“If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.” Mark 9:42
Jesus makes a harsh statement about causing a little one to stumble. In another gospel He is talking about children who believe in Him. Jesus states that it would be better to be drowned in the sea than to cause a child to stumble.
Stumbling here is not the causing someone to fall down. It is causing someone to fall down in the belief in Jesus. He is more concerned with their spiritual welfare than their physical welfare. A person who physically falls only creates a short-term physical problem. Falling spiritually can cause a lot of greater problems that can last for all eternity, if not dealt with correctly.
The ‘little ones’ mentioned here are not just children, but all new believers. New believers are called infants in the bible and need to grow into maturity. And all believers are called the children of God, regardless of how long they have been a believer.
In the world it is easy for people to think that they do not have a major influence on other people, but that is not true. Every believer sets an example before every other person that they are around. Parents have a major influence on their children. Co-workers have a major influence on their fellow co-workers.
If someone sees a believer doing some sin as though it is nothing, it can cause that person to follow in that sinful way. This is different from doing an accidently sin, it is doing a sin on purpose. Purposefully telling lies, cheating, stealing, cursing others, disobedience and any other sin.
As a believer you have to be careful how you lead others or what you show others that Jesus looks like. You are the representation of Jesus on this earth. If you live your life in sin, while claiming to be a believer, you may cause someone to fall away from Jesus. At that point, it would be better if you were drowned in the sea.
Live your life in a way that does not cause others to stumble in any way. Be the shining example of who Jesus is. Lead people to Jesus, not away from Him.
I pray today that you will live for Jesus; that God will keep you from a life of sin; that God will strengthen you to not lead others in sin; and that you will be an example of Jesus to others around you.
“What are you arguing with them about?” he asked. Mark 9:16
A man had brought his demon possessed son to the disciples to have the spirit removed. The disciples were unable to remove the demon and so the teachers of the law were arguing with them about it. Each group had their own idea of how to cast the demon out. Jesus asked what they were arguing about.
Arguments are a common thing to see, no matter where a person looks. There are arguments as to how a play was made, or not made in a sport. Arguments about who should be the next politician, about how a politician is doing, about what is the best movie, or who the best actor is. Arguments about what rights should or should not be allowed. Arguments about what is freedom. And the list goes on forever.
Arguments even occur within the church. Many dispute what the best doctrine is, or how to be saved, or when to be baptized, or the place of tongues in the church.
The disciples and the teachers of the law were arguing about the best way to get the demon spirit removed from the boy. Yet, the best way was completely overlooked. The best way is by faith, by belief in Jesus and in God.
People love to make things more complicated than what they really are. They cannot see the simplicity of the gospel message and that God loves them and wants to save them at all costs.
Individuals will even argue with God about the best way to meet a need or about a path that one must walk. There is a lack of belief in God.
There may be times you have been in an argument with another believer or even God Himself. You did not agree with what was going on and felt you knew better.
Get yourself into God’s Word and see what God has to say about the situation. Seek God in prayer to help you understand what is going on and the best path to take.
Seek to find common ground with others, rather than just argue for your point of view.
God is a God of love and unity, not division. The only thing God wants you to be divided against is sin. Don’t waste time arguing on points that really do not matter. Believe in God and trust Him.
I pray today that you will know what God wants; that you will not waste words arguing with others; that you will speak the words of God; and that you will have a belief and trust in God.
He said to them, “Do you still not understand?” Mark 8:21
Jesus had just finished feeding over 4,000 people with a few loaves of bread and fish. Afterwards, He and the disciples left by boat. On the boat Jesus gave them a warning about the Pharisees, yet, they did not understand. He asked how they could still not understand.
Understanding what is going on is often missed by a lot of people. They see things from the surface and do not see the deeper meaning of something that is occurring.
It is common for people to see the immediate situation rather than the big picture. When the big picture is not seen, there is often a misunderstanding of what is happening or could happen.
Many in the world know how to see the big picture of what is going on. Plans are made years in advance to change the mindset of the people to follow unacceptable behaviors. There are many actions that are acceptable today, that thirty years ago were not commonly accepted. In order to see that, one must be willing to see and understand what was happening to make the change.
Believers often see God at work in their lives or in the lives of others. They see or hear of some miracle, but then, almost immediately, do not believe God will meet a need they have.
Jesus had just revealed that He could make the impossible happen with feeding the 4,000. Yet, shortly afterwards, the disciples were feeling that they were in trouble because they did not bring enough bread. They did not understand what had just happened and what Jesus was now warning them about.
Every day you can see God doing great wonders and miracles. As you see these things occurring, you can know and understand that God is in control.
Take a moment and remember the last time God had provided something for you. That something could be a physical item, healing or a spiritual item. If He could do it then, why can He not do it now?
Think about how many times God has met your needs. Those needs may have been met by providing you a job, or through someone else, or by a miracle, but they were met.
Do you not understand how much God loves you? Do you not understand how much God can meet your needs?
Understand and trust God today?
I pray today that you will know the provisions God has given you; that you will know God can raise you above any circumstance; that God is in control; and that you can trust God in all things.