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.

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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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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.

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Matthew 1:1 The Living Book

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Idle Words

An interesting thing happened to me the other day. I was in a conversation with a man I deeply admire, a preacher 26 years my senior. In the course of conversation I mentioned that I had recently turned 60, telling him the date of my birthday. The conversation carried on with little change of direction with the mention. We enjoyed the meal and the fellowship. I thought nothing of my mention of my birthday nd would have guessed my friend thought little of it either. Next day was Sunday and my friend was preaching. In the course of his message he brought up our conversation, my mention of my birthday and then said, “I was up last night thinking about that. I had a son born that same month and year. He died just two months later.” I didn’t know. I meant nothing by it. He did not make a big deal of it at the time. But just the mention of my birthdate opened the doors of a sixty year old grief for him.

Matthew 12:36 Every Idle Word

Matthew 12:36 (KJV)
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

An interesting thing happened to me the other day. I was in a conversation with a man I deeply admire, a preacher 26 years my senior. In the course of conversation I mentioned that I had recently turned 60, telling him the date of my birthday. The conversation carried on with little change of direction with the mention. We enjoyed the meal and the fellowship. I thought nothing of my mention of my birthday and would have guessed my friend thought little of it either.

Next day was Sunday and my friend was preaching. In the course of his message he brought up our conversation, my mention of my birthday and then said, “I was up last night thinking about that. I had a son born that same month and year. He died just two months later.”

I didn’t know. I meant nothing by it. He did not make a big deal of it at the time. But just the mention of my birthdate opened the doors of a sixty-year old grief for him.

It reminded me of how powerful words are. No wonder Jesus warned that we will give an account of every idle word. Words expressed with little thought and deliberation can be painful, even downright harmful.

My words were spoken in innocence and received without offense. Still they caused pain. I am not saying that what I did was wrong, I don’t think it was. But it does serve as a reminder how important it is that we consider our words.

 

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 4300 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 12:36 Every Idle Word

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Matthew 28:1 Jesus Rose

Matthew 28:1 (KJV)
In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

In order that Scripture be fulfilled Jesus must be in the grave three days and three nights. That is an impossibility unless He was crucified, as I believe He was, on Wednesday.

  • For three days and three nights His disciples lived in depression, loss and confusion.
  • For three days and three nights the Sanhedrin held their breath. Had they successfully eliminated their threat?
  • For three days and three nights the Roman soldiers watched in confidence. They had killed this troublemaker.
  • For three days and three nights Satan rejoiced in His evident victory.

The prophecy, in order to be fulfilled, requires three days and three nights. The message Jesus had promised them was three days and three nights.

But not a moment longer.

The fate of eternal souls rested on what happened next. The jeers of the mockers, the sneers of the Devil and the fears of the disciples would be settled the first minute the prophecy was fulfilled. The Bible says, “As it began to dawn toward the first day.” The second the promise was fulfilled, the moment He had finished the business of the grave

  • The earth quaked
  • The stone rolled away and
  • Jesus rose

The confidence of the Roman soldiers melted, the devil was sent scrambling to come up with a new lie. The women were comforted. The Apostles were sent for and the world was turned upside down.

  • No more would the blood of bulls and goats sweep sin under the carpet for a year or so
  • No more would burdened souls fear what lies beyond the grave
  • No more would Satan have victory over sin and death

Jesus rose

  • Triumphant
  • Victorious
  • Glorified and

Alive forever more.

 

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 4100 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 28:1 Jesus Rose

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.

Matthew 27:3-5 The Sorriest Thing Judas Did

Matthew 27:3-5 (KJV)
Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

There are some actions, which, once taken, cannot be undone. Judas did not imagine (though I can’t see how he would not have known something like this would happen) Jesus’ treatment would be so brutal. After betraying Jesus he repented himself and tried to return the money. Those he had delivered Jesus to could car less about Judas’s sorrow, repentance and regret. They had what they wanted and they weren’t about to turn back.

The Bible tells us that Judas was a thief. It tells us that Judas betrayed Jesus. But the sorriest part of his story is that he hanged himself. He provided for himself no chance to see what the grace and mercy of God might have done.

  • Thomas doubted Christ
  • Peter denied Christ and
  • Everyone of the disciples except John fled from Christ
  • None of them at the first believed Christ had risen.
  • Later, one called Saul of Tarsus would consent to the death of believers.

And yet, God was gracious to these people, lifted them up and did miraculous and world changing things through them.

Who knows but God what He might have accomplished in Judas Iscariot if he had but reached out to God for mercy instead of to the Pharisees and then to the noose?

 

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 4100 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.

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Matthew 27:3-5 The Sorriest Thing Judas Did

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Matthew 26:6 The Constant About Christians

Matthew 26:6 (KJV)
Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,

Little is known of this Simon. Some go so far as to speculate he had never personally been a leper but was so named because someone in his genealogy had been. Others suggest he had been a leper but Jesus had previously healed him. What I see is:

The stigma the world ascribes to people
Whether it is:

  • a family sin,
  • a personal failure,
  • a reputation once held

the people of this world tend to never let it go. As quick as this world is to judge Christians as being hateful, it is they who refuse tenaciously to figure and forget.

The carelessness demonstrated by Jesus and His followers
Jesus sat at meat in the leper’s home! It is safe, I think, to assume that Simon had been healed by this time but the Bible nowhere says that. That He would be in the home would be an act of grace in those days. That He would eat while He was there would be an unheard of kindness.

What’s more His disciples were with him, so oblivious to the reputation that:

  • One poured ointment of Christ and
  • The others criticized her for doing it

I am not in favor of their criticisms but I do mark that they were not concerned about his leprosy.

Christians are not perfect. We often dispute with one another about every difference under the sun. Some of those disputes are legitimate others are trivial. The one thing that is constant; we accept that those who have trusted Christ are, for all their faults, saved.

 

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 4100 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 26:6 The Constant About Christians

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Matthew 25:1 Prepared For His Return?

Matthew 25:1 (KJV)
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

I am impressed as I recall that this parable is delivered to the disciples of Jesus the week before his crucifixion and just previous to his administration of the Lord’s Supper.

The Lord’s Supper is intended as an opportunity not only to reflect on the price of our salvation, but also to examine and judge ourselves concerning our Christian walk. It would seem appropriate then, as a Christian prepares to receive the Lord’s Supper, that he examine himself in the light of this parable.

Wisdom vs foolishness
The point seems to be concerning salvation. The wise are saved, the foolish are not.

With oil vs without
This is closely associated with salvation. The Bible most often uses oil to picture the Holy Spirit. Those without this oil would be unsaved. Christians are always indwelt by the Spirit but are not always filled with the Spirit. It would be a wise Christian who evaluates his filling in light of the Lord’s Supper.

Ever prepared vs unprepared
Jesus is going to return one day. It seems like an obvious reason why some would not be prepared would be the growing mockery at the doctrine of His return. Is this not what we see today? A prepared Christian will almost certainly be a mocked Christian in these days.

Watching vs sleeping
The Bible says they all slumbered and slept. What frailty belongs to this human condition! Nevertheless it can be said that the wise watch more and sleep less. A good indicator of our spiritual condition would be how often we find ourselves spiritually asleep.

Watch therefore. Watch as often as you are able and build up your ability to watch the more.

 

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 4100 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 25:1 Prepared For His Return?

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.