03/09

March 9

Mark 12:28-44

One of the scribes asked Jesus what He thought the first, rather foremost, commandment was. Jesus didn’t quote one of the famous ten. He quoted Deuteronomy 6:4-5, to love God with your whole being. Then He went ahead and told the scribe what the second greatest was, saying it was “like” the first, quoting from Leviticus 19:18, Jesus said loving your neighbor as you love yourself. The scribe agreed. Jesus said, “You aren’t far from the kingdom of God.” The Father is, was, and will always be about relationship.

In verse 37, it says that “the common people heard Him gladly.” The scribes and religious Pharisees wouldn’t listen. It’s the same today. People that get puffed up with Bible knowledge can become very critical, pointing out faults; however, Jesus didn’t come for those who thought they knew everything – people who didn’t see their lack. He came for the hungry.

Jesus warned the people of the scribes, saying “These will receive greater condemnation” because they acted high and mighty instead of humble in heart.

In verses 41-44, Jesus was people-watching. Leaders often observe. Then He called His disciples over for a teaching moment. The widow who gave two mites. The mite was a small Jewish coin, about 1/64 of a denarius. A denarius was one day’s wages. Today it would be considered 1/8 of a penny. When a woman’s husband died, she had no income. She didn’t have government benefits. Jesus said that this woman gave everything she had, her whole livelihood. God is the Creator of all. He isn’t impressed by amount like we are tempted to do. God is looking at the heart.

Deuteronomy 8-10

In chapter 8, Moses told the people that in order to possess the land, they had to obey God’s commandments. Therefore, if they did not rely on God to the point of obedience, then they would not be able to possess the land. This is a good lesson for us today. While we are living under grace and not the Law, obedience is still a requirement for faith. Faith without work (actions) is dead (unproductive and inactive, James 2:17).

Verse 3 is powerful, and it’s a verse Jesus quotes in Matthew 4:4. “Man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.” Our body has to have food to live on. In a similar way, our spirit has to lean in obedience on God’s Word to live by faith. We rely on God the way our body relies on food to eat. When God gives instruction, by faith we follow. It’s dependency. You see, even in the Old Testament, God wasn’t just looking for performance; He was after their hearts.

In verse 16, God says that the manna had a purpose. The purpose was to humble and test them, to DO YOU GOOD IN THE END. One day, the people would go from “just enough” to abundant living. In that abundance, God wanted them to continue to rely upon Him. You can be blessed and still fully rely on God.

Because of their doubt, fear, and self-sufficiency, God had to work on the next generation, a generation that would trust, depend on, and obey Him. Preparation time is never wasted time. God was going to bless this nation by multiplying their herds and flocks and their silver and gold (vs 13). When they experience this blessing, they were not to forget the Lord’s loving authority in their life. In verse 10, the people are told to bless the Lord for what He’s done. In verse 14, it says, “When your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God…”

In verse 17 when someone stops relying on God, he or she starts thinking it was because of them that the blessing came. In verse 18, God says, “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Remember, we are nothing without Him!

In verse 4 it says, “Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years.” How many of you have had a pair of shoes for forty years that you wore every day and they didn’t wear out? What about a piece of clothing that you often wore for forty years – in a desert climate? This verse is in the Bible because God supernaturally cared for the needs of the people while they wandered because of their doubt and disobedience. His mercy is incredible. They didn’t deserve that, but guess what? We don’t deserve the Father’s benefits either! It’s by mercy and grace through faith that we receive miracles from God.

In Deuteronomy 9:4, God warns the people beforehand not to think their blessing is based on their righteousness. God was working the wickedness out of Canaan. Verse 26 says it was because of His greatness that He redeemed Israel.

In chapter 10, Moses recalls the second set of tablets with the ten commandments and the Law.

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