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Aware in His Spirit - Sunday's Dose - January 12th 2014

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Sunday's Dose - January 12th 2014

Aware in His Spirit

"Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, `Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts?'" - Mark 2:8 NASB.

Thoughts for Today

The house was packed, and those gathered were listening intently to Jesus. Yet the atmosphere changed instantly when four men lowered a paralyzed friend through the roof on a pallet. When Jesus spoke to the man, it was not about his body or physical problems, but about his spiritual condition. He said, "Son, your sins are forgiven" (v. 5).

There were scribes in that crowded room who must have been interested in Jesus' teaching. They seemed to have been listening. But at least some of these men found Jesus' statement to the paralytic to be intolerable. To them, He was "blaspheming." They silently wondered, "Who can forgive sins but God alone?" (v. 7)

Even though no words were spoken, Jesus "immediately" sensed what was happening in their hearts and minds. He became "aware in His Spirit" of their "reasoning." He was so in tune with the Spirit that He knew their thoughts and could be thoroughly acquainted with their inner lives. He did not need to hear them speak. Through the power of the Spirit, He sensed every word, even the things they thought were private.

This was a demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus. His power could penetrate even seemingly impenetrable places and sense inner thoughts, just as clearly as if hearing a person speak words aloud. Jesus was confident of the voice of the Spirit, who gave Him absolute discernment.

This same power is available to all who are filled with the Spirit. But it will require great sensitivity, willingness to listen to the Spirit and discern what He's saying, and a level of confidence like Jesus displayed.

Today, ask God to give you greater discernment. Be filled with the Spirit and learn to be more sensitive to His voice.

Prayer: Our Loving Heavenly Father, give me more discernment and greater sensitivity to the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. Lead and guide me. Speak to me. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, In Jesus Loving Name I Pray, Amen."
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Have a Blessed Sunday and God Bless you.

Deeply Distressed - Saturday's Dose - January 11th 2013

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Saturday's Dose - January 11th 2013 

Deeply Distressed

Today's Scripture

"…looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart…" - Mark 3:5 NASB.

Thoughts for Today

Entering a synagogue, Jesus saw a man "whose hand was withered" (v. 1). While Jesus focused on the man, Pharisees nearby focused on Jesus, hoping to find something to accuse Him of, watching to see if He would heal the man on the Sabbath.

While speaking to the paralyzed man, Jesus knew the thoughts of these observers. He asked them, "Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?" (v. 4) But they remained silent.

Jesus reacted in two ways. First, He was angry. These religious leaders were the representatives of His Father, but they had twisted His Word into their own interpretations. Jesus also was "grieved." The Greek word is used here for the only time in the Bible. He was "deeply distressed" (NIV) and "saddened" (NLT), particularly by their "hardness of heart." Their viewpoints were locked and their minds were closed.

In spite of their attitudes, Jesus healed the man, providing the Pharisees with the evidence they needed. They immediately left, plotting "how they might destroy Him" (v. 6).

We can understand why Jesus would be angry. But perhaps it's His grief that speaks most to us—how their hardness grieved Him. In spite of their religious background, the Pharisees were not submitted to God or sensitive to His leading.

We can imagine how Jesus often might have the same reaction toward some people in our time, feeling anger toward those who defy the Father's commands…who resist the work of His Kingdom…who fight against the Gospel and hinder God's power from working to save lives, heal sick bodies, and bring deliverance and salvation.

But we also sense grief, as when Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem (Luke 19:41). How He wants all to respond! He wants to meet every need and let everyone experience the fullness of God's blessings. He longs to show people the truth and the riches of His Kingdom.

Prayer: Our Loving Heavenly Father, it's my desire to bring joy to Your heart. Use me to impact others for Your Kingdom. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, In Jesus Loving Name I Pray, Amen."

Have a Blessed Saturday and God Bless you.

Jesus Called The Disciples - Friday's Dose - January 10th 2014

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Friday's Dose - January 10th 2014 

Jesus Called The Disciples

"He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him." - Mark 3:13 NASB.

Thoughts for Today

There on the mountain, Jesus called the disciples to Himself. It was a place where He had been separated from all other opinions and perceptions, where He could be alone with the Father. There, He had determined those He wanted to have as His disciples. This was a crucial decision, and every disciple was chosen by name.

After Jesus called them, "they came to him." They could not truly be His disciples unless they, too, went up the mountain. They might have been fishermen or tax collectors, young or old, rich or poor. But all alike had to leave everything else behind and join Him on that mountain.

As they came to Him, Jesus could show them His plan for their lives. He could give them His perspective on the world and the events they would face. He could teach them His strategies, solutions, and approaches. There, they could be touched by His power and wisdom. They could be given the anointing, power, and resources they would need for ministry.

Jesus still works the same way today. He calls each of us by name. He calls us carefully, thoughtfully, individually. As He calls, we must listen and come to Him. He knows the present and the future. He sees the valleys and where every road leads. He sees where we are and where we're going. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows how to warn us of danger and how to direct our lives.

Today, think about Jesus and His call on your life. Remember: You are special in His sight. You have been given unique gifts and resources, and you have a unique mission to fulfill.

The Lord wants to bring you to a higher place of intimacy with Him. Listen to Him, and focus your life on fulfilling His unique call for you.

Prayer: Our Loving Heavenly Father, thank You for Your call on my life. I will follow You wherever You lead me. I trust my life to You. I commit my time, talent, and treasure to You. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, In Jesus Loving Name I Pray, Amen."

Have a Blessed Friday and God Bless you.

Spiritual Insights and Revelation - Friday's Dose - January 3rd 2014

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Friday's Dose - January 3rd 2014

Spiritual Insights and Revelation

Today's Scripture

"To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables, so that while seeing, they may see and not perceive, and while hearing, they may hear and not understand, otherwise they might return and be forgiven." - Mark 4:11-12 NASB.

Thoughts for Today

The masses were amazed at the teachings of Jesus. Yet His messages also could be frustrating. He often used parables, with meanings that didn't seem clear. And sometimes He taught in ways they didn't understand.

We see this when Jews gathered around Him, asking, "How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly" (John 10:24). The Greek words suggest that they felt Jesus was afraid to be frank. They wanted Him to speak in clear, unmistakable words.

But Jesus continued to use parables designed to deliver different messages to different audiences. The true meaning only was given to those who knew Him personally—those who were His followers and believed in Him.

Today, this pattern still can be recognized. How many Christians are frustrated when they don't understand a Bible passage or when they have questions about a teaching of Jesus, or when they have doubts about being a Christian or about serving God, or when they aren't sure what to do?

What is the answer? Believe in Jesus! Get alone with Him. Be His disciple. Have faith. Ask Him for the wisdom you need. Seek His spiritual insights and revelation. Dig deeper and study. Seek Him anew, and ask for revelation.

Are there things about the Bible that you don't understand? Are there mysteries where you'd like more clarity? Don't give up, but seek Jesus in a new way. Ask Him for revelation and understanding. Then seek to be a beacon of light to the world, demonstrating the truth of the Gospel, so others can see His truth through you!

Prayer: Our Loving Heavenly Father, give me insights into Your Word. Teach me. Open my heart and mind to be able to discern more spiritual truths. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, In Jesus Loving Name I Pray, Amen."

Have a Blessed Friday and God Bless you.
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The Unclean Spirits - Thursday's Dose - January 2nd 2013

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Thursday's Dose - January 2nd 2013 

The Unclean Spirits

Today's Scripture

"A man from the tombs with an unclean spirit met Him…He said to Him, `My name is Legion; for we are many'…The demons implored Him, saying, `Send us into the swine so that we may enter them'…The unclean spirits entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, about two thousand of them; and they were drowned in the sea." - Mark 5:1-13 NASB.

Thoughts for Today

The man was tormented—not just possessed by one "unclean spirit," but literally an army of spirits. The demon said his name was "Legion," the word that described the largest unit in the Roman army, with up to 6,000 soldiers.

When Jesus cast out the demons, they entered "about two thousand" swine, and all of them rushed into the sea. (Although both Matthew and Luke also describe this encounter, Mark alone provides this number.) To understand the power of these demons, just picture two thousand swine racing into the sea! Demons so powerful they could take control of this vast number of animals and drive them to do something completely unnatural and abnormal. To kill themselves!

No wonder this man had lived such a disastrous life. No wonder that "no one was able to bind him anymore, even with a chain." No wonder he constantly screamed and gashed himself with stones! (vs. 3-5) This is a powerful picture of the nature and power of demons and the reality of satanic power on earth. The Bible makes it clear that these demons can work together with a power that only can be overcome with spiritual means—the power of God.

Today, make sure that you take demons seriously. Ask God to open your eyes to recognize their presence. But don't be governed by fear. Trust in God, confident that through the name of Jesus, you have authority and power over every demonic force.

Prayer: Our Loving Heavenly Father, thank You for the authority You've given me. I bind Satan's power over my life and my family in Jesus' name. Thank You for Your protection. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, In Jesus Loving Name I Pray, Amen."

Have a Blessed Thursday and God Bless you.
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