish, worldly thinking?

We don't like things happening that we can't explain, do we?
We want to be the one in the driver's seat.
When we give that place to the Lord, we must realize that we have no control over other people, outcomes or situations.
We must accept that it is
and none of our own doing.

Can you give the Lord your complete trust today?
He is completely trustworthy. He will never fail you.
He always has your best interest in mind in every situation!

Can you let go of your fear
and allow the loving, saving, Almighty God be God to you?


Sunday, March 3, 2013

March 3

today's reading: Mark 11:1-25

VS 9: Am I going ahead of You in my life, Lord, shouting
"Hosanna! Hosanna! Make way in your heart for the King!"

Am  I going through life pointing to the King of Kings,
saying "Look! Here is the One you're looking for! He's right here waiting for you! "

VS 17: Help me to keep my house home, my self, my worship.....
a house of prayer.

Oh, that my heart would always be full of faith, forgiving everyone, BELIEVING GOD!