Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: Isaiah 45-46; Mark 11
The theme illustrated in Isaiah 45-46 is that God is in control, even of the political leaders He raises to leadership to accomplish His will. Cyrus was such a leader. God reminds us that He alone gives victory over our enemies. Isaiah 45:5-6 says, “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.” This thought compliments our reading in Mark 11 with the triumphal entry of Christ. This was a direct confrontation of the religious leaders regarding Christ and His authority over them. Christ further demonstrates His authority by doing four specific things: (1) Cursing the fig tree – which pictures the failure of Israel to embrace Christ’s authority. (2) Cleansing of the temple – which pictures the function in Israel to materialize worship. (3) Considering faith while praying – which pictures the faithfulness of God to His word. (4) Commanding forgiveness toward others – which pictures the function of the Spirit vs. the frailty of the flesh.
The faith that Jesus talks about to remove mountains is a faith in God not a faith in faith. We still pray according the will of God, knowing He knows best. Jesus ends this chapter with reminding us that prayer is being right with God and right with each other. He makes an emphatic command, “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Forgiving others does not earn forgiveness from God, but rather forgiving others shows God I believe what He says and I am submitting my will to His. Faith in God and forgiveness toward others will always go hand in hand.
• Lord, help me to allow you to increase my faith through the circumstances you allow into my life and a better understanding of your word.
• Lord, help me never be a tree that has leaves but never produces fruit. Please help me to produce fruit for your glory.
• Lord, help me never hold a grudge or hang on to an offense. Thank you for the forgiveness your give to me and help me to forgive others the same way.
• Lord, may I never allow your church to become materialistic, but may it always be an atmosphere of true worship.
• Lord, help me to acknowledge your rightful position and have an accurate picture of my position in Christ.