Daily Word

James 5

Read James 5 – The Lord doesn’t miss a thing. Our chapter begins with an admonishment against the wealthy, self-indulgent, oppressors of the day. Meanwhile, the Lord (through James) encourages us to be patient. (:7). We are reminded of the prophets patience, and Job specifically. He was up against the very trials of Satan, yet persevered and the Lord generously restored him.

Verse :12 is so simple and right. May your YES be yes and your NO be no…. there is no need for swearing, the Lord will not ask you, “But did you cross your heart, and hope to die, and stick a needle in your eye?” about it. (Where do we come up with things like that anyway???) That goes for God and man… be a person who’s YES and NO does not waiver.

Verses :13-18 speak on the privilege and responsibility of prayer. One should pray for themselves, rejoice, call on the elders, and verse :16… notice what’s required: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

I was part of a recovery ministry for 5 years. When I was new in the program I balked at the idea of confessing my sins to another person. I thought it was all between Jesus and me; he knew, he forgave, so why speak about that which has been forgiven? Finally, the day came. I couldn’t move forward in the program without taking this step, and so I fearfully met with a person I knew I could trust and she graciously listened as I poured out my confession. Beloved, I can’t even begin to explain the healing that washed over me! I have never felt so clean! Our verse does not say ‘so you may be forgiven’, it says ‘so you may be healed’. If you are holding something that is churning in your heart right now, pray hard about who the LORD wants you to confess it to. Do not let it fester; it has already stolen enough of your life. Do what the LORD instructs so you may be healed.

Beloved, I pray the Book of James has blessed you and that you return to it every so often for a well check. Tomorrow we will visit the Psalms.

Daily Word

Mark 5

Reflections on Mark 5 – Faith and authority – Jesus has the authority to deliver those who cannot ask for themselves.  And faith moves Jesus to heal. 

It had been quite a crossing as Jesus and the disciples reached the other shore after the great storm that caused the disciples to fear for their lives in the night.  They arrive in the region of Gadarenes, discovering a demon possessed man right away.  The demons bow before Jesus and speak through the man.  That’s weird, right?  Remember, the demon’s knew exactly who Jesus was long before the people did (see James 2:19).  It’s also interesting that the man wanted to follow Jesus after being delivered from the demons, but the townspeople wanted him to leave.  That is very sad; rejection of Jesus is always very sad. But hope is not lost for them as Jesus tells the man, no, and instructs him to instead stay and share his testimony with everyone.  Scripture records that the people were amazed by his tale of all that Jesus did for him!  Beloved, sharing your testimony is what you are called to do.  Share with others what the Lord has done in and for you.

Jesus travels back across the lake where a great crowd has gathered.  Jairus, the synagogue leader, asks Jesus to heal his sick daughter.  But on the way a great crowd was pressing in on him, and a woman in the crowd thought in her heart… “If I can just touch the hem of his garment, I will be healed,” :29  She reached out in faith and was indeed healed on the spot.  This poor woman had spent everything trying to be healed.  Bleeding meant she was unclean and would not have been allowed into the synagogue, and was a social outcast.  Imagine how her life changed when she was healed, and Jesus stopped everything to ask, “Who touched my robe?” :30  Imagine the courage it took her, this marginalized, suffering, outcast woman to speak up – Scripture records she came forward, frightened and bowing down to Jesus.  And He responded to her with the most beautiful, life affirming words before everyone in the crowd.

Beloved, we’ve read who Jesus was to the demon possessed man, to Jairus and his daughter, and to the woman who touched His garment.  Who is Jesus to you?

Read Mark Chapter 6.

Daily Word

Mark 1

Reflections on Mark 1 – Good News! 

Mark gets right to the ministry of Jesus in this account.  He confirms Jesus in the second verse by the prophecy of Isaiah 40:3, saying it began just as Isaiah wrote.  John the Baptist announced His coming, and Jesus is the one John spoke of; Jesus is Messiah.  John baptised Jesus; Jesus saw the heavens open and heard God’s voice as he came up out of the water, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy,” (:11).   John prepared the way, and was arrested as Jesus took the lead. 

Jesus invites Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew to, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their fishing nets to follow Him (:16-18).  Soon thereafter Jesus calls James and John (sons of Zebedee).  They went to Carpernaum and Jesus amazed people by teaching with authority, casting out evil spirits, healing many including the mother-in-law of Simon (Peter). 

Jesus preached and healed people, restricting the demons from speaking – they were well aware of who Jesus was and what He was setting out to accomplish. 

Beloved, take hold of verse :35 “Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.”  Jesus is LORD, and He takes time to get quiet with God and pray.  How is your prayer life?  Do you have a habit of seeking a quiet place to pray?  Let Jesus be your example.  

Now read and meditate on Mark 2.