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January 9, 2018

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year

Text: Genesis 27 – Genesis 29
Audio: Genesis 27 – Genesis 29

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Memory Verse of the Week

 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.”
(Mark 8:29 ESV)

Mark 9 (ESV)

And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.

And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead might mean.11 And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?”12 And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”

14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” 19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”

30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.

33 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name,and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40 For the one who is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.

42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ 49 For everyone will be salted with fire. 50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

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Next: Mark 10

Back: Mark 8

This Post Has 22 Comments
  1. On Sunday we spoke of people who either explain way "hard" verses in the Bible or choose to believe only verses they agree with and disregard the rest. A common misconception of this group is that the Old Testament writings hold no relevance to Christians today and the writings of the Apostle Paul (in particular) in the New Testament should be ignored or removed from the Bible. 

    The outcome of these heretical views is a welcoming, affirming and even a kinship with those who are outside of the kingdom of God, who are not born again, who do not believe in Jesus Christ, who do not submit to His Lordship, who would never submit to the authority of Scripture and whose lifestyle choices reflect their rebellion against God.

    When I've spoken to these deceived "believers" about their partnership with the world and the dangers of creating a god in their minds, I was told that many things in the Bible shouldn't even be preached let along believed because it's "dangerous" and could cause people harm. Sadly, this was from a leader (with a public/visible ministry) in a local church. 

    To show the level of deception, he told me we should "only preach Jesus" because much of the rest of the Bible is "hate speech." Incredibly, this person is still in leadership even though the pastor of the church knows his views. 

    So if preaching Jesus is acceptable, I'd like to consider Mark 9:43-48 where Jesus said, "And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.'"

    What did Jesus say?

    If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. Why?

    "It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire."

    If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. Why?

    "It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell."

    If your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. Why?

    "It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell."

    Think of how valuable our hands, feet and eyes are. They are incredibly valuable to us and losing one of them would drastically impact our quality of life and would hinder us enough that it would impact our lives. 

    If this is the message Jesus gave to His disciples, what message would He tell people in the church who pick and choose what to believe in the Bible, do not submit to His Lordship and even though they profess faith in Him, they lead people astray?

    I could imagine (based on Mark 9 and other teachings) He would say:

    It's better to lose friends than to be thrown in hell with them.

    It's better to believe the God of the Bible than believe in your false god and be thrown into the unquenchable fire. 

    It is better if you won't repent of your unbelief and false teaching to keep your unbelief and false teaching to yourself rather than experience Mark 9:42 where Jesus warns them, "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea."

    Yes, Jesus said this in the verse preceding His warnings of being thrown into the unquenchable fires of hell unless you repent (cut off even the most precious things you are holding onto if they are keeping you from submitting your life to Christ).

    Jesus said of Himself, “whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:33). 

    Jesus also said, “For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:26). 

    Our motivation doesn’t matter. If we don’t tell people the truth of the gospel and instead teach others our own gospel, even if out of love for them or our ignorance, we are better to have never been born. If we deny Him, if we are ashamed of Him and His Words, He will be ashamed of us when He returns. 

    Is that a strong statement? Something Jesus would never say?

    He did say it in Matthew 26:24, “The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

    I have a suspicion those who think preachers should only preach Jesus have never read the words of Jesus and if they heard or read them, they would edit out what they don't like. 

      1. Thanks, Michelle.

        May the Lord use it to caution US ALL to know our place before God Almighty and never appoint ourselves above Him and His Word which is to deny Him of His sovereign authority.

        Merle d’ Aubigne (19th century historian) said, “As we advance through the centuries, light and life begin to decrease within the Church. Why? Because the torch of Scripture begins to grow dim and because the deceitful light of human authorities to replace it.”

        What an incredibly prophetic word.

         

    1. Amen Scott. 

      Too often churches want to create God in their image. They think the word of God an ancient text that they can parse little tasty morsels that are like honey to the tongue but in the end it will become bitter in their soul. 

       

  2. Mark 9:35. This makes me think of the times when I get in line first for food. I need to go last from now on and be a servant by letting others go first.

    1. That's certainly a practical application of Mark 9:35! 

      Your comment made me think how to be at stop and yield signs, how to handle people backing out of parking spaces (in front of me) and even how be better in conversation. 

      Thanks for commenting, Charlene! It made me see this verse in ways that are practical in my own life. 

  3. When I was reading chapter 9 this morning, I thought it would've been better to have split it into multiple chapters, maybe even 4. There's so much here! 

    Verse 1 sent me off on a rabbit trail, and I spent the morning studying the "kingdom of God." I have a much clearer image now of the underlying theme throughout the whole of Scripture of God being THE SOVEREIGN over everything and everyone, but our having free will to submit ourselves to His authority or not, to choose who or what we will serve, and to be led by His Spirit when we are born again and become citizens of the kingdom of God. I also have a clearer picture concerning followers of Christ being "citizens of heaven" even as we're here now, in "the world"; our role as ambassadors, given a specific ministry of reconciliation to God; the various "kingdoms" on earth and how even evil kingdoms and authorities are under the sovereignty of God — and even part of His purposes; the "kingdom of darkness"; the parables with people being "inside" and "outside"; Jesus as the "King of Kings and Lord of Lords"; Satan's role; the coming final judgment; and so much more. And that was only after reading one little article. Well worth studying! 

    I also filled my journal with questions and thoughts on vv. 17-29 (faith), v. 19 alone (prayer), v. 32 (fear, pride, humility), vv. 38-39 (interesting!), and v. 49 (what does this mean?).

    What a great way to spend the morning!

    1. Wonderful to read this, Michelle!

      I'm thankful that you had the day off and could take the time to study and go on those rabbit trails! 

      I've chased quite a few myself! 🙂

  4. I dont share the gospel with anyone because i dont know it myself so how could i share.  I am on my way to learning it.  Feel i dont know enough and cant back it up with scripture to open my mouth.  Dont believe anyone has crossed my path where i could share.  

    I am in the process of finding out where i myself am at in my walk with Jesus.  Perhaps one day.  I would like to say someday " One More For Jesus".  

    1. Dear Bonnie – You are certainly on your way! I have been rejoicing at all the Lord is showing you and how He is working in your life and stirring in your soul.  

      I am blessed you are with us and even more blessed that you are my friend. 

      Keep seeking Jesus, Bonnie!

      Jesus said, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7). I commend this to you and will pray this for you. 

      Psalm 37:3 says, "Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act."

      Thanks so much for sharing tonight!

      ~Pastor Scott

    2. Bonnie, I’m so happy to see God clearly at work in your life. What joy your journey is giving me as you bang on that door and refuse to leave it.

      Have you ever read Luke 11:5-13? Jesus is talking about prayer here. The Greek word translated “impudence” in v. 8 means to be shamelessly and boldly persistent (and it’s the only time that word is used in the New Testament). Jesus is telling us to be shamelessly and boldly persistent in our prayers for the Holy Spirit! Keep knocking on that door, Bonnie.

      I’ve been really convicted about not sharing the ramifications of someone’s rejecting Christ — and really, rejecting God’s loving authority — when I share the gospel. The way I share the gospel, it sounds like an invitation. And it is. But I’ve been leaving out the closing of the door, and God’s coming judgment on those who reject His grace. So you’re not alone in struggling with what to say.

  5. The first thing that stands out to me is the healing of the young boy. 

    * Mark 9:15 "And immediately all of the crowd … were greatly amazed and ran up to him …" Something about meeting Jesus leaves the crowds amazed. I wonder how many of the amazed were transformed? While people can be amazed with the presence of Jesus, they need to be transformed. Recognition of Jesus' power and authority does not mean that you have been transformed.
    * The father of the child is seeking help. His father has tried to help the young man since he was a child.
    * I notice that Luke 9:39 implies that the spirit will sometimes leave the boy. 
    * The father, the disciples and Jesus acknowledged that a demon is involved. Mark 9:17
    * I love the father's response to Jesus in Mark 9:24, "I believe; help my unbelief!" I find myself echoing the same prayer often.
    * Jesus cast out the demon in Mark 9:25 and explicitly says "and never enter him again". 
    * Christianity should never be a struggle for power, but a sacrifice for service. Mark 9:35 – 37. Jesus is our example, for he did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. 

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