Tag Archives: Mark

Edification of the Believer

1thess 2 edify2.One of the most pleasing of attributes of the believer is how he/she edifies others. Upon receipt of the news that the Thessalonians had weathered the storms of the Judaizers attempts to thwart their new faith in Christ, Paul blessed the Lord and blessed these new believers for their steadfastness. They had become model believers for the entire region. Taking a step out of our comfort zone often is difficult but it reaps huge rewards whether we find ourselves in a hostile or peaceful environment. Their work of faith, their labor of love and their endurance of hope was their mark of being a new believer and so it should be of us. We can know that we ‘shine light or cast a shadow on God; we can be a path or an obstacle’ to others who are seeking. [Prof H. Hearon]

It is because of this that Paul reminds these precious Thessalonians how he modeled the Christ-like life before them “exhorting and encouraging you and insisting that you live in a way worthy of God…” This is how a mature disciple disciples a new believer in Christ. Paul now encourages these new babes in Christ to be as he said to the Corinthians “be ye steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” [1Cor 15] and to the Ephesians “be imitators of God.” As we follow these admonitions we are edifying one another in the body and outside the body.

Today may we be models of edification for those in the faith so as to build them up as they walk and talk.

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My Hope When I Fall…..

ImageMark ended his gospel message with hope but there was one disciple who still was lingering and wondering; Peter. Where is he emotionally, spiritually, physically at this time as he considers the possibilities of what may lie ahead? He recoiled at the memory of his courtyard experience where he had denied Jesus three times just as prophesied and had left weeping bitterly. From that point he returned to the only safe haven he knew; with his beloved friends, the disciples who had followed Jesus. John tells us that they were hidden behind closed doors for fear of the Jews. Perhaps they were wondering if they too would be crucified if others found them knowing that their very accents betrayed them. As they sat and mourned the loss of the one they had followed for three years their thoughts did not return to the words of Jesus: “when I am raised, I will meet you in Galilee” but rather their thoughts replayed and rehearsed the past few days and the questions of why, when, how and more. Peter of all would be wondering if ever he could forgive himself and could or would God forgive him? We too have times when we fall and wonder and at these times where we can turn. It is then that we have this promise from Psalm 37:

24 When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.

Did Peter recall these words? We know that John tells us that after Jesus’ resurrection Peter was fully restored…but we are not there yet. Peter yet has to walk the road of misery, mourning, wondering and questioning. But, later he will write what truly happened in his personal letter to those who are suffering. He knows the path and he knows how to encourage. Listen to his words and be encouraged if you too have like Peter experienced a time of falling away: “His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

Today, if you are walking with Peter through the agony of dismay, discouragement, despondency for having fallen in some way; take heart, when you repent there is hope. Where there is hope there is joy. Where there is joy there is peace and God’s protection. It is then that the rest of Psalm 37 rings forth with words of comfort and peace: Trust in the Lord, Delight yourself in the Lord, Commit your way to the Lord; Rest in the Lord. This is our journey back to God.


Piercing the Darkness

ImageFrank Peretti may have written a novel titled “Piercing the Darkness” but in Mark chapter 5 we experience this first hand.



If there is one thing that Jesus is an expert at it is this: do NOT waste a teachable moment! We would do well to glean from this chapter just how he uses each one to open the eyes of the disciples and us the reader to his power to redeem mankind—whether from demons, a hemorrhaging, or an impending death. And in each instance he provides the backdrop for responses for those who see his power in action or those who experience it firsthand.


When Mark wrote he just added one story upon another like a person who seeks to share without taking a breath. So as we read about the fearful storm on the Sea of Galilee in chapter 4 and hear the disciples ask, ““Who then is this? Even the wind and sea obey him!” the modern day reader stops at vs 41, but in reality the answer to that question lies in the beginning of chapter 5 where we meet a man encased by the demons. Where the disciples are left wondering the demons cause the man to bow in reverence and cry out: “Jesus, Son of the Most High God!” Did the disciples thus discern the answer to their question? It is not until later when Jesus asks “who do men say I am” that Peter responds: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”


The question before us is the same. Who is Jesus to you? The demoniac freed from his prison knows and in humility he desired to follow Jesus much like the blind Bartimaeus would do, but this is not the time. Jesus needs the “man freed from demons” to be left behind for Jesus is not wanted in the region of Gadarenes but the message of who He is needed. He will always be known as the “man freed from demons” and will be the first missionary to carry the “LIGHT” to his pagan land. The swine herders may have not wanted to hear the good news of the kingdom for they “loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil.” However, God had a love message that needed to be shared and who better to do it than one through whom the LIGHT pierced the darkness.


Today spiritual darkness hangs like a pall over our culture but we have the LIGHT to pierce it. Will we like this man “Go to your home and to your people and tell them what the Lord has done for you, that he had mercy on you”…that you have been redeemed from darkness to be His witness to your family and friends. How are you doing on this task?