Luke 8:1-3; Mark 3:20-30; Matthew 12:22-45; Mark 3:31-35; Matthew 12:46-50; Luke 8:19-21; Mark 4:1-9; Matthew 13:1-9; Luke 8:4-8; Mark 4:10-20
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Mark: Commentary from bible.org on Mark chapter 3 is at this link and at this link. In Mark 3:28-29 we read about the unpardonable sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. A great website link with tons of great info about the context of these verses and what it means to us today is at this link:
Mark chapter 3 verses 33-35 make an impact on me each time I read it: "Jesus replied, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?" Then he looked at those around him and said, "These are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does God's will is my brother and sister and mother." This last sentence is a powerful proclamation from Jesus. If we are obedient to God's will in our life we are brothers and sisters and mothers of Jesus. Pretty amazing to think about! Jesus is not only our savior - but our brother. And later he calls us friends. Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary puts it this way - "It is a great comfort to all true Christians, that they are dearer to Christ than mother, brother, or sister as such, merely as relations in the flesh would have been, even had they been holy. Blessed be God, this great and gracious privilege is ours even now; for though Christ's bodily presence cannot be enjoyed by us, his spiritual presence is not denied us."
Mark chapter 4's parable of the Farmer scattering seed is a parable that I am sure can convict each of us in various ways. Verses 16 through 18 I am afraid can sometimes represent all too well the "soil" of our hearts... "The rocky soil represents those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But like young plants in such soil, their roots don't go very deep. At first they get along fine, but they wilt as soon as they have problems or are persecuted because they believe the word. The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the Good News, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for nice things, so no crop is produced." The crowding out of the Good News by the cares of this life and the desire for nice things is where I am afraid we miss the mark too often. And when we succumb to theses cares & desires, indeed, no crop is produced. However - I do pray that there are moments in life where we can see the amazing power & truth in verse 20: "But the good soil represents those who hear and accept God's message and produce a huge harvest--thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted." I just pray for more consistency in our lives to live in verse 20 than in the previous verses... How is the soil of your heart? Which verses in this parable are you living in these days? Are you receiving God's Word into your heart? Will you allowing God's Word in your heart to produce a huge harvest?
Worship God: Today's readings reminded me of the David Crowder song on the radio these days called "How He Loves." Here's an artist named Jared Anderson covering this song live. Beautiful song!
Do you know how He loves us? Click here for Love!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!