Mark 6:30-56 The disciples had just witnessed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. They saw over five thousand people fed from five loaves and two fishes. Now they were in the boat rowing to the other side when the winds came against them. Suddenly they saw Jesus walking upon the sea. They thought it was a spirit, and they were afraid. They were amazed when the winds ceased after Jesus boarded the boat. Mark records, "And they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened" (Mark 6:51-52, KJV).
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I received Jesus Christ as my Lord in 1979 and it changed my life. Immediately I lost the desire for alcohol, I stopped swearing, and other sinful desires gradually disappeared the more I read, meditated on, and spoke the Word of God over my life.
Psalm 39:1-13 The tongue is a mighty weapon that can be used for good or for evil. When I was in Mexico teaching some young children, I asked them if they would like to disarm the devil. They all shouted, "Yes, we hate the devil." Then I instructed them to stick out their tongues. They followed those instructions. Then I gave them an instruction they could not follow. "Now," I said, "pull out your tongue." Laughter broke out as some of them did yank on their tongues. Of course, we cannot pull our tongues out, but if we could, we would disarm the devil.
Proverbs 10:8-9 Recently I seemed to be hopelessly lost in a town that I knew nothing about. My only hope was to stop at a gas station to ask for directions. What a feeling of relief I had when I knew how to reach my destination. I knew the road signs and landmarks to watch for as I made each turn. Before I asked for directions, it seemed that every turn I made was wrong, and I was going further away from my destination instead of closer to it.
Mark 4:26-5:20 When we look at Jesus and the life He lived on earth, we see His mind was filled with faith. Worry and doubt were not part of His life. He was able to sleep through the storm because He trusted in the Father, whom He knew controls the storms of this life. Fear overcame the disciples in the boat because their focus was on the storm instead of their heavenly Father, who sits on and even rides upon the clouds. Faith comes when we learn to glance at the storms (the trials and testing in our lives) and gaze upon Jesus. The moment we encounter a difficulty on this earth we need to look at it briefly and then focus our eyes heavenward. Paul exhorts us to set our affections upon things above.
Mark 3:31-4:25 We learned yesterday about how fruit is cultivated in our lives. The key to cultivating any of the nine fruit of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 is to spend quality time with Jesus daily. This is how we prepare the soil of our hearts to receive His Word. Only the Holy Spirit can water the seed of God's Word and cause it to grow and produce.
Psalm 37:1-11 Yesterday the psalm we read shared about God's character. Today Psalm 37 shares about the character of a meek person. Two people in the Bible are spoken of as meek men. The Bible tells us that Moses was the meekest man that ever lived. Of course, Moses was not divine as Jesus is. But we also know that if we want to see the complete character trait of meekness demonstrated, we must look to Jesus. Jesus exhorted us to learn of Him because He is meek and lowly of heart. Can we learn meekness? As we observe the lives of Jesus and Moses in the Bible, we can learn much about meekness. However, the key to learning about meekness is to come to Jesus. Jesus issues the invitation for us to come to Him daily and let the Holy Spirit teach us all about meekness. Meekness will only be formed in our own lives as we submit ourselves to growing in intimacy with the Lord by spending quality time with Him daily. This psalm tells us the benefits of meekness and exactly how meekness is demonstrated in our lives.
Psalm 36:1-12 This psalm says so much about the character of God. One of the tactics of Satan is to try to bring doubt in our hearts about God's goodness. So many times I have heard the enemy whisper, "If God is so good, why did He let this happen?" To defend ourselves against this tactic we need to know what the Bible says about the character of God. This psalm gives a great character sketch of God.
Mark 1:29-2:12 "And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean" (Mark 1:40, KJV). The motivating force in Jesus was to do the will of the Father. His first love was the Father, and everything He did on earth was first to please His heavenly Father. In this passage we see Jesus' great love for the Father as He put the Father and His will first and obeyed the Father. Many people came to Jesus for healing and deliverance, and He healed all who came to Him, but He knew that His Father had called Him to preach. First He obeyed the Father in fulfilling His call, but He also was moved with love for the people. When the leper approached Him, he was moved with compassion.
When we produce fruits of holiness through the power of God's grace, we have no reason to fall back into a life of sin and bondage. They are free, empowered and whole. However, this promise does not apply to believers who do not walk in true holiness. Hear what Peter says about this:
Mark 1:1-28 In order to follow someone or something, one has to leave something or someone. When Jesus said to Simon and Andrew, "Come, and I will make you fishers of men," they did just that. They forsook their nets and followed Him.
Matthew 28:1-20 This is the day men give candy and roses to their wives or sweethearts. For me it usually means a dinner out or a weekend away. This day of celebration is in honor of the love between a man and a woman. It is interesting that the symbol of this day is a heart and the colors used to decorate are red and white. The greatest love story ever told also involves the heart and the colors red and white. On the cross Jesus died because the weight of our sin broke His heart, but because of His sacrifice, we now can have our broken hearts mended. The red blood of Jesus poured upon the ground and was offered as an atonement for all sins, which satisfied God's requirements for a penalty for sin. Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Though our sins were as scarlet, they became white as snow. On that day over two thousand years ago, the greatest love story was revealed to mankind. This story continues to unfold as we look forward to the day that we will sit at the table of the lover of our souls. There will be a marriage of the Bridegroom (Jesus) with the bride (the church), and the celebration will continue for all eternity.
Exodus 35:10-36:38 And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord's offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments" (Exod. 35:21, KJV). This is a beautiful story of how the people had a willing heart to give, to work and to serve. We learn in the next chapter how willing the people actually were. Exodus 36:5 says, "And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make" (KJV).
Proverbs 9:1-6 I've always wondered what the seven pillars of wisdom were. After studying the sevenfold anointing spoken of in Isaiah 11:2, I concluded that the seven pillars of wisdom must be the seven aspects of the Holy Spirit of the Lord. Isaiah 11:2 says, "And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord" (KJV).
Psalm 33:1-11 God spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. God is not a man that He should lie. I've heard it said the only thing God cannot do is lie. His Word is truth, and this psalm says His Word is right and all His works are done in truth. His Word not only is right, but it also has creative power. God spoke into being all of creation.
God has freely given us the tools we need to live a holy life that pleases Him—that's fabulous news! There's no need to fall short. The writer of Hebrews tells us:
Psalm 32:1-11 David knew the secret of the quiet place, and he had to constantly focus to remain in this quiet place. He writes, "Thou preparest a table for me in the presence of mine enemies" (Ps. 23:5, KJV). David had many enemies. However, he knew he was not fighting against flesh and blood. He knew his true enemy was Satan. David knew the secret to overcoming Satan. When Saul chased after him to kill him, David wrote, "Where can I flee from Your presence?" (Ps. 139:7). The presence of the Lord was always much stronger than the presence of the enemy to David. No matter what difficult situation David encountered, he knew the Lord was ever before him. He wrote, "Your face is ever before me."
God has given us the resources we need to live a holy life that pleases Him! There's no need to ever fall short. Consider what the writer of Hebrews tells us: Pursue…holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God. (12:14–15, NKJV)
Psalm 31:19-24 Imagine being in a pavilion set in a green meadow sprinkled with wild flowers. As you view the bright blue sky, the only sounds you hear are the birds singing, the quiet flow of the stream beside you and the Holy Spirit making melody in your heart. We can enter such a place daily as we walk in the Spirit. David knew this secret. "Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion far from the strife of tongues" (Ps. 31:20, KJV).
??"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9, NLT).
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