August 22, 2010 Jesus Overcomes Oscillation

Jesus Overcomes Oscillation

On the right hand, God wants you to know Him better.  On the left, satan wants to diminish your knowledge of God.  You can become sick from the teeter-tottering!  What is so important that God wants you to know that satan doesn’t want you to know?  What are the consequences of the choice you make?  Jesus’ Parable of the Sower in Mark 4.1-20 answers these and similar questions.  Study with me.

Teachable Moments

  • The crowd gathered, with eager ears to learn from Jesus.  Verse 2 says that this parable was among ‘many things’ that He taught them.  Take every opportunity to learn from Jesus!  Think deeply about what He says.
  • Verse 11 says that there were two opinions prevailing in the crowd.  Some people wanted to know the ‘hidden truths of the kingdom of God’; others did not.  Apparently, they were drawn only by His celebrity.
  • Verse 12 quotes God’s words in Isaiah 6.9-10 lamenting the tragedy of mankind: some did not want to see and perceive the lie they were following and hear and understand the truth that would make them free from satan’s bondage.  Their progeny still don’t!
  • Deuteronomy 29.1-9 describes the ancestors of those in Jesus’ audience.  This brings the question: how many miracles does it take to convince people of God’s love and daily provision?  How many do you need?  Name some that you have personally experienced.  Name some that you were told about.  Your experience of God will convince someone you tell of the reality of Hebrews 11.6 and, thereby, lead them to ‘prosper’ (Deuteronomy 29.9), succeed, and/or act wisely.  Remembering the experiences will grow you confidence in God’s love and willingness (Ephesians 3.20-21).

 Hidden Truths

  • Are you curious?  What are these truths that satan wants to keep from you? Who is this sower?
  • Jesus told this Parable of the Sower to inform those with ‘ears to hear’ about secret truths of the kingdom of God.  Remember that this is the same ‘kingdom’ that Jesus taught His hearers in Matthew 6.10 to pray for.  Simply stated, the kingdom of God exists wherever His words rule.  Whenever you demonstrate faith in what He has promised (Habakkuk 2.4, Romans 1.16-17) or obedience to His words of instruction (John 14.15), God’s kingdom has come to earth, like Jesus taught us to pray, right where you are.  This is what the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2.4-5.
  • Before you consider what truths are hidden in the Parable of the Sower, who is the sower?  God is the Sower Who wants you to know about all of His ways for your success, prosperity, and wise actions.  This is what He says in Jeremiah 9.23-24, Matthew 6.33, and John 14.26.  His heart’s desire is for you to want to know and understand Him!  He is eager to reveal Himself to you!  Is that your desire?  If so, how should you show it?

 Meaning of the Parable

  • God, the Sower, sows His word.  See Luke 8.11.  God has been sowing all along.  He sowed His word in the Garden of Eden to Adam and Eve, through the Ten Commandments to Moses and the Hebrew people, through Jesus to strip away the layers of man’s philosophies that covered the truth, and through the Holy Spirit to remind you that His ways are your best paths.  Consider Solomon’s encouragement in Proverbs 4.13 and Jesus’ factual declaration in John 6.63.
  • Leviticus 18.5 and Ezekiel 20.11 repeat God’s promise, although written hundreds of years apart.  God never changes!  Peter’s proclamation in Acts 4.12 is a summary statement of God’s promise and of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5.17-20.
  • Jesus segmented His audience into four types of listeners, using the analogy of the farmer’s soil.
  • In Mark 4.15, Jesus described some people as very shallow, quickly hearing but not paying attention to what is said.  So, satan quickly passes another thought across their minds, and they are easily distracted.  Note that satan wastes no time in trying to steal the nugget of value that God has given you; Matthew 13.19.  What can these do to guard this new treasure from God?
  • In Mark 4.16-17, Jesus described some people as more willing to listen to the ‘rock music’ of criticism other people blare at them.  If you are concerned about what other people might think, you can bet that satan will send critics your way – to dissuade you from believing what the Bible says about Acts 4.12 for your eternal life, healing, finances, relationships, and all other areas of your life that Jesus can save you from satan’s destruction.  What can these do to build the courage to turn down the discordant sounds?
  • In Mark 4.18-19, Jesus transitions from people who succumb to external pressures to describe people who wrestle with the internal pressures to choose what they might have to give up. 
  • He gives three illustrations.  ‘Cares of this world’ might be an addiction to televised broadcasts of news from around the world.  Remember that news is usually defined as ‘dog bites man’; rarely good news; suffering is what satan wants the masses to see!  ‘The deceitfulness of riches’ might be the perceived need to make the salary that matches the secular pipedreams that fill your head or the standard to which ‘want-to-bes’ aspire.  ‘The desires for other things’ might be the aberrant lifestyles portrayed as pleasurable on the screen.  But, lust is lust, no matter what name you dress it with!  Consider 1 John 2.15-17.  You can only spend yourself on these for your brief years on earth, but where will you spend eternity?  What can each of these do to enjoy the future today?
  • So, what is the hidden meaning of the Parable of the Sower?  Jeremiah 15.16 says that he understood it.  King David’s understanding is seen in Psalm 119.1-8Hosea 14.9 expresses his understanding.  The Apostle Peter summarized it best in John 6.68.

Jesus gave the prescription for overcoming oscillation in John 8.31-32.  Just do it!

Praise God!!!

August 15, 2010 Do We Have To Be Sick To Die [cont’d]

Do we have to be sick to die? [Continued from August 8th]

100815 Introduction

How much faith will you need in the days ahead?  More faith than you have now.  How can you develop the faith you will need for the oscillations between the opportunities and challenges in the cycles of your life, which are like the cycles experienced by businesses over time.  Consider the following.

Why have ‘faith-filled’ people died from cancers, heart disease, and other maladies?

  • Their faith was for eternal life after they died; John 6.47.  
  • They needed faith for healing their bodies in this life; Acts 3.16 and 4.12.
  • What was the woman in Mark 5.25-34 seeking? 
  • How do Jesus’ words in verse 34 explain the difference in ‘faiths’?  She found Jesus for her healing!  Have you? 
  • Why don’t more pastors and churches teach about this faith difference?

How can parents shield themselves and their children from satan’s sickness and disease?

  • Study the 20+ illustrations of Jesus healing in the Bible.  Picture themselves or their child receiving healing.    Romans 10.17 says that faith will come; time on task! 

See Hebrews 11.6.

  • Recognize their authority from Jesus in Luke 10.19
  • Say Jesus’ words from Mark 9.25 modified for the sickness or disease. 

See Philippians 2.9-11 about the power of Jesus’ name.

  • Build the wall of God’s word and ‘Jesus’ around them, and stand in the gap; Ezekiel 22.30.
  • Practice 1 Peter 5.8-9 and James 4.7.  Continue to teach the children to learn God’s promises to use as a sword overcome satan for themselves. 

See Proverbs 22.6, 2 Timothy 3.15, Ephesians 6.4, Deuteronomy 11.18-19, and Romans 10.17.

God desires you to be healed.

  • He sent Jesus to heal you spiritually.
  • He sent His word and healed you physically and mentally. 

See Psalm 107.20, Psalm 119.67, and Deuteronomy 32.46-47

Praise God!!!

Remember to ‘Look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near’! 

Luke 21.28. 

Don’t be troubled by cataclysmic events that may occur this week, including Israel’s attack on Iran to prevent Russian nuclear fuel from being received and used.  Another event is the continued struggle in the economy between socialism and capitalism potentially further affecting disposable incomes, consumer confidence, employment, and corporate earnings reports.  Remember that God, Who provided for the Hebrews in Goshen during Egypt’s troubles has promised to do the same for you, never leaving or forsaking you. 

Contemplate Hebrews 13.5-6.

August 8, 2010 Do We Have To Be Sick To Die?

Do we have to be sick to die?

 This question resulted from the study of Jesus pushing the demon of paralysis from the man of faith in Mark 2.1-12.  Jesus evidenced to the Pharisees and scribes the forgiveness of the man’s sin by telling him to ‘take up your bed and walk’.  Jesus’ brother, James, would later repeat this connection in James 5.14-15

The connection of forgiveness and healing is summarized in Hebrews 11.6.  Both require faith that God is and that He rewards all who seek Him…in like kind.  See this connection in the earlier Scriptures.

 Where did the paralysis come from that confined the man?  Can parents protect their children from sickness and disease?  Why have ‘faith-filled’ people died from cancers, heart disease, and other maladies?  How should we pray for and talk with people who are besieged by satan with sickness and disease?

 Does God put sickness or disease upon people?

  • John 10.10 is the best contrast of God and satan in the Scriptures! 
  • Summarize this contrast in your own words.
  • How is the ‘harvest’ that Jesus was describing in Matthew 9.35-38 related to this? 
  • How does Matthew 4.23-25 illustrate His description?
  • What did Jesus do to the demon in Luke 4.38-39 that illustrates His teaching in  Matthew 9.35-38?
  • Who did Jesus blame for the woman’s condition in Luke 13.16
  • How do you see John 10.10 in action in this verse?
  • How abusive and insecure it would be for God to make people sick so He could heal them!

 Does God allow satan to put sickness or disease upon people?

  • What about Job (see Job 1.1-2.10)?
  • How does Job 3.25 confirm that God did not allow satan to harm Job? 
  • How does 2 Timothy 1.7 help your understanding? 
  • What about James 1.5-8?
  • How do Jesus’ words in Matthew 9.29 explain that each individual person ‘allows’ satan to take their health?
  • Individual responsibility is explained further by contrasting
  • Deuteronomy 28.1-14 with Deuteronomy 28.15-68
  • What key brings the blessings or curses?
  • Personal obedience brings blessings.  Personal rebellion brings curses!  Read, again, the sicknesses, diseases, and other curses in Deuteronomy 28.15-68 that come from rebellion against God.

 Why have ‘faith-filled’ people died from cancers, heart disease, and other maladies?

  • Their faith was for eternal life after they died; John 6.47
  • hey needed faith for healing their bodies in this life; Acts 3.16 and 4.12.
  • What was the woman in Matthew 9.20-22 seeking? 
  • How do Jesus’ words in verse 22 explain the difference in ‘faiths’? 
  • Could these words have been said to the paralytic in Mark 2.1-12?
  • Why don’t more pastors and churches teach about this difference?

How can parents shield their children from satan’s sickness and disease?

  • Recognize their authority from Jesus in Luke 10.19.
  • Build the wall of God’s word and ‘Jesus’ around them, and stand in the gap;

Ezekiel 22.30.

  • Practice 1 Peter 5.8-9 and James 4.7.
  • Continue to teach the children to learn God’s promises to use as a sword overcome satan for themselves. 

See Proverbs 22.6,

2 Timothy 3.15Ephesians 6.4Deuteronomy 11.18-19, and  Romans 10.17.

God desires you to be healed.

  • He sent Jesus to heal you spiritually.
  • He sent His word and healed you physically and mentally. 

See Psalm 107.20Psalm 119.68, and Deuteronomy 32.46-47.

Praise God!!!  Lessons can be found on

Remember to ‘Look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near’! 

Luke 21.28.

August 1, 2010 Jesus Tried To Push Evil From The Pharisees But….

Jesus tried to push evil from the Pharisees but….

‘LOOK UP AND LIFT UP YOUR HEADS, BECAUSE YOUR REDEMPTION DRAWS NEAR!’ Luke 21.28.  These words of Jesus came, again, from Him this week!  Very Soon!!!

Jesus wanted to free them from satan’s bondage, but the Pharisees and scribes before Him did not want to be released.  The allures satan uses may be attractive – sex, power, wealth, but they are only deceptions meant to bind people whom God wants to redeem.  See Romans 6.16.  This continues today.  Has he bound you with deceptions that you don’t want to give up?

Jesus confronted the Pharisees and scribes by healing the paralytic in Mark 2.1-12 and asking a, seemingly unrelated, question: “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’?”  Let’s look at this question in this lesson.

Who was the main audience of this healing event?

  • Although the paralytic was the main beneficiary, the Pharisees and scribes were the main audience that the Holy Spirit was trying to reconcile to God.  See Luke 5.17.  Only they are mentioned; the Holy Spirit had brought them from all the surrounding towns to be healed!
  • Jeremiah 8.8-10 describes the effects of satan’s deceptions of the scribes and Pharisees (and Sadducees and other Jewish leaders, for that matter).  This is why Jesus often stated that His followers should not follow their example.
  • The good news is that God had not given up on His vision for their leadership of the Hebrew people; see Exodus 19.6.  God does not give up!
  • This helps us to understand 2 Corinthians 5.18-21 and Acts 26.16-18.

What would convince them that Jesus was the promised Messiah?

  • What are the similarities between Jesus’ words to satan in Luke 4.8 and 12 and His pronouncement in Luke 5.20?
  • How did Jesus’ pronouncement address their complaints in Mark 2.7?
  • Jesus’ reply in John 14.9-11 to Phillip’s question may enhance your understanding.  This would connect Jesus to Deuteronomy 18.18 and Exodus 34.10 and can be used when witnessing to Jewish people.
  • God brought the paralytic at just the right time; see Isaiah 55.5.  If Jesus could do what no one else ever had done (John 15.24), surely, the Pharisees and scribes would see Him as the promised Messiah.  Wrong; they did not want to be freed from satan’s blindness.  Read in John 8.30-59 a dialogue that could have also happened here.
  • The Pharisees and scribes (and people around us today) could not see ‘sins forgiven’, but they could see the result of healing; see Mark 2.10-12. That is, if they wanted to; see 2 Corinthians 4.3-4.  Were the Pharisees and scribes among the ‘all’ in verse 12?  Their subsequent action would reveal their commitment.

So, Jesus asked: which is easier – forgiving sins or healing sickness, disease, or paralysis?

  • What is required for each to become reality?  Hebrews 11.6 and Romans 14.23 give you the answer.  Remember Romans 1.16-17.
  • What is ‘sin’ that it interferes with healing and must be forgiven?  Romans 5.12-14 give two types of sin that have a common root.  The first is transgression of the Law God gave to Moses.  The second is the root that preceded the giving of the Law and is seen today: rebellion, as illustrated by 1 Samuel 15.22-23James 1.5-8 gives another illustration.  Such a person is described in Jeremiah 13.10.
  • If Jesus forgave sins when He healed, do that happen when He heals through us?  What does James 5.14-15 say?
  • Although unseen, Jesus’ instructions in John 20.22-23 give a general rule with two outcomes.  Loosing is illustrated in Jesus’ words in Matthew 18.18-20.  The phrase, ‘together in My name’, in verse 20 affirms the generally accepted interpretation of verse 18 that Jesus is referring to whatever is already bound or loosed by God in His regulations for Heaven.  We will never ask amiss when we ask in His name, for we ask for the promises He has already spoken and granted. Binding is illustrated by Paul in 1 Corinthians 5.1-7.  Notice the righteous indignation against the man’s sin and the agreement of his friends!  Hate what God hates!  See Proverbs 8.13.
  • So, which is ‘easier’?  Neither, since the have equal amounts of rebellion or sin.  See Hebrews 11.6.
  • Rebellion will make you susceptible to all kinds of diseases and hurts.  Consider Deuteronomy 28. 15-68. What is the cure?  Verses 1-14

The promises of God are the best ‘elixer’.  Don’t rebel, like the Pharisees and scribes!  Galatians 6.7-10.

Praise God!!!