Ezekiel 20

Vs. 1, “In the seventh year, in the fifth month on the tenth day, some of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord, and they sat down in front of me.”  This looked like a good sign, the elders seemingly coming to inquire about God’s will.  However, the questions were foolish and the intention in their hearts and how they viewed themselves were skewed.  Ezekiel gives the a nice little history lesson.  He reviews the Exodus out of Egypt (vs. 1-9), the journey through the wilderness (vs. 10-17), and sadly the rebellion and exile once in the Promised Land (vs. 18-32).  But God wasn’t finished with them yet…through Ezekiel, He would go on to share the purging and purifying process that will come.

 

Regarding application…What will God do?  Vs. 41, “I will accept you as fragrant incense when I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will show myself holy among you in the sight of the nations.”  Throughout the last section of this chapter, we see many “I will” statements from God.  Sometimes, we wonder why it seems God doesn’t respond.  God’s timing is perfect.  At this moment for Ezekiel, it was not time to yet restore.  Perhaps for us, we are going through a storm because God is either disciplining us or teaching us something about faith.  But in the end, “God will” respond!  He will restore and the hope that we have because of it helps us endure the present!  Keep you faith up and eyes on the Lord this beautiful Monday!

Mark 16

Vs. 4, “But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.”  Question: Did Jesus use his mighty strength to roll away the rock?  Did he need it to get out of the cave?  I think not.  The rock was rolled away for the benefit of the women who came to pay their respect for Jesus.  And this death on the cross is now life through the resurrection!  The resurrection reminds us that Jesus was victorious over the enemy!  We also see the apostles were given extra power through signs and wonders early on (vs. 17-18), they did not have the completed Bible at that time.

 

Regarding application…Do you believe?  Vs. 11, “When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.”  Question: Can we blame them?  They were in mourning because Jesus’ death was so abrupt and so violent.  Jesus’ public ministry was shorter than just one term of our President in the US.  And the excruciating pain and quick death on the cross was especially sobering.  This isn’t shared for us to rebuke the followers of Jesus, rather, it is shared to remind us we don’t believe in someone who was defeated.  When life seems hopeless and we are against the ropes…will you believe that Jesus can help you overcome?  Let go of your doubts and trust in the Lord!

Mark 10

Vs. 45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  And Jesus did exactly that…He came to serve.  Many of us remember these events from the Gospel of Matthew that transpired in this chapter.  The hardened hearts of those who wanted to justify divorce in their lives (vs. 1-12), the joy and beauty of little children (vs. 13-16), the desires for the riches of this world (vs. 17-31), The reaffirmation of Jesus’ obedience on the road to the cross (vs. 32-34), the selfish & ignorant request of James & John (vs. 35-44) and lastly, the healing of Bartimaeus (vs. 46-52).

 

Regarding application…Do You Need Mercy?  Vs. 48, “Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  To understand this scene, what we want to realize is as Jesus was making his way through the cities…many crowds began to increase.  Among all the loud cries for help and people seeking out interest in Jesus, we see Bartimaeus.  Some scholar’s say, “Son of David” caught Jesus’ attention because not many addressed him with such a title.  Notice how others in the crowd tried to silence Bartimaeus, but that would not discourage him.  In our own lives, we have those who try to discourage us from crying out to God.  But don’t let that stop you!  A sinner needs mercy, a righteous person pats themselves on the back….Which one are you?  Do you need mercy?  If so, take the time to cry out to Jesus today!  Mercy triumphs over judgement because of the blood!

Mark 8

Vs. 11, “The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven.”  It didn’t matter how many miracles Jesus did, the hardened hearts of the Pharisees were already decided.  I love how we are told in vs. 12, Jesus sighed deeply…that shows some raw emotion from our Lord and Savior!  In our chapter today, we have another miracle of feeding only, this time the number is different (vs. 1-9).  The Yeast of the Pharisee’s (vs. 14-21) was used to illustrate the dangers of false teachers.  We read on to see Jesus giving sight to a blind man (vs. 22-26), and Mark’s version of Jesus’ interaction with asking the disciples who do people say I am.

 

Regarding application…Do You Understand? Vs. 18, “Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?”  I tend to be one of those people that never seem to understand the punchline of a joke.  I don’t always get it.  This is kind of what happened to the disciples too.  They just failed to see the point that Jesus was making.  Question: Do you understand?  In the end times, there will be many who try to lead you astray.  Be careful dear brothers and sisters!  We don’t have Herod or the influence of the Pharisee’s (vs. 15)…but we do have others coming with authority telling us the “right” ways to live.  That is why it is so important to have a “relationship” with the Lord daily (vs. 34) and know His word.  Keep fighting the fight, find rest and trust in the Lord this week!

Revelation 3

Sardis

.”  Sardis was a dying church.  But, even in a dying church there were still a few who remained faithful.  Vs. 5 has been a controversial passage in which some people like to use this verse to support the fact that a Christian can lose their salvation.  However, this book of life has all the names born in it…but those who turn to the Lord have their names written in the Lamb’s book of life and those who do not have their names blotted out of the original book of life.  I know it’s confusing but take a look at Revelations 13:8, 20:12, 20:15, 21:27. Vs. 1, “…

Philadelphia

.”  This is one of the strongest passages to support the fact that we will be raptured (taken to Heaven) before the 7 years of tribulation!Ahhh…the city of brotherly love.  It was a smaller church and here we see Jesus doesn’t have words of rebuke, but rather words of encouragement.  We see that though they were small, they were faithful!  Small churches have their places in this world =)  Vs. 10, “Laodicea

.”  A well known passage to stop our complacency…but also a note to remember that “Hot” & “Cold” are both good connotations by our Lord Jesus.  Jesus isn’t saying He would rather see us withcold hearts.  The “cold” here would be like a refreshing cold spring or glass of water.This was the wealthiest church of the seven.  When I think of the churches today…I can’t help but see the churches in the United States represent the modern day Laodicea.  In fact the word Laodicea means “The rule of the people”.  Perhaps they were a church who no longer followed the spiritual leaders, but rather tried to rule on their own.   Vs. 15, ”

Regarding application…Which church do we represent?  Upon completion of the seven churches….We must be open & honest before our Lord and see what diagnosis is needed for our church…for our individual lives.  None of us are beyond rebuke or admonishment.  Let us not forget our first love (Ephesus) and become lukewarm ( Laodicea ) churches.  While vs. 20 is used for many evangelistic messages…this really is a message for the body of Christ.  Jesus wants to fellowship with his church…are we inviting Him in?  Are you inviting Him in your QT’s?