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S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Mark 16:20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. O-bservation: Mark tells us that after Jesus ascended to the right hand of God and His disciples began their work, Jesus worked with them from heaven to help confirm His Word and also to work miracles, signs, and wonders through the disciples. This passage helps us to remember, “They Needed Jesus And We Need Him Too!” A-pplication: This is such a simple thought. The disciples and all followers of Jesus still needed Jesus after He ascended into heaven. It wasn’t like, “Well He did His job, now we’ve got to do ours!” No! Concerning this same event, Matthew recalled that Jesus said, “I will be with you always until the end of the age!” (Mt. 28:20). It was never Jesus’ intent to leave us helpless after He ascended back to heaven. That’s why the Holy Spirit was sent. We’re never alone. This mission to reach the entire world with the “Good News” of Jesus is impossible unless He is with us. So from day one, “They Needed Jesus, And We Need...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Mark 14:54 Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire. O-bservation: This is the sad story of Peter during Jesus’ trial and execution. He had been on fire for God (in a spiritual sense) only days before when he had told Jesus that even though everyone else may turn on him, he (Peter) would never turn his back on Jesus. But now, as Jesus was taken into custody after Judas had betrayed him, Peter followed him at a distance and then sat with the Roman guards warming himself by the fire. It appeared that overnight, Peter’s heart had grown cold. A-pplication: It’s often true that if we’re just concerned about outward appearance, we can do a good job of covering up what’s on the inside. On a cold night, a fire is a good place to act as if you’re just one of the guys. However, Peter wasn’t just one of the guys. No! He was one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, whom Jesus had chosen to be a leader after he was gone. Peter’s heart had grown cold while...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Mark 11:9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” O-bservation: This is the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem at the beginning of what we call “The Passion Week.” The people celebrated Him as He rode in on a donkey, which was the animal of kings, and they shouted, “Hosannah.” But just a few days later, they would crucify Him on a rugged cross. A-pplication: The Psalmist prophesied these words in Psalm 118, verse 25. They mean, “Lord Please Save Us And Give Us Success.” Another translation says in place of SUCCESS, “Give us PROSPERITY.” There are several reasons why these same people would crucify Jesus a few days later. One of them was political. The Jewish people were living under the tyranny of Rome. They were poor because of the heavy and unjust taxation of the people. They believed that the true Messiah would do a political overthrow and win them over through sheer force. But that was not Jesus’ plan. His kingdom would be, first of all, spiritual. He knew that once men’s and women’s hearts were healed by His Grace, they...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Mark 7:37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” O-bservation: This passage is a human mandate on the life of Jesus here on earth. After He had healed a deaf and mute man and given him his hearing and speech, the view of the people was, “Jesus Does All Things Well!” A-pplication: When I say this was the human view of the people of that day, I mean this was the common person’s view. Remember, it was religion and those who promoted religion that killed Jesus. But the everyday person who followed Christ and His teaching and His miracles had the view, “Jesus Does All Things Well!” This was before any purveyors of “The Law” had a chance to pick every small detail of how Jesus had done something wrong according to their perspective apart. Those religious leaders were always finding fault with Jesus because they all had something to lose if the people followed Jesus instead of them. Yes, I have a little Bible education. Yes, I’ve been in the work of the Lord for quite a while now. Yes, I...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Mark 10:28 Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” O-bservation: We know very little about Peter’s family life, but here’s what we do know. He was a fisherman by trade. Most likely, he was a partner in James and John’s father’s business. He was a husband because the scripture says he had a mother-in-law whom Jesus healed (Mt. 8:14,15; 1 Cor. 9:5). The Catholic Church says Peter’s wife was crucified on the same day Peter was crucified and preceded him in death. That’s it. That’s all we know. Yet, Peter says that he had left everything to follow Jesus. “But, Was It True?” A-pplication: My best answer for that question is when Peter made the statement, he had no idea what leaving EVERYTHING to follow Christ meant. Let’s face it if Peter had left his wife and children (if he had any), why during the life of Christ was Jesus in Peter’s home praying for his wife’s sick mother. Also, if Peter had left everything, why as soon as Jesus was crucified and buried had Peter gone back to his old fishing business? Perhaps he had never given that up and had hired...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Mark 6:36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat. O-bservation: This passage shows us why the disciples were followers and why Jesus was the leader. Leaders never look at life as a 9 to 5 job. A true leader will spend their days and their nights on the job until the job is complete. Jesus had worked miracles all day, and thousands of people had been helped, but when it came time to continue helping them, the disciples said, “Send the people away!” Jesus knew they had worked all day for this moment. It wasn’t 5 pm and time to go home for the day. No! Jesus said, “You find them something to eat!” A-pplication: Life for the follower of Jesus can NEVER be “Working 9 to 5!” Life’s not like that, and people’s problems don’t happen in a certain uniform time frame. Challenges and hardships come at all hours of the day. Those who would follow Jesus and decide to help others must always be prepared to assist their fellow man or woman, no matter what hour it is. This is more...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Mark 3:35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother. O-bservation: In this chapter, Jesus’ ministry is building quickly to the point that the disciples can’t even sit down in most locations because of the press of the crowd seeking to hear Jesus. At one point, demons had left people who were bowing at the feet of Jesus, saying, “You are the Son of God!” Because of that, his own family came searching for him, saying, “He’s out of his mind!” A-pplication: Can you imagine the earthly family of Jesus telling people, “Our son and brother is out of his mind”? When you read that passage of scripture, you immediately think, “Sometimes Your Own Family Doesn’t Get It!” Seriously, Jesus must have been shocked because when told that his family wanted to see Him, He said, “Who is my family? My family happens to be those who do the will of my Father.” He loved his mother and siblings, but when they began questioning His sanity, He had to move on to those who truly believed. Perhaps you have been challenged as a believer with family members who don’t understand your commitment to Jesus....

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Job 18:21 Surely such is the dwelling of an evil man; such is the place of one who does not know God. O-bservation: These are the words of Job’s so-called friend Bildad. Initially, he came with two others to console Job. But in time, he decided to place the blame on his friend for the suffering he had been enduring. He accused Job of wickedness and said  because of his sin the light of his life was extinguished and the memory of him was completely gone from the land. He said people abhor Job from the east to the west that he would be childless and this was the way it is for a truly evil man. A-pplication: I believe when a person is truly suffering and in severe pain, loss, and regret, a true friend should give them a pass, so to speak. None of us are God. So why should we try and operate with judgement and severity of response? That’s God’s prerogative should he choose to do so. However, for you and me, our words should be few and out tears many. Jesus said we are to mourn with those who mourn. I can’t...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Acts 26:32 Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.” O-bservation: After the King and his associates had left the room and Paul was moved temporarily back to prison, King Agrippa said to Festus, the Governor, “If only Paul would not have appealed to Rome, he could have been set free right here. He did nothing to deserve death or imprisonment.” But please remember my friend, “In God’s Work There Are No If Onlys.” A-pplication: Either we believe the words of King David when he said, “The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord,” or we don’t. I don’t mean to be abrupt here, but the truth is that for the child of God, the two words “If Only” shouldn’t be a familiar statement for us. I believe my steps are ordered of the Lord. Paul had told the Saints in Ephesus in Acts 19:21 that he wanted to go to Rome. So when Paul appealed his case to Caesar, it was his way of saying, “No matter what happens, I will get to my God-given calling to visit Rome even if it is...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Acts 22:30 The commander wanted to find out exactly why Paul was being accused by the Jews. So the next day he released him and ordered the chief priests and all the members of the Sanhedrin to assemble. Then he brought Paul and had him stand before them. O-bservation: Whether or not Paul was a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin before his conversion is somewhat sketchy; however, there is a real possibility he was. That being said, can you imagine the joy Paul must have felt when he was brought before this same group that he had left to follow Jesus instead? Some may think Paul was scared, but in my estimation, nothing could be further from the truth. For Paul, it was “Every Leader’s Dream.” A-pplication: If a person purports to be a leader but then runs from the leading group of influencers in their sphere of influence, that person is not a true leader. When St. Paul stood before King Agrippa sometime later, in Acts 26, his opening remarks were, “I consider myself fortunate to speak with you!” Another translation says, “I think myself happy to speak with you!” That’s leadership. True leaders step up...