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Mark 16 (New International Version, ©2010)Mark 16Jesus Has Risen1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.[a][The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have verses 9–20.]9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those…Continue
Matthew 10 (New International Version, ©2010)Matthew 10Jesus Sends Out the Twelve1 Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,[a] drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— 10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20…Continue
God's Daily MiraclesThis devotional was written by Jim BurnsAgain the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me? Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." —John 10:31-32, 37-38Do you believe in miracles? I do. I don't believe that everything called a miracle really is a miracle. In fact, I've been disappointed more than once with something or someone who faked a miracle. But miracles happen all around us every day. Some of the miracles are super-extraordinary; others, like a sunset, the human body or the true love of a man and woman, have become so ordinary that we hardly call them a miracle even though that's exactly what they are.What is a miracle? A miracle makes an opening in the wall that separates this world and another. A miracle is a wonder, a beam of God's supernatural power injected into history. A miracle is a happening that cannot be explained in terms of ordinary life.Christ performed at least thirty-five miracles in the Bible: walking on water, healing the sick, multiplying loaves and fish, turning water into wine, and even raising the dead.Why did Christ perform so many miracles? Did he do it to persuade the people of his power or to solidify their faith? Did he do miracles to dramatically show that God took an interest in his creation? The answer is a simple "yes." Jesus performed miracles in order to give God glory. Perhaps the greatest miracle was the fact that Jesus (the Word) became flesh and dwelt among us. He is the visible expression of the invisible God.God doesn't always perform miracles at our every petition, but don't underestimate his power either. Next time you seek a miracle, don't forget, he is not a magician - but don't be surprised if his miracle is greater than you…Continue
Today's Thoughts: MiraclesGideon said to Him, "O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, 'Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?' But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites."Judges 6:13This past weekend we hosted a radio talk show. We were told to pick whatever topic the Lord put on our hearts and then spend the hour discussing it with our audience. The Lord impressed upon us the message of miracles. How does God work miracles in our lives today? Does He do the same kinds of miracles as He did in the Bible? We asked these types of questions and discussed the answers. We pray that we shed some light on God's desire to perform miracles in our lives everyday. We need to recognize miracles and give glory to the Lord when things happen that we tend to call "just a God thing."I gave an illustration that seemed to strike a cord with people. I talked about missing a freeway exit. I kind of spaced out and perked up past my exit. I got off the exit, turned around, and then missed the street I was to take. After missing both exits, I said, "Ok, Lord, You must have a reason for this. I thank You for whatever reason that may be." I did not know what was going on but I knew it was not a coincidence. Someone called in and gave a story of getting off on an exit that they had not planned to get off on. When they returned to the freeway, an automobile matching their description almost exactly had just been totaled in an accident. This person knew the hand of God had just saved them. Miracle or coincidence? We believe that God is working in our lives on a daily basis, some things we see clearly, others we may never know about.We need to believe in miracles because we need to be encouraged and have hope that our God is with us, protecting us, and doing supernatural wonders in our lives. We do not need an explanation for all that happens. Just…Continue