But To Serve

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

~ Mark 10:45 (NKJV)

The life and ministry of the Lord Jesus was to serve others. Jesus came to serve, and to be an example of what it means to live a life serving, loving and helping others. Though Jesus was, and is, God in heaven, in coming to the earth, He took on the form of a servant. He came not with pomp and glory, but as a man in humble life. He practiced self-denial on their account, and for them was about to lay down his life.

Jesus came to us in the form of a servant in order not only to show us the importance of serving others, but also ultimately to give His life for us – the greatest act of sacrifice and servitude. We have to choose this day whom we are going to serve. The Lord or ourselves? Jesus wants us to take on the heart of the servant. To find fulfillment, peace and joy in serving others just as He did during this ministry. Pray to the Lord to grant you a servant’s heart. A pure desire to see the needs of others even above your own. To think and esteem others before yourself. To humble yourself before God and man that you might better others through your acts of service. For, in the final analysis, when we really let our heart dwell upon it, is this not what Christ has already done for you?

~ apl

The God of All Things

[F]or with God all things are possible.

Mark 10:27b (NKJV)

This verse is the summum bonum of the Christian’s hope. Hidden deep in the truth of these seven little words is the greatest treasures of the Lord. Here lies the key that unlocks the power, glory and love of the living God – with Him all things are possible! There is no trial too great nor petition too small that God cannot affect. Nothing stays His hand. No need goes unnoticed. With God every concern can be comforted, every affliction assuaged, and every trepidation tamed. The real question is: Do we believe it? Does our faith carry us to the sure arms of a strong God with whom all things are possible? Do you rest in the assurance of this truth as one who belongs to Him? May we experience the hope, grace and love of the God of all things.

~ apl

Yielding All To Him

How many loaves do you have?”

Mark 8:5 (NKJV)

The Lord Jesus put this question to his disciples on the occasion of feeding the four thousand. Now, Jesus didn’t have to ask the question, and He didn’t actually need any of their loaves of bread in order to miraculously feed the multitude. Yet, in this question, Jesus shows us a valuable lesson: If we are willing to yield all we have to Him, He can do greater things than us with them. The disciples, having seven loaves, gave them all over to Jesus to bless and share in abundance. And out of that giving to Christ, many others were blessed. May we loosely hold on to our possessions in this world . So that if you are asked of God how many or how much you have, you will yield all to Him that He may be glorified through you.

~ apl

Tradition’s Proper Place

[Y]ou reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.

~ Mark 7:9

Traditions in the life of God’s people can be of benefit unless they conflict with Scripture and the commandments of God. When we take more pride in keeping our traditions rather than in obeying the Lord, we have put ourselves in opposition to Him. In this passage, as elsewhere in Scripture, holding to traditions is not condemned all together. It is when Christ’s Church supplants God’s ways with their own that tradition becomes an idol. Therefore let us continue in those traditions which exalt Christ, enhance God’s glory and strengthen our faith, holding fast to that which is good, and reject anything, any tradition, that places our wants, will, or ways above His own.

~ apl

Our Ailing Souls

And as many as touched Him were made well.

~ Mark 6:56b (NKJV)

Jesus’ earthly ministry was filled with times of wonderful and miraculous healings. People from far and wide would flock to Jesus simply to “touch the hem of His garment” that they might know the healing power of Christ. And as many as touched Him were made well. Yet, when we take the deeper and more spiritual application of this passage, and we speak in terms of Christ’s power to heal us of sin, that great spiritual malady, where are the multitudes seeking His divine salve for our ailing souls? May we always remember Jesus does not only heal the body, but the soul. The full manifestation of His power is it’s efficacy over sin and death. Therefore, let us flock to Christ to remedy our spirit, to touch Him, and be made well.

~ apl

Good Cheer

Be of good cheer! It is I…

~ Mark 6:50 (NKJV)

What a pronouncement! Such a blessed introduction! ‘It is I, thy Lord and Savior!’ Whenever Jesus comes to us, it should illicit cheer. His near presence in our lives is the only true source of peace, comfort and joy. The disciples feared the winds that had arose against them that night on the sea, but the Lord’s voice in a time of trouble brought calm to their souls. May we remember those wonderful words apply just as much today as they did when Christ first spoke them. He desires to be our delight and to bring serenity to our soul. Christ Jesus aspires for His presence in our lives to be the most celebrated thing about us. So be of good cheer, Jesus is here!

~ apl

Rest A While

And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”

~ Mark 6:31 (NKJV)

There is a physical cadence to life God has instilled in creation that requires His creatures to alternate between work and rest. We require rest. We need it to function at our best when we are awake and at work. Likewise, at times, Christians need seasons of spiritual rest, too. When we come to realize that our growing in grace and more fully in our Christ-likeness is really not so much about what we do, but rather who we are, it allows us to enjoy occasions of spiritual refreshing and rest. Sometimes, the best thing we can do for our souls is to come to a quiet deserted place, and spend some restful time simply communing in fellowship with the Lord. So come all who are weary and heavy laden, draw near to Christ, our beloved Savior, and rest a while.

~apl