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Friday, May 29, 2015

Mark, Chapter 11, verse 18
The chief priests and the scribes came to hear of it and were seeking a way to put him to death, yet they feared him because the whole crowd was astonished at his teaching.

This was after Jesus had overturned the money changers tables. The priests were not afraid of the man Jesus, for they did not know or care if He was the messiah. They only respected money, power, or the ability to sway or manipulate the crowd.

In this chapter of Mark’s gospel he also included the story of the fig tree. The fig tree was cursed by Jesus before He entered the temple because it although was healthy and looked as if it held much fruit was barren. After the incident in the temple the same tree had withered and died because it did not produce. It did not live up to its created purpose.

Image result for the withered fig
Mark records it thus, “Early in the morning, as they were walking along, they saw the fig tree withered to its roots. Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” Jesus said to them in reply, “Have faith in God. Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen; it shall be done for him. Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours. When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance, so that your heavenly Father may in turn forgive you your transgressions.”

A man then who believes, without fear, and has total faith can move mountains; go therefore with all faith and produce the fruit for which you were created.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.  Marianne Williamson.

In today’s book study of Character is Destiny[1] we will be examining the character traits exemplified by Lord Nelson who was the personification of a person who displays the characteristic of RESPONSIBILITY. Lord Nelson was a man who did not play small he took to heart the adage that to be responsible one must respond with their ability (response/ability). Sometimes he disobeyed orders when he knew there was a better and smarter way to defeat the enemy; he had all faith and all courage. McCain said of Lord Nelson that he was, “The bold and brave admiral who taught men how to fight and made the British Navy the most powerful in the world”

Nelson was known for his creative disobedience that is the courage to disobey if the situation was warranted. Nelson never just ran head long into battle. No if he disobeyed it was daring and would not have wasted the precious lives of his men. His men knew this and they had the greatest trust and regard in him. Lord Nelson also had the greatest affectionate regard for those with which he served. His men loved him and followed him into battle.  

Next week we will be examining the DILIGENCE of Winston Churchill.

[1] McCain, John and Salter, Mark. (2005) Character is destiny. Random House, New York

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