Mark 14:53-65 – Fake Trial

Read Mark 14:53-72

Jesus is on trial, but what a laughable trial.  No preparation, only jealous rage. So much perjury. But, I suppose you can’t lie under oath if you don’t swear an oath in the first place. Where did all these witnesses come from? And, when truth was spoken by Jesus, it was deemed blasphemy. Jesus was in no way insulting God, his Father!

How does it make you feel to knowing how our Lord spent his final hours on earth? He warned us, as the prophets had, it wouldn’t be pretty. Despite the heads up, it’s still hard to imagine.

Meanwhile, the text says, Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard of the very house where Jesus was being assaulted. It sounds like he just sort of cozy-ed up to the guards to keep warm by the fire. Did he think he’d go unnoticed? What was he thinking? That could be the topic for a whole devotion in itself.

Then it happened. Jesus’ prophetic words came true. Peter must have had an evil spirit overtake his words on his final, very strong, denial of being associated with Jesus. Almost like a dream where you see yourself saying or doing something, but you’re only watching from a distance. But it wasn’t a dream. Jesus was right. Peter denied him and the despair at the thought left him sobbing.

Have you ever had a moment like Peter just did? Have you said or done something for which you would give anything to take back? Maybe you’ve wished for a do-over? We’ve all done those things. And, we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. It happens, yet we don’t like it.

God doesn’t either, and that’s exactly why he sent Jesus to die for us. Jesus is the bridge that brings us back to the father when we are separated by our sin. It’s better to focus on what God is doing for us, loving and forgiving us, then to dwell on the bad stuff. Ask for forgiveness, and be done. Forgive others, and be done. Simple but not easy.

Do you feel separated from God right now, or are you on fire and burning bright? Maybe somewhere in between? Doesn’t matter. God’s got your back. Relish this true with a grateful heart.

Let’s pray. Lord I don’t like when I feel apart from you but I know that you are always there to reel me back in. Forgive my heart when it is selfish and self-serving. I don’t want to be caught up in the world’s trap. Restore my servant heart. May it beat along with yours. Guide my steps this day, and I thank you for your protection. I am safe in your arms, and safe as I fall at your feet. What peace you give. May I spread your peace in this world for you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Hosea 10:1-15 – Sow Righteousness

Read Hosea 10:1-15

God has spoken. Judgment for Israel is here. All are being called out. I got the feeling that maybe some were cowering now, hoping that God would pass over them and not bring his wrath. Even some players outside Israel were brought in.

What I liked about today’s reading were the word pictures or descriptions. While it didn’t lessen the intent, it made it easier to understand. The same message only with a different “package”. The descriptors helped me to see parallels to our day.

What struck a chord with you? What questions came to your mind? I welcome your comments at the end.

I would love to have this blog be a safe place where we can enter into conversation. We didn’t bring David’s library of Biblical history and pastoral care to Mexico for nothing. I would love to use those resources to answer your questions. I’ll get the joy of watching David know exactly what book will have your answer if he doesn’t already have a nugget to share.

So please, don’t be shy. Comment below — and go back to any of the other posts and comment.

When I read verse 4, I was hit by the reality that still exists. They spout empty words and make covenants they don’t intend to keep. So injustice springs up among them like poisonous weeds in a farmer’s field.” Ouch! God’s promises and word never fails. Not so for us all of the time. Can you remember a time when you made a promise but didn’t keep it? Maybe you said something in haste or anger, without thinking it through. Empty. What better way to cause bitterness or distrust with those involved.

Let’s also look at verse 12. I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’” Here it is. The nugget I’m taking away. This is what God wants from us. As we’ve said before, our purpose is to love God and others. This is a great formula to follow to make it happen. Read that verse several times and let it sink in. We have our marching orders, just like the Israelites did.

What are we waiting for?

Let’s pray. Father God, thank you for your instruction today. I love how your Word is always perfect. There is always a message for me. Now it’s up to me to heed your challenge and get to it. Cleanse my heart of things that are keeping me from you. Help me break apart the hardness that has set in so I can be open and ready for your righteousness. Don’t let my eyes be closed to the needs around me. Show me those that are ready to hear from you. Give me the words to say. I trust you will in your time. I love you Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.