John 1:10

Verse of the Day: John 1:10

“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.” – John 1:10 

In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” John 1:1-3.  Through Christ, everything that exists that came into existence was through Him.

Today’s verse states that the creator of all creation came to the world and they did not know Him.  This is a sad thing because throughout the entire Old Testament, it was prophesized that He would come.  And it is important to understand that all, not just some, but all the prophesies regarding the Christ, the much-anticipated Messiah, was fulfilled.  The problem was either the Jewish leadership did not understand their scriptures, or they ignored their scriptures regarding His coming. We have had 2000 years since Jesus was here on earth in human form and too many still do not know Him.  The reasons are similar; they either do not understand what the scriptures say, or they ignore it because it is not that important to them.  And that is why we are here.  As Jesus sent His disciples out to declare the truth of who He is, He now sends us, His disciples of today to do the same.  I encourage you to be attentive for opportunities to introduce them to Jesus, who is the only way of salvation.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Mark 2:27

Verse of the Day Devotion.  Mark 2:27 

“And He was saying to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27  

Now Jesus and His disciples were passing through a field planted with grain. “And it came about that He was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples began to make their way along while picking the heads of grain.” Mark 2:23. As they were walking through the field, the disciples were hungry, and so were picking heads of grain from the plants. This was not illegal according to Jewish law. “When you enter your neighbor’s vineyard, then you may eat grapes until you are fully satisfied, but you shall not put any in your basket. When you enter your neighbor’s standing grain, then you may pluck the heads with your hand, but you shall not wield a sickle in your neighbor’s standing grain.” Deuteronomy 23:24-25. When someone entered their neighbor’s vineyard, they were allowed to eat grapes until they were full. But they could not carry any away. In regard to grain, they could not use a sickle but they could pick by hand and eat.

However, what the Pharisees had an issue with was the day this was done.. “And the Pharisees were saying to Him, See here, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” Mark 2:24. Now the Sabbath was started after the creation of man. “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. And by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Genesis 2:1-3. Note what it says, “Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”

The Sabbath was not intended to be a bunch or rules, but a time of rest.  It was supposed to help people, not burden them. In contrast to the grueling daily work they did as slaves in Egypt, the Israelites were commanded to take a full day of rest each week under the Mosaic Law. The Pharisees had changed the Sabbath into a burden by adding restrictions well beyond what God’s law said. The act of picking a head of grain and munching on it as one walked along a field should not be considered harvesting, as the Pharisees said. The disciples had not broken God’s law; they had only violated the Pharisees’ strict interpretation of the law.

Jesus then reminded the Pharisees of the original intent of the Sabbath rest. “And He said to them, Have you never read what David did when he was in need and became hungry, he and his companions: how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests, and he gave it also to those who were with him?” Mark 2:25-26. The men who were with David were starving and needed food. There was no food other than the bread consecrated to God. Therefore, the priest gave Him the bread. “So the priest gave him consecrated bread; for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence, which was removed from before the LORD, in order to put hot bread in its place when it was taken away.” 1 Samuel 21:6. The holy bread had served a practical need of David, God’s anointed, and his followers. Just as in Jesus’ day when the grain served a practical need for Jesus, God’s anointed,  and His followers.

And then our focus verse, “And He was saying to them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Consequently, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27-28. Looking at the big picture, the Sabbath was not made for man to follow and obey, it was made for man to rest. The Sabbath was not intended to burden people but to ease their burden. For someone to forbid acts of mercy and goodness on God’s day of rest is contrary to all that is right. Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath, did what was right and allowed the disciples to pick the grain to have something to eat. We must be careful that we do not place burdens on ourselves or others for the sake of the Sabbath or rules. As believers, set free in Christ, we are not judged by whether or not we keep the Sabbath day. “Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day, things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.” Colossians 2:16-17. Christ is not calling us to follow a bunch of hard rules, but to rest. “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.” Matthew 11:27-30.   

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.

Genesis 1:31

Verse of the Day Devotion: Genesis 1:31 

“God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” – Genesis 1:31 

This verse is the wrap-up of the creation of all things.  After He created the heavens and the earth and  all things on the earth.  He created light and darkness as well as the waters and every separation of the waters we see.

After this, He created all life that resides in the waters, along with the birds that fly above the earth.  He created the large animals in the sea, which the author calls the great sea monsters, that swim in the great seas.  Then He said “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:1:24-25.   Then He created man.  “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:26-27.  After this, as our focus verse says, “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31

After God did all this, man then fell.  All the good things that He prepared for them unfortunately was degraded through the temptation of the serpent and their acceptance of its words.  Suddenly, things were not as perfect as they were.  They were removed from the beautiful garden God had made and were not allowed to enter again.  Adam was now required to work hard for all they needed for God cursed the ground.  They would fight through weeds and thistles in order to gather their produce.  And the woman would now have increased pain in childbirth.  This was not what God originally created, but due to sin, it is what I has become.

Now, none of this was a surprise to God.  For He had a plan even before all this happened.  “All who dwell on the earth will worship him (the beast), everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.” Revelation 13:8.  Those whose names are in the Lambs Book of Life from before the beginning are those who would accept Christ as Savior.  Remember, God knows the end from the beginning. “Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure” Isaiah 46:10.  Therefore, He knows whose names are there from the beginning.

So, because of all this, God will create a new Heaven and Earth for all believers.  “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.” Revelation 21:1.  Then “and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4.  What God created in Genesis 1 and 2 was good and would have been a wonderful place had man not rebelled.  However, that which is written in Revelation 21 is far better.  Those destined for here have given everything to God and have accepted the work of Christ.  Therefore, this will be a far more wonderful place, for this is our eternal home of peace and love and joy. 

I believe that when this creation is finished, the beginning of our focus verse will occur again.  “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31a.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.