They said what?

walking-on-water Mark 8:4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?

I really shouldn’t, but sometimes, I can get critical as I read accounts of the disciples’ dialogue with Christ. When the words, “His disciples answered” pop up in my Bible reading, I almost wonder, “what ignorant answer are we going to read this time.” And quite frankly, if He wasn’t omniscient, I’d wonder if Jesus thought the same thing!

Jesus had recently fed 5,000 with a few loaves and some fish. Further, He’d just healed countless amounts of people, who, all they had to do was touch His garment, and they were healed. And yet – Jesus asks His disciples a simple question, “how will we feed these people – they’ve been with us three days, and have no food”. “And his disciples answered”, and basically said, “there’s no way we can get that much food to feed these people.” But in their possession they had seven loaves of bread, and some fish. This is MORE than what they had on the last occasion, where Jesus had fed 5,000 people. And they were right – humanly speaking, it was impossible. But they had Jesus, and all things were possible.

But before I get to critical or judgmental with the disciples, let me examine myself, for this is why we have these accounts recorded and given to us in Scripture. How many times, knowing that I have access to the throne room of heaven, and the Holy Spirit’s power, and to Jesus Christ Himself, do I answer, question, work, or try to figure it out without realizing or seeking His power? How many times do we expect to do ministry or life in the arm of the flesh, without Him? How many times, though we’ve seen Him work, and seen Him move, and see Him do great things, when a situation arises that doesn’t seem to make sense, do we question Him, as if it’s an impossible situation? My prayer this morning is this: Lord, increase my faith. And Lord, teach me to pray, as I ought. God’s hand isn’t shortened, and He desires to work. But as we see all through the Gospels, Christ works, many times, according to our faith and our seeking Him. Might we be people of faith. For without faith, it is impossible to please Him – but He rewards those who believe that He is, and that diligently seek Him.

Heart check

heart-checkMark 7:20-23 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

The disciples were hungry. And, without washing their hands, they ate. Of course, this terrible, horrible act couldn’t be let go by the Pharisees. And so they “found fault” and began to accuse Jesus’ men. Christ gives a great illustration and contrast between the traditions of men, which they preached as doctrine, and the commandments of God. Then he hits home, and tells His disciples, with the Pharisees standing by, what really defiles a man.

The list and concept in the verse above wasn’t what the Pharisees were interested in. For Jesus called out the heart of the matter – the heart. As I read this this morning, it encourages me to look at this list, and see if any of these items have began to find a home in my heart, or my thoughts. Things on the outside must be taken care of, that’s for sure. But that stuff begins in the heart, and the heart must be addressed first. It would behoove us to do a heart check as we begin our day today.

They considered not the miracle

5bread2fishMark 6:52 For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

I have a hard time understanding how men who walked with Jesus could have seen the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000, and have not considered (taken to heart, comprehended, or reflected upon) it. I mean, even two thousand years later when I read the accounts of this miracle, it amazes me. But before I point fingers at the disciples, I must take an honest assessment of my own heart.

I wonder how many times the Lord is working in my heart and my life, and the Spirit is speaking and working in and around me, to bring me to where He wants me to be. And yet, how many times am I rather caught up in the “work” I’m doing that I fail to “consider Christ?” Might I take an honest evaluation of my heart, and “consider” what the Lord is trying to do and say in and through me today, that I might be what He wants me to be.

But when he saw Jesus…

Jesus heals the man with unclean spirits named Legion Luke 8:29-30

Mark 5:3-6 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him.”

Here we see a man who was feared by many, and rightfully so. This man was distant, disoriented, and downright scary. The Bible says that he was not tamable by man. However, an event comes into his life that changes that all. Jesus comes into his picture. When Jesus came into the picture, this man immediately came – running, and worshiped Him. Jesus was the only one Who could provide what He really needed, as we see that man’s effort to this point was helpless and useless. And Jesus changed His life.

I can only imagine what it looked like to see this man running toward Jesus. He probably ran crazily. He probably had a feared look on his face. And yet, he ran toward Jesus, knowing Who He was, and what He could do for him. He was ripe and ready to believe on the One Who could change His life.

We will come across plenty of people like this in our lives, and possibly even today, if we keep our eyes open. They’ve been let down by man’s counsel, by man’s efforts, by those closest to them, and even by themselves (2 Tim 2:25). And they’re ready. They’re ready for change. They’re ready to be helped. They’re ready to be healed. They’re ready to believe. And all they need is for someone to bring Jesus into their lives. And it’s a beautiful thing to see those who sin got the best of, clothed, and in their right mind spiritually, and worshiping the Saviour. Today, my prayer is that I’d do my part to bring people like this to Jesus – or, rather, to bring Jesus to people like this.

They feared

Mark 4:38-41 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

The disciples had walked with the Lord, seen Him perform miracles, heard Him teach, and watched His amazing works. However, for some reason, they didn’t see Jesus for Who He was. It wasn’t until this act that they “feared exceedingly”. He was no longer just another man with some miracles up His sleeve. He was something special. He was God in the flesh. And when they got a glimpse of Who He was and what He could do, they feared Him.

It’s easy for us to “walk with God” daily, be in His Word, and even in some prayer, without really getting a hold of Him and seeing Him for Who He is and what He can do. My prayer this morning is that I would walk closely with God, and as Isaiah, see Him high and lifted up, and for Who He really is. For when I do, I will have the fear and honor of Him that I ought, which will cause me to live the way He desires.

Can two walk together…


Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

We’ve heard plenty of sermons preached about this verse. Normally, we apply it to principles on separation, or fellowship with the world. That is one application, but in context, the primary application has to do with our fellowship and “walk” with God.

If we’re going to “walk together” with Him, we must be willing to reconcile our faults. We must be willing to walk the path He walks if we’re to be agreed. God, as He has since the Garden, desires fellowship with man. But we must be agreed on His terms of fellowship, and His terms of our walk.  Might we align our wants, desires, worship, and walk with Him, all while being willing to take a different path or reconcile things that needs reconciled. In prayer might we ask, “Lord, is there any area where we ‘disagree'” and be willing to change, that we might walk together in agreement with the King of kings.

Tell your children

familyJoel 1:2-3 Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.

Today’s Scripture reading reminds me of God’s desire for us to teach, train, and pass down what we know of Him and His ways to our children. And yet, this is not for our children only. We ought to live and give in such a way that our children desire to take those things which we’ve taught and given them, and pass them down to another generation, and even their children to another generation.

In context, God is admonishing His people to warn their children and grandchildren of the consequences of forsaking the Lord. There are serious consequences that affect generations to come. And today, might we not sugar coat it or “tip toe around the spiritual tulips” as my dad would say, but teach, admonish, and warn our children about the dangers of forsaking the way of the Lord. But might we also teach them what is the good way, and guide them to “walk therein”. Of course, this is as good for the parent as it is for the child!

The calves of our lips


Hosea 14:2 Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.

This is an interesting phrase. What does the Lord mean by “the calves of our lips”? This reminds me of David’s Psalm of repentance, where he demonstrates that rather than a physical sacrifice, the Lord desires a sacrifice of a broken, pure, contrite heart, and here, we see that He also desires the sacrifice of our lips – a spirit and words of praise to the Lord. If there’s one area of prayer in my prayer life I’d like to see improve, it’s the “calves of my lips”. We’re good at confessing (or so we should be). I think if we love the Lord, we’re good at being thankful before Him. Then there’s supplication. I don’t think most of us have a problem asking Him for things for us, or for others. But I think it’s the area of praise where many of us fall short. Might this slightly odd phrase stick with us, as we remember that the Lord desires the sacrifice of praise He so rightfully deserves from His people.



forgottenHosea 8:14 For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof.

Nobody wants to be forgotten. A missionary once said that the thing one fears the most on the field is that he will be forgotten. The Lord is the same way. He doesn’t want to be forgotten, but rather remembered each day and throughout the day. Bro. Meyers reminded us this past week that this is why we take the Lord’s supper. This is why Daniel prayed three times a day. This is why David called to the Lord in the night watched. Might we do things in our lives, through our day, that we might remember and acknowledge our God, and seek Him, that we might be found of Him.

My people are destroyed.

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee…

This morning’s reading reminds me of the importance of growing in grace, AND in the KNOWLEDGE of our Lord Jesus Christ. We ought to be “learning of Him”. I’m reminded of the importance of knowing God’s Word, and His commands and principles. With God’s laws, ignorance is not bliss. The simple receives the same punishment as the fool, though the fool knows right from wrong and the simple may not. Might we not be accused of “lack of knowledge” of Him and His words.