“HE MARVELLED BECAUSE OF THEIR UNBELIEF!”

Please read Mark 6:1-13.

Verse 6, “And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.”

Verses 1-4 His countrymen are astonished at the wisdom and mighty works of Jesus, and are offended at Him.

Verses 5-6 The result is that He works few miracles there, because of their unbelief.

Verses 7-11 He sends forth His disciples two by two to preach the Gospel.

Verses 12-13 The disciples depart, preach, and work miracles. 

“Is not this the carpenter, son of Mary?” Among the ancient Jews, every father was bound to do four things for his son:

  1. Circumcise him. 3. Redeem him.
  2. Teach him the law. 4. Teach him a trade.

The old saying is that, “He who does not teach his son to work, is as if he taught him to steal!”

Jesus left His home country of Nazareth, and His family of four half brothers and two or more half sisters, children of Joseph and Mary born after Jesus.

James, the writer of the Book of James, who became the pastor of the church in Jerusalem, and Jude, the writer of the Book of Jude, both took offense at Jesus’ teaching. We do not know exactly why they would have taken offense, except that it may have been jealousy on their part. The important truth here is that it was not the lack of Jesus’ power, but the lack of their faith that kept Him from working miracles in Nazareth. As far as we know He never returned to Nazareth.

In this message we will focus on verse six: “And he marvelled because of their unbelief.”

Jesus had divine knowledge and insight into the human heart, but he had human limitations in areas that are not clear to us. You will recall that He marvelled at the faith of the Roman centurion where one would not expect faith.

Matthew 8:10, “When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel..”

It seems strange that Jesus could marvel, but we have to remember that though God, He had all human characteristics. On the other hand, we need to note that Jesus never marveled outside of these two incidents. In this case, it was because of belief, and in Mark 6:6 it was because of unbelief. Those among us who believe that Jesus gives faith ought to notice some facts about it.

If Jesus had given the centurion faith, He would not have been surprised to find that he had it; and, if He failed to give it to the people of Nazareth, it would have been inconsistent for Him to be surprised at their lack of it. Why would He give faith to a Gentile stranger, and withhold it from His family and countrymen? The simple truth is that faith is really no more or less than belief and is not a miraculous gift. A man who believes the Bible, believes it in the same way he believes any other facts in his life.

In Mark 6:6 He marvels at the lack of faith where he had a right to expect it, not only among the Jews, but in His own home town, and even in his own home. Again, we must remember that He marvelled as a man, and as God nothing was a marvel to Him. Glory!

TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW!

“FAILURE IS NOT FATAL!” Conclusion!

None of us will ever be properly motivated or motivate others until we learn how to handle our failures, because most of us quit after one defeat. On the other hand, what causes some to keep on going? Failure only makes them more determined to succeed and overcome. We need to understand that failure is not fatal. It is a wise parent, teacher or preacher who teaches people how to learn from their mistakes and teaches them how to keep on going.

Some of the best managers and preachers in the country teach their people how to cope with failure and learn from their mistakes, while others keep replacing people because they have not taught them to learn from their mistakes.

Someone said, “It is the ability to fail that makes for lasting success.”

Some Christians go to great lengths to hide their failures, because they have been taught that strong people never fail.

Richard Needham says, “Strong people make as many and as ghastly mistakes as weak people. The difference is that strong people admit them, laugh at them, and learn from them. That is how they become strong.”

Many parents make the mistake of not properly accepting their children’s failures. Home should be a refuge where family members get their wounds bandaged, and where they are accepted no matter how they have failed on the outside.

It was Seneca who said, “If thou art a man, admire those who attempt great things, even though they fail.”

Theodore Roosevelt said, “The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.”

The best way to avoid criticism is not to have anything, say anything, or dare to do anything. Failure never hurt anybody; it’s the fear of failure that kills.

Abraham Lincoln was a failure at being a storekeeper, surveyor, soldier, lawyer, and businessman. It took him 17 years to pay off some bad debts, but he paid them. He failed in his bid for the Legislature, for Congress, and for Vice President, but became the greatest President we have ever had. Why? He didn’t quit! Where did Lincoln learn such ability? Well, yes it was a part of his character that Sandburg described as “Steel and Velvet,” but he also persevered because some people believed in him, encouraged him when he was in despair, taught him that failure was not permanent, and pushed him on.

So, how can we fail successfully?

  • REALIZE EVERYBODY FAILS SOMETIME.
  • FAILURE NEED NOT BE FATAL – PERMANENT.
  • USE FAILURE AS A STEPPINGSTONE TO SUCCESS.
  • IF YOU HAVE FAILED, TRY AGAIN AND AGAIN.

       Think you have problems – failures?

Look at Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:23-31.

Sometimes our greatest successes are built upon our failures in life!

“FAILURE IS NOT FATAL!”

Please read Proverbs 24:15-20.
Proverbs 24:16, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” 

In verse 15 the plan of the wicked against the good will not be successful, because they will find that their wickedness will be opposed by God Himself.

Psalm 37:24, “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.”

He is subjected to many dangers, but God will deliver him.

Verse 16, “Falleth seven times, and riseth up again.”

God may allow danger, opposition, and temptations to attack our faith, but He consistently comes through in the furnace of affliction, to make us come out brighter and more refined.

But the wicked shall fall into mischief,” and there they will stand alone with no one to uphold them.

2 Corinthians 4:8-10, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”

2 Corinthians 1:8, “For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life.”
2 Corinthians 6:4, “But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, ….”
Charles Kettering said, “The chief job of an educator is to teach people how to fail intelligently.”

I believe it was President Kennedy that said, “The mistake is not to make a mistake but not to correct it.”

In late May of 1940, the English army, on the beaches of Dunkirk, faced what could be its most devastating defeat. The German Panzer Division had pushed the badly equipped and badly trained British forces into a tighter and tighter corner, and Hitler was ready to jerk the noose already around their neck. Their only escape was the sea. This is where they were at an advantage over the Germans with many years’ experience at sea. The evacuation began to take place by the British Navy. One third of the army was lost, but the bulk of the army was saved and their spirit was still very high. All their equipment had been abandoned in France. It would have taken years to train and equip another army capable of reentering Europe.

In Churchill’s report to the nation that week he said, “We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight in the seas and oceans, and we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, and we shall never surrender.”

Churchill also said, “It is not enough that we do our best, sometimes we have to do what’s right.” And, “Personally, I am always ready to learn; although, I do not always like being taught.” And, “However beautiful the plan, you should occasionally look at the results.”

To Be Continued Tomorrow!

“GOD’S PLACE OF BIBLICAL GIVING!”

 

  • Where should a Christian place his or her tithe? God designated the local church as the place to give our tithe and offerings.
  • In Malachi 3:10, the tithes were to be brought into the storehouse. In the Old Testament the storehouse was the Temple.
  • In Acts chapter four and five, Christians brought their tithes and offerings to the Apostles’ feet.
  • In 1 Corinthians 16:2 we are to lay up our giving in store.

This store was the Church at Corinth. Today the storehouse for our tithe is our church. It was never God’s plan for the Christian to give his tithe whenever or wherever he decides.

  • Why are we to place the tithe into our Church?
  • The tithes and offerings in the Old Testament were used for the Temple ministry.
  • The tithes and offerings in the New Testament are for the support and ministry of the local Church. The tithe should never be designated to any outside (para-church) ministry, because it is to be left free for use of the local church.
  • What does God call us if we refuse to tithe?

Malachi 3:8, “Will a man  rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we    robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.”

  • What is the promise God gives to those who faithfully tithe?

Malachi 3:10, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there should not be room enough to receive it.”

  • To whom does the tithe belong?
  • The tithe belongs to God according to Leviticus 27:30, “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the  tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD.”
  • The basis of giving is the Bible, not our own preferences.
  • Ten percent of our gross income is not ours, but it belongs to God.
  • How can I please God when tithing?
  • Give cheerfully. “God loveth a cheerful giver”
  • Let the Lord have first place in everything according to Matthew 6:33,

     “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all  these things shall be added unto you.”

  • Honor the Lord with your first fruits. Proverbs 3:9-10, “Honour the

    LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.”

We must give the tithe before all other bills, because if you leave the tithe until last, God is usually left out. My purpose is not to convince anyone to tithe, (that is between the Christian and God) but to obey God in every area of the Christian life. Christian giving has more to do with our personal walk with God than a program for giving.

The greatest giver was God Himself when He gave His only begotten Son.

“GOD’S PRINCIPLES OF CHRISTIAN GIVING!”

 

  • God finances His church through His people bringing their tithe to the storehouse.

Malachi 3:8-10, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”

The tithe is ten percent of our total income, as shown in the following two verses: Genesis 14:20, “And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.”  

Hebrews 7:2, “To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace.”

There were at least nine different occasions (to be studied in a future lesson) for giving in the Old Testament under the Law of Moses. All giving and sacrifice is a way of honoring and worshipping God according to Proverbs 3:9, “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase.”

There were two tithes in the Old Testament: The first was given to meet the needs of the priests (Numbers 18:21-24). The second tithe was taken out of what remained after the Levites’ needs were met, and it was given every third year (Deuteronomy 14:28-29).

  • What happens when Christians do not give their tithe and offerings?

     Christ is dishonored, because He died for the church (Ephesians 5:25).

  • When we put our money elsewhere we presume to know more than God, and the rich would have an unfair advantage over the poor, if not for the tithe. Giving based on emotion, reaction or friendship could deceive the Christian and if we do not give our tithe to the local church it places an extra burden on faithful members and limits the outreach of the local church.
  • Is tithing to be practiced by the New Testament Christian?
    • Abraham and Jacob were tithing five hundred years before the law was given.
  • Moses, the prophets, and Jesus spoke of tithing during the period of the law.
  • The Apostle Paul explained tithing after the Law.
    • How should Christians practice tithing?
      • Bring the tithe to church on the Lord’s Day.

1 Corinthians 16:2, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”

Under the Law tithing was commanded. Give the “tithe” or “tenth.” Ten percent of your gross income is your tithe for that week.

  • He did not leave giving to the discretion of the giver.

Certainly God would not ask less love, less faith, and less giving from a New Testament Christian than from a Jew under Old Testament law? As a matter of fact, tithing for the Christian is not bondage, but liberty.

To Be Continued Tomorrow!

“BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES OF GIVING!”

Please read 2 Corinthians 8:1-15, 9:6-15.

9:6-7, “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

The Biblical principle is: our ability to handle spiritual matters is directly related to our ability to handle financial matters. In plain English: God is a better manager of our money than we are.

GOD’S PURPOSE FOR CHRISTIAN GIVING 

  • To finance and spread the Gospel.

1 Timothy 5:17-18, “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.”

Paul gives five reasons in 1 Corinthians chapter nine.

  • Plain common sense verses 7-8.
  • Old Testament law verses 9-11.
  • New Testament tradition verse 12.
  • Old Testament example verse 13.
  • New Testament command of God verse 14.
  • To provide for the needs of the church.
  • Spiritual needs
  • Physical needs

2 Corinthians 8:14, “But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: 9:12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God.”

  • To develop our Christian character.
  • Giving is a grace, 2 Corinthians 9.
  • Giving strengthens our faith

GOD’S PLAN FOR CHRISTIAN GIVING

  • The tithe is an eternal principle in the Bible.

Genesis 14:17-18, “And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s dale. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.”

Hebrews 7:9, “And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.” 

  • The tithe is given because of our love for the Lord not because of the law.
  • The offering is above the tithe.

To Be Continued Tomorrow!