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Dove

Greetings in the Name of Jesus!

In today's devotional we will see a huge contrast between the attitude of Jesus and that of His Apostles. If you have ever been so absorbed in ministry that "the work" becomes more important than "the purpose", you may recognize yourself in this narrative. The Good News is that if Jesus is in the picture there is always hope.


Welcome to Our New Members


Our Song: Open My Eyes

Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp, and set me free.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see:
Open my eyes, illumine me,
Savior divine!

2.

Open my ears, that I may hear
Voices of truth Thou sendest clear;
And while the wavenotes fall on my ear,
Everything false will disappear.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see:
Open my ears, illumine me,
Savior divine!

3.

Open my mouth, and let me bear
Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart, and let me prepare
Love with Thy children thus to share.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see:
Open my heart, illumine me,
Savior divine!


This Week's Devotional

Open your Bibles to Mark chapter 10 and read verses 13 - 16. Read the verses through several times until you are familiar with the story.

OUR PRAYER

Father we thank you that you are a patient God. We confess that we often loose sight of our purpose in the midst of all the business of our lives. We thank you that in your wisdom, you have placed us in your Church to surround us with fellowship and to guide us back when we stray. We pray Lord that you will so work in the circumstances of our lives and our Churches, that both will become more and more fruitful in your service.............
In Jesus Name

Amen

Mark 10 begins Jesus final ministry tour as he works His way to Jerusalem and the cross. Last week we saw the Pharisees attempt to trap him in the controversy of divorce. This week we will see Him once again confront the Apostles hardening hearts.

Verse 13

The Apostles were probably doing their best to try to manage Jesus' work load. They had often seen him go without food and rest for the sake of the people who came to him for teaching and healing. (Mark 2:1-2, 3:20-21, 6:31)

They thought, "Jesus doesn't have time for children, there are too many people with serious problems and questions that need him, He doesn't have time to waste, - these people with their children are just a nuisance."

Is it like that in your Church or in your small group Bible study? "Those kids are so disruptive, I wish they'd get a baby sitter!" "Did you hear how so-and-so's baby cried during the prayer?" "It was so noisy, I couldn't concentrate on the sermon, I wish they'd do something about the noise."

It is so easy to regard children as a problem that THEY should deal with. It doesn't take children long to realize they're not wanted, it doesn't take parents long to realize their family is "in the way." Is there a place for children in your Church and Bible study?, or are they locked away somewhere so the adults "do their religion?" Jesus didn't see it that way.

Jesus with Children Verse 14

Why was Jesus indignant? Once again the Apostles were out of touch, they had missed the point and their hard hearts were showing. It wasn't the first time. (see Mark 6:52, 8:17, 7:18, 4:40, 9:32, 10:32, 9:19)

Before we become too self righteous, remember that Jesus hand picked these men and they probably fared better than we would under the same circumstances. As always Jesus uses this as an opportunity to teach them.

To the Apostles the children were insignificant, but Jesus declared them to be examples of the qualities needed to attain a place in God's Kingdom. Qualities such as innocence, dependance, trust, and weakness.

Verse 15

In The Bible, the term "Kingdom" refers more to the idea of submission to authority than it does to establishment of a civil government. The picture here is "we need to accept the authority of God ruling our thoughts actions and purposes just as a good child accepts the authority of his loving and caring parents."

How does a good child do this?, with trust, humility, obedience, and teachableness.

It is easy for us to forget these qualities and become knowledgeable, authoritative, and proud. These qualities will only hinder the Lord's access to our hearts and minds and stifle the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In Christ, spiritual maturity is the putting away of these characteristics and becoming like little Children in our hearts and minds. What do you see in yourself when you do an attitude check?

Praise the Lord that we can go to him in prayer confessing our faults and surrendering our hearts to him for healing and restoration!

mom teaching daughter Verse 16

What a wonderful picture! Here we see Jesus not just touching the kids on the head as they are hurried by and mumbling a "bless you", but greeting them face to face, talking to them, tickling them, picking them up, giving them pig-a-back rides, laughing and giggling, singing little songs with them, telling them of their Father in Heaven, and asking Him for His special favor and grace on their behalf. Well may be I'm getting carried away, but that's the way I picture it.

If the children of your family or your church were greeted that way by the leadership of your Church, how do you suppose they would feel. Pretty special I suppose. If they were welcomed that way at Bible study what would it tell them about the way God feels about them? It's something to think about, isn't it.

Love In Christ

Greg Spencer

gspencer@execpc.com

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