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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 10/7/2014
Mark 6:35-44
THE LORD OF THE LITTLE, Lesson 34b

v. 37-38 HE IS THE LORD OF LITTLE FAITH

When Jesus hears the fears of His men, He says, “Well, you men feed them!” He is using a direct order! He is saying, “If they are hungry, give them something to eat!” This command is immediately met with an expression of absolute unbelief. From John’s Gospel, we know that Philip is the one who speaks, John 6:7. He says, “Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.”

A “penny” refers to the “denarius”, which was a day’s wages for the average worker. It would have taken the average worker eight months to earn the amount of money Philip is talking about. In modern terms it was about $10,000.00. It was more money than they had and more than could ever hope to collect on short notice.

Philip is saying, “Lord, even if we had $10,000.00 we couldn’t satisfy all these people. We couldn’t even give them all a taste. It’s impossible!”

Jesus said, “Feed them!” The disciple answered and said, “We can’t! We don’t have the resources. This a problem that cannot be solved!” These men considered their problem and they summed it up as insurmountable! In their eyes, they were facing an impossible challenge.

It didn’t matter that they had already seen Jesus turn water into wine; heal lepers; cast out legions of demons; calm violet storms; heal people with incurable diseases; and raise the dead. It didn’t matter that He had proven Himself to them more times than they could probably remember. All that mattered at the moment was the obstacle they saw before their eyes. They looked at the need and they said, “We can’t, and we don’t believe that You can either!” That’s little faith!

But, let’s not be too hard on these fellows. We are as bad, or worse, than they are! Let me ask you a question. “Has God ever failed you? Have you ever had a genuine need that He didn’t meet? Have you ever seen Him fail to keep one promise that He ever made?” That’s three questions, but the fact is, God has never failed us and He never will.

Didn’t Jesus save your soul and change your life when you asked Him to by faith and through obedience? Didn’t He forgive your sins and replace the turmoil in your soul with His sweet peace, just because you cried out in faith and obeyed Him? Hasn’t He given you assurance after assurance that you belong to Him and that it is well with your soul? If He can do that, it seems to me that He can do anything!

How much faith did you have when you came to Him for salvation? Did you have great faith on that day, or was your faith small, frail and limited? It was probably the smallest faith of them all. You didn’t even have any faith until He gave it to you, (Eph. 2:8; Rom 10:17). Yet that small faith was sufficient to connect you to a big God Who was able to save you on the basis of that faith. When your tiny faith touched His boundless grace, you were wonderfully saved!

It doesn’t take great faith to get big answers from the hand of the Lord. Consider the following truths:
(Matthew 17:20), “…If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
(Mark 9:23-24), The father of the demon possessed child – “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” •
(Matthew 21:21-22), “Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
(James 1:6-7), God will honor little faith! He is the Lord of little faith. But, He can do nothing with unbelief, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.”

When we act like the disciples and look at the problem instead of the Problem Solver, we can expect nothing but failure. However, when we believe God, even for the impossible, we will see Him do the incredible, time after time: like Gideon and his army of 300 – (Judges 7). Jesus is the Lord of the little, even little faith!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Jesus, Hold My Hand” By: Albert E. Brumley (1933)

V1
As I travel through this pilgrim land
There is a friend, who walks with me
Leads me safely through the sinking sand
It is the Christ of Calvary This would be my prayer, Dear Lord, Each day to help me do the best I can, For I need Thy light, to guide me day and night Blessed Jesus hold my hand.
Chorus:
Blessed Jesus, hold my hand, I need, thee every hour
Through, this pilgrim land, by Thy saving power
Hear my plea, my feeble plea, O Lord, look down on me
When I kneel in prayer,
Blessed Jesus hold my hand.

V2
Let me travel in the light divine
That I may see, the blessed way
Keep me that I may be wholly Thine
And sing redemption's song someday I will be a soldier brave and true, And ever firmly take a stand, As I onward go and daily meet the foe, Blessed Jesus hold my hand
Chorus

V3
When I wander thru the valley dim Toward the setting sun Lead me safely to a land of rest If I a crown of life have won, I have put my faith in Thee, Dear Lord, That I may reach the golden strand, There’s no other friend on whom I can depend, Blessed Jesus hold my Hand.
Chorus


TODAY’S SPARK!
Grow In The Faith Of Our Lord Today! God Bless YOU! Vic

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father of Mercy, God of Grace!
Grow in us the faith we need to follow our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Teach us to hear Your voice by releasing all our worries into Your care. Enable us to approach Your Throne of Grace boldly but with a humble spirit and a grateful heart. Teach us to entrust to You everything that concerns us. Clear the ways of our hearts so we may seek Your Face and Your grace. Allow Your Light to soak into us and drive out all darkness and fears. Be sovereign, O Lord, over our lives. Show us how to rejoice in Your presence from this day forth and give You all the Praise, Glory and Honor You deserve. These things we pray earnestly in the blessed name of Jesus. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.







HAVE A BLESSED DAY

Let's make the journey to heaven together.


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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 10/6/2014
Mark 6:35-44
THE LORD OF THE LITTLE, Lesson 34a

When we think of our great God, we often think of Him in terms of the grand, the great and the glorious. After all, He is the God of creation. He stood in the middle of nothing, took nothing, and created everything. That’s BIG!

He is the God of revelation. He sent His perfect Word through human instruments, giving us a perfect, inspired record of His words to man. On top of that, He has perfectly preserved that Word to this very day. That’s BIG!

He is the God of salvation. God sent His Son Jesus into this world to die for sin and for sinners. When Jesus went to the cross, He opened a way that all that would come to Jesus at God’s invitation would be saved. God even set it up so that those who came would have all their sins forgiven; they would be adopted into His family; and they would all go to Heaven to live with Him when they leave this world. Now, that’s BIG!

There is no question that we serve a God Who specializes in the spectacular, “Who” majors in the miraculous and Who operates in omnipotence. But, I would also point out that He is also “Lord Of The Little”! He is a God Who moves in big ways, but He is also a God “Who” is able to take the small, insignificant things of this world and use them for His glory.

The passage before us reveals “The Lord Of The Little” in action. As we watch Jesus feed the multitudes, we need to remember that the One “Who” accomplished this miracle is our Lord today. What He did then, He can do now. He was the Lord of the little on that day and He is still the Lord of the little today.

Let’s look in on this special miracle today. By the way, it must have been very special. It is the only miracle of Jesus that is mentioned by all four Gospel writers. There is some help here that we do not want to miss. Let me show you some examples from this text where Jesus proves that He is “The Lord Of The Little”.

v. 35-36 HE IS THE LORD OF LITTLE FEARS

The people have followed Jesus to the other side of the lake, (v. 33). Jesus has spent the day teaching them and the hour is growing late, (v. 35). The disciples come to Jesus and interrupt His teaching and they suggest that He send the people away so they can find food to eat, (v. 36).

These men are afraid that the people will not be able to find any food to eat if the hour grows any later. Evidently, they are tired and hungry themselves, and they assume that the people must be as well. After all, the crowds had followed Jesus as soon as He left the other side of the lake and they had not taken time to pack any food for the trip.

Now, they are ten miles away from home. They are in a deserted location. They are in a place where no food is to be found. The disciples say, “Lord, You’ve preached long enough! Dismiss the service and let these people go find some food!”

The disciples are filled with doubt and fear. If Jesus keeps this up, none of them are going to get a bite to eat! So they go to Him expressing their doubts and their fears.

Let me ask you a few questions today.
Do you ever look at the situations you face in life and become afraid and full of doubt?
Do you look at a lost family member and wonder if they will ever be save?
Do you ever look at a physical need and wonder if it will be all right or if it will lead to something worse?
Are you ever afraid to open the mail box because it might contain another bill?
Are you ever afraid to answer the phone because it might be a bill collector?
Do you ever scan the days of your life and wonder how much time you have left?
Do you ever look at the condition of the world and become afraid, wondering how it will all turn out?
What I am asking is this: Do you ever have fears?

We all do! Being afraid of the unknown is part of living in this world. Having doubts and concerns is nothing to be ashamed of; it is something we all deal with. The problem arises when we become like the disciples.

They were in the presence of the Lord of Glory, but they didn’t believe that He could handle the situation. To their eyes, it looked impossible. They were not coming to Jesus in faith; they were coming to Him in fear! They were saying, in so many words, “Lord, this problem is greater than You are! We don’t think You can handle it! You had better send these folks away, or we are all going to be in trouble!”

You may have never said those words, but you and I have acted in the same manner. We fret and worry over our problems and we are filled with doubts concerning the Lord’s ability to solve them. Instead of coming to Jesus with a heart that says, “Lord, I believe in You! I know this is a big problem to me, but it is nothing to You!” We carry our problems around and allow them to drain the spiritual life right out of us. I would just remind you that all worry is sin, (Rom. 14:23). I would also remind you that the Lord has commanded us to trust Him in the times of fear and to refuse to allow worry a place in our lives, (Phil. 4:6-7; Matt. 6:25-34).

Our Savior is the Lord of little fears! Now, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, “Teacher, you don’t know my fears! They are not little! They are huge! They are gigantic! They are impossible! They are anything but little!” That is the same attitude the ten spies had when they went into Canaan and saw giants there. (Num. 13:32-33) It was an attitude that said, “I don’t care Who God is; He isn’t that big!”

Regardless of the fears you may have today, they are little when they are placed next to the Lord. If He can create the universe out of nothing; surely He can meet your need! If He can keep Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego through the fiery furnace, He can take care of you! If He can secure Daniel in the lion’s den, He can take care of you! If He can feed three million Jews in the desert for forty years, He can take care of you! If He can defeat sin, death, Hell, the grave and Satan using an old rugged cross and an empty tomb, He can take care of you! If He can save you from your sins, He can take care of you!

Whatever you fear today, bring it to Him, and leave it in His hand. He is more than able to take care of you, (Eph. 3:20. Jesus is the Lord of the little, even little fears)!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Be Not Dismayed Whate’er Betide” By: Civilla D. Marin (1904)

Be not dismayed whate'er betide,
God will take care of you!
Beneath His wings of love abide,
God will take care of you!

Refrain:
God will take care of you,
Through every day o'er all the way;
He will take care of you;
God will take care of you!


Through days of toil when heart doth fail,
God will take care of you!
When dangers fierce your path assail,
God will take care of you!
Refrain:


All you may need He will provide,
God will take care of you!
Trust Him, and you will be satisfied,
God will take care of you!
Refrain:


Lonely and sad, from friends apart,
God will take care of you!
He will give peace to your aching heart,
God will take care of you!
Refrain:


No matter what may be the test,
God will take care of you!
Lean, weary one, upon His breast,
God will take care of you!
Refrain:

TODAY’S SPARK!
Come into the presence of the Lord of Glory Today! God Bless YOU! Vic.

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father of all Creation, God of Glory!
Help us to be led by Jesus, to follow Him all the way to heaven and glory. Allow us to hear His call, to come to Him by faith, and to follow Him wholeheartedly with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. We do not know what lies ahead, but He does and that is enough for us. Some of Your riches blessings are just around the bend. To receive these blessings, we must walk by faith in the Son of God, and not walk by sight in fear and in worries. Teach us how to overcome fear and the unknown. Open the eyes of our hearts so we may see the Lord of Glory dispel all of our fears, both Big and Little. Let us hold Your hand as we climb the mountains of life or walk the valley of life. Enable us to give ourselves fully to each moment of glory. It is by faith that we pray this prayer in the glorious name of Jesus. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.






HAVE A BLESSED DAY

Let's make the journey to heaven together.


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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 10/05/2014
Mark 6:30-34
THE SAVIOR WHO CARES, Lesson 33c

v. 33-34 HE CARES ABOUT LOST SHEEP

As His men make their escape from the crowds, they did not slip away unnoticed. The people saw them leaving and recognized that the boat carried Jesus. The people ran around the shore of the lake and were waiting on Him when He arrived on the other side.

It was about 4 miles across the lake by boat. On a windless day, it would have taken quite some time to make that trip. It was about ten miles around the shore of the lake. Fast walkers would have made the trip faster than the boat. This is just what happened that day. When Jesus and His men neared the shore, they saw that a large crowd was waiting to meet them. According to (verse 44), this crowd may have numbered between 15,000 and 20,000 people!

Many people would have been angry if their plans for rest were interrupted by the crowds. Many people would have seen the crowds as an interruption and a nuisance. Some people would have just ignored the people and their needs. Not Jesus! The Bible tells us that Jesus “was moved with compassion toward them”. When you see a person with a need, there are several emotional responses you can have. Let me list them briefly.
Apathy – This word refers to an absence of emotion. You see the need, but you do not care. You are unmoved by it. There is a lot of apathy in our world today.
Sympathy – This word refers to a harmony of feeling. In other words, you see a need and you know how they feel because you have felt that way too.
Empathy – This word speaks of an emotion that is stronger that sympathy. When you empathize with someone it means that you hurt with them. It means that you share the pain they feel.
Compassion – The word compassion, as it is used in the Bible means, “To be moved inwardly; to yearn with tender mercy, affection, pity and empathy.” It refers to the deepest possible feelings. The phrase, “moved with compassion” means to be moved in the “inner organs”. It has the same idea as our modern expression, “From the bottom of my heart.”

Someone has defined compassion as “Sympathy coupled with a strong desire to help.” Since sympathy refers to “The capacity to share feelings, to enter into the same feelings, to feel the same thing”. So, compassion is “sharing the feelings of others and possessing a desire to help them in their trouble.” When Jesus saw the people, He was touched by their need and He was moved by a strong desire to meet their need. Let’s consider the Lord’s compassion for these lost sheep.

v. 33-34a The Reasons For His Concern – When Jesus looked at the people, He saw them as a flock of lost sheep. He was stirred by the vision of them as helpless lambs, with no one to care about them. Oh, they had their religious leaders. But, those men did not care about the people. The Pharisees, the scribes and the Sadducees only cared about the people doing things their way. They wanted the people to march to their tune; obey their rules and keep lining their pockets, so they could continue to live their lavish lifestyles. This kind of leadership is soundly condemned by God in (Eze. 34:1-10).

When the Jewish religious leaders looked at the people of Israel, all they saw was a people that existed to serve them. When Jesus saw the people of Israel, He saw them as they really were: lost sheep in need of a shepherd.

The image of lost people as sheep is powerful. As you may know, sheep are about the dumbest animals on the planet. They have no sense of direction. They are also absolutely defenseless. There is no animal as needy and as dependent on human as the sheep. When Jesus refers to lost people as sheep, He is not trying to insult them, He is merely telling the truth!

Sheep without a shepherd cannot find their way – Apart from the ministry of the Heavenly Shepherd, no lost person would ever find their way to God, (Eph. 2:1-3). The lost are hopelessly lost and they need a Shepherd to come and rescue them. I thank God for doing just what He does, (Luke 15:3-7).

Sheep without a shepherd are absolutely defenseless – Apart from the intervention of the Heavenly Shepherd, no lost person would ever be able to avoid the wrath of God and the fires of Hell. The lost are in terrible danger: (Hell – Psa. 9:17; 2 Thes. 1:8-9; God’s awful wrath, John 3:18; 36, Heb. 10:31). Religious activity, good works, good intentions and being a good person will never be enough to keep you out of Hell. The only antidote for the poison of sin is the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Pet. 1:18-19). He is your only hope and the only way of salvation, (John 14:6). When a lost sheep comes to Him for salvation, they receive absolute security, (1 Pet. 1:5; John 10:28; John 6:37-40).

Sheep without a shepherd are dumb – Apart from the ministry of the Heavenly Shepherd, the lost person does not even know that he is lost. This truth must be revealed to them by the convicting work of the Holy Spirit, (John 6:44; 16:7-11; Eph. 2:1).

v. 34a The Reach Of His Concern – As I read this verse I get the sense that while Jesus saw the crowd, He also saw much more. Jesus saw a huge group of people, but He also saw the individuals in that crowd. As He looked out at that throng of people, He saw every broken heart, every physical ailment, every emotional need, every spiritual problem; He saw it all! He saw the crippled child. He saw that abused wife. He saw the depressed father. He saw the rebellious teenager. Jesus looked at a crowd, but He saw the individual!

That encourages me today! I praise the Lord that we serve a God “Who” knows all things, (Heb. 4:13; Pro. 15:3). Our God sees everything that happens in this universe, but He still has the ability to focus in on the individual. Friend, He cares about you and about the needs in your life. You can come to Him and find the help you need regardless of the problem you face, (1 Pet. 5:7; Matt. 11:28-30).

A quick survey of the Gospels reveals the boundless love and compassion of our Savior. He cares, (Heb. 4:15-16)!
He Has Compassion For The Scattered Ones – (Matt. 9:36; 15:32).
He Has Compassion For The Sinning Ones – (Matt. 18:23-35).
He Has Compassion For The Sick Ones – (Mark 1:40-45).
He Has Compassion For The Suffering Ones – (Luke 7:11-13).
He Has Compassion For The Seeking Ones – (Mark 10:17-22).


Why was Jesus able to have compassion on so many different kinds of people in so many different settings and situations? Because Jesus, even though He knew all their faults, did not let that get in the way of His compassion and expression of love! He did not look just at that which was apparent on the surface, He was able to look at these people and see their deepest need! He loved them at the deepest level of His being; as a result, He was never impatient with them or offended by their needs.

How do we see people? We often base our evaluation of a person on what we see with our eyes or hear with our ears. What we need to learn is to look past a person’s exterior to see them as they really are. We must see their needs before we can express compassion to them! May we learn to see them as Jesus does! That is the essence of (Phil. 2:4; Gal. 6:2; Matt. 22:39).

v. 34b The Response Of His Concern – These people came to Jesus for help and He did not drive them away. The Bible says “and He began to teach them many things.” There, in that out of the way location, Jesus spread the spiritual banquet table with a feast of eternal truth. He led those lost sheep into the green pastures of His perfect, soothing, filling Word. He caused them to lie down beside the still waters of His wonderful revelation. Jesus gathered up the lost sheep that day and pointed them to God. He surely told them of the true way of salvation. He surely told them of the love of God for the lost. He surely told them of the hope, life, peace and joy that were all available in Him. He wanted to help and He had the power to help them. So, He reached out and helped them!

Do you remember the day the Good Shepherd found you wandering on the dark hills of sin? Do you remember when He lifted you out of your desperate condition, placed you on His shoulders and carried you to a place of peace, safety and blessing? Do you remember when He changed your life? If you can, then you should rejoice in what He has done for you. If not, then you should come to Jesus and let Him change your life. He cares about you. He is able to help you. He will help you if you will come to Him by faith.

Conc: Where did this message find you today? Are you weary in the work of the Lord? Have you lost the joy of His salvation? Have the things of God become a drudgery to you? Are you just spiritually tired and worn out? Come to Jesus; let Him restore your soul. He knows how to put the spring back in your step. He knows how to give you joy once again. He cares about what you and what is happening in your life!

Are you a lost sheep today? Are you out there on the wild hills of sin, away from God and all alone? The Shepherd cares about you! If you will come to Him, He will take you into His fold and give you the peace, the joy and the security you need.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“I Am A Sheep” By: Dennis I. Jernigan (1988)

I am a sheep and the Lord is my shepherd
Watching over my soul.
My soul to keep guarding over me ever,
Watching wherever I go.

Chorus
And when the winds blow He is my shelter!
And when I'm lost and alone He rescues me!
And when the Lion comes He is my victory!
Constantly watching over me!
He is constantly watching over me!


We are his children and he is our Father
Watching over our souls.
Great is His love for His sons and His daughters,
Watching wherever we go.
Chorus


TODAY’S SPARK!
Be More Like Jesus Today! God Bless YOU! Vic.

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Most Holy Father, Most High God!
Help us to remember that Joy is not dependent on our circumstances, but in our faith and trust in Jesus Christ our Lord. Reveal to us the truth of the emptiness that is often found at the top of the ladder of this world. Reveal to us the truth that Joy is the by-product of living in Your presence no matter what circumstance or situation in which we may find ourselves. Jesus had compassion for us; let us therefore become more like Him in our relationships with others. Teach us to look beyond the rough surface of humanity and see the needs and hurts of the hearts. Enable us not to judge less we devoid our joy in Christ Jesus. Teach us to make problem-solving secondary to the goal of living close to You, so we may find JOY even in the most difficult days. It is in Jesus’ Precious name we pray. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.




HAVE A BLESSED DAY

Let's make the journey to heaven together.


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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 10/04/2014
Mark 6:30-34
THE SAVIOR WHO CARES, Lesson 33b

v. 30-32 HE CARES ABOUT LABORING SERVANTS

v. 30 Their Activity – The events of (verse 30) take place right after the events of (verse 13). Jesus sent the twelve disciples out to preach, teach and heal. Their ministry had been an unqualified success and they return to the Lord and tell Him all about their ministry in the surrounding villages.

They are excited about all they have witnessed and about the doctrine they have been teaching. I can imagine them gathering around Him while they all try to talk at once. It was an exciting time in the lives of these men.

There really is no greater thrill in life than to serve the Lord when He is blessing that service. When you stop to consider where you came from and how He saved your soul. Then, to think that He would allow you a small part in His kingdom work, is a blessing too great to comprehend. Yet, the Bible is clear; the Lord saved us to serve Him. He purposely redeemed us so that we might serve Him in this world, (Eph. 2:10). When He saved us, He equipped us for a special place in His kingdom work, (1 Cor. 12:6-26). Our service to the Lord proves the reality of our salvation experience, (James 2:18; 1 John 1:7).

It is a wonderful thing to be busy for the Lord! To be allowed to serve Him is a blessing. And, there are no small tasks in His kingdom; for example: David’s attitude – (Psa. 84:10). What are you doing for Jesus right now?

Some people say they can’t serve the Lord because they don’t have any training. Look at the disciples! They were sent out with very little training and limited knowledge of the things of God. Don’t wait until you know it all to do something for the Lord. Act on what you know and trust the Lord to teach you as you go.

v. 31-32 His Advice – When Jesus hears their report and sees their enthusiasm, He gives them some strange advice. A lot of people would have suggested that it was time to seize the moment. The people were listening, the crowds were coming. It seemed like the perfect time to send the disciples out again to go and preach and heal and increase the crowds. Jesus, on the other hand, calls the disciples away for a time of rest and refreshment.

I think there are several reasons why the Lord did this with His men. I think these reasons are still valid today. Let me share them with you.

The physical stress of ministry is enormous – When the disciples returned to Jesus, they found Him surrounded by crowds of needy people. The people were coming and going at such a frenzied rate that Jesus and His men did not even have time to eat a meal. That kind of constant stress would wear anyone out. Jesus knew that His men needed to rest their bodies if they were going to be as effective as they could be in their work for Him. So, He takes them across the lake so that they could be reenergized.

There is a word here for the modern Christian as well. God did not design these bodies to go like we force them to. He never intended for us to run through this world with a cell phone to our ear, a day planner in our hand and a schedule so full of activity that no one could possibly get it all done. God expects us to take the time our bodies need to rest.

Our days, months and years have all been discovered through observation. One revolution of the earth was observed called a day. One lunar cycle was observed and called a month. One revolution of the earth around the sun was observed and called a year. But, have you ever considered that the seven day week was not man’s observation? The seven day week was God’s idea, (Gen. 2:2-3; Ex. 20:9-10). God decreed that man should work six days and rest one day. The seventh day of rest is a gift of grace! God knows our bodies are not designed to function all the time without rest. He set aside one day in the week when we are to abstain from physical labor and just rest. You need to rest!

Someone has said that 45 minutes of hard preaching is equivalent in mental and physical stress to working eight hours. I will be more effective on Sunday if I get the rest I need on Saturday night. I will be more alert and more able to serve the Lord effectively. From the looks of things, it wouldn’t hurt some of you to go to bed a little earlier either!

God wants us to serve Him, but He does not want us to kill ourselves in the process! We must take the time our bodies need to rest. Someone has penned a poem that goes like this:
Mary had a little lamb.
‘Twas given to her to keep,
But then it joined the local church,
And died for lack of sleep.

The disciples were in danger of being lifted up in spiritual pride – If these men had been sent right back out and they had seen the same or greater results, there was a danger that they might begin to think that they were something special. The truth was, they did nothing! They were successful in the sense that Jesus was successful through them. All they did was go out in His power and He did the work. It wasn’t about them, it was all about Him! So, Jesus removed them from the limelight for a little while to help them keep things in the proper perspective.

Again, there is a word here for us today. We must never come to the place where think this thing is about us. Preachers, when you preach that great message, give Him the glory! Teachers, when things go well in your class, give Him the glory! Choir members, when you are on pitch and the Lord blesses the singing, give Him the glory. If we are not real careful, we can fall into the trap of thinking that we are something special. If we are not careful, we can become lifted up in pride and forget that anything good that comes from our lives comes from the hand of the Lord. Let me remind you that the best we can produce is trash, (Isa. 64:6). But, if we will yield to the Lord, He can use us in wonderful ways, (Gal. 2:20). He is the source of our strength, (Phil. 4:13). And, He deserves all the glory, (Acts 17:28). When we begin to think that the success of our ministry is a result of our own strength and ability, we are headed for a fall, (1 Cor. 10:12; Pro. 16:18).

All I am saying is, that we must remember where the blessings of service come from. It isn’t the preacher, the teacher or anyone else who wears a suit of flesh. Our blessings come from the Lord and He alone deserves all the glory.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Have Thine Own Way” By: Adelaide Pollard (1902)

1. Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

2. Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

3. Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me, I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine.

4. Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway!
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me.


TODAY’S SPARK!
Live For Jesus Today and Give Him All The Glory! God Bless You!

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father of Creation, God of all Life!
You are indeed the CREATOR of Heaven and Earth, Lord of all that is and will ever be. You are unimaginably vast, yet You chose to dwell within our limited being, filling us with Your Love and Your wonderful Word. Only in the Spiritual realm can someone so Great live in someone so small. We are awed by Your Power and the Glory of You Greatest within us. Teach us to seek Your Spirit, which lives within us, to help us find and walk the way that never neglects to be our source of strength and righteousness. Rejoicing, we pray in the blessed name of Jesus our Lord. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.






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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 10/03/2014
Mark 6:30-34
THE SAVIOR WHO CARES, Lesson 33a

Often, people have a faulty impression of just “Who God is”. Some people see God as being so high and holy, that He has no time for people like you and me. Others see Him as resembling a doting old grandfather, “Who” winks at sin and just kind of watches His creation with amusement to see what will happen next.

Well, God is a High and Holy God! He is “separate from sinners”. He is untouched by our wickedness and cannot look upon our sins. He certainly does not wink at our sins and sit back as the universe does its own thing. He is a God “Who is in control of all things at all times”. But, like a doting grandfather, He is a God Who cares.

It may surprise some to think about God as being a caring God. He is often portrayed as a God of wrath and judgment. That is one side of His character. However, He is also a God of love, compassion and intimacy. He is a God “Who cares”.

One reason He cares is because He knows what we face in life. He knows this because He came to this world and lived among us for a time. God Almighty actually robed Himself in human flesh so that He might live among men and die on a cross for sinners, (John 1:14;Phil. 2:5-8; John 1:1; 14).

While He was here, He endured more than His share of pain, poverty and suffering. He knows what it is like to do without, (Matt. 8:20). He knows what it is like to be rejected, (John 1:11). He knows what it is like to be hated. He knows what it is like to suffer pain. He knows what it is like to be hungry, thirsty and alone. He knows what it is like to die. Jesus walked through this world and experienced what He did so that He might better help you in your time of need, (Heb. 4:15).

As we continue our study of Mark’s Gospel today, we are confronted with a truly wonderful portion of Scripture. These verses tell us without a doubt that Jesus cares about us. I want to point out two groups of people for whom the Lord cares. I want to teach on “The Savior Who Cares”. As I do, let Him teach you that He cares about you today.

TODAY’S HYMN!
Holy, Holy, Holy” By: Reginald Heber (1826)

1. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

2. Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.

3. Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in pow’r, in love, and purity.

4. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!


TODAY’S SPARK!
Love God Today! God Bless YOU!

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father of All Humanity, God of All Creation!
You are a God of Holiness, Righteousness and Love; You are our one and only True God. To know about You is one thing, but to know You is another thing. Help us to pay more attention to Your Word by reading and studying the Word daily so we can know You better, for You are the God who created us and cares for us. We want to be where You want us to be and do what You want us to do. Relying on You has to begin with each new day. Your grace is more than sufficient for all our needs. We look to You now as our Creator, Savior and Friend. Help us to pay attention to Your remaking our hearts, opening doors of opportunity for us, and giving us hope for each new day. Thank You Jesus for loving us so much! In You loving name we pray. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.




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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 10/02/2014
Mark 6:14-29
THE DEATH OF A CONSCIENCE, Lesson 32d

v. 14-16 HEROD’S CONSCIENCE

When Herod heard about Jesus and what He was doing, his conscience made one last attempt to point him toward the truth. But, by this time, his conscience has been so ignored and abused; it is hardly functioning at all. Let’s listen to the last gasps of a dying conscience.

v. 14 His Contrition – As soon as Herod hears about the miracles, the message and the ministry of Jesus, Herod immediately assumes that Jesus is John resurrected from the dead. It is amazing that he would leap to this conclusion. Herod was a member of the party of the Sadducees. The Sadducees denied the supernatural and did not believe in the resurrection. Another amazing thing is the fact that John the Baptist did no miracles during his ministry. Herod assumes that the miracles could only be done by a man returned from the dead.

The guilt over what he did is eating him alive. He knows he killed an innocent, decent and good man. His conscience is bothering him and he is sure that John the Baptist has come back to haunt him. That is the power of guilt! It will eat you alive. You can’t run from it. You can’t hide from it. You can’t escape its words. It shows up when you are alone, even in the dead of night. It gnaws at the soul and eats away at the mind. The only solution for guilt over past sins is to bring those sins to Jesus. When they are brought to Him, Jesus forgives the sin and removes the guilt. He can set you free from the monster of guilt! Listen again to His promise: (1 John 1:9).

v. 15-16 His Confession – Some people around Herod and around the region were saying that Jesus was Elijah or one of the other prophets. Herod is convinced that Jesus is none other than John the Baptist. Then, Herod makes a startling confession. He says “whom I beheaded”. That “I” is an “emphatic, personal pronoun”. Herod is saying “whom I and I alone beheaded”. Herod is confessing his guilt, but he is not seeking forgiveness from the hand of God. There is confession, but there is no repentance! Thus, there is no salvation! There is only the death of a conscience and Herod stifles the last effort of his wounded soul to call him to God.

It is one thing to know you are guilty of sin. It is another thing altogether for you to get honest about that sin. When you get honest about your sins and confess them to the Lord, He will forgive your sins. When there is a desire to repent, or turn away from sin, there can be salvation. But, when He calls and you ignore that call, choosing to remain in your sins, there is nothing left for you but judgment. God can cleanse. God can restore. God can give new life. But, He only does these things in the face of a “good conscience” that longs to do right.

When His call is ignored, the conscience begins to die. If the call is rejected long enough and often enough, the conscience will die altogether. At that point, God may call, but His voice will not be heard. More likely is truth that God will abandon the sinner to the way he or she has chosen, (Rom. 1:24-32). Do not kill your conscience by ignoring the call of God. Come to Him if He is calling you!

Luke 23:6-11 His Condemnation – The final mention of Herod Antipas in the Word of God is in these verses. Here, Jesus had been arrested and had appeared before Pontius Pilate. Pilate sends Jesus to Herod Antipas because Jesus was from Herod’s jurisdiction.

When Jesus appears before Herod, all Herod wants is to see Jesus perform some miracle. He doesn’t care about the truth; he is just looking for spiritual entertainment. The Lord Jesus refuses to even speak to Herod. God has finished with him and there will be no more calls for him to repent. God has nothing more to say to King Herod! There will be no more opportunities for him to be saved. He has sinned away his day of grace and he is doomed.

Herod’s conscience is so scarred that he has no compassion for a condemned man. He and his men mock Jesus. They adorn him in a king’s robe and send Him away. Thus ends the story of Herod Antipas! He has ignored the truth and killed his own conscience. There will be no hope and no salvation for Herod forever.

It is a dangerous thing to turn God away. When you do, you are not guaranteed that He will ever speak to you again, ( Gen. 6:3; Pro. 27:1). Each time you turn the Lord away, it hardens your heart more and more. Eventually, you reach the place where the conscience dies. When that happens, you will never hear His voice again. Please do not play around with spiritual matters. If He is speaking to your heart, do as He is calling you to do.

Conc: The death of a conscience is a tragic event because the death of a conscience usually leads to the death of a soul. When you refuse Jesus and the Gospel, there remains no hope for your salvation. There is nothing in your future but the terrible effects of sin and the horrors of Hell.

Has the Lord been speaking to you? Has He been calling you to come to Jesus for salvation? Has He been calling you to get before Him and get your spiritual life back in order? Has He been calling you to turn away from some sin in your life? If He is calling you, please do not do like Herod. If He is calling you please come to Him today and do what He us calling you to do. The time for obedience is right now.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Walking Alone At Eve” By: Thos. R. Sweatmon (1917)

Walking alone at eve and viewing the skies afar,
Bidding the darkness come to welcome each silver star;
I have a great delight in the wonderful scenes above,
God in His power and might is showing His truth and love.
Chorus
O for a home with God, a place in His courts to rest,
Sure in a safe abode with Jesus and the blest;
Rest for a weary soul once redeemed by the Savior’s love,
Where I’ll be pure and whole and live with my God above

Sitting alone at eve and dreaming the hours away,
Watching the shadows falling now at the close of day;
God in His mercy comes with His Word He is drawing near,
Spreading His love and truth around me and everywhere.
Chorus

Closing my eyes at eve and thinking of Heaven’s grace,
Longing to see my Lord, yes meeting Him face to face;
Trusting Him as my all where-so-ever my footsteps roam,
Pleading with Him to guide me on to the spirits’ home!
Chorus


TODAY’S SPARK!
Obey Jesus Today! God Bless YOU!

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father of Glory, God of Grace!
Help us never to take for granted Your intimate presence and power. We marvel at the wonders of Your presence and power. No human-being can be with us and help us continuously like Jesus, nor can they know our hearts, minds and spirit intimately like Jesus. He knows even the number of hairs on our head. Thank You Jesus, not only for knowing us but also for understanding us. Thank You Jesus, for the salvation that is available only in You. Open our hearts today so we may receive You as our Eternal Savior. The simple act of faith is but the beginning of a lifelong love story we can share with others. You are the Lover of our souls, and we are eternally grateful to You. We pray rejoicing in Your Marvelous name. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.



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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 10/01/2014
Mark 6:14-29
THE DEATH OF A CONSCIENCE, Lesson 32c

v. 21-29 HEROD’S CRIME

These verses chronicle the tragic death of John. He was a mighty man of God, but he was sacrificed on the altar of hatred, self-gratification and lust. Let’s look in on the events surrounding John’s death.

v. 21-22a It Involved A Sinful Dance – Herodias had been biding her time, waiting for an opportunity to see John the Baptist put to death. She saw her chance at Herod’s birthday bash. This supper was nothing more than a drunken party for Herod and his men. When they were drunk with wine, Herodias sprung her trap.

She sent in her teenage daughter Salome to dance for Herod and his friends. This particular dance would have been a suggestive, sensual, sexual dance designed to inflame the passions of the men in the room. These dances were usually performed by professional dancers or by prostitutes hired for the event. Her dance had the desired effect, for Herod and those with him were captivated by the beautiful youngster. This act reveals the wickedness that was in the heart of Herodias. Imagine putting your daughter on display in that fashion. Imagine sending her out to dance for a man who was both her uncle and step-father! What wickedness! People are no different today! Many are wicked to the core!

v. 22b-25 It Involved a Senseless Declaration – Herod’s passions are inflamed by the girl’s dance and he promises to give her anything she desires, up to half his kingdom! It was a foolish boast designed make Herod look good in front of his guests. The girl runs to her mother to seek her advice on what she should ask from the king. Her mother, without hesitation, tells her daughter to request the head of John the Baptist. The girl runs back and reveals her own heart when she tells Herod she wants John’s head. But, she adds her own twist to the request by telling him that she wanted it now and she wanted it served up on a plate.

v. 26-29 It Involved A Shameful Deed – Herod realizes immediately that he has made a mistake. He should have said, “I promised you a gift, not a murder!” But, he is afraid of losing face in front of his guests, so he sends the executioner and John is immediately beheaded. The grisly trophy is then presented to Salome. And, with that, John the Baptist is dead! His disciples come and take his body away for burial.

As we watch Herod in these verses, we are witnessing the death of his conscience. He refused to accept the Word of God and change his ways. He listened to John preach repeatedly and said “no” to the Word. Now, he has crossed the line and done the unthinkable. He has put this man he both feared and admired to death, all because of the anger of his wife. This is a tragic scene.

There are several lessons for us here, if we will listen to them.
These verses reveal the devastating power of hatred, bitterness and un-forgiveness. It is better to follow the command of God and forgive those who hurt you than it is to be consumed alive by bitterness and hatred, (Eph. 4:32; Matt. 18:21-22; Luke 17:1-5).
These verses reveal the dangers involved in the use and abuse of alcohol and mind altering drugs. They will take control of your life, lower you inhibitions and lead you to do things you never would have thought of doing otherwise, (Pro. 23:29-35).
These verses reveal the danger of peer pressure. Just because others do stupid stuff does not mean that you have to follow their lead! Just because others drink, use drugs, engage in pre-marital sexual activity and other things, does not mean that you have to do it too! You have nothing to prove to your so-called friends! By the way, not everyone is doing it if you aren’t!
These verses reveal the danger of not controlling your tongue. What you say can harm you and it can harm others, (James 3:1-12).

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Does Jesus Care” By: Frank E. Graeff (1901)

1. Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?
Refrain:
Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.

2. Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?
Refain:

3. Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong;
When for my deep grief there is no relief,
Though my tears flow all the night long?
Refrain:

4. Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye”
To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks—
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?
Refrain:


TODAY’S SPARK!
Follow The Commands Of God Today! God Bless YOU! Vic.

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Glorious Father, Gracious God!
You are the Almighty Creator, Redeemer, and Friend who knows our names, our thoughts and our ways. Help us to create a “good conscience” and attitude towards You and Your Word, for Your Word is Truth. Guide us and instruct us in our thoughts, and in the way You want us to go so others may see You living in us and through us. Lord, You know us better than we know ourselves. Enable us therefore to surrender our lives to Your Will and Your Way so we may glorify You before all mankind. Thank You for caring about us. Forgive us when we fail You. It is in blessed name of Jesus Christ, our King and Lord, that we pray. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.






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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 10/01/2014
Mark 6:14-29
THE DEATH OF A CONSCIENCE, Lesson 32c

v. 21-29 HEROD’S CRIME

These verses chronicle the tragic death of John. He was a mighty man of God, but he was sacrificed on the altar of hatred, self-gratification and lust. Let’s look in on the events surrounding John’s death.

v. 21-22a It Involved A Sinful Dance – Herodias had been biding her time, waiting for an opportunity to see John the Baptist put to death. She saw her chance at Herod’s birthday bash. This supper was nothing more than a drunken party for Herod and his men. When they were drunk with wine, Herodias sprung her trap.

She sent in her teenage daughter Salome to dance for Herod and his friends. This particular dance would have been a suggestive, sensual, sexual dance designed to inflame the passions of the men in the room. These dances were usually performed by professional dancers or by prostitutes hired for the event. Her dance had the desired effect, for Herod and those with him were captivated by the beautiful youngster. This act reveals the wickedness that was in the heart of Herodias. Imagine putting your daughter on display in that fashion. Imagine sending her out to dance for a man who was both her uncle and step-father! What wickedness! People are no different today! Many are wicked to the core!

v. 22b-25 It Involved a Senseless Declaration – Herod’s passions are inflamed by the girl’s dance and he promises to give her anything she desires, up to half his kingdom! It was a foolish boast designed make Herod look good in front of his guests. The girl runs to her mother to seek her advice on what she should ask from the king. Her mother, without hesitation, tells her daughter to request the head of John the Baptist. The girl runs back and reveals her own heart when she tells Herod she wants John’s head. But, she adds her own twist to the request by telling him that she wanted it now and she wanted it served up on a plate.

v. 26-29 It Involved A Shameful Deed – Herod realizes immediately that he has made a mistake. He should have said, “I promised you a gift, not a murder!” But, he is afraid of losing face in front of his guests, so he sends the executioner and John is immediately beheaded. The grisly trophy is then presented to Salome. And, with that, John the Baptist is dead! His disciples come and take his body away for burial.

As we watch Herod in these verses, we are witnessing the death of his conscience. He refused to accept the Word of God and change his ways. He listened to John preach repeatedly and said “no” to the Word. Now, he has crossed the line and done the unthinkable. He has put this man he both feared and admired to death, all because of the anger of his wife. This is a tragic scene.

There are several lessons for us here, if we will listen to them.
These verses reveal the devastating power of hatred, bitterness and un-forgiveness. It is better to follow the command of God and forgive those who hurt you than it is to be consumed alive by bitterness and hatred, (Eph. 4:32; Matt. 18:21-22; Luke 17:1-5).
These verses reveal the dangers involved in the use and abuse of alcohol and mind altering drugs. They will take control of your life, lower you inhibitions and lead you to do things you never would have thought of doing otherwise, (Pro. 23:29-35).
These verses reveal the danger of peer pressure. Just because others do stupid stuff does not mean that you have to follow their lead! Just because others drink, use drugs, engage in pre-marital sexual activity and other things, does not mean that you have to do it too! You have nothing to prove to your so-called friends! By the way, not everyone is doing it if you aren’t!
These verses reveal the danger of not controlling your tongue. What you say can harm you and it can harm others, (James 3:1-12).

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Does Jesus Care” By: Frank E. Graeff (1901)

1. Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?
Refrain:
Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.

2. Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?
Refain:

3. Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong;
When for my deep grief there is no relief,
Though my tears flow all the night long?
Refrain:

4. Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye”
To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks—
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?
Refrain:


TODAY’S SPARK!
Follow The Commands Of God Today! God Bless YOU! Vic.

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Glorious Father, Gracious God!
You are the Almighty Creator, Redeemer, and Friend who knows our names, our thoughts and our ways. Help us to create a “good conscience” and attitude towards You and Your Word, for Your Word is Truth. Guide us and instruct us in our thoughts, and in the way You want us to go so others may see You living in us and through us. Lord, You know us better than we know ourselves. Enable us therefore to surrender our lives to Your Will and Your Way so we may glorify You before all mankind. Thank You for caring about us. Forgive us when we fail You. It is in blessed name of Jesus Christ, our King and Lord, that we pray. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.




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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 9/30/2014
Mark 6:14-29
THE DEATH OF A CONSCIENCE, Lesson 32b

v. 17-20 HEROD’S CONFUSION

When Herod heard about the ministry of Jesus and about all the miracles He performed, Herod thought that Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead. We will come back to (verses 14-16) in a moment. First, we need to consider the background for Herod’s belief that John had somehow come back from the dead.

(Verses 17-29) form a parenthetical passage. We are transported back in time to the events surrounding the death of John the Baptist. Mark allows us to see Herod’s flashback regarding the death of John the Baptist. These verses reveal a soul in conflict. Herod is fighting a battle between the flesh and the spirit. He is confused and conflicted and that is clearly revealed in these verses.

v. 17-18 Herod Held John – We are told that Herod arrested John for preaching against Herod’s sins. If things haven’t been confusing enough already, we are going to take a moment to consider Herod’s family tree. A better name would be a palm, since it doesn’t really branch.
Herod Antipas is the son of Herod the Great.
Among his half-brothers are Aristobolus (He was killed by his own father) and Herod Philip.
Herod the Great had at least five wives and had sons and daughters by the all.
Herod Antipas, the man in our text, married the daughter of Aretas I, an Arabian king.
Herod Philip married Herodias, the woman in our text, who was the daughter of his half-brother Aristobolus. She was his half-niece. They had a daughter named Salome, the girl who danced for Herod Antipas, her double half-uncle and step-father.
Herod Philip was disinherited by his father Herod the Great. He and Herodias moved to Rome.
Herod Antipas and his wife visited his brother in Rome and Herod Antipas fell in love with his half-niece and sister-in-law Herodias. They had an affair and both left their spouses and married one another.
Confused yet?

It was this arrangement that John repeatedly condemned. The phrase “had said” in (verse 18) suggests repeated action. Every time Herod was around, John preached against incest and adultery from the Law of God. Herod was upset by this preaching. It seems that Herodias was even more upset, (v. 17), and so Herod had John thrown into prison.


This is not the proper response to biblical preaching! When a preacher takes the Bible and preaches the truth from it, there will be times when he will get a little too close to where you are living. When that happens, you have several choices.
1.) You can ignore the message. That is dangerous because it can lead to a dead conscience.
2.) You can attack the preacher. That is also dangerous because God will judge you for that response. Besides that, if the preaching is preaching the truth, he is really just delivering the mail. If you have an issue, you should take it up with the Lord.
3.) You can bring the need to the Lord. You can let Him work in your life to bring you to a place of repentance and blessing, (1 John 1:9).

We are swiftly approaching an hour when preachers in this country are going to be persecuted for the message we preach. If a liberal Congress has its way, preachers will be imprisoned if they preach against homosexuality and lesbianism. Even the Gospel itself is being called “hate speech” by those who reject the Lord Jesus. The days are coming when those who dare stand for the truth are going to face hardship and persecution.

v. 19 Herod Helped John – While Herod disliked the message John preached, Herod protected John from the murderous ambitions of Herodias. She refused to forgive John for what he preached and she held hatred in her heart for the man of God. Herod’s confusion is clear to see. He hated the fact that John was telling him the truth about his sins, but still he wanted to keep John around. This same love/hate relationship exists in our world between the preacher and some of those he preaches to. They hate it when he exposes their sins. Yet, they do not hesitate to call him when they have a need in their life. Some people are as confused as a termite in a yo-yo!

v. 20 Herod Heard John – Here is the most amazing verse in this section. Herod did not like the fact that John exposed his sin, he still wanted John around. Let’s examine this verse for just a moment.
Herod had a reverential fear of John the Baptist because he knew that John was a genuine man of God. He knew he was a holy and a righteous man.
Herod “observed” John, that is, he kept John the Baptist safe and under constant guard. He didn’t want John to expose his sins, but he didn’t want anything bad to happen to John either.
When Herod heard John preach, “he did many things” – This can be interpreted two ways and I think both are true. First, when Herod heard John, he was perplexed. That is, what he heard caused him great conflict of soul. He heard the truth and recognized it as truth. Second, Herod did some of the things John told him to do. He may have reformed his life to a certain point, but not the point of giving up Herodias. The truth touched Herod’s heart and he tried to dull the pain of conviction by doing some good things.
The most amazing part of this verse tells us that Herod “heard him gladly”. The idea is that Herod “enjoyed” hearing John preach the Word of God. He didn’t intend to change his whole life and surrender all to the Lord, but he liked the preacher and he loved to hear him preach. King Herod is one confused man!

There are many people just like Herod in our world today. They get caught up in the preaching or the personality of a man, but they miss the point of the message. They like to hear their favorite preacher preach, but they have no intentions of doing everything the Bible is telling them to do. That is a dangerous way to live your life! When God speaks to your heart, He is extending grace to you that you do not deserve! He is showing you that He cares about you, that He loves you and that He has a better plan for your life. When He points out your errors in the Word of God, He does so because He loves you and wants change you.

Don’t be like Herod and play around with the things of God. Herod kept John and treated him like he was a pet parrot. He treated the Word of God like he could do as he pleased with it. Nothing sears the conscience any quicker than saying “no” to the Word of God. If the Lord has been speaking to you about any area of your life, you need to heed His voice and obey His Word without delay. To do otherwise is deadly!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Fairest Lord Jesus” By: 17th century German Hymn (Tr. Richard S. Willis 1850)

1. Fairest Lord Jesus, ruler of all nature,
O thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
thou, my soul's glory, joy, and crown.

2. Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
robed in the blooming garb of spring:
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer
who makes the woeful heart to sing.

3. Fair is the sunshine, fairer still the moonlight,
and all the twinkling starry host:
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
than all the angels heaven can boast.

4. Beautiful Savior! Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
now and forevermore be thine.


TODAY’S SPARK!
Bring Your Need To The Lord Today! God Bless YOU! Vic.

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Almighty Father, God of Holiness, Righteousness and Justice!
Bless us as You know our needs and help us to live close to the Lord. Help us to be mindful that we are an epistle to those around us as we walk, talk and act in their presence to Your glory, praise and honor. Help us to allow Your love to shine forth through us, even if it brings persecution to us. Help us to be Your priest in this dying world. Help us to know and use the gifts You have given us, not for our use but to Your glory. Fill our hearts with the joy of Your tender mercies, that we may lead others to Jesus. Help us to recognize every opportunity to reflect Your love to others. Your grace is more than sufficient for all of our weaknesses. Forgive us and perfect us in Christ Jesus. In His wondrous name we pray. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.




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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 9/29/2014
Mark 6:14-29
THE DEATH OF A CONSCIENCE, Lesson 32a

This passage is one of the saddest in the entire Bible. It records the events surrounding the death of John the Baptist. He was a special man, chosen for a special mission. He was the “forerunner” of the Messiah. He was the fulfillment of several Old Testament prophecies. He was the last of the Old Testament prophets. He was the last martyr of the Old Testament period and the first of the New Testament period. He was a powerful preacher. He was a fearless prophet. He was a true man of God. As Jesus Christ Himself testified, “Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist,” (Matt. 11:11).

While this passage reveals the details of John’s death, it also records the death of something else. This passage records the death of a conscience. Our text speaks of a man named Herod. He was a wicked man who ruled over one-fourth of Palestine at that time.

His father was Herod the Great. Herod the Great was the king who had been ruling when Jesus was born. It was Herod the Great who had ordered the deaths of all the infants in Bethlehem, in an effort to destroy the Lord Jesus. When Herod died, the Roman emperor divided his kingdom into four parts. One part was given to the man in our text, Herod Antipas. He wasn’t really a king; he was actually a “tetrarch”, which means “the ruler of a fourth part.” He did demand, however, that his subjects call him “king”. Herod Antipas ruled from 4 A.D. to 39 A.D. He was banished to what is now France by the Roman emperor for demanding to be made a king in 39 A.D. Jesus summed up the character of Herod Antipas once by calling him a “fox”, (Luke 13:32). We will talk more about this man and his background as we move through the message.

What we see in these verses is a picture of how a person can sin against their conscience to the point that they are capable of anything. It is possible to ignore the warnings of your heart, your soul and your mind until those warnings cease to be heard. It is possible to so deaden the conscience that it no longer stands as a barrier between the individual and any sin they choose to commit, (1 Tim. 4:2). That is why some people can do the things they do without remorse or guilt. They have seared their conscience to the point where it feels nothing and no longer warns them about evil.

Before we go any farther, we need to talk about the conscience. A lot of people are confused about the conscience and what it does. Many people believe that the conscience was given to us to help us make decisions between right and wrong. That is a false assumption! The conscience will only resist any deviation from the truth, or the right and the wrong, it knows.

For instance, if you have been raised to believe the Bible is absolute truth, your conscience will help you know the difference between what is right and wrong based on the Bible, your standard for truth. If you start to do something the Bible says is a sin, your conscience will rise up and tell you to stop. If, on the other hand, you have been raised to believe that there are no limits in life and you can do as you please, your conscience will not give you any problems.

That is why so many people are in such trouble today. They have adopted a philosophy that says, “If it feels good, do it!” As a result, they do not live by the truth of the Word of God, but by the feelings of their flesh. They do as they please and their conscience never bothers them.

The most dangerous thing any person can do is to sin against the truth. Paul tells us that sinning against a “good conscience” leads to spiritual “shipwreck”, (1 Tim. 1:19). A “good conscience” is one that knows the truth and desires to be obedient to it. When people know the truth and reject it in favor of their own standards of right and wrong, they sin against a “good conscience”. That is what we see in our text today.

This passage records “The Death Of A Conscience”. Please follow along with me as I point out the lessons contained in these verses. As we move through this text, allow the Lord to speak to your heart. Obey His Word if He speaks to you today and do not sin against your own conscience.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Wonderful Grace of Jesus” By: Haldor Lillenas (1918)

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Greater than all my sin;
How shall my tongue describe it,
Where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden,
Setting my spirit free;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.
Refrain
Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Wonderful grace, all sufficient for me, for even me.
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame,
O magnify the precious Name of Jesus.
Praise His Name!

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Reaching to all the lost,
By it I have been pardoned,
Saved to the uttermost,
Chains have been torn asunder,
Giving me liberty;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.
Refrain

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Reaching the most defiled,
By its transforming power,
Making him God’s dear child,
Purchasing peace and heaven,
For all eternity;
And the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.
Refrain


TODAY’S SPARK!
Allow The Lord To Speak To Your Heart Today! God Bless YOU! Vic.

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father of Life and Light, God of truth and Grace!
Thank You for Your promise to be with us, all around us, encircling us in the golden rays of Your Word and Truth. In our hearts, we behold the light from Your face, and the love from Your heart. Your Word, O lord, is TRUTH. It is a lamp onto our feet and a light unto our path. Let the Light of Your face shine upon us. Your Word gives light to our eyes and we can see Your truth, the difference between right and wrong, between good and evil, between sinfulness and holiness. Arise, O Lord, shine Your light upon us. Purify our conscience with Your Perfect Word. This we pray in Jesus’ glorious name with a humble spirit and a grateful heart. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.






HAVE A BLESSED DAY

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 9/28/2014
Mark 6:7-13
THE MASTER’S MEN, Lesson 31c

v. 12 THE MESSAGE OF THE TWELVE

The message of the twelve was a simple, straightforward message. It was a message that could be understood by all who heard it.

They preached that men should “repent”. That word means “to change one's mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one's past sins”. It refers to “a change of mind that leads to a change of action.” It can literally mean “be converted”. When genuine repentance takes place the change in a person’s life is radical and powerful!

Most of the time repentance is only preached in its negative sense. People are told that they need to stop doing certain things, and that is true. Repentance is far more that that! Repentance has both a negative aspect and a positive aspect. Repentance looks backward, but it also looks forward. Repentance says, “I will stop doing the things I should not do and I will begin to do the things I should do. I will stop living a life of sin and I will start to live a life of holiness.”

Repentance arises out of a heart that is sorry for the wrongs it is guilty of committing, (2 Cor. 7:10). That sorrow produces a desire to change the way the repenting sinner is living. That is genuine biblical repentance and it is something that we do not see a lot of in these days!

There are not many voices calling for repentance in these days. Most people do not like to be told that they are wrong and need to change their lives. I am here to tell you today that you will never have the blessings of God on your life until you repent of your sins! You will never have assurance of your salvation until you repent of your sins. In fact, if you refuse to repent of you sins, you are probably not saved to begin with! One of the characteristics of the new birth is a changed life, (2 Cor. 5:17). If you can live in sin, without seeing the need to turn from it and repent, most likely you are not saved by the grace of God, (1 John 3:9).

Let me make it as plain as I can today: The message has not changed! The Lord still commands sinners to repent of their sins if they want to be saved from their sins, (Acts 17:30). That truth applies to you. It applies to me. It applies to every person in the world. Repentance is an essential prerequisite for a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Have you experienced a time of genuine repentance in your life?

v. 13 THE MINISTRY OF THE TWELVE
The disciples went out in the power of the Savior and they saw Him move and work in power and glory. Their experience has something to say to us today.

God will confirm His work in us and through in powerful ways. He will manifest His power as He confirms His message. We will probably not see the same things these men saw. What the Lord did through them is what is known as sign gifts. That is, they were manifestations of His power designed to give validity to His message. In that day people did not have the complete Word of God. They needed proof of the message. God proved His message by working powerful clear miracles among the people.

In our day we will see the Lord confirm His Word by changing lives. When the Gospel is preached and shared in His power, He will use the Gospel message to draw people to Himself. The greatest miracle the Lord can achieve is the salvation of a human soul. It so far outweighs healings and the casting out of demons that they are not even in the same category!

When Jesus saves a soul it eclipses even His power in creation. I thrill when I think of the Lord making everything out of nothing. But, to think that He could take a lost, hell bound sinner and make them into a child of God is marvelous beyond words! To consider that He would love the lost and reach out to them in grace is amazing. To think that He would die on the cross to redeem them from their sins is wonderful beyond belief, (Isa. 53:4-6). To think that He would save people who are trapped in their sins is a miracle the mind can hardly comprehend!

Conc: Our Savior is in the life-changing, soul-saving business! One of the most amazing truths I ever learned is that He desires us to have a part in His ministry. When we hear His call, accept His commission, walk in faith and share His message with a lost and dying world, we can expect Him to honor His Word, (Isa. 55:11), and save the lost.
Here is the invitation today.
If you are saved and sense the Lord calling you to share your faith, you need to come. If He is calling you to serve Him as a preacher of the Gospel or a missionary, you need to heed that call and go where He sends you. Surrender to Him today.
If you are saved and you have been holding back out of fear of failure or that your needs would might not be met, let go of those fears today. Come before the Lord and commit to doing what He has called you to do.
If you have never repented of your sins and trusted Jesus, and He is drawing you to Himself, you need to come today and be saved.
If you have made a profession the past, but your life has never changed and you are still controlled by your sins, you need to come to Him today and get it settled once and for all. Follow Him in genuine repentance.
If the Lord has spoken to you at any point on any level of your life, you need to obey Him right now!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Christ For The World We Sing” By: Samuel Wolcon (1869)

1. Christ for the world we sing,
the world to Christ we bring,
with loving zeal;
the poor, and them that mourn,
the faint and overborne,
sinsick and sorrow-worn,
whom Christ doth heal.

2. Christ for the world we sing,
the world to Christ we bring,
with fervent prayer;
the wayward and the lost,
by restless passions tossed,
redeemed at countless cost,
from dark despair.

3. Christ for the world we sing,
the world to Christ we bring,
with one accord;
with us the work to share,
with us reproach to dare,
with us the cross to bear,
for Christ our Lord.

4. Christ for the world we sing,
the world to Christ we bring,
with joyful song;
the newborn souls, whose days,
reclaimed from error's ways,
inspired with hope and praise,
to Christ belong.



TODAY’S SPARK!
Share The Saving Message of Jesus Today! God Bless YOU! Vic.

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father of Salvation, God of Redemption!
Help us to truly repent of all our sins today. Help us to open our minds and hearts to Your saving grace, as written for us in the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord. Enable us to receive Your Grace and Love in full measure. Help us to repent truly so we may learn the act of receiving which is an act of faith, by surrendering totally to Your Word, Your Will, and Your Way. Remind us that Satan is the father of lies and deceptions. You, O God, are the Father of Truth. Show us how to resist the devil in Your name and by Your power. Forgive us when we fail You. In Jesus’ Holy and Blessed name we pray. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.





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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 9/27/2014
Mark 6:7-13
THE MASTER’S MEN, Lesson 31b

v. 8-11 THE MANDATE OF THE TWELVE

As part of His commissioning, Jesus gave His men some very specific commands. Looking at what He told them has something to say to us about our own service to the Lord.

Vs. 8-9. They were told to take nothing with them for their journey. They could take a walking stick, the shoes on their feet and the clothes on their backs. They were not to take a script, which was a traveler’s bag. Nor were they to take any money or food. There are a couple of thoughts here that need to be considered.
First, there is the idea here is that they were to go as they were, without making any special preparations for their travels. They were to undertake this assignment with their full faith in the Lord and in His ability to take care of them. That is still God’s plan for His people. We are saved by faith and the Lord expects us to live by faith! He wants us to walk in complete dependence on Him and on His power to supply our needs, (Matt. 6:25-34; Phil. 4:19). If the Lord sends us out in His service, we can trust Him to take care of us. I have seen Him do that countless times in my own life and ministry!

Now, we are not to be foolish with our resources! Just because the Lord will meet our needs does not imply that we are to give away everything we have. We should give when the Lord tells us to, but we are also commanded to be good stewards of that which we have been given by the Lord, (Pro. 21:20; 27:12). If we squander everything the Lord gives us, we might have to do without when the hard times come. Sometimes, the Lord allows us to save during the days of prosperity so that we will have resources during the days of adversity!

There are two timeless principles that we do not want to miss here:
1. Always be a wise steward of the wealth God blesses you with.
2. Always trust the Lord to take care of you.

Secondly, there is also the idea here of urgency. Jesus wants them to go now! The fields were white unto the harvest and it was time to go. There is still an urgency that comes with the Gospel message. The time to tell the world is today. The time to go is right now. If the Lord has it on your heart to tell an individual about Him, the time to do that is today, (John 9:4).

They were told to take only one coat. In that day it was usually just the rich who could afford two coats. Jesus was sending them out as common men among common men. They were not to put on airs and come across as though they were better than the people they encountered.

There is a lesson in that for the Lord’s people. Sometimes we act like we are better than the lost world around us. We look down our self-righteous noses at others and talk about how much better we are than they are. In truth, the only thing that separates us from the most-wicked sinner, is the pure grace of God! If it were not for His grace in our lives, we would be as bad, or worse, than they are! Shame on us for thinking that we are better than anybody! Shame on us for sticking our religious noses up into the air, parading around before a lost world, acting like we are something special! There was a time when we were just like them. Apart from the blood of Jesus and the grace of God, we still would be!

v. 10 They were to accept the hospitality of the local people and they were to abide in whatever house they were invited into. They were not to seek out better accommodations. They were not to look for more comfortable lodging. They were to take what they were given and they were to be happy with it.

The English church of the 18th and 19th Centuries was rocked by scandal. The pastors were notorious for seeking their comfort above the needs and welfare of their churches. They were more famous for their knowledge of hunting dogs and for the wines in their wine cellars that they were for preaching the Word of God or ministering to the needs of His people. The same could be said about many preachers in our day. They live like kings while their people struggle to support their lifestyles. The television preachers of our era, with their opulent homes, air-conditioned doghouses, and limousines have left a bad taste in the mouth of this generation.

The Christian life is not about being comfortable. There are time when serving the Lord is anything but comfortable. Our duty is to take whatever He gives us with a heart of gratitude and learn to be content with the things He provides, (Heb. 13:5; 1 Tim. 6:6-12).

Preachers, if you pastor a church, there may be times when you will have to get by on very little. If you serve a church where the people are small minded about the things of God, they will do their best to see to it that you have to live by faith. Thank God for people who know the Pastor and his family have needs too! Regardless of the pay package, we preachers should not look to the church as the source of our resources. We should look to the hand of the Lord and trust Him to meet our needs!

As for the rest of the church, if you are serving Him, you can trust Him to take care of you, That is His promise and He will stand by it, (Psa. 37:25).

v. 11 When the disciples entered a village and they and their message was rejected, they were to leave that village and shake the dust off their sandals. The Jews often did this when they were returning from a journey to a pagan land. Before they crossed back into Israel, they would shake the dust off their clothes and off their shoes. It represented a total disassociation from the pagans and the pollution of their land.

In this case, Jesus told His man to do this as a sign that those who rejected the Gospel would face a harsh judgment someday. In fact, their punishment would exceed the judgment that fell on ancient Sodom and Gomorrah. Why? All Sodom and Gomorrah had was the testimony of a wayward believer named Lot. These villages had the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ! They would face a harsh judgment for rejecting His offer of salvation.

The primary message of the disciples was a message of hope and salvation. However, those who rejected the offer of salvation were given a message of judgment and damnation. The message of the church is also a message of hope and salvation. We are to point the way to Jesus Christ, extending His free offer of salvation to all who will believe it. We are to point the way to Heaven, but we must never neglect to warn sinners about the fiery judgment of Hell.

No one likes that message in our day. We are ridiculed for preaching that there is a literal place called Hell where lost souls suffer for eternity. Let the world kick against that message! Let lost people accuse us of being out of step with this modern world. Let them mock our pleas for them to turn from their sins and come to Jesus. Let them say what they will, but the truth still stands!

There is a Heaven to gain and Hell to shun. The only way into Heaven is through the Lord Jesus Christ, (John 14:6). The only way to avoid Hell is through the Lord Jesus Christ, (John 5:24). That is our testimony! It is a testimony of deliverance to those who receive it. It is a testimony of damnation to those who reject it!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Give Me The Bible” By: Priscilla J. Owens (1883)

Give me the Bible, star of gladness gleaming,
To cheer the wand’rer lone and tempest tossed;
No storm can hide that radiance peaceful beaming,
Since Jesus came to seek and save the lost.
Refrain
Give me the Bible, holy message shining;
Thy light shall guide me in the narrow way;
Precept and promise, law and love combining,
Till night shall vanish in eternal day.


Give me the Bible, when my heart is broken,
When sin and grief have filled my soul with fear;
Give me the precious words by Jesus spoken,
Hold up faith’s lamp to show my Savior near.
Refrain

Give me the Bible, all my steps enlighten,
Teach me the danger of these realms below;
That lamp of safety o’er the gloom shall brighten,
That light alone the path of peace can show.
Refrain

Give me the Bible, lamp of life immortal,
Hold up that splendor by the open grave;
Show me the light from Heaven’s shining portal,
Show me the glory gilding Jordan’s wave.
Refrain


TODAY’S SPARK!
Point the way to Jesus Christ Today! God Bless You! Vic.


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Merciful Father, All Glorious God!
We depend and rest in Your everlasting arms. Our weakness is an opportunity to grow stronger in our awareness of Your presence and promises. Help us to look inward and upward before our energy fails us. Teach us to rejoice in whatever state we are in, giving You all the praise, glory and honor. Teach us to go gently through each day, leaning on Jesus and relying on His power. Make our days of extreme weakness our most precious times. Fill those days with richly interwoven golden strands of His intimate Presence and Guidance. It is in His wonderful name and power that we pray. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.





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Let's make the journey to heaven together.


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9/26/14 7:21 A

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 9/26/2014
Mark 6:7-13
THE MASTER’S MEN, Lesson 31a

One of the most amazing features of the Gospels, and of the ministry of the Lord Jesus, is the men He chose to be His disciples. If you and I were putting together a ministry team, these are probably not the kind of people we would choose to represent us. Consider these men for just a moment.

Several were fishermen. One was a former tax collector for Rome. A couple of them were quick tempered. One of them was a revolutionary. One was a traitor and not a true believer at all. All were very common men.

These men lacked spiritual understanding. They lacked humility. They lacked faith. They lacked commitment. They lacked power. These men were always getting into trouble; missing the point or Christ’s teachings; lashing out at people who were different; saying the wrong thing; walking away from their commitment to Jesus; among other failures and problems. In spite of their weaknesses, the Lord used these men to turn the world upside down for His glory. If He can use them, surely He can use us too! That gives me hope today!

Jesus called these men to follow Him a good while earlier, (Mark 3:13-19). For some time now they have been following Jesus from place to place. They have been listening to Him teach and watching Him perform miracles. Since He called them, they have been in seminary. Jesus has been training them so that He could send them out with the message of the Gospel. The passage before us today gives us the details of our Lord’s commissioning of His disciples for their first missionary outreach.

This passage has something to teach those who are servants of the Lord. It has something to say to those who desire to serve the Lord in these days. I want to teach on “The Master’s Men”, and I would like for us to see that just as Jesus had a mission for the original twelve disciples, He still has a mission for us.

Let’s examine their commission and their work. In doing so, we can learn more about how the Lord expects us to serve Him in these days. I want to share some observations from this text and teach about “The Master’s Men”.

v. 7 THE MISSION OF THE TWELVE

Jesus calls His men to Him and sends them out on a preaching mission. He sent them out two by two and gave them power over demons. Let’s consider their mission.
They were sent out “two by two”. (Matthew 10:2-4) give us some idea of how these men may have been paired up. How would you have liked to have been Judas Iscariot’s partner? There are a couple of reasons Jesus sent them out this way.
It fulfilled the requirements of the Law for every testimony to be established by the words of at least two witnesses – (Deut. 17:6; 19:15; Num. 35:30).
It provided the men with companionship, encouragement and for someone to pray for them.
This was the method used by John the Baptist when he sent out his followers, (Luke 7:18-19).
This has been the method followed by Christians since the days of Jesus. The early church employed this method, (Acts 13:2-3; 15:39-41; 19:22).
It is still the best method today. When two people go out to share the Gospel together, they can encourage one another, pray for one another and help one another stand in this evil day. When you go out to tell this world about Jesus, take a fellow believer with you, it will make the job easier.

We are told that Jesus gave them “power”. This particular word refers to “inherent power”. It has the idea of someone “possessing the right to do a thing and having the power to carry it out.” Jesus gave them His power when He sent them out. In a literal sense, they were an extension of Him as they ministered around the country. Jesus literally multiplied Himself when He sent His disciples out with His power.

In (John 14:12) Jesus made a startling statement. He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” The only reason we are able to see Him do this is because He gives us His power to serve Him in the world today.

When Jesus saves a soul, He gives them the power to carry His message to the world, (Acts 1:8). We may feel inadequate for the task, but His power rests in us and on us. We may be weak in our words and we may feel that our testimony lacks power, but Jesus has promised to give us His power. And His power is more than enough to get the job done! Therefore, we can go into this world and share the Gospel, knowing that He has called us and empowered us to do just that!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Where he Leads I’ll Follow” By: William A. Ogden (1885)

Sweet are the promises, kind is the word
Dearer far than any message man ever heard
Pure was the mind of Christ, sinless, I see
He the great example is, and pattern for me

Refrain:
Where He leads I'll follow
Follow all the way
Follow Jesus ev'ry day


Sweet is the tender love Jesus hath shown
Sweeter far than any love that mortals have known
Kind to the erring one, faithful is He
He the great example is, and pattern for me
Refrain:


List to His loving words, "Come unto me!"
Weary, heavyladen, there is sweet rest for thee
Trust in His promises, faithful and sure
Lean upon the Savior and thy soul is secure
Refrain:


TODAY’S SPARK!
Tell Someone About Jesus Today! God Bless YOU! Vic.

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Awesome Father, Almighty God!
We come before You and listen, attuning ourselves to Your voice, Your power and Your rich blessings. We marvel at the wonder of communing with The Creator of the universe, while we kneel before You in our private or public place. You, O God, make Yourself accessible with ordinary Christians who love and respect You for the mighty God that You are. Nothing can separate us from You unless we allow it to happen. Forgive us when we do. Thank You for Jesus Christ who opened up the way so we may come into Your Powerful presence. It is in His Powerful name that we pray. Amen!


BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.






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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 9/25/2014
Mark 6:1-6
YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN, Lesson, 30c

V. 4-6 THE PEOPLE WERE SHUNNED BY HIS POWER

The people rejected Jesus and they rejected His message. His response to their unbelief is to quote a common proverb. In summary, the proverb Jesus told them simply means “familiarity breeds contempt”. The people of Nazareth, like people everywhere, took for granted what they had and wanted what they didn’t have. They looked at Jesus and saw one of their own. They treated Him as a common thing.

Preachers who grow up in a church experience this problem all the time. The people in the church know you. They have watched you grow up. They have seen you succeed and they have watched you fail. They cannot get past what they know about you to hear what you are preaching. If you are a preacher, the hardest place you will ever preach is your home church! You will find less acceptance there than you will anywhere else.

(Verse 5) tells us that because of their unbelief, Jesus was unable to perform many miracles there. Only a few sick folks were healed. Let’s get one thing straight now; their unbelief did not hinder His power. Jesus was and is absolutely sovereign. He could have done anything there that He wanted to do. He possessed the power, but He refused to demonstrate His power in the face of blatant unbelief. The hands of Jesus were not tied. A few people came to Him in faith and those people received His help. The rest rejected Him and were rejected by Him.

There is a word here for the health and wealth crowd. There is a word here for those who promote the cult of prosperity. People who have embraced the prosperity cult doctrine believe that God only responds to our faith. In other words, if you have enough faith, you will be healed. If you have enough faith you will have plenty of money. If you have the faith you can enjoy endless heal, wealth and blessing. This way of thinking holds God captive to the will of man!

I would remind you that we serve a sovereign God! He can do what He pleases, when He pleases and to whom He pleases. Our faith, or the lack thereof, does not pose a problem for Him. In this case, Jesus refused to “cast His pearls before the swine”. They refused the message, thus they forfeited the miracles.

God’s best blessings are not the works of healing, multiplying your loaves and fishes, or meeting your needs. The greatest work of God is saving, sealing and securing lost souls! If you are saved, you have experienced the greatest of our Lord’s works.

When Jesus saw the depth of their rejection, (v. 6), He “marveled at their unbelief”. The word “marveled” means “to stand in wonder and amazement”. Jesus is said to have “marveled” only twice. Both times His amazement was over faith. He marveled at the great faith of a centurion, (Luke 7:1-10). Here, Jesus marveled at the lack of faith among His own people. Jesus was amazed that these people had heard the truth, seen the truth and still turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to that truth. As a result, He left Nazareth, and there is no record that He ever returned there. Their rejection of Jesus was total and He abandoned them to their choice!

That is what the Lord does! He sends out a call for people to believe the Gospel and be saved, (John 1:9). When people reject the truth of the Gospel and the message of salvation through Jesus, there is no more hope for them. He might call them again and He might not. Regardless, there will come a point where the Lord will call them no more and they are abandoned to their choice, (Rom. 1:18-33; Rom. 9:18-24).

There is a word here for the church. Jesus shows up when we meet, (Matt. 18:20). He desires to teach us truth and He wants to help us to grow. If we come to the house of the Lord expecting something from God, we will be amazed at what He can do. However, if we come with an “I’ve seen it all and heard it all before” attitude, we can expect nothing from the Lord.

We come to the church house and expect the preacher to preach it down and work it up. The fact is, a great worship service demands the participation of both preacher and congregation. William Barclay put it this way: “There can be no preaching in the wrong atmosphere. The congregation is responsible for at least half of every sermon. In an atmosphere of expectancy, the least effort will catch fire. In an atmosphere of coldness or indifference, the most spirit-filled of sermons will fall flat.”

If we don’t want Him here, Jesus will do what He did in Nazareth. He will leave and go elsewhere with His message and His miracles, (v. 6). We can have what we want at this house of worship. We can have glory, power, the manifest presence of God and we can have worship. Or we can have cold, dead orthodoxy. We cannot have both!

Once, A.J. Gossip was away preaching at a certain church. When he returned the next Lord’s Day, his pastor, the great Scottish preacher Alexander Whyte, said “Where were you last Sunday evening?”
Gossip replied, “I was over at a certain church preaching.”
“How was it”, asked Whyte.
“Cold! I found it very cold”, said Gossip.
“Cold!” cried Whyte, “I’d say that place is cold. I preached there two years ago and I still haven’t got the chill out of my bones!”

I pray such a statement will never be made about the Lord’s church! I pray that we will embrace the Savior and all He wants to do in us and for us. I pray that we will be careful to not push Him away. I pray that we will accept His Word, His presence and His power and make Him welcome in this place of worship.

Just as He did in Nazareth, He won’t force Himself on us here. We can have His blessings, or we can turn Him away. If we embrace Him, we will experience more of His power and blessings than we could ever imagine. If we don’t want Him here, He will go elsewhere! If we turn Him away, He will bless another church. I want Him to bless them and us too. There is plenty to go around. What happens to us is up to us!

Conc: I am afraid that many have become a lot like the people of Nazareth. We are so familiar with the things of God, the message of the Bible, the crucifixion of Jesus, the burial and the resurrection that we are no longer moved by them. We are reminded of what Jesus did for us and we say “So what?” We talk about the cross and no one cares anymore. Shame on us! We have allowed our hearts to grow cold and calloused toward the things of God, (Rev 3:15). Today would be a good day to get before the Lord and ask Him to warm your cold heart one more time. Others here have never been saved. You have never embraced the death of Christ as your death. You have never confessed your sins and asked Him to forgive you. You need to come to Jesus today. You need to be saved.

Has the Lord spoken to your heart today? If He has, let me ask you to do something very unusual. What I am about to ask is so unusual that you might think I have gone crazy when I tell you what I am thinking. If the Lord has touched your heart on any level, why don’t you leave your seat, bow at the altar and let Him do in your life what He wants to do. I know it sounds crazy, but that is what I want you to do.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Earth Holds No Treasures” By: Tillet S. Teddlie (1932)

Earth hold no treasures but perish with using
However precious they be
Yet there's a country to which I am going
Heaven holds all to me

Refrain:
Heaven holds all to me
Brighter its glory will be
Joy without measure will be my treasure
Heaven holds all to me


Out on the hills of that wonderfull country
Happy, contented and free
Loved ones are waiting and watching my coming
Heaven holds all to me
Refrain:


Why should I long for the world with its sorrows
When in that home o'er the sea
Millions are singing the wonderful story?
Heaven holds all to me
Refrain:

TODAY’S SPARK!
Ask Jesus to warm your heart and purify it today! God Bless YOU! Vic.

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father God!
Let no one delude himself with beguiling speech, nor deny his faith or the truth that Jesus is Lord and God. We thank You for the Word of Truth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ; for its power to save our soul and teach us how we ought to live. Father, give us boldness to speak the Gospel in love to those around us. Give us Your wisdom not to confuse boldness with anger. Help us to embellish the Gospel with love, and be a servant rather than a salesman. Father, thank You for rescuing us from captivity, and for offering us spiritual freedom in Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. In His blessed name we pray. Amen!


BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.




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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 9/24/2014
Mark 6:1-6
YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN, Lesson, 30b

v. 3 THE PEOPLE STUMBLED OVER HIS PERSON

As the people of Nazareth heard the message Jesus was preaching, they rejected His message because they thought they knew everything there was to know about Him. He had grown up among them and was one of their own. They had seen Him play there as a child; they knew His family; they thought they knew Him. They knew that He had never been to the divinity schools. They knew that He had no formal training. They knew everything there was to know about Jesus, or so they thought! To them, Jesus was just another boy from Nazareth. He did not deserve their respect. They saw Him as a common man!

They also knew His occupation. They call Him “the carpenter”. A carpenter in those days did not always build houses. Typically, they built ox yokes and plows. Sometimes they would build things like tables, chairs, beds, etc. Sometimes, the word carpenter referred to men who could do anything from carving a plate to building a house. The people of Nazareth probably had things in their possession that Jesus had built for them. They saw Him as a common craftsman. They looked at Him and said, “You are no better than we are! Why should we listen to you?”

We are told that they were “offended in Him”. The word “offended” has the idea of “to cause to stumble or to be repelled to the point of abandonment”. Because these people could not explain Jesus, they refused to listen to Jesus. They could not see past the carpenter; and they refused to receive their theology from a common carpenter.

These people did what all people do when they cannot understand someone. They resorted to ridicule! Ridicule is the final refuge of a small mind! They called Him “the son of Mary”. This was never done in that society! A male was always referred to as the son of his father, even if his father was dead. To call a boy the son of his mother was to imply that is mother had played the harlot. The people were calling the birth of Jesus into question. Of course, the people of that day rejected the notion that Jesus was born by supernatural means through a virgin womb. They consistently called His birth into question, (John 8:41; 9:29).

The people of Nazareth could not explain Jesus, so they reacted to His words, His wisdom and His works with contempt and unvarnished ridicule. Listen to the contempt in their voices in (verse 2) as they say “from whence hath this man these things?” these people could not accept what they could not explain!

This state of mind is still with us today. People reject what they cannot easily explain. When it comes to Jesus, there is much that cannot be explained to people’s satisfaction.

People seem to have little trouble with the manger scene. They seem to be able to accept a little, harmless baby lying in a manger. But, when you tell people that the little baby was born of a virgin and that He is God in the flesh, they can’t handle that!

People seem to have little trouble with Jesus going about from place to place preaching His message of peace, love and acceptance like some itinerant philosopher. But, when you tell them that He is the only Savior and that rejecting Him will lead to Him sending the sinner away into Hell, they can’t handle that!

People seem to have no problem with a dead Jesus hanging in shame on a cross. But, when you tell them that He rose again after He died and that He still lives today to save all those who will accept Him by faith, they can’t handle that!

If your concept of Who Jesus is stops with a baby in a manger or a dead man on a cross, you are missing the whole point! You must come to the place where you understand that Jesus Christ is the very Son of God, (John 3:16). You must understand that He died for your sins on the cross and that He rose again from the dead, (Rom. 10:9). You must come to a place where you turn from your sins, and believe on Jesus for your soul’s salvation or you have no hope of Heaven, (Rom. 10:13)!

There is much about Jesus, the Bible and the Gospel that I do not understand. I can’t figure out why He would love me. I can’t figure out why He would even care where I am going to spend eternity. I can’t understand how He was able to save me from my sins when I called out to Him. But, my questions do not stop me from believing! What I don’t understand does not prevent me from acting on what I do understand.

Here is what I know and believe to be the absolute truth:
Jesus Christ is God in the flesh – (Phil. 2:5-8; John 1:1, 14).
Jesus Christ was born of a virgin – (Isa. 7:14; Luke 1:25-38).
Jesus Christ lived a sinless life – (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 7:26; 1 Pet. 2:22; 1 John 3:5).
Jesus Christ died for my sins on a cross on a hill called Calvary – (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:24; Isa. 53:4-6; John 1:29).
Jesus Christ raised again from the dead three days later – (Matt. 28:1-6).
Jesus Christ ascended back to Heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Father – (Heb. 1:3; 10:12).
Jesus Christ is coming back to this world to receive His people unto Himself, (1 Thes. 4:13-18).
Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords – (Rev. 19:16).
Jesus Christ is the only Door to Salvation. He is the only Way into Life. He is the only Truth. Apart from Him, there is no hope, no salvation and no Heaven, (John 14:6).

Is that what you believe? If it isn’t, please do not allow the claims of the Bible cause you to stumble. Believe the message just as it is given and follow Jesus. Do not allow that which you do not understand to cause you to stumble and send you to Hell!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Home of the Soul” By: James Rowe (1912)

If for the prize we have striven,
After our labors are o’er,
Rest to our souls will be given,
On the eternal shore.
Chorus
Home of the soul, beautiful home,
There we shall rest, never to roam;
Free from all care, happy and bright,
Jesus is there, He is the light!
Oft in the storm, lonely are we,
Sighing for home, longing for thee,
Beautiful home of the ransomed,
beside the crystal sea.

Yes, a sweet rest is remaining
For the true children of God,
Where there will be no complaining,
Never a chast’ning rod.
Chorus

Soon, the bright homeland adoring,
We shall behold the glad dawn;
Lean on the Lord till the morning,
Trust till the night is gone.
Chorus


TODAY’S SPARK!
Accept God’s Truth, Word and Way By Faith Today. God Bless YOU! Vic.


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Heavenly Father, God of the Way, the Truth and the Life!
Help us to focus on living first and foremost in Your presence. Help us to accept what we may not understand, The words, wisdom and works of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, because He did it all for us. Help us to become more aware of Him in our Lives as he works through His word and the Holy Spirit to bring us to the place where You want us to be in this life. Increase our ability to love and encourage others, just as we have been loved and encouraged by Jesus. Let Your peace permeate our minds and our demeanor. Show us how to be active in this world and yet removed from it. Buffer us so we will not be shaken by the problems of this world. This is the path You have set before us, as we follow Jesus wholeheartedly and experience true life and peace. In the Lord’s precious name we pray. Amen1

BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.




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9/23/14 5:50 A

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 9/23/2014
Mark 6:1-6
YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN, Lesson, 30a

Thomas Wolfe wrote a novel entitled “You Can’t Go Home Again”. The book is about a man named George Webber. He is an author who has written a successful book about his hometown. When he returns home, he expects to receive a hero’s welcome. Instead, he is driven out of town by his own friends and family. They feel betrayed by what he has written about them in his book. Webber is shaken by their reaction to his work and leaves his hometown behind to go find himself. George Webber discovered that those who know you best tend to respect you the least.

Our text finds Jesus returning to Nazareth. He is going home again. Our Lord’s return to His hometown does not go the way one might expect it to. After all, Jesus is something of a celebrity by this time. He has been going around the countryside preaching, teaching, healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead and controlling the forces of nature. He has proven that there is something very special and very different about Him.

Of course, the last time Jesus was in Nazareth things didn’t go too well for Him. He went to the Synagogue and preached from (Isa. 61;Luke 4:16-20). In that service, Jesus proclaimed Himself to be the Jewish Messiah. The people of Nazareth rejected His message and tried to kill Him by throwing Him over a cliff! He left Nazareth and preached in other places in Galilee. Now, a year later He returns to the very place He was so cruelly rejected. He wants to give His family, His friends and His neighbors another chance to receive Him and His message. That is grace! I am amazed that God would give you and me one chance, much less, opportunity after opportunity, to believe in Him and His Gospel! Thank God for His good grace!

When Jesus arrives in Nazareth, He is not greeted by anxious crowds. It seems that they ignored Him until the Sabbath Day came and they all went to the synagogue. I want to consider our Lord’s visit to Nazareth today. What happened there has something to say to those who are saved and to those who do not know the Lord. What is of real interest is the people’s reaction our Lord’s preaching and His person. Their reaction cost them His power.

Let’s take a look at the events of that Sabbath Day visit to the Synagogue in Nazareth. Let’s notice the ways the people responded to the Lord and what their response cost them.

v. 2 THE PEOPLE WERE SHOCKED BY HIS PREACHING

When Jesus began to speak, the people who heard Him were “astonished”. This word means “to be seized with panic; to be struck with terror; to be stricken with startling and sudden alarm.” When they heard Jesus, they were actually filled with fear. They immediately began to speak among themselves and talk about three areas of the Lord’s ministry that amazed them.

His Words – When Jesus preached, He did so with grace and charm. His words were filled with divine authority. He did not speak like the local rabbis. They quoted other rabbis and had no sense of certainty in their words. When Jesus spoke, He did so with the sense that He knew what He was talking about. He left no doubt in the minds of His hearers that His words must either be accepted or rejected. He left His hearers no wiggle room. In fact, when some officers were sent from the Pharisees to hear what Jesus had to say, they came back and said, “Never man spake like this man”, (John 7:46). When the people of Nazareth heard Jesus speak, they were amazed.

His Wisdom – When Jesus spoke, His words were filled with truth. The people heard Him declare old truths in new ways. They listened as He taught spiritual truth by using the common everyday things around them. While His illustrations may have called on the common, the truth He preached was anything but common. The Lord’s wisdom left them shaking their heads in disbelief.

His Works – The Lord’s fame had preceded Him to Nazareth. They had heard about the miracles He had performed elsewhere. They could not believe that a young man from their own town could do the miracles that were attributed to Him. The people of Nazareth could not believe what they were hearing and Who they were hearing it from. They heard what Jesus had to say and they were left with their mouths hanging open.

Our Lord’s message still affects people that way. When you read the Bible and study the message of the Gospel, it can cause you to be astonished. Consider some of the claims of the Bible:
All people are sinners – (Rom. 3:10-20, 23; Gal. 3:22).
All sinners are headed to a place called Hell – (Psa. 9:17; Rom. 2:8-9).
There is only one way to be saved from sin and its penalty – (Acts 4:12; 1 John 2:23; 5:12).
All other religions in the world are false religions and they all lead to Hell – (John 3:18, 36).
The only way for anyone to be saved is for them to place their faith in a man Who lived, died and rose again from the dead 2,000 years ago – (John 14:6; 10:9).

Those are amazing claims because they condemn much of the world to a lost eternity. When people in our day hear the claims of the Gospel, they react in anger. They reject the message and attack the messenger, just as they did in Jesus’ day. What do you think when you hear the claims of the Gospel? Do you rejoice in its truth, knowing that it has saved you soul? Or, do you hear it and reject its message, thinking you know a better way? (Pro. 16:25).

TODAY’S HYMN!
“This World Is Not My Home” By: Traditional (A. H. Howard, 1992)

This world is not my home, I'm just passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
The angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.
Refrain:
O Lord, you know I have no friend like you
If Heaven's not my home, then Lord what will I do?
The angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

They're all expecting me and that's one thing I know
My Savior pardoned me and now I onward go
I know He'll take me through
Though I am weak and poor.
Refrain:

Just up in glory land we'll live eternally
The Saints on every hand are shouting victory
Their song of sweetest praise drifts back from Heaven's shore
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.
Refrain:

TODAY’S SPARK!
Choose Today Whom You Will Believe And Serve. God Bless YOU! Vic.

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Awesome Father, Glorious God!
We thank You that we are not appointed to Your wrath, nor fear it, but we must respect You, for You are Holy and because You are with us. We pray today, in Jesus’ name, that Your great ability to save us, protect us and deliver us from all evil will come to light in the body of Christ Jesus, which is His Church, and is now being manifested to the world. Father we remember the great deliverances of those in scripture who believed and trusted You. You did for them what You will do for us as well. Therefore, we choose Life and deliverance by Jesus Christ, our Lord. Thank You for Jesus, for His love, grace and mercy, and for those that have charge over us to protect us and keep us safe in all our endeavors. In His Precious name we pray. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.



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9/22/14 6:35 A

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 9/22/2014
Mark 5:21-43
BE NOT AFRAID, ONLY BELIEVE, Lesson 29d

v. 40-43 Confirmed By The Savior’s Works – Jesus sends the mourners and the spectators away. He takes Jairus, the girl’s mother and Peter, James and John and enters the room where the girl’s body lies. He took her by the hand and said “Talitha Cumi”. This phrase can literally be translated “Arise little lamb”. What a tender expression!

Jesus is moved with compassion by the grief in this home and He calls the little girl’s spirit back into her body. She obeys His command and instantly receives life. She gets up and everyone is amazed.

It amazes me when I read about Jesus walking on water, feeding a multitude with a small amount of food, calming a storm, healing a sickness, etc. But, nothing showcases His divine power like Him raising someone from the dead!

If Jesus can do this, there is nothing impossible with Him! That lost spouse or family member can be saved today! That impossible situation in your life can be handled! That incredible need that you think is so great, it can be met! Here are two thoughts that I want you to take home with you today.
Jesus cares about your situation – (Heb. 4:15-16; 1 Pet. 5:7).
Jesus is able to handle your situation, no matter what it is – (Luke 1:37; Eph. 3:20).

Conc: Jesus wanted to keep these matters quiet. There are several reasons why He would tell them to do that. A couple of those reasons need to be repeated today.

First, it wasn’t time for Jesus to make a full revelation of Himself to the Jewish people. Here is the principle: God always does things at the right time. Even in your life and mine. He does what He does right on time every time. But today we can reveal Jesus to a lost world.

Second, Jesus did not want every person to think that they would always receive healing when they were sick, or a resurrection if they died. Here is the principle: God has a specific plan for your life. He will always keep His promises, but He may not fulfill them in the ways you expect Him to!

Jairus had his faith enlarged by this encounter with Jesus. He discovered the power of God and his life would never be the same. If I could leave you with anything today, it would be this:
When sickness comes – Believe Jesus!
When death comes – Believe Jesus!
When the bottom falls out of life – Believe Jesus!
When the answers to your prayers are delayed – Believe Jesus!
When you are ridiculed for your faith – Believe Jesus!
When you are looking at a hopeless situation – Believe Jesus!
When I place my problem beside the Lord, it suddenly grows very small. No matter how great it looks in my eyes, it is nothing compared to Him! After all, He is a God Who can create a universe from nothing and can do anything! A God Who can part a sea, rain down manna from heaven, heal a sick body, raise a dead body, and save a lost soul can do anything!

It may be that you are looking at such a situation right now. You may be lost and you know that if you die, you will go to Hell. Your story does not have to end that way! Come to Jesus and trust Him to save you. Believe Jesus, He will not fail!

You might be out of God’s will, with a heart that is cold and far away from God. You can come home today and He will restore you to a place of closeness and usefulness. Believe Jesus, He will not fail! You might have a problem that you cannot handle. It is bigger than you are and out of control. He can handle it! He can cut it down to size! Bring it to Jesus and trust Him to take care of it for His glory! Believe Jesus, He will not fail! We can rejoice in Jesus! Why? We are able to see the victory that is ours through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Cor. 15:57). Things look bleak down here, but what’s waiting on us is out of this world!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Trust and Obey” By: J. H. Sammis (1877)

1. When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Refrain:
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

2. Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
Refrain:

3. Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
Refrain:

4. But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Refrain:

5. Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.
Refrain:


TODAY’S SPARK!
See the victory today that is ours through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. God Bless YOU! Vic.




TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father of Mercy, God of Love!
Thank You for Your tender mercy towards us. We are aware every day of Your great grace towards us. Thank You that You have never judged us according to what we deserved, which is death, but You have blessed us with Your grace, which we do not deserve, and have covered us with Your righteousness. Your grace towards us is beyond our comprehension. You never have forsaken us, so help us never to forsake You. Increase our faith in Jesus and our knowledge on Him so we may grow in our faith and trust in Him, and become more like Him. Enable our attitude to always be right before You. May we never take Your mercy for granted. Forgive us our shortcomings and foolishness. In His wonderdful name we pray. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.



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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 9/21/2014
Mark 5:21-43
BE NOT AFRAID, ONLY BELIEVE, Lesson 29c

v. 36-43 THE CONFIRMATION OF HIS FAITH

The faith of Jairus was weak. The faith of Jairus waivered. But, in the end, the faith of Jairus won out. His faith triumphed because his faith was rooted in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice the victory his faith won for him.

v. 36-39 Confirmed By The Savior’s Words – Jesus overhears the words from those who have brought the news of the girl’s death. Jesus also knows the fear that rests within the heart of Jairus. Jesus says, “Be not afraid, only believe.” Jesus is saying, “Jairus, don’t believe what you hear, (v. 35). Don’t believe what you know, (v. 38-39). Don’t believe what you see, (v. 40). Most of all, don’t believe what you think! Trust Me!” He is saying, “Jairus, you believed Me when you came to me a few moments ago; keep believing in me now!”

So Jesus and Jairus continued on to Jairus’ house. When they arrived, they find that the mourners are already there. The mourners were wailing and crying and sad tunes were being played on the flutes.

Jewish law required that even the poorest of people have at least one mourner and two flute players. These mourners showed up as soon as there was a death. They began to wail, cry and scream, calling attention to the fact that death had invaded a home. They came quickly because the dead were buried before sundown. These same practices continue to this day in parts of the Middle East.

Since Jairus was wealthy and well known, the number of hired mourners would have been many. Mark describes their noise as a “tumult”. This word describes a “clamorous uproar”.

Jesus sees this mourning going on. The word “seeth” has the idea of “watching for a prolonged time”. Jesus is watching this show and He knows that there is no genuine grief involved. The mourners could have cared less about the pain of this family. The only people really hurting are Jairus and his wife. Jesus approaches this scene and makes a strange statement. He tells the mourners to stop their wailing because the little girl is not dead, but only sleeping. They laugh at Him, but there is much truth in His words.

There are many people who look at death as the end of all things. They see it as a time of absolute hopelessness. Jesus seems to have a different opinion. He calls it “sleep”. Now, don’t misunderstand, He isn’t talking about so-called “soul sleep”. Many in our world believe the soul and the body go together into the grave to await the resurrection. That is simply foolish, (2 Cor. 5:8; 1 Thes. 4:13-170). When Jesus says the girl is sleeping, He reveals a proper perspective of death. When death claims a believer, the body lies down in sleep, but the soul flies away. There is no real death for a child of God, (John 5:24).

In actual death the soul is separated from God for all eternity, (Rom. 6:23; 2 Thes. 1:8-9). This event is called “the second death”, (Rev. 20:10-15). The second death has no power over the child of God.

When a believer dies, their body goes into the ground, but their soul lives on in the presence of the Lord. They are not dead, but like a sleeping person, they are at rest, waiting for the day their body is raised and glorified.

Jesus is just letting Jairus and everyone there know that He is in control of this situation too. Healing the sick woman was no problem. Casting out a legion of demons was no problem. Calming a raging sea was no problem. Dealing with this situation will prove to be no problem as well.

What a lesson for us! There is not a situation we can think of that is beyond His ability! When you are faced with a hopeless situation, remember the words of the Lord, “Be not afraid, only believe”, and let His words be all the support your faith needs! Let His words secure your faith.
Do you have a need? He said He would meet it, (Matt. 6:25-34; Phil. 4:19) – Trust Him!
Do you have fears? He said He would never forsake you, (Heb. 13:5) – Trust Him!
Do things look hopeless? He specializes in that, (Eph. 3:20) – Trust Him!
Regardless of the situation, you can trust Him with absolute confidence. You can always depend on the Lord to “do right”, (Gen. 18:25) – Trust Him!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“God Holds The Future In His Hand” By: James Rowe (1922)

Dread not the things that are ahead,
The burdens great, the sinking sands,
The thorns that o’er the path are spread,
God holds the future in His hands.
Refrain
God holds the future in His hands
And every heart He understands.
On Him depend,
He is your Friend,
He holds the future in His hands.

We know not what tomorrow hides,
Of sun or storm or good or ill;
We only know His dear hand guides,
And He will be our Father still.
Refrain

His hand created earth and sky,
The zephyrs and the storms that rage,
And years to come and years gone by
To Him are but an open page.
Refrain

Live close to Him and trust His love,
Assured that while on earth we roam,
Whate’er may come, He bends above
To guide His children safely home.
Refrain


TODAY’S SPARK!
Trust In The Lord Today With All Your Heart, Soul And Mind! God Bless YOU! Vic.

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Most Holy Father, God of all Creation!
Yours, O God, is the greatest power, glory, victory and majesty. All that is in heaven and on earth is Yours, because You created it all. Teach us that by the power of Your Word and Spirit, all things are possible to You. Thank You, O Lord, God Almighty, the One who is and who was and who is to come again. Take Your great power and reign over us. Be exalted, O Lord, in our lives. We praise You as our All-Powerful Lord and Master. Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever. Help us to not have our faith in the wisdom of men, but in the power of our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is in beauty of His name that we pray. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.




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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 9/20/2014
Mark 5:21-43
BE NOT AFRAID, ONLY BELIEVE, Lesson 29b

v. 24-35 THE CONFUSION OF HIS FAITH

Someone has said, “A faith that can’t be tested is a faith that can’t be trusted.” Here, we see the fledgling faith of Jairus put to the test. A hopeless situation grew worse with each passing moment and a faith that was weak was brought to the breaking point.

v. 24-35 Confused By Hindering Situations – Jesus leaves to go with Jairus to heal his daughter. As He goes, He is thronged by the crowd and a very sick woman touches His garments and is healed. Jesus stops to confront and comfort this woman, and as He does, precious minutes pass by. I would imagine that Jairus is confused and upset by this delay. After all, his daughter is in the dying process! She doesn’t have much time and Jesus is wasting His time on this woman.

It is very possible that Jairus knew this woman and her condition. If so, he knows that she had been sick for twelve years. He may be thinking that waiting another hour for her healing wouldn’t have killed her. He may be thinking that this interruption will kill his daughter. We don’t know what was going on the mind of Jairus during this interruption. He was probably waiting impatiently, his stomach in knots. If you have ever had a very sick child, then you know the anxiety that must have gripped his heart.

On the surface, the Lord’s delay seems a little insensitive. He knows the seriousness of the situation. He knows the broken heart of this father. He knows the urgency of the need. But, Jesus pauses to take care of the need at hand. What seems to be hard and harsh on the surface has some important lessons to teach us.
Deity doesn’t run on our schedule. God is not bound by the constraints of time and space. It may surprise you, but God does not possess a clock or a calendar!
The delays of life are designed to increase our faith. You take a Joseph and throw him in a pit, then into slavery, then in to prison; and out of that delay God will give you the Prime Minister of Egypt and a man of God! When God doesn’t move as quickly as you might like, trust Him anyway.

v. 36 Confused By Hopeless Situations – As Jesus is finally finishing up with this woman, some people come from that home of Jairus with devastating news. His daughter is dead! Notice the cold way in which they inform this poor father. There is no compassion, no comfort, and no sympathy; there is nothing but cold, hard fact. The news is blunt and final: “Thy daughter is dead: Why troublest thou the Master any further?” They are saying, “Don’t bother Jesus! Even He can’t fix this problem! Your daughter is dead and that is just the way it is!” Surely this news rocked Jairus to his foundations! Surely this news attacked his faith and brought Jairus to the very edge of despair! Surely he must have thought about the delay. I wonder if he became a little bitter at the Lord.

Have you ever been faced with a similar situation? The facts stare you in the face and every one of them cries, “No hope! No hope! No hope!” That must have been how Mary and Martha felt when Lazarus fell ill and they sent for Jesus to come heal him, (John 11:1-3). When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was for two more days, (John 11:6). By the time Jesus arrived, Lazarus had been dead four days! They thought all hope was gone. What they did not know was that what seemed to be a delay was merely setting the stage for a greater miracle!

That may have been how the disciples felt out there on the sea in that storm. They thought there was no hope. They thought the Savior was not moving on time. Again, what they saw as a delay was merely setting the stage for a greater miracle! We can’t see what God is doing behind the scenes. Sometimes it appears that He is taking His time when we want Him to move swiftly.

What would Job have thought if he could have seen behind the curtain of eternity? Would it have made his experience any easier to bear? It might have and it might not have, but God has no need to explain Himself to us! When God doesn’t make sense, keep trusting Him. He is working in ways you can’t see to accomplish what you can’t imagine!

We need to remember the truth that “God is seldom early, but He is never late”.

God has a plan for your situation! Even when you can’t see what the Lord is doing, learn to trust Him anyway and your faith will sustain you! Even when you can’t see what He is doing, God is working to accomplish His plan and purposes in your life and mine, (Job, Job 23:10; and David, Psa. 37:23).

TODAY’S HYMN!
“My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less” By: Edward Mote (1834)

1. My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus' name.
Refrain:
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.


2. When Darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil.
(Refrain)


3. His oath, his covenant, his blood
supports me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
he then is all my hope and stay.
(Refrain)


4. When he shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in him be found!
Dressed in his righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne!
(Refrain)

TODAY’S SPARK!
Praise God when He tests Your faith because He is at work for You! God bless YOU! Vic.


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Almighty and Loving Father, Empowering God!
Empower us so we may love like You love us, teach others like You teach us, and equip others like You have equipped us. Enable the ministry of helping people to have a ripple effect throughout this dying world. Remind us that this ripple effect starts in our homes, in our job sites, with our neighbors and friend, in our communities, in our cities and towns before it can reach states and nations. Thank You for inspiring us and enabling us to work with You in Your kingdom, to create faith and bring hope to lost souls, and to encourage saved souls to trust You by stepping out by faith. Please continue to empower us to accomplish Your Will here on earth. With gladness we pray in the blessed name of Jesus. Amen!


BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.




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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 9/19/2014
Mark 5:21-43
BE NOT AFRAID, ONLY BELIEVE, Lesson 29a

We have been following Jesus from one hopeless situation to another. We have witnessed the Lord Jesus demonstrate His power over a stormy sea; a demon-possessed man and a very sick woman. Jesus has proven that He is more than adequate for any situation He faced. Jesus spoke and, when He did, a raging storm and a tossing sea suddenly became calm. At His command a man held captive by the devil was set free. His power instantly healed a woman caught in the grip of terminal illness. These three episodes prove that Jesus is the Master of the hopeless situation! Thank God, we serve a Lord Who possesses all power, (Matt. 28:18; Eph. 3:20). We serve a Lord for Whom nothing is impossible, (Luke 1:37).

Today, our text takes us into another hopeless situation. This time Jesus faces the greatest enemy known to man. Jesus faces death in these verses and He walks away the Victor! As we watch our Lord conquer one hopeless situation after another, it should give us hope when our own desperate times come. I want to take the Lord’s words in verse 36 as my title today. I want to teach on the thought “Be Not Afraid, Only Believe”. As I do, I would like for us to see a father’s faith in action. We will see how his faith is matured by the struggle he endured. What we learn here can help us to overcome fear with faith during the hard times of life. Notice the phases this father’s faith passes through as this story develops.

v. 21-24 THE CONCEPTION OF HIS FAITH

Jesus has just returned from a night at sea. He and His disciples went to the other side of the lake. While He was there, Jesus delivered a poor man from the grip of Satan, by casting out the demons that possessed him. Now, Jesus has returned to Capernaum and is immediately met by a crowd of people. Some have gathered to hear His words. Some have come in the hopes of experiencing a miracle. All are there to see Jesus. A man named Jairus rushes into the crowd surrounding Jesus. It is his story that serves as the focus of these verses. He is a man whose little faith is about to grow very large.

v. 22-23a The Direction Of His Faith – Jairus possessed power, privilege, prestige, position, and prominence. He would have been a wealthy man, with a fine home and servants. He was a religious man, who faithfully practiced the Jewish faith. At this moment in his life, none of the things that usually seemed important to Jairus mattered in the least! Sickness and death had visited the home of Jairus and none of the things that mattered in his life could drive them away! His power, money, and position in the community, even his religion, were all powerless in the face of those two enemies. His “little daughter” was dying and he needed help! Jairus needed help that none of his resources could provide!

This broken hearted father knows he needs help. He has heard about Jesus and he runs to Him and he humbles himself at Jesus feet. This must have been hard for Jairus! After all, he is a ruler of synagogue. All of his colleagues in the ministry disapprove of Jesus and of His methods. Most of the synagogues had been closed to Jesus and His ministry. Yet, this father is desperate and he turns to the man named Jesus for the help he needs. Fear of death; love for his daughter; and a sense of utter helplessness drove this man to Jesus! Jairus doesn’t understand everything there is to know about Jesus. But, he has come to believe that this man can heal.

Let me just remind you that tragedy doesn’t care who you are! The trials of life are not going to pass you by, (Job 14:1; John 16:33). Tragedy doesn’t care that you go to church and pay your tithes. Sickness and death could care less about your achievements and assets. When the trials of life come, you need a resource outside of yourself. When death, sickness, sorrow, marital trouble, financial trouble, etc., comes, you need more than some religion or the stuff of this world! You need a faith that rests in Jesus and in His power alone.

v. 23b-24 The Depth Of His Faith – Perhaps Jairus has heard what Jesus can do just by touching someone who is diseased. Surely he has already heard the stories about the amazing power of the Lord’s touch. He might have even been in the synagogue, or by the seashore, when Jesus reached out, touched some pitiful creature and healed them of their disease. Regardless of whether he heard about or saw it with his own eyes, Jairus believes that Jesus can do this for his own daughter. He believes the Lord’s touch will bring healing to his child. Thus, this powerful man humbles himself at the feet of Jesus and cries out for the help he needs. This is the kind of faith the Lord is looking for in your life and mine. He wants us to come to the end of our own abilities. He wants us to come to the place where we know that we can’t, but believe that He can!

Like Jairus, there will be many times when our faith is small and weak. But, like Jairus, our faith must be in the Lord and in His ability. Faith in Jesus is faith that will always be honored by God. (Mark 9:23), “…If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” (John 14:13-14), “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” Faith in Jesus may start out very small, but it will not stay that way for long. God has a way of growing our faith as we walk with Him through the days of our lives.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Will You Not Tell It Today?” By: Jessie B. Pounds (1887)

If the name of the Savior is precious to you
If His care has been constant and tender and true
If the light of His presence has brightened your way
O will you not tell of your gladness today?

Refrain:
O will you not tell it today?
Will you not tell it today?
If the light of His presence has brightened your way
O will you not tell it today?


If your faith in the Savior has brought its reward
If a strength you have found in the strength of the Lord
If the hope of a rest in His palace is sweet
O will you not, brother, the story repeat?
Refrain:


If the souls all around you are living in sin
If the Master has told you to bid them come in
If the sweet invitation they never have heard
O will you not tell them the cheer-bringin word?
Refrain:

TODAY’S SPARK!
Serve the Lord Who possesses all power. God Bless YOU!


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Almighty Father, Awesome God!
There is a mighty battle ragging within us, a battle going on for control of our hearts and minds, a battle which will determine our soul’s destiny, heaven or hell. Thank You, Jesus, for providing the victory for those who believe in You, who obey You and who follow You. We can have Victory and Heaven, or we can have defeat and hell; the choice rest with each one of us. Help us to make the wise and right choice. Help us to understand that Jesus died and rose again in order to provide us that victory. Help us to understand the power of His love and compassion. Help us to be more like Him every day, and forgive us when we fail to grow in our faith and trust in Him. In His Mighty Name we pray. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.






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Mark 5:21-24; 35-42
THE INFLUENCE OF A FAITHFUL MAN, Lesson 28a

A day has been set aside to honor the men who have been given the great privilege of being fathers. I thank God for my father. I also thank the Lord for the tremendous honor of being a father myself. The Lord has blessed US with seven children. It is a wonderful honor to be their dad.

I know that I have made many mistakes as a father. I hope I got a few things right along the way as well. Either way, I know that I have had an influence in the way our children turned out. I also know, that as a man of faith in the church, my life has influenced, for good or for ill, other children as well. I say that to remind you that we often underestimate the influence a man has in the lives of children.

Fathers, you are influencing the lives of your children every single day. They are watching you and they are learning from you. Sons are learning how to treat a spouse. Daughters are learning what to look for in their own spouse. Sons and daughters are learning how to serve the Lord. Your children are learning how to appreciate the Bible, the church and the things of God, just by watching you.

Men, all the children in your life, whether they are in your family, or are just around you in the church and community, are watching you and they are learning from your example. They are learning about faithfulness, obedience to the Lord, worship, serving God and others, and many other lessons, just by watching how you carry yourself around them.

That is a lot of responsibility. That is the way God intended it to be. God has invested leadership in the home and in the church in men. (Eph. 5:21–28; Eph. 6:1–4; 1 Tim. 3:1-13). That does not discount or cheapen the role of women in the home and church, but the fact remains, men have been chosen to lead.

Because we have been given that sphere of influence in the home and in the church, we can expect that we will be called to give an account of how we exercised that influence when we stand before the Lord. “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way,” (Rom. 14:12–13).

If you wonder whether or not the influence of a man in the lives of children is so important, consider the following:
Over the past ten years the number of murders committed by teens has risen from 1,000 per year to over 4,000 per year.
Over the past 30 years there has been:
A 550% increase in violent crime
A 400% increase in illegitimate births
A 200% increase in teen pregnancies
A 300% increase in teen suicide
The vast majority of the teenagers involved in the statistics I just mentioned, are from homes that lack a father.
Over 70% of all juveniles in state reformatories come from homes without a father.

Since our responsibility is so great to our families and before the Lord, we need to know how to carry ourselves as we move through life. This passage introduces us to a man named Jairus. Most of you are well acquainted with this story. Jairus has a young daughter who is sick. He fears that her sickness is fatal. Knowing that he cannot save her, but believing that Jesus Christ can, this grieving father goes to ask Jesus to come to his home to heal his daughter.

As the events of this passage play out, Jairus teaches his wife, his daughter, his servants, and all those who are watching, some valuable lessons about faith and obedience. He sets an example that every man, especially every father, would do well to take heed to.

I want to explore this account in detail today. I want to share with you the lessons Jairus taught those who were in the sphere of his influence. As I do, I want to remind you that you are influencing others every minute of every day. We need to make that influence count for the good of our families and for the glory of God.

Let’s notice these lessons together as I teach about “The Influence Of A Faithful Man”.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord” By: B. Mansell Ramsey (1919)

Teach me Thy way, O Lord, teach me Thy way!
Thy guiding grace afford, teach me Thy way!
Help me to walk aright, more by faith, less by sight;
Lead me with heav’nly light, teach me Thy way!

When I am sad at heart, teach me Thy way!
When earthly joys depart, teach me Thy way!
In hours of loneliness, in times of dire distress,
In failure or success, teach me Thy way!

When doubts and fears arise, teach me Thy way!
When storms o’erspread the skies, teach me Thy way!
Shine through the cloud and rain, through sorrow, toil and pain;
Make Thou my pathway plain, teach me Thy way!

Long as my life shall last, teach me Thy way!
Where’er my lot be cast, teach me Thy way!
Until the race is run, until the journey’s done,


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Heavenly Father, Almighty God!
Thank You for making us in Your image. Help us to realize that the value in us is because You made us in Your Image. Teach us how to defeat pride and how to resist negativity, not by comparing ourselves with others, but by comparing ourselves to You. Show us how to grow up to be godly men and Christian leaders. Help us to mature and to continue to grow in our grace, to the full measure of the stature and fullness of Jesus Christ our Lord. Fill us with His Great love and compassion for all family members as we lead them to Jesus, and forgive us when we fail them and You. In His Great name we pray. Amen!


BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.

















FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 9/16/2014
Mark 5:21-24; 35-42
THE INFLUENCE OF A FAITHFUL MAN, Lesson 28b

v. 22 HOW HE APPROACHED JESUS

Jairus is “a ruler of the synagogue.” This means that he was the primary official who oversaw the business of the synagogue. He would have had a major part in every service at the synagogue. He was responsible for making sure that everything was in order and ready at the synagogue. He would have been responsible for handling the Torah scrolls and calling on some to read from the Word of God. He would have led the worship week by week. He would have even been responsible for keeping the building and grounds in good order. In many ways, his position would be like to of a Pastor in a local church.

Jairus, by virtue of his position in the synagogue, was an important man in his community. He is a man of prominence, prestige, privilege, prosperity and power in the community. When Jairus spoke, people listened. When he walked into a room, everyone stood up in recognition. Most men in his position were aligned with the Pharisees. Thus, he would have been a member of one of the most prominent and powerful religious orders of the day.

He was a man who had it all. He was a man who had reached the pinnacle of success in that society. But, at this moment in time, none of it mattered! He suddenly finds himself in a place where none of that matters! Sickness and death could care less about this man, what he possesses or the position he holds.

Here is a man who is religious. But, his religion is powerless to help him or his family. Jairus would have traded everything for the power to heal his child. Life became “very” defined for Jairus! He had 9/15

Death had come to the house of Jairus, and it had come for his real treasure. That “little daughter,” (v. 23), the one Luke calls his “one only daughter,” (Luke 8:42), was dying and nothing else mattered!

Here is what I want you to see. This powerful man, this prosperous man, this influential man, this man of standing in the community, was not ashamed to humble himself before the Lord. Jairus came before the Lord reverently, prayerfully and passionately. He “fell at His feet,” (v. 22). The word “fell” means “to descend from a higher place to a lower.” Jairus came down from his lofty perch to humble himself before the Lord.

Dads, men, this is what the children around you need to see. They need to see men who are not afraid to approach Jesus Christ. They need to see men who are not ashamed to kneel before the Lord in public, and in the home. They need to see men who, like Jairus, will admit before God, their families and everyone else, that they are helpless and hopeless without the help of the Lord.
Do your children know that you are saved?
Do your children know your personal testimony of salvation?
Do your children remember a time when you, their father, personally shared the Gospel with them?
Do your children see you in prayer before the Lord?
Do your children see you taking godly leadership of the home?
Do your children know that God comes before everything else in life?
Do your children see you unashamedly, openly, consistently and fervently seeking the Lord?

It is a shame when men are more likely to chase a golf ball than seek God on Sunday morning.
It is a shame when men send their families to church while they stay home.
It is a shame when men fail to love the Lord with all their hearts, and when they fail to lead their families to the same devotion.
It is a shame when men abdicate their god given responsibility to their wives.

Men, the children around us must see us seeking the Lord. They must see us setting the example of approaching Jesus. It is a lesson, when learned, that is not soon forgotten!

I once read about a farmer who had labored all spring and summer of a crop of wheat. As harvest time neared, he was sure that he would receive a bumper crop. This crop was sorely needed to pray off creditors and supply and secure the family for another year. Just a few days before the crop was to be harvested, a freak storm that brought strong winds and hail completely destroyed the crop. The harvest was lost! That farmer stood beside his field and looked at the ruined crop. His small son stood nearby. The boy expected that his father would react in anger and despair. He expected his father to curse the weather, and maybe even God. Instead, that father began to softly sing, “Rock of Ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee...” When that boy reached adulthood he said, “That was the greatest sermon I ever heard.” His father had demonstrated a genuine faith that was real in the good times and in the bad, and that father’s faith spoke volumes to that son!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Rock of Ages” By: A. M. Toplady (1776)

1. Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood,
from thy wounded side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
save from wrath and make me pure.

2. Not the labors of my hands
can fulfill thy law's commands;
could my zeal no respite know,
could my tears forever flow,
all for sin could not atone;
thou must save, and thou alone.

3. Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.

4. While I draw this fleeting breath,
when mine eyes shall close in death,
when I soar to worlds unknown,
see thee on thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee.



TODAY’S PRAYER!
Holy Father, God Most High!
Help us to establish a solid day-by-day walk with You. Teach us to walk worthy of You, pleasing You, being fruitful, being good examples for others, in every word and good works. Increase our knowledge of the Word and our spirituality to follow our Savior, Jesus Christ. Show us how to walk a newness of life with which You have blessed us. Enable us to walk within this troubled world with a devoted heart to be the right kind of example to others. Help us meet You in Your Word daily and to see greater manifestations of Your presence in us. Help us to know Jesus better each and every day, and enable us to live a life as men of God to Your glory, praise and honor. In His precious name we pray. Amen!


BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.
























FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 9/17/2014
Mark 5:21-24; 35-42
THE INFLUENCE OF A FAITHFUL MAN, Lesson 28c

v. 23a HOW HE APPEALED TO JESUS

Jairus was well aware that his wealth could not buy healing for his daughter. He knew that his social position and his power could give him access to all the social circles in his town, but it could not give him access to what he needed most. Probably, for the first time in his life, Jairus realized that he was absolutely helpless to do anything by himself for the daughter he loved.

While Jairus was weak, he had heard of Someone Who was strong. Somewhere, Jairus had heard about Jesus. His name means “He whom God enlightens.” God had opened the eyes of this Jewish official and he saw that Jesus was his only hope.

This heavy hearted father makes his way to Jesus and when he finds him, he casts the burden of his child on the Lord. He looks to Jesus to do for his daughter that which he is incapable of doing himself. He placed his child in the hand of the Lord and trusted Him to do what was right. He publicly declared and displayed his faith in Jesus and in his devotion to the Lord.

Dads, men, it is our responsibility to lay the children within the sphere of our influence before the Lord and trust Him for their spiritual upbringing and their salvation.

One of the greatest gifts you can give your children is the gift of prayer and the gift of faith in God. Be diligent to take their names before the Lord. Pray for their salvation, their protection, their devotion to the Lord, their holiness. Pray that God will guide them, shield them, teach them and give them am ever deepening hunger for the things of God. Men, that appetite will be cultivated by what they learn from watching you.

If they see men who love the Lord, they are more likely to love Him too. If they are surrounded by men who are faithful to God, they are more likely to be faithful to Him too. But, if they are surrounded by men who take the things of God lightly and treat God, with less than full devotion, that is the path they will likely take as well.

You will notice that Jairus did what he did in public, before all. He did not send a servant to call for Jesus. He did not allow another to do what was his responsibility. He publicly humbled himself before the Lord and sought Jesus for the needs in his life.

Dads, men, that is a good example for us today! We have been given the opportunity to influence lives for Jesus. One of the ways we do that is through our public worship of God.

Do the children around you see you worshipping when you go to church?
Have they ever heard you give your testimony of salvation and faith in Christ in public?
Do they see you faithfully placing Jesus and His business ahead of all other things in life?
Do they see a man who loves the Lord and is not ashamed for everyone around him to know it?

“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8).

The children around us see our devotion to the Lord lived out daily. They must see us trusting in Him, walking with Him, and looking to Him for all things and in all things.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Take My Life, and Let It Be” By: Frances E. Havergal (1874)

Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee
Take my moments and my days let them flow in ceaseless praise
Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee

Take my voice and let me sing always only for my King
Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from Thee
Take my silver and my gold not a mite would I withhold
Take my intellect and use every power as Thou shalt choose

And I give everything to you, I give everything to you

Take my will and make it Thine it shall be no longer mine
Take my heart it is Thine own it shall be Thy royal throne
Take my love my Lord I pour at Thy feet its treasure store
Take myself and I will be ever only all for Thee

And I give everything to you, I give everything to you
I give everything to you, Oh I give everything to you

Take myself and I will be ever only all for thee


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father of Heaven and Earth, God of all Creation!
Fill our hearts today with Your love, peace and joy so that what comes out of my mouth represents Your Love and Will. Help us never to speak words that grieve You. Pour Your Spirit afresh into our hearts so we may publically and privately humble ourselves before the Lord as we worship You and as we witness to others the love and grace of Your salvation. Give us the right words to speak before You and to those near to us. Enable our hearts and speech to say words that are gracious and kind; words that edify and speak the truth in love. Father, let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight always. This we pray and ask in Jesus’ Most Precious name. Amen!


BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.























FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 9/18/2014
Mark 5:21-24; 35-42
THE INFLUENCE OF A FAITHFUL MAN, Lesson 28d

v. 23b-24; 38 HOW HE ASSOCIATED WITH JESUS

When Jairus came to Jesus, he told the Lord of his great need, then he immediately invited Jesus to come to his home. In (verse 38), Jairus brought Jesus home with him. He was not ashamed to confess Christ in public, and he was not ashamed to bring Jesus home to confess Him before all those in his house.

Again, Jairus lays out a challenge for men today. Going to church is one thing, but to bring Christ home with you is quite another thing altogether. I would remind you that the responsibility for the spiritual formation of your children does not rest on the shoulders of the church. The responsibility, for training children in the things of God, begins in the home. And men, as the head of the home, the responsibility begins and ends with us.
It is not your wife's responsibility to see that your children are in the Lord’s house when it is time to worship. It is your responsibility.
It is your responsibility to see that they learn the Bible.
It is your responsibility to teach them how a man of God walks, talks and lives.
It is your responsibility to guard the home and keep out the things that would steal or stunt the souls of your children. (Television, Internet, Music, etc.) You are responsible for what they see, hear and learn. Teach them to be discerning when it comes to language and content. You will answer to God for what they learn in your home. You will reap what you allowed to be sown into their lives.
It is your responsibility to see that Jesus Christ is your Lord, and the Lord of your house. Be sure that He comes home with you.

When Jairus brought Jesus home, everything changed. His daughter was raised from the dead and God was glorified in his child.

(Pro. 22:6) says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” This does not mean that your children will be perfect if you take them to church and try to do right by them.
It does mean that they will have a moral guide for their lives and actions.
It does not mean that they will always be good and godly men and women.
It does mean that they will know the difference between right and wrong.
It does mean that they will have been given a giant push in the right direction.

Men, what we teach our children will show up in their lives as they grow up, and when they are adults.

What is a father’s influence?
He teaches kindness by being thoughtful and gracious even at home.
He teaches patience by being gentle and understanding over and over.
He teaches honesty by keeping his promises to his family even when it costs.
He teaches courage by living unafraid with faith, in all circumstances.
He teaches justice by being fair and dealing equally with everyone.
He teaches obedience to God’s Word by precept and example as he reads and prays daily with his family.
He teaches love for God and His Church as he takes his family regularly to all the services.
His steps are important because others follow them.

One startling bit of research conducted by the Christian Business Men’s Committee found the following: When the father is an active believer, there is about a seventy-five percent likelihood that the children will also become active believers. But if only the mother is a believer, this likelihood is dramatically reduced to fifteen percent. Fathers, men: your influence in the lives of children is beyond calculating.

Conc: When it came to Jesus, Jairus led his family in the right path. He openly declared his faith in the Lord. He willingly brought his home under the influence of Jesus. He calmly placed his child under the sovereign care of the Lord Jesus. Jairus got it right, and his family was forever changed because of it.

A daughter who would have died, lived.
A wife who would have known nothing but sorrow, found joy.
A home that would have been shrouded in darkness, was given great light.
All because this man, Jairus, cared enough to seek Jesus, share Jesus and submit to Jesus.

Men, where does this message find you?
Are you setting the right example for your family, and for the children around you?
Are you saved and living out a Christian testimony for your family and others?
Are you setting the example at home, by building your home into a place where Jesus Christ is welcomed, honored and worshipped?
Are you bringing your children “up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?”
Do you need to come and pray for your children?
Do you need to come and pray for some man in your life who needs the Lord, or who needs to be a more godly influence?
Do you need to come and call on Jesus Christ for salvation?
Do you need to come to Him in repentance for abdicating your responsibility to your Lord and to your family?

There is no way to overemphasize the influence of a faithful man in the lives of children, spouses and the church. I am calling on all men to be that kind of man.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Father of Mercies” By: Frederick W. Faber (1849)

Father of mercies, day by day
My love to Thee grows more and more;
Thy gifts are strewn upon my way
Like sands upon the great seashore,
Like sands upon the great seashore.

Father of mercies, God of love,
Whose gentle gifts all creatures share,
The rolling seasons as they move
Proclaim to all Thy constant care,
Proclaim to all Thy constant care.

Father of mercies, may our hearts
Ne’er overlook Thy bounteous care;
But what our Father’s hand imparts
Still own in grateful praise and prayer,
Still own in grateful praise and prayer.

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Heavenly and Holy Father, God of this Universe!
Help us to seek Your influence in our lives so we may be the right kind of influence to others, especially our families. Let this goal be our focal point in our lives as we face the daily challenges and trials of life each day. Protect us by this mind-set from scattering our love and energy on the wrong things of life. Help us to understand the responsibilities of our roles, and the impact it has on those we love. Guide us in the way we should live to Your praise, glory and honor. We live in a fallen, disjointed world, where things are constantly unraveling. Bond us with a vibrant relationship with Jesus our Lord to keep us moving forward and upward. These things we pray and ask in the blessed name of Jesus. Amen!


BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.



HAVE A BLESSED DAY

Let's make the journey to heaven together.


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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 9/17/2014
Mark 5:21-24; 35-42
THE INFLUENCE OF A FAITHFUL MAN, Lesson 28c

v. 23a HOW HE APPEALED TO JESUS

Jairus was well aware that his wealth could not buy healing for his daughter. He knew that his social position and his power could give him access to all the social circles in his town, but it could not give him access to what he needed most. Probably, for the first time in his life, Jairus realized that he was absolutely helpless to do anything by himself for the daughter he loved.

While Jairus was weak, he had heard of Someone Who was strong. Somewhere, Jairus had heard about Jesus. His name means “He whom God enlightens.” God had opened the eyes of this Jewish official and he saw that Jesus was his only hope.

This heavy hearted father makes his way to Jesus and when he finds him, he casts the burden of his child on the Lord. He looks to Jesus to do for his daughter that which he is incapable of doing himself. He placed his child in the hand of the Lord and trusted Him to do what was right. He publicly declared and displayed his faith in Jesus and in his devotion to the Lord.

Dads, men, it is our responsibility to lay the children within the sphere of our influence before the Lord and trust Him for their spiritual upbringing and their salvation.

One of the greatest gifts you can give your children is the gift of prayer and the gift of faith in God. Be diligent to take their names before the Lord. Pray for their salvation, their protection, their devotion to the Lord, their holiness. Pray that God will guide them, shield them, teach them and give them am ever deepening hunger for the things of God. Men, that appetite will be cultivated by what they learn from watching you.

If they see men who love the Lord, they are more likely to love Him too. If they are surrounded by men who are faithful to God, they are more likely to be faithful to Him too. But, if they are surrounded by men who take the things of God lightly and treat God, with less than full devotion, that is the path they will likely take as well.

You will notice that Jairus did what he did in public, before all. He did not send a servant to call for Jesus. He did not allow another to do what was his responsibility. He publicly humbled himself before the Lord and sought Jesus for the needs in his life.

Dads, men, that is a good example for us today! We have been given the opportunity to influence lives for Jesus. One of the ways we do that is through our public worship of God.

Do the children around you see you worshipping when you go to church?
Have they ever heard you give your testimony of salvation and faith in Christ in public?
Do they see you faithfully placing Jesus and His business ahead of all other things in life?
Do they see a man who loves the Lord and is not ashamed for everyone around him to know it?

“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8).

The children around us see our devotion to the Lord lived out daily. They must see us trusting in Him, walking with Him, and looking to Him for all things and in all things.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Take My Life, and Let It Be” By: Frances E. Havergal (1874)

Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee
Take my moments and my days let them flow in ceaseless praise
Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee

Take my voice and let me sing always only for my King
Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from Thee
Take my silver and my gold not a mite would I withhold
Take my intellect and use every power as Thou shalt choose

And I give everything to you, I give everything to you

Take my will and make it Thine it shall be no longer mine
Take my heart it is Thine own it shall be Thy royal throne
Take my love my Lord I pour at Thy feet its treasure store
Take myself and I will be ever only all for Thee

And I give everything to you, I give everything to you
I give everything to you, Oh I give everything to you

Take myself and I will be ever only all for thee


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father of Heaven and Earth, God of all Creation!
Fill our hearts today with Your love, peace and joy so that what comes out of my mouth represents Your Love and Will. Help us never to speak words that grieve You. Pour Your Spirit afresh into our hearts so we may publically and privately humble ourselves before the Lord as we worship You and as we witness to others the love and grace of Your salvation. Give us the right words to speak before You and to those near to us. Enable our hearts and speech to say words that are gracious and kind; words that edify and speak the truth in love. Father, let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight always. This we pray and ask in Jesus’ Most Precious name. Amen!


BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.




HAVE A BLESSED DAY

Let's make the journey to heaven together.


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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 9/16/2014
Mark 5:21-24; 35-42
THE INFLUENCE OF A FAITHFUL MAN, Lesson 28b

v. 22 HOW HE APPROACHED JESUS

Jairus is “a ruler of the synagogue.” This means that he was the primary official who oversaw the business of the synagogue. He would have had a major part in every service at the synagogue. He was responsible for making sure that everything was in order and ready at the synagogue. He would have been responsible for handling the Torah scrolls and calling on some to read from the Word of God. He would have led the worship week by week. He would have even been responsible for keeping the building and grounds in good order. In many ways, his position would be like to of a Pastor in a local church.

Jairus, by virtue of his position in the synagogue, was an important man in his community. He is a man of prominence, prestige, privilege, prosperity and power in the community. When Jairus spoke, people listened. When he walked into a room, everyone stood up in recognition. Most men in his position were aligned with the Pharisees. Thus, he would have been a member of one of the most prominent and powerful religious orders of the day.

He was a man who had it all. He was a man who had reached the pinnacle of success in that society. But, at this moment in time, none of it mattered! He suddenly finds himself in a place where none of that matters! Sickness and death could care less about this man, what he possesses or the position he holds.

Here is a man who is religious. But, his religion is powerless to help him or his family. Jairus would have traded everything for the power to heal his child. Life became “very” defined for Jairus! He had 9/15

Death had come to the house of Jairus, and it had come for his real treasure. That “little daughter,” (v. 23), the one Luke calls his “one only daughter,” (Luke 8:42), was dying and nothing else mattered!

Here is what I want you to see. This powerful man, this prosperous man, this influential man, this man of standing in the community, was not ashamed to humble himself before the Lord. Jairus came before the Lord reverently, prayerfully and passionately. He “fell at His feet,” (v. 22). The word “fell” means “to descend from a higher place to a lower.” Jairus came down from his lofty perch to humble himself before the Lord.

Dads, men, this is what the children around you need to see. They need to see men who are not afraid to approach Jesus Christ. They need to see men who are not ashamed to kneel before the Lord in public, and in the home. They need to see men who, like Jairus, will admit before God, their families and everyone else, that they are helpless and hopeless without the help of the Lord.
Do your children know that you are saved?
Do your children know your personal testimony of salvation?
Do your children remember a time when you, their father, personally shared the Gospel with them?
Do your children see you in prayer before the Lord?
Do your children see you taking godly leadership of the home?
Do your children know that God comes before everything else in life?
Do your children see you unashamedly, openly, consistently and fervently seeking the Lord?

It is a shame when men are more likely to chase a golf ball than seek God on Sunday morning.
It is a shame when men send their families to church while they stay home.
It is a shame when men fail to love the Lord with all their hearts, and when they fail to lead their families to the same devotion.
It is a shame when men abdicate their god given responsibility to their wives.

Men, the children around us must see us seeking the Lord. They must see us setting the example of approaching Jesus. It is a lesson, when learned, that is not soon forgotten!

I once read about a farmer who had labored all spring and summer of a crop of wheat. As harvest time neared, he was sure that he would receive a bumper crop. This crop was sorely needed to pray off creditors and supply and secure the family for another year. Just a few days before the crop was to be harvested, a freak storm that brought strong winds and hail completely destroyed the crop. The harvest was lost! That farmer stood beside his field and looked at the ruined crop. His small son stood nearby. The boy expected that his father would react in anger and despair. He expected his father to curse the weather, and maybe even God. Instead, that father began to softly sing, “Rock of Ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee...” When that boy reached adulthood he said, “That was the greatest sermon I ever heard.” His father had demonstrated a genuine faith that was real in the good times and in the bad, and that father’s faith spoke volumes to that son!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Rock of Ages” By: A. M. Toplady (1776)

1. Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood,
from thy wounded side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
save from wrath and make me pure.

2. Not the labors of my hands
can fulfill thy law's commands;
could my zeal no respite know,
could my tears forever flow,
all for sin could not atone;
thou must save, and thou alone.

3. Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.

4. While I draw this fleeting breath,
when mine eyes shall close in death,
when I soar to worlds unknown,
see thee on thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee.



TODAY’S PRAYER!
Holy Father, God Most High!
Help us to establish a solid day-by-day walk with You. Teach us to walk worthy of You, pleasing You, being fruitful, being good examples for others, in every word and good works. Increase our knowledge of the Word and our spirituality to follow our Savior, Jesus Christ. Show us how to walk a newness of life with which You have blessed us. Enable us to walk within this troubled world with a devoted heart to be the right kind of example to others. Help us meet You in Your Word daily and to see greater manifestations of Your presence in us. Help us to know Jesus better each and every day, and enable us to live a life as men of God to Your glory, praise and honor. In His precious name we pray. Amen!


BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.





HAVE A BLESSED DAY

Let's make the journey to heaven together.


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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 9/15/2014
Mark 5:21-24; 35-42
THE INFLUENCE OF A FAITHFUL MAN, Lesson 28a

A day has been set aside to honor the men who have been given the great privilege of being fathers. I thank God for my father. I also thank the Lord for the tremendous honor of being a father myself. The Lord has blessed US with seven children. It is a wonderful honor to be their dad.

I know that I have made many mistakes as a father. I hope I got a few things right along the way as well. Either way, I know that I have had an influence in the way our children turned out. I also know, that as a man of faith in the church, my life has influenced, for good or for ill, other children as well. I say that to remind you that we often underestimate the influence a man has in the lives of children.

Fathers, you are influencing the lives of your children every single day. They are watching you and they are learning from you. Sons are learning how to treat a spouse. Daughters are learning what to look for in their own spouse. Sons and daughters are learning how to serve the Lord. Your children are learning how to appreciate the Bible, the church and the things of God, just by watching you.

Men, all the children in your life, whether they are in your family, or are just around you in the church and community, are watching you and they are learning from your example. They are learning about faithfulness, obedience to the Lord, worship, serving God and others, and many other lessons, just by watching how you carry yourself around them.

That is a lot of responsibility. That is the way God intended it to be. God has invested leadership in the home and in the church in men. (Eph. 5:21–28; Eph. 6:1–4; 1 Tim. 3:1-13). That does not discount or cheapen the role of women in the home and church, but the fact remains, men have been chosen to lead.

Because we have been given that sphere of influence in the home and in the church, we can expect that we will be called to give an account of how we exercised that influence when we stand before the Lord. “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way,” (Rom. 14:12–13).

If you wonder whether or not the influence of a man in the lives of children is so important, consider the following:
Over the past ten years the number of murders committed by teens has risen from 1,000 per year to over 4,000 per year.
Over the past 30 years there has been:
A 550% increase in violent crime
A 400% increase in illegitimate births
A 200% increase in teen pregnancies
A 300% increase in teen suicide
The vast majority of the teenagers involved in the statistics I just mentioned, are from homes that lack a father.
Over 70% of all juveniles in state reformatories come from homes without a father.

Since our responsibility is so great to our families and before the Lord, we need to know how to carry ourselves as we move through life. This passage introduces us to a man named Jairus. Most of you are well acquainted with this story. Jairus has a young daughter who is sick. He fears that her sickness is fatal. Knowing that he cannot save her, but believing that Jesus Christ can, this grieving father goes to ask Jesus to come to his home to heal his daughter.

As the events of this passage play out, Jairus teaches his wife, his daughter, his servants, and all those who are watching, some valuable lessons about faith and obedience. He sets an example that every man, especially every father, would do well to take heed to.

I want to explore this account in detail today. I want to share with you the lessons Jairus taught those who were in the sphere of his influence. As I do, I want to remind you that you are influencing others every minute of every day. We need to make that influence count for the good of our families and for the glory of God.

Let’s notice these lessons together as I teach about “The Influence Of A Faithful Man”.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord” By: B. Mansell Ramsey (1919)

Teach me Thy way, O Lord, teach me Thy way!
Thy guiding grace afford, teach me Thy way!
Help me to walk aright, more by faith, less by sight;
Lead me with heav’nly light, teach me Thy way!

When I am sad at heart, teach me Thy way!
When earthly joys depart, teach me Thy way!
In hours of loneliness, in times of dire distress,
In failure or success, teach me Thy way!

When doubts and fears arise, teach me Thy way!
When storms o’erspread the skies, teach me Thy way!
Shine through the cloud and rain, through sorrow, toil and pain;
Make Thou my pathway plain, teach me Thy way!

Long as my life shall last, teach me Thy way!
Where’er my lot be cast, teach me Thy way!
Until the race is run, until the journey’s done,


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Heavenly Father, Almighty God!
Thank You for making us in Your image. Help us to realize that the value in us is because You made us in Your Image. Teach us how to defeat pride and how to resist negativity, not by comparing ourselves with others, but by comparing ourselves to You. Show us how to grow up to be godly men and Christian leaders. Help us to mature and to continue to grow in our grace, to the full measure of the stature and fullness of Jesus Christ our Lord. Fill us with His Great love and compassion for all family members as we lead them to Jesus, and forgive us when we fail them and You. In His Great name we pray. Amen!


BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.




HAVE A BLESSED DAY

Let's make the journey to heaven together.


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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 9/14/2014
Mark 5:22-34
THE CASE OF THE RUINED WOMAN, Lesson 27e

v. 34 It Was Profound - His words confirmed what she already knew had happened! Notice that He calls her “daughter”. This is the only time Jesus ever calls a female by this name. The word signifies the fact that they are in a different relationship now. It is a word of tenderness; a word of peace; a word of acceptance.

She got more than physical healing that day. All her adult life, she has been an outcast, a no-body, dwelling in isolation and loneliness, living in the shadows of society, but now, she hears that she has been taken in by God! Her faith brought her into a soul saving relationship with Jesus Christ. One minute she was an outcast, the next she was in the family of God!

The word “whole” is the same word translated “saved” throughout the New Testament. It means “to be rescued from all harm and danger. To be kept safe and sound”. She got a whole lot more than she bargained for that day!

All those who come to Jesus get far more than they ever bargained for. Many come to Him because they are afraid of Hell. When we come to Him, our faith is so small. We don’t understand the deep things of the Word of God. We don’t understand the complexities and nuances of theology. But, when our little faith reaches out to Him, He responds by giving us everything Heaven has. Then, we begin the exciting journey of finding out about our riches in Jesus. We soon discover that we got far more than just a fire insurance policy.
We are children of God, (1 John 3:1-2).
We have a home in Heaven, (John 14:1-3).
We are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus, (Rom. 8:17).
We have a new life, (2 Cor. 5:17).
We are free from the power of sin to control and dominate them, (Rom. 6:14).
We are no longer God’s enemies, (Rom. 8:7).
We have been reconciled to Him, (Eph. 2:12-19).
We have been fully and forever forgiven, (Col. 2:13-14).

v. 34 It Was Permanent - He tells her to “go in peace”. His words let her know that she has done the right thing in coming to Him and touching Him. Any other man in that crowd would have been offended and angered, had this diseased woman intentionally touched him, but not Jesus!

He was not afraid of ceremonial defilement, it could not touch Him! He was far too holy to become defiled by the mere touch of a sinner. What He knew was that a woman in trouble had exercised a grain of faith, and He only cared for her healing! She was well and she knew it, but these final words of Jesus, “thy faith hath made thee whole”, drive home the fact that she was finally and fully free from her plague. She was healed and life would never be the same again! Her battle with this dread disease was forever finished! She had received a brand new life from the hand of the Master.

Conc: This woman experienced healing, not because she touched His garment, but because she exercised faith in Jesus and His power. When her faith touched His power, His power changed her life.

Do you need to get to Jesus today? There is help in getting to Him! Whether you are lost in sin, or whether you are battling difficulty, Jesus is your answer? If you have reached the place where all other remedies have failed, all other means have exhausted themselves and you need help right now, I want to invite you to come to Jesus! You know, in that crowd that day, there were dozens of people with physical, spiritual, and emotional needs. But, only one lady got any help. Dozens touched Jesus, but only one was transformed. Why? Only one person looked at Jesus through the eyes of faith. Only one person believed Jesus could help her. Only one person whatever she had to do to touch Him. Only that one person was made whole!

Don’t be one of those people who simply brush up against Jesus and leave unchanged. If you need help, come to Him. He has the power to change your situation. If you need help, get to Him and touch Him by faith.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“ God’s Family” By: Lanny Wolfe (1974)

1
We're part of the fam'ly that's been born again;
Part of the fam'ly whose love knows no end;
For Jesus has saved us, and made us His own,
Now we're part of the fam'ly that's on its way home.

Chorus:

And sometimes we laugh together, sometimes we cry,
Sometimes we share together, heartache and sighs;
Sometimes we dreams together of how it will be
When we all get to heaven, God's family.


2
When a brother meets sorrow we all feel his grief;
When he's passed through the valley we all feel relief;
Together in sunshine, together in rain,
Together in vict'ry thru His precious name.
Chorus:


3
And tho some go before us, we'll all meet again;
Just inside the city as we enter in;
There'll be no more parting, with Jesus we'll be
Together forever, God's family.
Chorus:


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father of Glory, God of Grace!
We do not understand why some people are healed in this life and others are not, but we trust You for have made us part of Your family and we will all be healed in the life to come. We pray for healing of everyone who has faith in Jesus, that they may be healed, but more important that You use each one in miraculous ways to Your glory. Help us to trust You on that. Lead us to healing no matter what happens; show us whom to pray for; teach us to pray fervently; and use us as instruments of Your Word and healing power. Thank You for Jesus who made it all possible. In His glorious name we pray. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.



HAVE A BLESSED DAY

Let's make the journey to heaven together.


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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 9/13/2014
Mark 5:22-34
THE CASE OF THE RUINED WOMAN, Lesson 27d

v. 29-34 HER SALVATION

v. 29 It Was Powerful - When she was near enough to Him, she reached out a trembling hand and touched His garment. She probably touched one of the long tassels hanging from the corners of His prayer shawl, (Matt. 9:20). Then, in that very instant, she received what none of the doctors or their costly and painful remedies could give her; she was healed! Instantly, she felt the change in her body. She knew she was a different woman!

v. 30-33 It Was Personal - As soon as this woman touches Him, Jesus knows what has happened. Just for the record, He knew about it before it happened! He willed it! He knows that “virtue” has gone out of Him. This is a word that means “power”. We get our modern words “dynamite” and “dynamic” from it. Jesus knows what has happened and He asks the question in (verse 30), “Who touched My clothes?” Of course, there were dozens of people touching Him and bumping into Him that day, a fact pointed out by the disciples, (v. 31), but her touch was different; it was a touch accompanied by faith. Many touched Him, but only one touched Him with the fingers of faith!

Jesus could have let her walk away with physical healing, but He called her out because He wanted to give her more than physical healing. He wanted to move her beyond her superstitious faith. He wanted to save her soul. When Jesus spoke to this woman, you will notice that she fell before Him in fear. This was the very reason she came silently from behind Him to touch Him. This was why she did not come to Him openly. She was afraid she would be rejected! She probably expected Jesus to lash out at her for touching Him. She thought He would treat her like everyone else would have treated her. Just by touching Him, she would have defiled Him until sundown. Jesus was not interested in humiliating her. He was not interested in driving her away from His presence. He was not interested in preaching her a sermon on uncleanness from the Law. He was interested in helping her with her problem! He was interested in saving her soul.

Jesus got the response from her He had wanted and anticipated. She bowed at His feet and confessed everything to Him. This was a public, outward acknowledgment of what had happened in her heart. She was different and she wasn’t ashamed to tell others about it! Jesus wanted to move her past a small, superstitious faith to a greater, soul-converting faith.

Remember, Jesus was on His way to heal the young daughter of a man named Jairus, (v. 22-24). This little girl is at the point of death! As Jesus makes His way to this man’s house, He is surrounded by the surging crowd. Yet, in spite of the seriousness of His mission, Jesus takes the time to stop for this woman! At this moment, the crowd might as well not even be there. The business of the universe was put on hold as Jesus turned His full attention on this poor, needy woman. To Him, the woman and her need were more important than anything else. She was the sole focus and center of His world and attention! This woman, cast out, uncared for, and unwanted, had caught the eye of God because she exercised simple, childlike faith!

Isn’t that a blessing? I believe that God, Who controls the path of every atom in every molecule in this universe, has time for you when you call on Him in faith. Never fear that He doesn’t care about you. Never fear that He won’t receive you. Do you realize that this woman could have never touched Him had He not become flesh?

Jesus became a man, in the first place, so He could die on the cross, (Phil. 2:5-8). But, He also became a man so that He could be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, (Heb. 4:15-16). He also became flesh so that we could touch Him! No man could touch deity. Jesus became a man so that He could identify with us, and us with Him. He became a man so that we could touch Him! If you ever come to the place where you can summon the faith to get to Him and touch Him, you will get the help you need too!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“He Gave Me A Song” By: Alton H. Howard (1977)

He took my burdens all away, up to a brighter day
He gave me a song (He gave me a song), a wonderful song (a wonderful song)
A wonderful song I now can sing, in my heart joybells ring
He gave me a song (He gave me a song), a wonderful song (a wonderful song)

Chorus:
He gave me a song (He gave me a song), to sing about (to sing about)
He lifted me (He lifted me) from sin and doubt (from sin and doubt)
O, praise His name (O praise His name), He is my King (He is my King)
A wonderful song (a wonderful song) He is to me (He is to me)
Brighter the way grows every day, walking the heavenly way He gave me a song (He gave me a song), a wonderful song (a wonderful song) A wonderful son I now can sing, praises to Him, my King He gave me a song (He gave me a song), a wonderful song (a wonderful song)
Chorus:


I am redeemed no more to die, never to say goodbye
He gave me a song (He gave me a song), a wonderful song (a wonderful song)
And some of these days in that fair land, sing with the chorus grand
He gave me a song (He gave me a song), a wonderful song (a wonderful song)

Chorus

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father of Mercy, God of Grace!
Fill us with faith, gratitude and a heart to come to You with all our cares and needs. Replace our fears with a greater love for You. Help us to see the world around us with Your eyes and Your heart. Help us to see despair and death with understanding eyes and to see Hope and Life through the eyes of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, not only to die on the cross for us, but also for making Him “flesh” so we can touch Him and be healed from death and the grave. We bow before You in humility, grateful for the debt Jesus had to pay for us. He overcame death and the grave for us. We praise You and love You in the blessed name of Jesus. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.





HAVE A BLESSED DAY

Let's make the journey to heaven together.


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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 9/12/2014
Mark 5:22-34
THE CASE OF THE RUINED WOMAN, Lesson 27c

v. 27-28 HER SCHEME

Our text tells us about how this woman came to Jesus. This hopeless, broken woman devised a plan to meet the Lord.

v. 27 Her Reasons - Somewhere, this poor woman heard about Jesus. Maybe she had heard how He had healed a leper, (Mark 1:40-42). Maybe she had heard about that wild man just across the lake that Jesus had delivered from a legion of demons, (Mark 5:1-20). Or, maybe some other poor soul, who lived on the fringes of society, had been healed by Jesus and came by and told her about Him. Somewhere this woman heard that there was power in His touch.

v. 28 Her Resolve - She heard about Jesus, and she knew she had to get to Him. She came to realize that Jesus was her only hope! She believed with all her heart that if she could just get to Him, she would be healed. She displayed her determination to get to Jesus by approaching Him in that crowd. As she elbowed her way through the people, she was causing ceremonial defilement for everyone she touched. She was taking a great risk, for if she had been recognized, she would have been subjected to public humiliation and ridicule. A crowd like that might have gotten worked up and beat her or stoned her to death. For her, it was a risk worth taking. She believed Jesus would heal her! She had to be determined, because by the very nature of her disease, it would have taken all the energy she had to drag herself out of her bed to struggle through that crowd to get to Jesus. She was desperate!

Have you reached that place in your life yet? Have you come to understand that Jesus is the only hope you have? If you are in this building lost today, you need to get to Jesus! He is the only source of salvation for you, Acts 4:12; John 14:6. If you have never trusted Him for salvation, then you need to come to Him. Jesus is your only hope. You need to touch Him by faith!

There are some who are saved, but like this woman are burdened and defeated, need to touch Him as well. The sooner you come to realize that Jesus is the only person “Who” can help you, the sooner you can get the help you need! Listen what He says to you: Matt. 11:28; Heb. 4:15-16; 1 Pet. 5:7. Why should you carry that burden one more step? Why should you fight your battle even for one more minute? Why should you live defeated for another day? You don’t have to! Get to Jesus, He can and will help you!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“God Will Make a Way” By: Don Moem (1990)

God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me
He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way, He will make a way

Oh, God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me
He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way, He will make a way

By a roadway in the wilderness, He'll lead me
And rivers in the desert will I see
Heaven and Earth will fade but His Word will still remain
And He will do something new today
Oh, God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me
He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way, He will make a way

By a roadway in the wilderness, He'll lead me
And rivers in the desert will I see
Heaven and Earth will fade but His Word will still remain
And He will do something new today
Oh, God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me
He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way, He will make a way
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way, He will make a way


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father of Faithfulness, God of Hope!
Thank You that Your Word produces goodness and generosity beyond our human understanding; a gift that brings something beautiful in us for Your kingdom. Teach us to allow You to work within us in spite of our circumstances. Teach us to honor one another and a GREAT GOD! Fill our lives with Your Spirit and with Your truth to our joy in serving the only True Living God. Forgive us when we sin and fail You. It is in the beauty of The Word that we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU! GOD BLESS YOU and have a blessed weekend! Vic.



HAVE A BLESSED DAY

Let's make the journey to heaven together.


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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 9/11/2014
Mark 5:22-34
THE CASE OF THE RUINED WOMAN, Lesson 27b

v. 24-26 HER SUFFERING

v. 25 Her Affliction - We are told that she suffered from “an issue of blood”. This literally means that she was hemorrhaging, or bleeding, from some place in her body. The word “issue” means “a flowing of blood”. It may mean that she suffered from a menstrual flow that never ceased. Whatever caused this internal hemorrhage, she was a very sick woman. The verb tense indicates that it was a continual flow of blood.

v. 26 Her Anguish - A constant flow of blood would have caused her unbelievable suffering. Let’s take a moment to examine some of the areas in which she suffered.

Her Physical Anguish - From the constant blood loss, this poor woman would have been weak and anemic. She would have been pale. She would have had no energy at all. The least of efforts would have worn her out. The word “plague” is the same word that is translated “whip” elsewhere. Her disease was like a scourge, constantly beating her down, day by day!

Her Medical Anguish - We are also told that she had tried all the remedies of all the physicians of her day. We are told that she “suffered” under their care.

An example of their “medical” techniques can be found in the Talmud. There are eleven remedies prescribed in the Talmud. Some are potions, most are simply superstitious nonsense. Here is a brief example of some of the remedies prescribed for this affliction. “Take of gum Alexandria, of alum, and of crocus hortensis, the weight of a zuzee each; let them be bruised together, and given in wine to the woman that hath an issue of blood.” But if this fail, “Take of Persian onions nine logs, boil them in wine, and give it to her to drink: and say, Arise from thy flux.” But should this fail, “Set her in a place where two ways meet, and let her hold a cup of wine in her hand; and let somebody come behind and affright her, and say, Arise from thy flux.” But should this do no good, “Take a handful of cummin and a handful of crocus, and a handful of faenu-greek; let these be boiled, and given her to drink, and say, Arise from thy flux.” But should this also fail, “Dig seven trenches, and burn in them some cuttings of vines not yet circumcised (vines not four years old); and let her take in her hand a cup of wine, and let her be led from this trench and set down over that, and let her be removed from that, and set down over another: and in each removal say unto her, Arise from thy flux.” One remedy even called for the woman to carry an ear of corn taken from the dung of a white donkey. It is hard for us to imagine the kinds of indignities and embarrassments the doctors put her through.

Her Social Anguish - She was almost certainly not married, because through simple physical contact, she would have defiled her husband. If she had ever been married, her husband would have been probably divorced her. She could not work around others because of the danger of defilement. This reduced her to a life of begging scraps of food from a distance. Her condition left her on the fringes of society. In the eyes of those around her, she was no better than a leper.

Her Emotional Anguish - Since the Bible says that she had been this way for 12 years, and considering the average life span in those days, it is safe to assume that she has probably been this way since just after puberty. She has lived her life moving from one rejection to another. She is lonely, isolated and desperate!

Her Religious Anguish - Under the Law, (Lev. 15:19; 25-27), this poor woman was to be considered unclean. Anything or anyone that she touched was also considered unclean. As a result, she could not mingle with other people. Anyone who came in contact with her would be considered ceremonially defiled. She could not worship in the Women’s Court of the Temple, because she was unclean.

Her Financial Anguish - The Bible tells us that she “spent all she had”. The doctors and their useless remedies had not helped her. All they had done was drain her bank account dry. She has been left penniless and destitute, with no husband or children to look after her.

v. 26 Her Agony - After years of pain, worthless doctors, useless remedies, and shattered dreams, she has reached the place where she knows she is living under a death sentence. She will not get better. She knows that she will die from this disease. Her life is literally draining out of her body little by little, day by day, (Lev. 19:11). I wonder how many people can identify with this poor woman. Maybe you don’t have the same kind of illness, but like her, you are filled with suffering and sorrow. This nameless, suffering woman pictures two types of people:

This woman pictures every person who does not know Jesus Christ as Savior. The lost are defiled by a blood disease. They inherited this disease from Adam, (Rom. 5:12). This condition has plagued the lost person since they were born, (Rom. 3:10; 23; Gal. 3:22). It is a condition the sinner can’t make better or change on their own. Many lost people spend their entire lives searching for meaning and help for their condition, but instead of getting better, they only get worse. Their hearts get harder, and they become more deeply rooted in their sins. All the efforts at self-improvement and religion do not improve their condition! This poor woman was in a sad shape, but she wasn’t nearly as bad off as that person who is not saved. She was merely headed to the grave; they are headed to an eternity in Hell, (Psa. 9:17; Rom. 6:23)!

She is also a picture of that believer who is laboring under a heavy burden. Many of God’s children are discouraged and defeated today. You have tried everything in your power to get better. You have tried everything you know to fix your situation. You’ve read all the books, listened to all the preachers, and gotten advice from the best of sources, but you are no better. Your life is as messed up as it ever was. If that describes you, keep on listening, it may just be that the Lord has some help for your heart today.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“There Is a Balm in Gilead” By: Traditional Spiritual

Refrain
There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin sick soul.

Some times I feel discouraged,
And think my work’s in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit
Revives my soul again.
Refrain

If you can’t preach like Peter,
If you can’t pray like Paul,
Just tell the love of Jesus,
And say He died for all.
Refrain


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father of Mercy, God of Healing!
Nothing is impossible for You! This we know and believe. Teach us then to rejoice in You no matter what is happening in our lives. This is the secret of being content in all circumstances. You heal us from our sins in this life, and from everything else in the life-to-come. Enable us therefore to rejoice in Your love and in Your promises. Fantasizing about future happiness will never full our hearts because fantasy is unreal; but You, O Lord, are real and Your Word and promises are real. The evidence of Your presence is all around us. Your Word, O Lord, is Truth, and that truth has set us free. Thank You for all the gifts and blessings. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!


BE SURE TO READ MY NEW DAILY POST, “WORDS OF WISDOM!”
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND THOSE YOU LOVE! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! Vic.




HAVE A BLESSED DAY

Let's make the journey to heaven together.


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