Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mark Chapter 5 - Day 5

 Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the region of the Gerasenes.  As soon as He got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the tombs and met Him.  He lived in the tombs. No one was able to restrain him anymore—even with chains—  because he often had been bound with shackles and chains, but had snapped off the chains and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him.  And always, night and day, he was crying out among the tombs and in the mountains and cutting himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before Him.  And he cried out with a loud voice, “What do You have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You before God, don’t torment me!”  For He had told him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” “What is your name?” He asked him. And he kept begging Him not to send them out of the region. Now a large herd of pigs was there, feeding on the hillside.  The demons begged Him, “Send us to the pigs, so we may enter them.”  And He gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs, and the herd of about 2,000 rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned there.  The men who tended them ran off and reported it in the town and the countryside, and people went to see what had happened.  They came to Jesus and saw the man who had been demon-possessed by the legion, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.  The eyewitnesses described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and told about the pigs.  Then they began to beg Him to leave their region. As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed kept begging Him to be with Him.  But He would not let him; instead, He told him, “Go back home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how He has had mercy on you.”  So he went out and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and they were all amazed. When Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around Him while He was by the sea.  One of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at His feet  and kept begging Him, “My little daughter is at death’s door. Come and lay Your hands on her so she can get well and live.” So Jesus went with him, and a large crowd was following and pressing against Him.  A woman suffering from bleeding for 12 years  had endured much under many doctors. She had spent everything she had and was not helped at all. On the contrary, she became worse.  Having heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His robe.  For she said, “If I can just touch His robes, I’ll be made well!”  Instantly her flow of blood ceased, and she sensed in her body that she was cured of her affliction. At once Jesus realized in Himself that power had gone out from Him. He turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My robes?” His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing against You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’” So He was looking around to see who had done this.  Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came with fear and trembling, fell down before Him, and told Him the whole truth.  “Daughter,” He said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be free from your affliction.” While He was still speaking, people came from the synagogue leader’s house and said, “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher anymore?” But when Jesus overheard what was said, He told the synagogue leader, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.”  He did not let anyone accompany Him except Peter, James, and John, James’s brother.  They came to the leader’s house, and He saw a commotion—people weeping and wailing loudly.  He went in and said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” They started laughing at Him, but He put them all outside. He took the child’s father, mother, and those who were with Him, and entered the place where the child was.  Then He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”).  Immediately the girl got up and began to walk. (She was 12 years old.) At this they were utterly astounded.  Then He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this and said that she should be given something to eat.

Jeremy's Commentary:
Today' scripture passage finds amongst the tombs on Gerasenes, on the path to a dying little girls house and the hopelessness of a woman whom had been bleeding for 12 years.  Our themes range fron deliverence, desparation and determination, and Jesus us at the center of it all.  Delivering a man possessed, a father distressed and a woman who had run out of options.  (I find it interesting that both the woman and the little girl were both 12 years into there struggle.)

I also like how Jesus had the possessed mab stay amd testify, and told Jairus do not fear, have faith.

Question for the day:
Is Jesus at the center of your problems?

Lord Jesus, thank you for being at the center of our lives.  Give us the boldness to proclaim your acts of mercy, the courage to fear not, and strength to reach out and touch you.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Mark Chapter 4 - Day 4

The Parable of the Sower

Again He began to teach by the sea, and a very large crowd gathered around Him. So He got into a boat on the sea and sat down, while the whole crowd was on the shore facing the sea. He taught them many things in parables, and in His teaching He said to them: “Listen! Consider the sower who went out to sow. As he sowed, this occurred: Some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.Other seed fell on rocky ground where it didn’t have much soil, and it sprang up right away, since it didn’t have deep soil. When the sun came up, it was scorched, and since it didn’t have a root, it withered. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it didn’t produce a crop. Still others fell on good ground and produced a crop that increased 30, 60, and 100 times what was sown.” Then He said, “Anyone who has ears to hear should listen!”

Why Jesus Used Parables

10 When He was alone with the Twelve, those who were around Him asked Him about the parables. 11 He answered them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to those outside, everything comes in parables 12 so that
they may look and look,
yet not perceive;
they may listen and listen,
yet not understand;
otherwise, they might turn back—
and be forgiven.[a][b]

The Parable of the Sower Explained

13 Then He said to them: “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any of the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 These[c] are the ones along the path where the word is sown: when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the wordsown in them.[d] 16 And these are[e] the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, immediately they receive it with joy. 17 But they have no root in themselves; they are short-lived. When pressure or persecution comes because of the word, they immediately stumble. 18 Others are sown among thorns; these are the ones who hear the word, 19 but the worries of this age, the seduction[f] of wealth,and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 But the ones sown on good ground are those who hear the word, welcome it, and produce a crop: 30, 60, and 100 times what was sown.”

Using Your Light

21 He also said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket or under a bed? Isn’t it to be put on a lampstand? 22 For nothing is concealed except to be revealed, and nothing hidden except to come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, he should listen!” 24 Then He said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear. By the measure you use,[g] it will be measured and added to you. 25 For to the one who has, it will be given, and from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.”

The Parable of the Growing Seed

26 “The kingdom of God is like this,” He said. “A man scatters seed on the ground; 27 he sleeps and rises—night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows—he doesn’t know how. 28 The soil produces a crop by itself—first the blade, then the head, and then the ripe grain on the head. 29 But as soon as the crop is ready, he sends for the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

30 And He said: “How can we illustrate the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use to describe it? 31 It’s like a mustard seed that, when sown in the soil, is smaller than all the seeds on the ground. 32 And when sown, it comes up and grows taller than all the vegetables, and produces large branches, so that the birds of the sky can nest in its shade.”

Using Parables

33 He would speak the word to them with many parables like these, as they were able to understand. 34 And He did not speak to them without a parable. Privately, however, He would explain everything to His own disciples.

Wind and Wave Obey the Master

35 On that day, when evening had come, He told them, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the sea.” 36 So they left the crowd and took Him along since He was already in the boat. And other boats were with Him. 37 A fierce windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke Him up and said to Him, “Teacher! Don’t You care that we’re going to die?”
39 He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Silence! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 Then He said to them, “Why are you fearful? Do you still have no faith?”
41 And they were terrified and asked one another, “Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

Jeremy's Commentary:
Jesus's use of parables has always fascinated me.  I love the fact the Jesus wraps his truths in stories that have practical applications (ie, dont throw seeds amonst thorns, dont throw seeds amongst rocks, dont throw seeds on the path).   I love even more, that those practical applications have heavenly implications.  So lets say I am a farmer, I understand what Jesus is talking about.  I get it.  I understand how to sew seed, I understand the life cycle of a seed, I understand how truly small a mustard seed is... however lets quickly take a closer look. 
Our verse of the day is from Mark 4:14 The sower sows the word.  On the surface we understand that as A farmer, throws out some seed, and that seed is the word.  Lets look through a different lens.  The Sower, sows The Word.  When we look at it through a new God centered perspective we see that God is The Sower, and he sows, The Word, which, we know from John 1:1 is Jesus.  However, this is even more complex as we also introduce the Holy Spirit.  The Sower sows The Word.  Meaning that God the Father is the Sower, The Holy Spirit is the agent that delivers for The Sower, to The Word.  
In John 15:26, Jesus says “When the Counselor comes, the One I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father—He will testify about Me.  So God the Father, through His Spirit, to the Witness of Jesus, gives faith to those that hear.  This faith is a seed (we will talk about this later in Corinthians 15) , and this seed, even as small as a mustard seed, will do what it does, to become a massive tree, where many of those same birds from the parable of the sower, will rest.  
Praise God for his perfect paradigm and His Ultimate Power!  Praise be to the KING OF KINGS!!! 

Discussion Question:
How has God used you as the sower?  Can you attest that He truly is The Sower, and the Holy Spirit sows and Jesus is The Word?  How can understanding these parables help us better share our faith?

Lord Jesus, it's all about You.  Sometimes we forget, and make it about us, or our programs, or our memory verses, but it really is all about You.  Thank You for that, it makes it so much easier.  Please give us the boldness to share our faith with all those you direct us to, and to testify of your Glorious Name in all that we do.  Amen

- Bible Text thanks to minsitry of and HCSB
-Key verse in BOLD
- Published by Jeremy Tramell - Oct 17th, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Am I "Adding to the Noise"?

Recently, I decided to take a sabbatical from G+.  The Lord was revealing to me, that I was putting too much of my everything into that little tiny bell.  To be honest, I was making it my god.  So I stepped away, and when I did so many opportunities to worship Jesus entered my life.  Plus... I am not putting my life in danger anymore driving down the road checking in on my stream.  Without constantly checking into my social media, I have had time to be present, and do the things that I want to do.  Like... read a book, read THE BOOK, take time to pray, time to reconnect with my kids, time to be present and share the Gosepl with my coworkers, time to send a word of encouragement to my dad.  Time so precious, I had no idea I was sacrificing it the way I was.

So here is the rub..  Why post this?  Why still write a blog, am I a stumbling block to my brother or sister?  I may be.  I still don't know how to handle that.  I know I have been called ot minister, I have been called to lead folks back to Jesus, I have been called to digitally disciple brothers, and to ensure sisters are doing the same.

The lead singer of Switchfoot was going through these same questions as he penned "Adding to the Noise".  Check out the video, lyrics are including.  (And this was before Social Net).  

So I ask, am I adding to the noise?  If so, please log off, log out and run, run, run.  Your relationship with Jesus Christ is more important that anything else.  "Give us this day..." we can spend it being social?

Mark Chapter 3 - Day 3

The Man with the Paralyzed Hand

Now He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a paralyzed hand. In order to accuse Him, they were watching Him closely to see whether He would heal him on the Sabbath. He told the man with the paralyzed hand, “Stand before us.”[a] Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do what is good or to do what is evil, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. After looking around at them with anger and sorrow at the hardness of their hearts, He told the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out, and his hand was restored. Immediately the Pharisees went out and started plotting with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.

Ministering to the Multitude

Jesus departed with His disciples to the sea, and a large crowd followed from Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and around Tyre and Sidon. The large crowd came to Him because they heard about everything He was doing. Then He told His disciples to have a small boat ready for Him, so the crowd would not crush Him. 10 Since He had healed many, all who had diseases were pressing toward Him to touch Him. 11 Whenever the unclean spirits saw Him, those possessed fell down before Him and cried out, “You are the Son of God!” 12 And He would strongly warn them not to make Him known.

The 12 Apostles

13 Then He went up the mountain and summoned those He wanted, and they came to Him. 14 He also appointed 12—He also named them apostles[b]—to be with Him, to send them out to preach, 15 and to have authority to[c] drive out demons.
16 He appointed the Twelve:[d]
To Simon, He gave the name Peter;
17 and to James the son of Zebedee,
and to his brother John,
He gave the name “Boanerges”
(that is, “Sons of Thunder”);
18 Andrew;
Philip and Bartholomew;
Matthew and Thomas;
James the son of Alphaeus,
and Thaddaeus;
Simon the Zealot,[e]
19 and Judas Iscariot,[f]
who also betrayed Him.

A House Divided

20 Then He went home, and the crowd gathered again so that they were not even able to eat.[g] 21 When His family heard this, they set out to restrain Him, because they said, “He’s out of His mind.”
22 The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul in Him!” and, “He drives out demons by the ruler of the demons!”
23 So He summoned them and spoke to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan rebels against himself and is divided, he cannot stand but is finished![h]
27 “On the other hand, no one can enter a strong man’s house and rob his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he will rob his house. 28 I assure you: People will be forgiven for all sins[i] and whatever blasphemies they may blaspheme. 29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”[j]— 30 because they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

True Relationships

31 Then His mother and His brothers came, and standing outside, they sent word to Him and called Him. 32 A crowd was sitting around Him and told Him, “Look, Your mother, Your brothers, and Your sisters[k] are outside asking for You.”
33 He replied to them, “Who are My mother and My brothers?” 34 And looking about at those who were sitting in a circle around Him, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 35 Whoever does the will of God is My brother and sister and mother.”

Jeremy's Commentary:
Today's chapter has me all over the place.  We start off in the synagogue on the Sabbath.  First, Jesus challenges the pharisees on there perception of good and evil.  Then, they just stare at Him, and it says with anger and sorrow at the hardness of heart... He told the man to stretch out your hand.  Then the pharisees got up, and left, and began to plot and plan on his destruction.  They were mad at the Lord of the Sabbath, because that was their day... and He made it about God and the miraculous.  
People outside of the synagogue, far from being able to come to synangouge (unlcean) are coming from all over to be healed.  Literally even outside of Israel they are coming to see Him, to be touched by the Masters hand.  He calls disciples and gives them authority to preach, and to cast out demons.  Then he goes home, its so crowded there his family thinks he has lost his mind.  So lets get this straight... Church family (plotting to kill him), Home Family (thinks He has lost His mind), and now his synagogue 
Then he goes home, and its so crowded, because so many people coming from all over (literally all of Israel and beyond) were coming over for a healing.  Which was driving his family crazy.    Calls some disciples, gives them authority to preach and to cast out demons.  Speaking of demons, he is acused of being able to cast out demons by the power ruler of demons.  So much for a thank you... Wow!!  So he sets them straight and then teaches us of the strongman.  
So it seems as though the strongman is the protector.  The house cant get robbed, until the strongman is tied up. So it begs to ask... who is The Strongman?  Who is your Strongman?  

Question of the Day:
Have you made Jesus the Strongman of your life?  

Jesus, You are my Strongman.  Thank you for your service and protection for myself, and also my family.  I don't have much to give, but what I have is yours.  Yours truly and forever, 

- Bible Text thanks to minsitry of and HCSB
-Key verse in BOLD
- Published by Jeremy Tramell - Oct 16th, 2014