DATE POSTED Friday, 2022-07-08
WRITTEN AT: O Brien, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 9:42
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)
BIBLE TEXT: 42 “On the other hand, if you give one of these simple, childlike believers a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you’ll soon wish you hadn’t. You’d be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around your neck.
APPLICATION: I admire those who are very knowledgeable in the Bible, for they can freely cross-reference other Scriptures that speak to a subject may be looking at, and they can explain the context surrounding the subject in very clear and concise detail. If we are not careful, and perhaps mature, we might let this kind of knowledge intimidate us, and shut us down from explaining anything in our simple understanding. I believe that Jesus tried to forewarn us about this possible stumbling block, for He knew that some might even choose to stay home instead of facing the threat of intimidation once again. Most new believers are so excited and incented to learn as much as they could about this Jesus, who is so new to them. They tend to welcome the knowledge of others. That is, until they feel intimidated, or minimized, or ignorant, or like ‘what’s the use of me even opening my mouth?’. No matter how smart we are, or how dumb others appear to be, they will quickly discern when we are showing them up. I believe that the truly great person strives extra hard to be extremely sensitive around those who may not be as strong as they are, or knowledgeable as they are, or even as educated as they are. Explaining something at a level over my head will not help me understand, but rather intimidate me and cause me to shut down. In 1 Corinthians 8:13 Paul said something similar when he said: “Don’t eat meat offered to idols if it will cause those weaker in their faith to stumble”. I have observed that truly great people are always aware of those weaker than they are in the faith, and therefore won’t flaunt their abilities, if it will trip up someone else in his walk with Jesus. Therefore, I believe that Jesus is teaching His disciples, and us, that we must always reflect on the words of Paul where he said: ‘I try to be like all people, in order to win some to the Lord’. It may irritate some who sees an adult speaking to a baby or young child in a way that sounds childish, but if that’s all the child could comprehend at that time, why speak to them like you would to your pastor? In my younger days when I helped in ministry to young children, it was amazing to hear a young child from our community explain that they didn’t know the chorus ‘Jesus loves me’. But they were new to church and needed ‘baby food’ first. New believers may come from a similar community where they never heard about the truths of the Bible. In very simple terms, we must teach and show them the love of Jesus! We are all equal at the foot of the cross, so why elevate yourself above anyone here on earth? Meet them, and talk with them, right where they are. With the help of our Lord Jesus, He can direct our path, our conversation, and our heart to meet someone right where they’re at!
BLESSING(S) NOTED: Instead of our usual approach with our hands out for what we could get, or our ‘give me’, ‘give me’ attitude, Jesus wants us to follow in His footsteps. He came down to earth – equal with God, yet He loved His creation (you and me) enough to serve and teach us, before being crucified for our sake. No other love quite like that, but Jesus wants us to strive for that kind of love each and every day!
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You were the greatest of all men, yet You taught us to look at the very humble aspects of Your life and imitate Your humility and servanthood. Thank You Jesus for setting the example before us, and also for teaching us what You are looking for in Your children. We are but a spec of dust, compared to Your awesome greatness, so we really have nothing to brag about, nor a reason to pretend greatness compared to our fellow Brothers and Sisters. Please be patient with us as You work on us to make us more like Yourself every day. May our unbelieving friends see the likeness of Jesus in us in everything we do, for we want them to see and desire Your love and experience Your forgiveness of their sin. Forgive us Lord when we allow self to get in the way of Your work in our lives. Have thine own way Lord, Have thine own way, You are the Potter, I am the clay….. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: 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 might 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 subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!