Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Warnings From The Master


Mark 9:42-50

The Lord Jesus Christ commanded us to protect the least among us from sin.

It is a very serious matter to cause one of God’s children to fall into sin.

It would be better off having a millstone ties around our neck and being cast into the sea.

When we harm one of God’s children, we are actually harming the Lord Himself.

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The Lord Jesus Christ said that if our hand, our foot or our eye causes us to sin, we are to take drastic action and amputate that body part, so that we will not give in to its desires.

The Lord Jesus Christ was using exaggeration to emphasize the horrible nature of sin.

He is not commanding us to mutilate our bodies.

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When temptation to sin comes into our lives, we must deal with it immediately, harshly, ruthlessly, consistently and decisively!

When a relationship is leading us into temptation and sin, we need to sever that relationship!

When some activity is leading us into temptation and sin, we need to cut that out of our lives immediately.

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The Lord Jesus Christ warned His disciples that nothing in this world is so valuable that it is worth going to Hell.

Hell is a horrible place.

The Lord Jesus Christ quoted Isaiah 66:24.

People in Hell will suffer in 2 terrible ways.

First, “the worms that eat them do not die.”

There will be internal torments in Hell.

Second, “and the fire is not quenched.”

There will be physical agonies too.

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The torments of Hell are real and horrible.

They are unceasing and unimaginable.

Hell is real!

If we do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, we will spend eternity there.

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The Lord Jesus Christ warned His disciples that serving Him requires sacrifice and purity.

They can expect to be cleansed through fire.

They may have to go through persecution and trials to make them more like the Lord Jesus Christ.

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The Lord Jesus Christ then said, “Salt is good.”

But when salt loses its saltiness, it is good for nothing.

It is to be thrown away.

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The Lord Jesus Christ then reminded us to have salt among ourselves.

We must not cause others to stumble and fall into sin.

And we must avoid sin at all costs in our own lives.

We must embrace a sacrificial life and the persecution that comes with it.

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The Lord Jesus Christ closed by saying “and be at peace with each other.”

We should not argue about who is the greatest.

We should not simply rebuke others.

Instead, we are to examine our own hearts.

We are to judge our own faults!

We are to live lives of commitment and character day by day.

We are to prove that we are God’s people by loving one another and by being at peace with each another!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Mission Of The Messiah


Mark 8:31-33

The Messiah’s Mission Revealed (31)

The Jews looked for God to send a Deliverer.

They anticipated a great military leader who would defeat Israel’s enemies, restore righteousness to the land, and purify and restore Temple worship to its ancient glory.

When the Lord Jesus came preaching, teaching, healing and calling men to repentance, He was not what they were expecting their Messiah to be.

Thus, they rejected Him.

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The disciples recognized the Lord Jesus as the Messiah.

They believed that He was the Christ, the fulfillment of the prophecies and the promises.

But they expected Him to attack the Romans and deliver the nation of Israel from bondage.

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The Lord Jesus revealed His mission to His disciples.

The Lord Jesus called Himself “the Son of Man”.

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He did not come to this world to live as King.

He came to die as a slave.

He came to suffer many things.

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The Lord Jesus told His disciples that He would be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law.

He was referring to the Sanhedrin.

This was a council made up of 70 Jewish leaders, which functioned as the Supreme Court in Israel.

It passed judgment on all matters related to religion and everyday life in Israel.

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The Lord Jesus told them that He would be killed!

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The Lord Jesus told them that He would rise again after 3 days.

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The Messiah’s Message Rebuked (32)

When the disciples heard what the Lord Jesus said, they were dumbfounded!

The concept that the Messiah, the Christ would actually die was more than they could comprehend!

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Peter took the Lord Jesus aside and began to rebuke Him.

He just couldn’t see a cross in the Lord’s future!

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The Messiah’s Men Reprimanded (33)

The Lord Jesus responded to Peter’s rebuke very harshly.

He turned His back to him and looked at the rest of the disciples.

Then He rebuked Peter.

He said, “Get behind me, Satan! You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

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The Lord Jesus heard in Peter’s words the voice of Satan.

Satan was using Peter to attack the Lord Jesus.

Peter was speaking the words of Satan.

Peter was being used by the devil.

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The Lord Jesus commanded Satan to leave.

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The disciples were looking for power, glory and position.

But those things only come after the Lord Jesus had suffered for sin on the cross.

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God’s plan involved the death of the Messiah.

Anyone who opposed that plan was doing the work of Satan!

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What is our reaction to the gospel of the Lord Jesus?

When we hear about His suffering, His death and His resurrection, do we rejoice that He would do that for us?

Do we embrace His death and the payment for our sin debt?

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“The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.”

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Let us rejoice and embrace the suffering, the death and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Savior Cares


Mark 8:1-9

The Multitudes And Their Need

These people had been with the Lord Jesus Christ for 3 days.

The Lord Jesus Christ had been preaching to them.

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Now that the teaching had ended, the Lord Jesus Christ was ready to dismiss them.

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The Lord Jesus Christ knew that these people had used up all their food and had nothing to eat on their journey home.

Some of them had traveled a long distance to hear Him.

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The Master And His Compassion

The Lord Jesus Christ saw the crowds and He knew their need.

They were tired and hungry.

They couldn’t possibly make the trip home without some food.

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The Lord Jesus Christ had compassion on them.

His heart went out to them.

He was moved by their need.

He decided to do something about it.

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The Miracle And Its Lessons

The Lord Jesus Christ declared His desire to feed them.

But He was immediately met with doubt.

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His disciples had already seen Him feed 5000 men besides women and children.

But they still doubted His ability to do the impossible.

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The Lord Jesus Christ asks them “How many loaves do you have?”

The disciples were called to give up the little amount of food they had.

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The Lord Jesus Christ took the small amount of food that was available, and thanked God for it.

He then broke it and gave it to His disciples to give to the crowd.

The loaves and the fishes multiplied as He broke them.

The miracle took place in the hand of the Lord.

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When the meal was finished and all were filled, the disciples collected the leftovers.

They collected 7 baskets full!

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This miracle reminds us that the Lord Jesus Christ is the universal Savior.

When He fed the 5000 people, the crowd was made up of Jews.

When this miracle was performed, He fed mostly Gentiles.

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This miracle reminds us that the Lord Jesus Christ is more than sufficient to meet our needs.

He has everything we need for our journey home.

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This miracle teaches us that great things can happen if we can just get the need into His hands!

A small amount of bread and fish became sufficient for a multitude because they got it into His hands.

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Do we have a need?

Let us get into His hands today!

Whatever our need may be, let us get it into His hands now!



Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ultimate Source Of Peace In The Lord Jesus


Mark 6:45-51

He Addressed Their Fear

Storms Are Under His Control

The disciples were terrified.

They were struggling.

They were afraid that they were going to die.

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The Lord Jesus demonstrated His control over the situation by walking on the water and later by calming the storm.

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Storms Are Part Of His Plan For Our Lives

The disciples were in the boat in the middle of the storm simply because they were in the will of God.

They were in the storm because the Lord Jesus sent them there!

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Storms are to be expected, but not feared.

They have been sent to us to help us grow more into the image of the Lord Jesus.

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Storms Are Always Of Limited Duration

The disciples thought that they were finished.

It appeared to them that they would perish in its fury.

When the Lord Jesus came on the scene, He put an end to the storm.

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He Addressed Their Faith

When Jesus came to the disciples walking upon the water, they thought He was a spirit and cried out in fear.

However, when He spoke to them, He addressed their fears.

Then, He gave them ample reason to believe that help had arrived.

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When the Lord Jesus got there, He quickly identified Himself to the disciples.

He said, "It is I."

It meant:
  • He is all powerful.
    He is the Almighty God! He has the power to help!
  • He is all present.
    He is with His children at all times, in all places, through all the difficulties of their lives.
  • He is all perceiving.
    He knows all things. He knows exactly what we are facing as we journey through life. And He is able to help us in our time of need.

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He Addressed Their Future

When the Lord Jesus came to the disciples that night, they were certain that their lives were over.

They were preparing to die.

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Yet, when the Lord Jesus came, He let them know that He had a plan for their future.

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It was He who had told them to get on the ship and go to the other side.

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He knew where they were.

He was responsible for where they were.

And He had a plan for them when they reached the other side!

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When the storms of life are raging, always remember that the Lord Jesus is there for us.

He longs to comfort our heart and replace our fears with His perfect peace.

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To do this, we must first be willing to cast our cares onto Him and to come to Him by faith.

As our life unfolds, do not make the Lord Jesus our last resort, rather make Him our first resort.

Turn to Him quickly and fully and He will bless us abundantly.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Second Chance


Mark 6:1-6

The Lord Jesus returned to His hometown, Nazareth.

The last time He was there, things didn’t go well for Him.

He went to the synagogue and preached from Isaiah 61 (Luke 4:16-20).

In that service, He proclaimed Himself to be the Jewish Messiah.

But the people rejected His message and tried to kill Him.

He left Nazareth and preached in other places in Galilee.

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Now, a year later, He returned.

He wanted to give His family, His friends and His neighbors another chance to receive Him and His message.

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The People Were Shocked By His Preaching (2)

When He began to speak, the people who heard Him were amazed.

They were filled with fear.

They immediately spoke among themselves about:

His Words

The Lord Jesus preached with grace and charm.

His words were filled with divine authority.

He knew what He was talking about.

His words must either be accepted or rejected.

His Wisdom

When the Lord Jesus spoke, His words were filled with truth.

He taught spiritual truth by using the common everyday things around them.

The Lord’s wisdom left the people shaking their heads in disbelief.

His Works

The people had heard about the miracles He had performed elsewhere.

They could not believe it.

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The People Stumbled Over His Person (3)

The people of Nazareth rejected His message because they thought they knew everything about Him.

They saw Him as a common man!

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They knew His occupation.

They call Him a carpenter.

They saw Him as a common craftsman.

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They were offended in Him.

They refused to listen to Him.

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They resorted to ridicule!

They called Him the son of Mary.

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They reacted to His words, His wisdom and His works with contempt and unvarnished ridicule.

They could not accept what they could not explain!

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The People Were Shunned By His Power (4-6)

The people rejected Him and His message.

Familiarity breeds contempt.

They looked at Him and saw Him as one of their own.

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Because of their unbelief, the Lord Jesus Christ was unable to perform many miracles there.

Only a few sick folks were healed.

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A few people came to Him in faith and those people received His help.

The rest rejected Him and were rejected by Him.

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When the Lord Jesus saw the depth of their rejection, He marveled at their unbelief.

He marveled at the lack of faith among His own people.

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These people had heard the truth, seen the truth and still turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to that truth.

As a result, the Lord Jesus Christ left Nazareth again.

There is no record that He ever returned there again.

Their rejection of the Lord Jesus was total.

The Lord Jesus Christ abandoned them to their choice!

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Many have become a lot like the people of Nazareth.

They are so familiar with the things of God, the message of the Bible, the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ, the burial and the resurrection that they are no longer moved by them.

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They have allowed their hearts to grow cold and calloused toward the things of God.

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Today would be a good day to get before the Lord and ask Him to warm our cold heart one more time.