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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Leviticus 14:1-57; Mark 6:30-56; Psalm 40:1-10; Proverbs 10:11-12 (New Living Translation)

Old Testament

1. Skin diseases and how to get clean.

2. Accommodations made for the poor.

3. Mold in houses upon entering Canaan. How to make the house clean and pure, or destroy it.

4. All these offerings were made to pay for sins and be made clean.

- But forgiveness was not really won through the ritual itself. That is the rituals were not meant to be sufficient in and of themselves. Those individuals who chose, and and continue to choose, to dishonor God by refusing to live the just and merciful life the Lord commanded had no real recourse to sacrifice. The Israelites failed to understand this, as we shall see the story continue to unfold.

- The message of sacrifice was never that one could sin whenever we please, and then come to God for easy remedy. Sacrifice was for those whose hearts were already turned to the Lord.

New Testament

5. Jesus feeds the 5,000

- Crowds followed Jesus out into a wilderness place. Out of compassion He taught them until late in the day. Then, realizing the people must be hungry, Jesus fed some 5,000 men, plus uncounted women and children, from five small loaves and two fish. Jesus' miracle combined the power and compassion of God, and reminded readers that this One truly is the Son of God. Surely we cannot only beleive in Jesus; in total faith we can commit ourselves to Him as God's only begotten Son.

6. Jesus walks on water

- Jesus sent His disciples ahead by boat so He might have time alone to pray. When the wind came up later that night, Jesus went to join His followers, walking on the water. When the disciples saw His figure amid the waves, they cried out in fear, thinking He was a ghost.

- Jesus moved toward them, speaking reassuringly. When He reached them, He clombed over the side into the boat, and the winds died down.

- Then Mark gave us stunning information: "They were totally amazed, for they still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in."

- Even Jesus' disciples, who had witnessed every miracle and heard every teaching, did not fully realize who Jesus is!

- We shouldn't be surprised that the crowds who heard Him and witnessed a few of His miracles esitated to commit themselves to Jesus. We shouldn't really be surprised that the religious leaders were skeptical. Even those closest to Jesus did not fully grasp who this Person they had commited themselves to truly is!

- With this story Mark focuses our attention on the heart.

- The heart in Hebrew culture is the sum total of the personality, the essence of the individual. The sripture clearly says that the heart of man was tragically warped during the Fall (remember Adam and Eve).

- Sin has darkened human understanding, twisted human motives, crippled human will, distoted human emotions. Even the disciples of Jesus, who had been so close to Him, were crippled by darkened and hardened hearts.

- It is not enough for Jesus to show Himself to be the Son of God. Somehoe Jesus must deal with deadened, hardened human hearts.


7. "He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along."

- He lifted me out of the mirey clay and planted my feet on rocks to stay..No higher... Lord lift me up (sound familiar?)

8. "He has given me a new song to sing..." Every day He gives me a new song!


9. "The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions."

- Do you speak life over other people and into their lives? Do you do this for your children? Are you an encourager? Or do your words speak death and destruction into the lives of other?...


See you next post...

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