Archive for the ‘Mark’ category

COME WITH ME AND GET SOME REST!

December 9, 2016

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31, NIV)

rest

Jesus was familiar with fatigue and quiet getaway places. He often traveled toward the hills of Judea, to places off the beaten path, in order to spend some time alone with his Father. We, too, are familiar with fatigue. It’s a deep weariness framed with a longing for something to soothe the portions of our heart that echo with an emptiness we often fail to admit.

But we’re less acquainted with quiet, getaway places. Jesus understands this. He wants us to hear his invitation loud and clear. To get our attention, however, he may whisper in a soft, loving voice, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Our lives are crazy! Words such as quiet, alone, and undistracted are not really part of our daily routines. But, when we find a way to slow down and relax, God makes himself known to us through his creation and by calling our names with a quiet, still voice.

We live in a fast-paced world of cell phones, social media, instant news, music on demand, and ever changing technology. We rarely find time just for ourselves. And when we do slow down a bit, it’s difficult to share that time with anyone – including our Savior!

We need to stop and reset our thinking! When he was alone, Moses heard God call his name through a burning bush. And alone, Samuel responded to the voice of God. And, Mary said yes to the career changing announcement of all time when she was alone!

We are so addicted to our lives of chaos and confusion, it is difficult to hear the voice of our Savior. Our Lord can make himself known to anyone, anytime and through any means, but we need to slow down and listen for His voice. He is here right now, waiting for us to find Him. There’s no better time than this Christmas season to re-focus our lives on the One who can bring us peace and comfort.

Come with me to a quiet place!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

Work for Christ

 

 

GIVE GOD YOUR LOVE!

July 11, 2014

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5, NIV)

Love God

Deuteronomy charges us to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength. Then along came Jesus. He added the word mind. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30, NIV). In those words, Jesus summed up what God most desires from us.

 We should love God with everything we have and everything we are … Everything!

That helps us change our perspective about the way we live. As we learn to love God with everything, we begin to see our difficulties as Paul described them – “light and momentary troubles” that will help bring us “an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17, NIV)

When we love God with our entire soul, doubts and struggles don’t necessarily disappear, but their effect on us diminishes. Our trials and questions recede as we learn to trust in His ultimate goodness.

The most treasured gift we can give to God is one that He can never force us to give – our love.
Work for Christ
Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

TODAY ISN’T OVER YET!

May 28, 2014

That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.

The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”  He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:35-40, NIV)

Calming the Storm

Our days are filled with stress. Most of us wake up at about six o’clock in the morning so we can be to our jobs by eight. Not only do we have to get up and be ready to go, we need to make sure our spouse and kids are up and ready to go, too. It seems that when we are rushing around, trying to get ready, nobody in the house wants to cooperate.  “I want cereal,” the youngest screams out.” “I want scrambled eggs,” replies the middle one. “I don’t want to eat today. I’m too fat,” says the oldest. “I’m making pancakes and everyone is going to eat them,” commands mom! Then, the cries and arguments begin. It’s only seven o’clock and my day has just begun.

After dropping my third grader off at school, I sit back in my car and take a deep breath. Ahhh! Finally I can relax. I put on some nice, relaxing blues and get ready to make the rest of my drive to the office. As I get ready to enter the freeway, I notice that the traffic is moving, but at a snail’s pace. It looks as if my forty-five minute commute may take a little longer than expected. Cars in front of me are stopping and starting as if they’d never been in a traffic jam before. Cars behind me are honking, and those around me are cutting in and out of traffic trying to gain an advantage any way they can. There really isn’t any apparent reason for the delay. Nobody can handle it. Horns are honking, fingers are raised and flying at each other, and words are being said that would embarrass even the nastiest of drunken sailors.

Traffic Jam

Finally, at eight thirty, I make it to my office. I’m exhausted. I haven’t even grabbed a cup of coffee before my secretary says, “There’s a call on the line. They’ve been holding for ten minutes, and they really sound upset.” Are you kidding me? I can’t take any more! How am I supposed to show others that I am living for Christ if I can’t get a handle on anything that’s going on around me? What am I supposed to do?

Perhaps when I woke up at six o’clock and made sure my wife and kids were awake, I should have taken a few minutes to “wake” Jesus, too! Maybe I should have invited Him to breakfast with us. I’m sure He would have enjoyed my wife’s blueberry pancakes, and I know He enjoys having breakfast with the kids. I could have even asked Him to sit next to me on the freeway and to protect me and those around me. Before getting out of my car at work, I could have asked Him to bless my day and to show me ways in which to glorify Him as I meet the various challenges that I will be facing today.

I could have and I should have, but I didn’t. Lucky for you (and for me), today isn’t over yet. It’s not too late to “wake” Jesus up and invite Him into your day. It only takes a few minutes. When your storms are raging and you think Jesus is asleep, He’s not! He’s just waiting for you to come to Him! There is no need to worry. He’s got your back!

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

IS OUR GOD YOUR GOD?

March 7, 2014

Then He called the crowd to Him along with His disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:34-36, NIV)

Follow

If our main priority in life is to get a prestigious job, or to make a lot of money, or to have the most or best of everything, Christ is no longer our God. We may feel like we have it all, but it’s only going to last a short time. I’ve been to a lot of funerals in my life and I’ve never seen a Hearst pulling a U-Haul – I’m sorry, but we just can’t take any of it with us!

I don’t believe that Jesus is asking us to give up our jobs, our homes, or our savings accounts to prove that we are Christ’s true followers. What this verse is saying to me is that our main goal in life should be to follow Christ above all things. Christ should come first – before our jobs, before our possessions, and before any other relationships we may have!  We should be willing to give up all other “gods” in order to build a stronger and more meaningful relationship with our Savior. In other words, if we give up our past lives of sin to follow Him, we will honor Him and our souls will become His!

Re-evaluate your priorities this weekend. Don’t lose your soul today by making poor decisions about tomorrow!

Work for Christ

Have a wonderful day, “Working for Christ”!

A PRESCRIPTION FOR OUR SPIRITUAL HEALTH!

February 14, 2014

Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17, NIV)

Doctor Jesus

If we didn’t need to be saved from our sins, God never would have sent His Son to this earth. He knows each of us personally. He knows our strengths and our weaknesses. He knows what builds us up and what tears us down. He knows what we do every minute of every day. He knows what we do when we are alone – when no else is around. He knows our struggles and all of our shortcomings. He knows each and every one of our many sins. The fact is, He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows that none of us are worthy to enter His Kingdom. But, He has provided a way for us to live with Him in eternity.

It is important to recognize and confess our sins. Just as a doctor prescribes antibiotics to help us when we are ill, Christ prescribes His love to maintain our spiritual health! Spend some time with the “Doctor” today. Allow Him to nurture you back to health!

Work for ChristEnjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

MORE THAN A CARPENTER!

January 13, 2014

 ” ‘Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?’ And they took offense at him.” (Mark 6:3, NIV)

Jesus the Carpenter

I don’t know why I hadn’t seen it before, but the other day as I was reading through the Gospel of Mark, I stumbled across this verse. It stopped me dead in my tracks. We are told that Jesus, who was spending His time as a wandering teacher, came back to His hometown of Nazareth. The crowd listened to Him teach in the synagogue, and they were stunned because He was displaying such wisdom and power. In their eyes, Jesus was still a carpenter from Nazareth – not a preacher. Mark records the hometown crowd saying,  “and they took offense at him.” (Mark 6:3, NIV) That’s really hard for me to grasp. They took offense to Jesus! Really?

As I pondered these words, I began to reflect on the significance of Jesus spending so much time on earth working with his hands in a carpentry shop. Here was the Son of God sent to earth on a redemptive mission of seeking and saving the lost, of proclaiming the gospel – yet He spent the majority of His years on earth making things in a wood shop. Why was it the Father’s will for Jesus to spend so much time making things with His hands instead of gracing the Palestinian countryside, proclaiming the gospel and healing the multitudes?

Dallas Willard brings this refreshing perspective:

“If He were to come today as He did then, He could carry out His mission through any decent and useful occupation. He could be a clerk or accountant in a hardware store, a computer repairman, a banker, an editor, doctor, waiter, teacher, farm hand, lab technician, or construction worker. He could run a housecleaning service or repair automobiles. In other words, if He were to come today He could very well do what you do. He could very well live in your apartment or house, hold down your job, have your education and life prospects, and live within your family surroundings and time. None of this would be the least hindrance to the eternal kind of life that was His by nature and becomes available to us through Him.” (Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy, New York: HarperCollins, 1998, pg 14)

Yes, Jesus was more than a carpenter, but His vocational calling to work as a carpenter speaks volumes about the importance of our day-to-day vocational work. We, too, are more than our occupations. We were created in God’s image and our job is to seek and save the lost, to proclaim the gospel, and to bring others into a closer relationship with our Savior.

Our job is to spend our days, “Working for Christ!”

Work for Christ

START YOUR DAY RIGHT!

November 15, 2013

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35, NIV)

Jesus Praying

As Christians, it is our goal to model ourselves after our Savior. There are obvious reasons why Jesus prayed the very first thing in the morning. Since Christ is our number one priority, what better way to honor Him than to make Him the focus of our day. By starting our day with prayer we are showing commitment to the Lord and disciplining ourselves for the day that is about to begin.

Before we head off to work, it is important to invite the Holy Spirit into our day to intercede for us as things begin to get a little crazy. Without the help of the Holy Spirit we are just humans – weak, indecisive, and vulnerable to the world around us. We waste time, we succumb to temptation, and we lack order and discipline in our thinking and in our dealings with other people. We’re often judgmental and consequently, we treat people unfairly. These things are often caused because we don’t take the time for morning prayer.

Prayer sets the stage for the entire day. When we pray and when we finally are able to defeat those little demons, our lives are transformed. The things we do all day, the people we meet, and the temptations that arise are no match for our Lord and Savior. The simple act of having a morning conversation with Jesus is the key to our peace and contentment throughout the day. Jesus is our friend, our advocate. Why wouldn’t we start our day with prayer?

Listen to my words, Lord,
    consider my lament.
Hear my cry for help,
    my King and my God,
    for to you I pray.

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before you
    and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5:1-3, NIV)

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”


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