"I was among you teaching in the Temple day after day and you never laid hands on me." - Mark 14:49
Jesus realizes that Satan is sly. He tends to be a sneaky rascal, avoiding the light of day. He is just like a roach, you flip on the light and he scatters looking for a hole to climb into.
Jesus was on a "mission from God", so he didn't fight it.
We need to fight Satan. Putting things in the "light" is one of our best tools.
Simply put, this means, confessing sin and our difficulties with someone who can really help us. A pastor or a Godly friend can help us with a Scriptural perspective and Godly advice, but the mere act of humbly laying out your life before them, puts the spotlight on Satan. And he doesn't like that.
Keep it in the light...God's light!
"The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." - Mark 14:38
So true. We tend to say we will do something for Christ, but when the rubber meets the road, it's not so easy. How can we make it so?
Try writing down the resolution.
Do it for 21 days in a row.
Make it a habit.
Fast and pray. Fasting does a number on the flesh!
"Everything is possible for you." - Mark 14:36
No exceptions - everything is possible for God.
God created everything, and is Lord over all.
There is no problem too big, or too small.
He is a great God. An awesome God.
Like Jesus, we want to bring our life to the Father, and ask him to intervene.
Today let God in...open the door for the Spirit to move!
"Even if all lose faith, I will not." - Mark 14:29
Open mouth, insert foot. Peter tends to speak before thinking things through. It at once makes him endearing and prone to failure.
We're much the same. We tend to speak out of our heart, and with optimism. However, reality bites us in the tail pretty often.
Personally, I think God looks at our heart. Our intentions, though not always successful, tell him how we love him so much. He knows we're not perfect.
I don't think we will get to heaven on good intentions. One of my old spiritual directors used to say, "We can all slide into hell on our 'buts'." God really does expect us to make good on our intentions, but I also believe he looks at our heart, and more often than not, has mercy. Thank you Lord!
"Why this waste of ointment?" - Mark 14:5
Mary aointed Jesus' feet with expensive ointment. And Judas complains of what a waste it was. Jesus was more interested in her contrition for her sins and her love for him.
Jesus is still interested in our sorrow for our sins and our love for him.
"So stay awake, because you do not know when the master of the house is coming..." - Mark 13:35
The Boy Scouts have it right...be prepared. Jesus is clear, that we don't know when the end of this world is; but he is equally clear that we need to prepare now.
I don't change quickly. I seem to take at least three weeks to form a new habit, and years to change an old one.
God in his mercy delays the time and hour, but at some point, it will come. Prepare ye the way of the Lord!
...my words will not pass away." - Mark 13:31
Jesus tells us that his words are the same "yesterday, today, and forever." He doesn't change. God is perfect, so he doesn't need to change like we do.
So when Jesus tells us something we can count on it.
"The man who stands firm to the end will be saved." - Mark 13:13
Last night at the prayer meeting, a friend shared about Asa. How he started out well, but in the end, he became "fat and happy" and lost the vision God intended for him. He didn't end well.
It's not a rose garden being a Christian. Sometimes it is downright difficult to take the high road, and do the right thing. Being faithful to stand firm with the Lord is hard...but that is our call.
"It is not you who will be speaking: it will be the Holy Spirit." - Mark 13:11
That's good, because I would be clueless as to what to say!
Jesus assures the apostles that when brought before the authorities, the Holy Spirit will lead them. The Holy Spirit is really good about that. Often I have shared with others, privately and publicly, and I knew, that I knew that the Holy Spirit gave me the words to say.
So don't worry about what to say to others. The Spirit will give you the words.
"You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength." - Mark 12:30/Dt.6:4-5
That about covers it. We need to love God. period. right down to our toenails.
All the way, unreservedly, fully, totally.
...and that means less focus on us, and much much more on Him.
"He is God of the living." - Mark 12:27
We will live forever!
The choices are: live forever in heaven...or hell.
I choose heaven!
"Give back ...to God what belongs to God." Mark 12:17
Most people jump on the render to Caesar part of this quote, but today, "what belongs to God" seemed to catch my ear. It really ALL belongs to God doesn't it. I have been raised to think in terms of being a steward to all God's gifts that He gives. So then our chore is to give it all back to God in as good or better shape than he left it with us.
This day, our offering to God is to make the most of what He gives us, as we return it with the fruit of our labors.
"forgive whatever you have against anybody, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your failings too." - Mark 11:25
In the Lord's Prayer, we pray, "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who have trespassed against us." Sometimes we don't hear ourselves, but God listens.
If we want forgiveness, we need to be willing to forgive others too. We have to be willing to break the shackles of bondage that we hold on others...and ourselves.
Forgiveness, both giving and receiving is a very, very healing thing. It can be difficult to do, but mostly it is our pride in the way.
Today, forgive and be forgiven, and watch God move!
"...he felt hungry." - Mark 11:12
We tend to think of Christ as God with a dash of humanity. Jesus was really both God and man. Here's a great example, hunger. Jesus even ate food after he rose from the dead. He really was human...and he really IS God.
The good news is that he gave us the example of a life lived well. He dealt with the same issues we do, and he did it well. The Bible lays it all out there, if we take the time to read it and learn from it.
Jesus help me to live today for you, and to live it well, as you so faithfully gave example.
"Hosanna! Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!" - Mark 11:9/Ps 118:25-26
That first Palm Sunday, when Jesus arrives on a donkey, he is praised and exalted by the crowd. Soon he will be despised and crucified by the crowd. Fickle, we humans!
Jesus truly deserved our praise and yet we let him down. Fortunately, Jesus never lets us down. He is faithful. He always deserves our praise.
Today, praise God for his faithfulness and ask for the gift to be faithful.
"Master, let me see again." - Mark 10:51
We need vision. We need to see clearly, not just blurry images. Jesus can help us to truly see things as they are. Perspective can make alot of difference to us. God is able to see the big picture, which we rarely can. Of course we don't always have a real need to see everything.
When we really need to see with clarity, our God can give us perfect vision.
"anyone who wants to be great among you must be your servant." - Mark 10:43
Leaders serve. Leaders seek to help. Leaders don't seek to lord it over others, that is simply oppression. Leaders do the right thing. Lead by example.
"Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him..." - Mark 10:21
Jesus could see right through the "rich young man" who wanted to know how to get to heaven. Jesus could see that he had tried to live the commandments, but then Jesus challenges him in THE area most difficult for the man...to give all he owned to the poor.
Jesus can see us for what we really are, good and bad. He still loves us, faults and all, just as he did the rich young man. He calls us to change the bad to good, to give it ALL to Him. Not just money, but our heart, our mind, our soul. They all belong to him anyway, we are just the stewards, making the best of them for Christ.
All to Jesus I surrender.
"The two become one body" - Mark 10:7/Genesis 2:24
Marriage is so amazing. Jesus reminds us that the design of the Father is that when married we truly become ONE. There is no room for selfishness, the spouse is the same as you. Our mindset must change from thinking of us as two people, to now being one. In unity of body, mind, and spirit.
I consider it one of my greatest goals to have my wife go to heaven. Of course, with a varmit like me for a husband, and the saint that she is...she will be able to sail right past purgatory and through the pearly gates! What a woman!