Archive for June, 2016

TRUST: In the Power of Jesus

June 30, 2016

TRUST: In the Power of Jesus is what is revealed in the gospels to lead us to TRUST in Jesus period. In Mark 5 , we see Jesus show His power and/or authority over demons who didn’t just ask, but they pleaded or begged Jesus to send them into a herd of pigs. When one begs another, the beggar shows his/her subserviency to the whom is begged. Jesus shows that miracles are brought about and granted at the level of faith that one has in Him. The synagogue ruler daughter is healed because he believed that she could be healed if Jesus just put His hand on her. The woman who had been subject to bleeding was healed because she had the faith that she’d be heal if she just touched the hem of Jesus’ garment even if she did not think He would notice that power had come from Him, even if she thought let me do this secretly because I would not want to make Him ceremonially unclean by touching Him. Jesus shows the miracle that we don’t make Him unclean but He provides cleansing for us.

Now in Mark 6, we see the outcomes of the woman who was healed by touching the hem of Jesus’ garment. We see other people TRUST: In the Power of Jesus. Let’s look in to what took place.

53 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there.54 As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. 55 They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.

The entire point of the work of Jesus is to lead people to faith in Christ. TRUST: In the Power of Jesus was evidenced in this passage. We see that people begged to let them touch not just him but to touch even the edge (hem) of his cloak (garment). The Word tells us that all who touched it were healed. The goal was not healing but faith in Christ first for the initial recipient then for all who saw or heard about what Jesus did.

As such, TRUST: In the Power of Jesus should be the end game for every believer. Every believer should be committed to being the star witness of what miracles Jesus has performed in his/her life. In fact, this is the only reason that I write these posts. I want to give testimony to who Jesus is, His character, and what Jesus has done, His work/power. Faith is being sure of what we hoped for and certain of what we do not see. That woman was sure that Jesus could heal her and certain that if she touched the hem of His garment she would be healed. In a multiplicity of circumstances, I have been sure of what I hoped for and certain of what I did not see. For example, the school where I work still needs four teachers. I am convinced that God is aligning the right people for this time in their lives and in the lives of everyone else who will be in the building. I will have to work, but I am convinced, I have faith, that God will provide us the best people to accomplish His will for the lives of all who will be there.

TRUST: In the Power of Jesus is exactly that. I am trusting in the power of Jesus to provide the teachers who fit in His will at this point in time at the school. I am trusting in Jesus to provide the faith and strength for my daughter to have a successful transition to high school. I am trusting in the power of Jesus to motivate my son to excellence in education. I am trusting in the power of Jesus to continue saving people in my immediate family. I am trusting in the power of Jesus to not on continue to sustain my marriage but to make it thrive. I am trusting in the power of Jesus to continue protecting and providing for us. Why? I want other people to see and hear about God’s work in our lives that they pursue Him just as those in the passage pursued Jesus because of the level of faith of the woman who touched His garment. That is why I aspire to have faith that amazes.

In Luke 7, the Centurion had faith that amazed Jesus. Here is what the text said about him. “When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.” What had the Centurion said that amazed Jesus? If we read the passage, the Centurion did not need Jesus to come and touch someone; nor did he need someone to touch Jesus’ garment. He was a man of authority and knew the power of the word of one who is sovereign, who has all power. He told Jesus “But say the word, and my servant will be healed.” When we have faith in the power of Jesus by just saying the Word, we have faith that amazes.

Will you TRUST: In the Power of Jesus? Whatever you are facing today TRUST: In the Power of Jesus.

TRUST: If You Recognized Jesus, You’d Run to Him.

June 29, 2016

In our society, athletes have a vaunted position. They are well-known and are recognized by people everywhere. People walk up to them asking for autographs. Many would love to be in their inner circle just to be close to someone who is rich and famous. It is a sad commentary on how mankind values human life. If you are not praised for some position or prosperity, you are easily overlooked by the masses. That mindset connects with what we see in Mark 6TRUST: If You Recognized Jesus, You’d Run to Him.

Mark 6

45 Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.

47 Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them,49 but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50 because they all saw him and were terrified.

Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, 52 for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.

53 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there.54 As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. 55 They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.

From the previous passages, we learned TRUST: Miracle after Miracle after Miracle. Jesus had performed miracle after miracle. If not for only the healing power, people wanted access to Jesus. The followed Him time after time once they saw His ability to hear or provide. It makes me question where are people’s interest in Jesus today. Are they not seeing His healings? Are they not experiencing His provision? It leads me to say TRUST: If You Recognized Jesus, You’d Run to Him.

In the passage above, Jesus could not even step foot on the ground before people recognized Him. Here, recognize is to perceive or know by sight, hearing, of certain signs, to perceive who a person is. They knew that Jesus had healed and could heal them or ones that they knew. They knew that Jesus had provided for 5,000 plus people from five loaves and two fish with twelve baskets left over after everyone was satisfied. They recognized Jesus and ran to Jesus. Hear the Word of the Lord. “54 As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. 55 They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. ” TRUST: If You Recognized Jesus, You’d Run to Him.

It begs me to ask of myself to I recognize Jesus? Do I know who He is? Why aren’t I running to Him about my children’s welfare, marriage, hip, refinancing my home, my friends challenges and aspirations, parents health, next school year. Like the disciples who witnessed Him feeding the 5,000 people, my heart is hardened. The Greek word for harden in verse 52 is pōroō (pō-ro’-ō). It means to grow hard, callous, become dull, lose the power of understanding. It is to render stupid or blind our understanding. TRUST: If You Recognized Jesus, You’d Run to Him.

Open God’s Word. Ask God to open your eyes, ears, heart and mind to who Jesus is and what Jesus can do. Then read for I TRUST: If You Recognized Jesus, You’d Run to Him.

I have read that “With this description of the healing ministry of Jesus, Mark concludes a brief section where we see the power of Jesus over the laws of nature. Normally, five thousand are not fed by one small lunch. Normally, men don’t walk on water. Normally, the sick are not instantly healed. None of this is normal, except by the power of God. If Jesus had this kind of great power then, does He not have the same power now? Is your idea of God too small?”

 

 

 

TRUST: Jesus Walked On Water

June 28, 2016

In our world, some people are showoffs. They are gifted and they want everyone to know that they are gifted. Pride is at the heart of their efforts. Contrary to popular positions, Jesus’ behaviors are against the norm of society, but He is the standard. Not only is Jesus gifted, He is God. TRUST: Jesus Walked On Water is evidence of His deity.

TRUST: Jesus Walked On Water is revealed in Mark 6. Jesus had sent His disciples over by boat. Being concerned for them, He saw that they were having a hard time rowing because of the winds and the tough waves it created. Jesus intervenes in their lives, but like us, we don’t always recognize that God is working and fear seizes us. Jesus spoke to His disciples to quiet their nerves and to center their hearts and minds. Let’s take a look.

Mark 6.

45 Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.

47 Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50 because they all saw him and were terrified.

Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, 52 for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.

53 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there.54 As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. 55 They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.

It was unheard of for someone to walk on water. I am not sure why they did not recognize Him, but they did not. They all were terrified at the sight of seeing Him walk on water. In their terror, they cried out – presumably to God. When they cried out, the Word says, “immediately he spoke to them.” I am not sure what is more impressive Jesus walking on water or Jesus responding to the cries of His disciples. He gave them a command. Take Courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid. Jesus told the disciples it’s me guys stand in courage and do not be afraid.

TRUST: Jesus Walked On Water showing that He is supernatural. Since He is supernatural, He can support me in the natural. This is what the disciples saw, but what they were commanded. Take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid. What are you facing now that strikes fear into your heart and mind? Have you cried out to Him about it? Jesus shows that no matter our  condition He responds when we cry out to Him. As He did with the disciples, Jesus cares for us. Whatever your concerns are Jesus tells us ““Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” John 14:1

TRUST: Jesus Walked On Water and He also calmed the waters. The text tells us “Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, 52 for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.” There are times in our lives that the winds or troubles of life will only die down when Jesus is in the boat with us. He only comes where He is invited. The disciples cried out. Jesus came and got in the boat with them. They were amazed at His authority over the winds and water. They had not recognized or believed when He fed the 5,000 plus. How many times in our lives has God done something amazing and we just don’t see it. It goes over our head or we are simply too sinful to accept it. Jesus is committed to helping us understand who He is and what He can do. In fact, TRUST: Jesus Walked On Water is all about use realizing that He is God and can do all things.

Where has He walked on water in your life, but you missed it. Cry out to Him, and Jesus will come to your aid to help you see that He is God and that He can do all things.

TRUST: Before Jesus Walked on Water

June 27, 2016

For those in Christendom, there is no doubt of accepting the account of Jesus walking on water written in Mark 6. In our lives, we tend to focus on the sensational or extraordinary. Take any news headline from economics to athletics, it is the sensational that grabs the attention of viewers/readers. In most of life though, it is not the sensational or extraordinary that is the norm but the day-to-day or commonplace that is reflective of life. It prompts me to say TRUST: Before Jesus Walked on Water.

TRUST: Before Jesus Walked on Water is sensational on the surface or at first glance, but there is substantial evidence that direct us to the day-to-day or mundane. I believe that the sensational occurs in life to lead us to a greater understanding or consciousness. Let’s take a look of an example of this from Mark 6.

45 Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.

47 Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50 because they all saw him and were terrified.

Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, 52 for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.

53 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there.54 As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. 55 They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.

The background to the text above is that Jesus had just finished feeding the 5,000 plus people with five loaves and two fish. Clearly, that is sensational or extraordinary. What do we see happening following that miracle. Jesus doing yeoman or common work. It was the day-to-day or ordinary that Jesus was engaged. He sent His disciples away while he dismissed the crowd whom He had fed. What is more is what He did after send thing crowd away. TRUST: Before Jesus Walked on Water. What did Jesus do after the people were gone. The Word tells us “After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.”

TRUST: Before Jesus Walked on Water, He prayed.  He went alone to up on a mountain to pray. Why? He had just spent a day attending to the physical and spiritual needs of the people. As one whom people constantly look to solve problems or attend to their needs, I can relate to a long day that is exhausting; however, this is where the similarities end for me. All I want to do after such a day is to go home, be alone and rest. Jesus, on the other hand, went to be alone but not to rest. He went to be with God to pray. It has been said that hard day drove Jesus to prayer, not from prayer. This the day-to-day or mundane that God expects of us. He expects us to be driven to prayer not from prayer. God’s goal and example is for us to see that we are to be driven to pray after a day especially after the sensational or extraordinary.

TRUST: Before Jesus Walked on Water, He prayed. I must confess that my normal response is not to be driven to pray. It is just to “chill”. I stand convicted and corrected. I confess to the Father that my actions have not been aligned to those of His Son. If you are like me, I suggest that you reconcile your mindset to that of Christ. Yes, we are to be actively engaged in meeting the needs of others if given that as a responsibility, but to meet our need, we need to pray. Jesus sought refuge and retreat in prayer. It is reconnecting with the Father that recharges or refreshes us. It allows us to praise Him for what He has accomplished in our lives that day. It allows us to refocus on God and His will rather than focusing on ourselves. Perhaps more than anything, it prepared Jesus and prepares us for God’s next assignment to represent Him to the portion of the world He has chosen to allow us to impact.

TRUST: Before Jesus Walked on Water, He prayed. If Jesus prayed, we should pray. This will be my application. I will seek to go pray after a long day especially one where I have witnessed God do incredible things in meeting the needs of people. What about you? You see that before Jesus manifested another miracle, walking on water, He prayed. What will you do?

TRUST: Miracle after Miracle after Miracle

June 24, 2016

TRUST is a huge component of our lives. Just this past week, it was the number one theme that surfaced at a summer professional learning session at the school where I work. TRUST surfaced in so many areas. The thing about life is much of what we believe is rooted in faith or TRUST. With one another, we develop feelings about a person that may or may not be based on fact. We typically make up our mind about a person’s trustworthiness after one to two incidents with them. Likewise, we do the same with God. We treat God as if He is not trustworthy. Many of us cut Him off after a perceived failure on His part. The bible is here to provide us proof of who God is, His character, and what God has done, His power/work, as a means to give us truth to shape our TRUST. TRUST: Miracle after Miracle after Miracle has shown that God is trustworthy and able.

In regards to Jesus, we should TRUST: Miracle after Miracle after Miracle; yet, we struggle in TRUSTing Him. As I have been reading through the book of Mark, God has revealed to us Miracle after Miracle after Miracle to provide substance for our faith to be established in Christ not in our sight or in our feelings. Let’s do a quick survey through chapter 6 of the gospel of Mark.

Mark 1 – Jesus heals a demon-possessed man by casting out the impure spirit; He healed Simon’s mother-in-law of her fever, many of their sicknesses and diseases. He cast out or drove out demons from others. Lastly, Jesus heals a man with leprosy.

Mark 2 – Jesus forgives sins and heals a paralyzed man. In the forgiving of sins, Jesus affirms another miracle – that God was among us. God incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ. The teachers of the law stated “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” They knew that God could forgive sins, but they could not bring themselves to believe that Jesus was God, but He is. Less known as a miracle, Jesus challenges and changes religious norms by eating with sinners, challenged norms on the Sabbath by consenting to have his disciples pick grain to eat i.e. work, and proclaimed again to be God who is over the Sabbath.

Mark 3 – He extended is challenge of working on Sabbath by healing a man with a shriveled hand. He continued to heal many of their diseases and to have demons now just surrender to come out of people at His presence. The Word says, “11 Whenever the impure spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 But he gave them strict orders not to tell others about him.” Demons confessed and affirmed that Jesus was God.

Mark 4 – In perhaps the most overlooked miracle, Jesus opens the eyes of man to the truth of God. Jesus also calms the storm and evidences that He has authority not just over diseases and demons but also of nature. “39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!””

Mark 5 – Again in this chapter, Jesus shows His authority over demons who didn’t just ask, but they pleaded or begged Jesus to send them into a herd of pigs. When one begs another, the beggar shows his/her subserviency to the whom is begged. Jesus shows that miracles are brought about and granted at the level of faith that one has in Him. The synagogue ruler daughter is healed because he believed that she could be healed if Jesus just put His hand on her. The woman who had been subject to bleeding was healed because she had the faith that she’d be heal if she just touched Jesus’ garment even if she did not think He would notice that power had come from Him, even if she thought let me do this secretly because I would not want to make Him ceremonially unclean by touching Him. Jesus shows the miracle that we don’t make Him unclean be He provides cleansing for us.

Mark 6 – Here we see the miracle of Jesus feeding more than 5,000 people from 5 loaves and 2 fish. Jesus evidences His creative attribute as God to multiply or create enough food to feed over 5,000 people from five loaves and two fish. He also shows His authority over nature and physical laws by walking on water. He calmed waters again and walked on water to get to the disciples who were in the boat out on the body of water. Jesus reinforces the greatest miracle that He came to His creation who hearts had been hardened by sin to free them of that. ““Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, 52 for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.” He finishes the chapter by healing more people.

We should TRUST: Miracle after Miracle after Miracle; yet, we struggle in TRUSTing Him. We make up our minds about people some times just by looking at them or hearing about them. When it comes to Jesus Christ, we abandon that which we live by most of the time. His miraculous acts appeal to what we see and hear which are the two most common ways we develop belief or faith albeit incorrectly. We still do not TRUST Jesus when He has climbed into the boat with us.

TRUST: Miracle after Miracle after Miracle as Jesus is deserving of our TRUST, faith, belief in Him. Jesus tells us so. In John 14:11, He says, “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.” Look at the evidence of the works in your life that Jesus is God; then, TRUST Him!

TRUST: Jesus’ Provision Leads to Your Satisfaction

June 21, 2016

Have you ever expected something that was supposed to be so great but was not after you experienced it? I am sure that you have. All of us have had expectations greater than the reality of what we experienced. Whether with food, relationships, vehicles, new technology, new mobile phone or television provider, we all have been left wanting.

There is only one with whom I have never been left wanting. That is Jesus. I will admit that I experienced wanting with the Lord, but it was because I was premature on waiting for Him to act. We often put God in a box. If God does not do something in the time we want, the way we want, we may walk away wanting. God is not a puppet or genie, He does not say your wish is my every command. When He does act on our behalf, rest assured that there is one conclusion – TRUST: Jesus’ Provision Leads to Your Satisfaction.

TRUST: Jesus’ Provision Leads to Your Satisfaction is a real and repeated phenomena. Like a cold drink of water on a hot summer’s day or hot coffee or hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day, Jesus’s provision for us is just right. It is always just in time as well. Maybe not in our time, but in His infinite wisdom, it is the right and perfect time when God acts. Let’s see an example from Mark 6.

30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”

37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”

They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages[h]! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”

38 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”

When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”

39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.

Prompted by the love of God, Jesus’ provision is the result of God’s purpose found in a command or a promise. In either case, God assumes the responsibility to provide what we need for His purpose to be fulfilled via a command for us to do something or a promise for Him to do something.

Jesus was preparing His disciples to take the mantle of establishing the church through which God would fulfill His purposes and promises to reconcile man unto Himself. Jesus had recognized the disciples need for food and rest, so He directed them to go to a solitary place. Before they could get settled, people continued to follow them. Jesus, filled with compassion i.e. pity for man’s condition, acted to meet the needs of the people by teaching them more about Him. Furthermore, He not only addressed their spiritual needs, but their physical needs as well. The people, of which there were more than 5,000, were hungry. There was no food near by, and Jesus had commanded the disciples to give the people something to eat. This is when we see TRUST: Jesus Can Do the Impossible. It was at this time that Jesus blessed what the people had, five loaves and two fish, that we saw Jesus do the impossible. He supernaturally stretched or multiplied the five loaves and two fish to feed everyone and to have twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish left over.

After meeting the needs of the people, let us observe their condition. Verse 42 says, “They all ate and were satisfied”. That is the basis of TRUST: Jesus’ Provision Leads to Your Satisfaction. This is true of His provision for the physical, but even more true for the spiritual. Just in these first few chapters of Mark,TRUST: Jesus’ Provision Leads to Your Satisfaction is confirmed. Whether calming the storm by commanding the wind and waves, the restoration of the demon possessed man, of the sick woman or of the dead girl, we can TRUST: Jesus’ Provision Leads to Your Satisfaction. The fact that the people had their fill and were satisfied is just another example of how Jesus, not Snickers, satisfies.

Have you consistently experienced TRUST: Jesus’ Provision Leads to Your Satisfaction. If not, it may be because you have not TRUSTed in Jesus. TRUST Him today for your needs and watch Him provide to your satisfaction.

TRUST: Jesus Can Do the Impossible.

June 20, 2016

As an adolescent, I had the typical human struggles with self-concept. I remember struggling hard with some Algebra concepts in 7th grade. My dad got me a tutor who at the time gave me a humanistic version of Philippians 4:13. The words he gave me encouraged me to believe in myself because I could do all things. Well, immediately, I knew that was not true. Positive thinking only works when you are convinced that the possible can happen. I knew my limitations. There were simply somethings that were not going to happen regardless of how positive I was.

As God intervened in my life several years later, I learned the difference between positive thinking and faith. Hebrews 11 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.(NIV) or Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.(NKJV)” Faith is being able to believe in spite of your limitations because the object of your faith, God, has no limitations. We only learn this through experience. Life with God is a faith walk. It is on this walk that we learn TRUST: Jesus Can Do the Impossible.

In the post TRUST: Don’t Laugh Just Believe, it was discussed that God often tells us to believe in what appears to be absurd i.e. an impossibility. With God, impossible becomes I’m Possible as Keith Brown would say. God is possible because God has no limitations on His power to accomplish His desires. Let’s see TRUST: Jesus Can Do the Impossible in action.

Mark 6

30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”

37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”

They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages[h]! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”

38 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”

When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”

39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.

Did you see TRUST: Jesus Can Do the Impossible? Let me walk with you in it. Jesus tells his disciples to feed the people of which there were thousands. It was also late in the day. Jesus had been teaching the people out of His compassion for them. Again, it was late in the day. This is what took place when a disciple came to Jesus.

35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37 But he answered, You give them something to eat.

The disciple wanted to tell the people to move on, so they could get something to eat. Jesus told his disciples “You give them something to eat.” Now, we can relate to them on this level. We believe that God has told us to do something that is beyond our means or ability to do it. When it is definitely something God has told us to do, we can expect God to do for us what He did for the disciples. When God gives a directive or command to do something, He will provide you what you need to accomplish that task.

It seemed absurd to the disciples to get thousands of people something to eat. We know this by the recorded response – “That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?” It was absurd because the amount seemed too much. For us, it could be that we have very little or nothing that God asks for. Give it because God can provide. Remember the widow in 1 Kings 17.  She received more than she thought just as the disciples saw Jesus do by multiplying five loaves of bread and two fish into enough to feed thousands. We too will receive more than enough when we TRUST: Jesus Can Do the Impossible. 

What has God called or commanded you to do that seems impossible? It is not with Him. Jesus tells us so in Luke 18:27. “Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” crf. This is the I’m Possible for our lives. God can and will do what He has called or commanded us to do. Again, What has God called or commanded you to do that seems impossible? Stand on these truths, trust God and watch Him do the impossible. Why? TRUST: Jesus Can Do the Impossible. 

TRUST: Jesus’ Business of Compassion and Teaching

June 18, 2016

Before the sun arose this morning, I went to a business. As I walked around, several employees spoke to me. One asked if I needed any help finding an item as he saw me looking for several minutes without making a selection. As you enter a number of business, you are greeted in a variety of ways. Regardless, businesses that we frequent are looking to provide what we need. We do not question why they are asking. We do not rebuff their efforts to support us, but we will often dismiss them politely – no thank you, I am just looking.

There is one whom we should not dismiss – Jesus. He is in the salvation business. He opens the doors of compassion, redemption, love, joy, peace and provision on a daily basis. TRUST: Jesus’ Business of Compassion and Teaching. He, like a business, is there for your to come to partake. He does not deny those who are seeking Him. We see evidence of that in the Mark 5 and 6. From the demon-possessed man, the synagogue ruler, the bleeding woman, to the crowds of 5,000, Jesus is willing to help those who come to Him for help. On the contrary, we also see Jesus in Mark 6:11 move on from those who reject His help. He told His disciples, “11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.””

TRUST: Jesus’ Business of Compassion and Teaching is seen lucidly in Mark 6:30-34

30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

TRUST: Jesus’ Business of Compassion and Teaching. In Mark 6:7-13, we learn that Jesus’ disciples had sent His disciples out to minister to the people. Here, we see them return and report back to Jesus what had taken place. Jesus was compassionate to His disciples. He knew what they had been through before they even told Him. He wanted to attend to their needs after they had come back to Him. He wants to feed them and make sure they get rest, but the people saw them leave and followed.

The text tells us “33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.” Now, Jesus’ compassion and teaching is extended to the people. The Word of God highlights His act of compassion – TRUST: Jesus’ Business of Compassion and Teaching.

The Greek word for compassion is splagchnizomai (splänkh-nē’-zo-mī). It means to be moved as to one’s bowels, hence to be moved with compassion, have compassion (for the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity). The bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity. Thus, compassion is Jesus’ demonstration of love and pity. Pity being sorrow for another’s suffering, distress or misfortune. Compassion is not just a feeling, but it require action. Jesus took action every time we see compassion mentioned in connection with His position.

Do you want to experience Jesus’ compassion and teaching? As with any many business, you must reach out to Him, whether you visit His church or ask Him to visit you right where you are, Jesus will come to you when you desire to TRUST: Jesus’ Business of Compassion and Teaching. The people in the passage above followed Jesus. They came to Him. He knew their needs and was ready to meet them. He knows your needs. He is ready to meet them, but our greatest needs are not a job, a new car, a loan or the like. Our need is to learn of Him. That is why Jesus taught the people. TRUST: Jesus’ Business of Compassion and Teaching.

TRUST: Service over Self

June 17, 2016

There is no shortage of thoughts, ideas and everyday-life examples of how people attend to their own needs. One could say that there is not anyone on this earth who is earth who is not selfish at heart. The difference is some have learned to discipline themselves to consider the needs of others as well. Some even going as far as sacrificing themselves for others. This gives rise to the concept of TRUST: Service over Self.

According to dictionary.com, Altruism is the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others (opposed to egoism). While that notion is not solely reserved for Christ, I submit that God originated and established the principle. We see it in His response to the first humans, Adam and Eve. We saw it in Christ. We see it in Christ’s summation of the law in Mark 12 where a teacher of the law asked Him ““Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”” In Galatians 5:14 , Paul reiterates what Jesus espoused. He said, “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”” Again, we hear and see TRUST: Service over Self.

TRUST: Service over Self was evidenced by Jesus. He did not just talk the talk. He walked the walk. That is another reason why I love, honor and respect Him. He is the embodiment of what He taught. Let’s see where He taught TRUST: Service over Self by living it out. We need to go no further than Mark 6 right before Jesus feeds the 5,000 plus.

30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

In the passage above from Mark 6, Jesus saw the needs of the disciples. He realized that they had been diligent in carrying out His directions for service to the people whom He had sent them. He recognized that the twelve needed some food to eat and some time to rest, so they could continue to give themselves away.

In our pursuit of TRUST: Service over Self, there are some principles that we can glean from what Jesus said in did in the passage:

  1. Jesus recognizes what we have done in obedience to Him.
  2. Jesus recognizes our needs and makes provision for our needs.
  3. Jesus recognized the needs of those to whom He has committed us service to and meets their needs. He had compassion.
  4. Jesus relates that the primary purpose of being here is to teach man about the God and His purposes.

Mark, Jesus and God is calling us to  TRUST: Service over Self. We need not concern ourselves with our needs. God has those. Commit to living and teaching about Him. Who are you giving yourself  away to today?

TRUST: Stand on Principles or on Popularity

June 16, 2016

Daily, we are challenged by circumstances to make decision on biblical principles or on our popularity. Biblical principles are timeless truths in the Word of God. The principles require us to make the same choice repeatedly. Why? The Word of God says Jesus chRist is the same . On the other hand, popularity is reflective of our pride. The focus is on oneself not on Christ. When we are the focus, our decisions will change depending on the circumstance. One circumstance calls for one thing while another calls for a different response. We become chameleon living an unstable life because we want to win the praise of people rather than the praise of God. The point of today’s post is to challenge you in TRUST: Stand on Principles or on Popularity.

Let’s go to our text, Mark 6, where Herod serves as the antagonist to Christ and his servant John the Baptist. Herod, his wife, and his step-daughter all have a choice to humble themselves and follow Christ. Let’s see what they do. Do they TRUST: Stand on Principles or on Popularity.

Mark 6

14 King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying,[e] “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”

15 Others said, “He is Elijah.”

And still others claimed, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.”

16 But when Herod heard this, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!”

17 For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”19 So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, 20 because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled[f]; yet he liked to listen to him.

21 Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22 When the daughter of[g] Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests.

The king said to the girl, “Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.” 23 And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”

24 She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?”

“The head of John the Baptist,” she answered.

25 At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”

26 The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27 So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, 28 and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother.29 On hearing of this, John’s disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

TRUST: Stand on Principles or on Popularity. What would Herod do with that choice? Herod was greatly distressed. Why? Guzik explains why by quoting Wessell who wrote “The depth of distress experienced by Herod at Salome’s request for the head of John the Baptist is expressed graphically by the Greek word perilypos, ‘greatly distressed’. This is the same word used to describe Jesus’ agony in Gethsemane.” (Mark 14:34).

Like all of mankind, Herod, when faced with a choice between right and truth versus wrong, was distressed. John the Baptist confronted Herod and his wife about their sin. He knew the right thing to do (repent), but He did not. He was influenced by pleasing his wife and his dinner guest rather than God. Herod valued the praise of men over the praise of God. That is idolatry. That is sin which will keep you separated from God. If you were to trace Herod’s opportunities to humble himself and follow God, they are numerous. Yet, he failed to do so. We see his end in Acts 12:23. It says, “Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.” In Herod’s case, he did not humble himself and praise God rather than man. Do you see that you to have the choice to TRUST: Stand on Principles or on Popularity.

Paul, in one of his letters to the Corinthians, shows us how true sorrow over righteousness and sin responds.  2 Corinthians 7:10 says, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” Herod did not repent and lost out on eternally pleasing God and being with God. He gave in on that choice between principles or popularity. Will the pride of pleasing man be your downfall too? Who will you put your TRUST in, God or man? TRUST: Stand on Principles or on Popularity.