Mark Day 35
Read: Mark 12:13-27
Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? Mark 12:24
The reason we find ourselves wrong is because we do not know His Scriptures nor His power. There is a need to know both. The gospel comes with power. Paul wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17 There is a need for both, His Scriptures and His power. We need to know both, or we can be deceived. The gospel comes with power and it’s that experience that nails down our education. We don’t just want to speak out of our heads but from our hearts where we have experienced the power of God. What we see is understood by what we hear and what we hear is connected to who and who we know. Do you know God, or do you know about God? Jesus would say, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27 These sheep hear His voice because they know His voice. Know God personally and never cease to know Him more and more personally. Know His Scriptures and know His power. This is where humility is required. To know His Scriptures and His power we must be willing to submit to His ministry, personally, again and again. Know Him!
Mark Day 34
Read Mark 12:1-12
Have you not read this Scripture: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; 11 this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
Mark 12:10-11 God is always in front of us and not behind us. He knows where we are going before we do and knows where we have come from also. He sees the facts and the future. That’s why He can prophesy over us. And we cannot fool God. He sees the motives of our hearts, something we can’t always see. We can’t see because we don’t want to operate in the truth, but He can see because our Lord operates in love. Like the religious people Jesus was talking to on this day, we don’t want to see the truth because we cannot believe He loves us. Jesus tells this parable to help these religious folks see their lives and know their intent. Love does that so that we can walk away from what is wrong and evil. But if we don’t believe in His love, we won’t be able to see what He is telling us. God has created a life for us that is good, but if we can’t believe He loves us we won’t see what He has done for us. Jesus read their mail to them that day and these religious people walked away mad. We cannot walk in love and not operate in truth. Know that God loves you. He has built a life for you to live blessed. Believe it or you won’t see what He has done or what He is going to do. The best way to end up mad is to believe that you are not loved. Love opens our eyes to the truth.
Mark Day 33
And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be your Mark 11:22-24
If we want to see a miracle, we must speak to our mountain. If we want to walk in the blessing, we must speak to the barrier. Jesus said, “Have faith in God” and then He said to speak to the mountain. We speak to what we see but we believe what we hear. But we do speak! Sometimes we get so caught up in our thoughts and troubles that we don’t see the mountain/barrier before us. We must see the mountain before we can speak to it. The word of God, that we hear, empowers us to see the mountain and the wisdom of God empowers us to speak to it and command it to move. In this scripture, the Pharisees would not answer Jesus because they were afraid of what they say. Jesus wasn’t afraid and neither should we be afraid. Have faith in God, and believe what you hear Him say and then speak to what you see. We speak to what we see because we believe what we hear Him say. We speak to the mountain and He moves it out of the way. If we have faith in God, we will not only see what is in front of us but we will also know what to say when we see it.
Mark Day 32
And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
There’s an interesting thing that happens in Mark 11. Jesus walks into the temple, looks around and the next day brings judgment into that same temple. Jesus sees a fig tree in leaf but with no fruit and judges the fig tree to death. God doesn’t accept what is fake, foolish and doomed to failure. Jesus came with judgment on what He saw, and He will come again bringing the same. The Lord does not rely on what man says but judges what man does. Faith without works is dead. The Bible tells us that our Father sees in secret. (Matthew 6:4-18) We judge by what we hear and how we see is dependent on what we hear. But Jesus IS the way, the truth, and the life and He sees truthfully. How He sees is how it really is. And He will bring judgment on what He sees. Did you ever think about that? He sees our heart. He sees the motive of our heart. He sees our lives and He sees how we live this life. Our only hope is to believe His word and let His word shape our lives. Where faith is working there will be a change in what God and everyone else sees. We can’t keep love hidden and we can’t keep faith a secret. What we believe will shape what God, others, and ourselves see. What is God seeing in you today?
Mark Day 31
And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”
Praise Him, for He comes with salvation, healing, and deliverance in His hands. His kingdom is great and wonderful. He is worthy of praise. But understand this, that Jesus brings with Him judgment on all that is deceptive, rebellious, and manipulating. Jesus doesn’t come just to deal with the sin of sin. He comes to deal with the system of sin. We must be ready for that judgment. His kingdom, His system, does not deal in dishonesty and delusion. We must be ready and willing to accept and accompany His system for living. In this last week before the cross, Jesus will expose the hearts and hands of those who deceive and deter people from the kingdom of heaven. Praise belongs in the mouth of those who truly trust Him. Praise belongs in the mouth of those who don’t just want judgment on sin but who want judgment on the systems of sin. It’s the kingdoms of man and hell that keep us living in sin, sickness, and sorrow. The heart of God is for true love, true life, and true liberty. Praise brings all that home. Trust Him enough to tell Him!
Mark Day 30
Read: Mark 10:35-52
But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:43-45
A heart after God is a heart of mercy. Finding mercy and following in mercy, that’s the heart that beats for God. Jesus had said, “I desire mercy, not a sacrifice.” (Matthew 9:13; 12:7) In mercy, we find the mighty hand of God and with mercy, we serve Him. Blind Bartimaeus cried out for mercy, and finding it followed Jesus. In mercy, Jesus came to die for our sinful lives and in mercy He gives us new life by rising from the dead. In mercy, we find Him and with mercy, we follow Him. In mercy, He leads us to life and with mercy we lead others to live in Him. It’s not just what we know but how we live that changes the world. Those who have found mercy serve with mercy and see the power of God’s mighty arm.
Mark Day 29
And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Following Jesus is a matter of the heart and then the head. The head s focused on doing but the heart is filled with being. Where there is agreement there is authority. But the heart will walk away from treasures and things to possess true love. That’s why we must have the heart of a child, wanting to be loved. It gets more difficult as we get more experienced in life and we start to figure out what treasures and things can do for us in the here in now. The Bible says that the rich young ruler went away disheartened and sorrowful. His head had determined what he must do but his heart wanted what he could be with Jesus. The head thinks about what we must do to find life but the heart focuses on what we can be in God’s love. The heart that seeks the love of God rather than the leverage of man, lives in the power, passion, and promises of our Father in heaven in the now and in the forever. When we live in God’s love we BECOME His children living in what He can do rather than what we must do, now and in the age to come. Don’t just believe in Jesus, fall in love with Him and let your heart take you where only He can go and into what He can do.
Mark Day 28
Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. Mark 10:15-16
We all need the heart of a child to make the most of this life. Children are so ready to believe and to receive the love of another. That’s what makes them so vulnerable and so valuable at the same time. They are ready to receive and respond to love. We were all there at one time or another but then life happens in a fallen world. Pretty soon people are shewing us away rather than showing us in. After a few bad voices and wrong messages, the door of our heart becomes guarded rather than open. When our heart becomes hard to enter, our head becomes harsh toward anyone who would enter. Relationships just don’t work with a hard heart, not loving relationships. Life becomes difficult and deserted with a hard heart. Run to Jesus! The only way to enjoy a soft heart is to believe. Run to Jesus! Let Him take you, hold you and speak over you. That experience will melt the hardest heart and let you live in love. Run to Jesus! When He speaks it won’t sound like some sort of love, it will be real love. When He touches us, it won’t be some sort of love, it will be pure love. But we must be willing to receive His love by being willing to humble our hearts to come to Him who is waiting for us at each and every moment in this life.
Mark Day 27
But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40 For the one who is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward. Mark 9:39-41
Hear this! There is power in the name of Jesus and that power is revealed through those who truly believe. Don’t be an interruption to those who believe and don’t let the pleasures and problems of this world interrupt your belief either. The name of Jesus rules. Deal with the things that get in the way of your belief and do not dilute the power of Jesus name. It would be better to cut off your wondering foot, your wicked hand and pluck out your wrongful eye that to dilute the power of the name of Jesus. Live in the pleasure of His name rather than the pleasure of your game. Lift up His name over your pleasures and problems and preserve life rather than poison it. Lift up the name of Jesus over your tests and trials and He will preserve you. As you and I live in the power of His name we are not only preserved but we will preserve life in this world too. Lift up His name and see His power in this life. Hell is real and we don’t have to die to start living there but heaven is real too and in the power of Jesus’ name we start living in heaven today. In order to see the power of Jesus’ name we must first hear that there is power in His name. Hear and see.
Mark Day 26
And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” Mark 9:35-37
We must hear to see in the kingdom of God. There must be death for there to be life and there must be service for there to be leadership. To be an adult we must become like a child. It’s not that we see and understand but that we hear and believe. Hearing must happen for there to be seeing. So, we must choose who we are going to listen to first. Faith is trusting in the One who is talking. We can’t understand the kingdom of God until we first hear the king. His kingdom doesn’t fit into our understanding. But there will be understanding as we trust in the One who is talking. The kingdom of God is contrary to the kingdom of this world. The kingdom of this world takes while the kingdom of God gives to those who will receive it. We receive from God as we hear and trust in the One who is talking. This life in this kingdom of God is about receiving His love, light, life, and liberty to live according to what we hear Him saying. Those who hear Him, have Him as their Lord, Savior, Healer, Deliverer, Provider, Protector, Miracle Worker, and so on. It’s not who we are but who He is. It’s not where we are but where He is. Learn to listen to Him.