As I listened, He said to the others, “Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, the mothers and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark.” – Ezekiel 9:6a
God has brought His judgement upon Israel for this disobedience and great evil. They have forsaken God and His ways and now judgement must come upon them. However, God relents against those who have followed His way; He protects those who mourn over the great evil that has come against the people. Because God never forsakes the faithful and just people.
I have to remember that in times of great evil. Our country sits upon a precipice and it has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with morality. This country has all but forsaken the ways of God and the morality of Scripture. People go about doing whatever the desire in their hearts is to do. I must not become a part of that, I must remain faithful and just in the sight of God.
Although I don’t always get it right, I repent when I am wrong or fall into temptation. I will not however, join the crowd and declare what is evil, as good. I will not accept societies standards of what is right and wrong, I will remain faithful to His Word. And my thought is not to do this out of obligation but out of my love for Christ. I cannot dishonor His sacrifice by bending my will to people, but I must remain faithful to the One who was faithful.
So, today as we look out in this great country of ours and see the great atrocities perpetrated in the name of whatever, let us remain in the morality of God. Let us follow His ways and deny the Devil his foothold in the name of Jesus Christ. Then let’s fight back with the Gospel and Good News because the best way to combat evil is with love. The best way to move people from their immorality is with a better way of life that does not lead to shame or guilt but to everlasting life in Christ. Let us remember Joshua 1:9, “Have I not told you to be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
By the Power of Jesus,
“Therefore, keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back – whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If He comes suddenly, do not let Him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: Watch!” - Mark 13:35-37
Jesus is speaking about the end times, about the time He will return to claim His chosen back to Him and to bring about the end of this age, this time of sin and death. He will come for a renewal of the earth so that His chosen people, the people of God may inhabit the perfect earth as it was always meant to be. Jesus will come back and restore all things.
Many of us can get an unhealthy preoccupation with the end times, but Jesus tried to tell us, don’t worry about the day or time for even the Son does not know, but only the Father knows. What He is saying is that it isn’t important what day or time He comes, but that we are ready for Him to come. We are on watch and leading lives that are ready at any time for His return. Lives that are led in excitement of His return.
I had someone ask me one time when I thought the end times where. I replied by telling them, we are in the end times and have been since Jesus ascension into heaven. And the end can come at any time, if you don’t believe me then watch what happens if you step out in front of a bus, bang, it’s the end for you. When we pass from this life and into death, we face the end times and our decisions have been made.
Since I don’t know the day or hour I will pass from this life, I must be prepared and so I will focus on leading a life that leads others to Jesus. I will live a life that honors God to the best of my ability. When I fail in this life I will repent and come back on watch and be alert. I will not be deceived by any false prophets but will be alert in the Word for the Truth.
Let’s do that today, let’s acknowledge that there is an end and Jesus will return. We can acknowledge that this earth will one day pass away and Jesus will reclaim His chosen. But lets also not dwell upon it, but upon now and the people who need Jesus now. Let’s work on lives that show Christ to others and in doing so be alert for the time that will one day come. Let’s focus on winning souls and not when Jesus will come back other than to realize it can be at any time. So, lets focus on the urgency and importance of bringing the Gospel to those who are in need and leading lives that prove that Gospel true.
Calling His disciples to Him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.” Mark 12: 43-44
All of this comes after the arguments with the teachers of the law and their hypocrisy. They did not have good intentions or good hearts. As a matter of fact, in their hypocrisy they prove Jesus’ point more often then not. They did not know the Law, only knew of the Law. They did not understand how to apply it, but this poor woman did, for she gave to the Lord what she had from her very own heart.
What is my two cents? Am I offering to the Lord what I have from the heart? This does not have to just be about money, it can be every offering I give. Whether it is my time, money, energy or effort, is it given with a heart for the Lord is always the question to ask. I want my two cents to come form my heart and out of a desire to love the Lord with all that I have. To love Jesus with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.
But how? I must give freely and without reservation. Too many times I have caught myself offering out of reluctance, perhaps I am tired, or short on cash this week. I can have a heart of reluctance that says, but if I give I won’t have. What I can learn from this woman is that if I give, I will always have and have in abundance. For the Lord always provides for me and my family.
The woman has show the Spirit of God’s Kingdom in just a few short verses and with two copper pennies. God provides and is pleased with the willing giver. The one who gives from the heart and without reservation and without expectation, just with all the love and joy they can muster. I want to live my life of worship just like that, just like this poor woman.
So, today, I will give and out of the treasures of my heart I will give. Won’t you join me in the giving, in the blessing of the Lord from what we have. God never asks from what we don’t have, just from what we have. And we will be willing to give. We will have a heart of charity and bless by our giving those who do not have. We will given of our time, money, effort and energy so that the Lord can use His willing servant to change somebodies world.
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘God, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:22-24
This comes after Jesus had cursed the fig tree. Peter was amazed because he did not understand the power of prayer in a person’s life. He had doubted that things like this could be done through the power of prayer. Jesus was correcting their perspective on these things so that they could have powerful prayer lives.
What about me? What does my prayer life look like? I want to have a powerful prayer life and to do so I must believe in what I pray about. This means first and foremost, my will must be in line with God’s will, so that what I ask is not for the silly things of this world, but for the things of God. When my prayers align with His will, nothing can stop what is to come.
What do I pray for? Sometimes we have no idea, but that is what the Spirit is for, to translate the things of the heart upward, as it says in Romans 8:26. But when I do, can I not say to the mountain to throw itself into the see and it will be done? That is the prayer life I hope for and the pray life I am trying to live out in my life.
I have seen firsthand the power of prayer. I have seen it make the sick well, I have seen it make the impossible possible and I have seen it open doors into the realm of life for those who are lost. Prayer is the most powerful but most neglected tool in the Christian toolbox. We can use it to rebuke Satan and use it to save lives, yet even I treat it as hand-me-down clothing sometimes.
So, today, I refuse to see prayer as some tool of the weak minded, no I will see it for its true nature, a powerful tool for the kingdom and a powerful weapon against the enemy. I will see it as a direct communication with the creator and I will treat it with respect and awe, but I will also use prayer as frequently as possible. It will be the first thing I do in any situation and the last thing I do before I sleep. May the Lord be in me and grant me faith that I might believe and that it will be done.
God Bless You,
People were bringing little children to Jesus for Him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was angered. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom belongs to such as these.” “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” – Mark 10:13-15
Jesus was putting blessing on the Children because they were pure of faith and believed in Him. They had no hindrance to come, they were not afraid, they carried no baggage with them, but freely come to be blessed by Jesus. Adults on the other hand have a harder time because they have bundles of baggage to bring with them to Christ.
I remember being young and believing in all sorts of magical things, Santa Clause, Mickey Mouse, and of course the Force of the Jedi. But in the end, I knew only one thing to be truly real and that was God. I knew He heard my prayers and my thanksgivings. There was just something inside that said it was real and that He actually heard me. You have to understand, I did not grow up in the Church, but this came from inside a beckoning and calling that can only come from God.
As I grew and many of the magical things fell away, I was disappointed at the reality, but the one thing, in 41 years of life that has never failed me is Jesus Christ. He still hears me when I call and He still jumps with joy with I come into His arms. He pours His blessings upon me every single day and loves me even in the trials.
Now that I am older, sometimes I do come with baggage, but when I lay it down at His feet, I remember the feeling of being a child and coming freely to Christ. Letting go of every single thing and just running with joy to the one who has saved me, who has captured my heart. I don’t pretend to have it all figured out, I just know that when I come with that joy and gladness, I get to be free in Christ.
How about you this morning? Are you carrying too much of a load? Well put it down at Jesus feet. Pray to Him and believe and it will be taken from you. Let your bags fall and come running with joy and gladness in your heart to the Lord so that He may pour His blessings upon you. If you are in Christ, “You are free indeed.” (John 8:36) And what a great freedom to know that no one or nothing can keep me form this joy and love that I find in Jesus Christ.
May His Blessing Be Upon You,
“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told them to stop, because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.” – Mark 9:38-40
Jesus teaches and important lesson, about unity, to His disciples, we aren’t the only ones. They said, he is not one of us and Jesus says, because of His faith he is one of us. In this He is telling them, they aren’t the only ones who have faith or who know. But people are seeing what Jesus is doing and truly believing and then going forth and doing for others as had been done for them.
It is no different for us today. In our country we have so many “denominations” of the Church. Each one with their own theologies, but what if the Church came together as one voice. I have been in places that swear if you are not a part of their faith, then you are going to hell. But Christ put this to rest when He stated, if they are not against me, they are for me. So, why do we want to place lines in the sand or walls up to prevent the Church from being one.
We may not all agree on everything, but if we believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God, that He was born of Mary and lived a perfect life on this earth, died on the cross and was risen on the third day, now sitting at the right hand of God. And if we believe He is the Lord of our life, but inside and out, then aren’t we all on the same side? For that is the confession of faith and by grace then we are saved.
Therefore, let us come together as one voice in Christ to lift up the Lord and bring others to Him. Let us set aside the non-sense and hurt and make Christ number one. Let us break down the walls that separate the Church and bring together all believers for a revival that shakes the very foundation of our country. And we will see change that wakes a sleeping nation and turns their eyes to Christ. Then, He will be our God and we will be His people.
Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way He asked them, “Who do people say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” He asked, “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” – Mark 8:27-29
Who is it that I say Jesus is? Peter calls him Messiah and in some of the books, he is commended for his revelation about Jesus. But what about me? Do I declare the same thing in my life? Have I declared Jesus as Messiah or savior? It is important that I do, because He is and I have to come to that realization on my own, no one can make this declaration for me, it has to be solely mine.
To declare Jesus as Savior is more than just a verbal declaration however. We see, just a few verses down, that Peter is rebuked by Jesus for not being on board with God’s plan. See, Peter may have proclaimed with his mouth, but his actions showed otherwise. Although we know that Peter goes on to be a great advocate for the Gospel, there would have to be some great growth on his part first.
In my heart it is the same, I must not only declare Jesus as Savior with my lips but in my actions as well. I had a great conversation the other day with someone who told me about a woman who professed faith but still ran around cussing up a storm and not changing her behaviors. Now, I am not saying we have to be perfect to come to Christ, but when we come there should be a change brought upon us, by the Spirit.
For, if we proclaim and have been baptized and received the Spirit, hadn’t the Spirit ought to have been at work inside of me. Now, there may not be a profound change, but something as simply as not running around cursing all the time is a pretty simple thing to do. Yet, there must be change in my life somewhere and somehow if I proclaim Him as Savior.
This thought of Jesus being Savior should have the greatest impact on my life. I ought to be forever changed and changing to look more like Him. Today, I want to reflect on my life and see if change has happened and to see what change still needs to happen. There are still parts of my life where Christ is rebuking my spirit and calling me to change. If I proclaim Him as Messiah then I must listen, else I fall into the Devil’s snare, thinking I can come so far and then just stop.
Let it be in our lives today, that we call Him Messiah! Let it be that we proclaim not only with our lips but in our hearts and with our actions as well. Let us go forth and proclaim Him and show people the true change His love can bring our lives. Let’s truly proclaim Jesus as Messiah of our lives.
And You, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. – Eze 2:6-7
And so, Ezekiel has been given a task to take the Word of God before the people. Not only to take the Word, but to do so boldly and without fear. The people are rebellious and there is no telling what they will do to him, but the Lord strengthens his resolve by telling him not to be afraid. God is with those who deliver the Word and will guide them on their path.
The command is no different for me in Matt 28 where Christ tell the disciples to, “Go into every nation preaching the Good News.” I am to carry the Word of God everywhere I go. When I do, I do not have to be afraid, for the Lord will guide my path and I have been rescued already.
Sure, this country is a scary place to share the Word, but not so much so, when compared to many of the other countries in this world which are imprisoning people and beheading them for sharing the Word. I count myself blessed when I can go freely and share the Word of God with people. I am surprised at how many of them, even in my small community, are intimidated when I bring it up to them, but that is the power of the Word.
And so, I go out boldly before the people in the way of the Lord with the Word of the Lord. I look to harvest the lost by the Words of salvation and the Good News. I can win them not by cutting them down but by harvesting them to the Word. By lifting them up and letting them know there is a God who cares about them. I lift them up by letting them know, the Church is here for them, not to condemn but to deliver the Good News and to save them.
Today, won’t you join me in spreading the Word of God, the Good News of Salvation before the people. Let’s go forth boldly and decide to share with just one person today, to ask the question once today, “Do you know the Lord?” or “Have you heard the Good News?” You will be astonished at the response by the people, especially when we stride forth boldly in the Lord and His Word.
But He answered, “You give them something to eat.” – Mark 6:37
They were commanded by Jesus to give them something to eat and they only had 5 loaves and two fish. Yet they were able to feed a crowd over 5,000 people. Jesus gave thanks over the loaves and the fish and God provided for them what was their need.
In life it may seem like you don’t have a lot to offer, perhaps just 5 loaves and 2 fish, but God’s math is not like our math. He can multiple to suit our need from what we have. God works with what you have been given if you are willing to give what you have. Then when its done, there is always way more that what was needed, that is the blessing.
Many times, in life, I have doubted what God can do with me. However, when I have stepped out in faith, I have found that God has always provided, in abundance, what is needed to accomplish the task at hand. Sometimes its wisdom, knowledge, effort, energy or money, but whatever it was, God provided and there was always some left over to collect.
So, as I look at myself in the mirror today, I am not going to see what I see, but I am going to look and see what God sees, potential. God can use any person and, in any situation, to fulfill His will and purpose. He doesn’t need what the world tells us, some kind of hero, He needs you. He needs any who are willing; He needs those who have faith.
Today, I want you to look in the mirror and say, “God can use me today.” Believe what you have said and have faith by stepping out in the world convinced that God is going to use you today for something great and it will be so. Even though it may just be telling someone your story in Christ, it will greatly change somebody’s world and you may never even know.