Go and Tell

Scripture

“And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.””  ‭‭Mark‬ ‭5:19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Observation 

Jesus and his disciples went to the other side of the sea and came to Gerasenes.  There they met a man possessed by unclean spirits, and because of the number he gave himself the name legions. Jesus cast out the spirits into a herd of swine. The people demanded Jesus to leave their country so while he was boarding his boat, the delivered man came and asked to go with him.  Jesus refused but told him to go back to his home and tell everything that had happened. As he returned and told them of what Jesus did everyone marveled. 

Application

The transformations in our lives are given to point others to the glory of God. A transformed life is a testimony of the power of God over sin. When we have experienced the change in our lives that Jesus Christ brings we should tell others of what he has done. Jesus alone receives the glory and others marvel at his mercy and grace. Let us proclaim to those around us what Jesus Christ has done. 

Prayer

Lord, today as I move from an encounter with you give me opportunities to share the testimony of what you have done in my life so they may hear of your good works and give you glory. 

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Go and Tell

Scripture
18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” Mark 5:18-19

Observation
Jesus brought about a transformation in the life of a demon possessed man. He was in a hopeless and helpless state before meeting Jesus. No would could restrain him, not even with chains, until the day he met Jesus. He was transformed from demon control to Christ control. The man begged Jesus to go with him but Jesus instructs him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

Application
We have a story to tell. It is a story of what Christ has done for us and the great mercy he has lavished on us. May we look for opportunities to give testimony of the good news of Jesus Christ and the hope he can bring to the lives of individuals.

“We’ve a story to tell to the nations,
that shall turn their hearts to the right,
a story of truth and mercy,
a story of peace and light,
a story of peace and light.
Refrain:
For the darkness shall turn to dawning,
and the dawning to noonday bright;
and Christ’s great kingdom shall come on earth,
the kingdom of love and light.
H. Ernest Nichols

Prayer
Father today I ask for divine appointments. Open up opportunities where I can give testimony of what you have done for me through your son Jesus Christ. Lord give me a compassion for those who are hopeless and helpless so that I may share the gospel that can bring transformation.

New Vessel

Passage
21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins-and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.” Mark 2:21-22

Observation
Jesus is healing the sick, the lame, and the demon possessed. It does not take long for the Pharisees to notice. Jesus is not functioning the way they expected or even demanded. There are certain laws and ways of doing things yet Jesus is doing just the opposite. He is picking grain on the sabbath and he and his disciples are not fasting like John the Baptist Disciples. Jesus was not bound by man made laws but was guided by His Father. The new work of God was revealed in the incarnate vessel of Christ.

Application
When we yield to Christ we know “the old has passed away behold the new has come”. He begins to change us from the inside out. We begin to experience a heart transformation that leads to a life change. The “new wine”, the Holy Spirit is housed in this old vessel but He begins to transform us from the inside out. We must take on a new life in order to be conformed to the image of Christ.

We’ve a story to tell to the nations,
that shall turn their hearts to the right,
a story of truth and mercy,
a story of peace and light,
a story of peace and light.
Refrain:
For the darkness shall turn to dawning,
and the dawning to noonday bright;
and Christ’s great kingdom shall come on earth,
the kingdom of love and light. (H. Ernest Nichol)

Prayer
Change me into the vessel that can bear your name. Work from the inside out creating me into one who can be used and directed by the new work of the Holy Spirit.

A Mustard Seed Movement

Passage: Mark 4:10-12; 30-34

Points
1. The secrets of the kingdom are revealed to those who have turned to God and been forgiven.
2. The kingdom of God is like a grain of mustard seed which is the smallest of all seeds.
3. When the seeds grows it becomes larger than all the other plants in the garden, so the birds of the air can make a nest in its shade.

Personalize
The parables were ways spiritual truths were described by every day objects and events. Here Jesus describes the kingdom of God by using a simple and small mustard seed. The mustard seed “was the smallest of all agricultural seeds in Palestine yet it becomes a tree that grows to heights of 8 to 12 feet”. The people of Israel were looking for the kingdom of God to come in like a mighty kingdom, yet the beginning is small and seemingly insignificant. Jesus describes the kingdom like a mustard seed. It may begin small but becomes very large and overshadows all the others. It becomes so large that even the “birds of the air” can rest in its shadows.

Small beginnings do not mean insignificance. In our culture we often think big is best. The bigger it is the larger the impact. We see in this parable the significance of a small seed that will grow into something much larger. We often look for the bigger and miss the significant small things in life. it is usually in the small things of everyday life that we find the most rewarding times and experiences. It is in the kind words of a stranger that we feel welcomed. It is in the clasped hand of a parent that children feel secure. It is in a hug that we feel loved by a spouse. These are small ways we are able to experience the most profound elements of life. These small assurances provide large impact within our life.

The kingdom of God often begins in the small things. A band of twelve disciples brings about a world revolution that carries the gospel message around the world. The disciples began as an unaware bunch of guys unsure of who Christ was and His message. These twelve become the catalyst of a global impact where millions of lives have been changed by the gospel message. This group of fisher men, tax collectors, and others would become a force that would change the world once they experienced the power of the Holy Spirit. This “mustard seed” team surrendered to the call of Christ would make a major impact into the lives of others. It was a “mustard seed” movement that would change the lives of many.

Prayer
Lord begin in us a “mustard seed” movement. Take the insignificant things of our life and accomplish Your wonderful and massive kingdom purposes.

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Be Alert

Passage: (Mark 13:24-27, 32-37)

Points
1. After the tribulation, the powers of heaven will be shaken and the Son of Man will come with great power and glory.
2. The Son of Man will then send out the angels to gather the elect from the ends of the earth and heaven.
3. We are to stay alert and awake because no one knows when the Father will bring about His judgement and the end of the world as we know it.

Personalize
The coming of the Son of Man is the coming of God’s judgement on the earth. Before God’s judgement is unleashed His children, the followers of Christ will be gathered from the ends of the earth and heaven. It will be at this time that His wrath will be poured out on the earth and His final judgement will be declared. In Revelations we read: “Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.” (Revelations 16:1). This will be the final steps of God’s judgement on the earth.

As we look at these passages, Jesus has instructed His disciples to be “on guard and stay awake” (v. 32). The second coming of Christ and the final judgement of God on the earth is a call to be prepared and to sound the alarm for all to come to repentance. The coming of Christ is not the time for us to gather with brothers and sisters on a commune, but it is a call to be about the Father’s business of sharing the good news of the gospel. The Lord has placed us as servants in his household and we must remain alert so we can welcome him when he returns.

We should not be absorb with the thoughts of his coming so that we can not serve Him today. I have heard it said, “we should not be so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good”. Jesus did not tell His disciples to wait, but He told them to be on guard and to be awake. We are to remain on guard and alert to our surroundings so we can help prepare others and be aware of what God is doing among us. The greatest preparation we can make is to lead others into the household of God. Now is the day of salvation and we must stand guard and proclaim the good news to all those who will hear. Be ready for the coming of Christ. Be alert and be about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ to all those in your home, community, city, and nation.

Prayer
Lord keep us alert and on guard. May we never be found off guard and not serving you faithful until the final day we are given. With joy we anticipate your coming but with perseverance we press on to make you known among the nations so they too will look forward to your coming with joy and expectation.

The Power of Faith

Passage: Mark 11:20-25

Point
1. The day before, Jesus cursed a fig tree and Peter noticed it was withered. Jesus said have faith.
2. Whatever we ask in prayer believing it will be done.
3. If we are praying and we have anything against another we are to forgive so our Father will forgive us.

Personalize
The day before Jesus was hungry and he passed by a fig tree that had no fruit. He cursed the tree so it would not produce any fruit in the future. The following day as they were passing the tree, Peter noticed and pointed out that the tree that Jesus cursed had withered. Some would say that the fig tree was representing the leadership of Israel. Because they had turned their back on God’s purpose and plans. They were dead and not producing fruit. They had rejected Christ and the message of the prophets, thus their lives and message would not produce fruit. The cursed fig tree also represents the power of faith.

After Peter points out that the fig tree had withered because of Jesus words, Jesus responds and tells them they should place their faith in God. It was God that had the power to give life and to take away life. The faith of the disciples was not to be placed in personal abilities and strengths but in the power of God. Once they placed their faith in God, then and only then would their faith result in change and success. If our faith and ideals are place in our insights and abilities they will always fall short. When placed in God, all things are possible.

In James 1:6-8, we read: “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” Our lips may speak words of faith but the test of our faith is seen in our actions. As we take steps to follow God, the test will be whether we will fully trust God to bring about the results. When God is directing and our faith is in His abilities, then all things can be accomplished. As Jesus states: “if there is no doubt in our hearts, it will be done”.

Prayer
Lord, may we place our faith and trust in You as You lead us out into new adventures. May we not place our confidence in our abilities but in your ability to work through us and in our circumstances. May we see and experience what only faith in You can produce.

Faith to Touch

Passage: Mark 5:24-34

Points
1. There was a woman with an issue of blood who had spent all she had to find a cure.
2. She had heard about Jesus and she knew “if I touch his garments, I will be made well”, when Jesus walked by she reached out and touched the hem of his garment and she was healed.
3. Jesus knew that power had left Him and he asked who touched His garments. In fear the woman came forward and Jesus told her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your disease”.

Personalize
It is a risk to press against the crowd and against religious traditions. We often allow the expectations of others to hinder us from moving forward. This is exactly what the woman was doing when she pushed through the crowd to touch the garment of Jesus. Her “issue of blood” made her unclean and according to religious law, she was banned from the temple area for women and she was not to be in public because she would pass along her uncleanliness. Even at the risk of being found out, in desperation, she pressed through the crowd to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment.

Once she had touched the hem of the garment of Jesus, He knew power had left Him. Calling out to discover who had touched Him, the women stepped out of the crowd with fear and admitted it was her. The Greek word for fear in this passage is “phobeomai”. It can mean either to “be afraid” or “feel awe and reverence”. This fear and reverence became the source of her faith to trust in Jesus’ power to heal. Her faith moved her forward and through her fear of judgement from the people and against the religious laws. This fear demonstrated a great awe and respect for the power of God and through faith she reached out and received the healing she had searched for over the past twelve years. Her faith became the source of strength she needed to press through her fear.

Are there things in our lives that have caused fear in our lives. Do we refuse to move forward because of the fear of people’s criticism or even assumed expectations. May we have the same faith as demonstrated by this women. Against all expectations and fear, her faith took her to the feet of Jesus where she received full healing. Let us become desperate to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. May our faith move us through our fear barriers so we can see a better future because of His healing power. May we have the faith that says, “if only I can touch His garment, I will be healed”.

Prayer
Just a touch of your garments is what we need to experience hope and healing. Just a touch of your garment is what we need to be made whole. Lord in the midst of fear and paralyzing disease and assumed barriers, may You give us the strength to reach out and touch the hem of your garment.