|Mark 3:1-2 (Voice)|
|1 On the Sabbath, Jesus had come into a synagogue where He saw a man with a withered hand.2 The Pharisees held their breath: would Jesus cure this man on the Sabbath, right there in front of everyone? If so, they could charge Him with breaking the Sabbath law.|
|It is interesting to see how evil the leaders (the Pharisees) of one religious sect (the Jews) could be, and how persistent they could be about trapping the leader (Jesus) of another sect (Christians). Why it was becoming a threat to their longstanding beliefs and practices. Aren’t you happy that those practices were all due to the immaturity, prejudices and hatred of that day? Or were they?….|
|I have always remembered the words of a tour guide that took my family and I through Fort Charlotte, in the Bahamas. He showed us, and explained to us, how the stretch chamber was used when the British soldiers wanted to force the captured pirates to talk. His words still echo in my mind: “sure glad I wasn’t born in those days. ha, ha, ha”! Those words came to mind as I read these verses, because I’m afraid that many of us sit innocent in our church services and really criticize the Jews for being so awful to Jesus. And while I could agree with you, I believe we often ignore how much of that attitude we still bring to our churches today. Having just celebrated Easter and our risen Lord, our hearts are probably still overflowing with thanksgiving after being reminded about all that Jesus did for us at Calvary. We probably celebrated in worship more this past weekend than we have in a long time. But how is it going for most of you after being back in the workforce for a part of the week? I realize that for most of us, we could easily get defensive about how precious our own churches are, but friends I would encourage you to pray a hedge of protection around your pastor(s) and teachers, for Satan is out to attack them in much the same way as the Pharisees did to Jesus. In fact, many of them have probably received way more emails, letters and/or visits to criticize the efforts of Resurrection Sunday than to thank them and encourage them for their efforts amidst family visiting with them and the normal day-to-day pressures of pastoring. Can you imagine the awe of what our worship times together could be, if we:
Friends, I truly believe that when we prepare our hearts like this, we will find less time and importance in seeking out the bad in our pastor and church leaders, and the hypocrite sitting two rows in front of us, and instead this will lead us to open the doors of heaven and seek Jesus for who He is, and ask for His perfection in our lives so that we might be usable vessels in His earthly ministry. You see, there’s way too much need personally, than to waste our time trying to be God and judge everyone around us. That’s not a part of worship to our heavenly Father.
|Dear Lord Jesus, please humble our hearts so that we might seek Your perfection in our lives. Please humble us to serve You and others instead of waiting to be catered to in all walks of life. Help us to imitate You in all walks of life, so that others might be reminded of You, Your character, love and godliness. ‘People need the Lord’, oh that we might encourage and provoke that desire into reality, rather than being a stumbling block that might turn them away forever. You’re in control of us dear Jesus, and You control those around us, please help us to communicate with You about the needs that we see, rather than trying to invoke our own ideologies on the needy that we come into contact with. May it be obvious to others today, whose we are! AMEN!|
|There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!|
April 18, 2017