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Showing posts from October 31, 2013

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

November 4 Cutting a Deal with GodMark 4:1–24
Sometimes we think we can make deals with God. We hear His commands, but we plan on being faithful later. Or we make light of our rebellious thoughts and actions, thinking they're only minor offenses in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps we think God will overlook them just as easily as we’ve rationalized them.
Jesus put special emphasis on “having ears to hear” in the Gospel of Mark. He expected much more than a captive audience, though: “ ‘If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!’ And he said to them, ‘Take care what you hear! With the measure by which you measure out, it will be measured out to you, and will be added to you’ ” (Mark 4:23–24).
Jesus issued this command shortly after giving His disciples special insight into the parable of the Sower and the Seed. The rocky soil, the thorns, the road, the good soil—these represented various responses to the good news. The good soil was receptive to the seeds. But more than that, such so…

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

October 31 Speaking the TruthDaniel 11:1–12:12; 2 Thessalonians 3:1–18

“And now I will reveal the truth to you” (Dan 11:2). How much better would our world be if more of us were willing to take this kind of stand—to make these kinds of statements?
The truth Daniel refers to are the prophecies foretelling what will happen in the Persian Empire. Great power and wealth are coming, and with them comes the fear of how that power and wealth may be used. If we read between the lines of the prophet’s statements in Dan 11, we can feel the trepidation. He is concerned that wickedness will once again sweep over the land.
Such was the case for Paul: “Pray for us, that the word of the Lord may progress and be honored … and that we may be delivered from evil and wicked people, for not all have the faith” (2 Thess 3:1–2). Paul was aware that unbelievers would seek his life. He wasn’t sure what the future would look like. We can imagine the fear that he must have felt, wondering, “What is next? What is…