Friday, April 29, 2011

Saturday, April 30

Last Saturday we read in Mark 11-12. It was here in these chapters that we saw many things that took place leading up to the death and resurrection of Christ...which we just so happened to have celebrated last weekend. It was and is a joyous celebration because Christ is no longer dead, He is alive.

But then today we begread in Mark 13-14 which to many is a bit of disheartening discussions. In Mark 13 we look towards the end times, which many fear. I think that in looking to the end times, many want to focus just on all the bad stuff that happens but I think that in Mark 13:13 we can take courage. It states, "And you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." Being hated isn't exactly a happy thought but I think the reason for being hated is...we belong to God! People will hate us but they first hated Christ! I find refuge in this. And then the second part of that verse reminds us that there is something to come later! Persecution will happen, followers will be handed over for death, but ultimately our God, our Father, or Savior will do just us!

Of course first followers must go through the trials and we must, "be on guard" as Mark 13:22 states because false teachers and prophets will try to lead us astray. I think this being on guard goes right along with what we are doing right now and right here...reading through God's Word. To be on guard against false teachings, we must first know the truth. So let me encourage you to keep on studying, keep on working through the Bible this year. Soak it in!
As we move past chapter 13 and into chapter 14, we see the the trials leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus and it solidifies the theme of today's reading...trials and hardships will come our way. But I do find strength in knowing that no matter what I may face, Christ faced it first and He wants to help me through it.

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