Friday, April 20, 2018

Rewarded Belief


Mark 16: 14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

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After the thing broke I looked at the instructions again. “Do not do xyz” were words I had glanced over in the complicated directions and I had to go back to the store and buy another gizmo. My instinct was wrong.

  • Sometimes I act on instinct.
  • Sometimes my instinct is based on my experiences.
  • Sometimes my experiences may have been limited so I act on what I have seen.


After being chased by the military, the disciples somehow met up together, cowering in a room. They were probably telling their individual war stories of how they narrowly escaped the clutches of death. JESUS appears to them and was stern with HIS words.

HE was addressing a belief problem because the disciples doubted HIS instructions that HE would rise from the dead. Even though witnesses saw HIM, they still would not believe.

  • JESUS wants me to believe in HIM on a daily basis.
  • JESUS wants me to believe that situations are temporary but a relationship with HIM is eternal.
  • JESUS wants me to believe that HE has every situation in HIS hands in spite of how it seems.


“I have a plan to prosper you, not harm you” is what JESUS says. HE also says “No one can pluck you out of MY hand.” He further says “I will be with you always, even until the end of the age.” When HE says these promises, HE is not speaking at an unknown future, HE is speaking from the past because it has already happened and HE is just assuring me that my journey will be fine.

  • Do you doubt GOD because of your circumstances?
  • Do you feel like hiding in a room and not facing the world’s challenges?
  • Can you stop depending on the news and start depending on the GOOD NEWS about CHRIST today?
  • Will you take on HIS directions and tell as many people about HIS goodness in spite of your circumstances?



Thursday, April 19, 2018

Unbelievable



Mark 16: 12 After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either.

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“Aw go back to bed” said the person in the top bunk as I tried to give him an urgent message. I went to the only bathroom in the house very early in the morning. I didn’t have my glasses on but I could clearly see that on the rim of the tub was a mouse on its hind legs. “You were dreaming” I was told.

  • There were times when I stated the facts and was not believed.
  • There were times when I stated something that seemed farfetched.
  • There were times when I said something that was the truth that were not believed and rebutted with “that is your story.”


Two disciples walked with the risen LORD for a while. Other accounts say that JESUS spoke to them in marvelous ways with such passion as they never heard before. When they went to tell others, they were met with disbelief. I wonder if the people said “You were dreaming” to both men.

  • JESUS wants me to tell people about the amazing thing HE did for me.
  • JESUS wants me to proclaim HIS message of salvation to many who may not believe.
  • JESUS wants me to continue following HIM, even when it looks crazy to do so.


“Won’t you believe me?” is my question sometimes when I tell people about GOD. I mean this is an eternal decision, yet the message sometimes falls on deaf ears. GOD wants me to have the fortitude to see beyond those who will not believe at this moment.

HE never lets HIS word go out without some return. HE wants me to plant seeds in some, in others HE wants me to water the seed and still in others HE wants me to pick the fruit of the growth. GOD wants me to be consistent and that consistency is my faith in HIM whether I am believed or not.

  • Are you telling people about GOD and are met with disbelief?
  • Are you getting discouraged because people have rejected you?
  • Can you continue in your faith knowing GOD is with you today?


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Wanted and Needed


Mark 16: Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

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After a brief discussion, I hung up the phone. Thirty minutes later I received a call from the hiring manager. “We want you to come here.” Ten days later I was working in a new state.

  • Being wanted is a great feeling.
  • Being desired feels wonderful.
  • Being needed makes me work a bit harder.


When JESUS rose, HE could have chosen the leaders of the day to appear to first, yet HE chose a woman who was helpless to her demons at one point in her life. She needed HIM to be GOD in her life to miraculously get her out of the situation she was in. She was grateful for all HE did for her and was dedicated to showing it the rest of her life.

  • JESUS wants me to want HIM.
  • JESUS wants me to need HIM.
  • JESUS wants me to desire HIS ways every day.


Head knowledge about JESUS is not enough. The church leaders “knew” about GOD but did not want HIM or need HIM. They wanted and needed money and power, but not GOD. When Mary Magdalene told the disciples that JESUS was alive, they did not believe her, probably because she “wanted” HIM to be alive and they wanted a king who would appoint them to seats.

GOD wants me to want HIM the way HE is. I’d rather need GOD daily than to be the wealthiest person and not know GOD.

  • Do you need GOD?
  • Do you desire to be with JESUS today?
  • Can you seek a relationship with GOD that accepts HIM the way HE is, just like HE accepted you the way you are?


Monday, April 16, 2018

Frightened Excitedly


Mark 16:But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”

So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.


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Hearing my name called over the school intercom amongst others was a bit disturbing and intriguing at the same time. I recognized the names so I knew we weren’t in trouble. “You passed the test and got into the high tech high school” the principal said to us. I ran down the hall excited but now a bit disturbed as I had never been to a school this large before.

  • Sometimes I get frightened by some exciting news.
  • There were times when I heard some great news yet walked away frightened by the next steps.
  • Sometimes I hear great things but get nervous about the future of that news.


An angel spoke casually to the two Mary’s. He tried to keep them as calm as possible but the news was just too overwhelming. He told them “You seek JESUS of Nazareth, who was crucified. HE is risen!” This bold statement was too much to comprehend so he tried to show the evidence by telling them to look at the rolled away stone and the empty tomb, but they were too excited and frightened.

  • JESUS wants me to know HE is alive and in control of my situation.
  • JESUS wants me to “Not be alarmed” but to be excited about HIS daily guidance.
  • JESUS wants me to tell many people about HIM rather than focusing on the negatives around me.


Even though the strong military force who was looking for anyone associated with JESUS could find the two Mary’s, that was the least of their concern. They had a flood of emotions that included amazement and fright at the same time. GOD had blessed them with “first response” news that was a huge responsibility to tell. HE does the same with me and it is up to me to respond.

  • Are you called by GOD to spread HIS great news?
  • Have you gotten frightened by life that you feel paralyzed to speak about JESUS in an excited way?
  • Can you get your focus back and begin speaking about CHRIST, who saved you, today?


Friday, April 13, 2018

Drive and Determination


Mark 16: Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.

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Ignoring all the rules, I noticed one person rise to the top. He pushed at people and ignored what they did and who they were. “Maybe I should be pushy so I can get ahead” I thought to myself.

  • There were times when I wanted to be the one who pushed people around.
  • There were times when I wanted to be on top.
  • There were times when I wanted to “do what it takes” to be perceived as strong.


When everyone who followed JESUS was in hiding, two Mary’s were still plotting how to serve HIM one last time. They had no tomb to give HIM so they wanted to do something special for HIM even though HE was dead.

On Saturday the two Mary’s began their plan by buying the best spices they could. On Sunday, at the crack of dawn, they put their plan into action, but they ran into a snag. “Who will roll away the stone?” They did not know it was already taken care of for them.

  • JESUS wants me to have drive to follow HIM especially when it seems like HE is silent.
  • JESUS wants me to have determination to serve HIM even when it feels hopeless.
  • JESUS wants me to have fortitude to continue especially when life puts huge stones in front of me.


Gentleness instead of pushiness is a great way to demonstrate determination. The two Mary’s, while determined, did not plot to hurt people in the process of serving GOD, Their plan took drive that only came from GOD and they would not stop until they did what they sought out to do. I appreciate their gentle example.

  • Are you willing to give up when GOD wants you to continue?
  • Do you think drive and determination looks like pushiness?
  • Can you change your perspective of drive and determination to add faith and fortitude to continue in the plan GOD has for you?


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Anticipation



Mark 15: 42 Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 Pilate marveled that He was already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him if He had been dead for some time. 45 So when he found out from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. 46 Then he bought fine linen, took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen. And he laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where He was laid.

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“Is the mail here?” I asked again. I was waiting to get a prize of a free kite from sending in some huge number of box tops from the cereal I had been eating. One day there was a box with my name on it. I had not received much mail in my life, let alone to have a “box” addressed to me from a company!  I hurried to open my prize and to my delight there was my first kite.

  • There were times when I waited on something special to me.
  • There were times when I sat and watched for something special to happen.
  • There were times when I was filled with anticipation of something good to come.


Waiting on the kingdom of GOD was probably something Joseph of Arimathea had done since childhood. When he saw the miracles of JESUS, he immediately knew he had seen GOD in the flesh. As short lived as it was, he saw what he had been waiting for and wanted to serve this dead GOD one last time, or so he thought.

  • JESUS loves when I wait on HIM with faith.
  • JESUS loves when I seek HIS return on a daily basis.
  • JESUS loves when I spend a little time with HIM each day waiting on HIS direction.


JESUS has promised HE would return someday. In the meantime, HE wants me to serve HIS kingdom on a daily basis. Yes, I want stuff and sometimes I get stuff and sometimes I lose stuff, but the kingdom of GOD is so much more. GOD gives me peace that stuff cannot.

HE walks with me, guiding my creativity so I can honor HIM for what HE has bestowed on me. I wait on HIM daily.

  • What are you waiting on?
  • Does the thing you are waiting on cause you grief?
  • Can you set your anticipation on GOD instead of putting such high credence in the thing you are waiting on today?


Special Shout



Special Shout
Mark 15: 38 Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!”

40 There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome, 41 who also followed Him and ministered to Him when He was in Galilee, and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.

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“Hey, watch out!” cried someone to me. I was half way paying attention but still motioning towards the street. I stopped walking before the car sped past me. I am glad I heard the bystander.

Sometimes I need my attention grabbed.
Sometimes I need someone to scream rescuing words to me.
Sometimes I need a shout that is in my favor.

This was no ordinary shout from JESUS. When HE cried out with a shout, things happened. The earth shook and the veil of the temple was torn in two “from top to bottom.” HIS murderers realized the mistake they made by killing the SON of GOD.

JESUS saved me with HIS shout.
JESUS saved me when HE said “It is finished.”
JESUS saved me when HE said “FATHER I commend MY SPIRIT to YOU.”

The price had been paid. All blame for sin had been accounted for. The women followers were there to witness all of this from a distance. The guards were looking for the disciples who were scattered in safety. During this chaotic time, JESUS’s cry was heard by everyone. HIS shout is still heard today.

Do you need rescue from walking blindly through life?
Do you think it is your power that will enable you to fix everything?
Can you listen to GOD today as HE is trying to guide you towards HIS marvelous plan for you?