Mark 8:2-3 Our “Inner Fridge”

Mark 8:2-3 (KJV)
I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:
And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.

It is obvious that the people of Jesus’ day ate much less than the average American does – and that his food was of a much different nature.

We may assume that many in this multitude had eaten some food in this three-day period. The narrative sounds more like, after three days, the food they had taken was used up. Jesus was concerned that their bodies were empty of the fuel they would need to safely return home. Having eaten at least one meal in this three-day period, Jesus knew them to be too weak to get home without food.

This interests me because the average American has enough energy stored in his body, via fat cells, to easily survive two weeks with nothing but water and perhaps some salt. Many modern athletes now practice fasting for days before and during competitive events. Once we get passed the false hunger pains at about day two or three, when our bodies convert from using sugar to fat for energy, we can go many days without experiencing loss of energy or hunger.

I am reminded to be thankful. We have so much food that, if our cupboards were bare, we could live handily on the food we have stored up in our “inner fridge”.

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Pastor Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Mark 8:2-3 Our “Inner Fridge”

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Mark 7:14-23 Those Who Have Ears Know This

Mark 7:14-23 (KJV)
And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand:
There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.
If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.
And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;
Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
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.

Jesus didn’t address the Scribes and Pharisees with his answer to their question about eating with unwashed hands. He called the multitude and used the question as a teaching moment.  Even then He narrowed the audience to “If any man have ears“. There was one audience He essentially ignored and another he dismissed. The lesson would only “take” in those who would listen to what He said.

I have known a number who use this passage to rail against separation and standards. They say this passage tells us that outward influences don’t matter. All that matters is that the heart is right with the Lord.

  • Music
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Marijuana

These things in their eyes are just fine so long as they are used in moderation and the heart is tuned to Christ.

The parable teaches exactly the opposite.
We should interpret the passage within the passage. Jesus listed those worldly and sinful things that come from the heart. His list clearly demonstrates that those things He meant could enter and be expelled were of one nature and those things that would come out of an evil heart were a different nature.

It is not more acceptable to ingest evil than it is to let it out of the heart.
Separation from worldliness and evil is a Biblical lesson reinforced from Genesis to Revelation.

Those who have ears know this.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Pastor Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. 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 Bible Baptist Church of Puyallup.

Mark 7:14-23 Those Who Have Ears Know This

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Mark 6:2-6 Though They Were Astonished

Mark 6:2-6 (KJV)
And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.

Jesus is, in the Christian mind, the greatest teacher of all time. It is impossible that He would be anything else. He is God.

  • He is perfect
  • He is all wise
  • He is the standard of right

The crowd acknowledged His ability, being astonished as He preached. But notice that, though they were astonished:

  • They were offended and
  • They did not believe

In some measure every faithful preacher has experienced this.
People are astonished at the message we preach
It is so different than they have heard before. It is so opposed to what they think.

People are offended at the message we preach
It is opposed to everything they have heard and all their worldly minds have conceived and they dislike it.

People will not believe the message we preach
The most successful preachers reach but a tiny fraction of those they reach out to.

If Jesus experienced this we must not be surprised that we do too.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Pastor Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. 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 Bible Baptist Church of Puyallup.

Mark 6:2-6 Though They Were Astonished

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Mark 5:17 Whether They Want Him or Not

Mark 5:17 (KJV)
And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.

I understand that the word pray is not being used in the strictly spiritual sense in this passage. Those who prayed to Jesus neither believed Him to be God nor placed any spiritual meaning to this prayer. They merely desired Jesus leave their country. Knowing full well that he had delivered this man who they knew could not be tamed of the demons driving him wild, their response was to be rid of Jesus.

I wonder how often our prayers parallel theirs?

  • I wonder if, in practice, we wish Jesus would just leave us alone?
  • I wonder if we would prefer He not work miracles that make us uncomfortable?
  • I wonder if we would rather He not send his Spirit to convict us of sin, of righteousness and of judgment?

Jesus healed this man.

Jesus is whom every man needs whether they want Him or not.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Pastor Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. 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 Bible Baptist Church of Puyallup.

Mark 5:17 Whether They Want Him or Not

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Mark 4:19 Addicted to “Other Things”

Mark 4:19 (KJV)
And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

I am struck with the phrase “the lusts of other things.”

Those things that choke the Word of God out of our life can be nearly anything.

  • They don’t necessarily have to be wicked
  • They don’t necessarily have to be bad
  • They don’t necessarily have to be selfish
  • They don’t necessarily have to be harmful

They could be perfectly good things in and of themselves but, lusting for them, they have become a weed in the spiritual garden and kill off that which is essential to the spiritual life.

Care must be taken to never be addicted to anything but the things of God.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Pastor Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. 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 Bible Baptist Church of Puyallup.

Mark 4:19 Addicted to “Other Things”

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Mark 2:15-16 The Challenge of Our Day

Mark 2:15-16 (KJV)
And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.
And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?

The question by the scribes and Pharisees was asked in derision, “How is it that He eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?” They would have considered this to be beneath someone of dignity. They would have never considered tainting themselves with those “garments spotted by the flesh.”

I think there is another question worthy of asking, “How is it that these publicans and sinners followed Jesus?

There is no question in my mind that they needed Him. They were not whole; He was the only physician capable of helping them. But in our day and age, it is not often that the worst of the worst see in Christianity an answer to their disease.

I watched a history course a couple of years ago that explained Christianity on a bell curve. According to their curve, Christianity has reached its peak and is scientifically destined to decline into insignificance. I do not believe Christianity is declining into insignificance, but I do believe that, as we approach the end of this world, the darkness of evil will appear to overcome.

The challenge of the day is whether we will trust the “science” of modern thinkers or “faith” of the Word of God.

I choose the Word of God.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Pastor Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. 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 Bible Baptist Church of Puyallup.

Mark 2:15-16 The Challenge of Our Day

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.

Mark 16:11 They Didn’t Believe At First

Mark 16:11 (KJV)
And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.

It is a bit of an irony that the very men commissioned to tell the world that Jesus was risen did not believe it when at first they heard. That one should rise from the dead is such a fantastic idea that it is not naturally believed. Faith has to come to work.

Their own disbelief serves as a precursor to the reception of their own ministries. Though they would “turn the world upside down” the greatest numbers of people have not believed.

How then does a man or woman find the strength to go and tell a message that even they did not believe at first? It is because the message of the witnesses is followed up with the convicting power of God. He reinforces the message in our hearts so that we are open to it. At first we may disbelieve but then some form of rebuke enters our understanding. God’s Holy Spirit illuminates our mind and convicts our heart so that we we know the Word to be true.

We can tell the message to someone who might at first not believe because we know we at first did not believe.

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Mark 16:11 They Didn’t Believe At First

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Mark 14:1 That’s Just Crafty

Mark 14:1 (KJV)
After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death.

I am interested in the word “craft.” Just a little bit of research with my concordance revealed that the Greek word used in this text means trickery. That is in contrast to a passage such as the one that says Paul’s craft was tent making. But it seems telling that Webster’s 1828 dictionary gives the two definitions:

  • A skill and
  • A trick

as different but with little distinction. Perhaps the two are related, at least in perception. I have a craft. I am a journeyman ironworker by trade and a certified welder by craft. These are skills I trained for. They did not come quickly or easily. I had to work to become skilled at them.

I am reminded of a preacher friend who also has a craft. He has trained to become a skilled illusionist. His craft is slight of hand. He has learned how to trick an audience into thinking they have seen a thing they have not.

This is exactly the skill the chief priests and scribes had developed. They had learned how to trick people into believing a thing to be true when in fact it was not. They guided, through skillful deception, the mind of Judas to betray Jesus and the minds of the crowd to cry out “Crucify Him!”

The craft of the illusionist is such that, unless you are let in on his secret, you cannot tell where the truth ends and the trick begins. The same is true with the craft of religion. Those plying their trade are skilled to the place you cannot see where the deception begins. But all is not lost. God has given to us the only two tools needed to see through the trickery, if we will but use them.

  • The one is the Bible, the record of all that is true.
  • The other is the Holy Spirit, Who illuminates that Word for the careful student.

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. 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

Mark 14:1 That’s Just Crafty

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Mark 13:37 Relevant to All Generations

Mark 13:37 (KJV)
And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

I understand that there Bible must be understood first as it was understood by the original audience. It is one of the first things a student of the Bible is taught to do; ask the questions:

  • Who is the writer?
  • What are the circumstances under which he writes?
  • Who is the audience?
  • How would they have understood this passage? 

It is an honest mistake when a student gets the questions wrong.
Most of the differences between Christians I think happens because we come up with different answers to these important questions. God has seen fit to leave the answers outside of the preserved Word of God.

It is in innocence and naivety that the less mature Christian reads the Bible without knowing to ask these questions
We certainly do not have to wait until we become more mature to read and study the Bible. I would suggest that most people, though babes in Christ, have learned through other medium to at least subconsciously ask these questions.

It is not so honest when a person refuses to acknowledge the questions.
A real problem exists whenever a person, through lack of rudimentary education and social development, refuses to accept that such rules as asking these fundamental questions is essential to proper understanding.

Differences happen whenever honest students of the Bible come to varying conclusions in their studies. Those differences can be of such a nature that, I believe, division is called for. This sort of division is not equal to enmity. Heresies happen whenever no answers to these questions and no reconciliation with those answers and the current application is attempted. The differences resulting from this most certainly call for separation and generally also justify an aggressive approach to resist this false teaching.

Having said all of that, it is equally wrong to see the Bible as being written to only one audience at one point in history and having no application for the current reader. Rightly dividing the Word of truth is the discipline of drawing out that application that is accurate with the text and relevant to all generations.

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. 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

Mark 13:37 Relevant to All Generations

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.

Mark 12:1 God’s Ultimate Success

Mark 12:1 (KJV)
And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.

I notice the care with which this “certain man” planted his vineyard. The man is an obvious picture of God and the vineyard is an obvious reference to His Kingdom/fellowship with the saints. The plan of God has, from before the foundation of the world, been to produce a certain sort of fruit. He created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them for the purpose of raising up a peculiar people zealous for Him.

God was no more careless than the man of the parable in this creation. He

  • Lovingly
  • Meticulously and
  • Carefully

ordered all that was to produce the fruit He expected.

Notice that in no way was the fruit ever a question in the parable.

  • There were wicked husbandmen,
  • There was the abuse of his servants and the death of his son, but
  • There was never a question about the success of the fruit

The owner of the vineyard knew patience would bring its reward.

We never need wonder what will be the outcome of faith. Things happen that seem incongruent with faith. We may become disappointed with the immediate direction of events. None of these impact the ultimate success of God’s plan.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. 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

Mark 12:1 God’s Ultimate Success

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.