Matthew 9:13 Go And Learn

Matthew 9:13 (KJV)
But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

And thus, this conversation was over. There are some things that cannot be discussed further until one party or the other learns the foundational concept being discussed. The Pharisees challenged Jesus’ disciples on a false premise. There was no reason to address the issue further until the premise be corrected.

And so, in our own lives, there are many things we may never understand until we go back and get the basics of the Christian life. Jesus does not tell us everything we want to know. He does not answer every prayer in the fashion we might have wanted. What He does do every time, is to encourage us to go and learn.

Grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And as we do that, He enters into deeper and deeper conversations with us, answering prayers we could never have received if we had not gone to learn.

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Matthew 9:13 Go And Learn

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Matthew 18:1-4 Jesus On Humility

Matthew 18:1-4 (KJV)
At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

We tend to be impressed with greatness:

  • Power
  • Wealth
  • Influence
  • Popularity 
  • Fame

We are so impressed with it that we have developed systems whereby one may have all of the above and still believe himself (and others believe it of him) humble. 

It seems to me that the Lord debunked all that. 

  • The powerlessness of a child
  • The neediness of the handicapped 
  • The helplessness of a lost sheep
  • The brokenness of the forgiven

These are the descriptors of humility Jesus employed. 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4400 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Matthew 18:1-4 Jesus On Humility

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Matthew 17:10 Hear the Message

Matthew 17:10 (KJV)
And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?

The scribes, even of Jesus’ day, were not wrong about everything. They were students of the Word of God. They got Bethlehem right for the town the Messiah would come from there. They got this right too.

Malachi 3:1 (KJV)
Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 4:5 (KJV)
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

Here’s the problem; as much as they knew certain details of the Bible, the message and purpose of the Bible had escaped them. 

Let this serve as our warning. If such a thing could happen to them it could surely happen to us. The Bible is not a textbook of facts and events. 

  • It is a word from God to man. 
  • It is a message of warning of coming danger. 
  • It is a letter of love and of hope for salvation.

Learn the Bible, but take care to hear the message.

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4400 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Matthew 17:10 Hear the Message

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Matthew 16:6-11 Hear Doctrine

Matthew 16:6-11 (KJV)
Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread.
Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?
Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?

Matthew 16:12 (KJV)
Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Here is the basic difference between men and the Saviour. 
The disciples assumed that the lesson Jesus gave them related to something material – in this case food. They forgot to take food. They assumed Jesus’ concern was for their food. Jesus said His concern had to do with things of a spiritual nature.

Do we not the same?

  • We practice our faith in order to somehow get God to take care of more of our physical needs.
  • We read our Bibles looking for secrets to material life. How can we have better marriages, raise better children, be more successful in work?
  • We apply the sermons we hear in the same manner.
  • We may even seek out churches whose preachers find those secrets for us and speak only about that.

God’s concerns, and those of the Saviour, are far more weighty than these. He wants us to hear doctrine. He wants us to avoid error in teaching and practice of faith and worship.

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4400 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Matthew 16:6-11 Hear Doctrine

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Matthew 15:28 Stubborn Faith

Matthew 15:28 (KJV)
Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Albert Barnes says faith describes her confidence and perseverance. Gill says her faith was manifested in, “calling him Lord, owning him to be the Messiah, worshipping him as God, believing him able to do what could not be done by human art.” 

That which strikes me is her unshakable persistence through her need. She persisted though: 

He did not answer her
How many would have quit simply because they did not hear a word?

He disqualified her
She was not of Israel.

He rejected her
I do not think He called her a dog but that He reminded her of what the Jews would typically have thought of a Gentile.

Faith is more than merely believing. It is believing against all rebuffs of belief. 

  • It is unreasonable.
  • It is desperate. 
  • It is stubborn. 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4400 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Matthew 15:28 Stubborn Faith

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Matthew 14:1 His Truest Riches

Matthew 14:1 (KJV)
At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,

Barnes writes of this, “Jesus had been a considerable time engaged in the work of the ministry, and it may seem remarkable that he had not before heard of him. Herod might, however, have been absent on some expedition to a remote part of the country. It is to be remembered, also, that he was a man of much dissoluteness of morals, and that he paid little attention to the affairs of the people. He might have heard of Jesus before, but it had not arrested his attention. He did not think it a matter worthy of much regard.”

But then Jesus became famous. This did arrest his attention. 

  • Not His message
  • Not His deity 
  • Not His promise of salvation 
  • Not His claim of Messiah

What arrested Herod’s attention was Jesus’ fame. 

And what about people today? The majority would give Jesus little thought except they hope from some special favor of Him. Their interest is not in: 

  • His message, 
  • His promise, 
  • His person

They just want some miracle. 

And, while it seems to me that Jesus often obliges them with the trinket for which they ask, He sails away from them without their having gotten from Him His truest riches. 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4400 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Matthew 14:1 His Truest Riches

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Matthew 13:57 Imperfect People

Matthew 13:57 KJV
And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

Jesus did nothing offensive and yet they were offended in Him. 

  • How dare he presume to teach them?
  • They knew Joseph and His mother Mary. 
  • They knew His brothers and His sisters. 

They had grown up next to Him, worked beside Him. Though Jesus had never sinned as we do and had none of the weaknesses we have, they knew His humanity. They knew He got hungry, thirsty and tired. They had likely seen Him weep when Joseph passed. They witnessed as He bore the burden of caring for His mother and brethren. 

And now, all of a sudden, He could teach them?

The situation is not unlike that of every pastor. His congregation grows to know his humanity and, though he strives to care and love them, they can become offended in the fact that he presumes to teach them. 

This is God’s design. He does not choose perfect people. He does not choose the aloof and unknowable.[1]He uses marred vessels that the glory be in the truth he carries and not in the vessel that carries it. 


[1]In Jesus, God became one of us, knowable, touchable, even vulnerable.

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4400 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Matthew 13:57 Imperfect People

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Matthew 11:7-10 Offense of the Word

Matthew 11:7-10 (KJV)
And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.
But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

The thought came to me, isn’t the Bible itself offensive to the lost? Should we even attempt to preach the Bible in such a way that it is not offensive? I do not mean to imply that we have to be purposefully offensive. I just mean that we have to be careful not to be purposefully inoffensive. We need to preach the Bible fully and allow the response to be what it is. 

John the Baptist was such a preacher. Crowds came to hear him preach but it wasn’t because of his polish and presentation. John’s preaching was often:

Ecclesiastically offensive
He divided those who would be baptized of him and those who rejected his baptism

Socially offensive 
He told them what they did wrong and how to correct it

Evangelistically offensive
He refused to baptize them unless they demonstrated evidence of conversion 

Politically offensive
He withstood even the king, preaching against his sin. 

Morally offensive
He rebuked the king and his mistress for their immorality 

  • John the Baptists message was a Bible message but it was offensive to the lost
  • Jesus message was a Bible message but it was offensive to the lost
  • Paul’s message was a Bible message but it was offensive to the lost

I read that the evangelist Sam Brown once said something to the effect of, “Used to be I was afraid my preaching would offense someone. Now I am afraid it won’t.”

We don’t need an offensive personality. Indeed we ought to strive not to be. But great care must be taken not to so construct our Bible sermons so that they are not offensive. 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4400 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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My author Page for Kindle/Amazon
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Matthew 11:7-10 Offense of the Word

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Matthew 8:2-3 Just Come To Him

Matthew 8:2-3 (KJV)
And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

I wonder how many lepers might have been healed if only they had come to the Lord?  I wonder: 

  • How many with infirmities, 
  • How many with unclean spirits, 
  • How many with difficulties 

might have heard Jesus say, “I will” if only they had come to Him and said, “If thou wilt, thou canst.”

Humanly speaking, Jesus could not have had the time to: 

  • Meet every need and
  • Answer every question and 
  • Heal every disease 

in His earthly lifetime. He was, after all, limited in time and space. We know of certain times when it looked like the demands were too pressing to answer them all. On one occasion, as he traveled to heal one that was sick, another that was sick stopped him on the way. By the time he had finished with her, the first had died.[1]

We know of one who, because of the enormous numbers, climbed a tree just to get a glimpse of Jesus.[2]

But we can be certain many who might have come to Him never did. 

  • For their lack of belief 
  • For their focus on other matters 
  • For their lack of hearing of Him
  • For their lack of means to get to him

They might have met Jesus except they didn’t. They might have asked him, except they didn’t. They might have been forever changed except they weren’t. 

How many today miss the wondrous blessings in Christ because they never come to Him?


[1]Do not forget that He then raised that one back to life.

[2]Do not forget that Jesus saw Zaccheus too, and turned his life around.

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4400 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Matthew 8:2-3 Just Come To Him

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Matthew 1:1 The Living Book

Matthew 1:1 (KJV)
The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

My devotional thoughts today are more philosophical than directly from the text. It is the last few days of this year and today I begin the New Testament afresh. Recently I read an evangelists testimony of having read the Bible through, I think, forty times. He said it is new every time because it is indeed a living book. 

I do not know how many times I have read my Bible through. I have been in the ministry 35 years.[1]I had read my Bible through at least once before leaving for Bible college and I am certain I read it through at least once a year for the first twenty years of ministry.[2]Beginning in May of 2005, I’ve focused more on visiting with God in my Bible reading. Since beginning this regimen I have read the New Testament through almost twice a year and the Old Testament through about once per year. 

I say all of that to say that indeed the Bible is a living book, new with every reading. 

But this term is one I think we need to use caution with. To say that the Bible is a living book is in no way related to the way some scholars say the US Constitution is a living document.[3]The Bible is not meant to be re-interpreted and revised with each new generation and the changing norms of culture. It’s value[4]rests in its immutability. While the sands under the surface of worldwide waters shift, the stars remain constant, giving sailors one thing on which to depend. The Bible is that constant. It’s doctrine, it’s morals, it’s instruction remains constant, unchanged. People may think differently but God’s message remains the same. Whenever men become lost due to their own wandering, they need only return to the Word of God to find their way to safety. 

What does it then mean that the Bible is living?

  • It gives life to those who believe its gospel
  • Its great teacher, the Holy Spirit, illuminates it to us as we need it
  • With each reading we grow more aware of the depth of its message
  • As our circumstances change the Holy Spirit shines light to aide us in navigating those circumstances 
  • The more we study it the more able we are to compare spiritual things with spiritual 
  • Each new study reveals the meanings of words we never knew before. 

The Bible is a living book because it reveals a living Saviour to living souls. If either is dead the book is dead too. 


[1]I was ordained on this day 35 years ago.

[2]I did not keep track but I know I read three of five chapters a day during those years.

[3]A concept of which I am thoroughly opposed.

[4]And, I would argue, the value of the Constitution.

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4400 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Matthew 1:1 The Living Book

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Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/M04VB. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.