March 22, 2012

Making Our MARK

Jesus said, "The time has come, and the kingdom of God is  near.  Change the way you think and act, and believe the Good News." Mark 1:15

We have spoken about how we are defined or framed by the words which proceed from our mouth, the actions we take, and the plan which we make.  We discussed that in order to best describe or define God we must focus on what HE tells us about Himself.  God doesn't change His definition, we discover it step by step.  He is not going to become what we define Him as.  This is idolatry; forming God into our image.  We know that we are in the process of being transformed into His image as we were created to begin with. 

Most of us spend the majority of our life creating ourselves into the image we perceive is best.  Yet we did not start our process, God did.  Once we believe this to be true we are on a sojourn back to where we started from in order to pick up where WE left Him off.  At least I pray we all figure that much out because that is where salvation begins.  And it IS only the beginning! 

All this to say, we are listening to Mark speak what he believes to be the truth.  These are the defining statements of who our brother Mark is becoming within our one and only true eternal family.  While we are born within earth bound families these unless all come to the saving knowledge of Christ and believe; they will not be our family beyond this temporary life.  So let's continue listening and observing what Mark has to tell us.  I pray your faith be expanded, wisdom increased and God glorified through your existence unto Him.

Jesus purpose was to preach the word of God and force demons out of people.  Notice, Christ had to believe, speak and if invited participate in being a catalyst for change.  But people first had to believe, speak and receive or it would have been useless. 

He told Simon Peter and Andrew that they would catch men.  Think about how Christ catches us when we fall.  Think about how lifeless a person is when the force that is upholding them is no longer there.  As I was reading along with Marks story I noticed how Christ handled people with care, but His presence was mayhem to the evil spirits. 

We first see Jesus  being called the Son of God, not by Peter, by evil spirits as Jesus came into their presence.  Jesus ordered the spirits to keep quiet about His identity.  Question: "Could the people not hear this conversation between the evil spirits and Jesus?" Then it was like an epiphany to me: of course they knew who He was; they were in heaven with Him before their great fall from heaven. 

A bit later along their way, Christ went off by Himself to pray and the disciples came looking for Him saying: "Everyone is looking for you."  I had to giggle a bit when I read His reply.  Christ did not say: "Well for goodness sake, then let me get up and go to them. We can't keep them waiting; they're in need!"  He said: " Well let's go somewhere else, I have to spread the Good News in all the nearby and small places too." 

Look at the radical difference between God and man.  Man usually thinks we need to get up and run to the aid of people.  When in actuality we are only to give wise counsel which leads them to God.  They must believe and allow Him to "fix them" if they have faith to follow His instructions.  We, as well, must be willing to help or not help dependent on His will for our participation.  When we get this out of order, WE are out of order.  Remember that! (note to self)

The evil spirits were not the only ones asked not to speak about what Christ had done for them.  The man He healed with a serious skin disease was requested not to tell anyone either.  This leads me to wonder if he was possessed by an evil spirit because Christ was still forcing demons out.  My assumption is that Jesus would have done this for him as well.  Maybe Christ knew that his state would be worse than it's current state if He did this.  I don't know, guess that is one for the banquet table ;)   Once healed this person did NOT keep it to himself as Jesus requested.  In reference to my earlier comment, Jesus displayed gentleness unlike His "not allowing" the demons to speak.  There might not have been any obvious consequences for this man, but his words directly affected Jesus.  Just by him running his mouth he made it impossible for Jesus to get any time away for Himself.  Which was all Christ wanted; time alone with God.

As yesterday, I pray that you be mindful of which spirit is leading you as you think, speak and act.  It is very important.  It has a cosmic effect on the peace in this place.  Extend your peace, keep your peace and as far as it depends on you BE at peace with everyone.  That alone should keep us all pretty darn busy; don't you think?

My love to each of you, in Christ.
Kisses,
Candace



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