KJB Daily Devotion – Following Jesus Through Every Chapter
Date: Friday, October 19, 2018
Chapters: Matthew 15, Mark 7
Message: Fighting The Battle With Christ
Hello My Friend,
I have a confession to make, I have this rage in me that seems to be getting worse the more I allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in me, and I feel like Jesus and the devil are fighting a battle right inside of me. Now, I know the devil cannot have me because I belong to Jesus, praise God, but he is sure doing a good a job at messing with my heart. We often wonder how people, good natured people can turn into something evil, but I can definitely understand how this is possible now, and it all starts with the heart. I am not walking away from Jesus, He is my strength, so, just in case you are reading this, Satan, and I know you are, get lost, I am not going to give in to your lies and will succumb no longer to your evil plot to destroy my faith. Yes, I just did that, I just rebuked the devil right here. You see, if we allow him to, he will get a hold of our heart, and will fill it with things like pride, envy, lust, and before you know it you are succumbing to his evil ways. And this is why we do need to be sober and vigilant to what is going in around us. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” – I Peter 5:8-10.
“Be sober, be vigilant;” Yes, I know I used this passage a couple of times this week, but as you can see with all that is going on in the world it is clear that the devil really is roaring like a lion, he truly is our adversary, and stops at nothing to keep God’s faithful from furthering the Gospel. Funny thing about the devil is that he is not messing with his faithful, he knows they are blind to the truth, who he messes with are those who believe in Jesus. Now, there is a lot of false religion out there, but there is also a lot of false doctrine being taught right within Christ’s church itself. How we determine right from wrong all comes down to the written word itself, are they following God’s rules or the ones they made up themselves. The Pharisees and scribes, prided themselves on their faith, in fact, it was the law of the land, and if they did not follow those rules they were put out of the synagogue, shamed, and perhaps even killed for breaking them. One of their rules was that no one could eat until they washed their hands. They followed Jesus everywhere, determined to catch Him do something wrong.
“Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?” – Mark 7:1-5.
“they found fault.” Those who live this holier than thou life always finds fault in you, but rarely see themselves as having fault. I have another new supervisor at my other job, she wanted to meet and work with me, but what she was really doing was there to judge me, see my work, my disposition, and point out all my faults, all the way down to not having on a collared shirt. Some of the things she was doing were not right, and yet I was the one being evaluated? And now you see my anger. I woke up this morning praying to God feeling like I was of value to none, feeling like no one wants me, they just tolerate me because they need a body. Of course, that is the devil talking, and I told that woman that I am good at my job, I always make sure everything is correct when I finish. Jesus called those traditionalists out for who they truly were, hypocrites.
“Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” – Matthew 15:7-14.
“Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended,” Point out that they do, in fact, have faults, and they will be offended. Why do you think these fools are out there protesting something they are blind to themselves. Blind leaders of the blind, that is who they are, and they will get what is coming to them. Now, the good thing about reading the Bible as the events happen is that you get a bigger picture of what is going on, the disciples had a hard time trying to figure out what Jesus meant when He said that they were defiled.
“And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable. And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats? And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” – Mark 7:17-23.
“out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts,” Oh, let me tell you how true this is, even with the slightest bit of pride, envy, or lust getting into the heart, evil thoughts arise, and if you dwell on it enough you really start to act on that. And it does not matter if you are saved, following all the rules of the church, or even serving in the church, if we are not grounded in Christ we will succumb to those thoughts, and that is what defiles us. Just because we are saved by faith, that does not mean Jesus does not want us to trust Him with everything else, and sometimes He is going to test our heart. We find this when a Canaanite (Gentile) woman (Mark recognizes her as Greek), came to Him seeking healing for her daughter who had been cursed by the devil.
“And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” – Matthew 15:22-28.
“O woman, great is thy faith:” This is almost like the woman who touched the hem of His garment and was healed, she had so much faith in Jesus that if He touched her daughter with His power the size of a crumb that she would be healed. Jesus wanted to show the Jews that no matter who came to Him believing they will be saved. And just because they believed that He was a healer that did not mean they believed Him to be the Messiah. A man was brought to Jesus who was deaf and stuttered when he spoke, through a rather odd illustration, Jesus heals the man completely.
“And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain. And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it; And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.” – Mark 7:32-37.
“And looking up to heaven, he sighed,” Why was Jesus sighing? Perhaps He knew their faith. One of the stores I work in is near a hospital, as I was being lectured by my supervisor a woman with a glared look came around the corner, now, my supervisor was helping every other customer that crossed our paths, but she did not even speak to this woman. I turned away from my supervisor and asked the woman if she needed anything, and she proceeded to explain that her husband had just been admitted into the hospital and she was looking for some things for him. I wanted to hug her and tell her that Jesus is with them, but did not because my supervisor was there. And the thing was, it was not that I was ashamed of my faith that I did not comfort the woman, it was my lack of judgment, I was more focused on being judged that even though the Holy Spirit was telling me to speak to her I backed off. And this is what it is all about, letting the world know that Jesus is here, because there are many out there wondering what is going to happen to their loved ones, and we are the only ones who can help guide them to Jesus. Which has me thinking that I really need to step up my ministry, start thinking less of myself and more of others. That truly is the true blessing. “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” – Luke 9:23.
Jesus Christ Magnified: “And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.” – Mark 7:34.
Today’s Prayer: God, Thank You for Your mercy and grace to save a sinner like me the second I believed in and received Your Son as my Saviour. Thank You for Your love, wisdom, guidance, and knowledge, and for reminding me that I am of more value that the sparrows. There is no doubt in my mind that the devil stands there in front of you mocking me, taunting you, trying to get you to give up on me, and time and time again You prove him wrong by allowing him to taunt me, and my holding on to Jesus with the very hem of His coat. I know I mess up, I know I fail at something every single day, but You love me and want me and adore me and still use me, and for that, no amount of words or deeds for that matter, can express my gratitude or thanks for everything that You do for me. Lord, lead me and guide me, help me to deny myself, take up my cross, and follow Jesus wherever He leads me. Give me Your words to speak, and let me be the Light the shines Your Son in this dark world. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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