The Daily Fountain Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 14 March 2023 – Living Below Expectation
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TOPIC: Living Below Expectation
READ: MARK 8: 11-9: 2 (NKJV)
11 Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him.
12 But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.”
13 And He left them, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side.
14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat.
15 Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”
16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “[It is] because we have no bread.”
17 But Jesus, being aware of [it,] said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened?
18 “Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember?
19 “When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?” They said to Him, “Twelve.”
20 “Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?” And they said, “Seven.”
21 So He said to them, “How [is it] you do not understand?”
22 Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him.
23 So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything.
24 And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.”
25 Then He put [His] hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly.
26 Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.”
27 Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, “Who do men say that I am?”
28 So they answered, “John the Baptist; but some [say,] Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.”
29 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”
30 Then He strictly warned them that they should tell no one about Him.
31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
32 He spoke this word openly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.
33 But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
34 When He had called the people to [Himself,] with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
35 “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.
36 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
37 “Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
38 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
9:1 And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”
2 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them.
The Pharisees who were leaders were more interested in testing Jesus and seeing his signs in today’s passage. They went away empty handed. Jesus addressed important issues in this passage concerning His power and mission on earth, The disciples who were being taught to guard against the bad character of the Pharisees were thinking about the bread they forgot to bring and Peter his disciple who announced correctly by revelation that He is Christ began reasoning wrongly about His future sufferings which attracted a rebuke from Jesus. Thank God that the blind man who came by faith for healing got his miracle from Jesus. These Pharisees and disciples are supposed to have a better knowledge of Jesus, unfortunately they disappointed Jesus in that regard.
Are you a leader or a Christian who act with hypocrisy and are more interested in miracles than personal spiritual transformation like the Pharisees? Are you like the disciples who are thinking of physical things when spiritual teachings are going on during programs? Are you like Peter, exhibiting high levels of spirituality sometimes and at other times you allow the enemy and the flesh to control your life? Repent today and avoid hypocrisy! Walk with God and preach His word in this sinful generation (Mark 8;15,38). This will bring salvation unto lost souls and keep you from imbibing ungodly behaviors.
PRAYER: O Lord help me to always remember Your faithfulness at all times.