Morning Musing: Mark 2:6-8

“When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before him. And he cried out with a loud voice, ‘What do you have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you before God, don’t torment me!’ For he had told him, ‘Come out of the man, you unclean spirit.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Everybody has somebody they respect. We all have heroes. We all have people to whom we look up with admiration and imitation. We all have people whose authority we acknowledge. Now, some folks are genuine egoists who truly don’t do any of that, but those are the exceptions to the rule. For most of us, though, we have people under whose authority we are comfortable sitting. The thing is, though, that’s a personal designation. My recognized authorities aren’t the same as yours. But there are some people in positions whose authority is pretty much universally acknowledged; people who command respect from everybody. Jesus is one of those people. And His authority isn’t simply recognized by every person, but by all of creation. That’s a very good thing and Mark gives us a reason why here.

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Digging in Deeper: Malachi 2:8-9

“‘You, on the other hand, have turned from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have violated the covenant of Levi,’ says the Lord of Armies. ‘So I in turn have made you despised and humiliated before all the people because you are not keeping my ways but are showing partiality in your instruction.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

In 1989, Ed Koch lost his bid to be reelected Mayor of New York City in a primary upset to David Dinkins. When later interviewed about it and asked if he would run again, Koch wittily replied that “the people threw me out. And now the people must be punished.” In other words, if the people don’t like the situation they are in, it’s their own fault and they are going to have to own it. And indeed, sometimes when people are in a hard spot, it is their own fault for not receiving and following good leadership. But sometimes it is the fault of bad leadership. Disobedient people may raise the Lord’s ire, but poor leadership just makes Him angry. This is what Malachi reminds us of here.

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Morning Musing: 2 Samuel 15:25-26

“Then the king instructed Zadok, ‘Return the ark of God to the city. If I find favor with the Lord, he will bring me back and allow me to see both it and its dwelling place. However, if he should say, “I do not delight in you,” then here I am — he can do with me whatever pleases him.’”  (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever tried to squeeze a goldfish? Or how about a wet bar of soap? Or it could be just about anything else small and slippery. It’s not an easy thing to do. The tighter you get, the more likely the thing is to slip out of your hand. There are things and positions in our lives that are like this too. The tighter we try and hold on to them, the more likely they are to slip away from us. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Ephesians 6:4

“Father, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

As a father of three boys, this verse has always struck me with a particularly strong force.  The first part of this little section important, to be sure.  My children should obey me because that is right and life will go better for them if they do.  But, am I being the kind of father who invites obedience? Read the rest…