Today’s devotion comes from Mark 14:53-65.

“They led Jesus away to the high priest;  and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes *gathered together.  Peter had followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest;  and he was sitting with the officers and warming himself at the fire.  Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, and they were not finding any.  For many were giving false testimony against Him, but their testimony was not consistent.  Some stood up and began to give false testimony against Him, saying, “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.’”  Not even in this respect was their testimony consistent.  The high priest stood up and came forward and questioned Jesus, saying, “Do You not answer?  What is it that these men are testifying against You?”  But He kept silent and did not answer.  Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”  And Jesus said, “I am;  and you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, AND COMING WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.”  Tearing his clothes, the high priest *said, “What further need do we have of witnesses?  You have heard the blasphemy;  how does it seem to you?”  And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.  Some began to spit at Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!”  And the officers received Him with slaps in the face.”  Mark 14:53-65.

—————————-

The chief priests and the elders and the scribes thought Jesus was under their control.  But, Jesus knew otherwise.

Like when Jesus was betrayed and arrested, Jesus knew here when He was questioned that if He wanted to do so, He could extricate Himself.  But, Jesus submitted Himself to the will of God the Father that He should suffer and die to redeem God’s elect.

“Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?  How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?”  Matthew 26:53-54.

Other doctrine is continually fearful and anxious about the alleged free-will and power of man.

But, Reformed Doctrine is continually protected and comforted by the will and power of God.

Jesus pointed out to the high priest Who He was and what He had:  “you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, AND COMING WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.”  Verse 62.

Other doctrine teaches that God loves everyone, Jesus died for everyone, and God bows to the alleged free-will of man.

But, Reformed Doctrine teaches that God hates all who do iniquity, Jesus died only for God’s elect, God does not relinquish one bit His sovereign control and dominion over all, and God will destroy all His enemies.   

The following Scriptures show that God hates all the wicked and will destroy all of them.

“4 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness;
No evil dwells with You.
5 The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes;
You hate all who do iniquity.”  Psalm 5:4-5.

“For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.”  Psalm 73:27.

“5 How great are Your works, O LORD!
Your thoughts are very deep.
6 A senseless man has no knowledge,
Nor does a stupid man understand this:
7 That when the wicked sprouted up like grass
And all who did iniquity flourished,
It was only that they might be destroyed forevermore.
8 But You, O Lord, are on high forever.
9 For, behold, Your enemies, O LORD,
For, behold, Your enemies will perish;
All who do iniquity will be scattered.”  Psalm 92:5-9.

The LORD keeps all who love Him,
But all the wicked He will destroy.”  Psalm 145:20.

When Jesus replied to the high priest, He used some of the language of the following two Scriptures to describe His power and His dominion and God’s will which gave it to Him.

“13 “I kept looking in the night visions,
And behold, with the clouds of heaven
One like a Son of Man was coming,
And He came up to the Ancient of Days
And was presented before Him.
14 “And to Him was given dominion,
Glory and a kingdom,
That all the peoples, nations and men of every language
Might serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed.”  Daniel 7:13-14.

“The LORD says to my Lord:
“Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
2 The LORD will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying,
“Rule in the midst of Your enemies.”  Psalm 110:1-2.

The following Psalm chapter 2 provides a good summary and conclusion.

“Why are the nations in an uproar
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!”

4 He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
5 Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury, saying,
6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”

10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
11 Worship the LORD with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.
12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!”  Psalm chapter 2.

Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | October 16, 2018

“I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU”

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 14:43-52.

“Immediately while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, *came up accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who were from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.  Now he who was betraying Him had given them a signal, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one;  seize Him and lead Him away under guard.”  After coming, Judas immediately went to Him, saying, “Rabbi!” and kissed Him.  They laid hands on Him and seized Him.  But one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear.  And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me, as you would against a robber?  Every day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me;  but this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures.”  And they all left Him and fled.

A young man was following Him, wearing nothing but a linen sheet over his naked body;  and they *seized him.  But he pulled free of the linen sheet and escaped naked.”  Mark 14:43-52.

———————

“And Jesus *said to them, “You will all fall away, because it is written, ‘I WILL STRIKE DOWN THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP SHALL BE SCATTERED.’”  Mark 14:27.

“And they all left Him and fled.”  Verse 50.

And yet, other doctrine still trusts in man.

But, Reformed Doctrine trusts in God:  “… for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,”  Hebrews 13:5.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;  and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish;  and no one will snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all;  and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”  John 10:27-29.

Reformed Doctrine trusts God to keep us in His Almighty and Fatherly hands and to save us from the beginning to the end:   from the beginning of “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement” through “Irresistible Grace” to the end of “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, Reformed Doctrine of Salvation, as more fully taught in the Reformed creed Canons of Dordt. 

“For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;  and these whom He predestined, He also called;  and these whom He called, He also justified;  and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”  Romans 8:29-30.

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 14:32-42.

“They *came to a place named Gethsemane;  and He *said to His disciples, “Sit here until I have prayed.”  And He *took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled.  And He *said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death;  remain here and keep watch.”  And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by.  And He was saying, “Abba!  Father!  All things are possible for You;  remove this cup from Me;  yet not what I will, but what You will.”  And He *came and *found them sleeping, and *said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep?  Could you not keep watch for one hour?  Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation;  the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  Again He went away and prayed, saying the same words.  And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy;  and they did not know what to answer Him.  And He *came the third time, and *said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting?  It is enough;  the hour has come;  behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.  Get up, let us be going;  behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”  Mark 14:32-42.

————————

Jesus came to earth to do God’s will.

“THEN I SAID, ‘BEHOLD I HAVE COME
(IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME)
TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD.’”  Hebrews 10:7.

Nevertheless, despite Jesus’ distress and passion for doing God’s will, other doctrine still focuses on man and what man should do, thinking it can do God’s will and is quite righteous using its free-will to do God’s will.

But, Reformed Doctrine focuses on God and the will of God the Father and how God the Son (Jesus) did the the will of God the Father.

By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;  but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet.  For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.  And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us;  for after saying,

“THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM
AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD:
I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART,
AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,”

He then says,

“AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS
I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.”

Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.”  Hebrews 10:10-18.

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 14:12-31.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+14&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“As they were reclining at the table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me—one who is eating with Me.”  They began to be grieved and to say to Him one by one, “Surely not I?”  And He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who dips with Me in the bowl.  For the Son of Man is to go just as it is written of Him;  but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed!  It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”

While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it;  this is My body.”  And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.  And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.  Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

And Jesus *said to them, “You will all fall away, because it is written, ‘I WILL STRIKE DOWN THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP SHALL BE SCATTERED.’  But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”  But Peter said to Him, “Even though all may fall away, yet I will not.”  And Jesus *said to him, “Truly I say to you, that this very night, before a rooster crows twice, you yourself will deny Me three times.”  But Peter kept saying insistently, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!”  And they all were saying the same thing also.”  Mark 14:18-31.

——————

One (Judas) betrayed Jesus.

One (Peter) denied Jesus.

They all left Jesus and fled.

And yet, other doctrine bases its trust in man, man’s free-will, man’s wisdom, man’s goodness, and man’s works.

But, Reformed Doctrine bases its trust in God, God’s will, God’s wisdom. God’s goodness, and God’s works.

When you go to church today, are you going to hear about man and what man should do?

Or, are you going to hear about God and what God has done?

“While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it;  this is My body.”  And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.  And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”  Verses 22-24.

“Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”  Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”  So they said to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You?  What work do You perform?  Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness;  as it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.’”  Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.  For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”  John 6:28-33.

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 14:1-9.

“Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread were two days away;  and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth and kill Him;  for they were saying, “Not during the festival, otherwise there might be a riot of the people.”

While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard;  and she broke the vial and poured it over His head.  But some were indignantly remarking to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted?  For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.”  And they were scolding her.  But Jesus said, “Let her alone;  why do you bother her?  She has done a good deed to Me.  For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them;  but you do not always have Me.  She has done what she could;  she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial.  Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”  Mark 14:1-9.

———————

We cannot copy this woman’s good deed that was so appreciated by Jesus and buy and pour very costly perfume over Jesus’ head.  Even if we lived during Jesus’ time and did it earlier in Jesus’ life, it would not mean so much to Jesus as it did right then.  She was exactly at the right place and the right time.  “She has done what she could;  she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial.”  Verse 8.

We may wonder how we can express our love for Jesus in such a way that would also please Him.

There is hope!

Jesus has also placed us at the right place and the right time.  Jesus also gives us gifts, empowers us, and causes us to please Him.

“For the LORD takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.”  Psalm 149:4.

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13.

“Let my meditation be pleasing to Him;
As for me, I shall be glad in the LORD.”  Psalm 104:34.

Today’s devotion comes from Mark chapter 13.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+13&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

Take heed, keep on the alert;  for you do not know when the appointed time will come.  It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert.  Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep.  What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’”  Mark 13:33-36.

————————

In Mark Chapter 13, some of the prophecy was fulfilled by 70 A.D. (destruction of Jerusalem), and some of the prophecy has not yet been fulfilled but will be fulfilled on the return of Christ and the gathering of the elect.  The purpose of this devotion is not to separate the verses and assign them to one of these two categories.

Rather, the purpose of this devotion is to focus on the common advice in verses 33-36 quoted above.

Even if we are not among the mockers who mock the coming day of the Lord in 2 Peter 3:3-9, there is still the danger that we could be complacent or lazy.

And, even if the Lord does not return in our lifetime, we do not know the day of our death when we will meet the Lord.

“Take heed, keep on the alert;  for you do not know when the appointed time will come.”  Verse 33.

“10 As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
Or if due to strength, eighty years,
Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;
For soon it is gone and we fly away.
11 Who understands the power of Your anger
And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?
12 So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.”  Psalm 90:10-12.

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.  So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.  And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;  always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;  and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.”  Ephesians 5:15-21.

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 12:41-44.

“And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury;  and many rich people were putting in large sums.  A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent.  Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury;  for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.”  Mark 12:41-44.

——————

“My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.  For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?  Listen, my beloved brethren:  did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?  But you have dishonored the poor man.  Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court?  Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?

If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well.”  James 2:1-8.

“So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”  Galatians 6:10.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.  …  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;  against such things there is no law.”  Galatians 5:16 and 22-23.

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 12:35-40.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+12&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“In His teaching He was saying:  “Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets, who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers;  these will receive greater condemnation.”  Mark 12:38-40.

———————-

At first glance, it may seem to us that it is not so bad and it is not worthy of the “beware” language to deal with such religious leaders.  We may feel that we can quickly brush aside our feelings of annoyance that they are so full of themselves.

But, then we notice that they present more of a danger.  They use their position to “devour widows’ houses”.

And, when we look at a similar Scripture passage about those who “… do all their deeds to be noticed by men;  …  They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.”  Matthew 23:5-7, we see the following additional and more prevalent danger.

“They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.”  Matthew 23:4.

In sharpest contrast, Jesus came “… to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”  Matthew 20:28.

Jesus said:  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30.

Jesus tied up the heavy loads of the law and laid them on His own shoulders and gave us His Spirit as a yoke:  “in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit”. Romans 8:4.

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 12:28-34.

“One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?”  Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL!  The LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD;  AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’  The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’  There is no other commandment greater than these.”  The scribe said to Him, “Right, Teacher;  You have truly stated that HE IS ONE, AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE BESIDES HIM;  AND TO LOVE HIM WITH ALL THE HEART AND WITH ALL THE UNDERSTANDING AND WITH ALL THE STRENGTH, AND TO LOVE ONE’S NEIGHBOR AS HIMSELF, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”  When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”  After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.”  Mark 12:28-34.

————————

Scripture (such as Deuteronomy chapter 6 and 1 Samuel 15:17-23) teach us that to love the LORD as we should, means that we should obey Him.

“So the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God for our good always and for our survival, as it is today.  It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the LORD our God, just as He commanded us.”  Deuteronomy 6:24-25.

“Samuel said,

“Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.”  1 Samuel 15:22.

And yet, the long and sad story of Israel and our long and sad story as well (both Jew and Gentile) is that we have not obeyed the LORD.

“10 as it is written,

“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”
13 “THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE,

WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING,”
“THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS”;
14 “WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS”;
15 “THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD,
16 DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS,
17 AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN.”
18 “THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.”  Romans 3:10-18.

Nevertheless, other doctrine preaches and teaches as if there is still hope in man.  Man just needs to try harder.

But, Reformed Doctrine recognizes this condition of man which it summarizes as “Total Depravity”, the “T” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, Reformed Doctrine of Salvation, as more fully taught in the Reformed creed Canons of Dordt.  We are “dead” in sin.  Ephesians 2:1.  None of us understands, none does good, none of us seeks God or even fears God.  Romans 3:10-18.  We are hostile to God.  Romans 8:7 and Colossians 1:21.  We are in bondage to sin.  Romans 7:14-15.

Reformed Doctrine preaches and teaches that our only hope is in God Who provides all that we need for salvation from the beginning to the end:  from the beginning of “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement” through “Irresistible Grace” to the end of “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”.

“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you;  and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”  Ezekiel 36:26-27.

“For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.  …  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;  against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”  Galatians 5:14-16 and 22-24.

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 12:18-27.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+12&version=NASB

I quote only the following verse.

“Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God?”  Mark 12:24.

——————–

For today’s devotion, I wanted to focus on the importance of understanding the Scriptures and the power of God, rather than cover in this devotion the one or specific examples of misunderstandings by the Sadducees presented therein.  In other words, we may not have the misunderstandings that the Sadducees, but we will have other misunderstandings, most importantly a misunderstanding of the gospel, the doctrine of salvation,  if we do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God.

Other doctrine teaches a gospel based on the power of man to have wisdom and do good works and have free-will.  Other doctrine does not understand Scripture.

“10 as it is written,

“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”  Romans 3:10-11.

But, Reformed Doctrine teaches the gospel presented by Scripture of the power of God to save from beginning to end.  The Reformed creed Canons of Dordt best summarizes Scripture of this power of God to save from beginning to end.  A nutshell summary of the Canons of Dordt is “TULIP” which shows the power of God to save in five points from the beginning of “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement” through “Irresistible Grace” to the end of “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”.  

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”  Romans 1:16.

“For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  1 Corinthians 1:18.

“For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.  I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”  1 Corinthians 2:2-5.

“For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.”  1 Corinthians 4:20.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;”  2 Corinthians 4:7.

“Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power.”  1 Corinthians 6:4.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”  Ephesians 2:4-7.

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;  seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”  2 Peter 1:2-3.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”  1 Peter 1:3-5.

Older Posts »

Categories