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God's peace can help us live above anxieties as we learn to trust in Him!

The Lord Your Healer: 

Discover Him and Find His Healing Touch by Paul J. Bucknell

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Discover Him and Find His Healing Touch

First step of discipleship
revive devotions
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The Bible Teaching Commentary on Genesis: The Book of Foundations

Commentaries that specialize on training the teacher!

Overcoming Anxiety: Finding Peace, Discovering God

 

Walking with Christ: Abiding in Christ

A Vial of Love
Mark 14:1-9

Abiding in Christ: Walking in Jesus

Paul J. Bucknell

Our walk with Jesus must not be so focused on ministry that we forget that the greatest part of being a Christian is knowing Christ! But what a lesson this remains to be for us. Vial of Love Mark 14We work so hard making money for our family that in the end, we don't have time being with our family. We work so hard on preparing a teaching lesson that we forget our own personal need to be personally enriched by God's Word.

The sabbath was designed so that we would not be ruled by our tasks. Our relationship with God was to take priority over our works. God wants us to enjoy things. More importantly, He wants us to enjoy being with Him.

We can so easily stress reading the Bible, studying the Bible, memorizing the Bible, that we forget the real intent is to get caught up in the truths of the scripture so that we adore our Lord. I remember I used to ask people whether they had devotions or not. By devotions I meant that they had a great time with the Lord in His Word and prayer. But now I realize that many people thought that I was asking whether they had read or prayed. They had not connected 'having devotions' with meeting our Lord. The real importance is not the activities but the actual meeting with the Lord. This doesn't mean we can do without prayer and meditation. God has ordained the use of these things in meeting Him. However, the means is not the end.

Below is a story of a person named Mary who beautifully showed the importance of devotion over mere religious duties.

"1 Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread was two days off; and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth, and kill Him; 2 for they were saying, "Not during the festival, lest there be a riot of the people." 3 And while He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. 4 But some were indignantly remarking to one another, "Why has this perfume been wasted? 5 "For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor." And they were scolding her. 6 But Jesus said, "Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. 7 "For the poor you always have with you, and whenever you wish, you can do them good; but you do not always have Me. 8 "She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. 9 "And truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, that also which this woman has done shall be spoken of in memory of her."       
(Mark 14:1-9, NASB)

Mary was so appreciative of Jesus that she took a most precious, if not the most precious item that she possessed and poured it over Jesus. The event signaled an overwhelming spirit of thankfulness and joy in Mary's heart to know Jesus' blessings in her life. I am sure she thought of her brother Lazarus' resurrection, but we know from another account that her vibrant devotion and love for Him was evident even before that epochal event.

After pondering this story, my heart was moved to give my Lord whatever He wanted in my life. I was thinking of the most valuable treasure I had. My money - not much. My van? My house? My family? My heart? Actually, I had in my past life given these things one by one to the Lord. All that I have and am, including my life, reputation, wife, children, wealth, possessions, – I have given them all to Him. In a quiet sense of joy, I again dedicated the most precious thing to Him again – my heart. He is my all in all. I have nothing that is mine. All is His.

Abiding means to spend time with Jesus. This is not just ministry time. Jesus wants to be alone with me. I want to be alone with Him. I need to be deliberate about this. Mary and the others were just loving the quiet time with Jesus enjoying His presence. Only those loving His presence were there. Not long afterwards, He would be heading down the valley and ascending Jerusalem to die on the cross rejected by all.

grapesAbiding with Jesus will cost us our most treasured items. For Mary, this was her costly perfume. For me, it meant my life and loved ones. I remember once about 7 years ago when God asked for my most precious loved ones. It was odd how He did this.

I was in the shower early one Sunday morning getting ready for church. No one else was up. I had a lot of pain in my chest and could not breathe. I quickly got out of the shower and went to my study to pray. I realized that it might be the end of my life. I could have died. In an intensive time of prayer kneeling on the floor with the Lord, I entrusted my family and ministry to the Lord. It was hard to say a possible good bye to my wife and children, but in so doing, I gave them up to the Lord. They in a sense were no longer mine but the Lord's. I was ready to go with Him. As it happened, I went to the emergency room, and they could not find out any real problem. A spray of nitro glycerin took that subsided pain away. My time now is reclaimed by God's grace. I have given my treasured ones to Him.

Abiding in Christ is costly. Love is costly. Love means a willingness to use all that we have to pursue the needs of another. The vial of perfume seemed like a strange demand, but it stood for what was most supreme in her heart. With the perfume in hand, she could at anytime sell it and find sufficient funds to help her in any emergency. With the bottle emptied, though, her safety net was gone. The grandeur of having a powerful and mystic scent in her possession no longer enchanted her. Jesus was hers. He was real. He belonged to her, and she belonged to Him. Next

Abiding in Christ: Walking with Jesus Series

Walking with Christ: Abiding in Christ

Paul J. Bucknell

The Beginning
John 15:5

The marvelous way the Lord instigated this series.

Impossible Love
Mark 8:1-9

Jesus responded to their needs. The disciples responded to their resources.

Genuine Friendship
John 15:15-16

I don't want my Heavenly Father to treat me the way I treated my son!

A Vial of Love
Mark 14:1-9

Our relationship with God is to take priority over our works.

Following is Not Easy
Mark 10:46-52

I wanted Jesus to be with me, but I didn't really want to be with Him.

Listening Carefully
Mark 7:17-18

The Lord wants me to sit down and listen to Him.

A Faith that Counts

I was not sure how many prayers I have absolutely wasted.

Staying Focused
Matthew 15:21-28

Jesus found these planned retreats can be rudely interrupted.

Discovering Treasures
Mark 10:21-27

What were they amazed and later astonished at?

Worth it all!
Mark 10:28-31

His disciples would often if not always be required to make a sacrifice of one kind or another.

The Capsizing of Religion
Mark 3:1-6

Many churches just wouldn't want Jesus attend!

Family of Jesus
Mark 03.31-35

If you or I were part of this crowd, wouldn't we do the same thing as they?

(The following chapters are part of the full book which can be purchased separately or as part of the D#3 Digital Library.)

Abiding in Christ: Walking with Jesus by Paul J. Bucknell

Growing Confidence in Jesus
Mark 7:31-37

What Jesus I am following?

A Word on Christian Suffering
John 15:1-2

We didn't do anything wrong to deserve such pruning! John 15:1-2

Genuine Worship
Mark 12:28-34

Anything not built on this one command is best left in the periphery of life.

Dreams to Dust 911
Mark 13:1-3

Jesus felt compelled to take their dreams to the dust.

A Faith of Action
Mark 11:27-33

The world starts getting concerned when the church starts practicing its faith.

The Felling of Fame
Mark 2:1-2

Stopped in my tracks. Time to deal with my desire for fame.

Perspective on Worry
Luke 12:25-26

We are really surprised at Jesus' comments about our worry.

Overcome Fear of Man
Mark 11:27-39

Outnumbered. Outflanked. Out-educated. Compromise was begging Jesus to conform for acceptance.