Tag Archives: God

Mark 8:36-37

My take on these 2 verses;
Mark 8:36-37
“… For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?”

Observations;
In this life we are taught ‘survival of the fittest’, ‘me first’, ‘nice guys finish last’, and other expression that are beaten into our minds which later develop into our way of thinking and the way we make decions and the way we react in situations. This way of thinking is called selfishness…. it is a disease and there is a cure for it if we choose to accept the treatment. With this treatment we will have to change some things like our diet; what we hear, what we see, what we read, who we hang out with, what influences us, etc. It will be a hard battle, and there will be temptations on the way, but we need to make the dietary change and get the proper nutrition and live a healthier life. While we live this disease filled life, pre-cure, we think “oh if I only had that job, that promotion, that relationship, that house, that family, that raise, that pool, that car, that lifestyle, that scholarship, that degree….”, you get the picture, that we would somehow be fulfilled in life, have that ultimate accomplishment that makes us feel like we are on top “finally”, and we can “finally” be content, happy, at peace, and filled with a never ending joy. Yet to the contrary we are empty because we know deep down that everything we have and have obtained was out of selfishness. Everything was all for the big M-E, it didn’t benefit anyone else in fact you had to hurt and possibly destroy someone else’s life, well being, self esteem, career, marriage, etc… to get where you are. So the question proposed is why would you trade your soul, causing your soul to slowly pass away (dying with every selfish decision, word, action, etc…), just so you can have temporal items which eventually come and go, that lose their value, that constantly need replacement, and that only reflect your selfisness and shallow emptiness. Trading your soul for for these things; what does it profit you? how does it give you fulfillment? does it make you feel like your life is worth living? does it bring you purpose? do youand have joy, happiness, and love? how does it benefit you? When all you have left is NO soul and items, with no Heavenly or eternal value, that will very soon vanish – what do you truly gain that matters? This ‘chasing’ after the world and the temporal never stops by man (you) alone. When you die what will people say about you? Will anyone who ‘actually’ cared about you be in attendance at your funeral? Did you even have true relationships?  Probably not. Those people were a lot like you, and only befriended you because of your money, power, status, and ‘things’ – this way they could use you and have/share what you had with the least amount of work and effort…. So when you do see Christ on that last day, what will you have to show Him? Is what you have here be of any value in Heaven? It’s like saying ‘I know I did nothing for the service of others or further your kingdom, but here Christ have the keys to my deluxe coupe mercades benz/ferrari eco hybrid that goes from 0 to 120 in 3.4 seconds in return for the gift of Heaven and eteranal life!” I don’t think so. After thinking on this for a bit, because eventually you will on your own terms, do you think that you could buy favor back, buy your life back, or more importantly your soul? When you sell or trade your soul – which is eternal – to have things that are temporal and pass away – how could you ‘buy’ your soul back? You soldand it to the ‘world’, you gave the ‘world’ something eternal – it wont accept something temporal over something eternal. Thete is nothe ‘return policy’. You could give money to a homeless person, or you could donate to a charity, you could build a house for a 3rd world village, or you could do anything nice, kind, and charitable to make your life have purpose, to help you sleep at night, to buy back and resurrect your soul that you had lost, but it WON’T work. Man alone cannot resurrect a life Christ, and God, alone can – and only Christ,  and God, alone! Find God, rest in His grace, live in His son’s sacrifice and receive salvation, then be empowered by the Holy Spirit to go forth and fully turn your back on your sins, confess them aloud to God and ask for forgiveness from your brothers/sisters (those you hurt) and never do it again by taping into Gods power through prayer. Your disease is this world, your fleshy desires, and passions but your cure is Christ’s salvation and the Good News.


Create In Me A Clean Heart…

Matthew 23:25-26 25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.”

Some people try so hard to look so clean and perfect on the outside; trying to play the part and put on a show for the whole world to see that ‘they’ are pious. Putting in that ‘extra effort’ which results in them being seen as upright and holy in the sight of man. But God reveals all, and all comes out in the wash when He establishes it to be so. Yet on the inside their souls are full of sin; greed, self indulgence, pride, self ambitions, etc… failing to realize that their hypocrisy has ended in their bones rotting as they slowly drift into a path of becoming white washed tombs.
But all are warned, and given a way of escape from this destructive path. By truly cleansing and purifying our inner being, so too will our outer being become so. When we truly set our hearts on God and His word, He will cleanse us of all iniquity as we take the first steps of putting on our new man. He then walks with us on that journey of sanctification until our days end, and forevermore. We are then seen as perfect, because God sees the Christ in us rather than the sin in us.

Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me, Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me…˝

This is my prayer; that I may not be a hypocrite, and that I may not put to shame or mock the word of God by becoming an actor or pretender. But that You may protect me from this vain and vile way of life. And may You create and form and mold a clean heart and spirit within me, erasing all iniquity and defilement. Help me to live a life of righteousness that will glorify You in Your sight and not in the sight of man. I so desperately need your mercies and grace Lord. And may you help me be made holy and pure for the rest of my days, for they are fleeting away like a vapor
– Amen


All Things – Colossians 1:16

“…For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him…” ESV / Commentary


Isaiah 41:10 – HELP

“…fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand….” – ESV / Commentary


Leeland – The Great Awakening

Ever wonder where the lyrics of this song derived from?

Well here is the story…” Then it all came back to me like it was yesterday. I had recorded it at my brother’s house on his piano in the living room. He had a book he was reading at the time called “The Patriots’ Handbook” written by a friend of ours Doctor Grant. The book has a lot of really cool stories about different Godly men and women in American History. I came across a chapter about the Great Awakening revival in the 1700’s. In the chapter they talked about George Whitfield and Jonathan Edwards, the two preachers of this revival. Then right there in the middle of the chapter was a poem about the Great Awakening by Lawrence Tribble, written in the 1700’s. The words just jumped off the page to me. So I immediately ran to the piano and the melody just fell out. It probably was one of the easiest melodies that I’ve ever written. The lyrics were so good that they just inspired a great melody that quickly! It was cool. I jumped up, ran into the studio, sang the idea for everyone and they loved it…” – Leeland


Lamentations 3:22-23 – Grace, Mercy, Faithfulness

“…The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness…” – ESV / Commentary


John 1:1-5 – Word Became Flesh

“…In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it….” – ESV / Commentary


The Highest of the Highest – Hebrews 4:14-16 (part 1 of 2)

Ancient Corinth

In Hebrews 4:14-16 the writer links all that he has said in chapters 3 and 4, and all the way back in chapter 2, where he has identified Jesus Christ as a ‘merciful and faithful high priest‘ who, by his real and perfect humanity, is qualified to ‘make atonement for the sins of the people‘. Here he argues;

(1) ‘we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens‘. This statement anticipates a great truth that he expands on later which is; that Jesus has not gone into the symbolic presence of God – in the tabernacle or temple – as the earthly high priests did, but he has gone into the real spiritual and physical presence of God, not just through the curtain, but through the heavens themselves.

(2) ‘Jesus, the Son of God‘. This great high priest is, as we have seen, a real human being and he is ‘Jesus‘ – the human son of and from a human mother, who walked the earth, cried our tears, and bled our blood. Although He is also more than this for He is the ‘Son of God‘ as the writer has shown in 1:1-14 and 3:1-6.

(3) ‘let us hold fast our confession‘. Therefore, the writer exhorts, that since we have such a high priest; that is fully and perfectly qualified to represent us as ‘man‘ in the presence of God, and is at the same time the exalted divine Son of God who came down to earth specifically be the sacrifice, intercession, and propitiation for our sins, ‘let us hold firmly to the faith we profess‘. The sheer excellence of our great high priest and his qualifications should stir and motivate us to hold fast faith in Him, which is what we profess. Why? Because there is no one who could be more committed to our good, better qualified, more equipped to represent us in the presence of God, and absolutely no one more capable of obtaining eternal salvation for us than Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, the Son of God. To scorn and reject Him, the high priest, is to reject or turn aside the provision of God, which would become the final and absolute rejection of God and eternal living with Him.

(4) ‘we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin‘. This expands on the qualifications of our great high priest; he ‘can sympathize with our weaknesses‘. Why? How come he understands our weaknesses so intimately that he sympathizes? Is he not perfect and without sin? How can a perfect sinless person feel what imperfect people feel? Well, because this perfect person was not perfect because of a unrealistic monastic removal from the world and its temptations – this perfect person was not secluded, confined, head in the sand, ascetic who was severed from the honky-dory way of human existence. Rather, this perfect person, this flesh-and-blood Jesus, lived among us (John 1:14) – as John recorded in 1 John 1:1That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life… ‘ – this perfect person experienced our rejection, our treachery, and our hatred. He heard our scorn and accusations, He felt our whips, our mocking thorns, and our nails. All of this without sin, he was a sinless man, undeserving of the beatings that were meant for us…. you and me. Imagine YOU taking on all the sin and punishment of that sin for the people on the street you live on? How about you taking on the sin and punishment for your neighborhood? For your city? Your county? The whole country? How about the sin and punishment of the whole World? I wouldn’t do it, no, not me… because our great high perist took on the physical punishment but He also took on the spiritual punishment, His soul went to Hell and back for us, over and over and over and over and over and over, AND OVER again. Not only this, but this high priest, this perfect man, was pushed to the very limit of temptation’s power by the great deceiver, until the tempter gave in. From the beginning and the end of His ministry Jesus’ commitment to his Father’s will was tested by the devil, continually. The pressure to give up their faith, which the readers (Hebrews) of this letter were experiencing and facing, was nothing compared to the pressure the devil put on Jesus to deviate Him from the way of the cross, and the Mission, appointed to Him by His Father in Heaven. He knows the strength and the power of temptation and testing – because he endured them in their most ultimate intensity.

(5) ‘Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need…‘ With such a high priest only one response is appropriate, absolute confidence. Rather than being shaken by the pressure being laid on by the Jews for the Hebrews to give up their faith and go back to the ritualistic traditions  of the Old Testament. The writer encourages the readers to put on the confidence of their salvation, rather than to be tormented by the possibility of defection under the persecution conducted by the Romans. These Hebrew believers are encouraged to a bold confidence in their secure relationship with God based on the absolute integrity and supremacy of their great high priest, Jesus, the Son of God, and the absolute effectiveness of Him being the consistent propitiation and intercessor on their behalf. Let us note the significance of the writer’s choice of words:

(a) He describes God’s throne as ‘the throne of grace‘ – for those who believe in Jesus Christ it is no longer a throne of judgement, where a strict tit-for-tat justice will be meted out and sin receive the just and legal punishment it deserves. Because of the sin-bearing, interceding death, of Christ – God’s throne is, for those who have acknowledged Christ, ‘a throne of grace‘. As Paul has pointed out in Romans 5:21…so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord‘. Grace is the operating principle in the kingdom of Jesus Christ, of which every believer is a member.

(b) Not content with describing God’s throne as ‘the throne of grace‘ which in itself should be enough to instil confidence? The writer goes on to assure us that, rather than receiving judgement and condemnation, we will ‘receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need‘. Mercy refers to God’s acknowledgement of our weakness, our inability, and our need. He is doing whatever is necessary for our good and our survival, despite anything in us that might disqualify us from his favor. Grace refers to the act of God in which he chooses not to pay us out our justly due punishment, according to what we deserve, but to grant us absolute freedom from the deserved penalty, and then BLESSING us continually, and giving us eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ. This is the unexpected and almost incredible confidence that all who trust in Jesus Christ can and should have, with no doubt or question. For it’;s and absolute truth. The ‘hold firmly‘ (found in verse 4:14) and ‘approach … with confidence‘ (found in verse 4:16) are expressions of the faith and rest to which the writer is calling us toward. Such faith and rest, such confidence, are the opposite of the sin and disobedience of unbelief against which we are being warned. The challenge confronts us – do we really trust Jesus Christ? Do we really believe God’s word about Christ? Do we really believe in the totality all that Christ did on the cross? For your own meditation re-read the previous paragraph and ask yourself the questions listed there. Identify whether or not you are experiencing the confidence and the rest that Jesus promised to give to those who come to him. If you do not have that confidence, if your soul does not have peace in the presence of God, then you need to re-learn the message of the gospel – in respect to both who Jesus is and what Jesus did. I suggest you start with the Gospel of John Here. Also Pray that God will open your mind and your heart to understand and embrace the massive, liberating, and convicting truths contained in this letter to the Hebrews, and indeed throughout the entire Scriptures and Gospel messages.

Thank you for joining today’s study and we will be seeing you so, finishing the second part of this section.


Joshua 1:8 – Meditate Day and Night

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success….” – ESV / Commentary


Job 28:17-18 – Priceless Wisdom

“…Gold and glass cannot equal it,
nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.
No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal;
the price of wisdom is above pearls…” – ESV / Commentary


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