Day Twenty-Six with Mark: Mark 6:45-52

Today in walk together through Mark, we see Jesus perform more healing.  Listen to what happens in Mark 6:53-56:

Healing the Sick in Gennesaret
53 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. 54 When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, 55 and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

3485297601_b789b3fa39We see Jesus come into town after walking on the water, and we see that so many people come to Him for healing.  They come from all over. They lay upon mats, they, they bring their friends, they want just a touch of Him, just a brush.  People just wanted to touch the fringe of His cloak.  This fringe would have been the knots that would have been tied nad untied as Jesus was praying.  People knew that if they just had that brief encounter with Jesus, it would change things.

And that’s the truth of Scripture.  Jesus changes things.  You cannot touch Jesus, you cannot be touched by Jesus, you cannot encounter Him, and not be changed.

Jesus changes things.

We are tempted to look to willpower to change things.  Or religion to change things.  Or self-awareness to change things.  Or many different things to change things.

But in truth, only one thing will change things.  Jesus.  He changes us.  He changes us others.  The people in this text understood that.  They knew that He would change them.

And today, may we understand it, just the same.  Jesus changes us.  Changes others.  Changes lives.  Changes families.  Changes the world.  Changes churches, communities, everything.

Let’s live in His grace today.  And let’s see what He changes in us.

Tomorrow we’ll look at Mark 7:1-23.

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 Desires of our Heart?

heartballoonOne of the things that it is important to do when reading the Bible is to understand the context of a verse or a passage before taking it and running with it.  What does that mean?

The best way that we can make sense of verses in the Bible is to look at verses that are around it.  As we look at verses that are around certain passages in the Bible, we can understand those passages.

What does that even mean?  Let me show you.  One of the passages of the Bible that can most often misunderstood is a passage from our reading today, Psalm 37: 4, where it says this: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Boom, Ole Miss is winning the national title next year.  That would make my heart happy.

See, I’m pretty sure that is not what that passage is talking about.  This passage is not saying that God’s only purpose is to make us happy and grant us wishes.  So then, what is it saying?  Let’s look at the context and read this passage.  Listen to Psalm 37: 1-4:

Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Trust in the Lord.  Do good.  Befriend faithfulness.  And even part of that passage, delight yourself in the Lord.  And, He will give you the desires of your heart.

God will give you the desires of your heart when (and this is the key) when He has changed your heart.  God will give us our hearts desire when His spirit has changes our hearts desire.

This verse is not about us getting what we “want.”  This verse is about God changing us.  God making us more like Himself.  God growing us. And when God has changed our heart, our hearts will long for Him.  And when our hearts long for Him, we will only be satisfied with Him.

See that’s the problem sometimes.  CS Lewis said that we are far too easily pleased.  We settle for less than the absolute best. What is the absolute best?  God.

He desires to give us Himself.

And in truth, that should be our hearts desire.  Because nothing else will satisfy our hearts.  But Him.

Today, He will give us our hearts desire.  But first He wants to change our heart.  And we that happens, we will see that the only thing that can truly give us life is not the stuff of this world.

But Him.

Today, may we delight our hearts in God.  And in that, may we find all that we seek.

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!

Do What We are Told

Holly and I have two kids that we both just adore. They keep us busy; they keep us full of life. They really are just true joys, and I can’t put into words how much I love my kids.

I jokingly say that they are smart like their mama and pretty like their daddy. But, they actually are really great kids. But, being as smart as they are (yes, I’m biased) they love to ask questions. They want to understand. They are always asking, why? Why? Why?

This is something that every parent understands. Every kid wants to know why.

And at times I resorted to an answer that I swore that I’d never use – “Because I said so!” I need you do this, just because!

I thought about this common parenting issue when I read what Jesus said today in John 15: 12-14:

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.

540_293_resize_20120801_9b1935513c954d4738260cb34a7e58bc_jpgHe says – this is my commandment. Do what I command! This is what I want you to do. No questions. No arguing just do it.

Love. Love each other. There is no great love than to lay down your life for your friend.

And Jesus said – you are my friends, if you do what I command. Love. Love other. Love as Jesus loved us.

Love. That’s the only thing in life that can change someone. Yes, intellect can affect. Yes, righteousness can make an impact. Yes, passion is of great power.

But you really want to change someone? Love them. Love has the power to change people in ways that we will never, comprehend, ways that we really can’t even understand.

Jesus changes us through His wants to us to the same. Love each other, through His love.

Plus, when you love them, you don’t just change them. You change you.
Love changes them. And it changes us.

That was His command to us. Love as we are loved. And if we do that, we really can change the world.

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!

The One Thing I Know

There’s a lot of things that I don’t know. There’s a lot of things that I don’t understand. There’s a lot of parts of the Bible that don’t make sense to me, a lot of mysteries of God that I can’t fathom. There’s a lot that I don’t know in life.

And, by the way, the older I get, the more that I’m ok with not knowing everything.

There’s a lot that I don’t know. But there is one that that I know for sure.  I’ll let what it says in John 9: 24-25 explain that:

So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”

One-Thing-121In John 9, Jesus heals a blind man.  This man was hauled before the authorities to be questioned about his healing, about Jesus, about everything. And they hurl question after question at him, to the point where he’s finally fed up with it. And this is how he responds.  I don’t know everything. But I know this.  I was was blind, but now I see.

The one thing I know is this. I once was blind, but now I see. There’s a lot of things that my mind will never understand. But I know this.  Jesus changed my life.  He made me different.  He changed my purpose, He changed my plans, He changed everything about me.

I once was blind, but now I see.  I once had no purpose, now I have purpose.  I once had no peace, now I have peace.  I once had no hope, now I have hope.

I once was blind, but now I see.  I know that.  I’ve experienced that.  I’ve lived that.

There’s a lot I don’t know.  But I do know this.  Jesus changed my life. And there’s not a single life that He can’t change.  That’s what I do know.

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!

Listen to the Word

open-bibleEvery day I try to share with you a biblical passage and a short reflection on it.  It is my sincere hope that this is a help to you and your faith.  I enjoy doing this, and I truly hope it is a blessing.

I always want the Word of God to be fresh and relevant to you, and I try to put some story or some take it on to help it sink into your life.

Today though, as I was reading this passage, it spoke to me so loudly, that I just want to let the Word speak.  Whatever it is that you are doing, please take a moment, and read this.  Listen to it.  Ponder it.

And try to apply what it says to your life today.

I know that I am.

This passage speaks so loud, about what the Christian life should be.  The Christian life is not a life of just Facebook statuses or Tweets or Christian music or anything like that.  It is a changed life.  It is about the grace of God wrecking us and changing us.  We should be changed people, by His grace.

Today, no frills.  Just stop for one moment.  And listen to the Word.

Romans 12:9-21:

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.  Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

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 phone.