Friday, January 19, 2018

You’ve Been Served

Mark 9: 38 Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.”

39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against us is on our side. 41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.


“Would you like some food?” the people asked me as I sat in a hut. This was a gift to me and the team as we finished building shelves for a library. I ate heartily.

  • There have been times I have received gifts.
  • There have been people who have given me things I did not expect out of the goodness of their heart.
  • There have been times I have been served by the people I was supposed to serve.

“They aren’t doing things the way we do things” is the argument placed at JESUS’ feet. JESUS corrects the disciples letting them know other people can serve HIM their way as long as the power comes from GOD.

  • JESUS says to me “Love one another as I have loved you.”
  • JESUS says to me “A kingdom divided will soon fall.”
  • JESUS says to me “Whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in MY name, because you belong to CHRIST, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

Being humble also means accepting help and being served. At one point in my life, “I” had to do all the serving. GOD has sent many people to serve me who do not look like me or act like me. I am glad HE accepts more people than I can ever understand.

  • Are you turning down help because of someone’s music, clothes, hair or skin color?
  • Do you think the way someone serves GOD is inferior to the way you serve GOD?
  • Can you stop judging and start accepting help from others GOD sends to you?

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Front of the line

Mark 9: 33 Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?”34 But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest. 35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”


All day long I could feel the pressure of competition at work. I mean did he have to say “that” during the meeting! As I replayed these words I on my drive to wherever I was going I stepped on the gas more and more forcefully. At least no one would pass me on the road. I was pulled over.

  • There are times I desire to be on top.
  • There are times when I just want to win.
  • There are moments when I want to be ahead of everyone at all costs.

Who would be the greatest was the equivalent of being at the front of the line. The disciples were in for a rude awakening. JESUS, who was and is the greatest, told them they had to be like HIM, a humble servant.

  • GOD wants me to learn to serve others.
  • GOD wants me to classify serving as being great.
  • GOD wants me to exchange my currency for souls.

Rich and powerful to GOD means how many people have I served. I’m not talking about human metrics, I am truly speaking about servitude that only GOD guides. HE gives me opportunities to accept those HE sends to me. Shall I turn them away? No. GOD desires that I serve someone in HIS name daily.

  • Are you trying to get on top?
  • Are you trying to learn how to be the best?
  • Can you learn that being the best means being the best “true” servant of GOD?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Direct Statement

Mark 9: 30 Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. 31 For He taught His disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.” 32 But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him.


“You are being moved to a division and will be in charge of your own department” was the statement. “Why, what did I do?” was my reply in horror.

  • Sometimes good news has to be spelled out to me.
  • Sometimes good news sounds like bad news to me.
  • Sometimes good news is hidden from my worried ears.

I can only guess what the disciples were thinking when JESUS told them HE would be murdered and will rise from the dead. What an absurd statement! No one had ever made that claim and fulfilled it. BUT GOD knew what HE was talking about.

  • JESUS says to me “I love you dearly”.
  • JESUS says to me “I have placed MY SPIRIT inside of you to comfort you.”
  • JESUS says to me “I will be with you always.”

Clear and direct statements have been said to me, yet I fear, worry and doubt. HE makes it very easy and clear that HE cannot love me more than HE already does. HE has wiped away all of my sins. I do not have to wonder about HIS love for me. In fact I can embrace HIS love daily.

  • Are you worried that GOD has left you?
  • Do you think the sin you did is holding you back?
  • Can you look at GOD differently as the ONE who forgives, cleans and loves?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Not Alone

Mark 9: 25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” 26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.

28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”

29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”


Nighttime seemed darker as we rounded approached the campsite. When I got out of the van, I immediately stepped in some mud. I avoided mud at all costs up to that point. By the next day everything I owned had mud on it. The final straw was one of my lenses popping out in the mud. I used some less muddy water to clean it.

  • When times are tough I try to “clean” myself up.
  • When I go through trials I try to sin less so maybe the trial can go away faster.
  • When there are difficulties ahead of me I try to act better so maybe if I were being punished, then I can show I got the lesson.

Amazingly JESUS drives out an unclean spirit and makes an effort to teach the disciples how they can do the same. My focus is on the boy. From childhood he was attacked relentlessly. He did not ask to be attacked by demonic forces and could not speak or hear any words of comfort. He was helpless.

  • JESUS sees my situation and knows what I am going through.
  • The HOLY SPIRIT knows I cannot speak on my behalf so HE cries out for me.
  • The FATHER forgives my circumstance because of JESUS and the HOLY SPIRIT.

Trying to pretend I am clean is like taking more mud to form a pretend bar of soap to wash my body and declaring myself clean. In other words, no matter how much I try to follow the “rules” it won’t make me any cleaner or holier. I am helpless, like the boy.

BUT GOD does not leave me helpless. HE raises me out of the mud and cleans me up with everlasting water. HE restores my soul when the well of my heart is empty. Even when I cannot utter a word, the HOLY SPIRIT is there providing strength like none other. Yes JESUS loves me.

  • Are you in a difficult circumstance?
  • Do you feel exhausted because you thing the power has to come from you?
  • Can you understand that GOD loves you enormously and knows your needs and wants you to let go so HE can clean you from the inside?

Monday, January 15, 2018

Partial Assistance

Mark 9: 19 He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” 20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.

21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”

And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”


“Don’t worry, I have been practicing for over 20 years” the doctor said to me. “I understand, but I’m still nervous” was my reply as I was about to have four wisdom teeth ripped from my mouth.

  • Sometimes explanations don’t help me.
  • Sometimes examples don’t calm me down.
  • Sometimes knowing just isn’t enough for me.

The father came to JESUS probably knowing JESUS could heal his son. JESUS says something strange to the father. HE says “Believe” to the father. I like and understand the father’s response.

  • JESUS tells me to believe but sometimes I must as HIM to fill in on the areas I can’t believe.
  • JESUS tells me to expect things to happen but sometimes I need HIM to fill in my unbelief.
  • JESUS tells me to know that anything is possible with belief, but sometimes I need HIM to provide the extra part of the belief that will enable a miracle.

“I believe; help my unbelief” is a great statement. I do believe that GOD can do marvelous things, but the part of me that has been worn down by the world may not fully believe, so I need help with my belief. JESUS is willing and able to supply the missing part to my belief.

When life deals out yet another crushing blow, JESUS is there saying “I got this.” HE is there when no one else is.

  • Have you been dealt yet another piece of bad news?
  • Do you feel you don’t have the belief to continue on with GOD’s work?
  • Can you ask HIM for a dose of belief so HE can carry you through?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Common Treatment

Mark 9: Now as they came down from the mountain, He commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant.

11 And they asked Him, saying, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”

12 Then He answered and told them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and restores all things. And how is it written concerning the Son of Man, that He must suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I say to you that Elijah has also come, and they did to him whatever they wished, as it is written of him.”


Relaxed, I responded with a hug to a person I recognized. I was interviewing to be fast-tracked and I did not know every step I took was being watched. Though I answered the questions well, I did not get the position.

  • There were times when I treated the higher ups as common.
  • There were times when I treated my boss’s boss as regular.
  • There were times when I treated people with a higher level, with contempt.

JESUS warns HIS disciples not to tell that they saw Elijah and Moses. They kept their promise and questioned the scribes teaching that Elijah must come first as prophesied by Malachi. JESUS explained that Elijah had come and was treated as common, just like all to other prophets and JESUS HIMSELF.

  • I should treat JESUS with reverence instead of commonplace.
  • I should look at GOD as GOD, not as a genie or swear word.
  • I should view what JESUS did as awesome incredible, not boring forgetful.

GOD becoming man is something that should be discussed daily. Sometimes I forget to even think of GOD due to my mind being pulled towards the worries of the world. BUT GOD reminds me of HIS presence and I appreciate what HE has done.

  • Are you treating GOD as common?
  • Do you use HIS name I vain?
  • Can you talk to HIM with the reverence HE deserves today?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Hearing is Believing

Mark 9: And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves.


Stunned, I just sat there. I heard the store guard say “Listen to me” and I came out of my dazed stupor. I guess the shock of being chased by yet another gang got to me this time. I could now hear.

  • Sometimes I am so shocked that I cannot hear.
  • Sometimes I am so wrapped up in my world that I cannot hear.
  • Sometimes things are so overwhelming that I cannot hear.

Stunned is what the disciples felt when they saw Elijah and Moses and knew who they were. Their minds could not grasp what was going on. Suddenly a voice out of the cloud spoke to them. “This is MY beloved SON. Hear HIM!” They could now focus.

  • GOD says to me “Believe in MY one and only SON.”
  • GOD says to me “Listen to the ONE who can save you and the rest of the world.”
  • GOD says to me “HE is the only way, the only truth and the only life.”

Hearing is truly believing. When I can hear with my “heart” then I can believe. Unfortunately my heart attacks truth when it is filled with anger, hatred, lust, envy or doubt. BUT GOD is faithful and just to clean my heart and clear my thoughts long enough to hear HIM. HIS SON is who I should listen to.

  • Are you stuck?
  • Are the ears to your heart closed and you cannot hear GOD?
  • Can you stop fighting GOD and release what you are holding onto?