Passage: After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples, What were you discussing out on the road? But they didnt answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest (Mk. 9:33, 34 – NLT). (See Psa. 139:1-4; Jn. 2:25; Heb. 4:13; Rev. 2:23)
Question: Am I secretly in competition with others to be the greatest? Or am I at rest with who I am, and where God has placed me?
Passage: He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else (Mk. 9:35 NLT) (See Jer. 45:5; Mk. 10:42-45; Lk. 14:10, 11; 19:10)
Question: Am I seeking to be first or last? Am I seeking to be served or to serve?
Passage: But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck (Mk. 9:42 NLT). (See Rom. 14:13; 1 Cor. 8:9)
Question: Am I truly blameless? Or am I a stumbling block to others? Do I grasp the gravity of this issue?
Passage: If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. Its better to enter eternal life with only one hand than to go into the unquenchable fires of hell with two hands. If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. Its better to enter eternal life with only one foot than to be thrown into hell with two feet. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. Its better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell (Mk. 9:43-47). (See Mt. 5:29, 30; 18:8, 9; Rom. 8:13; Col. 3:5; Tit. 2:12; 1 Pet. 2:1)
Question: Am I willing to take whatever measures necessary to rid myself of sin?
Passage: Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other (Mk. 9:50 -NLT) (See. Col. 4:5, 6; Heb. 12:14)
Question: Am I still a salty, but tempered follower of Christ?
CHALLENGE: Dont I beg you, only hear the message, but put it into practice; otherwise you are merely deluding yourselves. The man who simply hears and does nothing about it is like a man catching the reflection of his own face in a mirror. He sees himself, it is true, but he goes on with whatever he was doing without the slightest recollection of what sort of person he saw in the mirror. But the man who looks into the perfect mirror of Gods law, the law of liberty, and makes a habit of doing so, is not the man who sees and forgets. He puts that law into practiced and he wins true happiness (Jms. 1:22-25. Phillips Trans.).
This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.
R. Dwight Hill