Posts

Are you Blind? (Mark 10:46-52)

Gain What You Cannot Lose

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27)

Here are two great incentives from Jesus to become a World Christian and to dedicate yourself to the cause of Frontier Missions. As a goer or a sender.

  1. Every impossibility with men is possible with God (Mark 10:27). The conversion of hardened sinners will be the work of God and will accord with his sovereign plan. We need not fear or fret over our weakness. The battle is the Lord’s, and he will give the victory.
  2. Christ promises to work for us, and to be for us so much that, when our missionary life is over, we will not be able to say we’ve sacrificed anything (Mark 10:29–30).

When we follow his missionary prescription, we discover that even the painful side effects work to improve our condition. Our spiritual health, our joy, improves a hundredfold. And when we die, we do not die. We gain eternal life.

I do not appeal to you to screw up your courage and sacrifice for Christ. I appeal to you to renounce all you have, to obtain life that satisfies your deepest longings. I appeal to you to count all things as rubbish for the surpassing value of standing in the service of the King of kings. I appeal to you to take off your store-bought rags and put on the garments of God’s ambassadors.

I promise you persecutions and privations — but remember the joy! “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10).

On January 8, 1956, five Waorani Indians of Ecuador killed Jim Elliot and his four missionary companions as they were trying to bring the gospel to the Waorani tribe of sixty people.

Four young wives lost husbands and nine children lost their fathers. Elisabeth Elliot wrote that the world called it a nightmare of tragedy. Then she added, “The world did not recognize the truth of the second clause in Jim Elliot’s credo: ‘He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.’”

By John Piper

Friendship with Jesus

Who is your best friend? Who is the person who has stuck with you through the rough times and celebrated with you in the good times—the one person you trust more than anyone else?

Jesus and His disciple John had a loving relationship that was basically a best friendship. In fact, John is referred to on five occasions as “the one whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23, 19:26, 20:2, 21:7, 21:20).

Arguably, no one knew Jesus as well as John did. Not only were they close friends, but John was also only one of three disciples whom Jesus chose to be a part of His inner circle. Peter, James, and John had unique access to Jesus when the others did not. Subsequently, they were present for the raising of Jairus’s daughter (Mark 5, Luke 8), Jesus’ transfiguration (Matthew 17, Mark 9, Luke 9), and they saw Jesus sweating drops of blood in the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:44). These were moments in Jesus’ life and ministry when no one else was present as an eyewitness.

At the Last Supper, John sat at Jesus’ side and asked who the betrayer of our Lord would be (John 13:23–25). While hanging on the cross to atone for the sin of the world, Jesus looked down at His devastated mother, Mary, and asked John to care for her upon His death (John 19:26–27). That scene pretty much tells us everything we need to know about Jesus. The person who you assign to lovingly care for your mother as you are dying is the person you trust the most.

John was the first man to arrive at the empty tomb (John 20:1–10) and to recognize Jesus had risen from death (John 21:4–7). John was even gazing into heaven as his best friend, Jesus, ascended to His eternal throne (Acts 1:1–11).

What we learn from John is how to be a good friend to Jesus. The life of John should cause us to ask ourselves what kind of friend are we to Jesus? Can He depend on you to follow through with things He asks you to do? This year, what specific things can you do to improve your friendship with Jesus Christ (e.g., Bible reading, prayer, worship, church participation, following through on your commitments, etc.)?

 

by Mark Driscoll

Uncommon Gratitude

On Father’s Day, Learn to be a Son

The Nation of the Cross

Served in Serving Others

Jesus said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened?”(Mark 8:17)

After Jesus had fed both the 5,000 and the 4,000 with only a few loaves and fish, the disciples got in a boat without enough bread for themselves.

When they began to discuss their plight, Jesus said, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand?” (Mark 8:17). What didn’t they understand?

They did not understand the meaning of the leftovers, namely, that Jesus will take care of them when they take care of others. Jesus says,

“When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” They said to him, “Twelve.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.” And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?” (Mark 8:19–21)

Understand what? The leftovers.

The leftovers were for the servers. In fact, the first time there were twelve servers and twelve basketfuls left over (Mark 6:43) — one whole basket for each server. The second time there were seven basketfuls left over — seven, the number of abundant completeness.

What didn’t they understand? That Jesus would take care of them. You can’t out-give Jesus. When you spend your life for others, your needs will be met.

“My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

 

Desiring God – Devotional by John Piper