Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Correct Description

Mark 12: 18 Then some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him; and they asked Him, saying: 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, and leaves his wife behind, and leaves no children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 20 Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife; and dying, he left no offspring. 21 And the second took her, and he died; nor did he leave any offspring. And the third likewise. 22 So the seven had her and left no offspring. Last of all the woman died also. 23 Therefore, in the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be? For all seven had her as wife.”

24 Jesus answered and said to them, “Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘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 the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken.”


“It was two guys. One had on a green skull cap” was the best description I could give the police as I witnessed something being tossed from a window during a high speed chase down an alley. My description was not only useless but it was potentially wrong as I was not sure.

  • Sometimes I describe things by the way I see them.
  • Sometimes the way I see things are through eyes that are covered with doubt and fear.
  • Sometimes I can see things the way I want to see things.

Trying to prove there is no resurrection to GOD was as useless as my description of the assailants. Unfortunately that’s what the bible readers were trying to do. The Sadducees were extremely knowledgeable of the bible, yet they did not believe in the resurrection. Therefore their description of GOD and HIS power was in question.

  • GOD wants me to know HIS power is infinite.
  • GOD wants me to know HE is not the GOD of the dead, but the GOD of the living.
  • GOD wants me to know HE is the great I AM.

Dead for years and years, GOD says this “AM the GOD of Abraham, the GOD of Isaac, and the GOD of Jacob’ which means HE still is. “Before Abraham was, I AM” is what JESUS said at one point, which was to say I AM the GOD you speak of.

JESUS sees when I try to test HIS power by trying to make HIM do my bidding. HE will never bow to me or yield to my tantrum. HE is the great I AM and deserves to be treated as GOD.

  • Are you trying to twist scripture to make it fit your comfort?
  • Do you think GOD is doing things the wrong way?
  • Can you allow GOD to be the great I AM in your life, showing HIS mighty power?

Monday, February 19, 2018

Money Choice

Mark 12: 13 Then they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and the Herodians, to catch Him in His words. 14 When they had come, they said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and care about no one; for You do not regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?”

But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why do you test Me? Bring Me a denarius that I may see it.” 16 So they brought it.

And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”

17 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
And they marveled at Him.


Having a little “disposable” money on my hands made me feel a bit experimental. I did a test with an amount that I felt was “small” at the time. I plunged into day trading along with others around me. Not knowing what stocks were good, I asked around and chose a penny stock. When the stock fell, I watched my experiment turn into zero.

  • There have been times when I stared at “my” bank account.
  • There have been times when I paid close attention to “my” investments.
  • There have been times when I looked for other opportunities to diversify “my” portfolio.

The greedy church leaders wanted more money to support their lifestyle. They were accustomed to a certain lifestyle that JESUS was tearing apart.

They did not look for opportunities to give to the poor; rather increase their robes in their closet and possibly expand the building. JESUS saw right through their plot as they tried to approach HIM on the legal technicalities of giving and called them hypocrites.

  • JESUS says to me “When you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others.”
  • JESUS says to me “When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.”
  • JESUS says to me “When you give to the needy, your FATHER, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Name the needy person you have served with your tithes and offerings. “Put a face to the person who has benefited from your sacrificial giving” is what the LORD says to me. “Give GOD the things that are GOD’s” such as compassion for those in need.

  • Are you giving without knowing who you are giving to?
  • What specific people are you helping right now?
  • Can you start placing a name on those whom GOD wants you to show compassion?

Friday, February 16, 2018

Hostile Takeover

Mark 12: Then He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a place for the wine vat and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country. Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that he might receive some of the fruit of the vineyard from the vinedressers. And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent them another servant, and at him they threw stones, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated. And again he sent another, and him they killed; and many others, beating some and killing some. Therefore still having one son, his beloved, he also sent him to them last, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those vinedressers said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they took him and killed him and cast him out of the vineyard.

“Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vinedressers, and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not even read this Scripture:

‘The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.

11 This was the Lord’s doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

12 And they sought to lay hands on Him, but feared the multitude, for they knew He had spoken the parable against them. So they left Him and went away.


Seeing a crowded bus, I noticed a group of people who hung around the back door waiting for people to exit so they could slip on. A free ride was the goal. Wow! I thought to myself. I shimmied onto the bus and it worked. I tried it on the next bus and the driver stopped the bus and made me come to the front and pay. That cured my bus hopping in a single trip.

  • There were times when I tried to force my way in.
  • There were timed when I tried to sneak my way in.
  • Three were times when I tried to get in places I did not belong.

The church leaders thought they had exclusive rights to heaven. They lorded their positions to the point of hating JESUS for exposing their sinfulness. This parable solidified their hatred as JESUS said they would kill HIM.

  • JESUS wants me to confess my sins or HE will one day point them out.
  • JESUS wants me to tell people my sins so the sin will lose its power over me.
  • JESUS wants me to focus on HIS love instead of hating HIS methods.

GOD’s love requires that I believe in HIS SON. I can become a church leader and still rot in a place of eternal separation fro GOD if I do not truly believe in HIS SON. JESUS is the focus of the parable. HE was sent for my salvation.

  • Are you trying to force your way into heaven?
  • Do you think you goodness deserves a heavenly seat?
  • Can you stop thinking you are good enough for heaven because of your title and start believing in JESUS?

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Catch Statements

Mark 11: 27 Then they came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to Him. 28 And they said to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority to do these things?”

29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things: 30 The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men? Answer Me.”

31 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘From men’”—they feared the people, for all counted John to have been a prophet indeed. 33 So they answered and said to Jesus, “We do not know.”

And Jesus answered and said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”


Collecting as much information as I could, I was on a quest. I asked several people and they gave me their version of the story. “Guilty” was my verdict, but I knew he was guilty all along. When I approached him I had my questions already prepared. I was going to catch him in a lie.

  • There were times when I went out to interrogate.
  • There were times when I demanded a confession.
  • There were times when I wanted “that” person to say exactly what I wanted to hear.

The church leaders had their questions already prepared. They felt they were in charge and demanded an answer to their pointed question on authority. JESUS, being GOD, could easily see through their plot. HE asked them about something “they” were guilty about. They had no answer.

  • JESUS wants me to stay away from twisting the truth.
  • JESUS wants me to recognize when I am trying so hard to get my way that I would interrogate my opponents.
  • JESUS wants me to grow up enough to seek grace instead of guilt.

When I choose to “get down to the bottom of this” I place myself in authority. This self-appointed search for “my” truth can lead to questions that pup people in catch 22 positions. In other words no matter what they say they would be wrong. BUT GOD wants me to set people up for success. No matter what they did, they are forgiven through JESUS. GOD wants me to seek grace.

  • Are you looking for someone to be guilty?
  • Do you like feeling you are in charge?
  • Will you stop trying to be the one who catches people and see grace for them?

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Them Too

Mark 11: 25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”


One guy pushed all my papers off of my desk. Another punched me in the chest so hard, I saw stars. One lady wanted to put a stupid label on myself so she would be more popular. This other person said “I’m going to wipe that smile off of your face” while I worked for him.

  • There have been many people who have done some mean things to me.
  • There have been some people who have low down things to me.
  • There have been people who have slandered me, hit me, and hurt me physically and emotionally.

Asking GOD for whatever I wanted comes with a price. I can literally tell a mountain to move and ask GOD to do it and it will be done but first I must do something. I must forgive.

  • JESUS says to me “I want you to pray to ME and ask me anything.”
  • JESUS says to me “During your prayer, I want you to forgive those who hurt you.”
  • JESUS says to me “When you practice forgiveness, your HEAVENLY FATHER will do the same for you.”

You mean I have to forgive “them too?” Yes! Asking JESUS to get me out of a jam gets nullified when I harbor hatred in my heart. Even bullies who call themselves CHRIST followers who seem to get their way at every turn will have to answer to GOD one day. GOD does not want me to be one of those bullies.

GOD wants me to be the person who is strong enough to recognize maleficent actions towards me and take the time to forgive them. It may take hours or days or sometimes years for me to truly get the poison out of my heart, BUT GOD can replace the poison with love. GOD wants me to forgive “them too.”

  • Do you have hatred in your heart?
  • Has someone hurt you on purpose and it is difficult to forgive them?
  • Can you stop giving that person power over you and forgive them just as GOD has forgiven you?

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Doubt Repellent

Mark 11: 20 Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”

22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.


“I’m going to make it” I thought to myself. Immediately after thinking this marvelous thought another thought crossed my mind. “But what if you don’t make it? You may get hurt.” I tried anyway. I threw one leg over the fence, as I saw everyone else do, but hesitated with the other. My pant leg got caught in the link fence, slamming my face into the links.

  • Sometimes I doubt.
  • Sometimes I fear.
  • Sometimes I hold back because there is a part of me that just does not believe.

JESUS pointed out special power that is available to everyone. HE had to get Peter to see that it wasn’t about the fig tree at all. But what am I supposed to do?

  • JESUS says to me “Ask me for anything when you pray to MY.”
  • JESUS says to me “Believe that you will receive them and you will have them.”
  • JESUS says to me “Nothing is possible with humans, but with GOD all things are possible.”

By placing every request at JESUS’s feet enables HIM to be LORD of my life. HE has the right to say “No” to my request, yet I should believe that HE can grant the request if HE desired to. This, however, sometimes creates a conflict. “Am I praying for the right things?”

JESUS wants me to cut it out and move forward. Pray, believe and receive. That is my only concern.

  • Are you dreaming of something but have doubts?
  • Do you think you want something large but feel so small that you think you dream cannot be reached?
  • Will you place your doubt in JESUS hands along with your dream and ask to be filled with faith?

Monday, February 12, 2018


Mark 11: 15 So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 16 And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. 17 Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”

18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching. 19 When evening had come, He went out of the city.


“Should we throw a pizza party?” was my contribution to the suggestions to solve the dwindling church attendance problem. I mean everyone likes pizza. Who wouldn’t come for that?

  • There have been times when I tried to bait people into church.
  • There have been times when I tried to fool people into church.
  • There have been times when I tried to use gimmicks to get people to listen to the word of GOD.

Church had become a place of business rather than a place of worship when JESUS walked into the temple. More activity was centered on what was sold rather than “who” it was sold for. Exploitation and corruption had entered the church because there was serious money to be made.

  • GOD said to me “Gather with people to pray to ME.”
  • GOD said to me “Gather together so you can pray for one another.”
  • GOD said to me “Gather with people so you can bear one another’s burdens and experience joy with one another.”

JESUS is enough and HIS message of salvation is true. Entertaining bored, skeptical people will almost never be quenched. GOD wants me to find those who need HIS SON and tell them about HIM. That is all. HE is not impressed by gimmicks to raise money that only go back into the pockets of those raising the money.

Pure worship is what GOD is looking for and GOD will bless those who allow HIM to deliver droves of people. HE can and will guide people to me, all I need to do is believe.

  • Are you trying to trick people to come to church?
  • When they get to your church will they hear a message of HIS love or another gimmick?
  • Can you stop trying to trick people into believing in JESUS and allow the HOLY SPIRIT to move them in HIS own time and way?