Monday, November 28, 2011

And They Could Not


Mark 9:14-29

When the Lord Jesus Christ and His 3 disciples came down from mountain Hermon, they found the other 9 disciples engaged in an argument with the scribes.

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A distraught father had brought his demon possessed son to the Lord Jesus Christ for healing.

Since the Lord Jesus Christ had gone up on the mountain, so he asked the disciple to heal his son.

But they could not cast out the demon.

The scribes mocked them for their lack of power.

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The Lord Jesus Christ asked for an explanation.

The father described the pitiful condition of his son because of demonic torment.

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The Lord Jesus Christ expressed His displeasure.

He was hurt because they all lacked faith.

The Lord Jesus Christ cried out, “How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?”

It was a heartbreaking moment for Him.

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The saddest aspect of this whole scene was not the condition of the boy, the spirit of the scribes, or the anguish of the father.

It was the powerlessness of the disciples.

They had seen Him performed countless amazing miracles, yet they still lacked genuine faith.

They had even cast out demons in the past.

They had seen many miracles and they had performed miracles themselves.

But now it was said of them “but they could not.”

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The Lord Jesus Christ commanded the boy to be brought to Him.

When he arrived, the demon in the child recognized the Lord Jesus Christ and attacked the boy again.

The child was gripped by convulsions, and he wallowed on the ground, foaming at the mouth.

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As the child writhed on the ground, the Lord Jesus Christ questioned this father how long his child had been this way.

The father answered it was since the boy was little.

He then told Him that the demon had attacked the boy repeatedly, trying to burn him to death or drown him in the water.

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Then the father looked at the Lord Jesus Christ and said, “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

It was a pitiful plea.

But it was a plea of a faithless man.

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He had trusted that the disciples could heal his son.

When they failed, his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ also shattered.

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He had brought his son believing that the Lord Jesus Christ could deliver him.

Now, his faith had been reduced to “But if you can do anything …”

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The Lord Jesus Christ responded immediately!

“‘If you can’?”

“Everything is possible for one who believes.”

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The Lord Jesus Christ rebuked the father for his doubt.

When the father heard this, he looked at Him and said, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

He was asking the Lord Jesus Christ to help him to grow in his faith.

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Then the Lord Jesus commanded the spirit to leave the boy and never to return.

The demon attacked the child one more time and came out.

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The child became so quiet and still that the onlookers assumed that he was dead.

Then the Lord Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up.

The child rose and he was free.

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When the disciples were alone with the Lord Jesus Christ, the 9 who had failed to deliver the child asked Him why they failed.

His answer was that they lacked spiritual discipline in their lives.

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They were not communing with God as they should have been.

They were not surrendering to God as they should have been.

As a result, they lacked the power of God on their lives and they could not cast out the devil.

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The father of the boy said, “But they could not!”

What a tragic statement!

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The power of God was not with the disciples because they lacked spiritual discipline in their lives.

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We too if we do not walk closely with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Do You See Anything?


Mark 8:23-26

The Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples returned to Bethsaida.

Some people brought a blind man to Him.

They requested Him to touch him.

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The Preparation For His Healing (23a)

The Lord Jesus Christ took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town, away from the crowds to do His healing work.

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He led him around the obstacles that were in his path.

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He patiently led him along one step at a time, all the while holding his hand.

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The Lord Jesus Christ leads the lost and the blind sinners, and brings them to the place of salvation.

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Throughout our whole lives, the Lord Jesus Christ is working and leading us to bring us to the place of saving faith.

In every event, every circumstance, every tragedy and every blessing, He is taking our hand in His grip, and He brings us to Himself.

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We can’t get to God on our own!

In our natural state we are dead.

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It is the Lord Jesus Christ who comes to us, rescues us, and leads us to Himself.

He tenderly brings us along until our eyes are opened, and we can see ourselves for who we are and see Him as our only hope.

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The Lord Jesus Christ leads us and works in the events of our lives to bring us to that place of faith and repentance.

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The Process Of His Healing (23b-25)

The Lord Jesus Christ spat on the blind man's eyes and put His hands on him.

He was indicating to him that He was about to do something for his eyes.

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The Lord Jesus Christ then asked him if he could see anything.

The man opened his eyes and looked around.

He said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”

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This tells us that the man hadn’t always been blind.

He was able to identify the people around him as people.

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This also teaches us that his healing was far from complete.

He could discern light and shapes, but he couldn’t see clearly.

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Then, the Lord Jesus Christ touched him again.

This time, everything became crystal clear.

His healing was complete.

His eyesight was restored.

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When the Lord Jesus Christ begins His work in us, we are totally blind in our sinful condition.

He brings us into conviction.

He uses this conviction to open our spiritual eyes and point us to Himself.

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When we are saved, we are like the man in this miracle.

We see some times, but we do not see them clearly.

As we spend time with the Lord Jesus Christ in His Word and in prayer, He develops our spiritual sight.

He causes us to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He makes us more like Himself.

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The Postscript Of His Healing (26)

The Lord Jesus Christ healed the blind man.

Then He told him not to return to Bethsaida or tell anyone there about the miracle.

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Bethsaida had been given clear evidence that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Messiah.

But the people there refused to believe in Him.

As a result, the Lord Jesus Christ pronounced a curse on it (Matthew 11:21-22).

The people there would receive no more light.

That was why the Lord Jesus Christ took the man out of town to heal him.

That was why He told the man not to return to the town.

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We are lost sinners, headed for the fire of Hell.

The Lord Jesus Christ is our only hope of salvation.

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He had died on the cross to pay for the sins of His people.

He had risen again from the dead to provide eternal salvation to all who would believe in Him.

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Have we seen the truth that we stand in need of a Savior today?

Has the Lord revealed our condition to us?

Is He calling us to come to Him?

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If He is, we must not delay.

We must come to Him now.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Asking For The Crumbs


Mark 7:24-30

The Lord Jesus Christ was approached by a mother who had desperate need.

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The Mother And Her Request (25-26)

The Reason She Came

The woman was concerned about her daughter.

The child was demon possessed.

The Reason She Called

The woman was desperate and she saw the Lord Jesus as her only hope!

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The Mother And Her Resolve (27-28)

The Obstacles Of Faith

This woman had to overcome many obstacles in order to secure her daughter’s healing:

The Obstacle Of Race

She was a Canaanite from Tyre and Sidon.

She was descended from a cursed people.

She was from a region known for vile religious practices.

The Obstacle Of Religion

She was a Gentile woman.

But she came to the Jewish Messiah.

The Obstacle Of Racism

When the disciples saw and heard her calling out to their Messiah, they reacted by telling the Lord Jesus to send her away!

She was not one of their people!

The Obstacle Of Rejection

The Lord Jesus told her that His whole purpose in coming to this world was to reach the lost sheep of Israel.

But she persisted.

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The Opportunities Of Faith

The obstacles that were thrown up by the Lord Jesus were not placed there to discourage and defeat her.

The obstacles were placed there to mature her faith.

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The woman replied, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

The woman wasn’t asking for everything, just a crumb!

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The Lord Jesus took this woman and her small faith and led her along and helped grow her faith.

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When we continue to seek the Lord in spite of every hindrance, we will eventually see Him do what we need done.

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The Obligations Of Faith

The woman persisted in spite of everything that was thrown into her pathway.

She persisted because her little daughter needed to be delivered from her bondage and her family needed to be saved.

She needed help and she was determined to get it!

She wouldn’t give up until she got what she needed!

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The Mother And Her Reward (29-30)

Jesus Responded To Her Faith

He was amazed by the depth of her faith!

He had tested her faith with hard words and her faith had risen to the challenge!

Jesus Rewarded Her Faith

He rewarded her faith by giving her exactly what she asked for; He healed her daughter!

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A little crumb from the Lord’s Table may be all we need today.

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Do we need to be saved?

Do we need a mountain moved in our lives?

Do we need to be restored to faith and fellowship?

Do we need to see God moving in someone else’s life?

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Regardless of what our need today, we can come to the Lord Jesus and we can get it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Savior Cares


Mark 6:30-34

He Cares About Laboring Servants (30-32)

Their Activity

The Lord Jesus Christ had sent the 12 disciples out to preach, teach and heal.

They returned and told Him all about their ministry in the surrounding villages.

They were excited about all that they had done.

His Advice

The Lord Jesus Christ called them away for a time of rest and refreshment.

He called them away from the limelight for a little while to help them keep things in the proper perspective.

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He Cares About Lost Sheep (33-34)

The Lord Jesus Christ and His men made their escape from the crowds.

But they didn’t slip away unnoticed.

The people saw them leaving and recognized that the boat carried the Lord Jesus.

The people ran around the shore of the lake and were waiting on Him when He arrived on the other side.

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It was 4 miles across the lake by boat.

It was 10 miles around the shore of the lake.

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The Lord Jesus Christ was moved with compassion toward the people.

He was touched by their need.

He was moved by a strong desire to meet their need.

The Reasons For His Concern

The Lord Jesus Christ looked at them as a flock of lost sheep, with no one to care about them.

They were lost sheep in need of a shepherd.

They had no sense of direction.

They couldn't find their way to God.

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They needed a Shepherd to come and rescue them.

They were absolutely defenseless.

They needed the Heavenly Shepherd or they would never be able to avoid the wrath of God and the fires of Hell.

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They were dumb.

Apart from the ministry of the Heavenly Shepherd, they didn't even know that they were lost.

This truth must be revealed to them by the convicting work of the Holy Spirit.

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The Reach Of His Concern

When the Lord Jesus Christ saw the crowd, He saw a huge group of people.

He also saw every individual in that crowd.

He saw every broken heart, every physical ailment, every emotional need, every spiritual problem; He saw them all!

Our God sees everything that happens in this universe, but He still has the ability to focus on the individual.

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The Response Of His Concern

These people came to the Lord Jesus Christ for help and He did not drive them away.

Instead, He began to teach them many things.

He gave them a feast of eternal truth.

He gathered them up that day and pointed them to God.

He told them of the true way of salvation.

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Are we weary in the work of the Lord?

Have we lost the joy of His salvation?

Are we spiritually tired and worn out?

Let us come to the Shepherd.

He will restore our soul.

He cares about us!

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Are we a lost sheep today?

Are we out there on the wild hills of sin, away from God and all alone?

The Shepherd cares about us!

If we will come to Him, He will take us into His fold and give us the peace, the joy and the security we need.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Touching Moment


Mark 5:22-34

The Horror She Endured (24-26)

Her Symptoms

The woman suffered from an issue of blood.

She was hemorrhaging or bleeding from some part of her body.

Her Sufferings

She Suffered Physically

She was weak and pale.

Her disease was constantly beating her down.

She had tried all the remedies of the physicians and she suffered under their care.

She Suffered Socially

She could not mix with others because of the danger of defilement.

Her condition left her on the fringes of society.

She Suffered Emotionally

She had been this way for 12 years.

She had lived her life moving from one rejection to another.

She was lonely, isolated and desperate!

She Suffered Religiously

She was considered unclean under the Law.

She could not go to the Women’s Court of the Temple.

She Suffered Financially

She had spent all she had.

She has been left penniless and destitute.

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Her Sorrow

She was living under a death sentence.

She would die from this disease.

Her life was draining out of her body little by little, day by day.

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The Hope She Embraced (27-28)

The Declaration She Heard

She heard about the Lord Jesus Christ.

She heard that there was power in His touch.

The Determination She Held

She was determined to get to Him.

The Lord Jesus Christ was her only hope.

She believed she could be healed by Him.

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She demonstrated great courage by approaching the Lord Jesus Christ in that crowd.

She was taking a great risk.

If she was recognized, she would probably be subjected to public humiliation, ridicule and retribution.

She might be stoned to death!

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The Healing She Experienced (29-34)

It Was Powerful Healing

She reached out her trembling hand.

She touched His garment.

Immediately, she was healed!

It Was Personal Healing

As soon as she touched Him, the Lord Jesus Christ knows what has happened.

He asked “Who touched My clothes?”

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Many touched Him and bumped into Him that day.

But she touched Him with the fingers of faith!

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She fell before Him in fear.

She was afraid of rejection......

But she needn’t have feared.

The Lord Jesus Christ was merely interested in helping her with her problem!

It Was Profound Healing

She got more than just physical healing that day.

Her faith had brought her into a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

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The Lord Jesus Christ told her to go in peace.

She has done the right thing in coming to Him and touching Him.

She was finally and fully freed from her plague.

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The Lord Jesus Christ is the answer to our problem.

Many were with physical, spiritual, and emotional needs that day.

But only she got help.

Many touched the Lord Jesus Christ that day.

But only she was transformed.

Why?

Because she believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and she did it by faith.

How about you?