Sunday, October 30, 2011

Back From The Dead



Mark 5:1-20

The Man’s Slavery (1-6)

His Master

This man was under the control of Satan.

He was home to a few thousand of demons.

His Misery

This man lived in the tombs.

He was a wild man.

His demons caused him to be self-destructive.

His Mentality

This man ran to the Lord Jesus Christ!

He still had the knowledge of right and wrong!

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The Man’s Savior (6-13)

The Savior’s Purpose

The Lord Jesus Christ went over to the other side of the lake just to reach him.

What love! What compassion!

The Savior’s Perception

When the Lord Jesus Christ looked at this man, He saw a human in need of heavenly intervention!

The Savior’s Power

The Lord Jesus Christ has more power than the devil!

At His command, the demons left the poor man and entered a herd of 2,000 swine that ran down the side of a cliff and committed suicide in the sea!

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The Man’s Salvation (14-20)

Salvation Changed Him

No longer was the man running around, crying out and cutting himself.

Now he was calm and seated beside the Lord Jesus Christ!

Salvation Clothed Him

No longer was he naked, but now he was clothed!

Salvation Calmed Him

Now he was in his right mind!

He had perfect peace!

He has been changed spiritually, physically and mentally!

Salvation Compelled Him

He Was Compelled To Desire Jesus

Now that he was saved, all he wanted to do was to be around the Lord Jesus Christ and do His business.

He Was Compelled To Declare Jesus

He was told to go home and tell those who know him what the Lord Jesus Christ had done in his life!

He went to Decapolis, and started telling people what had happened and it got their attention!

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Has the Lord Jesus Christ passed by when you were trapped in the bondage of your sins, and set you free?

Have you experienced His life-changing, sin-killing, bondage-breaking power in your life?

If you haven’t, you can!

If you will come to the Lord Jesus Christ right now, He is here to save.

He may have come this way just for you today!

Will you come to Him?

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Master Of The Deep



Mark 4:35-41

The Power Of The Storm (37)

Its Suddenness

The Sea of Galilee is susceptible to sudden storms.

That is the way life is too!

Often we are in the storm of our lives.

Its Severity

The disciples were frightened by the severity of the storm.

The ship was rocking and reeling.

It was full of water.

It was about to sink.

It was a violent storm.

And it was night time.

They were in terrible danger.

They feared for their lives.

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So are the storms of life.

They are often severe.

And cause us great anguish, fear, anxiety and pain.

Its Source

It might have been natural since the Sea of Galilee was susceptible to storms.

Or God might have sent it for the purpose of teaching them to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Or it might be an attempt by Satan to destroy the Lord Jesus Christ.

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So are the storms in our own lives.

They can come from various sources too.

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The Problem Of The Storm (35, 38)

The storm was raging.

But the Lord was asleep.

The disciples woke Him up.

They had lost all hope of surviving the storm.

They Doubted His Goodness

They accused the Lord Jesus Christ of not caring about what they were facing.

They Doubted His Grace

They were afraid that the Lord Jesus Christ would let them all die.

They Doubted His Guarantee

They feared they wouldn’t reach the other side of the lake.

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The Purpose Of The Storm (39-41)

The Lord Jesus Christ woke up and began to work.

As He did, the disciples made some precious discoveries about Him.

They Discovered About His Power

The Lord Jesus Christ rebuked the wind and spoke to the sea.

When He did, the winds fell silent and the sea became as a sheet of glass.

The storm is not a problem when the Lord Jesus Christ is with us!

They Discovered About His Promises

They passed over to the other side of the lake.

Everything the Lord Jesus Christ has promised, He will do.

They Discovered About His Presence

They discovered they had an advantage when the Lord Jesus Christ was with them.

They were able to call on Him.

They were able to see Him move in power.

They were able to experience His peace.

They Discovered About His Purposes

They discovered that they were sent into the storm so that they could learn to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The storm increased their faith!

They Discovered About His Peace

They were fretting and fearing.

The Lord Jesus Christ was sleeping.

He could sleep during the storm.

He trusted His Father to take care of Him.

They Discovered About His Person

They learned that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Master of the Deep.

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When the Lord Jesus Christ is with us, we can face our storms of life without fear.

He can ease our pain in our storm of suffering.

He can comfort our soul in our storms of sorrow.

He can deliver us and set us free in our storms of sin.

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Do we hear the Lord Jesus Christ say “Peace, be still!” to our storms?

Let us watch the Lord Jesus Christ work in our lives.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Parable Of The Soils



Mark 4:1-20

The Lord Jesus Christ was ministering in the city of Capernaum.

Great crowds gathered around Him.

The Lord Jesus Christ taught them from a boat.

He used parables.

He took the common, everyday events of life and used them to illustrate the deep things of God.

The people would have to think through what they were hearing.

Those who were sincere and hungry for the truth would know the truth.

Those who were closed minded to the truth would be concealed from them.

Let us consider first the parable of the soils.

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The Closed Mind (4, 15)

The wayside refers to the narrow footpaths that ran through the fields.

These were the roads of the day.

The soil on them had become hard.

When the seed fell on the footpath, it could not penetrate the soil.

It remained there in the open, only to be devoured by the fowls of the air.

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This speaks of the people who hear the Gospel but cannot see how it can connect to their life.

They are hard hearted.

The seed of the Gospel cannot penetrate the soil of their mind.

They hear the Gospel and dismiss it as foolishness.

And the devil comes immediately to snatch away the Gospel seed.

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The Confused Mind (5-6, 16-17)

The stony ground looks promising.

The seed casts here will germinate and quickly spring up into a plant.

But there is no depth of soil.

As soon as the sun beats down on the tender plant, it withers and dies without producing any fruit.

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This speaks of the people who make emotional responses immediately to the presentation of the Gospel.

They receive it with gladness.

But because they have no depth to their profession, they fall away when the persecutions and tribulations associated with knowing the Lord Jesus Christ arise.

They are not saved.

There is no fruit of salvation in their life!

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The Cluttered Mind (7, 18-19)

This soil looks good.

But underneath the surface are the living roots and seeds of thorns and weeds.

When the seed springs to life, so do the thorns and weeds.

They soon choke out the tender plant.

The young tender plant withers and dies without producing any fruit.

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This speaks of the people who try to have the benefit of the Gospel while still clinging to the old life of sin.

The cares of the world, the quest for earthly riches, and the lust for worldly things spell disaster for this kind of soil.

They are not saved.

There is no fruit of salvation in their life!

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The Cultivated Mind (8, 20)

This is a good ground.

It has been plowed and tilled.

It is ready to receive the seed when it comes.

The seed will germinate and the plant will grow.

When the plant reaches maturity, it will produce fruit.

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This speaks of the heart that has been plowed deeply by the Word of God, and tilled by the convicting work of the Holy Spirit.

It is a heart that has been prepared by the grace of God.

This is the only soil that produces fruit!

On the hard soil, the seed never penetrates the hard ground and is carried away.

On the other three soils, the seed penetrates and disappears, but only that which falls on the good soil produces fruit!

And some of the seeds produce more fruit that others.

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“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

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Let us examine our life today and see whether or not our life is producing spiritual fruit to the glory of God.

Let us know our own heart.

The soil of our life will be judged by the fruit it bears.

Are we in a personal, faith relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ today?

Are we saved?

Are we producing fruit that is pleasing to the Lord?

Let us make very sure.

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Let us come to the Lord Jesus Christ today.

He will help us with the needs we have in our life.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Scandal Over The Sabbath



Mark 2:23-28

Jesus And The Irritation (23-24)

The Conduct Of The Disciples

The Pharisees were upset.

The disciples were eating heads of grain in a field on the Sabbath Day.

The Criticism Of The Disciples

The Pharisees came to the Lord Jesus Christ.

They accused His disciples of doing something unlawful on the Sabbath Day.

They considered what they were doing to be work.

But that was not true.

The disciples were not working.

They were simply meeting a pressing need.

They were hungry and they were simply doing what the Law gave them permission to do.

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Jesus And The Illustration (25-26)

When His men were attacked, the Lord Jesus Christ neither condemned the disciples nor condoned their actions.

Neither did He enter into an argument with the Pharisees.

Instead, He pointed them to the Word of God.

The Lord’s Confrontation

The Lord Jesus Christ looked at these men and He said, “Have you never read…?”

He used a little sarcasm to get these men to understand that their argument was not based on a proper understanding of what the Bible says about such matter.

The Lord’s Clarification

The Lord Jesus Christ proceeded to remind them of an incident that occurred during the life of David.

When David was fleeing from Saul, he and his men needed food.

They came to the priest and ask for food.

The priest told David there was no bread there but the showbread.

The showbread was 12 loaves of bread that were baked fresh every Sabbath Day.

They were placed on a table in the holy place in the Tabernacle.

They represented the 12 tribes of Israel.

They reminded Israel of their dependence upon the Lord God for their physical needs.

The showbread was changed every Sabbath Day.

The old bread was eaten by the priests in the holy place.

This bread was not to be eaten by non-priests, according to the Law.

But it was given to David and His men.

The clear teaching here is that there are times when human needs are more important than a legalistic keeping of the Law.

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Jesus And The Illumination (27-28)

The Reason For The Sabbath

The Lord Jesus Christ told these men that the Sabbath Day was given to man.

The Sabbath does not exist to be served, it exists to serve.

The Sabbath was given to man out of the grace of God.

God gave man one day out of seven in which he did not have to work for a living.

Man was to take that one day per week and he was to rest from his physical labors.

Man was to use that day for reflection on what the Lord had done for him the other 6 days.

Man was to use that time to rest his body; reflect on the blessings o the Lord and refresh his spirit by worshiping the Lord.

That was the original intent of the Sabbath.

The Reality Of The Sabbath

The Lord Jesus Christ summed it all up by telling the Pharisees that He is “Lord of the Sabbath”.

It is far more important to know Him through a personal relationship than it is to keep rules and rituals.

The Lord Jesus Christ is greater than the Sabbath!

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Sunday is a very special day.

It is the Lord’s Day.

It is the day when the church gathers to celebrate our Lord’s resurrection from the dead.

It is a day set aside to honor Him.

It is good not to do physical work on Sunday.

But there is nothing wrong if we have to.

This whole thing comes down to personal opinion.

It is a matter of conscience.

Whatever we do, let us be sure that we honor the Lord, not just on Sunday, but 7 days per week.

Every day is our Sabbath Day because we are in Jesus the place of Rest.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Transforming Moment



Mark 1:40-45

In the midst of His preaching and teaching ministry in Capernaum, the Lord Jesus Christ was interrupted by a leper.

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The Condition Of The Leper (40)

His Disease

This man was suffering from leprosy, the most feared disease and affliction that devastated the ancient world.

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His Desire

But that morning, faith was awakened in his heart.

He knew he had to get to the Lord Jesus Christ.

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He made his way through the frightened crowd and stopped within arm’s length of Jesus.

He knelt before the Lord and declared to the Lord his desire.

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His words indicated a desire to be free from his disease.

His words declared his faith in Christ’s ability.

His words revealed his own sense of unworthiness before the Lord.

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The Compassion Of The Lord (41-42; 45)

The Lord Jesus Christ showed this man great compassion.

He Touched Him

How glorious that one touch must have felt to this man!

He Transformed Him

As soon as the Lord Jesus Christ touched the leper, he was made clean.

His leprosy instantly departed.

His skin was made as new and as fresh as a baby.

He was literally given a new lease on life.

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He could return to his loved ones.

He could rejoin society.

Everything changed when he felt the transforming touch of the Lord Jesus Christ on his skin.

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The Command Of The Law (43-44)

The Demands Of The Law

This leper was to go and present himself to the priest.

He was to get a certificate of cleansing on the basis of a ceremony in Leviticus 14.

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The Desire Of The Lord

The high priest had never seen a leper cleansed.

What a testimony it would be if that poor old leper who was gloriously cleansed could appear at the temple for cleansing!

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Are we like that poor old leper?

Are we diseased spiritually and need help?

The Lord Jesus Christ is still in the life-changing, soul-saving business.

If we will come to Him right now, like that leper did, believing Him for our souls’ salvation, everything will forever change in our lives.

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If God is calling us and we are ready for a new life, we must come to Him right now!

Whatever our needs may be today, we must come to Him and He will take care of us!