Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday, November 12th Mark 12:38-44

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 23-24; 1 Peter 4
Today's scripture focus is Mark 12:38-44

Mark 12:38-44English Standard Version (ESV)

Beware of the Scribes

38 And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces 39 and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 40 who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

The Widow's Offering

41 And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Accompanying John MacArthur sermon: Religion and It's Victims
Accompanying Robert Rayburn sermon: Above All Else: The Heart

Imagination is a gift of God and one he expects us to exploit for the purposes of faith and godliness. That is why the Bible is so often provoking our imagination and inviting us to see ourselves in other circumstances doing other things.....

such is our task this morning and throughout our Christian lives: to see this poor widow making her offering – so small a sum of money yet so large a gift – and, in turn, see ourselves doing the same. We are being summoned to imagine ourselves doing what she did, responding to God as she did and for the same reasons. And, on the contrary, we are to see ourselves as these grasping scribes, eager for admiration, hungry as they were for the plaudits of others and to hate the very idea that we might in any way be like them.....

Jesus does not want a show of religiousity, or the appearance of righteousness.  He wants simple and sincere devotion to Him.

I know that many of you face very heavy trials. There are more than a few reasons for such trials, but there is one supreme reason for them. Those trials give you the opportunity in one way or another to do what this widow did. To give out of your poverty, to trust the Lord in your time of sorrow or loss or pain, to give him glory at a time when it matters most because he does not seem to be blessing you, and to offer sacrifices to him that really cost you something. Had this woman not been a poor widow, we would never have heard of her or her gift – small as it was in the sight of men – and her gift would never have been counted for so much in heaven.Everything.  He is worth everything, even everything that we own!

Augustine said long ago, “We do not come to God upon our feet, but upon our affections.” May God give you and me grace never to want to come to him and never to try to come to him on our feet, but always with upon our hearts and our affections. God himself, through Paul, says: “Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.”

We love because He first loved us.

Tomorrow's scripture focus: Mark 13:1-13
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Ezekiel 25-26, 1 Peter 5

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