DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-04-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: Mark 1:21-24
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)
BIBLE TEXT: 21 Jesus and his companions now arrived at the town of Capernaum and on Saturday morning went into the Jewish place of worship—the synagogue—where he preached. 22 The congregation was surprised at his sermon because he spoke as an authority and didn’t try to prove his points by quoting others—quite unlike what they were used to hearing!
23 A man possessed by a demon was present and began shouting, 24 “Why are you bothering us, Jesus of Nazareth—have you come to destroy us demons? I know who you are—the holy Son of God!”
OBSERVATION: I once heard a sermon entitled ‘Saints on Vacation’. It was an awesome reminder that while we may need a vacation to rest our minds and our bodies from the normal routines of life, we don’t need a vacation from God, although many find that necessary. Notice that Jesus and His disciples came into Capernaum and He immediately sought out a place to worship. Seeing that Christians are committed to following in Jesus’ example, I thought we might allow the Word to speak to us today about our commitment to worshipping God with other believers, no matter where we are geographically.
APPLICATION: Blessed is he that attains the age of retirement, and who actually takes advantage of that wonderful option! Praise God, I have been such a blessed individual! One of the things my wife and I enjoyed while working and taking a vacation, and that we totally enjoy now that we are privileged to visit other states/cities, is to visit the local church. What a blessing to study the Word together with other Christians across the nation, many miles away from our home church, and to sit in their places of worship and sing praises to our One God, our only God – the same God we worship at our home church! We have come to look forward to these special times of worship! Unfortunately, many folk will use circumstances such as I mentioned, to remain in their hotel rooms, or visit the beach, as there is finally no one to call and ask about their whereabouts! Even more unfortunate was the onset of COVID last year where houses of worship were forced to close down. Today many of our family and friends have used this excuse to still stay away from worshipping our awesome God with other believers. Friends, if Jesus saw this as important, and he exampled this before His disciples, shouldn’t we (His followers) also do the same? If we are not especially careful, we will end up with a generation of children who saw their parents sleep in, or do any number of things during church times, instead of getting themselves together and making their way to the house of God to thank Him for His many, many blessings throughout the week, and praise Him for His goodness and unconditional love towards us- even us. Children of God, as our kids follow in our footsteps, may they always recognize the Almighty God, and may they be eternally thankful for His many mercies. Let’s not wait until something awful takes hold of our kids, in much the same way as the demon possessed man in our Scripture, before we awaken from our Satan induced spell and get on about our Father’s work. We are well enough and protected enough to go to work and do almost every thing else during the week, let’s be careful that we don’t allow Satan to fill our minds too much longer with his lies about why we should not go to church. Remember, Jesus loves us unconditionally and He would do anything for us – including His acceptance of a death sentence on a criminal’s cross so that we might have access to life eternally in Heaven. How it must grieve His heart to see us find excuse after excuse why He is not worth our sacrifice of a few hours on Sunday, or Saturday, to worship Him with other believers. He may very well have wonderful miracles in mind for you, just like He did for the demon possessed man, but you’re missing out my friend. Satan and his demons have no place in the life of one filled with God’s Holy Spirit. Denounce Satan and take your place at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit will cause you to be hungry for God’s Word, and to associate once again with His people.
PRAYER: Thank You for directing my thoughts today precious Lord. I’m not perfect, so I beg for Your forgiveness when I fail You, and fail to honor You in my life. Lord, I pray that You will speak to the hearts of Your people who have become lax in attending church, Bible study and corporate prayer. I pray that You will touch the lives of those who have allowed Satan to draw them away from You, and I pray that You might touch them miraculously today so that they may be drawn back to You. Little ones are following in our example as we lead them astray, although You have warned us about not allowing anything to distract them or pull them away from You. Forgive us Lord for allowing Satan and the things of this world to come between us. Please empower us to be more like You each and every day, and help us to stand strong in our faith so that others may be encouraged and ministered to for Your name’s sake. 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!