When even Jesus ‘could not’ What can stop the Almighty?

And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief.‭‭(Mark‬ ‭6:5-6‬) This is one of the most remarkable verses in the Bible. Jesus, the all powerful, stopped in his tracks. What could prevent him from acting? What could hinder his power? Unbelief. The Western Church almost encourages unbelief. Our cynicism and skepticism means that if God actually turned up and did something we would be shocked … [Read more...]

Do not fear, only believe!

“But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” Mark‬ ‭5:36‬ Even the most outwardly confident of us sometimes need to hear this command of Jesus. He tells us the same as he told the ruler of the synagogue: do not to be anxious, but instead trust him. Trust is a choice which can dispel fear.This is not an instruction for us to simply by human effort force ourselves not to fear, or to deny the reality and cover up our anxiety. Like … [Read more...]

Evangelism made simple 

“And he ... said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.””‭‭(Mark‬ ‭5:19‬) Oh how complicated we make evangelism sometimes. Or how put off we are of it because we know we will not be the next Billy Graham! Here Jesus gives a simple command. The challenge to you and me is how much do we actually do this. We live in a world that is largely disinterested in Jesus. But, when the time is right, simply telling our stor … [Read more...]

The One who spoke peace to the storm now speaks peace to you. (Mark 4:39)

“And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”‭‭ (Mark‬ ‭4:39).‬ READ more at Bible Gateway. There are different kinds of sleep. Jesus' sleep was birthed in total confidence his Father was watching over the universe as he slumbered. Sleeping in the back of a boat as it is nearly overwhelmed by wind and waves is remarkable. No wonder there was a note of irritation in the disciples voices as they woke him saying "don't … [Read more...]

A family divided against itself will fall 

"... if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” (‭‭Mark‬ ‭3:25)‬ ‭ READ more at Bible Gateway. ‬‬I was reading Mark 3 this morning. The theologian in me immediately started thinking about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Maybe one day I will add my thoughts to the myriad of others. But instead another verse hit me in the eye today.To understand what Jesus means here, we must leave aside any notion of the windows of a house taking up arms against the bric … [Read more...]

Jesus’ anger at hardness of heart (Mark 3:5)

 And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. (Mark 3:5 ESV) READ more  at Bible Gateway.  Hardness of heart means simply failure to soften your heart. It means failure of empathy. A rejection of someone else as a person. It means we see them as an annoyance, or it means certain rules and regulations take precedence over their needs in an unhelpful wa … [Read more...]

Jesus is not looking for perfect people, just failures like you and me (Mark 2:17)

“And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.””‭‭ Mark‬ ‭2:17‬ ‭‬‬ Read more at Bible Gateway. This is personally so encouraging to me. I know how it goes. We like to put certain Christians on a pedestal. Some of them enjoy being perceived as perfect. But Jesus has no time for those who think they have it all together. In fact he remembers only too well his encounters wi … [Read more...]

How to not be driven by what everyone else wants from you (Mark 1:33-38)

That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door . . . And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I c … [Read more...]

When God commands, do we immediately follow?

And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. (Mark 1:17-18) Bible Gateway.One of the features of Mark's gospel is the phrase 'And immediately.' Despite Mark's brevity, his gospel contains more than 70% of the uses of this Greek Word in the New Testament (Source: Logos). He uses the same word so often that some translations decide not to translated it to avoid the constant repetition. The ESV is not one … [Read more...]

How reasonable are you? (Philippians 4:5 & Titus 3:1-3)

“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.” ‭‭(Philippians‬ ‭4:5‬)Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. (Titus 3:1-3) Reasonableness. The same Greek word elsewhere translated gentleness. Surely also related to meekness. Not righteous indication. Not aggressive forcefulness. Not irritation. Not self a … [Read more...]

And so my nest begins to empty…

Mixture of emotions this morning as we will be taking my eldest daughter Tamasin Warnock to the airport later today for her to go to South Africa as a volunteer for six months! I am obviously a bit sad as we will miss her, and this is really our first experience of the nest beginning to empty. Of course she is part of the boomerang generation so I fully expect her to come back home afterwards! But I am massively proud of my eldest daughter. This project is something Tamasin found, applied for, a … [Read more...]

Top Bible Verses Explained: Proverbs 3:5-6 – Conditions for Guidance

I was fascinated recently to see a list of the most read Bible verses on Bible Gateway. Unsurprisingly, a number of these verses appear on similar lists from other Bible websites.  What is it about these verses that draw people to them again and again?  Over the coming months I will take several of these popular verses and explain them, sometimes linking also to useful materials from others. I hope this will be of interest to everyone and perhaps especially of  help for … [Read more...]


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