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.”

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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!”


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“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?


Alone


Mark 4: 33 And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it. 34 But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.

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Waving at people on the convention floor was the norm for my coworkers, but not me. This was my first convention and I did not know anyone. It was time for dinner and everyone made plans with one another. I ate in my room.
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  • Sometimes I can be in a crowd and feel alone.
  • Sometimes I can open my mouth and say something to people and still feel alone.
  • Sometimes I can sit in a room with another person and feel more alone than when I am by myself.


Being alone can sometimes feel devastating, especially when I want to be around those who appreciate what I am doing and saying or even better, know who I am. GOD spoke in parables or analogies and did not speak directly to the crowd. But when HE was alone with HIS disciples HE spoke directly to them.

  • GOD sometimes takes me to a place so HE can be alone with me.
  • GOD sometimes wants to speak directly to me so HE moves me out of the crowd.
  • GOD sometimes desires for me to quiet down instead of screaming while I am alone with HIM.


Maturing to understand “alone” time is important to GOD. HE wants me to spend some very important time with HIM to see HIS power on a daily basis. The world’s worries can be noisy and deafen me to HIS voice. It seems like the harder I try in life, the more GOD wants to spend time with me. HE sets me down besides still waters and speaks directly to me with HIS promises.

  • Do you feel alone?
  • Are you worried and feel alone?
  • Can you remove your worries for a moment and listen to GOD’s voice through HIS word today?


Monday, November 13, 2017

Herbs and Spices

Mark 4: 30 Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? 31 It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; 32 but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.”

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“You should learn this new way of doing things” exclaimed one of my coworkers. Yes, the world had changed and a new way of thinking had emerged. I now had to go on a new road and learn. “I wonder when this road will change” I thought to myself.

  • Sometimes I get busy chasing new philosophies.
  • Sometimes I get entrenched into learning new ways of doing things.
  • Sometimes I get involved with new thinking, new values and new beliefs.


Out with the old and in with the new was my way to stay ahead of the crowd. I would learn new ingredients to success by attending philosophical discussions and grab a new herb of knowledge. Many birds would flock with me to these spicy meetings. BUT GOD had another plan for me.

  • GOD says to me “Tell people about the simple message of MY love for them.”
  • GOD says to me “MY kingdom’s message is simple, just believe that JESUS died for all of mankind and you will be saved.”
  • GOD says to me “MY yoke is easy and MY burdens are light.”


What a tiny seed GOD gave me. I mean HIS message of grace far exceeds any new herb and spice I could ever learn. In fact, GOD’s message of grace grows in me and in the hearts of mankind stronger than any other way of thinking. Branches of joy, love, forgiveness and peace flow from this simple message of HIS grace. GOD’s message is simple, HE loves me.

  • Are you busy trying to learn the “new” thing?
  • Do you think the new way of thinking will save you?
  • Can you turn your thinking towards GOD for a moment and absorb the simple message of HIS love for you?

Friday, November 10, 2017

Helpless and Mighty

Mark 4: 26 And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, 27 and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. 28 For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

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When the car stalled out for the fifth time it seemed like we would never get home. The two hour journey had now turned into six. My cousin and I sat there waiting yet again for something miraculous to happen. After fifteen minutes I started the car again. This time it made it all the way home.

  • Sometimes I have problems I cannot fix.
  • Sometimes I have a desire but no solution.
  • Sometimes I have an immediate need but have no way to meet that need.


Helpless is never a fun feeling but it is definitely useful. Looking back on the car situation, I can truly say that it was only GOD that brought me through that situation. I had nothing to offer, no power to give.

  • JESUS says to me “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
  • JESUS says to me “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.”
  • JESUS says to me “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see GOD.”


In my weakness GOD’s might is made perfect. GOD is the one who knows how seeds sprout in this story. JESUS lets HIS disciples know that the power comes only from HIM. I am supposed to go out and plant seeds of love, knowledge and faith to many and let GOD grow the seeds.

As much as I may want someone to believe in CHRIST, I am helpless BUT GOD is mighty! HE wants me to be ready for HIS harvest so HIS glory will shine bright.

  • Are you ready for GOD’s harvest?
  • Can you stop fearing and allow GOD to deliver you the way HE wants to?
  • Will you continue to spread the seeds of GOD wherever HE sends you?


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Shining Light on the Subject

Mark 4: 21 Also He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? 22 For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”

24 Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. 25 For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”

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“Ooo… I’m telling” were the words I dreaded to hear. It meant that I was caught in the act and this person was going straight to the top, namely the teacher or the parents. “Wait, don’t tell!” were my begging words. “I could get in trouble.” They told and I got in trouble.

  • Sometimes I try to hide my sins.
  • Sometimes I try to pretend I am good when I really am a sinner.
  • Sometimes I want to keep my sins to myself and let others think more highly of me.


My sins had come into the light and I received the consequence for them, but what about the person who told on me? I mean, they just wanted to get me in trouble so they could gloat. GOD has an answer for that.

  • JESUS says to me “With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
  • JESUS says to me “Judge not lest you be judged.”
  • JESUS says to me “Pray for your enemies.”


All of my sins will be brought into the light, so it is better for “me” to bring them into the light than for GOD to do it. By confessing my sins, I realize they actually do not have power over me. This enables me to have a tiny amount of grace that understands why others may hide their sins.

GOD wants me to be extremely careful when shining light on someone else’s sins. Instead of saying “This person has sinned” I can say “We have similar sins” this way GOD is placed as the judge and I am not the accuser rather I am an advocate for forgiveness.

  • Are you hiding your relationship with GOD from others?
  • Are you hiding sin so you can look good in front of the crowd?
  • When you “tell on someone” do you desire to feel superior to “that” person?
  • Can you stop talking about others so GOD will stop taking even what little you have from you?


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Overcoming Barriers


Mark 4: 13 And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness;17 and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. 18 Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”

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Station four was my nemesis. It was the part of the obstacle course that I could not overcome. The gym teacher required that I do ten pullups before moving on to the rest of the course. “Ten? I can’t even do one!” I said to myself.

  • Sometimes life feels like a huge obstacle course.
  • Sometimes life has big things in it that seem hard to overcome.
  • Sometimes life deals out difficulties that seem impossible to overcome.


Ailments, broken relationships, poor grades, job pressures, job loss and death of loved ones are a few obstacles that have kept me from shouting from the mountain that GOD is awesome! I mean how awesome is HE when I am standing out in the rain, getting soaked waiting on a bus? GOD wants me to get stronger.

  • GOD wants me to open my eyes to see Satan trying to steal GOD’s promise of peace and his attempt to replace it with worry.
  • GOD wants me to open my eyes to understand there will be tribulation and persecution so I need to prepare myself.
  • GOD wants me to open my eyes to know I am susceptible to lust of money, lust of power, and lust in general.


When I feel scared, worried, lustful or judgmental, GOD wants me to get my answers from HIM instead of acting on impulse. HE enables me to see that in the middle of a trial, I can still bear fruit for HIM. HE wants me to quiet down, seek HIS face for direction and actually go where HE leads me. There is where I will find fruit for HIS kingdom!

  • Have you given up on GOD?
  • Do you feel more worried than full of praise?
  • Can you look at what GOD has said about your situation in HIS word and act accordingly?
  • Will you accept HIS message of peace for you today?


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Spinning the Spinners

Mark 4: 10 But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. 11 And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, 12 so that

‘Seeing they may see and not perceive,
And hearing they may hear and not understand;
Lest they should turn,
And their sins be forgiven them.’”

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In an effort to make the situation better, my bosses told me to “Update the message to make it more palatable.” In other words they wanted me to put “spin” on the message. Instead of saying “This flat out does not work” they suggested “At this time, certain features are being reviewed.” I wonder if I try to “spin” the explanation of JESUS.

  • There were times when I used “spin” to make the story easier.
  • There were times when I used a more palatable story to explain things.
  • There were times when I would take a lie and try to spin it to “a” truth that was close enough.


JESUS saw through the hearts of those who would never believe in HIM. HE spoke in parables because speaking in direct terms to someone who would never believe in HIM would be a waste of HIS time. HE wants me to believe in HIM whether HE speaks directly or indirectly to me.

  • JESUS speaks to me through written history and letters compiled in a Bible.
  • JESUS speaks to me through humans who speak highly of HIM.
  • JESUS speaks to me through circumstances that only HE can orchestrate.


Amazement can happen on a daily basis if I allow it. I mean I could walk out my door and be absolutely amazed if I were to open my eyes and ears to what GOD is doing. Unfortunately the worries of the world blind me at times to the amazing things around me. GOD says “Relax. Let ME guide you with MY plan.” When I allow HIM to be GOD I can truly “perceive” and “understand.”

  • Are you confused about something?
  • Do you have a very specific answer for your problem that you are not getting no matter how hard you try?
  • Will you open your eyes and ears to GOD so you can see what HE is doing in your life today?


Monday, November 6, 2017

Motivation

Mark 4: And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea. Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching:

“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”

And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

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“I wanna go!” was my immediate response when I heard that my siblings and some neighbors would possibly travel to the local amusement park. I just knew it would be fun and I imagined myself on all the rides. I also said “I wanna go” on vacations, restaurants visits to relatives and recreation.

  • Sometimes I am motivated by getting something that I will enjoy.
  • Sometimes I am motivated to work hard so I can get to some place where I can relax.
  • Sometimes I am motivated to endure life’s trials so I can eventually reach society’s utopia.


Where there was fun I wanted to be there, but what about GOD? I mean HE has stuff for me to do as well right? Yes, but sometimes I am not motivated to do HIS work. I was quite amazed at the beginning of the parable. “A sower went out to sow.” What motivated the sower?

  • GOD wants me to be motivated to seek the lost because HE sought me.
  • GOD wants me to be excited to spread HIS Gospel because HE saved me with it.
  • GOD wants me to be inspired to seek HIS kingdom first then HE will add to me what HE pleases.


Saving people from eternal death was the motivation of the sower. HE created me and does not want me to be lost. HE gives me seeds of wisdom, knowledge and understanding and it is up to me to allow them to grow. HE wants me to do the same to others.

  • Are you stuck?
  • Do you feel like hiding instead of running out and shouting in praise?
  • Can you come out of your hiding place to serve JESUS today just because HE loves you?



Friday, November 3, 2017

Will Call

Mark 3: 31 Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. 32 And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You.”

33 But He answered them, saying, “Who is My mother, or My brothers?”34 And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.”

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“What do YOU want from me?” was my anxious cry as I did not get my expected outcome yet again. Here was my normal pattern. I would want something, ask GOD “Please let me have that something” then pout when that something does not come in the time or way or amount that I wanted.

  • Many times I am not open to GOD’s will.
  • Many times I secretly get mad that GOD doesn’t answer my prayers in my time, my way.
  • Many times I question GOD’s will when something “I” consider “bad” happens to me.


From car accidents to robberies to failed careers to people leaving when I needed them the most, I prayed prayers I thought were earnest and sincere but did not get what I wanted. In frustration I would cry out “What!?” meaning “What is the will of GOD?”

  • GOD says to me “I want you to tell people about ME in everything you do.”
  • GOD says to me “I have a serious plan for you that will be met with opposition, but I AM there for you.”
  • GOD says to me “MY will is that all will be saved and I need you as one of MY few laborers.”


When I realized my purpose I could see GOD’s will a little clearer. HE doesn’t need another selfish, attention grabbing person who feels a little too confident in themselves. GOD needs me exactly as I am, sin and all, to tell other people “JESUS loved me to the point of death for me and now that HE is alive I can live eternally with HIM, no sickness and no pain.”

I hear GOD tell me to “Help that person” or “Pray for those who harm you” or “Give what you can while praising ME to be able to give.” GOD then grows me up to complain about HIM less and less. When something “bad” happens I also understand that is part of HIS will as “All things work together for good to them that love GOD, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” GOD calls me to do HIS will.

  • Are you complaining that you are not getting your way fast enough?
  • Can you accept GOD’s timing and methods?
  • Will you praise GOD and tell people about JESUS in the middle of your crisis?


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Dangerous Road

Mark 3: 28 “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; 29 but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”— 30 because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

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Tired of traffic, I sought another way home. One day I saw a familiar cement truck poke out from a dirt road. “I think I saw that truck in my neighborhood” I said to myself. I followed the truck, lo and behold, it was a shortcut to my neighborhood. I tried to navigate the same route back to work the next day and almost drove off a cliff.

  • Some routes I have chosen have been dangerous.
  • Some roads I have driven on have been deadly.
  • Some places I have driven have been very close to a fatal end.


One bad turn on this construction road would have been a final turn for me. Unfortunately the Pharisees and Scribes took the wrong turn and crossed the line with JESUS. When they said “HE has an unclean SPIRIT” they were saying “GOD is unclean or evil.” They went down a dangerous road where they had no return.

  • GOD says to me “I AM love and I love you.”
  • GOD says to me “MY ways are not your ways. My thoughts are not your thoughts.”
  • GOD says to me “I AM the way.”


Sometimes I travelled down another dangerous road, namely the road of thinking GOD is evil. I mean what kind of GOD would allow “fill in the blank.” Instead of getting to know HIM, I would blame HIM for HIS existence and methods. This path was built on self-pity or selfishness.

GOD wants me to know that I know that I know HE has my best interest in mind. HE is not evil nor are HIS plans for me. HE protects me in spite of me. HE keeps me from driving off the cliff even when I try to go down the wrong road. HE is my forgiver and I love HIM.

  • Are you blaming GOD?
  • Do you call GOD evil?
  • Will you turn onto a better road by praising HIM and HIS ways today?


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Correct Description


Mark 3: 20 Then the multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. 21 But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, “He is out of His mind.”

22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebub,” and, “By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.”

23 So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end. 27 No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.

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“May I have a glass of water” was my question posed to my aunt. “Sure” she said distractedly as people were pouring into her place for fun and laughter. She went off to take coats to another room and was gone for a while.

I went into the kitchen and saw a chilled glass filled with just the amount I liked. I reached up to the glass on the counter, took a swig and quickly realized it was not water so I cried out! It was vodka.

  • Sometimes things appear as the right thing to me.
  • Sometimes I misinterpret what is in front of me because of my desires.
  • Sometimes I need a clear description.


Mislabeling JESUS was the problem of the Scribes. They tried to call HIM a follower of Satan and the people were going to fall for their deception. JESUS used common sense to correct their trickery. HE gave the right description.

  • JESUS says to me “I AM the way, the truth and the life.”
  • JESUS says to me “I AM the only way.”
  • JESUS says to me “I AM the good shepherd, you are MY sheep.”


“How can I cast out demons if I am a demon?” was the logical question JESUS asked the scribes. With the question, JESUS placed HIMSELF in authority over the demonic world that I am so blind to. HE is GOD and many people have tried to lower HIS authority by explaining away HIS miracles and HIS power. HE wants me to know HE is my Savior.

  • Have you mislabeled JESUS?
  • Do you think the thing you are doing will save you?
  • Will you allow GOD to guide you to the place HE wants you to go?


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Nicknames

Mark 3: 13 And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. 14 Then He appointed twelve,  that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, 15 and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons: 16 Simon,  to whom He gave the name Peter; 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, “Sons of Thunder”; 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Cananite; 19 and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. And they went into a house.

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“Professor”, “Captain Naps” and “Skinny Minnie” were a few nicknames I was given based on my appearance. I wore glasses thus the nickname “Professor.” Sometimes the nicknames given to me were flattering like “He-Man” while others were degrading and need not be mentioned.

  • I have been called all sorts of names.
  • People have labeled me based on their perceptions
  • Many labels given to me were not pleasant.


JESUS saw something in a few of HIS disciples that needed to be called out in a different name. HE saw a solid foundation in Simon so HE named him Peter meaning “The Rock.” HE gave James and John the name Boanerges meaning “Sons of Thunder.” Later HE named Judas “The Betrayer.”

  • JESUS names me based on my actions.
  • JESUS names me based on my heart.
  • JESUS names me based on my relationship with HIM and my attitude towards HIS ways.


GOD sees all that I do and hears every word I say. HE sees my sin as well as any deeds HE deems as good. HE then says to me “And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.” GOD’s name for me is based on love and when I receive my new name I will understand my fulfilled purpose.

  • Is your current name “doubter” or “worrier” or “full of fear?”
  • Do you think you are ugly based on what mean people have called you?
  • Can you see the beauty inside of you that GOD sees?
  • Will you accept HIS new name for you?


Monday, October 30, 2017

Overwhelmed

Mark 3: But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan; and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they heard how many things He was doing, came to Him. So He told His disciples that a small boat should be kept ready for Him because of the multitude, lest they should crush Him. 10 For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him. 11 And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, “You are the Son of God.” 12 But He sternly warned them that they should not make Him known.

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With a troubled heart I woke in the middle of the night. Papers were due, bill collectors were calling, and my car was broken down. It was raining that day. I sneezed and my nose began to bleed. The episode seemed to last forever, but eventually gave way. I sat there overwhelmed.

  • Sometimes I feel pressure.
  • Sometimes I feel pressed on all sides.
  • Sometimes I feel like so much is coming at me.


JESUS was literally overwhelmed with the crowds from all the surrounding cities. Word had spread about this healer and everyone wanted in on the action. JESUS understood their needs and healed them but HIS purpose was more than temporary healing.

  • JESUS became a human to die for my sins.
  • JESUS became a human so HE could be the sinless one to pay for my sins.
  • JESUS became a human to empathize, sympathize and show compassion for me.


The people who surrounded JESUS did not understand HIS purpose at the time. Demons wanted to reveal HIS true purpose probably to throw people off, for if they knew HE was and is GOD they may not have killed HIM.  JESUS withdrew by boat to continue on HIS true journey.

HE understands when I get overwhelmed, in fact HE expects it. HE knows just how much I can handle and HE sends relief at just the right time. JESUS is my Savior on earth and eternity.

  • Are you overwhelmed?
  • Do you feel like giving up?
  • Can you take a moment to slip away and take a break so you can return rejuvenated to serve CHRIST?


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Setting Plots

Mark: And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.” Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent. And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.

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From sneaky bosses to sneaky workers I remember setting plots to catch them in the act. I spent numerous hours setting traps containing fake information left precariously on my desk. I would then tell the powers that be to watch out for this fake info. I caught a couple of rats.

  • There were times when I sought to be right.
  • There were times when I looked for others to be wrong.
  • There were times when I searched for the bad in people so I could catch them in the act.


Looking for the bad in others had become a norm for me. Suspicions, doubts and sub-plots all danced in my head as I raised my shields and dropped my trust. BUT GOD wanted something different.

  • GOD wanted me to seek the lost no matter how shady.
  • GOD wanted me to look for those who want to follow HIM but may be caught in the way of the world.
  • GOD wanted me to search for the good in people rather than seeing their obvious faults.


When I started looking for the good in people, it was hard to find. I mean that same homeless person was outwardly counting a roll of money in front of me; meanwhile I was eating peanut butter and jelly for lunch! GOD said to me “Drop your judgement on them too. Forgive those as I have forgiven you.”

Instead of setting traps, GOD wants me to set training. HE wants me to wish the best for the scoundrel and train those who desire to follow HIM in HIS ways. HE wants me to seek the lost.

  • Are you suspicious of people?
  • Is your trust in others low?
  • Can you stop looking for the bad in people and search for those who are seeking GOD today?


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

This is How You Do It

Mark 2: 23 Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”

25 But He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: 26 how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?”

27 And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28 Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”

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Confusion finally led me to make a phone call to my uncle. He was a master carpenter and I had a project that required his expertise. He patiently told me what to do but his tips were counterintuitive. “Use sandpaper after staining the wood?” that sounds crazy!

  • Sometimes the rules seem strange.
  • Sometimes the steps don’t make sense.
  • Sometimes the instructions seem wrong.


GOD rested on the seventh day which is strange within itself. I mean GOD can’t get tired so why rest? HE wanted me to see HIS example of what should be done on a regular basis. HE created a Law for me to follow but HE did not create me to follow Laws.

  • GOD wants me to follow HIS ways because HE loves me.
  • GOD wants me to believe in HIS methods because HE knows they will lead to great things.
  • GOD wants me to understand HIS heart so I can apply the Law with the right motive.


Pharisees and legalists hold people to the letter of the Law without regards to how the HOLY SPIRIT should guide them to apply it. Instead of the Good News of “freedom” they spread the shackles of bondage to laws. GOD wants me to remove any fear that may cause me to control people with the Law.

GOD wants me to see that HIS love is freeing, whole and full of healing. HE made the Law for me, to guide me and protect me. I was not made for rules, they are made for me.

  • Are you trying hard to follow the rules?
  • Are you exhausted trying to follow what churchy people are telling you?
  • Will you ask GOD to show you how to follow HIM with the right heart today?


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Old and New

Mark 2: 18 The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting. Then they came and said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?”

19 And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. 20 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.”

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“You’re doing that the old way” someone said to me. They quickly showed me the “new” way of doing things and while it was pretty good, there were still some remnants of the old way that still needed to be done. I learned the new way but respected the old way because it had a solid foundation.

  • Sometimes I think I can throw away the old for the new.
  • Sometimes I think I need to do only new stuff because the old no longer has purpose.
  • Sometimes I think I need to change because it is time to change.


JESUS’ disciples faced criticism of not following deep tradition of the Law of Moses that the Pharisees and even John’s disciples were following. Since HE made the laws in the first place, HE knew how they applied and why.  JESUS explains the law to me.

  • JESUS says to me “The law is MY first covenant but I AM the second.”
  • JESUS says to me “I wiped away all of your sins in a way the Law could not.”
  • JESUS says to me “I AM the only way, the truth and the life.”


But what about the law? JESUS addresses the need to continue to love the Law while recognizing the second covenant, namely HIM. HIS disciples did not need to fast while HE was there, but would need to when HE would be murdered. 

JESUS wants me to not throw away the Law in lieu of HIS resurrection rather respect why HE made the Law in the first place. HE wants me to follow the “heart” of the Law and the application won’t become sterile and traditionalized. JESUS wants my heart.

  • Are you trying to follow GOD out of habit?
  • When is the last time you were led by GOD out of the SPIRIT?
  • Can you look at the Law of Moses and apply it with the leading of the HOLY SPIRIT today?


Monday, October 23, 2017

Sick, Not Blind


Mark 2: 13 Then He went out again by the sea; and all the multitude came to Him, and He taught them. 14 As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.

15 Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. 16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”

17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

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Broke and confused, I had no guidance from my counselors. I mean, how was I supposed to pay my rent, have my car fixed and pay for tuition? What good was school anyway? Seeing how I was stewing over my situation, someone invited me to church.

Maybe I can tell these people about my problem, I thought to myself. When I arrived, the church was so focused on some kind of celebration that I could not express what was going on in my life. I left distraught.

  • There were times I wanted help from “churchy” people and was met with an invitation to give.
  • There were times I desired to say “I’m hurt” to the “churchy” people but was met with “Come to our fashion show.”
  • There were times when I longed to get sound advice from “churchy” people and was met with clap at this song a little harder.


JESUS sat with sinners who knew they were sinners. They were the outcasts of society and knew they needed help. They did not fit in with “churchy” people so they hung out with each other. HE was accepted by them yet criticized by the “churchy” people. GOD wants me to follow HIS lead.

  • JESUS wants me to seek the lost just like HE sought me.
  • JESUS wants me to look for he hurt instead of gathering to feel comfortable.
  • JESUS wants me to find those who need HIM rather than going to a club week after week.


Blind is what JESUS accused the Pharisees of being. HE challenged them to trade in their blindness for sickness but they refused to do so. They would never admit they were spiritually dying so they continued down their “churchy” blind path. JESUS wants me to open my eyes and admit “I am sick and I need JESUS today”, only then can HIS power be shown in me.

  • Are you blinded by society?
  • Do you think you are well when you are really spiritually sick?
  • Will you admit to GOD you need HIS help and HIS help alone?
  • Will you stop looking around at others and seek the lost for CHRIST?


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?