In Jesus name…

Hey WordPress :) I read Mark 9:36-41 today. I think the clear resounding call in this section is that there is power in the name of Jesus and that His name turns society upside down.

Context

This comes in the context from the verses before this section where Jesus rebukes them about wanting to be the greatest saying “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and servant of all.” It seems that His disciples have begun believing they have status because they are Jesus’ disciples. They think they’re the awesome ones instead of the awesome One they belong to. Jesus I think tries to reveal this to them in showing them 3 examples.

1) Children

“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the One who sent me.”

– Mark 9:37

I think Jesus uses the example of children here because children aren’t seen super highly in society. They’re inexperienced, learning and definitely haven’t earned their respect yet. But Jesus here says that welcoming them in His name is welcoming Him and welcoming the One who sent Jesus, who is God the Father. When you want to be the greatest or the “first” you have to be the “very last, and the servant of all.” And the ‘lowest’ of all are these children.

2) Casting out Demons

“Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in Your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”

“Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.”

– Mark 9:39-40

The disciples here are trying to stop some dude casting out demons because “he was not one of us.” I think this is helping us understand the heart of the disciples. The key reason is because that person is not of them. I think it alludes to the disciples thinking they have some sort of status because they’re “The Twelve Special Disciples that Jesus has chosen.” I think they’ve begun to forget that they’re not the special ones but instead they’re chosen by The Special One.

3) Cup of Water

“I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name
because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.”

– Mark 9:41

Giving a cup of water isn’t really a hard task. Anyone can do it. It’s not a glorious, strenuous or impressive task. But Jesus says that if they do that ‘small task’ for His people “will certainly not lose his reward.” Which is an insane thing to say. If you’re looking by an employment job standard, this makes no sense, you’re securing someone eternal life because you’ve seen them give a cup of water to someone. It’s a bit insane. Jesus is absolutely honing down on the disciples false understanding of their ‘status’ and smashing it to bits.


Application

 The disciples have been rebuked by Jesus in these 3 different situations:

Children | the lowest/least of society
Casting out Demons | not part of the #ExclusiveJesusDiscipleGroup
Cup of Water | the simplest and easiest task

Tying them all together is doing them “in Jesus name,” because it’s Jesus’ name that causes you to:

  • Welcome children – the least in society
  • Drive out demons – because Jesus’ name has power not the special disciple group
  • Give cups of water – because you’re serving those who belong to Jesus Jesus’ name turns society on it’s head regardless of how ‘great’ you are, what your ‘status’ is or how ‘simple’ your task is.

The ways that I want to begin applying these truths into my life is to:

Welcome the least | I struggle to welcome those who are elitists and those who persecute the church openly. Will I love and welcome those who I see to be the “least in society” in Jesus name?

Not take status in belonging to Jesus | I cannot take any societal status for being a Christian, for working in ministry, or being in a particular denomination/having a certain theological belief. Will I unify and love those in the church who I see as having a “lesser status than me” in Jesus name?

Take tasks big and small for Jesus | It matters not how ‘big’ or how ‘small’ the task I’m doing for the Jesus is. I want to do everything all in the name of Jesus for His glory not myself. Will I strive to bless and support those who belong to Jesus financially, prayerfully and lovingly in Jesus name?


For there most definitely is power in the name of Jesus. A power that turns society and our pride upside down. Let us look to our Saviour who was the Last and Servant of All.

“If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

– Mark 9:35

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The Greatest Servant

Hey homies I read Mark 9:33-35 today. Found it a really convicting read! A solid 3 verses!

It opens with Jesus and His disciples arriving at Capernaum and Jesus asks them “What were you arguing about on the road?” but they all stay silent because they were arguing about who was the greatest. They all want to be the greatest but they don’t want to fess up to it but Jesus knows their hearts and Jesus cares to sow into them. Jesus replies to them with this :

“If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

– Mark 9:35

What a slap in the face it must have been to the disciples! Like OH DANG, Jesus knows what we were talking and arguing about and now He’s rebuking us, awww mannn. What do you mean the greatest has to be the servant of all and the very last? :( The craziest thing is though, I’m pretty sure Jesus is actually talking about Himself here because just a few verses ago He was saying :

“The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men.
They will kill Him,
and after three days He will rise.”

– Mark 9:31

Jesus upon the cross was the servant of all. He became the absolute very last as He was scorned, beaten, mocked, shamed and ultimately crucified. He died for all of mankind, to be their servant, dying in their place means that He ended up in dead last. (Pun absolutely not intentional ;P)

But this is EXACTLY the reason why Jesus then becomes the first. Jesus because He was the last becomes the first. Jesus is the first and the last. As He rose again and ascended to sit at the right hand of God he became the GREATEST that the disciples were arguing over.

I wrote a random poem at the end as I was thinking about how insanely logic defying what Jesus did on the cross for mankind.


Everyone wants to be the greatest but they don’t realise the cost
They don’t realise that Jesus is the greatest because He goes to the cross
You can see the significance of it all
As you see that which He lost

Relation with the Father, broken as the Father’s face turned away
On the cross did He hang because love drove Him to stay
So that the world would all hear, so they would know and believe
That Jesus alone is the Life, Truth and the Way


“If anyone wants to be first, He must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

– Mark 9:35

My Listening Buddy

Today I didn’t read anything. I just journalled because I felt my brain was so overloaded from everything I’ve been doing! I wrote heaps out but don’t want to bore you homies! I however had 3 sections and each had a sentence which I felt really spoke to me really oddly as I wrote them. (Totally wasn’t planned)


Hey there God, my brain feels like jelly, Ive done so much today. Would you be my listening buddy and sit with me? =)

JOB

“It’s all moving so fast, maybe I’m starting to run on water.”

RELATIONSHIPS

“Regardless of where we end up would the destination be You.”

SOWERS

“I think it teaches me about the nature of ministry, the desire to serve You amidst the unseen. And honestly, I feel blessed from it. Tired… but that’s how you should feel after going hard for God right? Time to feed off You again and refuel =)”


SOUL STATUS

– Filled
– Satisfied
– At Peace


“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

– Philippians 4:6-7

The Breadcrumb Multiplier

Quiet Time – 19.10.2016 [Mark 6:30-44]

Hey homies today I read Mark 6:30-44.  Jesus cracks His Spirit filled knuckles and goes ham on feeding 5000 men and their families!  Today’s gonna be good :)


“So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.  But many who saw them leaving recognised them and ran on foot from all the towns and got ahead of them.”

The story starts with the apostles coming back from being sent out to cast out demons and preaching repentance from earlier in Mark and it happens that there are SO MANY people coming and going that they aren’t even able to eat!  Jesus is getting a critical mass of followers! (IT’S OVER 9000!)  They decide to get back into the boat onto the Sea of Galilee to find a quiet place and to get some rest BUT… the crowd has different plans…  They see them and they RUN AHEAD through all the towns and get to where they’re going before them!

These people are desperate for Jesus.  They’ve heard rumours.  But… Who is He?


“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.  So he began teaching them many things.”

There’s a LARGE CROWD which has run ahead AROUND the Sea of Galilee just to keep up with the One they’re following.  They’re absolutely desperate to be around Him.  And that’s when we see an incredible part of Jesus.  He has compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.

Have you thought what sheep are like?  They’re dumb.  Like SUPER dumb.  They just drift around, eat grass, say “baa” a lot, they’re absolutely lost without a shepherd.  That’s how these people are described, lost, helpless, without direction.  Jesus sees that they need Him.  Jesus loves them.  Jesus cares for them.

Jesus is the compassionate Shepherd.


“By this time it was late in the day, so His disciples came to Him.  “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late.  Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”

Uh oh.  Situation change.  Peeps getting hungry.  Yo Jesus we’re tired, they’re hungry, we should send them off!

And this is where Jesus gets realer than real.


“But He answered, “You give them something to eat.”

What?  Are you serious Jesus?  There’s ain’t no SMALL crowd out there Jesus.  It’s a LARGE crowd Jesus!  There’s like 5000 men and all of their families out there!  THAT’S LIKE 8 MONTHS OF A MAN’S WAGES.  We don’t have ENOUGH JESUS!  Isn’t that like us when God asked us to do something?  We look at the problem and we panic.  We see everything that we DON’T have.  We see everything that we LACK.  We see our INADEQUACIES.

But as if it’s dependant upon us.


“How many loaves DO you have?”

This is where Jesus changes our point of view.  We stop looking at what we DON’T have and instead at what we DO have.  And what do they disciples have?  5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.  For 5000 men… and their families… and it’s late… OH NO ANXIETY, PANIC, OH BEANS… WOAH.  Chill.

What DO you have? 


“Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to Heaven, He gave thanks and broke the loaves.  Then He gave them to His disciples to set before the people.  He also divided the two fish among them all.”

Jesus takes our breadcrumbs.  He doesn’t take what we DON’T have.  He changes our focus to what we DO have.  And He calls us to SUBMIT IT to Him!  Jesus brings it to Himself.

It’s not dependant on what we DO or DON’T have.  It’s dependant on God.


“They all ate and were satisfied.”

Jesus has taken what they DID have and He’s used it INSANELY.  HOW IN THE WORLD DID YOU FEED 5000 MEN AND THEIR WIVES AND CHILDREN AND FAMILIES AND FRIENDS AND BAIWEHIOACWEOIAVHAWEIO??!!  Da heck?!!!

But that’s not all…


“… and the disciples picked up twelve basketfulls of broken pieces of bread and fish.”

Jesus has taken His disciples mediocre breadcrumbs and He’s multiplied it.  He’s asked them to submit it to Him and to trust Him.

Jesus is the miracle worker so surely all the glory goes to Him.


My reaction is just like the disciples.  Jesus tells me to do something that I can’t imagine and I panic.  I look at all the problems and all the things I DON’T have.  Jesus calls us to look at what we DO have and to submit it to Him!

Jesus takes our breadcrumbs and multiplies it!  Jesus makes my mediocre breadcrumbs into a multiplied miracle.

Let’s be real here, Jesus rose a girl from the dead just in the previous chapter. Jesus calmed an entire storm the chapter before that.  Jesus has healed, forgiven, exorcised and done miracle after miracle.  Surely feeding 5000 people with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish is a piece of cake for Him.  The problem is NOT that we haven’t seen enough evidence of God doing this work in our lives, it’s that we don’t TRUST what we have seen.  It’s that we haven’t let His character affect our lives.

We’ve boxed Him in, made Him smaller than He actually is, ignored His character and so we haven’t trusted Him in who He’s actually said He is.

What is in my hand?  What is in your hand?  Let’s submit it to Jesus, the One who can do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20) and let’s see what He’ll do with it in the most impossible of situations.  Let’s dream big fam.  Soli Deo Gloria.

“How many loaves DO you have?”

– Mark 6:38

Running from God

Quiet Time – 18.10.2016 [Psalm 9]

Today I spent so much of my day running from God.  It started really well actually, had a job interview in the morning that went really well, did my laundry, felt great!  Then the girl I’ve been pursuing cancels on coffee this week (which I was totally looking forward to D=) because she’s sick, which is totally fine!  But… as I was rescheduling with her it seemed more and more like she wasn’t as keen as I was.  Huge bummer because I thought I had moved out of the friendzone.

It hurt.

The rest of the day was mostly a blur, my brain felt groggy and slow and my emotions were everywhere.  I also felt like I was avoiding God not really wanting to talk to Him or hear from Him.

I guess I felt far from Him because I was pushing Him away.

At least until now at the classic time of 2:11am where I just have to talk to God and face Him otherwise I’d probably explode.

Time to uncover and face my insecurities.


I decided to go back to one of the habits I used to have which was Praying through the Psalms and decided to write out some prayers I had in response to some of Psalm 9.

“I will praise You, O LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all Your wonders.
I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praises to Your name, O MOST High.”

-Psalm 9:1-2

  • Father God would You help me to remember Your goodness and character.
  • Help me to praise You with every single bit of my heart not with holding anything for myself.
  • Would I testify to Your goodness to all around me.

I drew a heart on the side of that verse and coloured it in and wrote : “ALL my heart.  NOT SOME.”  I knew that I wanted to hold parts of my heart to myself and not give it over to God in praise.  But that’s not how worship is, God demands ALL of us, not SOME of us, not MOST of us, but ALL of us.  Not even 99%.  I can’t hold even that 1%.

Would God take ALL of me and would I be a living sacrifice giving Him the praise that He deserves.


“Those who know Your name will trust You,
for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You.”

-Psalm 9:10

  • I’m sorry that I forgot You were near me God and that I didn’t trust You.  I looked at my own insecurities and fears and tried to deal with them myself.
  • Would You help me to seek You knowing that You are near, knowing that Your Spirit dwells within me.
  • Would You help me to trust You, knowing that I can’t actually deal with these things myself.

This verse hit me hard when I read it out loud.  It was as if God was speaking to me showing me pretty clearly that I had forgotten all about Him today.  But it felt like He was speaking to me so gently at the same time… it wasn’t like He was condemning me or putting me down but instead… reassuring me.  “Trust me for I am WITH YOU” is what I felt He was saying to me.

What an insanely timely comfort.  


You know that feeling of peace inside that comes only after You’ve given everything to God?  Yeah… that’s how I feel now.  I’m still sad, and I’m still not sure what’s up with things but I do know the more important things.  God’s calling me to walk with Him, to remember that He is near and to praise Him.  I don’t know a lot of things in my life, but if I can be walking with God, remembering that He’s near and praising Him I’m sure things will turn out just fine :)

“The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.”

-Psalm 9:9

Herod and John the Baptist…

Quiet Time – 13.10.2016 [Mark 6:14-29]

Hey homie just read Mark 6:14-29. It’s this super side story about King Herod, his wife and John the Baptist who ends up getting beheaded.


WHO IS JESUS?

“King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known.”

Jesus’ been doing heaps of stuff all over and the rumours are starting to spread and the hottest question of the day is WHO IS JESUS? Some were saying that it was John the Baptist raised from the dead. Some were saying that it’s Elijah. Others said a prophet, just like the prophets of old. It seems that everybody who has seen or heard about Jesus has formed their own opinion about who Jesus is but the truth is that:

NOBODY really knows who Jesus is!

I think this is pretty similar to nowadays. Most people have heard of Jesus and have some conception of who He is regardless of whether it’s actually true or not. I want to make sure I don’t get caught up in different arguments about what Christianity is or isn’t but instead want to help people focus on looking at the person and character of Jesus as shown in His Word. People will then be able to make their own decision about Who Jesus Is for themselves. Praying that the Spirit might work in many people as they see who Jesus says He is and that they might respond in repentance and faith in Him as their LORD.


PEOPLE ARE SINFUL AND MESSED UP

“For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to…”

This story is full of huge amounts of question marks and stuff that makes you sad :( Herod has taken his brother’s wife for himself which is already super messed up in itself. Essentially John the Baptist was telling Herod that it’s totally not okay to marry your brother’s wife and Herodias (Herod’s wife) totally gets offended. She then starts hating him and tries to kill him. It ends up with Herod throwing a birthday party and things start going pear shaped. Herodias’ daughter dances for Herod and he likes it so much that he offers her anything up to half his kingdom. Herodias tells her daughter to ask Herod for John the Baptist’s head.

Herodias uses her daughter to seduce and trick her own husband… It’s just messed up.

What a display of what our sinful nature looks like. Whats more on top of that is that the law that John said over Herod OFFENDED Herodias. John ended up being hated and killed by sinful people who were OFFENDED by what God’s LORDSHIP meant over their lives. They hated hearing the Law that John gave them so they killed him.

This reminds me a lot of Jesus. The King who was so good that people had to find any excuse to hate, mock and kill Him. The fact that there is a King who demands all of our lives offends people. Our sinful nature is selfish and refuses to back down to any King other than ourselves. As we preach the Gospel we need to remember the reality and truth of persecution.

Preaching the Gospel invites persecution and hate.

Let’s keep being bold knowing that as we preach the Gospel the Spirit works in people’s hearts convincing them that He is LORD over their lives.  Let’s keep being bold knowing that many might repent and turn to Jesus in faith.  Let’s keep being bold preaching the Gospel because if we don’t do it, who will?


“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…”

– 2 Timothy 3:12

A Lack of Faith…

Quiet Time – 5.10.2016 [Mark 6:1-6]

Hey homie I just read Mark 6:1-6.  Jesus goes back to His hometown and they don’t respond well to Him, in fact they’re described to have an amazing lack of faith!  It ends up with Jesus not doing many miracles there except heal a few sick people.

The people of Nazareth is another example of how people react to who Jesus is.  They live by sight and doubt who He is because of what they’ve seen.


The People of Nazareth

It’s starts off with Jesus teaching in the synagogue and “many who heard Him were amazed…” but they’re not amazed for what you might think.  They begin asking questions like “Where did this man get these things?” and “What’s this wisdom that has been given Him, that He even does miracles!  Isn’t this the carpenter?  Isn’t this Mary’s Son…”  They’re extremely doubtful of Jesus because they’re remembering who He was when He was growing up and living here before He began His public ministry.  He surely can’t be anything else!

The people of Nazareth have a lack of faith because they’re focusing on what they’ve seen only.  They don’t even consider if what Jesus is saying to them is true, if He is who He says He is.  


Jesus

Jesus sees this and is “amazed at their lack of faith.”  They give Jesus’ Words absolutely no consideration, not even the slightest chance.  They deny who Jesus is by relying on their sight.  They live by sight and not by faith.  Just as C.S Lewis argues, Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic or LORD.  It seems that the people of Nazareth see Him as both a liar and a lunatic.

They deny who Jesus is as they live by sight and not by faith.


Application

From seeing this I asked myself:

  • How do I deny His character?
  • How do I fail to respond to who Jesus is?
  • How do I live by sight instead of trusting in God’s promises?

How do I deny His character?

I often deny the fact that Jesus is enough in the way I see relationships.  I can sometimes feel that if I had a partner I would be happier, more satisfied or more fulfilled.  This is a straight up lie.   In fact human partners are all deficient, they can never satisfy me the way that I intrinsically need because it’s only found in Jesus.

Jesus is absolutely enough for me. 


How do I fail to respond to who Jesus is?

Jesus is king.  He is LORD above all.  But if someone was to look at how I live would they see that Jesus is Lord over all of my life?  Maybe on the surface they would, “Oh!  You’re involved in ministry and all these great leadership roles!  You must be having Jesus as Lord over all of your life!”  But what about my time at home?  What about all the time I spend procrastinating because I’m too lazy and slothful?

I need to be intentional with the way I spend my time at home, one of the ways for me to do this is cut down on the time I spend watching YouTube and rest in a way that will actually help me look at Jesus.

I want to live in a way that shows to everyone that I live for a King who is not myself.  I live for a Kingdom that is not here.  


How do I live by sight instead of trusting in God’s promises?

I live by faith because I trust in myself, my skills and my gifts as I serve in ministry.  I get the delusion that past ministries have borne much fruit because of how skillful I was, how gifted I was, how much I tried to achieve success through them.  In reality they bear fruit because God is Sovereign and He always works by His Spirit whenever His Word is opened to achieve His purposes.  I try to claim His success as my all and delude myself to thinking that I’m the important gear that makes everything run.  Only God does this.  If it was reliant upon me everything would legitimately fall apart.

One way that I can stay humble and remember to rely upon God’s promises instead of what I can achieve is by staying in prayer.  Prayer is how you can really tell if someone trusts God or not.

Prayer is NOT the preparation for the more important thing.
It IS the more important thing.


“Jesus said to them, “Only in His hometown, among His relatives and in His own house is a prophet without honour.”  He could not do any miracles there, except lay His hands on a few sick people and heal them.  And He was amazed at their lack of faith.”

– Mark 6:4-6