Thursday, December 21, 2017

Healing Process

Mark 8: 22 Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. 23 So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything.

24 And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.”

25 Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. 26 Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.”


“Come back in about a week” the doctor said to me after the surgery. He wanted to see if the wound was healing as expected.  When I went back, the wound was healing but I was still in a lot of pain.

  • Sometimes I want to be healed instantly.
  • Sometimes I want the pain to go away immediately.
  • Sometimes I want to be finished with the pain and to get on with the healing.

What stuck out to me in this passage is JESUS did not heal the blind man instantly; instead HE took a couple of tries to restore the blind man’s eyes. What does this mean for me?

  • GOD says to me “I have a plan to prosper you, but you will go through trials to get there.”
  • GOD says to me “I will continue to grow you but the growth process will not be instantaneous.”
  • GOD says to me “I will be there with you always even through times of trouble.”

After hearing stories of JESUS healing people without touching them, I’m sure the blind man expected to be instantly healed, but he wasn’t. JESUS showed me that some problems will be cleared up instantly and some may take a while. There is a process to healing and GOD governs the timing.

  • Have you prayed for healing and it is taking longer than expected?
  • Do you feel like giving up on prayer and running away fro GOD?
  • Will you allow GOD to heal you in HIS time so you can praise HIM to many people?

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Sharp Mind

Mark 8: 13 And He left them, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side. 14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat. 15 Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”

16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.”

17 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? 18 Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?”

They said to Him, “Twelve.”

20 “Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?”

And they said, “Seven.”

21 So He said to them, “How is it you do not understand?”


Distracted, I sat in class but none of the information was comprehended. I had other things on my mind and when I tuned in, the instructor was on another topic.

  • Sometimes I get distracted.
  • Sometimes I cannot comprehend because I get lost thinking of various situations.
  • Sometimes understanding is fleeting when I have things on my mind.

With dull, distracted minds, the disciples could not comprehend what JESUS was saying when HE urged them to beware of the Pharisees. JESUS was trying to tell them that even a little desire to be like the Pharisees would ruin a person for eternity. Unfortunately the disciples turned HIS lesson into a blaming session.

  • GOD wants my mind to focus on HIS lessons of growth.
  • GOD wants me to understand HIS love lessons.
  • GOD desires that I wake up my mind to what HE is doing.

Sharp minds have clarity. GOD wants me to clearly see HIS power, HIS love and HIS compassion for me. HE doesn’t want the “situation of the day” to ruin my thoughts of HIM.  HE desires to raise me up. My mind needs to be on HIM daily.

  • Are you distracted?
  • Is it difficult to hear GOD because of all the clutter in your life?
  • Can you take a moment to clear the distractions to focus on GOD’s love for you?

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Give Me Evidence!

Mark 8: 11 Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him. 12 But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.”


“Do you accept CHRIST as your personal Savior?” I asked the man directly. He replied “Um, I don’t know. Can I get some food now?” This was my first and only conversation with the person and I was disappointed with the outcome. I mean people did not tell “me” if they were saved or not.

  • There were times when I sought confirmation that people around me were following GOD.
  • There were times when I looked for signs that the message “I” was teaching was sinking in.
  • There were times when I searched for evidence that people were following the message “I” said to them about GOD.

Seeking signs from JESUS was the number one fault of the Pharisees. They were high and mighty and needed proof from JESUS that HE was and is GOD. “Prove it to us” was their statement, demanding that GOD meet their expectations. BUT GOD said something different.

  • GOD tells me “Do not put the LORD your GOD to test.”
  • GOD says to me “Believe in ME and you will be saved.”
  • GOD urges me by asking “Why do you seek a sign of MY love when I have died for you.”

“Show me a sign LORD” are words I have mistakenly said to GOD in moments of disbelief. No matter what GOD brought me through, it came back to questioning GOD’s love, power and sometimes HIS existence. Fortunately GOD was gracious enough to forgive my insecure immaturity.

HE wants to grow my faith on a daily basis. HE loves when I credit HIM with every move I make. GOD enjoys my thanks without requiring HIM to part oceans on a daily basis.

  • Are you in need of evidence from GOD?
  • Do you think HE should meet your expectations of should you meet HIS?
  • Will you stop looking for signs from GOD and thank HIM for all HE does for you daily?

Monday, December 18, 2017

Compassionate Gift

Mark 8: In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar.”
Then His disciples answered Him, “How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?”

He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?”

And they said, “Seven.”

So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and they set them before the multitude. They also had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them. So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments. Now those who had eaten were about four thousand. And He sent them away, 10 immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha.


Holes in jeans were becoming a fashion statement for most, but not for me. I was wearing holey jeans because I could not afford anything else. As I went to a meeting a friend of mine asked me a strange question. “What size shoe do you wear?” I told him and the next week he gave me a pair of his shoes.

  • There have been many people who have shown me compassion.
  • There have been many people who have poured mercy on me.
  • There have been many people who have given me so much that I cannot return the favor.

What struck me the most about this passage is the fact that JESUS had been with the group for three days. HE healed them and taught them and prayed for them the entire time, meanwhile HE probably did not receive anything from the crowd. HE then turns around and shows HIS concern over their travel home.

  • JESUS is thoroughly concerned about me.
  • JESUS wants to feed me and watch over me.
  • JESUS does so much for me without asking to be thanked.

While I cannot find someone saying “Thank YOU” to JESUS when they were miraculously fed, I can see it in their actions. They told other people about JESUS and HIS fame spread throughout the land. HIS compassion became contagious. HE wants me to learn from HIS heart.

  • Do you have an opportunity to be compassionate to someone?
  • Will you think of others today and give them your prayers?
  • Will you thank GOD for what HE has done for you today?

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Part of the Family

Mark 7: 24 From there He arose and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered a house and wanted no one to know it, but He could not be hidden. 25 For a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

28 And she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.”

29 Then He said to her, “For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.”

30 And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed.


“Aren’t you going to stay and eat?’ said one of my friend’s mother. The invitation came as a shock to me as I had not been invited to eat over anyone’s house before.

  • It feels great to be invited.
  • It feels wonderful to be taken in by someone.
  • It feels positively delightful to be brought into someone else’s family.

I do not understand the cultural situation that was going on here. Was JESUS using her words against her when HE spoke of “little dogs” as a comparison to her upbringing? HE spoke of two cultures in analogous terms, one Jewish and the other hers, as if to say “I have a chosen people for whom I serve.” BUT HE does something incredible.

  • GOD invited me into HIS family when HE did not have to.
  • GOD brought me into HIS family when I did not ask.
  • GOD adopted me into HIS family when I did not deserve to be adopted.

Humility is what I get from tis passage. JESUS heard her humble words and answered her request. She begged HIM knowing “No” could be the answer. She may have changed her heart towards insulting others as she took on the label of “little dog.”  A crumb of heaven is better than a feast towards hell.

  • Are you insulting others?
  • Have you labeled others in a bad way?
  • Can you bring people into GOD’s family by serving them today?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Inside Out

Mark 7: 17 When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. 18 So He said to them, “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?” 20 And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”


Hearing some of the neighborhood kids use explicit language intrigued me. There were a few who would get all the laughs and I desired that kind of spotlight. My first attempts at using foul language flopped, but soon I got better. I eventually use this new found talent as pickup lines, venting rage and putting others down.

  • There were times I acted out.
  • There were times that I could not hold my tongue.
  • There were times that my true desires came out of my mouth.

JESUS tells HIS disciples that the heart is more important than ritual practices of eating. Many  people who were concerned about following the Law were not as concerned about the spirit of the Law. JESUS points out that it is what comes out of the heart that can make someone dirty.

  • GOD wants me to ask HIM for a clean heart.
  • GOD wants me to align my desires to HIS on a daily basis.
  • GOD wants me to nourish my heart as often as I nourish my stomach.

“Garbage in, garbage out” is what people have said and it is true regarding my heart. When I have a steady diet of foulness my heart will wring out its gross contents. GOD is great at replacing my heart. No matter what I have done, HE can mend my heart to use it for HIS glory.

  • Where is your heart?
  • Are you on a road to foulness because of your heart?
  • Can you listen to GOD instead of listening to humans and allow HIM to lead you to a better path? 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Already There

Mark 7: 14 When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand: 15 There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. 16 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!”


Seeing the new clothes on the mannequin stirred up something inside me that said “I want that.” As I surveyed the handsome garments, a salesperson immediately came over. “You would look great in this” she said to me, batting flirty eyes. “I have to have this!” were my new words.

  • Sometimes I think I am tempted by what I see.
  • Sometimes I think I am drawn to temptation by what I hear.
  • Sometimes I think it is the situation that is holding me down.

“If it weren’t for that, fill in the blank, I would not have fallen into temptation” were my words I would use to justify my actions. JESUS negates my excuses immediately.

  • JESUS says to me “Fortify your heart on a daily basis.”
  • JESUS says to me “Guard your heart daily before you go out.”
  • JESUS says to me “Seek ME and you will find ME daily.”

Some of the temptations I found did not happen by chance; rather it was because I was looking to be tempted. In other words, it was already in my heart before I left the house. GOD wants me to understand my weaknesses and ask HIM to fortify my senses before I go out into the world.

GOD gave me smell, touch, sight, hearing and taste as wonderful, pleasurable sensations that I can use or abuse this day. GOD says “Ask and I will guide you to use your senses to MY glory today.”
  • Are you easily tempted?
  • Do you think you were tempted by chance or was it already in your heart?
  • Can you admit what you easily fall for and ask GOD to handle that for you?
  • Will you allow GOD to flow from your heart instead of defilement today?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Honorable Profit

Mark 7:For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men —the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”

He said to them, All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”—’ (that is, a gift to God), 12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, 13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”


“Network” was the answer to all of my woes. “Why don’t you get out there and meet some people” they said. I observed network techniques from those around me. In closed doors they would speak their poison about a person, but when we met with them, they were best friends. “Hmm… As long as they don’t know I don’t like them I can still use them to get ahead. Got it!”

  • There were times I wanted position.
  • There were times I wanted power.
  • There were times I wanted respect from a community who only respected the rich and powerful.

Honor was used earlier in this chapter by JESUS. HE spoke of the Pharisee’s lack of honor by pretending to be holy. Now JESUS speaks on profit focused people passing on traditions steeped in money. “As long as I am rich, I can dishonor anyone I please, even my parents” is the attitude JESUS is addressing.

  • JESUS says to me “Add honor to everything you do.”
  • JESUS says to me “I love it when you honor ME with your heart.”
  • JESUS says to me “Honor should always go before profit.”

When I place profit before honor, I may use “dishonest scales.” More for me and less for you would be my first line of thought. BUT GOD wants me to be different. HE wants me to honor everyone around me and bless those who cannot bless me in return. HE wants me to highly respect those who taught me so I would never push them out with my pride.

  • Are you dishonoring people?
  • Are you embarrassed about what you have become and blaming it on others?
  • Can you stop spitting out poison and speak in “high regards” about people GOD has placed in your life?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Looking Good

Mark 7: Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches.

Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?”

He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:

‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.

And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’


Preparing for church was a chore this particular day. As I put on my only dress shirt, the frayed elbow finally gave way. Maybe I can hide it by putting on the jacket. No one will notice.

  • Many times I tried to look good in front of people.
  • Many times I tried to keep up appearances in front of people.
  • Many times I tried to show people that everything was fine when everything was really bad.

Performing ritualistic washing had become a major performance amongst the Scribes and the Pharisees. Appearing “clean” to people meant they held themselves to a higher standard so they could impose greater demands to have others “look good.” BUT GOD sees through it.

  • GOD sees my heart and knows it needs cleaning.
  • GOD sees my thoughts and knows they need to be put under HIS guard.
  • GOD sees my desires and many times they do not include HIS desires.

My desire for fashionable good looks crept into my spirit life as well. Hiding lusts for sex, money and power had become the norm. I could afford nice suits and give more money than people made in a year, but where was GOD? HE was buried deep under my “good looks.” GOD desires to break through my good looks so HE can shine today.

  • Are you busy telling people how “good” you look?
  • Do you hide your flaws so others can think you are better than you are?
  • Do you give false pity on those who do confess their sins?
  • Will you open your mouth and tell people your sins so GOD can do a marvelous work in you?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


Mark:6 53 When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 And when they came out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, 55 ran through that whole surrounding region, and began to carry about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard He was. 56 Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well.


“Here is a drawing of you” the child said. As I looked at the drawing and then the child’s smile I could not contain the joy I had at that moment.

  • I have had some times that brought me extreme joy.
  • I have had some times that enabled me to experience delight.
  • I have had some times that were very touching.

Being “touched” is a wonderful feeling. Many people touched me when they boldly spoke as they met me where I was at the time. They cared and some reached out and took me by the wing to grow me. JESUS does the same.

  • JESUS enjoys when I reach out to touch HIS garment.
  • JESUS loves when I do something to touch HIM.
  • JESUS is touched by my words of encouragement I give to others on HIS behalf.

There are so many people who are reaching out to touch something, but unfortunately there is nothing good in what is being touched. BUT GOD is the right “something” to touch. HE can provide joy like none other. HE can fill me up when others are robbing me of peace.

JESUS is who I reach out to touch when things are not looking as great as they should. I am healed by touching JESUS’s garment.

  • Do you need physical, mental, emotional or spiritual healing?
  • What are you reaching out to get help from?
  • Why is your heart turned from the one who loves you dearly?
  • Will you turn to GOD today and watch HIM do a marvelous work in you?

Monday, December 4, 2017

Hardened Away

Mark 6: 45 Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. 46 And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. 47 Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. 48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. 49 And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 51 Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. 52 For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.


“Do you want to go over your friend’s house?” was the question. “No, he’s not my friend!”  pouted back. I cannot remember what had happened but all I know is he was no longer my friend. I think it was because he wouldn’t share his toy with me. When I saw other kids playing, I had to change my heart and visit.

  • Sometimes I get mad at people.
  • Sometimes I cannot hear good advice because I am angry.
  • Sometimes I stick to principles when I should be listening to advice.

The disciples desired something different from JESUS. They may have possibly wanted HIM to be a king just like everyone else. While they were able to perform some miracles, they were still confused about who and what JESUS was and is.

Their hearts were hardened to the truth of JESUS being GOD and they could not understand HIS ability to walk on water or for them to feed 5000 or more people with nothing like HE did.

  • JESUS says to me “Be of good cheer” when the winds of life blow my way.
  • JESUS says to me “Do not be afraid” when challenges come against me.
  • JESUS says to me “Believe” when things seem impossible.

Belief that GOD will handle everything in the right time and the right way is hard to do, so hard that my heart may be affected and become hardened to HIS way.  I may rely on “my” abilities instead of believing GOD understands the situation and loves me beyond measure. “My” power comes from HIS power when I believe.

  • Are you going through something?
  • Are the storms of life challenging your abilities right now?
  • Can you stop trying to do things under your own power and seek GOD to provide HIS power?

Friday, December 1, 2017

Powerful Instructions

Mark 6: 35 When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, “This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. 36 Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat.”

37 But He answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat.”

And they said to Him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?”

38 But He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”
And when they found out they said, “Five, and two fish.”

39 Then He commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties. 41 And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all. 42 So they all ate and were filled. 43 And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish. 44 Now those who had eaten the loaves were about five thousand men.


“Run the division” were the words spoken to me that were absolutely outrageous. I hadn’t run anything large and the request, while exciting, quickly became overwhelming. How am “I” supposed to do that? I laid awake thinking.

  • Sometimes I think “I” have to do everything under “my” power.
  • Sometimes the task placed in front of me seems huge.
  • Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the unknown.

“You give them something to eat” were JESUS’ words. HE expected HIS disciples, who had just performed all sorts of miracles, to believe they could perform another. Somehow JESUS knew they could do more than they thought, but HE also knew the people were hungry so HE performed the miracle.

  • JESUS knows the faith I have.
  • JESUS knows that if I believe and have faith in HIM, amazing things can happen.
  • JESUS knows the plans HE has for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future.

JESUS knows I can do more, but most times I don’t think so. I think miracles are for the select few and reduce GOD down to only finding keys, jobs and money. GOD can heal people, relationships and diseases. HE can bring lost people back to HIS loving arms and HE can even forgive me.

  • Do you feel lost?
  • Is GOD saying you can do more than you can ever imagine?
  • Will you stop getting your faith from what you can see and rely on GOD to provide the power?

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Excited Compassion

Mark 6: 30 Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. 31 And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. 32 So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.

33 But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him. 34 And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things. 


After long days of serving many, I returned from a mission’s trip. We had served hurricane victims not only with repairing homes but with prayer and teaching. Anguish was replaced with hope for a few people. While this was exciting, it was still overwhelming because thousands more needed help.

  • Serving can be exciting to me
  • Helping someone have hope is the most incredible feeling to me
  • Seeing someone appreciate compassion is awesome to me.

When the apostles returned to JESUS they had wonderful stories to tell. They actually healed the sick, drove out demons and gave people hope like never before. For the first time in some folk’s lives, they could see a way out of their misery. One problem was the huge number of people.

  • JESUS saw me and in my misery and had compassion for me.
  • JESUS saw me without hope and filled me up with true hope.
  • JESUS saw me wandering like sheep without a shepherd and decided to guide me to a better place.

Compassion needs hope and that is what JESUS taught. HE saw the crowds of people who needed help that wasn’t temporary. HE told them of a new kingdom that would surpass liars, thieves and manipulators of the Law. JESUS points me to hope.

  • Are you out of hope?
  • Do you need help in your journey?
  • Can you move closer to JESUS in spite of those who manipulate the truth?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Sticking to Wrong Promise

Mark 6: 19 Therefore Herodias held it against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not; 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.

21 Then an opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a feast for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee. 22 And when Herodias’ daughter herself came in and danced, and pleased Herod and those who sat with him, the king said to the girl, “Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you.” 23 He also swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”

24 So she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?”

And she said, “The head of John the Baptist!”

25 Immediately she came in with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”

26 And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her. 27 Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. And he went and beheaded him in prison, 28 brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples heard of it, they came and took away his corpse and laid it in a tomb.


“Get a pair of pants from the store” the person told me. The demand came from a person in an organization I wanted to be part of but alas I had no money. “Figure it out” were his words implying I should steal them. “Okay I promise I will get them!”

  • There have been times I have made the wrong promises.
  • There have been times I have followed the wrong crowd.
  • There have been times I have wanted to be part of something so badly, I would do something that was wrong.

Herod’s position as king would be weakened if he went back on an oath. Unfortunately his daughter asked for a political nightmare, namely the execution of John the Baptist. He stuck with his promise and got nowhere with GOD.

  • GOD wants me to make promises that grow HIS kingdom.
  • GOD desires that I follow HIS ways without political affiliations.
  • GOD longs for a relationship with me versus me building a kingdom of followers.

Desiring to be part of something can drive me to decisions that may not be centered on love. GOD sees through the loneliness and fills my heart with love for others. When HE does this I am never alone.

  • Are you lonely?
  • Do you look at GOD as a political affiliate or do you seek HIS face for HIS true power and love?
  • Will you stop trying to follow humans and start following GOD today?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Guilty Decisions

Mark 6: 14 Now King Herod heard of Him, for His name had become well known. And he said, “John the Baptist is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.”

15 Others said, “It is Elijah.”

And others said, “It is the Prophet, or like one of the prophets.”

16 But when Herod heard, he said, “This is John, whom I beheaded; he has been raised from the dead!” 17 For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; for he had married her. 18 Because John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”


“I wonder if I got away with it?” was my question. I cannot remember which thing I did, but I was definitely guilty. When someone came near me and asked any question I wondered if they knew about that thing I had done. “Why are people looking at me?” was my thought.

  • When I am guilty I make guilty decisions.
  • When I am guilty I think everyone around me is bringing up my infraction.
  • When I am guilty I try to ignore my guilt but the guilt gets louder.

Herod was clearly guilty in many ways. He killed a person who told him of his infraction, now that JESUS was on the scene he thought it was his victim coming back to haunt him.

  • GOD wants me to tell others about my sin so others can feel comfortable with telling their sins.
  • GOD wants me to have peace and knows I will make mistakes.
  • GOD wants me to avoid sin, but knows I can come to HIM even when I do.

Herod mistook JESUS’s arrival. He was so self-centered in his sinful lifestyle that he missed the possibility of grace, same with me. I was trying to hide sins instead of making them known so others could forgive them or even learn from them.

GOD doesn’t want me to have guilty decisions because they lead to more and more shame. HE wants me have peace that only comes form HIM.

  • Are you guilty?
  • Have you been hiding your sin for a long time?
  • Can you be brave enough to confess your sin instead of trying to make others feel guilty?
  • Will you accept GOD’s grace today?

Monday, November 27, 2017

A Job to Do

Matthew 6:And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits. He commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bag, no bread, no copper in their money belts— but to wear sandals, and not to put on two tunics.

10 Also He said to them, “In whatever place you enter a house, stay there till you depart from that place. 11 And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!”

12 So they went out and preached that people should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.


“I’ve got a job for you to do” said one of my teacher’s. I was excited because I was chosen to do something. “Take this to the office” she said. I left the room of studying students and jumped down the hall. When I returned I asked “What else do you want me to do?”

  • When I am chosen it feels great.
  • When I am chosen I feel special.
  • When I am chosen I pay attention to the one who chose me a little more than before.

JESUS felt HIS disciples were now ready to go out and preach HIS message of love and grace. I mean the message was so simple, “I AM GOD and I love you.” Just these simple words about JESUS would drive out demons and heal the sick if said by the believer.

  • JESUS says to me “Go, make disciples and teach them to follow ME.”
  • JESUS says to me “I have chosen you before I made the world.”
  • JESUS says to me “Tell many people about MY love so they will not reject MY grace.”

Rejecting the love of JESUS was also addressed. Whoever felt the simple message was something other than love may not believe. JESUS says “Shake the dust off your feet against those who do not believe.” This was not an immediate “forget them” kind of message.

If you are rejected after showing patience, care and love then take the patience care and love to those who will receive it. Some may take many years, some a few seconds. GOD guides me and gives me a job to do.

  • What has GOD said to you?
  • What job has HE given you to do?
  • Can you be excited about spreading HIS message of love today?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Finding Affirmation

Mark 6: Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him. And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him.

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.


  • GOD says to me “Look for honor from ME.”
  • GOD says to me “Look to do mighty works with MY help alone.”
  • GOD says to me “Search for those who will believe and focus them on ME.”

Getting affirmed by friends and family is nice but what happens if they reject me? How should I handle it? GOD wants me to seek affirmation from HIM by following HIS ways. HE wants me to have grace for those who poke fun at the way I serve HIM and serve those who flat out reject my efforts to be more like HIS SON.

Even JESUS was rejected by HIS immediate family. HIS neighbors could accept HIM being GOD. They saw HIM as a baby and wondered “What makes HIM so special?” As HE grew up they overlooked HIS deity because HE looked like other humans but HE acted very differently.

  • JESUS was rejected by HIS neighbors.
  • JESUS was rejected by HIS family.
  • JESUS was rejected by those HE created.

GOD has a personal relationship with me that HE wants me to cherish. HE does not need me to ask people around me if my relationship with HIM is adequate for them. HE wants me to have grace enough to not be upset if those around me cannot understand how HE is moving me down HIS path.

  • Are you seeking affirmation from friends and family and are not receiving it?
  • Are you led by GOD to do something that will grow HIS kingdom and those around you are judging you instead of affirming you?
  • Can you ask GOD for strength and seek HIS leading daily without judging them?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Where “Well” Comes From

Mark 5: 25 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. 28 For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”

29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”

31 But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”

32 And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. 33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”


“If I could study then I will pass the test.” “If I had a few more dollars then I could put a down payment on the car.” “If I could get the right job, then I could keep my stuff.” What I noticed about my “If/Then” statements is they were always elusive

  • Sometimes I desire something that may be fleeting.
  • Sometimes I want something so bad that it may blind me.
  • Sometimes I put my hands in those whose solutions are temporary.

Doctors could not help the woman with the issue of blood. She was referred from one doctor to the next. They may have told her to do things with confidence to no avail. She no longer had money and was getting worse. “Then” she heard about JESUS and how HE healed people on command. She wanted to be part of that!

  • JESUS shows me that HE can heal anyone who seeks HIS face.
  • JESUS shows me that humans have temporary solutions but HIS are eternal.
  • JESUS shows me a different meaning to the word “Well.”

What is being “Well?’ JESUS tells me that even the slightest belief in HIM makes me well. Even if my faith is faulty and I want to take control, I am made well by knowing JESUS can do anything if it pleases HIM. Even the difficult things I go through help me grow.

JESUS also knows when I touch HIM. When I reach out and ask HIM for help after I have nowhere to turn HE asks “Who touched MY clothes?” even though billions of prayers are being asked of HIM every second of every day. JESUS is the place and being I can get “Well.”
  • Are you sick?
  • Have you put your trust in humans and they are not helping you with the problem?
  • Can you place even the tiniest bit of faith in JESUS so HE can heal you?

Monday, November 20, 2017

First Reaction Training

Mark 5: 2Now when Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea. 22 And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet 23 and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” 24 So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.


35 While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”

36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 37 And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James. 38 Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. 39 When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.”

40 And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying. 41 Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement. 43 But He commanded them strictly that no one should know it, and said that something should be given her to eat.


As a friend told his story to me, I immediately applied skepticism to his words. I mean how can he say “GOD” spoke to him? What made HIM special? I didn’t believe his story and chalked it up to him wanting to be special.

  • Sometimes I do not believe.
  • Sometimes I do not think other people can have incredible supernatural stories.
  • Sometimes I do not trust in other folks words, instead I am skeptical.

“Prove it to me” was my thought. Years later I had an amazing experience that GOD had taken me through. As I tried to explain to people, the situation I was met with skepticism. “Wait, it really did happen” I explained. I remembered my skepticism of my friend and I believed his story.

  • GOD wants me to believe.
  • GOD wants me to believe early.
  • GOD wants me to believe early enough not only to be rescued, but others to be rescued as well.

JESUS was summoned by one of the church leaders who truly believed in HIM. “Please heal my daughter” was the request, having nowhere to turn. JESUS raised his daughter from the dead though people ridiculed HIS diagnosis. HE healed her so they would “only believe.” HE wants my “first” reaction to be that of belief.

  • Are you Skeptical?
  • Do you doubt GOD’s Power?
  • Will you put your trust in GOD today and Believe?

Friday, November 17, 2017

Obedience Told

Mark 5: 11 Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. 12 So all the demons begged Him, saying, “Send us to the swine, that we may enter them.” 13 And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.

14 So those who fed the swine fled, and they told it in the city and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that had happened. 15 Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. 16 And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine. 17 Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region.

18 And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. 19 However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” 20 And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled.


“Take this test” were the instructions given to me by a teacher. I obeyed and when I got the results, I actually got into the school I desired. I had no fallback plan had I not passed. I ran to my small circle of friends and family to tell them the great news!

  • When I have obeyed in the past, great things have happened.
  • When I have trusted in the past, wonderful results were achieved.
  • When I have followed something that I did not understand in the past, I was put on a road of amazement.

Obedience to JESUS was clearly told in this passage. The demons begged HIM for permission and HE granted their wish. The herders begged JESUS to leave, so HE did. But the demon possessed man begged JESUS to allow him to come along and JESUS gave him another task. HE says the same to me.

  • JESUS says to me “Go home to your friends and tell them about ME.”
  • JESUS says to me “Tell people about the great things the LORD has done for you.”
  • JESUS says to me “Proclaim the message of compassion to as many as you can tell.”

When the man obeyed CHRIST, he went and told everyone he knew about JESUS. Everyone marveled at the power of GOD. JESUS is quite amazing! HE wants me to tell everyone about HIS amazing compassion.

  • Are you telling people about JESUS?
  • Will you obey HIS command and tell others about HIS compassion for you and everyone?
  • Can you trust and obey JESUS today?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Powerful Mercy

Mark 5: Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.

When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.”

For He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!” Then He asked him, “What is your name?”

And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” 10 Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country.


Driving on a sunny day made me feel great. I was on my way to a friend’s house to enjoy some company. As I drove through the intersection near his house, a car ran a stop sign and hit my old junker. With little apology they threatened me instead of providing their insurance. I wanted them arrested for the rest of their lives!

  • Sometimes I want revenge!
  • Sometimes I want “justice!”
  • Sometimes I want “that” person to get what’s coming to them!

JESUS does something absolutely amazing in this slice of history. A legion of demons, whose job was to torment people, asked for mercy.  JESUS had the power to immediately speak them into being eternally tormented but restrained for it was not the right time.

  • JESUS says to me “Vengeance is MINE.”
  • JESUS says to me “I AM full of mercy and grace.”
  • JESUS says to me “Judge not lest you be judged.”

This conversation between the demons and JESUS shows me that HE can give mercy to anyone who asks. I need to follow HIS example of giving mercy to those who may be against me.

  • Did someone do something to you?
  • Did they deliberately hurt you?
  • Can you accept the power GOD is giving you by showing undeserved mercy on them?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Acquired Skill

35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”  41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”


“Impossible” I said. I mean this task placed in front of me was way too hard. The person tried explaining it to me and even showing me but I still could not see how to do this humungous feat. I acquiesced to try again. I got on the bike and rode past 4 maybe five houses this time! Maybe I can do this!

  • Sometimes life seems difficult.
  • Sometimes life seems hard to master.
  • Sometimes life can have tasks that seem impossible.

JESUS was and is the ultimate teacher. As the boat was tossed about, HE laid silently asleep on a pillow. These skilled fishermen had seen storms before and probably knew of people who had died in similar squalls. “Don’t you care?!” is a familiar exclamation I use to GOD when times get tough and it is the same question the disciples used.

  • JESUS says to me “I AM teaching you little by little to have faith in ME.”
  • JESUS says to me “Do not focus on the storm, focus on ME.”
  • JESUS says to me “I AM right here so do not worry.”

After reading this passage in the past, I thought JESUS was a little unreasonable. I mean this is a life threatening crisis, “Why aren’t YOU sending out legions of angels to save the people who follow you?” is my first thought. JESUS says “I AM not worried” IS your lesson.

JESUS knows more about the situation than I do. HE knew the storm would not harm the disciples and the storms of life cannot harm me. Somehow, through all the worry, fretting and doubting, JESUS has ALWAYS come through. HE wants me to grow up to accept HIS way of doing things and grow my faith as an acquired skill.

  • Are you worried, fearful and doubtful?
  • What has GOD brought you through in the past?
  • Is GOD trying to mature you by appearing to be asleep during your crisis?
  • Will you calm down for a moment to observe how HE can sleep even though HE is getting wet in the waves of life with you?