Morning Musing: Mark 15:8-11

“The crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do for them as was his custom. Pilate answered them, ‘Do you want me to release the king of the Jews for you?’ For he knew it was because of envy that the chief priests had handed him over. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd so that he would release Barabbas to them instead.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever read or listened to someone else read the Bible out loud? Forget about the Bible for a second, have you ever read or heard someone else read any story out loud? How does that usually sound? If we’re being honest, pretty dull and lifeless. Most people read out loud with a monotone voice. Have you ever noticed that? That’s really interesting to me. I don’t know many people who talk like that. When you’re telling someone else a story you care about, you put all kinds of emotion and feeling into it. Your face is animated, you move your hands, you alter the pitch and tone of your voice for emphasis. It’s engaging for others. But when we read something someone else wrote, all of that goes away. I’ve never really been sure why exactly that is. Now, come back to the Bible with me. When we read the Bible out loud like we read everything else out loud, what gets conveyed to the listener is that this is really boring stuff. There’s no life to it. There’s no excitement. There’s no real story. It’s just…blah. The thing is, though, the Bible is anything but blah. Here’s a story that proves it.

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Morning Musing: Mark 14:36

“And he said, ‘Abba, Father! All things are possible for you. Take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever done something you didn’t want to do? How many of you do that at about 8:00 every morning? Life is filled with times when we are faced with having to do things that are not our first choice. In fact, they may not even be our second or third choices. It may be they are so far down the list that you could scroll for days and never find them. But we do them anyway. Why? Many reasons. It could be a sense of duty or obligation. It could be out of compassion for someone else. It could simply be that we like to eat and live indoors. Whatever the reason, though, we set ourselves aside and push through. As you do this, you should know there’s no one who understands this so well as Jesus does. Let’s talk about why.

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Morning Musing: Malachi 3:10

“‘Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in my house. Test me in this way,’ says the Lord of Armies. ‘See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the things we see people being instructed not to do several times in various places in the Scriptures is to test God. We are not to hinge our devotion or obedience to Him on his doing something we want Him to do. He is not at our beck and call. He is God and we are not. In light of this, seeing Him actually command the people to test Him on something here should cause us to sit up and take notice. Well, sit up, and let’s take notice.

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Digging in Deeper: Luke 23:33

“When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals, one on the right and one on the left.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

These are perhaps some of the most unlikely words ever written. God, the eternal creator of the universe, died. On a cross. That’s what it means when it says, “they crucified him.” All modern theories about His perhaps not really dying on the cross to explain away the resurrection aside, when someone was crucified, the end result was their death. Always. But why did it have to be a cross?

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 12:2-3

“keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, so that you won’t grow weary and give up.” (CSB – Read the chapter

Have you ever had somebody do something for you that went way over the top? How did you feel toward them afterwards? You were grateful to be sure, but did you feel a sense of duty toward them? There’s a chance the greater the thing that was done for you, the deeper the sense of duty toward the doer went. And perhaps you managed to work yourself out from under that weight of duty, but you may not have. You may still have someone you feel like you need to serve because of the pressing sense of dutiful gratitude you have for them. 

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