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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

Listening carefully
Mark 7:17-18

Abiding in Christ: Walking in Jesus

Paul J. Bucknell

Listening carefullyCan we learn too much? We wouldn't think so. But when we learn the wrong things or learn them in the wrong way, a film can form over our minds that prevent us from learning the right things with the right spirit.

I am beginning to be aware of a mist that often blows over my mind each time I sit down to read God's Word. Out of the mist comes a few thoughts, "You already know this." "Good thing you don't have to study this again." "Don't you have something better to do?" But something has changed in the last week.

I am not too sure what it is. Maybe some old stubborness has become persistence. Whatever it is, it is the greatest thing that has happened to me for a long time. Somehow I am confident that the Lord wants me to sit down with Him and listen to Him speak to me. Those same devilish suggestions visit my brain, but God's Spirit comes through stronger and reminds me of my commitment to get serious with Him during my meditation time.

It's scary to think how many times I have sat down and not profitted from the scriptures because of my willingness to let those words from hell strip me of my good desires to love and cherish God and His Word. I am afraid there are thousands of lost opportunities. Oh yes, I have had great times in God's Word. All is not lost. Without knowing it, I just plowed into God's Word and came out with tremendous gain. But there are too many times the words of Jesus, "Are you too so uncomprehending?" have too directly applied to my life.


"And when leaving the multitude, He had entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. And He said to them, "Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him;" (Mark 7:17-18, NASB)."

We might interpret Jesus' statement, "Are you so lacking in understanding also?" as rather unfair. After all, how long have they been with Jesus anyway? But Jesus was compassionate. He is compassionate. His love for His disciples cannot stop. He was not being haughty but displaying His great care for His disciples. Here are three compassionate thoughts Jesus might have had for His disicples.

  • What is holding you back from learning?
    Jesus is identifying their lack of zeal in knowing God's truth. Jesus would not have rebuked them if they had not been able to comprehend these truths earlier. They had their chances. I have had my chances. Was it because I was not seeking? Not believing? Not wanting? Too much pride? I sense those questions from the mist lock onto these kind of broken tentacles sticking out of my heart and keep me from real learning. Jesus knew there was such a better and rich life if they would only store God's Word in their heart just as Mary stored did the words of the angel about Jesus' birth n her heart.

    What will happen when I am not with you?
    Time is short. Flip a few pages, and one will read about the crucifixion. Jump a few short months ahead, and Jesus would be placed in the tomb. Were they ready? They weren't. We see this most vividly when they all turned aside and left Jesus alone to be hung. The truths of God's Word had not settled down in their hearts. The best test on how deeply God's Word has affected us is to see how these truths influence our thoughts and decisions during crises. Are God's truths with me or have I thown them aside as worthless? Jesus knew they would fall if they were not strengthened.

  • Will you be able to take my truths and properly minister to others?
    They of course could teach. They had heard the greatest teachings from the greatest teacher. They had lots of sermons and illustrations straight from the Master's mouth. But had God's truth so touched their hearts that they would inflame their souls? Would His teachings be so alive that just the memory of them would keep their hearts focused on the needs and concerns of others? A little truth is a dangerous thing. The wrong grasp on the truth is lethal. This reminds me of how a little boy was accidentally shot during a hunting trip. Accidents will happen, but many are needless. Pride will not only keep us from caring for others but hurt others. Jesus wanted so much to work through their lives to help others.
Theological grid
How can we get beyond theological grids and systems that keep essential truths from our lives?
Lack of understanding? Yes. I have enough truth like the disciples to keep the truth from me. Clever theological grids are set up to keep the real truths of God screened out of our minds. We are so influenced by the teachings around us that we have great difficulty getting a hold on the truths. Yes, the disciples were near Jesus, but this didn't help. They had to ask Jesus. They could pride themselves with the acquaintance of God's holy Savior, but still be spiritually blind.

Is it possible that I can be so uncomprehending after years of exposure to His precious truth? Have I been stale? Dull? My heart is so sad thinking how close I could have been to Him had I been really comprehending. Blame must rest with me not others. It is my cold heart not others that has really kept me away. The mist would have little effect if my heart was longing for Him. I have confessed my sin. I decry that stale attachment to the living Word of God.

But can I be sure Jesus will keep making His truth alive? This is a concern. My prayer is that the work which He has started will continue. I understand now that Jesus is to be my grid through which I look at His Word. He is there right beside me. I need to keep fixing my attention on Him and sincerely ask Him what He wants me to learn. I need to listen to Him now. During these times, I know I can bring any concern before Him; I can take them to Him even at that time. Sometimes He uses that very study to bring answers to impossible situations.
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Jesus cared for His disciples. He greatly desires that all of us would open our hearts to His truth! He genuinely cares about our spiritual welfare, our growth and His ministry through out lives to others.

What will we miss out if we don't? Everything. Abiding in Jesus means listening to what He says about things. >>Next

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Learn more about Christian Living Christ's way from John 5 (including how to listen better)!

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.