The question is often asked, “What would you do if you only had 6 months to live?” Most people talk about spending more time with family and going and doing things they’ve always wanted to do…checking things off the so called “bucket list.” Let’s change the question slightly to say, “What would you do if you knew the world was going to end in 6 months and Jesus would return?” While most of us may say we would do some of the same things as if we knew we personally would only live 6 months, I would hope some of us would also say we would tell other others about our Savior in Jesus which is our word to describe him today. As we discussed in our small group this week, we often don’t want to think about what will happen to others if they don’t know Him. If we do think about it we often just think they won’t go to Heaven and maybe not even think of the alternative or just think of Hell as a dark place. While I won’t go into any details here, the Bible tells us many times Hell is more than just a dark place and somewhere we shouldn’t want anyone to go.

We see really good examples in John 4:1-42 with the Samaritan women at the well telling others about Jesus saying “come and see” and then in Acts 13 when Paul and Barnabas were in Antioch the rulers of the synagogue asked if they had any words of encouragement, and they had the bravery to tell the story of who Jesus was through referencing the Old Testament scriptures Jews knew by saying, “Of this man’s offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as He promised.” in Acts 13:23.

As has been the focus of some of many recent posts, we are living in really crazy times right now. When people observe how you are reacting to all of this what are they thinking? Are they seeing peace in your heart that God has perfect plan and is in control? Or are they hearing you complain? Are they hearing you are worried and anxious? Are they even hearing you say something like, “If (fill in the blank) gets elected/re-elected it’s going to get really bad, and I’m not sure what will happen to our country and world!” While we are all imperfect humans and can be guilty of this (I know I am), we really need to think about the personal trust we have in God and then in turn the impact our thoughts and words and ultimately actions have on both believers and especially non-believers speaking with and observing us. Charles Stanley said, “Basically, there are two paths you can walk: faith or fear. It’s impossible to simultaneously trust God and not trust God.” What is the condition of your heart? What is the level of trust and hope you have in Jesus for the future?

Paul’s relationship and trust in Jesus was such that he could confidently say in 1 Timothy 4:10, “For this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.” Despite how hopeless our life, this country, or the world looks due to sin…we should all strive to be able to say the same. When we do, we will not only be able to confidently tell others about our Savior and that if they seek Him too it will not only bring peace to their heart today, but it will also affect where they will spend eternity. Many will begin to even ask how and why you are so calm and confident despite your personal challenging circumstances or despite the turmoil of the current times.

Once the woman at the well went back to tell others, they came and saw Jesus. And they said in John 4:42, “…..It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world. People will start to observe and begin to “see” God in their lives. Knowing our Savior will not only change the hope they have on this side of eternity, but it will change where they spend the other side of eternity.

Revelation 21:4 says…

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”


My prayer today is that you take a few minutes to listen to this song and have the hope that Aaron Shust describes, as well as share that hope you have in our Savior with others….


Blind leading the blind

Last weekend I worked alongside a young man of 13 years.  In conversation, we landed on the topic of a series of sci-fi books that he enjoys reading.  The books are about a group of criminal clones.  The characters in the story were cloned from the worst criminals in the world and raised in a controlled utopia environment.  The question posed by the scientists conducting this experiment, “Were these criminals born this way?”.  They wanted to see if the clones would show criminal tendencies in an environment free of negative influence.

“What an excellent question.” I said, “The Bible has the answer.” I asked him, “What is the book’s answer?” He told me that the criminal clones escaped and committed crimes.  Here is what I told him.

The truth is that they were born that way.  A utopia environment will not prevent people from becoming criminals.  A bad environment does not turn people into criminals, though it can make the situation worse.  The real issue is that we are all born with sin in our hearts.  We all need Jesus to reign in our hearts.  He is the only way to freedom from sin and death.  These scientists were confused in thinking an environment causes people to be good or bad.  What is good and what is bad?  Only God is good.  Those that do not want to listen to God, choose to compare themselves to other standards to determine if they are good or bad. The problem with that is no one gets to choose with whom to compare themselves to determine if they are good or bad.  Even the worst of criminals will find something in this world to compare themselves with and think himself good.  God is the true standard and He is perfect.  He makes the rules.  Jesus is our only hope.  Those that accept God’s truth know they need help.  They can ask Jesus to save them from what is in store for bad people and He will.   

From today’s reading: John 9 and Psalm 111

39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.  – John 9:39-41

While they said, “We see.”  and felt assured in their salvation, the Pharisees compared themselves to the wrong standard.  

Painting: The Blind Leading the Blind by Pieter Bruegel the Elder


Hello Mark

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

 Hello, it’s a Monday and I’m here to welcome you to the gospel of Mark. Are you excited? I’m so excited! This has been such an awesome time of new beginnings. We aren’t reading the Gospel of Mark quite yet today, but instead we’re getting acquainted with our new author. Of course, I’ve done my usual research and uncovered some interesting facts for us. The Gospel of Mark is actually anonymous. In 326 AD, Eusebius, an early church historian, preserved the words of Papias an early church elder. Papias, quoted another elder, probably John, as saying that Mark recorded Peter’s preaching about Jesus but not in order. Therefore, since the first century, Mark was considered the author of this Gospel.

Mark was actually named John Mark and was the son of a widow named Mary. The church of Jerusalem sometimes met at Mary’s house (see Acts 12:12-17). Some sources say that Jesus’ last supper took place in Mary’s house as well…but we don’t really know so we can’t get too excited! Mark and Barnabus were cousins (Col 4:10) and together they traveled with Paul on that first missionary journey. Mark became like a son to the apostle Peter and also became close to Paul. Shortly before Paul’s execution, he asked Timothy to “bring Mark with you, for he is useful to me in the ministry” (2 Timothy 4:11). After Paul’s execution, Mark moved to Egypt and established churches.

Mark wrote his gospel in Rome around the time of Peter’s martyrdom. He wrote primarily for the Roman Gentiles and used Latin terms rather then Greek. Mark’s Gospel is believed by many Bible scholars to be the earliest Gospel written. There is evidence that it served as a source for both Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Mark’s writing begins with John the Baptist preaching and then moves on to Jesus’ public ministry. We see Jesus in action as a servant and then Jesus is revealed to us as the Messiah when he performs several miracles. By the end of Mark’s gospel, we move quickly toward the events of The Last Supper, the betrayal, the crucifixion and the resurrection. What an opportunity we have in these next few weeks to get to know Jesus through Mark. I’m ready for God to move in our life as we follow in His footsteps: serving, sacrificing and saving. I’ll leave you today with four key themes of Mark’s Gospel to consider. I challenge you to write them down and watch for them to come up in our daily study of Mark. I’ll be making notes each day about the words of Christ and how they fit within our personal faith journey.

Jesus Christ:

  • Mark demonstrates that Jesus Christ is the Son of God
  • He overcomes disease, demons and death
  • Jesus chose to die for us


  • Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament by coming to earth
  • He came as a servant, not a conquering king
  • By giving his life he performed the ultimate act of service


  • Mark records more of Jesus’ miracles in his Gospel than sermons
  • Mark reveals Jesus’ true identity as the Messiah through accounts of his miracles

Spreading the Gospel:

  • Jesus directed his ministry to the Jews, he was met with opposition
  • Jesus also ministered to the “non-Jewish” world including Roman soldiers, Syrians, and other Gentiles.
  • Many believed the good news and followed him
  • Jesus’ final message to his disciples was to go out to the whole world and preach salvation

 Author’s note: Much of today’s historic information was drawn from a collection of study Bibles. I primarily use the NIV Life Application Study Bible (Zondervan), The HCSB Study Bible (Holman Bible Publishers), The ESV Study Bible (Crossway) and various online sources such as:, and Of course when writing about historic figures, one can only use the collection of data available and then present it in a way that honors the source. I’ve done the best I can to collect facts and share them with you in a digestible Monday morning fashion. There is always lots more Christian literature available to us! If you want more information about the Gospel of Mark or have knowledge you’d like to share, please comment below.