Mark 8:21 Do You Still Not Understand?

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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.

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God’s Amazing Provision

God Will Provide

Over the 3 1/2 years I have worked in the public school system. Prior to that I had worked with an oilfield company for several years, until I was laid off from the job. I then felt led to go into the public schools to become a teacher. I started out as a substitute teacher and end the last year as a theatre teacher.

This school year has been very rough and was not working out as I expected. I felt as though I was being forced out of the position, due to various events happening in the workplace. At first it was difficult to accept, but then I felt God lead me to stepping out of the public schools.

As of the end of January I had resigned from the position. When I resigned, I did not have a clue as to what I would do next. The only thing I knew for sure was that God would provide the right job, at the right pay, at the right time and that He would provide for all of my needs through it all. I had to trust God for my provision not my job.

Stepping Out In Faith

My last day working as a public school teacher was on Jan 31. At that point I did not have any job lined up. I did have a couple of job offers, one of which both I and the employer decided it would not be a good match.

On Feb 1st, I had chose to look into the other offer, but when I was driving to the business to go fill out an application, I felt God’s Spirit tell me not to go. It did not make any sense to me, since I was in need of a job, but I knew what God was telling me. As I turned away from that job, I felt God’s peace.

God's Peace

God is leading me to take on a few part-time, flexible jobs, rather than one full time job. I want to work in jobs that directly help people in various ways and will allow me to be a witness to many people. I also want to work a job or jobs that will allow me time to be with my family and raise my children in a Godly way.

Later that same day I received a call from a friend asking if I may be interested in substitute teaching for a teacher in a private Christian school on Friday. I was excited at that potential. My wife and I felt that somehow I need to get into a private Christian school, so I may guide children in learning while growing in Christ Jesus. I told the person I would take it for Friday.

The amazing thing was that the position was as a theatre teacher in an elementary private school. The other amazing thing was that what the previous teacher was teaching the students was exactly the same thing I was teaching in the public school during the months of January and February. I was ready for it. The only difference was that this was in a Christian school, so bringing up the Bible and Bible stories is encouraged and wanted.

At the end of that class day, which ends at noon, the director of the school came to me. She wanted to know if I would be interested in the position for the rest of the semester. They only meet a few more times for this semester, and when they do, it is only one day a week. I knew this was God’s open door for me and I accepted it.

Now I know that this job is not enough in itself to pay my bills for even one month, with all that I will work this semester, but it is where God wants me. It gives me a chance to encourage young children to believe in God and use their talents in theatre for God. It is also the beginning of God providing for all the needs of my family.

Psalm 37_23_24

One thing that I am learning is that if I am finding my delight in Jesus and desire to follow Him, He will guide my steps. He will help me along the way, even over the rough paths that occur in life.

Philippian 4_19

God can and will supply every need that I and my family may ever have. I may not know how He will supply, but it will be in His way and in His time. I have to remember that He owns it all.

Psalm 50_10-12

I have to remember that He owns it all. He created this world and everything in it. Everything belongs to Him and He can do with it what He wants, when He wants and how He wants.

James 1_17

God only gives good and perfect gifts. I just need to trust Him.

As I am working on trusting Him with my job situation and provision for my family, I want to encourage you to step out and trust Him also. As you can see by my small testimony, God is providing in miraculous ways. Read through the Bible and see the many times, in many different ways God provided for people. It was not just for priests or kings, but everyday people like you and me.

I hope that this encourages you and builds your faith in God. My God is faithful and will not fail me nor you!

Matthew 6:33-34 Seek God’s Kingdom And Don’t Worry

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33-34

Right after Jesus talks about giving, prayer, fasting and storing up treasures in heaven, He tells the people to seek His kingdom first. He also tells them not to worry at all. Everything that they need will be given to them.

One thing that people like to do is worry. Many people will say that they do not worry, but that they are concerned. Or they may try to play it off as being a planner.

No matter how it is termed, it is still worry. Jesus said that all a person was to do was seek His kingdom and His righteousness. God’s kingdom is made up of people, not things and money. Money will have no meaning in heaven…remember the streets are paved with gold. No one is righteous, so everyone needs His righteousness.

Seeking God’s kingdom is the process of seeking people to share the gospel message with. It is desiring to build His kingdom larger and larger. It is going in and taking back lost souls that Satan has stolen away.

The real focus is no longer on self, but upon God and others. The whole purpose of Jesus coming to this earth was to save people, not build a wealthy, toy filled kingdom.

If your focus is on building up wealth and getting more toys to play with, you will be filled with worry. The economy can drop out at any moment or you could lose your job, causing there to be no more wealth very quickly. Toys wear out, break, become outdated and worthless very quickly. There is no point in chasing after the things of this world.

Seek to be more like Jesus everyday. Put on His righteousness and holiness. Seek what He sought–souls of men and women. Give everyone a chance to accept or reject Jesus.

As you do these things, God will provide for all of your other needs. Many of what you may call needs, will no longer be seen as a need, because His kingdom and righteousness are what is important to you.

Who or what are you seeking?

Does it cause worry?

Seek Jesus first.

I pray today that God and His kingdom will be your highest priorities in this life; that you will seek to be more like Jesus everyday; that you will not worry about anything; and that God’s love, peace and faithfulness will comfort you in all things.

Hosea 9:2 The Food & Wine Will Fail

Threshing floors and winepresses will not feed the people; the new wine will fail them. Hosea 9:2

Hosea was telling the people of Israel to not rejoice. They had been found guilty of committing many sins and rejecting God. Punishment was coming to them. Many in Israel felt that because their crops were so good, that they would be able to support themselves and did not need God at all. They are warned that everything will fail them.

Farmers go out and plant huge fields of crops for food. They expect the crops to come in large enough to be able to feed their own family and sell a lot to others for more money, so they can get wealthy and feed more people.

On the surface this looks like it would provide for needs of all the people everywhere to get enough food. However, without God, those crops will not always come through as the farmer may expect. God has to be the one to provide the right amount of water and sunshine for those crops to grow. As people refuse to follow God and give Him all the credit, God pulls His hand of favor away and the crops will not grow as well, which will not feed the people.

Not every person grows food for themselves or for a profit. People use other things to make a profit and provide for themselves. Working many different types of jobs, people strive to have large bank accounts in order to provide for all of their needs. In the same way, if they are not following God and allowing Him to be in control, the bank accounts will fail. There will not be enough money to provide for all the needs one may have.

Life consists of more than just food and drink. One needs the nourishment of God and His word in his life on a daily basis.

As you are going through your life, what are you expecting to nourish you? Is it the food you buy with the money your job provided?

Or is it God providing through your job and His grace and mercy?

Keep your eyes and life focused on God and allow Him to be the one in control. Then God will provide for all of your needs. Your hands will work and be prosperous for your needs and the needs of others. Without God, they will fail.

I pray today that you will know God’s provision for your life; that you will trust in God alone; that God will provide for others through you; and that God will receive all the credit for the blessings in your life.

Proverbs 30:8-9 Truth And Contentment

Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD? Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God. Proverbs 30:8-9

Agur makes two requests of God to be granted. The first is very understandable and many will ask of it also: to be kept from falsehood and lies. Many understand this and do not want to be in lies. Telling lies gets a person on a slippery downward slope that is difficult to get back up. The farther from the edge of that slope a person is the better off he is.

The other request is to have neither poverty nor wealth. Many struggle with this one, because most people want wealth. There is nothing wrong with wealth, in and of itself. The problem comes in that when a person gets wealthy, he will usually forget about God. The reliance on God will go away.

It will cause many people to stop relying on God for their provision and rely on their own works.

Along side of not wanting extreme wealth, Agur does not want to be extremely poor. He fears that he will end up stealing to survive, which dishonors God.

His request is to have just enough for his daily bread.

The challenge with having just enough for your daily bread, is that you cannot directly see what there will be for tomorrow. It is a walk of faith, not by sight. It is trusting that God will meet all of your needs from day-to-day. It is not worrying about tomorrow.

This can be a scary journey, if you do not realize who God is, how much He loves you, and how much He can do. God is the master of the universe, He loves you with an undying, perfect and eternal love, and He is all-powerful and can do anything needed.

How is your trust in God today?

Are you trying to get rich, to provide for yourself?

Are you stealing to provide for yourself?

Or are you trusting God to provide just what you need, when you need it?

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will see God’s provision for you; that you will trust God for day-to-day needs; and that you will not try to do everything on your own.

Proverbs 23:4-5 Only Glance At Riches

Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. Proverbs 23:4-5

Getting wealthy is the goal of many people. They desire to have a lot of money. The reasons for wanting a lot of money can vary from person to person. Some want all the large things; some want to be able to give more away; others fear any debt; others may want to provide everything for their families; and yet there are many other desires for wealth.

In order to get the desired wealth many people will go to extreme measures. They will work extra long hours or work an extra job. Many will even work a job that they hate, only because it pays so much more. As they strive to be wealthy, many will try out different get-rich-quick deals. People will bounce from selling one product to another, just to make a lot of money.

The common factor in all of these is that people are wearing themselves out in order to gain more wealth. They can never get enough.

Solomon says to just give a quick glance at wealth, because they will be gone quickly. Wealth is here today and gone tomorrow.

Take a look at your paycheck. It doe not matter how much it really is or how little it really is. Either way, once payday hits, within a few short days it is usually gone. Bills are paid, food and gas are bought, needed items are purchased, and suddenly all the money is gone. All that hard-earned wealth has disappeared.

In light of eternity, all wealth is very fleeting. No matter how much you have it will be gone soon. As Solomon says it sprouts wings and flies off quickly.

As you are going through this life, do not make getting wealthy a high priority in your life. Seek God and find out what He wants you to do. Make doing God’s will your highest priority. Then be content with what He has given you.

God will give you all that you need to live an abundant life. This may mean you may or may not be wealthy, but it will mean a full life. Don’t wear yourself trying to get rich.

I pray today that you will know God’s provision in your life; that you will know the abundant life God provides you; that you will not trust in wealth, but in God alone; and that you will be used by God to reach this world for Jesus.

Proverbs 19:17 Lending To The Lord

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done. Proverbs 19:17

Banks lend money out to people with the expectation that they will get paid back with interest. It is one of their processes of making more money. The banks are not always very concerned about what is done with the money, they just want to be ensured they will get it back.

People often loan things out to friends or family. They will loan out tools or equipment, books, dishes, or even vehicles. Nearly everything can be available to be loaned out. In this type of loan, people do expect to get the item back, but not necessarily with interest. They trust that the item will come back in good condition.

Jesus had stated that one should be willing to lend to anyone, but not to expect a return. Believers are to lend out freely and not force the person to return the item. They are not expected to get what was loaned out back with interest.

The reason for it can be found in what Solomon says. When a person is kind to a poor person, he is lending to the Lord. Being kind is providing something that the person needs. It could be some material thing or just a listening ear or a helping hand.

Being kind to someone who is poor, often means that person cannot pay it back. This is where one needs to trust in the Lord.

God is watching everything that you do. He is taking note of it and will not forget it. When you have reached out and met a need of someone else, God will reward you. The methods of rewarding you may be different each time.

There are times God will abundantly meet your needs. You will end up with a surplus. Other times God will fill you with His joy and peace at being able to help meet another person’s needs. Ultimately you will be rewarded in heaven for all the good things you have done.

As you go through life, do not be afraid to help meet the needs of someone else. Trust that God will meet your needs and reward you for what you have done for someone else.

I pray today that you will trust God’s provision; that God will use you to help meet the needs of others; that you will freely lend to others; and that God’s love and generosity will be shown through your life.