Why Was Jesus Angry?

Mark 3:5 – And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand.  and he stretched forth thine hand.  And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

In Mark 3, Jesus enters into the synagogue and begins, once again, to teach the Truth of the Scriptures.  Through a whole reading of the Bible, we know that God has a desire (more…)

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From Darkness to Purpose

The nation of Israel has left the land of their captivity.  While we believe there was rejoicing,  there must have also been confusion.  These had left the only home they had ever known, even with all of the problems, at least there was the security of familiarity.  Now, after trusting God and seeing a miraculous deliverance, they find themselves in the wilderness with no clear path forward.  Their current condition is void and their future is without form.

It is in this time that God gives Moses the Law, and introduces these books of purpose, order and hope with a tremendous story:  “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.  And God said…and it was so…”  In the beginning, God began a creation.  At first, it was without form and void and dark.  However, from this darkness, God brought all things together for good.  Purpose, order and hope all were brought forth by God out of this dark time.

What an encouragement for the nation of Israel.  Yes, God brought them into a wilderness, a place that is void.  Yes, God brought them into a place where their future was without form.  However, He had done this before.  “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork.”

Sometimes, in our life of faith we find ourselves, much like the Israelites, in a time of confusion.  Our lives seem hard and we feel ourselves to be wandering in a place that is void of our real desires.  Our future seems quite uncertain.  In this time, look at the glory of nature around you.  God can and will bring purpose, order and hope to your life.  Just keep your eyes on His glory.

Warren Wiersbe on Liberty vs Performance Based Christianity

The surrendered
Christian who depends on the power of the Spirit is
not denying the law of God or rebelling against it.
Rather, that law is being fulfilled in him through the
Spirit (Rom. 8:1–4). It is easy to see the sequence of
thought in these closing chapters:
1. I have been set free by Christ. I am no longer under
bondage to the law (Gal. 5:1–12).
2. But I need something—Someone—to control my
life from within. That Someone is the Holy Spirit
(Gal. 5:13–26).
3. Through the Spirit’s love, I have a desire to live for
others, not for self (Gal. 6:1–10).
4. This life of liberty is so wonderful, I want to live it
to the glory of God; for He is the One making it
possible (Gal. 6:11–18).
Now, contrast this with the experience of the person
who chooses to live under law, under the discipline
of some religious leader:
1. If I obey these rules, I will become a more spiritual
person. I am a great admirer of this religious leader,
so I now submit myself to his system.
2. I believe I have the strength to obey and improve
myself. I do what I am told and measure up to the
standards set for me.
3. I’m making progress. I don’t do some of the things I
used to do. Other people compliment me on my
obedience and discipline. I can see that I am better
than others in my fellowship. How wonderful to
be so spiritual.
4. If only others were like me! God is certainly fortunate
that I am His. I have a desire to share this
with others so they can be as I am. Our group is
growing and we have a fine reputation. Too bad
other groups are not as spiritual as we are.

How Do You Respond to Christ?

Mark chapter 3 is filled with both miracles of Jesus, and the different responses to these miracles.  I wonder if we might see some of ourselves, or some instruction for us in these different responses.

People in need flocked to Him:  After Jesus healed the withered hand, we find many people beginning to flock to Jesus.  These were people in need who (more…)

Being Memorialized

Many years ago, I sat in a conference listening to many of the world’s leading business minds challenge business men to become effective leaders.  One speaker in particular was challenging the crowd to “Leave A Legacy.”  Most people in this life want to do something that will leave a legacy.  We want our lives to be remembered for something greater than ourselves.  Some seek to leave a legacy, or become memorialized, by donating enough funds to have their name on a building.  Others seek to publish great works that will last through the ages.  Many are seeking to accomplish some great feat  of fame and fortune so as to be remembered when they are gone.  Others, more nobely, hope to leave an impression on a child, student or grandchild.  Still, we are seeking to be remembered, or memorialized.

 
In Mark 14, we find a story of a lady who was memorialiIzed by Jesus Christ.  Jesus Himself proclaimed that her story would be told throughout the world.  She did not win a battle, change a government or manage a business.  She simply did what she could to honor Christ.  Mary of Bethany humbled herself, gave what she had and honored her Christ.  For this expression of faith, we know her story.
 
If I may, I would challenge each of us to leave a legacy.  Not by achieving some measure of recognition by our peers, but by acknowledging the authority of Christ in our life to others.  May we each do what we can to honor our Christ in a spirit of humility.