Devotionals

Mark 2:12

Immediately he arose, took up his bed…so that all were amazed and glorified God saying,
“We never saw anything like this!” Mark 2:12


After church last Sunday, I happened across one of our Sunday-School teacher’s notes.
I love the great doctrine our kids are being taught. I think you too will be blessed at the tremendous truths from these teaching notes—

“As Jesus and His disciples were traveling one day they came across the blind man Bartimaeus…sitting on the side of the road begging for food. “Jesus have mercy upon me” he yelled. This is how life was for Bartimaeus. Earlier in his life he could see, so he could do as he pleased, just as anyone could. Until one day… he couldn’t.
We don’t know what caused his vision to cease, but we do know it must have been really hard, just like it was really hard for you to play that game. Life was so hard for blind Bartimaeus he had to sit on the side of the road and beg for food.

One thing I noticed was what Jesus said to him—“Go; your faith has made you well.”
Jesus didn’t ask him if he had followed the Ten Commandments. He didn’t make him give everything away. He didn’t make him promise to tell others, or even go to church. Why do you think that is?”
Jesus would love it if he did all those things. He didn’t and I don’t. No one does. That’s because we all sin and do things we shouldn’t do.

And even though Bartimaeus didn’t do all those things, Jesus healed him anyway. Do you know why? Because God does not ask us to earn His mercy. We can’t earn it, but He wants us to have it anyway, so instead of earning it, he just wants us to have faith and ask.

We are all spiritually blind too and in need of a savior. In order to go to Heaven, you have to be saved. But can you earn salvation? No, you can’t. Instead, all God asks us to do is have faith and ask. That’s all we have to do! We can’t earn it, but God can give it away.

God still wants us to try to be our best. He still wants us to try and follow the Ten Commandments, and go to church, and tell others about Jesus, but it isn’t going to earn us a place in Heaven, just like it wasn’t going to give bind Bartimaeus back his eyesight.

We don’t have to worry about trying to earn our way to Heaven. Yes we should do what He asks, but to get to Heaven and be saved we just need to ask God to save us, and believe that He will!”

Maranatha!

Colossians 3:24

Knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance;
for you serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:24


In the surprising selection of David, to be Israel’s next king, Samuel is told by the Lord that He himself “does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (I Sam. 16:7).” Indeed we know it to be true that man looks upon the external. Man is particularly drawn to the beautiful and successful. But remember, God looks on the heart. The heart, not external, rather internal. Consequently when the time of judgement and eternal reward arrives many who did not enjoy favor, thanks or notice here, on this side of eternity, will find incredible honor in Heaven. Colossians says just that in the final verses of chapter three. We must never forget the absolute faithfulness of God to that which He has stated and promised!

Some thoughts on Heaven—
From Oswald Chambers, in the early 1900’s—
Nowadays people have got tired of the preaching about a future Heaven and they have gone to the other extreme and deal only with what is called practical; consequently they rob themselves of the unfathomable joy of knowing that everything God has said will come to pass.

Country-preacher Vance Havner—
The Christian is not a citizen of this world trying to get to heaven; rather a citizen of Heaven making his way through this world.

C.S. Lewis—
It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of Heaven that they have become so ineffective here on earth. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth thrown in: aim at earth and you will get neither.

Well-known author of Amazing Grace, John Newton—
When I get to Heaven, I shall see three wonders there—the first wonder will be to see any people there whom I did not expect to see; the second wonder will be to miss many people whom I did expect to see; and the third and greatest wonder of all will be to find myself there!

Best of all, from Jesus Himself in John 14:2-3—
In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

Maranatha!

Exodus 25:8-9

And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I might dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all its furnishings.
Exodus 25:8-9


“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” As so many of you know the preceding word “dwelt” referencing Jesus literally means “tabernacled.” The tabernacle of the Old Testament was a wonderful picture or type of Jesus. The tabernacle served a specific purpose for a specific time. Just as Jesus served for the time of thirty-three years until voluntarily going to the cross prior to Him resurrection and then ascending to Heaven.
Interestingly the tabernacle was erected in the wilderness. Jesus dwelt in the wilderness. Consider His autobiographical words, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

Its outward appearance was quite humble… with its animal skin covering it resembled the Bedouin tents of the day. Typical and so very common in His appearance, the betrayal by Judas required him to identify Jesus with a kiss.

The interior of the tabernacle was an entirely different story. Incredibly beautiful with the magnificence of abundant gold and silver. The tapestries were of deep beauty. Most notable was the presence of the Shekinah glory of God. Yes, Jesus outwardly resembled the average man of the day, but within Him there was a beauty unique to Him alone. The beauty of Him being so alluring that Matthew writes “the common people heard Him gladly.”
The tabernacle of God was not only His dwelling place, but also His meeting place— “And there I will meet with you…” Exodus 25:22. Jesus not only dwells among us, but He is the sole way we have oneness, fellowship and communion with God the Father.

Paul writes in I Tim.2:5 “There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” And here is the great news… verse 6 says He “gave Himself a ransom for all.” Never forget that God in His great love for us never disqualifies anyone of us from coming to Him. I appreciate the academic look of the word “all.” One scholar of the Greek language said, “‘all’ means “all”, and that is all that “all” means.” You are on solid ground to insert your name in place of “all.” I like to apply it with my own name[Symbol]God gave Himself a ransom for… Jim. Wow, that is wonderful news!

Maranatha!