Monday, July 30, 2012

All Authority

     In my last blog I shared how the word “immediately” caught my attention while reading the Gospel of Mark. As I continue to read something else has caught my eye…

Jesus' Authority
     Mark 1:22 sets the stage for the areas that come under His command:
Demons – Mark 1:23-27, Mark 5:39-43
Sickness – Mark 1:30-32, 40-42, Mark 3:5
Evil – Mark 1:34, Mark 5:2-16
 Sin – Mark 2:1-13
The Sabbath – Mark 2:28
Nature – Mark 4:35-41
And, Death – Mark 5:39-43
     All authority has been given to Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18) and throughout the gospel account He demonstrates His Lordship, even down to shushing the demons so they wouldn’t spill the beans about His identity. Yes, they recognized Him before others did.
     His identity hasn’t changed. He has authority over all things—even in my life. I see Him keeping the demonic and forces of evil at bay. I see His ability to heal and restore. I see Him forgiving sin and giving us the desire to live differently by His Spirit. I see the importance of His rest—practicing the Sabbath principle of ceasing from our works. I am amazed at His command of the storms, wind, rain and the ability to say, “be still” both in nature and in our hearts. And I rejoice - He has taken command of death, so that we can live eternally with Him because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross.
     How does this concept of Jesus’ authority challenge your thinking about things going on around you? What area do you need Him to take control?
     According to Mark 6:7 and Luke 9:1, what authority have we been given?
     Challenge us, Lord to see You as all powerful and having all authority,



Sunday, July 22, 2012

Immediately...Means Now

"Begin reading God’s Word and don’t stop until something leaps off the page and begins to settle into and challenge your thinking."

This idea is not new, but after reading some articles in my In Touch Magazine, Charles Stanley challenged me to take whatever time necessary to hear from God through His Word. So, I sat down with my Bible this afternoon and began to read the Gospel of Mark. Right away, the word ‘immediately’ repeated over and over, along with the words, ‘follow me’.

Honestly, there are very few things I do immediately. So, seeing the repetition I knew this was something I wanted to explore.  I underlined as I read and began a list of things mentioned:

The heavens opened immediately after Jesus was baptized, and God’s voice was heard

The Spirit immediately impelled Jesus to enter the wilderness

Simon and Andrew immediately left their nets and followed Jesus

Jesus called James and John and they immediately followed Him

Jesus entered Capernaum, immediately entered the synagogue and began to teach on the Sabbath

Immediately news about Jesus went out everywhere into the surrounding districts

Immediately after leaving the synagogue they went to Simon’s house

The disciples immediately told Jesus about Simon’s mother in law who was sick

A leper is immediately cleansed of leprosy

…And, this is just the first chapter.

I wonder what God is asking me to do immediately. And, I wonder whether I am as focused on my mission to be obedient and follow wherever He leads. As I continued to read, a prayer formed in my mind:

 Lord, help me be intentional and immediate when You ask me to follow You. And help me to notice the way You are calling me each day in my journey.

I want to be purposeful in my relationship with God and how I pass it along. How about you? And, how has His Word prompted you to dig deeper?


Sunday, July 15, 2012

El Roi - The God Who Sees Me

God sees me.
He sees my heart; He knows my frame.
He knows I am weak, tired and all but brain-drained. He knows my struggles.
                 He knows the reason for my emptiness.
He sees when I fall.  
                 He knows what I need.
                                         He knows me.

He knew David, though he looked like a grubby shepherd boy—God saw Him as the man he would become—a king.

He knew Peter, a man who was impulsive and put his mouth in gear before his brain woke up—God saw him as a leader and great orator who would deliver powerful words to the hearts of those who needed a wake-up call. God also knew that Peter would deny him, yet offered him grace one morning while having breakfast when He asked the question, “Peter, Do you love me?”

He knew Judas, though his heart was darkened and plotted to betray Jesus, the Son of God dipped the morsel of bread and shared it with him during the Passover meal—an expression of honor.

God called Gideon to be a warrior even though he was only a youth. He saw a heart who would contend for what was right.

He sees you. He knows your heart. He sees your potential. He sees the person you are becoming as you trust Him on the journey. He sees you as redeemed, washed whiter than snow, delivered from the snares the enemy sets. He sees you eternally. Complete in Him.

God knows and understands what my heart desperately needs; I am so glad, because I often have trouble explaining it to Him.

Trust that He knows...


Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Freedom Isn't Free

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery… Galatians 5:1

The saying, Freedom isn’t free, is certainly something to ponder. I am more in tune with freedom’s cost now that I have a son in the military. I pray he never has to pay the ultimate sacrifice and I am thankful for his willingness to serve.
We can take our liberty for granted. We’re so used to the ability to do whatever we want to do, say what we want to say, and enjoy the historic freedoms that our country is built upon. Yet, freedom is erosive—for the price of security we willingly give up our liberty little bits at a time. But how far are we willing to go?  Once freedoms are gone it is impossible to get them back. We may want to think carefully before surrendering them.
Though we may lose freedom here in our country—there is a freedom that has been bought and paid for, one we cannot lose and can never be taken away—the freedom Jesus Christ purchased on the cross of Calvary. We are freed from sin’s hold and death’s grip when we accept His sacrifice on our behalf. Our soul, once dead and disconnected from God is given new life—eternal life because of His victory over the grave.

The cost of freedom makes it valuable—not taken for granted—not surrendered without a fight. Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for every person to free them from the penalty of the vice grip of sin. With His words from the cross, “It is finished” He accomplished the work and invites us to receive Him as Savior. Will you receive Him?
Loved. Chosen. Forgiven. Set free.

Receive His free gift,

Day #4 - 31 Day Blog Challenge

The Good News
We have forgiveness in Christ
And eternal life with God
If you would like to know more about what Jesus did for you and
Discover freedom in Him as your Savior:

For all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory… Romans 3:23

Wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life… Romans 6:23

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us..and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness… 1 John 1:9

For by grace you have been saved though faith; not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works that no one should boast… Ephesians 2:8-9

As many as received Him..He gave the right to become children of God… John 1:12

God so loved the world, He gave His Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life… John 3:16

…the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. John 8:36