In Mark 6, the story relates how the five thousand had been listening to the Christ and were hungry. Jesus’s disciples wanted to send them away but He told them to gather up food. They returned with only five loaves and two fishes, but the Christ gave thanks for this and fed the entire multitude with food left over.
One would think that this would have impressed his disciples enough that they would not be surprised at anything. Later that night He walked across the lake to the boat where they were and they were frightened. Mark 6:51-52 reads, “Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were utterly astonished, for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened.”
There are times when I have had prayers answered and immediately, something will come up and there is a tendency to wring my hands. Why would I ever worry when I have seen what God can and will do if we only have faith? My heart becomes hardened when pride and fear are entertained, but softens when my thoughts turn to gratitude and humility.
This morning as I was getting ready to prepare for our afternoon meal in the crock pot, I called out to my husband to cut the chicken up in pieces for me while I chopped everything else. He did without complaint and we had everything on in less that ten minutes. I normally do it myself and sometimes feel a wee bit of resentment that I am doing it all. All I needed to do is call out for help! Isn’t that what we are supposed to do with God rather than think we are on our own!
Colossians 3:13 reads, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” We always, always have a choice! Today I will choose not to feel victimized!
This morning has me pondering about loving some more than others. It seems to me that often there are people who are easier to love and forgive. As I have praying with these thoughts today, Proverbs 3:5-6 comes to mind and it reads, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” If I forgive one, shouldn’t I forgive all? How does God see his creation? I don’t think he picks and chooses, nor will I.
John 8:7 states, “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, ‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.'” This was not only meant for that occasion with the woman caught in adultery, but for any time we think it necessary to see “ungodlike” qualities in someone. Once I read a sentence from an article that is so true to me. ” When I cease to judge, criticize or condemn, I begin to make progress.” This also can mean toward ourselves as well!
John 15:13 reads, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Yes, human unselfishness is highly commendable, but needs to be done wisely. One has to be aware of motives and to guard against personal gratification and self-righteousness. It is always wise to go to God first for direction. When motives are pure, everyone is blessed!
Recently we went to the beach and would rise early so we could watch the sunrise. We would be told what time the sun would come up and we would be on the beach thirty minutes earlier. It was a majestic sight and we knew without a doubt it would come up and there it would be. There is no power on earth that can keep the sun from rising. How on earth can we ever doubt God’s power? We should be that expectant for Good when we pray for direction and know He will answer us.
Lamentations 3:22-23 reads, “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Someone posted on Facebook this morning…”I don’t care what your race is, what your sexual preference is, what political party you belong to , or what other differences we may have, if you are nice to me, I will be nice to you.” This is well and good but doesn’t someone have to be first? I think I will take that thought with me today and be first!
2 Corinthians 1:21-22, reads, “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
As I pray with Revelation 3:19 which reads, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”, I am led to look up old definitions of the word, “chasten”. Some dictionaries say it means to “punish” while others read to “correct”. I choose the one that is to correct because it feels more like I am a student and learning while to punish denotes that I have done something wrong. God is a God of Love and, of course, teaches us and reveals the Truth to us as our heart is softened and our human will power ceases. Repent also means to change the way we are viewing something.
When I think like this, I am both grateful and humbled by this chastening!
This morning, the devotional was a warning of being too concerned of pleasing others rather than God. It is impossible to please everyone and very frustrating as well. We actually never truly knows what others think of us in the first place. Our focus should be on learning more of God, putting Him first and realizing we are never separated from Him.
Hebrews 11:6 states, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” This cannot be done while attempting to please everyone else!
Below is a favorite poem of mine written by Gilbert Carpenter, Jr.
I see myself as God’s own child, as perfect in His sight.
I see my brother-man as well, a perfect child of light.
Then to complete my prayer, I see him seeing me aright..
I see him seeing me seeing him as perfect in Love’s sight.
Thought this was needed now, as always.