Day Fifty-Four with Mark: Mark 14:43-52

This will be our last day in Mark for a while.  From January 3-13, I am going to be in the Holy Land, and I intend to put up some daily thoughts from my time there.  I also will attempt to upload pictures and videos here to my blog.  It will be about 8 hours ahead, so these won’t come in the morning.  But hopefully they will come!  Pray for us while we are there, and I look forward to sharing as much as possible with you from there!

Today we are looking at Mark 14:43-52:

43 Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. 44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” 45 So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46 Then they laid hands on him and arrested him. 47 But one of those who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 48 Then Jesus said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? 49 Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled.” 50 All of them deserted him and fled.

51 A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, 52 but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked.

q4305230Today, we see Jesus betrayed, and we see much what we talked about yesterday.  They came for Him with swords and clubs.  One of the disciples reacted with anger (John tells us it was Peter) but we see that Jesus doesn’t react that way.  He willing goes and says in fact, you know you didn’t have to come to me in this way.  I taught openly, you come in secret.

One of the spiritual points I always take away from this is we see that as humans how afraid, our worried, how angry everyone was when this was happening, can’t you always get a sense of calm from Jesus?  Don’t you almost get a sense of Him being in control in the midst of this?  I alway do.  He is the calm in the midst of this storm.  We see Peter attack.  We see others run.  We see Jesus full of peace.

Remember, He is peace, in the midst of the storm.  He is calm in the midst of the storm.  When the winds are blowing and the waves are rocking, He is our calm.

Trust Him.

One last thing, you know one of the reasons why I know the Bible is true?  If I was going to write something and make up these stories, you know what I’d do?  I’d make myself look GOOD.  I mean seriously, if I was going to invent all this, I’d be that man.

And look at everyone, except for Jesus.   They are imperfect.  They make mistakes. All their mistakes are cataloged, for all of us to see.  All their failures.  We see a young man get so scared, he ran away naked, which was even more embarrassing then, than it would be now.

Know who that man was?  Mark.  The author of this Gospel.  Believe me, I wouldn’t have included that.  But he did.  Why?  Because it shows that Jesus is the only perfect one, He is the only capable saving.

One of the many reasons why I believe the Bible is this, it is the story of God’s perfection and humanities imperfection.  It shows the love that a perfect God has for His imperfect creation.

What questions do you have?  How does this strike you?  Shoot me an email, comment below, or connect with me through social media.

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The Calm Before the Storm

This week we’ve been walking through what Jesus did each day of Holy Week.  From the triumphal entry of Palm Sunday, Cleansing the Temple on Monday, and then teaching on Tuesday, it’s been a dramatic week.  And so with that, we’d think that Wednesday would be much along the same lines, right?

But, strangely, it’s not.

What happens today?  Silence.

calmb4stormIt’s the calm before the storm.  Some Biblical scholars think that Jesus spent the day with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.  It is also thought that today is the day that Judas agrees to betray Jesus.  So, things are happening. Life continues.  But, there is silence.

There is calm.

Because the storm is coming.

The next few days, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter, these days are the most important days in the history of the world.  That’s not hyperbole. That’s not just a preacher talking.  That’s truth. What happened the rest of Holy Week changes forever this world, this life, and eternity.  It all changes, starting tomorrow.

But today, silence.  Calm.  The storm is coming.

So, what do we do today, then?  We rest.  We pray.  We reflect.  In a world that is so busy.  So busy with work and play and kids and school and family and responsibility and everything spinning, always spinning, today, we stop.

And reflect.  We remember what He has taught us.  Love.  Pray.  Seek out the lost.  Serve the needy.  Repent.  Follow.  Be salt and light.

And look ahead to what He has done for our sake.

Sometimes, being busy is easy.  We don’t have to think.  Today, take some time to still yourself.  To remember.  To look ahead.  To walk with our God.  And realize, starting tomorrow, everything changes.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!

Calm

We worry don’t we?   We worry about the future.  We worry about the past.

We worry about the things that we don’t understand.  We worry about the things that we do understand.

We worry about the thing that we control.  We worry about the things that we don’t control.  We worry.

Today, in this season of Advent, where we focus on the fact that God has a plan, for salvation, for hope, for redemption, to make all things right, we are reminded.  We don’t have to worry.

Really.

We don’t.  We can be calm.  Listen to the words of Psalm 131 today:

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.

calmThere is a simple humility in these words today.  David says, I don’t worry about things that are too great for him. He doesn’t worry about things above him.  God has those things .  Really.  God has it.

Do you believe that today?  God has it under control.  He really does.

David says, he has calmed his soul, because he knows that God has it under control.  He can rest.  He can relax.  He can.  He doesn’t have to worry. God has it.

He can rest in God. He can be calm.

So can you today.  You can rest in God.  Really, you can.  You can rest in Him.  You can be calm.  He has it.   He really does.

Today, rest.  Be calm.  Trust.  God has it.  You can place your hope in that this day, and each day.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

Calm

We talked yesterday in worship at Asbury about God’s promise for us to not be afraid. Fear can be a powerful thing in our lives. We can have thing that are “real” that make us afraid, and we can have things that are not “real” that make us afraid.

Our past experience can make us afraid, our context can make us afraid, the things in our mind can make us afraid. Fear is something that we all know, that we all understand, and that we’ve all dealt with before.

So, when we talk about fear, listen to what we see in Matthew 8:23-27:

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

1435669599_45ff54895b_oJesus and the disciples are in a boat. And what they face is a real fear. It’s something to really be worried about. These are experienced fishermen. They know a thing or two about about storms. This isn’t their first rodeo.

And whatever it is about this storm, it terrifies them. These normally brave fishermen, in their element are so scared that they think they are about to die.

And how does Jesus respond to their fear? Why are you afraid you of little faith. Then he rebuked the wind and sea, and their was calm.

This is a God that controls the wind. The sea. All of it. Every last bit of it. There is nothing in creation that He’s not in control of, that He doesn’t have power over, that He can’t calm.

Even us.

Calm.

Today, you don’t have to be afraid. You don’t have to live in fear. You don’t have to live in worry. You can be calm.

Because God is bigger. You can trust in Him today. You can rely on Him today. He’s bigger than the wind, the waves, the storm, all of it.

He has got this. So you can be calm.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

It’s Stormy Out Today

It’s stormy out today.  Wind is blowing.  Rain is falling. Thunder is rolling. This devotional is later than usual because my kids are terrified of bad weather and I wanted to be with them, and get them safely to school before sitting down to right.

It’s stormy out there right now.

And, maybe you don’t live in Petal, or Hattiesburg, or Mississippi.  Maybe you are reading this from some other place this morning.

And it may be stormy in your life.  Maybe not a litteral storm, but emotional. Spiritual.  A real storm.

Listen to what Jesus does today in Mark 4:37-41:

And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

urlMy favorite part of that passage is when they ask, do you not care that we are about to die?

Do you not care that we are in a storm?  Are you uncaring? Do you not love us?  Do  you not love us?

It’s scary out there. It’s stormy out there. Don’t you care?

And what does Jesus do?  Peace.  Be still.

He speaks peace.  Because He is peace.

Yes, it’s stormy out there today y’all.  Maybe a literal storm.  Maybe a storm of unforgivness in your life.  Maybe a storm of sin or worry or regret.

Yes, it’s stormy our there today.

And know this.  Jesus is your peace.  Peace. Be still.  He is with you.

Do not fear. Do not be afraid.  He is our peace. And He will calm the storm.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.