Luke 5:11 – So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed Him. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Few have such a ready willingness to give up professions and possessions to follow Christ. But because He gave up so much for us, we should be willing to do the same.
My Advice – Do not become so attached to worldly possessions or positions that they become too costly for you to give up if God calls you to follow Him where you cannot take them.
Luke 4:13 – When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left Him until an opportune time. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – We can gain victory over temptation and the devil will leave us alone. But not for ever. He will look for us to let down our guard or come at us from a different angle. But just like before, we can beat back attack after attack.
My Advice – Don’t get too cocky when you resist temptation that you let down your guard. And don’t focus so exclusively on one temptation that you leave yourself vulnerable to another. Be vigilant. Expect Satan to attack when you gloat and when you are unguarded. The expected attack is the best attack to defend against.
Mark 13:13 – “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – There are a lot of reasons that people may hate us, but being hated because of our relationship to Christ is nothing to be ashamed of or to fear. Rather we should stand firm in the face of such opposition and not compromise to gain favor.
My Advice – Do not try too hard to gain the world’s favor. It is likely that you will be subjected to a certain degree of dislike or ridicule because you profess to know Christ. Do not be ashamed of this. Be proud of it.
Mark 12:43 – “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – God’s economy measures things a lot differently than man’s economy. Man measures by the value of what is given over. God measures by the cost of what is given up.
My Advice – As you gain in success in your career, your financial resources as well as your talents are likely to increase. So too should your ability to give both to God. Always remember that God weighs your giving by your ability to give. To whom much is given, much is required. You’ve already been given much. Respond to God in gratitude.
Mark 10:15 – “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – The faith of children is amazing. They have not yet allowed their faith to be polluted and diluted by the so-called ‘wisdom” of this world, which God calls foolishness.
My Advice – Never allow yourself to lose the childlike faith that you began your life in Christ with. Intellectual attacks against the simplicity of the Gospel are common and sometimes compelling (at least on the surface). But in the end it comes down to faith.
Mark 7:9 – And He said to them, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Sometimes, we are much more diligent in observing man-made traditions than we are in observing the Word of God.
My Advice – Do not set aside God’s Word for anything, whether it is religious traditions or prevailing social mores. Anything that is inconsistent with the Word, is wrong, even if it is highly regarded or widely believed.
Mark 4:18, 19 – “Still others, like seed sown among the thorns, hear the Word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke out the Word, making it unfruitful.” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Today’s world is so fast-paced, and the demands so burdensome, that this can easily happen. So we must be on guard, carefully choosing what is important versus what may be urgent, but not that important.
My Advice – Watch out for “thorns” in your life (career, social life, etc…), that they do not choke out God from your life. You have to be on guard. It can creep up on you so that you don’t readily realize it, then it can become a habit that is hard to break.