Mark 9:42-50 – It’s Better

Read Mark 9:42-50

I can only imagine a world filled with handless, foot-less, or eye-less people waiting to get into heaven. But if that’s what it takes to keep us blameless and free from sin, are you willing to cut off your sinful extremity? It seems a little extreme, doesn’t it?

I’m sure Jesus doesn’t want us to take this instruction literally. But it is a fantastic way to demonstrate how our sin separates us from God. We’d have a permanent solution to avoid making the same mistake twice. How often do we fall into the trap of sinfulness only to repeat our evil ways again and again? There must be a way to escape the cycle.

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Zephaniah 1:7-13 – A Moment of Silence

Read Zephaniah 1:7-13

Zephaniah asserts that judgment day is coming soon, and he is not referring to the end times here but to a specific time in history yet to come for those first hearing his words. Zephaniah is not the only prophet talking about it either. God is using many “mouthpieces” to get the message out that he is not happy with his people.

It’s good to take a moment of silence in our own day to take an account of what’s going on in our lives. Do our actions glorify God or disappoint him? Do we see chaos, worry, doubt, thrill, busyness, fear, loneliness, great success, embarrassing failures? What is happening in your life right now? Is God part of the picture? If not, invite him in!

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2 Peter 2:1-3 – False Teachers

Read 2 Peter 2:1-3

Peter had no doubt witnessed false teachers at work trying to confuse people and twist the truth. Heresies have plagued the church for centuries. Such deceivers are alive and well today, too. And God is watching. These inaccurate messages are not being ignored by God.

And God is not pleased with the messengers of those heresies. Their fate is set, and they don’t even know it. As Peter says, “they will bring sudden destruction on themselves.” Their deceitful actions and teachings full of lies will catch up to them. We can rest in that assurance at least.

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Habakkuk 1:1-4 – Complaining to God

Read Habakkuk 1:1-4

Do you ever feel like God isn’t listening to you? It seems the prophet Habakkuk was experiencing that as we read his lament. I couldn’t help but think as I read Habakkuk’s words that I could be saying the same thing about what I see taking place in our time. Isn’t it something how the Bible is as relevant today as it ever was.

We don’t know much about the prophet Habakkuk, but we’ll see in his short book how concerned he was for his community. We’ll see how he handles his doubts and struggles, always remembering the sovereignty of God.

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1 Peter 2:11-12 – Aliens

Read 1 Peter 2:11-12

When you hear the word “alien” what picture goes through your mind? A small green creature with an enormous head and bulgy black eyes perhaps? How about you look in the mirror! We are the aliens of this world because we don’t belong here; we’re just passing through. What a revelation!

Many people fail to realize this phenomenon is true for followers of Christ. There is so much more waiting for us beyond what we can see in this moment. We belong to Jesus’ kingdom. That’s why Peter felt it necessary to warn us. “I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.” How exactly are we supposed to do that?

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