Bev McCann

MGM

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

“Rooted” With Billy Huddleston

Written by scoopsnews on February 25, 2018 – 6:36 am -

Blurred Vision
Mark 8:23b

“And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him,
He asked him if he saw anything.”

It was a journey in the darkness.
Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of Bethsaida.
So many, when they felt the touch of Jesus – or, even just heard His voice – were instantly made well.
But, not this time.
He was still completely blind.
So, it was a journey in the darkness.
Eventually, every journey comes to an end.

Last week, we thought about the distance that Jesus and this blind man walked. We just don’t know. All we know is that the journey started and eventually stopped. I’m still amazed at the trust of this man to go where Jesus was leading . . . All the while, still completely blind. I want to trust Him like that, don’t you?

Let’s jump back into the story . . .

At the beginning of verse 23, Jesus leads this blind man out of Bethsaida. At the end, they stop walking. And, this is where the story gets humorous for me. I want you to picture it – there is no conversation, no warning, no explanation – Jesus just spits on this man’s eyes.

Did you catch it?
He SPITS on his eyes!

They don’t do that at LensCrafters! I guarantee, if the next time you go to the eye doctor, you’re placed in the chair, they lean you back and lean over you, then he or she begins to clear their throat . . . Well, you’re out of there. You’ll go to Pearle Vision, Walmart, Sam’s Club, anywhere! You don’t spit in people’s eyes. But, Jesus did. I don’t know why. But, He did.

Then Jesus asks a question,
“What do you see?”

We must be careful not to simply quickly read past this question. It’s an important question. So important that it’s found (in one form or another) in verses 27 and 29. It’s a question that we are all confronted with in our journey; one we all must answer. And, the response will determine so much.

This is probably a good time to share some things that I believe about God:
• He does things completely
• There is a work He’s doing in me (and, in you too)
• He will finish what He started
In other words, He doesn’t half do it!
He longs to do a complete work in our lives.

What do you see?
I can only imagine how the conversation went:

“It’s better, Jesus.
I mean, before it was dark and now I see light.
There’s a blue sky. I see brown dirt.
I can see men, Jesus! But, they look like trees.
And, I’m pretty sure men aren’t supposed to look like trees.
But, it is better.”

Don’t you just love his honesty in this moment? You realize he could have just exclaimed, “I can see!” and gone on with his life. Because, the truth is, what he had now was better than what he had before. Before, he was in darkness. Now, he’s in light. Before, he had no sight. Now, he can see – just not clearly. His vision was blurred. So, he could have just said, “I can see!”, but he would have died thinking men looked like trees. He would have died never seeing clearly. He would have died with blurred vision. Instead, the man was honest.

May I ask you a question?

Why would you settle for less than God’s best for your life? So many of us settle for better when He has a best. Maybe I should express it like this: Why choose blurred vision when He has promised a brighter day? It doesn’t make sense does it?

There comes a time that we all have to be honest with Him.
The blind man was, and it made all the difference.

“I see men like trees, walking.”

Because of his honesty, Jesus touches him again. And, in that touch complete restoration came! Aren’t you thankful that we have a God that does things completely?!? In His touch the blurred becomes focused. He sees everything clearly. But, it came through his honesty.

So far, in our journey with this blind man, we have seen:
• We live in a blind city
• Most choosed to live in a blurred state
• Jesus came to offer a brighter day
And, if we believe that He does things completely we can see clearly now. But, it requires honesty before Him.

So, what do you see?

How is your vision?
Are you living in a blurred state?
Settling for better when God has a best?

Will you get honest with Him today?
Confess that wrong attitude.
Give Him that struggle that is dragging you down.
Deal with the negativity that keeps you defeated.

Whatever it is . . .
Get honest with Him so your vision can clear!


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“Rooted” With Billy Huddleston

Written by scoopsnews on February 10, 2018 – 11:23 pm -

Don’t Go Back to That Place!
Mark 8:22-26

The Nature of the Kingdom (8:22-10:52) section of Mark’s Gospel begins with the strangest miracle that Jesus ever performed. It is, at least, the only miracle where we see Jesus touching an individual more than once to accomplish the intended outcome. And, it is filled with great truth that should impact on our lives tremendously.

In my last devotional thought, I offered a broad outline of Mark’s story of Jesus. The first section, The Kingdom Revealed, comes to a close with Jesus confronting His inner circle with a series of questions (8:17-21):

Do you not yet understand?
Is your heart still hardened?
Having eyes, do you not see?
Having ears, do you not hear?

In other words: They simply weren’t getting it.

Suddenly, we’re in Bethsaida. You’ll remember Bethsaida . . . This is one of the cities that Jesus pronounced woes upon in Matthew 11 and Luke 10. Your subheading may call it an impenitent city. In other words, they were unwilling to be sorrowful over the Godless lives they had been living. Jesus had been amongst them revealing His Father’s kingdom. His message was very clear: “The Kingdom of God has come! Repent and believe.” (Mark 1:15). Yet, they refused. Bethsaida was a blind city. They had refused to receive the light that Jesus came to offer.

Isn’t it interesting that this is the backdrop of our narrative?

We may be tempted to believe that this is simply a story about a man’s physical blindness. But, the whole Nature of the Kingdom section is back dropped with blindness. It begins with Jesus’ question, moves to this physically blind man, and ends in chapter 10 with a blind man named Bartimaeus.

I’m convinced that it reveals the desire of this Kingdom:
• The King comes to us in our state of total blindness
• He refuses to leave us there
• He desires to lead us into the full light of the Kingdom here and now: The Kingdom has come!

Think about this:

The King has come so we can see fully.
We don’t have to remain in our blindness.
Here’s the question: Do we really want to see?

I want us to notice something about the story we might read over.

The first thing Jesus does, when they bring the blind man to him, is to take him by the hand to lead him “out of the town” (23). Before there is any physical sight restored, Jesus takes him by the hand and leads him out of Bethsaida to a place where He will do a great work in his life.

Don’t miss it . . .

He (Jesus) leads him out of the town (Bethsaida, the blind city) in order to do a deep work in this man’s life. This was the environment of darkness he had been living in and now, Jesus wants to lead him out. Before He does anything else–even before physical sight is restored–He wants to lead him out of the darkness he’d been living in for so long.

May I speak plainly?

I’m captured by this scene.
In its simplicity, I really am.

I have come to realize that many will never experience the deeper work of Jesus in our lives. Why? Because we’d rather remain in the environment of darkness that we’ve lived in for so long. He comes and longs to lead us out and we just keep going back to those dark places.

What is that He is leading you away from in order to do a deeper work?
Are you willing to leave that environment of darkness that only serves to keep you blind?
Would you trust Him enough to lead you out?
Do you really want to see?

Our story begins with Jesus leading a blind man away from a blind city.
It ends with Jesus speaking a command to this fully sighted man:
“Don’t go back to that place!”

Will you allow Jesus to lead you from your environment of blindness?

Then, heed His command: Don’t go back to that place!

More on Billy Huddleston HERE


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“Rooted” With Billy Huddleston

Written by scoopsnews on February 4, 2018 – 5:15 am -

The Nature of the Kingdom
Mark 8:22 – 10:52

The Gospel According to Mark is often referred to as the Gospel of Action. That’s really a great description. Mark has a story to tell and he won’t waste any time in its telling. Scene after scene, with breakneck speed, he introduces us to Jesus.

Over the years I have divided Mark’s gospel in different ways. However, for the purposes of our next few studies I want to offer a simple outline:

• Mark 1:1 – 8:22: The Kingdom Revealed (The Jesus of Galilee)
• Mark 8:22 – 10:52: The Kingdom Requirement (The Nature of the Kingdom)
• Mark 11 – 16:20: The Kingdom Fulfilled (The Jesus of Jerusalem)

In the first section, The Kingdom Revealed: The Jesus of Galilee, we are introduced to the One who is the Source of Authority. . .

. . .Over mankind
. . .Over the realm of Truth
. . .Over the spiritual realm
. . .Over the physical realm
. . .Over every realm – even over sin and death!

It’s in this section that we see what the Kingdom is all about. The Kingdom of God has come near, and it stands in stark contrast to the kingdom that had been established by the religious leadership of the day.

It doesn’t take long for us to see that the Jesus of Galilee is very attractive. It’s evidenced by the crowds that are constantly gathering. That’s what happens when lame people dance, lepers are restored, evil is driven out of lives, and bellies are filled. People flock to this Jesus. Mark has a way of revealing that the hysteria of the crowd always hinders what Jesus has come to do: To present His Father’s Kingdom. Instead, they get caught up in the spectacle, the show, the miracles. In their excitement over these things they simply miss Him.

In the last section, The Kingdom Fulfilled: The Jesus of Jerusalem, we see how this Kingdom is realized. In our earthly minds we are tempted to see palaces and thrones, but this is a Kingdom that is established on a cross. The one place Jesus should have avoided He willingly enters. This entrance is not in the spirit of conquest as the crowds would recognize or even prefer. Rather, it seems He enters with a willingness to be conquered.

The Jesus of Jerusalem is not very attractive. Yet, it’s through this that the Kingdom is fulfilled! The cross does not puncture the hopes of mankind . . . It opens the door to the Kingdom and invites every man to walk through and take their place in this Kingdom!

So, how does Mark transition from the Jesus of Galilee to the Jesus of Jerusalem?

How is it possible to be part of this movement, this Kingdom?

The evangelist transitions us with a section that could possibly be described as the heart of the story, The Kingdom Requirement: The Nature of the Kingdom. Positioned between the revelation of the Kingdom and its realization, sandwiched by stories of blindness, the nature of this Kingdom is revealed.

It’s an exciting journey that I want to invite you to walk with me. It will begin and end with movement from backdrops of blindness to sight.

I want to see fully.

Will you join me?

More on Billy Huddleston HERE


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