Daily Word

Ephesians 4

Read Ephesians 4 – For Christ’s sake – I was raised with that expression; it wasn’t said in reverence to the LORD, much like people say o.m.g. today without thinking about the Lord they are offending.  But hear the words as the truth that they are…

For Christ’s sake live worthy of your calling.  For Christ’s sake always be humble and gentle.  For Christ’s sake live in unity with the church, your eternal brothers and sisters, by the power of the Holy Spirit in you. (:1-3)

And let’s talk about church.  Many people have strayed from church or go merely as spectators.  Verses :11-16 address the importance and purpose of church.  

“Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.  Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church body.”  :11-12

The leadership is to equip us and our responsibility is to build up the church body.  No spectators and no immature believers… you are not called to make things up as you go.  You are called to:

“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.”  :15

It’s time to live for Christ’s sake… in the past you may have lied, been ruled by anger, stolen, used harsh/foul language and brought sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit in any number of ways.  Jesus is calling you to turn from that to a life of honesty, generosity, helpful and encouraging talk, forgiveness, kindness and tenderheartedness.  Can you feel your soul relax as you read the last sentence?  The things the Lord expects you to give up are garbage and everything he calls you to is beautiful. 

“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

Daily Word

Mark 14:1-26

Reflections on Mark 14:1-26 – Beloved, we are blessed with the ability to take our time, so let’s spend more than one day in Chapter 14.
Meet the woman with the alabaster jar of perfume. Mark does not name her, but in the book of John we are told she is Mary, the sister to Lazarus and Martha (John 11:2). She was praised once before for sitting at Jesus’s feet, and now she is being praised for anointing his head with this expensive perfume. Mary had a special love for Jesus and she was never hindered to show him love, although some of the men at the table didn’t like her actions (:4-5). When they begin to scold her, Jesus tells them to leave her alone, and gives a few reasons why. May you remember her, and remember that your acts of love for Jesus, no matter how big or small, all are seen and priceless to Jesus.

Judas agrees to betray Jesus (:10-11). It breaks my heart that those entrusted to keep and teach the Word of God and the one who walked with the living Word Himself, conspired against Him. It says the religious leaders were ‘delighted’… that is such a lovely word, but their delight was purely sinister. It says Judas ‘began looking’ for an opportunity to betray Jesus…. Beloved, the anticipation to do evil can be titillating… the devil whispers and entices, don’t fall prey to his schemes. Once one acts on sin, the enticing whispers become damning condemnation.

In Judaism, there are seven main festivals. I once did a study on the festivals and discovered that the spring festivals all point to Jesus’s first coming and the fall festivals point to His second. Amazing, right? Everything the Lord calls us to has a multidimensional quality.

Our chapter began two days before Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread (:1). This is a precious detail because the Passover celebration is both a remembrance of when the Lord sent the plague to Israel, killing all the first born, but ‘passed over’ the Israelite homes marked with the blood of the lamb (see Exodus 12), AND it is a dress rehearsal of Jesus’s life and atonement for sinners like me and you! This Passover meal in particular is known as The Last Supper, where Jesus gives instruction on Holy Communion (:22-25).

I would love to go on and on, but my purpose is to encourage you to read the Bible for yourself. Happy reading!