My memory verse for this week:
"Therefore, let us stop passing judgement on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way." Romans 14:13
NTC Day 16
Mark 3-4 and Romans 16
In the Mark readings today, we hear again about the work Jesus did in healing and teaching. We also still see those Pharisees accusing and plotting against Jesus.
They were with Jesus when a man with a withered hand came to him. The Pharisees knew Jesus COULD heal (they believed in his power) but they wanted to see if he WOULD heal on the Sabbath, thus breaking one of the laws. What they couldn't see was that by the act of plotting to kill Jesus on the Sabbath, they were just as guilty of breaking that law as Jesus was.
Why is it that many of us are so willing to condemn others for their sins and not see our own sin blaring in front of us...that message is just as relevant today as it was when Jesus was alive!
Mark 3:27 - When accused of being possessed by Satan because he drove out an evil spirit, Jesus said that Satan cannot drive out Satan. He spoke of how no one can rob a strong man's house and steal his possessions without first tying up the strong man. Jesus was doing just that...tying up Satan's power by freeing his people...freeing the person from being possessed by Satan's spirit.
Last week we talked about how it takes training to live the way God wants us to live. Everyone we meet might be on a different level of training, so we have to be careful how we treat them. Jesus' famous parable of the planting of the seeds illustrates this well. Some hear the word but just aren't ready to believe. Some hear, and want to believe, but they haven't had the training to make it stick. Some hear the word and believe, but are not strong enough to trust God when things get tough. And still others hear, believe, trust and therefore produce a good crop of results for God. Whatever place you are in that continuum, you shouldn't judge others...but continue your training and learn to trust. Even the disciples, who heard all the parables Jesus taught, had Jesus explanations of those parables...they didn't trust enough and were afraid in a storm.
The church is the place for us to support each other and build each other up. In Romans 16, Paul mentions many people of the early church, both men and women, all who had worked hard for the Lord. He also warns that we should be careful not to allow Satan to work his way into the church, causing divisions and obstacles in the good work that we do for God. All the good that we do, building others up, loving others, telling others the good news...these are all to be done for the glory of God, the ultimate purpose of all things.