Monday, July 30, 2012

Making Surprisig Moves in the Gospel of Mark

In a previous post, I covered some key issues and insights from Jesus on how we truly become defiled.  Believe it or not, Jesus was pretty direct with what He said.  He didn't leave much wiggle room for other interpretations (Mark 7:1-23).

That shouldn't come as much of a surprise.  That's been pretty standard practice for Jesus during this whole study, hasn't it? I would think so.

Along with that, we had a short survey entitled Who is Jesus? that numerous visitors and subscribers joined in to share their opinions. FYI: we're still taking responses throughout this week.  The results are as follows so far:
  • 89% of respondents said that King Herod believed Jesus to be John the Baptist.  That comes from the king's own personal paranoia about John in Mark 6:14-29.
  • 56% of respondents found it insightful that the Greek woman's daughter was healed, while 22% of respondents selected the woman's response to Jesus' reluctance to help.  See Mark 7:24-30.
  • 44% of respondents were amazed at Jesus' methods for healing the deaf and mute man, while 33% were amazed at the people publishing the report despite Jesus warning against it.  See Mark 7:31-37.

We are moving on to chapter 8 now.  We will hear about signs, predictions and other challenges in this chapter.  Jesus will make some literal moves that may surprise us, too.  Look at where He goes with His disciples.  Bethsaida and Caesarea Philippi take them away from the far west and back along the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee.  Literally, Jesus is making moves and so are others who seek a sign from Him.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Defiled from the Inside Out

And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. - Mark 7:20

Imagine how it would be if everyone could what was inside of us.

They could see your thoughts.  Every one of your thoughts would play out like a movie scene before every person who came in contact with you.  You would be viewable by anyone and everyone.

People could see what you had in your system.  What you ate for breakfast would be in plain view.  What you put in your system would be apparent to every single person who approached you, both the good and the bad.
That doesn't sound too good.

What about that time when I only had a few drinks? It was just something to do.

How about the time when I  held her close for only one night? Will those smudges of sex and lust still be apparent on my hands and the rest of my body?

Will everything that I laid my eyes be revealed when people look in my eyes? Magazines? Videos? Websites?

Uh-Oh!

The eyes of the LORD are everywhere,
keeping watch on the wicked and the good.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

On the Move with the Master


Here is a bit of how ou can study along with us online and keep the interaction going. I will provide the week's lesson as far as chapter and any materials such as an outline or "homework." From there, you can engage in a lot of the activities with us.

 I suggest that you use a website like YouVersion or Biblegateway if you plan on using your mobile device or laptop to read the Bible as we study together. These sites provide a pretty good variety of Bible translations in case you are more comfortable with NIV or ESV, even the New Century Version or the Message, rather than the plain old King James Version. This week's lesson transitions from Mark chapter 4 to chapter 5. Read Mark 4 to familiarize yourself with what we have studied and read chapter 5 to be up to speed with the rest of us. Once you have done that, follow the link below to our class review and answer the questions. From there, be on the lookout for the responses that come rolling in. I will share them as we go forward.

Review of Mark Chapter 4. . .

Go to the first study's "Quiz" on Getting to Know the Gospel of Mark. . .

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Crusade for Compassion

Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
- Romans 13:10 (NIV)

Love fulfills the law.  That's not the local ordinances of your city or municipality.  No magistrates or legislators are looking for you to love your neighbor.  The police and other law enforcement do not expect it out of you.  Otherwise, why would they exist?

We are called to live at a level above the low standards set by many.  We are called to live at a higher level than the low expectations that many people have for their fellow man.

If someone says, "I love God," but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don't love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? - 1 John 4:20 (NLT)


Love is about doing no harm.  Love is a life-giving force.  Love will make sacrifices of the self for the good of the ones who feel unwanted and unworthy of even being considered for love.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. - 1 John 4:12 (NIV)

If we really love the Lord, let's start showing our love by loving our neighbors.  We can do better by being better towards one another.  It starts with you and I, then it moves on from there.  Let's love somebody today and make things better by fulfilling the law.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.
- 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)
 
Amen Me!