Friday, October 20, 2017

Heart Comparison

Mark 2: And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.

When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”
And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

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Dressed in my best suit, I went off to church. I observed the behaviors of those around me and thought to myself, “Maybe I should act like them so I can fit in.” One deacon was flirting with many of the women another bragged about his car. A person approached me and said “I like your suit.”

  • There were times when I did not know how to follow GOD.
  • There were times when I was just guessing about GOD by observing others.
  • There were times when my faith was based on the opinions of others.


JESUS saw two hearts in this passage. HE saw the heart of faith that believe in HIM so much that friends tore through someone’s roof just to get to HIM. The friends knew HE was the only hope.

On the other hand, JESUS saw the heart of the church leaders criticizing HIM for claiming to be who HE really was and is, namely GOD. They had a picture in their mind of who the Savior should be, but they were dead wrong!

  • GOD wants me to follow HIM without boundaries.
  • GOD wants me to follow HIM without pretense.
  • GOD wants me to follow HIM without trying to get pats on the back from people.


JESUS showed HIS amazing power over human problems. While the paralytic laid there, helpless JESUS leveraged the faith of his friends to heal him, showing everyone that HE in fact is GOD. JESUS wants me to have total faith in HIM.

  • Are you facing incredible problems?
  • Does it seem like you are paralyzed and cannot get through to GOD?
  • Will you simply ask GOD for help and allow HIM to rescue you HIS way?


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Willingness

Mark 1: 40 Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.”

41 Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” 42 As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed. 43 And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

45 However, he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; and they came to Him from every direction.

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“Will you allow me to be on your team?” was the question I asked. Things were moving quickly and they were deciding who would move to what part of the country. “Yes” was the answer and I was allowed on the team.

  • Sometimes I need help.
  • Sometimes I need guidance.
  • Sometimes I need something and I have nothing to give in return.


Having to ask for help is tiring at times. It means I can’t “stand on my own two feet”, in other words I cannot do for myself. My pride gets hurt and I try to hide my need. The leper could not hide his need. His skin obviously showed his ailment. He begged JESUS. An amazing thing happened.

  • JESUS is moved with compassion when I give HIM my problem.
  • JESUS is willing to cleanse me of all unrighteousness even when I am filthy.
  • JESUS is waiting to hear from me daily no matter how repetitious it may seem.


JESUS is willing to be my leader, my guide, my protector and my healer. HE does not get mad or impatient at me bringing the same problem to HIM over and over. HE knows how I am made up and knows the holes in my character, yet HE is willing to be my GOD. I owe HIM all.

  • Are you tired of asking GOD for the same thing over and over?
  • Do you think GOD is upset with you?
  • Can you stop thinking GOD is mad at you and accept HIS love and compassion for you today?


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Time to Go

Mark 1: 35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”

38 Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” 39 So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

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Bright stars clearly shone as I woke very early in the morning that day. Another opportunity had dried up and I was facing my last two weeks at this particular place.  GOD had provided my next location and I was on a new journey.

  • GOD doesn’t want me to sit in one place too long.
  • GOD wants me to go and preach the gospel wherever I am.
  • GOD desires that I go to nearby villages to preach HIS word.


Many times I have asked GOD. “Why are YOU moving me from this place?” especially when I liked the city or the people. GOD says to me “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the LORD of the harvest to send out laborers into HIS harvest.”

I now understand that GOD sometimes wants me to venture to a new place for HIS purposes. HE has a plan for me to speak to “that” person and I should be willing to go. HE enables circumstances to arise so I can move to where HE leads me. GOD sends me to HIS harvest at the right time.

  • Are you being sent?
  • Is GOD calling you to a new harvest of HIS?
  • Will you accept HIS calling and go to where HE is sending you?


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Quiet Healer

Mark 1: 29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. 31 So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.

32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

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“I’m going to really go fast this time” I thought to myself. As I stepped on the pedal, my pant leg got caught in between the sprocket and the chain of my bike. All I could do was cry. One of my neighbors came out, freed my pants from the relentless grip and rolled the pant leg up so I could ride continuously. I thanked him but he did not say much at all. I never saw him brag about it.

  • Sometimes I need help.
  • Sometimes I feel like crying out.
  • Sometimes I need a healer or a comforter, or someone who can solve my problem.


JESUS was that quiet healer. HE healed thousands of people in this passage but what is intriguing to me is HE told the demons to be quiet because they knew who HE truly was. The timing probably wasn’t right to let people know HE was and is GOD so HE thanklessly served the people.

  • JESUS protects me without thanks from me.
  • JESUS heals me even when I am complaining.
  • JESUS guides me to a better place even when I have freshly sinned.


Not once is it mentioned that JESUS scolded anyone for getting sick or demon possessed. HE simply showed compassion on the people without bragging about who HE was and is. JESUS is my quiet healer.

  • Are you in trouble?
  • Do you feel like crying out?
  • Can you recognize all the times JESUS quietly brought you out of trouble without your thanks?
  • Will you thank JESUS today?


Monday, October 16, 2017

Call the Authority

Mark: 21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.

27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

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“What is that weird sound?” I asked myself with a grimace as I turned on the air condition. It was a very hot day and my luxury item was acting like it was dying. I tried to look at it but my lack of knowledge was quickly revealed. “Well, it’s not the filter, now what?” I had to call an expert.

  • Many times I need help.
  • Many times I feel lost ad hopeless.
  • Many times I try something where I am clearly out of my league.


JESUS spoke with authority like no one had heard before. HE knew the heart behind the law because HE wrote the law. HE wasn’t guessing nor manipulating people by twisting the words, like the church leaders were doing. HE showed HIS authority by casting out a demon. All were amazed!

  • When I need help I can call on JESUS because HE has authority over my issue.
  • When I am in trouble I can call on JESUS because HE can handle any trouble with ease.
  • When I need help JESUS steps in even when I cannot call for help.


The demon possessed man could not ask for help, yet the very presence of JESUS made the demon nervous. JESUS helped the man without being asked and HE did it with authority. HE does the same in my life as well. HE steps in when I am petrified and rescues me when I am in trouble. JESUS has authority in my life.

  • Are you stuck?
  • Do you think everything around you is crumbling?
  • Can you look to the only one who has authority and ask JESUS for guidance today?


Friday, October 13, 2017

More to Life

Mark 16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.

19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

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“Finally a real job” I thought to myself. I had enough of dumping cigarettes in the garbage and cleaning toilets! It wasn’t long into the job that I became restless. The job was repetitious and boring. “There has got to be more to life than this!”

  • There were times when I wondered what my purpose was.
  • There were times when I wondered what the existence of life meant.
  • There were times when I wanted to do more and be more than what I was.


Purpose and meaning were two words that truly resonated with me. I mean if I was doing something were fruitless, I saw through it and desired to run in the opposite direction. What is meaningful?

  • GOD said to me “I want you to come, follow ME.”
  • GOD said to me “I WILL send you out to fish for people.”
  • GOD said to me “There is no failure when I give you purpose.”


When GOD gives me something to do, it is part of HIS intricate plan. Nothing I do goes to waste. I may not see all the steps or components, but HIS plan is perfect. HE calls me into this perfect plan and gives me a higher calling. HE wants me to bring people back to HIM.

  • Are you searching for meaning?
  • Do you think your job or school is your sole purpose in life?
  • Can you stop thinking you are at the end of your rope and allow GOD to use you for a greater purpose?


Thursday, October 12, 2017

What’s the Good News


Mark 1: 14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

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Waiting and waiting, I looked for a reply. When the phone rang I could sense something great was going to happen. I could hardly keep from hollering, but I was at work. I got the job and I was moving out of the city I wanted to leave!

  • Getting “Good News” feels great.
  • Getting “Good News” makes me want to shout with joy.
  • Getting “Good News” is something I heed when I have heard a string of bad news.


An oppressive leader had just put the one ray of hope into prison and the people knew this usually meant death for the person. John was now in jail and those who were baptized by him were probably very nervous. JESUS came out and said “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

  • JESUS wants me to repent of my sins and follow HIM.
  • JESUS wants me to recognize the HE IS the Good News.
  • JESUS wants me to seek HIM in the middle of all the difficulties of life.


When the oppressor was really putting pressure on people JESUS knew exactly what to say. HE spread a message of true hope and that hope was in HIM. HE wants me to do the same. Many people need hope right now, not just me. HE wants me to give hope to a hopeless world. HE wants me to give the world the Good News of JESUS CHRIST.

  • Do you feel down?
  • Do you feel low?
  • Can you accept the Great News that JESUS cares about you, your current situation and your relationship with HIM?