Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Active Belief

Mark 1:14-15

14 Now after John was arrested and put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the good news (the Gospel) of the kingdom of God,

15 And saying, The [appointed period of] time is fulfilled (completed), and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ( have a change of mind which issues in regret for past sins and in change of conduct for the better) and believe (trust in, rely on, and adhere to) the good news (the Gospel).

The Amplified Bible expands the meaning of believe. It entails more than knowledge. It is acting on that knowledge. What do you do with the understanding of the good news and how does it change your life? A little further in Mark, Jesus confronts a demon which recognizes Jesus as the Holy One of God. It knows and believes this to be true, but this is not the belief that saves. Repentance is lacking. The key is a change of conduct which is based on the trust in, reliance on, and adherence to the teaching and salvation offered by Jesus. This is active belief in the good news.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Clues Of The Creator

All things are of God
Our exploration, our search
Only leads to Him
Our increased understanding and knowledge
Only reveals more about Him

Beyond creation
The thought is formed
The Word spoken
And our universe takes shape
All that we know springs forth

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Time Has Come

Mark 1:14-15 (NIV)
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.
15 "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"

Mark 1:14-15 (MSG)
14 After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee preaching the Message of God:
15 "Time's up! God's kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message."

God has revealed Himself. The time has come. Jesus leaves the desert to proclaim that the kingdom of God has drawn close. He brings the good news of what God has done and is doing. He has spanned the distance between heaven and earth, between God and sin. Salvation is only a word away. Peace with God is now possible. We only have to turn and take that step into a new life. It is indeed a change of life, into true life that is everlasting.

The time has come.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Making Sense

The many names of God reflect our insights and experiences of God. He is not static. Neither should our understanding of Him be a one time event. Our view is fed by our ongoing individual and collective experiences. Our life can only make sense in the context of the Living God.

His Word opens the door.

The refreshing rain of heaven falls on all. We soak it in to the degree we are ready.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Riches Of The Desert

Mark 1:12-13 (NIV)
12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert,
13 and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

Mark 1:12-13 (MSG)
12 At once, this same Spirit pushed Jesus out into the wild.
13 For forty wilderness days and nights he was tested by Satan. Wild animals were his companions, and angels took care of him.

I wonder if our life here on earth can be viewed in light of the account of the wilderness experience of Jesus. We often find ourselves in an unexplainable and bewildering world. We encounter all sorts of temptations. We walk in the midst of wild things.

I have often thought that our purpose boils down to one thing: to find God. He is not lost of course, but we are. That is our most important job and the most important decision we will ever make.

In the desert Jesus is confronted by Satan and all of his temptations. Jesus is a long way from the heavenly realms. Even the noise and distractions of the city are far away. He is exposed to the privations of the land and the darkness of Satan in a unique way. Could it not be said that the darkness and suffering that Christ experienced enabled Him to see God’s light more clearly and to more completely be that light? Can the same be said of us?

Jesus leaves the desert in strength and power. He gives that strength and power to us as we walk in our own desert. We too will leave this place and we will be judged by choices we make.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Spirit Remains

John 1:32-34 (NIV)
32 Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.
33 I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'
34 I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God."

In John’s gospel the Spirit is said to remain on Jesus. This is part of how he is to recognize the Son of God. The Holy Spirit has come before, but here John makes the point that this time the Spirit remains. The Spirit is given to Jesus. The Spirit is a sign from heaven of the new thing God is doing. He (the Spirit) empowered Jesus for His ministry and led Jesus through the fulfillment of God’s plan.

John the Baptist prepared the way for the Son of God by bringing to the people the message of their need to repent and turn to God. It would come to pass that Jesus would then send this same Spirit to all who repent and believe. The baptism with water signified the turning away from sin and reaching out toward God. In that baptism the believer is washed and made ready for a new way of living. God reaches out with the Holy Spirit, baptizing the believer into the new kingdom, sealing us as His own and serving as the initial gift and presence of the riches to come.

Jesus came and has gone back to the Father, but the Spirit remains. Because of that, we are children of God.