July 6, 2022

A Place Prepared

“To sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.”  Mark 10:40

Today’s reading makes it so clear that Jesus was not the one calling the shots when He was here in this world.  He told His students, for the third time, that He was gong up to Jerusalem to be betrayed and condemned to death.  Not His idea, but He also told them at that time that He will come back from the grave after three days to let them know there will be a happy ending.

The point is that Jesus did not make the plan for His life.  It was already established for Him before He was born.  Even in the next section of reading when James and John asked to a specific place next to Him, He said I don’t make the plans, I just execute them.  He told them that each place and position in heaven is prepared ahead of time.  When you get there, you will already have a place waiting for you.  Nobody decides what their place will be, God the Father has a plan.

It is the same for us today.  We are not the ones who even are expected to make our life decisions about the assignments we will accomplish here in the world.  The plan is already set, but it is up to each individual to seek out that mission and step into that calling with the Holy Spirit’s direction.  It isn’t difficult, when you simply acknowledge Him in all your ways and each step you take, He will direct your path and make plain the road designed for you life.  However, if you determine that you are going to make your purpose to be about your own desires and dreams, you will have a harder time discerning His direction when it is given. You will already be in the habit of make decision based on the external circumstances such as costs and feelings rather than trusting Him to provide all that is needed to fulfill His the purpose your were created for.

Today I want to encourage you to press in for your part of His plan.  Ask your Father in Heaven to make His plans and purposes for your life to be loud and clear.  Ask Him to lead you to scripture that confirms the direction He is leading and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit within you to be a blessing to others. Then trust Him to supply every need required to carry those instructions out.  It takes faith to believe we are here in this world to serve those around us, not ourselves.  Take those steps of faith today and watch how a whole new world opens up around you!

Today’s scripture reading: Mark 10:32-45

32 Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him: 

33 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; 

34 and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”

35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.”

36 And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

37 They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.”

38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”

39 They said to Him, “We are able.” So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; 

40 but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.”

41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John. 

42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 

43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 

44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 

45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

July 3, 2022

Hard, not impossible

Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” Mark 10:23

Today I want to focus on God’s blessings and how they can fill our lives with great joy.  God is not against us having things and riches, He is against things and riches having us.  He knows that being consumed with the things of earth can destroy us.  Instead He plans for us to fill up with God and let Him pour His blessings on you!

In today’s verse, Jesus told His disciples that is it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, but it is not impossible.  God wants our faith and trust to be in Him.  He doesn’t want us to put our security in things and money because they are not able to give us a satisfying life and they are temporary.  However, if we don’t have these things, we cannot expand God’s kingdom, bless others, and reach those who have needs. 

Many things here in this world are very necessary for the time we spend on earth.  God wants us to enjoy our time here, and He is the One who gave us the things and the ability to acquire them.  Yet, the reason is for eternal purposes not for temporary pleasures.  God’s not after your things, He’s after your heart.

Today I encourage you to be thankful for the blessings that the Lord has given to you.  Thank Him that He adds no sorrow with them.  Reach out to others with the resources that you have been so richly blessed with and show others the love of God through the things He has given.  Don’t worry about replenishing them.  God will always take care and provide for you especially if you are using the blessings, He has given you to bless others.  Jesus said, ““Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s,” Mark 10:29.  In the next verse He included “you will receive a hundredfold now, in this time.”  Be a blessing to all those around you because He’s got you covered and His blessings never end.

Today’s scripture reading: Mark 10:23-31

23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” 

24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! 

25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?”

27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

28 Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.”

29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 

30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. 

31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

July 2, 2022

Follow Me

Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” Mark 10:21

You can’t take it with you!  Have you ever heard that old saying before?  When you die and leave this world, all the things you have accumulated have to stay here.  It cannot go with you into the next life.  That thought doesn’t disturb me much, but some people put their entire life in the security of having things here in this world.  Don’t get me wrong, I do like to be comfortable, but I am fully content to leave behind material things to chase after the plans and purpose God has for my life.

In the reading today, there was a young man that came to Jesus.  Obviously concerned about what was going to happen when he died.  He was looking for an eternal life inheritance, but he never expected to hear what Jesus told him was required for securing it.  Jesus told him that the one thing he needed to do that he currently wasn’t doing is get rid of all his “stuff” and follow Jesus.  Follow Jesus’ way of doing things and follow Jesus’ plan for life.

The young man gave up hope and was very sad because he had a great amount of possessions.  He didn’t consider the benefit and the honor it would have been to become a part of Jesus’ ministry. He could not imagine a life without comfort and with self-sacrifice for others.  He had the greatest invitation and opportunity to be with Jesus up close and personal while He walked on the earth but was blinded by the love he had for the things of this world.

That invitation is available to you still today!  The door is always open to follow Jesus.  In fact, He is waiting for you to choose the security of eternal life with Him over the collateral of the physical world you live in.  Make the choice today to put Him in first place in your life and put the worldly possessions behind and follow Him.

Today I want to encourage you to receive His gift of salvation if you have not turned your life over to Him yet. Begin a personal relationship with Him by talking with Him daily and learning about His ways and His love for you and all people. Start that conversation now by praying a prayer from your heart like this: Jesus, I want to follow you! I invite you into my life today to lead me in Your perfect path and plan! Empower me today to know you more and give me Your grace to walk out the destiny you have planned for my life before the world came into existence. Keep the conversation going and get wisdom from Him about every area of your life. Your life will change and it will be for so much better.

Today’s scripture reading: Mark 10:17-22

17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”

18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 

19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”

20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”

21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”

22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

July 1, 2022

He Blessed Them

But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Mark 10:14

This is one of the Jesus moments I have never really thought too much about.  Usually when reading this passage, I take this at face value that Jesus loves children too.  As I considered what this situation may have looked like in my imagination, there seems to be much more to it than that.

First of all, we read a lot about the people that came to Jesus for healing or deliverance of some kind, but in this case, people were bringing their children to receive a blessing from Jesus.  This is a good thing or so you would think.  Apparently, the disciples did not think it was good, nor were they going to let those with children get close enough to Jesus to receive His blessing.  It doesn’t say for sure what the disciples said to the people, but I imagine it was something like: “Jesus is too busy to be bothered with your children” or “Jesus does not have time for kids’ stuff.”

Jesus, on the other hand took time for everyone that came to Him, whether for a blessing, a healing or a casting out some kind evil.  It didn’t matter what a person came to Him for, He always had a plan to get them what they were after.

He does the same thing today.  Mostly, we all need salvation from paying the penalty of our sin and eternal separation from our Father after we leave this world.  Jesus is always ready to rescue us from this world’s hold on our lives.  He is also always ready to answer other requests we have too.  Just like He did for the people that followed Him in His days here in this earth, He still answers our cries now that He is at home with His Father in heaven.  I am so thankful that His does!  As a parent, I often bring my children to Him for His blessing.  I want nothing else but His best plan for them.  His blessing covers it all!  Their health, their well-being, their peace and their longevity.

You can go to Him with anything you are facing today, too.  Whether you are going through a personal crisis or want to have His blessing on your children, you can receive simply by asking.  The only differences from then and now is that He is in heaven and His disciples are not here to stop you from getting to Him.  You have complete access to Him anywhere and anytime.  When you call out to Him in faith, He will always respond.

Today I want to encourage you to call out to Jesus as the answer to your struggles. If you are not currently going through anything, call out to Him for His blessing.  Then bless others by calling on Him in their behalf.  You can bless others as Jesus did, simply by taking them before the Lord in prayer and asking Him.  It is what intercession is all about!  Blessing others by bringing them before the Lord to reach into their lives with His grace.

Today’s scripture reading: Mark 10 13-16

13 Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 

14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 

15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” 

16 And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.

June 30, 2022

In the beginning

But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ Mark 10:6

This is a passage that looks like Jesus is talking to the Pharisees about divorce.  They were trying to trap Him again with their questions, but I believe Jesus is talking about something deeper.  He is talking about God’s original intent for mankind.  He said, “in the beginning they were made one flesh, male and female. (See Gen. 1:27, 2:23) God made Adam and Eve, man and wife.  Everyone after that was to leave (separate from) mother and father to become man and wife.  He started by saying that Moses permitted divorce because of hardened hearts or rebellion against God’s original intent for mankind.  The deeper meaning in this passage is that because of sin, God gave the law to Moses for people to have a standard of what was right and wrong.  The high priest was to make sacrifices for the people’s sin, and it was a provision offered for sin until the time Jesus’ blood was offered up for forgiveness and eradication of all sin.  God’s plan for creation never changed. Even though sin entered into it, God’s will was the same as it was in the beginning. In accepting Jesus’ sacrifice, people are brought back to the place of God’s original plan of Kingdom living.  This doesn’t mean that we never sin again, it simply means that God made provision for us to live in a relationship with Him and to walk out His best plan for our lives in Jesus!

In times past, the Christian church has made it seem like divorce is a sin that cannot be forgiven or at minimum, a divorced person cannot join in the church body of believers.  Yet, even in the law, God made provision for divorce, how much more of a deliverance is available for those who now are in Christ Jesus.  Today, we live in a society that is rampant with divorce and although we know this is not God’s original plan for us, we also know that in Christ Jesus, there is life beyond it. 

Today I want to encourage you to love those who have suffered the pain and heartache of divorce and broken families.  Help them to pick up the pieces by showing them the life that is possible when given to Christ Jesus.  There is a way to get back to God’s original plan for us and that is by receiving the provision He made in Jesus and walking close to Him each day.  Don’t settle for any life less than what God originally planned for you to live, walk in all His goodness and power that He planned for you since the beginning of time.

Today’s scripture reading:  Mark 10:1-12    

1 Then He arose from there and came to the region of Judea by the other side of the Jordan. And multitudes gathered to Him again, and as He was accustomed, He taught them again.

2 The Pharisees came and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” testing Him.

3 And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?”

4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.

5 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 

6 But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ 

7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 

8 and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. 

9 Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

10 In the house His disciples also asked Him again about the same matter. 

11 So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 

12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

June 25, 2022

Cut it off

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched—  Mark 9:43

This scripture has always been a little disturbing to me.  I mean, it seems so harsh to cut off your right hand and extreme for that matter.  Why would you cut off a part of your body?  Why not just remove the sin from your life.  However, now that I understand this passage better, it makes perfect sense to me.  In fact, that is exactly what the message of the verse is.  If you are struggling with a sin that you can’t seem to shake, cut it off!  Cut off all connections with that sin and get as far away from it as you possibly can.  The passage also says that if you are having trouble with what you are looking at, stop looking at it and get it out of your sight.

An example of this may be a toxic relationship that always seems to influence you to activities that you do not want to be involved in?  Cut it off.  Break off that relationship and get far from it.  Until you are strong enough and stable enough to say no to the temptation that come with that friendship, flee from that connection to save your soul.

If you struggle with addictive substances such as drugs or alcohol, cut them off.  Give yourself no access to them and stay far away from people who would try to lure you back in again.

It reminds me of Joseph, when he was pursued by Potiphar’s wife.  He cut that conversation, relationship and coat off as quickly as he could.  He ran out of the place because he knew that was the wrong environment to be in to maintain purity.  This is a perfect example of how we should behave when approached with temptation.  Do not consider, do not count the cost just get away from it even if you have to leave something or everything behind.

James 4:7 gives us the answer to any temptation that comes our way.  It says: Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  When you acknowledge your Heavenly Father in all your ways, you are taking the first step in resisting the enemy and his plans to trap you in a sin that you cannot get away from.

Today I want to encourage you to first of all submit all your thoughts and ways to God.  Then He will strengthen you to resist the devil and his tricks to hold you in bondage to habits and addictions.  Next, cut off all relationships, activities and substances that cause you to stumble.  Cut them off and get far away from them.  The more you stay away, the easier it will be to keep away.  So, the next time your right hand tries to cause you to sin, cut that sin off before it ever happens.

Today’s scripture reading: Mark 9:42-50

42 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. 

43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— 

44 where ‘Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’

45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— 

46 where ‘Their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’

47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire— 

48 where ‘Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’

49 “For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt. 

50 Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”

June 24, 2022

One Team

For he who is not against us is on our side.  Mark 9:40

It’s summer time and baseball season if in full swing.  If you follow professional ball, you probably watch your favorite team a couple times each week.  You may have even gone to the field to watch in person once or twice.  Most games you watch or attend have the same elements.  There is a stadium where you sit and watch the game, venders that sell food and souvenirs, restrooms and aisles to get to your seat.  Mostly the only difference from city to city are the teams.  There is always an opposing team.  There is our team and the other team.

In today’s reading, Jesus is talking to the disciples about the difference between two different groups.  Those on our side and those on the other side.  Two different “teams”.  He explained to the disciples that if they are praying and doing good in His name, they are on our side.  Do not forbid them.  He continued saying no one who does miraculous things in His name will not speak evil of Him.

I believe this is a message we as the body of believer can get around today.  Just because other believers go to a different denomination or have doctrine that varies, if the pray in the name of Jesus, believe in His salvation to the world and serve others in His name, we are on the same team.  We do not need to distance or condemn other church people.  They are our part of the family of God and our brothers and sisters in the LORD. Jesus finished this conversation with: Anyone who gives/serves in My name will be rewarded for it.

Today I want to encourage you to help bridge the gap in the Church body.  Do not forbid others to pray and worship in the name of Jesus just because they go to a different church.  We are all on one team, the home team, the winning team.  Join together with all your kingdom of heaven family and serve one another in the name of Jesus!  Great things will happen when we live together as a family in this world and the next.

Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 9:38-41

38 Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.”

39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. 

40 For he who is not against us is on our side. 

41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

June 22, 2022

Success 101

And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”  Mark 9:35

Have you ever wanted to be the greatest at something?  The greatest basketball or baseball player?  The greatest concert pianist or artist that ever lived?  Maybe you dreamt of being the greatest executive that built a great firm from the ground up?  We all have dreams and aspirations of some kind and a built-in desire to succeed.  As lofty and grand as your plans may be, it is not wrong to set goals and pursue advancement, but there is a secret to it all.

In today’s reading, Jesus gives us one of those opposite principles.  He said that if you want to be first or the best, you have to always put other before yourself and serve them.  Ouch!  This is not the most popular message He ever gave, and it is certainly not something that is in our nature to do.  Most people tend to go to the pride side of things and want others to look what things they have done and achieved.  Bet Jesus said true success is when you take care of others and prefer people above yourself.

The apostle Paul talked about this in his letter to the Romans, Ephesians and Philippians.  He said in Romans 12:10 to be kindly affectionate to one another with brother love, in honor giving preference to one another.  It is a true success law and a principle set up by God that works every time you follow it. 

Our heavenly Father wants us to take care of one another in a way that we make others feel good and encouraged.  In order to accomplish this, you must put the focus on another person and take it off of you.  Think about it.  It doesn’t make anyone feel better about themselves if you tell them how great you are and how successful you have become because you had just the right ideas and plans.  Even if it is true, the thing that blesses others is when you talk about their strengths and their enablement to do great things.

You can also consider that it is not so special to others if they get to wait on you and serve your needs.  What really shows another person that they are special to you is when you humbly take care of their needs and desires.

So, today I want to encourage you to put yourself in first place by being the last.  Make yourself the greatest by serving the needs of others around you.  Accomplish the awesome feats in your life by blessing the people that God brings your way and put yourself in the path of God’s greatest plan by helping others to get to the top.

Today’s scripture reading: Mark 9:30-37

30 Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. 

31 For He taught His disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.” 

32 But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him.

33 Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?” 

34 But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest. 

35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” 

36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 

37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”

June 21, 2022

Help my unbelief

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Yesterday, I was believing God for some specific things for my day. Things concerning my job.  When I got to work, it didn’t look like things were headed in the direction that I had asked God about.  But, I maintained my attitude and kept believing that God was with me and things would work out ok despite my disappointment.  At one point I remember specifically thinking, “Can I be “in faith” and disappointed at the same time?”  I just kept the matter before the Lord every time the feelings of disappointment would come.  Surprisingly, in an instant, God turned everything around and the situation I was disappointed about was turned back the other way.  Then it happened two more times during the day where things were not going in the direction I had hoped, but just at the right time, God turned it all around.  I just kept these matters before Him and continued thanking Him despite the outward circumstances.  He is so faithful!

This reminds me of the verse in Ephesians 4:26 that says, “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath.”  I have always wondered how this is accomplished.  How can I be angry and not sin?  After my experience yesterday, I was reminded that even when circumstances don’t look like they are going well and amid disappointments and even angry feelings, I can still maintain my faith by keeping the matter in God’s hands and thanking Him for working things out.  Then I don’t grumble and complain and talk to others about how bad the situation is because things aren’t going my way.  I rejoice instead because God’s got this.

In today’s scripture, we see a man that took his son to Jesus to be healed.  When Jesus wasn’t available, the other disciples tried to heal his son, but were not successful.  The man didn’t give up and he didn’t get angry.  I’m sure he was disappointed that it didn’t look good at first, but he waited on Jesus.  When Jesus got there, He told the man to believe, and all things would be possible.  The man immediately recognized that he did believe, but he also had unbelief in him.  This is the point where there is an opportunity to waver.  When things don’t look like they are going to change or work out, the appearance of the situation can cause us to give up.  However, if we cling to our belief in God, His ability, and thank Him for working on the issue, that will open the door for Him to come in and answer the prayer.

Today I want to encourage you to hold fast to your faith in God.  Don’t give up on the things you are believing Him to do in your life.  Even though it may have been a long time and things don’t look any better or may even look worse than when you started believing, it is never too late for God!  Maintain your best attitude, be thankful, and watch as the door opens to allow the Holy Spirit to come in and answer your requests.

Today’s scripture reading: Mark 9:14-29

14 And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. 

15 Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. 

16 And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”

17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. 

18 And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”

19 He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” 

20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.

21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 

22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” 

26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” 

27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.

28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”

29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”

June 20, 2022

What should you say?

Because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid. Mark 9:6

Have you ever had a friend or a loved one who was uncomfortable with silence?   Anytime there is a gap in conversation, they feel the need to fill it?  They take it on themselves to keep control of any downtime or lull in social situations and speak whatever comes to their mind.  Usually it is useless information, gossip or boasting about their own accomplishments.  It can be more awkward than the silence and even annoying at times.

As we read through the gospel accounts of Jesus’ life here on earth, we get a little hint that Peter may have been that kind of person. In today’s reading it says that he didn’t know what to say.  It implies that he felt like he had to say something because he was afraid and didn’t understand fully what he was seeing and hearing.

An interesting thing happened though, God speaks over Peter and tells them that they should listen to His Son Jesus.  Basically, telling the disciples that were there that day to stop talking and listen.  I’m sure they were very afraid then, in fact in another account of this scene, it says they fell on their faces because they were greatly afraid. (See Matthew 17)

The point is, you do not need to feel pressured into speaking, just because there is a quiet time in conversation.  It is ok to sit and listen.  Check inside your heart to see if there is any prompting from the Holy Spirit.  Wait for others to share what is on their heart.  It might be an opportunity for you to show interest in what others are up against right now and to encourage them in their journey.

Today I want to encourage you to first of all, listen to what the Spirit of God is impressing on your heart.  Don’t just plan on doing and saying everything that pops into your head.  Make your conversations and attentions be on what God is doing in other people’s lives and take time to listen to the wisdom that other people may be speaking into your life and consider that. Make your words count for all eternity and use them to encourager and inspire those around you.

Today’s scripture reading: Mark 9:1-13

1 And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”

2 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. 

3 His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. 

4 And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 

5 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”— 

6 because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid.

7 And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” 

8 Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves.

9 Now as they came down from the mountain, He commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 

10 So they kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant.

11 And they asked Him, saying, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”

12 Then He answered and told them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and restores all things. And how is it written concerning the Son of Man, that He must suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 

13 But I say to you that Elijah has also come, and they did to him whatever they wished, as it is written of him.”