Day Nine with Mark: Mark 3:7-11

Today in our daily readings with Mark, we look at Mark 3:7-11, entitled A Multitude at the Seaside and Jesus Appoints the Twelve:

A Multitude at the Seaside
7 Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him; 8 hearing all that he was doing, they came to him in great numbers from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon. 9 He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him; 10 for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. 11 Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, “You are the Son of God!”

slide-10-jesus-on-boatIn these this passage, we people drawn to Jesus.  And you know who they were?  Everyone?  All types of people were drawn to Jesus.  We see in the first section we see where people came to Jesus from.  Everywhere.  Judea, Jerusalem, across the Jordan, everywhere.  People came to hear Jesus from everywhere.

And here’s the thing about that, coming to Galilee to hear Jesus was not an easy thing to do. It wasn’t easy to get there, people had responsibilities and jobs to do and there weren’t just able to take off and go off to hear Him.  And above all that, who wants to go up to Galilee?  People were used to going to Jerusalem to the Temple. They were used to and accustomed to that.

But to Galilee?  That’s beneath so many of them. Nope.  No reason I’d do that.  Not gonna happen.

Except there was a reason.  And that reason was Jesus.  They needed healing and life. And Jesus had that.  And they were willing to go wherever they needed to go to find that healing and life.  They were attracted to Jesus.

And I think there are two major things we need to be aware of in this.

First, are we drawn to Him in that same way?  They knew that Jesus was the hope that they need for their life. And so they came to Him, from near and far, seeking that hope, seeking that life.  What about us in our lives?  Do we know, do we truly know, that Jesus is that hope in our lives?  And are we willing to do what we must to be in relationship with Him?

Now, for us, that may not mean traveling across America.  It may mean waking up a little early to pray.  It may mean inconveniencing ourselves in some way to seek Him.  It may me changing some things in our lives to know Him better.  The people in the text came from near and far and went through much to know Jesus.  How about us?

And second, see how people are always attracted to Jesus.  That’s one of the things that I always notice in scripture, people that don’t know Jesus are attracted to Jesus.  Are others drawn to Him through us?  As His Body, here on the earth, as those that have indwelling of the Holy Spirit, are people wanting to meet Jesus because of us.

That doesn’t mean that we are perfect, it means that we are different.

Today, do we desire to truly know Jesus?  And do others desire to know Jesus because of us?

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

Tomorrow we’ll look at Mark 3:13-19.

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Everyone

I had the good fortune last night of being able to preach a revival up in Yazoo county last night. I really do enjoy the chance to preach revivals; it’s always a joy to get to share the good news of Jesus with different churches, and it’s a joy to remind folks of just how much we that are Christians need to hear the good news again for ourselves.

And one of the things I always like to remind folks about when I preach revivals is this – who is God after? Who does God want to save? Who does God want to see come to saving faith? Who does God want to be in a relationship with?

Listen to what Peter preaches in Acts 2: 38-39:

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

800px-Globe.svgPeter says this – God wants folk that are near and far, all folks, all people, everyone, to be saved. God wants all people to come to know Him. God wants all people to be in a relationship with Him.

God wants to know everyone. And God wants everyone to know Him.

Me, you, the folks we like, the folks we don’t like. Everyone. God wants everyone to make that decision to follow Him as Lord.

Who does God love? Everyone.

And so, as His followers, that’s our calling as well. To love everyone. Even the folks that we don’t like. In fact, the folks we don’t like, they may be the ones that we need to love the most.

Because they need to hear the goodness of God’s love. And need the faithfulness of doing something that we don’t want to do. We need the faithfulness of doing something impossible. Because when we do that, we actually have to trust and fully lean on God.

And then He does amazing things through us and in us.

Today, who does God want to be in relationship with? Everyone. Today, may we do that very thing in our lives.

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Impact

You have no idea the impact that you can make today. Seriously.  You could change the world, today.

Today, through some action, through some word, through something you do, you can change the world. You can do something amazing. And the the thing is this, you can do this amazing thing, no matter where you.

How?  Look at what happens today in John 1:40-42:

One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).

impactAndrew was impacted by hearing Jesus.  He heard His teaching.  He followed Him, he allowed Jesus to change him.

And then, with the change that Jesus made in his life, he told someone about Jesus.  He told his brother, we’ve found the Messiah.  We’ve found the one that will save us, that will change us, that will redeem us.

And Peter was the one that preached the sermon at Pentecost, where thousands were saved.

And Peter would have never known Jesus if not for his brother Andrew, that took him to Jesus.

And Andrew would have never done that, if Jesus hadn’t changed his life.

Today, you can make a huge impact.  How?  First, understand this truth. God loves you.  More than any mistake you’ve ever made.  You are a loved child of the king.

Seriously.  You are.  Hear those works.  Believe that.  Let it impact you.

And, let the impact of grace in your life, bleed over into all your life. As one affected by grace, let that grace touch others.  Let it impact others.  And you never know the difference that will make.

Just like the difference that it made in Peter.  And through Peter.

Today, you can make a huge impact.  Let God’s grace truly warm your heart today. And let that grace, through your life, impact someone else.

Today, we 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 phone.

Too Busy to Pray?

This morning I was reading in a daily devotional about a new family that moved into an area and the first thing they started doing when they got there was they started to pray.

The gathered the names of each of their new neighbors and began to pray for them. They prayed that they (the new family) could shine the light of Christ to their new neighbors.

They prayed for the needs, that they didn’t even know about yet, that each of their neighbors faced.

They prayed that each of their neighbors could be aware of God’s presence and light in their life. They prayed that each of  their neighbors could be drawn closer to God.

And I was immediately convicted by the Holy Spirit when I read this. Because I don’t do that enough.  I don’t pray for my neighbors as I ought. And the question is, as we talked about at Asbury this past Sunday, who is my neighbor?

Everyone we meet.

And as I read this, I was inspired.  What a powerful thing that each of us has access to, and we don’t use like we ought.  Daily, we have the chance to pray for others. Wow.

Listen how Paul instructs Timothy in 1 Timothy:

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.

God wants everyone to be saved. Everyone.  And He wants to use us to accomplish that great mission.

And that mission starts with prayer.  Praying for our neighbors. Praying for our co workers. Praying for the people that we meet daily.

But I’ve let myself get so busy, I forget sometimes to do that.

How about you?  Have we let ourselves get too busy to pray? Sometimes we get so involved with what is before us, we forget to do what is most important.

Today, with the tasks set before us, let’s not get to busy to pray. There are folks all around us in need of prayer. May we take the time to notice. And may we take the time to pray.

Go and Tell

I like to brag on those that I love.  I like to tell folks about my kids, my wife, and my family.

I like to tell folks about my church and what God is doing at Asbury Church.

I like to talk about good experiences I have at difference places.  I like to go and tell others about the things of that I’ve experienced that have brought me joy or happiness or was just a good experience.

I like to go and tell others about the good things that I’ve seen in my life.

Namely, Jesus.  He is the best thing I’ve experienced and the best thing that I’ll ever experience. And, I want to tell others about Him.  Listen to what happens today in Mark 5:

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.

Jesus had healed this man of many issues. He had made Him whole.  He had changed this man’s life forever.  And this man wanted to follow Jesus.  He wanted to get on the boat and follow Jesus.

Jesus said – this is how you will follow me.  Go and tell.  Go and tell others about me. Go and tell others about what I’ve done.  Go and tell others about what change has come to pass in your life.

Go and tell.

Sometimes to go and tell others means you have to go far away. Sometimes it means you have to you have to stay in your own family. Whatever it looks like, each of us are called to go and tell.

Go and tell what Jesus has done for us. Go and tell about His salvation and His hope.  Go and tell about His life. Go and tell.

Go and brag on Jesus like you do your family. Or your favorite restaurant. Or your favorite pair of shoes. Or your favorite hunting spot. Go and tell. Go and tell others what He has done in your life.

Go and show His mercy in your life.

Go and brag on what He’s doing in your life.

Go. Go and tell.

Go

I’ve heard it said before that each Gospel in the Bible, when taken together, paints a complete picture of who Jesus was and is. I’ve always like that understanding, and I think that the Gospels really do that. We see, by reading them who Jesus really is.

And, because of that, each Gospel will speak to us in different ways. And, being a little spastic and ADD, I’ve always like Mark’s Gospel.

Why?

In Mark, Jesus is always on the move. He’s always going. Doing. Teaching. Moving. The word immediately is used over and over again in Mark’s Gospel. And, for someone who doesn’t sit still well, I’ve always liked that.

One of the passages I’ve read today is from Matthew’s Gospel, but it could really fit into what Mark emphasized about Jesus. Except in this passage from Matthew, it’s not talking about Jesus. It’s talking about us.

Listen to this well-known passage from Matthew:

Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

This is the Great Commission. And it starts off with that magic and important word.

Go.

Go to all nations. Go. Go to them. Don’t wait on them.

For far too long we, as the church, and as Christians, have waited on “them” to come to us. The time for waiting over. We are called to go.

Go to them. Go to the hurting. Go to the lost. Go to the least, the last, the weak, the sick, the sore.

Go to the ones needing to hear about the grace and salvation of God.

Go to the ones that are in need of knowing that God loves them and that there is a Savior who died for them.

Don’t wait on them to come to you. You go to them. You take the first step. You make the first move.

But, I can’t you might say. I can’t do it. I’m afraid. I’m scared. I’m worried. I can’t.

Yes you can. You can do it. You have more strength and ability then you’ll ever know. You can.

How? Remember what Jesus told us.

I’ll be with you, even to the end of the age.

When you go, He goes with you. Where you go, He goes with you. You don’t go alone.

He goes with you.

Today, who is God calling you to go to? Where is God calling you to go?

Today, no matter where that is, may we each do it. Today, may we Go.