Mercy & Grace. Two of the sweetest words we will ever hear. But like any other word, familiarity breeds a ho-hum attitude if not outright contempt. When you hear these two words do you still experience wonder and awe? Can you still sing, Amazing grace. How sweet the sound?
God is always trying to give good things to us, but our hands are often too full to receive them.
Whenever a person is arrested in America, they are informed by the police that they have the right to remain silent. Whether the person avails themself of that right is a matter of wisdom.
In the world of Christianity, we hear sermons and read books about the importance of speaking. That speaking may be described as preaching, teaching, sharing, or witnessing. We are urged to speak up, to confess our faith, to provide a verbal witness.
In the 9th chapter of Mark’s gospel, we read of times when silence is commanded or preferred. Below are eleven lessons from Mark 9. These lessons teach us that we should avoid often the urge to run our mouths. These are times we should remain silent.
Recent Medical Heart Activity
In recent months I had a few nights of chest tightness in my medical heart resolved by nitroglycerin pills and even spent Christmas Day in JFK hospital near our home. I visited my cardiologist and she scheduled a stress test for me that took place this past Thursday (April 6, 2017). The normal EKG reports did not show enough. The way to discover the issues was to put the heart in stress and take MRI pictures before and after the stress.
He Must Increase
He must increase, but I must decrease. –John 3:30
In Mark’s gospel, the evangelist records what happened to Jesus immediately after his baptism in the Jordan River. The ESV renders the text this way, The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness (Mark 1:12). Jesus was driven out of the river region into the wilderness. There he was to be tempted by Satan in the midst of wild animals.
Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness.
O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
John Calvin, the Genevan Reformer is a great source when we consider the questions posed in Psalm 44. How do we wed the awful miseries of our lives with the greatness of our God?
John Calvin applies his rich theology to this text. Here are ten statements from his commentary for our instruction and comfort.