Under whose authority?

“Cease listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray away from the words of knowledge.”  Pr. 19:27

In Mark 1:16-20, Jesus told Simon and Andrew to follow Him.  He also called to James and John, sons of Zebedee, who left their father and went after Jesus.  How convincing must Jesus have sounded to these men?  Seriously.  They were at work, doing their jobs, making money, and this stranger speaks to them and they just leave it all and follow him.  That’s out of the ordinary.

After they went into Capernaum, Jesus taught in the temple and spoke “as one having authority.”  A man with an unclean spirit then approached Him, and Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!”  The spirit came out of the man.

They left the synagogue and went to Simon’s house.  His mother was sick, so Jesus took her by the hand, lifted her up and her fever immediately left her.  That night, the whole city was gathered together at the door of Simon’s house, where Jesus healed their diseases and cast out demons.  He wouldn’t allow the demons to speak.

A leper later came to Jesus to see if He was willing to heal him.  As soon as Jesus spoke the words, “I am willing; be cleansed,” the leprosy left the man.

Have you seen the same pattern I’m seeing?  Jesus’ authority is undeniable.  He spoke to strangers, and they gave up everything for Him.  He spoke to demons and they obeyed.  He spoke to sickness and it left.

What is He speaking to You right now?  Another pattern I’ve noticed is that we tend to try to resist the Lord’s instructions to us.  When the Holy Spirit prompts us to do something we hesitate, we debate, we put it off.  We’re afraid to obey for various reasons.  Why?

Have we given something or someone else more authority in our lives?  Jesus’ authority is undeniable in Mark.  He still has the same authority today.  He does not change.  The only thing that changes is us.  We stray.

How sad that even the demons obeyed Jesus, and yet we try to ignore or debate with Him.

When the Lord speaks to You, listen.  He has the power to make things happen.  All He needs us to do is be willing to be part of His plan.  When we obey the Lord, the outcome is up to Him.  Don’t put Him off any longer.

In fact, may I be so bold to say, let’s be better than the demons, and ask Him in advance to speak to us.  And when He does, let’s simply obey.

Listening for instruction,

jamie

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Where is He?

Pr. 15:3:  “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” 

We’ve heard the question, “Well, where was God when…?”

Psalm 11:4 tells us that “The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold.”

He is keeping watch, and even when it doesn’t “feel” like it, He is still on the throne.

If we are daily seeking after Him, spending time in His presence, and trusting in Him, we will not be disappointed.

Malachi 4 promises:

For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble.  And the day which is coming shall burn them up,” says the Lord of hosts, “that will leave them neither root nor branch.  But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves.  You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this, ” says the Lord of hosts.

Continue with God.  Don’t give up now.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  He does not change.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful, and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Press on, my friends,

jamie

Something worth talking about

Let’s talk about something interesting today:  Jesus.

Did you know that when you talk about The Lord, He listens?

Our Sunday school lesson last week was from Mt. 16:13-20, when Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do you say I am?”  The principle of our lesson was ‘practice talking about God.’  We encouraged our children to get to know Jesus in a more personal way, so they have something to share about Him.

One thing I forgot to mention to them is that when we do talk about The Lord He listens.

Malachi 3:16-17 says, “Then those who feared The Lord spoke to one another, and The Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear The Lord and who meditate on His name.  “They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “on the day that I make them My jewels, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.”

The Lord is writing a book of remembrance.  When we talk about Him:  meditate on His name, praise Him, talk of what He’s done in our lives, talk about His greatness, talk of His strength, talk about Him around our tables and campfires, share about Him with others or with one another, He hears.

He listens and it is so important to Him that he is having a book written to remember the words and one day we will be made His jewels.  :).

Talking about Him is never done in vain.  He says He will spare us…just for talking about something that is probably our favorite subject anyway.  I love to hear people talk about The Lord and His greatness.

Who do you say that Jesus is?  If you’re not sure, read more about Him.  If you know, then share it.  Talk about Him, and as you honor Him, He will record it to be remembered always, and one day you will be His jewel for all eternity.

Happy to share,

jamie

A plan for strength…completed

Pr. 19:21:  “There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel–that will stand.”

I have had tendonitis in my toe since the beginning of July, but for the last 19 days I’ve been walking around in a “boot” from the podiatrist.  So, now my secret is out.  Everyone who notices it asks what happened.  My answer:  I tried to jog.  LOL!  Funny and sad, but true.

Almost 3 years ago I had a lot of plans.  Exercise was my hobby and I loved trying and learning new things.  The more hard-core, the better.  I had big plans for my body fat.  I had a plan and was training for a race I couldn’t wait to enter, and was looking for others.  I had plans for a few 5K’s with my work out buddy.  And then, one day it all changed.

No doctor has ever figured out what happened, but my body broke down and I could no longer exercise.  It eventually got to the point where I could barely walk.  Almost 3 years later, I am much stronger and very functional, and yet here I sit in a boot because I have stubbornly tried to exercise yet again.

Today I found a note in my Bible that is interesting to me.  I was reading Matthew 6 and in the middle of the “Do not worry” section I see that I have written, “Grow my faith, Lord.  I trust in You.”

Over the last few months I have realized that it’s time to stop.  I have come to understand that with all the plans I’d made for myself, it’s clear that my plans were not the same as the Lord’s.  I am reminded that His thoughts are not my thoughts, and His way are not my ways.  So what if I can’t exercise?  It is very clear that’s not what God needs from me.

What do I really want from the Lord?  Was it really so critical that I met my body fat goal?  Was that race the most important plan in my life?  Sure, if I could do those things now, He’d receive glory, but He should be receiving the glory regardless.  He is God.

How about me asking Him to grow my faith?  It is clear that to God, that plan was the most important of all the ones I had.  It coincided with His own plan for my life.  Even though my faith wavered for a moment during the last couple of years, I continued looking to Him and I have grown closer to the Lord than ever before—because of this trial.

Being humbled physically has helped me to humble myself spiritually and to submit my entire life to Him.  Truly I trust in Him in a way I never did before.

My body is the definition of weak, and in this weak state in which I now live, my God’s strength is evident in my life.  Indeed, He is mighty and His plans are perfect!  It is plain to see that His thoughts are of much better things than my own.  I know clearly that His ways are much more pure, productive, and beneficial than mine.

I am grateful for the opportunity to see God’s plans becoming completed in my life.  In my trust, I asked Him to grow my faith, and truly my faith has grown exponentially.  How amazing to see that prayer answered!

What will stand when Jesus returns is all that matters.  His thoughts and His ways are working perfectly together to get us to that place.  If we can but trust in His sovereignty and His provision, we will grow in ways we never thought possible.

Weak in body, but stronger than ever in Him,

jamie