Morning Musing: Mark 13:1-4

“As he was going out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Teacher, look! What massive stones! What impressive buildings!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another – all will be thrown down.’ While he was sitting on the Mount of Olives across from the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, ‘Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been to Washington, D.C.? The capital city is truly a wonder of human engineering and architecture. Now, the city itself is a mess. It’s been poorly run for decades. It is generally an uneasy mashup of the very wealthy and the very poor. Its cost of living is sky high. Its crime rate is high and the quality of its school system is low. And the weather is pretty awful most of the time. Except as a matter of pure convenience, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to live there. But when you get to the National Mall, all of that is completely forgotten as you stand in awe and wonder at the beauty surrounding you on all sides. It was designed to impress and it certainly does. It conveys the strength and power of the United States, her people, and her government in a way few other things accomplish. It suggests a permanence that nothing can touch. The temple complex in Jerusalem suggested many of the same things and was built for many of the same purposes. Yet when His disciples stopped to marvel at the whole thing, Jesus gave them a dose of reality that hit like a bucket of cold water. This is a dose of reality we could use ourselves. Let’s talk about it.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 8:31-32

“Then he began to teach them that it was necessary for the Son of Man to suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke openly about this. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever really had your mind blown? The disciples thought they were really starting to figure some things out. After all the doubts and questions and misunderstandings, they had finally gotten their minds around the truth: Jesus was the Messiah. They were certain of it. Everything He had done pointed them unavoidably to this conclusion. There was just one problem? They didn’t have any idea what that actually meant. They thought they did. But they were wrong. Learning the truth was something they were not prepared to do.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 4:35-38

“On that day, when evening had come, he told them, ‘Let’s cross over to the other side of the sea.’ So they left the crowd and took him along since he was in the boat. And other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. He was in the stern sleeping on the cushion. So they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher! Don’t you care that we’re going to die?'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been in a situation that left you completely unnerved, but didn’t seem to bother the other person at all? How were you feeling then? You probably had three competing emotions all vying for dominance in your mind. The first was fear because of the unnerving situation you were in. The second was frustration that the other person was not equally bothered by the situation as you were. The third was wonder at how the other person could keep cool in a situation like the one you were facing. As Jesus and the disciples headed across the Sea of Galilee one evening after a long day of teaching, this was exactly the situation in which they found themselves in one of the wildest stories in the Gospel of Mark. Check this out with me.

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Morning Musing: Malachi 2:17

“You have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet you ask, ‘How have we wearied him?’ When you say, ‘Everyone who does what is evil is good in the Lord’s sight, and he is delighted with them, or else where is the God of justice?'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have your kids ever worn you out? If you are a parent, then the answer to that question is almost assuredly a resounding, “Yes!” That’s just part of the journey of parenthood. The older kids get, the more they begin to look for ways they can assert their growing sense of independence. Unfortunately, that sense of independence does not develop as fast as a spirit of wisdom and discernment regarding the prudence of the choices they make. That is, they may think they’re good, but they still need their parents for guidance and direction. This, of course, creates a tension that can be pretty draining. Well, if you are a parent who has felt this before, you can rest assured that you’re not alone. Not only are there other parents who feel the same way from time to time, but so does your heavenly Father.

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Morning Musing: Zechariah 6:15

“People who are far off will come and build the Lord’s temple, and you will know that the Lord of Armies has sent me to you. This will happen when you fully obey the Lord your God.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Every contract has terms and conditions. These are the things written in fine print at the bottom of the page that most people don’t bother to read very closely. I remember being somewhere that I actually took time to read it and the person waiting for me to sign was not happy that I was being that guy. But if there’s a catch, that is where it will be. Well, what Israel had with God wasn’t a contract, but what Zechariah says here is a bit like some fine print.

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