The Answer to Fear…

Read: Mark 6-7
Marked: Mark 6:50, for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

Fear struck the disciples when they saw Jesus walking on the water. Fear is a common occurrence in us whether we care to admit it or not.

But with Jesus we need not fear. In Christ I can “be of good cheer”, literally, “have courage; have comfort”. In Christ I need not be troubled. In Christ I have overcome.


How to Know the Mystery of the Kingdom…

Read: Mark 4-5
Marked: Mark 4:11, And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables,

The disciples had Jesus, the Living Word, with them. They were being taught directly by Him. Those outside didn’t have this privilege.

In the same sense, as I give myself over to reading, studying, and learning by asking questions about the Word of God, I am being taught directly by the Holy Spirit and receive the mystery of the Kingdom of God.

It’s a great privilege which should not be taken lightly.

Jesus Makes Clean…

Read: Mark 1-3
Marked: Mark 1:40, Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.”

Fear and the unknown can keep us from Jesus. But this poor man, a leper, had no other recourse.

The first part of his statement reveals his fear, “If you are willing”. He had no idea if he would be accepted by Christ. Separation and shunning, since becoming a leper, was all he had experienced from others. The second part of his statement, “You can make me clean”, shows his hope and faith.

I pray that in my own fear and uncertainty that I will go to Jesus, and in my hope and faith, find that He can and will do what I need. And I will discover, as verse 41 shows, a compassionate Saviour, willing and able, to heal all my infirmities.

‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus
Just to take Him at His word
Just to rest upon His promise
Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”
– Louisa M. R. Stead

Be Like-minded…

Read: Romans 14-16
Marked: Romans 15:5, Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus,

Be like minded. We are to put on Christ and His attitude and live toward those whom He loved and ministered to.

If we are strong, we are to bear, like Christ, with the weak (V1). We are to please our neighbour for his good (V2). Like Jesus taught, love your neighbour. We are not to please ourselves (V3). Christ pleased the Father and so should we, being like minded.

The Word of God, the things written before V4, are for our learning. The Scriptures teach us patience, bring comfort, and give hope because they are God’s word.

God, the God of patience and comfort, desires us to be like-minded, of the same mind as Jesus. See Philippians 2:1-2

The Danger of Unbelief…

Read: Romans 11-13
Marked: Romans 11:20, Well [said.] Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear.

If there is one thing that thwarts the work of God in people it is unbelief. Because of unbelief the children of God failed to enter the Promise Land.

Because of unbelief Jesus did not do many mighty works in His own country (Matthew 13:58). Because of unbelief faith can be made powerless (Matthew 17:20). Because of unbelief the branches were broken off.

Unbelief keeps people from the truth that they need salvation (2 Thessalonians 2:10). Because of unbelief we are easily deceived. Stand firm in the truth.

Put the Deeds of the Body to Death…

Read: Romans 8-10
Marked: Romans 8:13, For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

The Spirit of God dwells in the believer. But we can still live according to the flesh and indulge in sin if we choose to.

But if we want to live in righteousness then we must put to death the deeds of the body and choose to do what the Spirit wills and learn to walk with Him through His word and apply what it says.

No Longer a Slave…

Read: Romans 4-7
Marked: Romans 6:6, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with [Him,] that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

I have been crucified with Christ and I am now dead to my flesh. My sins have been forgiven.

Considering the price Jesus paid for my freedom why would I ever want to go back to the life I once lived?

By His Spirit I no longer have to be a slave to sin but can be a slave to righteousness. In this day when many speak of “their choice”, this is a choice that has eternal reward.

Faith, not works, Justifies…

Read: Romans 1-3
Marked: Romans 3:28, Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

How can a man be justified by faith? Keeping the law is futile because Paul says by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified (V20).

Breaking one law breaks them all and I am declared a law breaker whether I break one or many. I am without excuse and am condemned under the law.

There is then no hope through the law. But there is hope through faith in Jesus. He is the only one who kept the whole law and the only one who paid the penalty of the law which is death.

Through faith in Him I am absolved of the consequences of the law and am justified by faith. How great the love of Jesus that He would justify a sinner like me.

Dealing with Contention…

Read: 2 Corinthians 10-13
Marked: 2 Corinthians 12:20-21, For I fear lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and [that] I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest [there be] contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults; lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced.

Paul had to address some concerning things in his letters to the Corinthians. His fear was that he would have to severely chastise them and exert his power as an apostle.

So he appeals to them to set their contentions and other disputes aside as Christians should. The things he mentions are unbecoming for children of God, yet, even today churches struggle with these and other issues.

Paul knew that these things can get out of control and lead to more sinful practices. Ultimately, sin must be addressed and an unrepentant heart is a sure sign of an unregenerate heart.

The only sure way to deal with with sin in my life is to confess it and repent resting in the assurance that God will, and does, forgive sin, and do more besides.

Let’s get Cleaning…

Read: 2 Corinthians 5-9
Marked: 2 Corinthians 7:1, Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

The promises of which Paul speaks are found in chapter 3. We can count on the help of God in trials and tribulations for it is He who saved us (6:2).

God does, and is doing, a work of cleansing in us, but we also have work to do. Knowing what is clean and unclean through the Word of God, we should set our hearts to the task of avoiding those things which defile us (6:14-18).

And there is much work to be done, both in the flesh and in the spirit. To be perfected takes time and perseverance. But we don’t work alone. God, by His Spirit, is right there with us.