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Showing posts from February 14, 2016

Wild Tamed

Mark illustrates only the creator's ability to tame that which is wild. After sharing several parables, Jesus got in a boat and as evening descended traveled to the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. On the way, a furious squall came up and almost swamped them. The disciples rushed to a sleeping Jesus and asked, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" (Mark 4:38) He stood up and rebuked the wind and waves and it became completely calm. The disciples fear now turned to terror and they said, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!" (Mark 4:41) Now in the early morning as they approach the shore, a loud and boisterous man came running toward them with intent. I'm sure Peter and maybe others had their hand on their swords in this moment. The man was naked and lived among the tombs. He was often heard shrieking out in the day and night as the demons inside tortured him and caused him to cut himself with jagged rocks. As he approached, he recogn…

Weeds of Life

We just received notice this morning from our neighborhood HOA that we had a mild winter and that weeds are already starting to sprout in yards. They seem to grow much faster and with less care than the rest of the yard. The HOA reminded us that it is our responsibility to take care of those weeds! Jesus reflected on weeds when he spoke the parable of the sower. Seed was sown by the sower in four different locations, along the path, in rocky places, among weeds, and on good soil. He was suggesting that seed was sown but weeds had grown. “Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” (Mark 4:18-19) The seed is the word of God, the response in three out of the four locations is temporary acceptance at the beginning but never permanent heart change and growth. In this third part, weeds become the reason for the lack of fruitfulness. I…

Compassion

There is an old hymn that states, "O to be like Thee! Blessed Redeemer, This is my constant longing and prayer; Gladly I'll forfeit all of earth's treasures, Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear. O to be like Thee! Full of compassion, Loving, forgiving, tender and kind, Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting, Seeking the wand'ring sinner to find. O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee, Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art; Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness; Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart." One day "a man with leprosy came to him [Jesus] and begged him on his knees, 'If you are willing, you can make me clean.' Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. 'I am willing,' he said. 'Be clean!' And immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured." (Mark 1:40-42) Jesus was filled with compassion for people in three different areas of their existence. He was filled with compassion by their s…

Tasting God

David had fled to the Philistine King Abimelech when King Saul was seeking to kill him. He was given access to the King but was suspected by Abimelech's inner circle of being a spy. In order to protect himself and keep the king sympathetic to him, David pretended to be insane around him. However, David attributed his protection to God when he said, "I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears (terrors)."(Psalm 34:4) David says that he "called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles."(34:6) He then extrapolated his protection as available to all believers when he said, "The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear (reverence) him and he delivers them." (34:7) This is not a possible outcome, but a promised one. This experience which was full of terror and suspicion was also full of dependence by David on God whom he reverenced. Success in his circumstances propelled David to invite others to "…