The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

Doing what you can in the Kingdom is a freeing thought. God knows us and makes us who we are. He knows what we are capable of and what we are not. When we are doing our best, the Lord knows that because He is all-knowing. In our story, a woman brought an expensive jar of perfume and anointed Jesus with it. This perfume was so costly that it was worth a year’s wages, but the woman generously poured it out on Jesus because she wanted to show Him her appreciation.

The Lord Understands Our Hearts

Mark 14:Some of those at the table were indignant. “Why waste such expensive perfume?” they asked. “It could have been sold for a year’s wages and the money given to the poor!” So they scolded her harshly.

 But Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. Why criticize her for doing such a good thing to me? You will always have the poor among you, and you can help them whenever you want to. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could and has anointed my body for burial ahead of time. I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.” [1]

Where is the Lord Calling You?

Where is the Lord calling you today to do what you can? When the Lord calls us to do what we can, He often uses this as a time to stretch us. I often think I can’t do what the Lord calls me to, and honestly, I can’t without His help. I believe the Lord loves helping us to grow in faith and being part of building His Kingdom.

Has God given you a dream of something He wants you to do? Plans from the Lord show us things we would never think of on our own. Dreams also show us that we need His help and usually the help of others to make them come true. Building up the Kingdom of God is all about building up the body of Christ.

When We Feel Inadequate

The Lord sometimes asks us to do something new or challenging, and we feel inadequate. My first thought is, “I can’t do that. That is too hard. You need someone better than me.” Those thoughts can overwhelm us and hinder what the Lord has for us. When I feel that way, it can also humble me knowing I can only do this with the Lord’s assistance.

When I am humbled, I now become moldable and teachable. In God’s eyes, we are now where we need to be. Take a step of faith and step into the unknown to do what you can. You will be amazed how the Lord will use you to make a difference! Are you doing what you can in the Kingdom? To hear more, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/mark-jesus-anointed-at-bethany


[1] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Mk 14:4–9). Tyndale House Publishers.

The deception of money is a trick the enemy uses on every generation. You may have been a victim of this deception. Deception is the act of causing someone to accept as authentic or valid what is false or invalid.[1] The enemy wants you to believe that the more money you have, the happier you will be. No amount of money can ever make a person happy.

Solomon was a wealthy man who had everything money could buy, but he discovered it did not provide true peace or happiness. Ecclesiastes 2:11 But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere. [2] If you are pursuing the wind today, the Lord wants you to know that true wealth is having a relationship with Him.

Money Deceives Judas

Jesus gave Judas the fantastic gift of being a disciple of Jesus, but his thirst for money would be a roadblock in this relationship. A woman came to Jesus and anointed Him with expensive perfume. Judas revealed his heart when he complained about this.

John 12:But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself. [3]

God Opens Our Eyes to the Deception

We may not realize the deception of money, but as we listen to the Holy Spirit, He will show us the traps the enemy is using on us. Jesus speaks of this in His sermon on the mount. Matthew 6:33Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.[4]

In life, we often seek what we think we need first versus seeking the Lord. When we seek the Lord first, all we chase after may not seem as important. The Lord has a way of changing our perspective as He transforms our hearts. In my life, things I thought were important when I was younger are not necessary to me anymore. Over time the Lord changed my heart and opened my eyes to the enemy’s deception.

Ephesians 1:18I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. [5]

To hear more about the deception of money, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/mark-jesus-anointed-at-bethany


[1] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deception

[2-5] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Tyndale House Publishers.

Giving generously frees you from the bonds of materialism that trap many people. I believe the Lord wants all His children to be generous, just as He is. Human nature wants to keep what we have and not share it with anyone. No one must teach small children to be selfish. As people, we are born selfish and sinful.

The Lord begins to mold and shape us as we become people of faith. As this happens, we learn that letting go of things is good for us. People who keep everything for themselves turn inward, preventing them from becoming the person the Lord desires them to be. Selfishness stunts our spiritual growth.

Luke 12:15Then Jesus said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own. [1] The world may tell you that you are measured by what you own, but God measures things differently.

Generosity is a Window to Our Heart

Being generous says volumes about what is happening inside a person’s heart. As Jesus nears the end of His earthly ministry, a woman gives him a fantastic gift from her heart. Luke 14:Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over his head. [2]

Later in this story, it tells us that this perfume was worth a year’s wages. This woman anoints Jesus out of thankfulness and appreciation. How is the Lord helping you grow in being generous? 2 Corinthians 9:7You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”[3]

Being Generous Changes Us

If material things hold you back in your relationship with the Lord, give some away and lighten your burden. We don’t think of wealth as a burden, but it can be if it takes our focus off the most crucial thing in life. 2 Corinthians 9:6Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.”[4]

The Lord wants us to be great planters that sow into others. Think of the impact the Lord can make through you as He helps you to sow generously. The Lord has a way of multiplying the seed we sow because He is generous. When I think of generosity, I think of what Jesus did for us on the cross. We can’t repay Him for what He has done, but we can live a life that generously builds His Kingdom.

To hear more about giving generously, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/mark-jesus-anointed-at-bethany


[1-4] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Tyndale House Publishers.

Having a righteous fear of God can keep us from going down many wrong paths in our life. Scripture gives us insight into what fear of the Lord is all about. Psalm 111:10 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever! [1]

Fear of the Lord is a deep and solemn respect and amazement of His holiness. The Psalmist says that deep respect for the Lord is our spiritual foundation of true wisdom. The Lord wants us to be wise spiritually.

Religious Leaders in the Days of Jesus Feared the People

The religious leaders often clashed with Jesus, demonstrating what was in their hearts. They may have been knowledgeable about the Scriptures, but they did not let those same Scriptures transform them. Mark 14:1It was now two days before Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The leading priests and the teachers of religious law were still looking for an opportunity to capture Jesus secretly and kill him. “But not during the Passover celebration,” they agreed, “or the people may riot.” [2]

Instead of having a righteous fear of God that would have led them to faith, these religious leaders wanted to kill Jesus. Proverbs 9:10Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. [3] From their actions, the religious leaders had impaired judgment. The kind of wisdom they needed only came from the Lord.

How Does the Fear of the Lord Lead a Person to Knowledge?

Knowledge is the skills and facts a person learns through life experience or education. A grade schoolteacher knows about teaching young students. As believers in Jesus, we need knowledge about the Lord. To gain knowledge about the Lord, we must be self-taught or instructed by a teacher through the word and the work of the Holy Spirit.

When we have a righteous fear of the Lord, it makes us think before we act or say something. I may want to do something, but Holy Spirit tells me, “Don’t do that.” A righteous fear of the Lord gives me a desire to please the Lord. As we spend time with the Lord, we learn what pleases Him and what does not.

To fear the Lord is like Moses, who removed his shoes because he was standing on Holy ground. Exodus 3:5Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground.[4] Moses took off his sandals out of respect and honor for the Lord.

To learn more about having a righteous fear of God, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/mark-jesus-anointed-at-bethany


[1-4] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Tyndale House Publishers.

Bringing good out of betrayal is something only the Lord can accomplish. Because we live in a sinful world, you may have already experienced betrayal. Jesus is our Lord and Savior, yet He was not immune from betrayal.

Mark 14:17 In the evening Jesus arrived with the Twelve. 18 As they were at the table eating, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, one of you eating with me here will betray me.” 19 Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one?” 20 He replied, “It is one of you twelve who is eating from this bowl with me. 21 For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!” [1]

The Lord Helps Us Overcome Bitterness

The enemy often uses traps against us regarding betrayal. The first trap is to lead a person into sin by betraying you, and the second is to tempt you to become bitter. Bitterness is a deeper and more dangerous wound if it goes untreated. The treatment for bitterness is forgiving the person or persons who hurt you. Forgiving those who have deeply hurt you often takes the Lord’s help.

The Lord knows we are weak and need His assistance to forgive. 1 Corinthians 15:57But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. [2] When the Lord frees us from bitterness, we can move forward in faith to be healed and begin to regain our spiritual balance.

Love Your Betrayer

How can I love my betrayer? This type of love is not romantic love but a decision to love. Love happens when I forgive them and turn revenge over to God. Also, remember not to talk badly about them because our words are powerful. When we speak positively about people and pray for them, we begin to see how the Lord sees them.

I know this sounds difficult, but we must rely on the Lord. With the Lord’s continued assistance and willingness to seek Him, we let the Lord fill us with His love versus falling into more traps by satan.

Let The Lord Heal You

The Lord desires to bring healing as you cry out to Him in prayer after being betrayed. Ask the Lord to bring healing to your heart. As you forgive, the Lord can heal you and give you a glimpse of what He experiences daily regarding forgiveness. In Matthew 6:14, Jesus says, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.”[3]

To hear about bringing good out of betrayal, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/mark-a-table-in-presence-of-enemies


[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Tyndale House Publishers.

Giving your heart to Jesus is an act of humility that changes everything about you. Unlike an opposing army that captures you with force, Jesus does not force His will on us. As the good shepherd, He calls us to Himself, and we have free choice to receive Him or reject Him.

When we receive Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts. 1 Corinthians 6:19Don’t you realize that your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price.[1] How has giving your heart to Jesus affected your life? How has the Lord transformed you? How is the Lord molding you today?

Enemies of Jesus Want to Capture Him

As Jesus comes to Jerusalem, His earthly ministry is ending. Satan is working in the hearts of Jesus’ enemies who seek Him, not to humble themselves before Him but to harm Him. Mark 14:1It was now two days before Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The leading priests and the teachers of religious law were still looking for an opportunity to capture Jesus secretly and kill him. “But not during the Passover celebration,” they agreed, “or the people may riot. [2]

Over the time of Jesus’ ministry, many people came willing to Jesus, transforming their lives. Mary Magdalene was freed of seven demons and changed as a person. (Ref. Luke 8:2). The religious leaders who wanted to harm Jesus could have been set free from their sin but chose to oppose Jesus, not to give their hearts to Him. They hardened their hearts which would have eternal consequences.

Giving Your Heart to Jesus Gives You Peace

The religious leaders felt threatened by Jesus. Peace had escaped them, but you don’t have to live that way. When people give their hearts to Jesus, they stop worrying about things they can’t control. You begin to slow down, trust the Lord in your daily life, and let go of what you can’t control.

Philippians 4: Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. [3] There is no significant obstacle, no affliction too big, no pain too great for our God. The Lord is always with us to walk through the storms of life with us. Our circumstances may not change, but His presence brings peace the world cannot give. When we come to Jesus, He lifts us out of the darkness and places us in the light. No matter how lost, broken, sad, or defeated you may feel today, know the Lord is with you and will never leave you.

To hear about giving your heart to Jesus, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/mark-jesus-anointed-at-bethany


[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Tyndale House Publishers.

Jesus, the Passover lamb, comes to Jerusalem for the last time to fulfill the will of His Father and Biblical prophecies by giving His life for humankind on the cross. Mark 14:1It was now two days before Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The leading priests and the teachers of religious law were still looking for an opportunity to capture Jesus secretly and kill him.[1]

Think about how different your life is today because Jesus died for your sins. The Lord made a way for you by giving His life for you. Jesus calls Himself the way because having faith in Jesus is the only way to be saved.

The Feast of Passover Foreshadows Jesus’ Sacrifice.

In the Lord’s timing, Jesus would die on the cross on the Feast of Passover. He would be the final and all-sufficient sacrifice. The Israelites were enslaved people in Egypt and could not free themselves, but God would intervene. The Lord sent ten plagues upon Egypt, and finally, the Pharaoh relented and let the Israelites go after the tenth plague. The first Passover occurred as protection for Israel during the plague.

This plague was called the plague of the firstborn. The Lord instructed the people to bring a one-year-old lamb or goat without defect into their home on the tenth day of the first month. Four days later, they were to sacrifice the animal and put its blood over the sides and tops of the doorframe of their home. Exodus 12:13 But the blood on your doorposts will serve as a sign, marking the houses where you are staying. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt. [2]

Jesus Frees Us From the Slavery of Sin

The Israelites could not free themselves from slavery, and we cannot free ourselves from the slavery of sin without God’s intervention. In Luke 4:18, Jesus says, “I came to set the captives free.” The captives are us, and Jesus came to set us free from sin. When we place our faith in Jesus, we receive the gift the Lord can give us because of His sacrifice on the cross.

Jesus saves us just as we are without our help or merit. Jesus tells us in John 8:36,  So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.[3]Today, you can rejoice if you have faith in Jesus as your Savior. Jesus has paid the price for your sin, and He will never leave you. To hear more about Jesus, the Passover Lamb, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/mark-jesus-anointed-at-bethany


[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Tyndale House Publishers.

God will judge the wicked in His time. I would be the first to admit I don’t always understand God’s timing when judging the wicked. When Adam and Eve fell into sin it infected the entire human race. In our broken world, sinful people and nations cause unmerited pain to others. In the middle of this broken world, the Lord has placed you as a believer to be a lighthouse to show others the ways of Jesus.

One person can make a difference. On a foreign mission trip, we visited a local prison. Our team brought food for the prisoners and told the message of Jesus. Several people placed their faith in Jesus that day, joining a few other believers. The Lord was using one prisoner we met there as an informal chaplain spreading the light of Jesus amid spiritual darkness. As believers in Jesus, we forget that we would be headed down the same path as the most wicked person in the world without faith. Jesus, in His grace, rescues us from our sins when we repent and believe.

God Will Judge the Wicked

Judging people is the role of the Lord because He is the only one who truly knows our hearts. Our loving God does not compare us to others because He knows we have all fallen short. Romans 3:23For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.[1] In this week’s story, the wicked religious leaders tried to trap Jesus so they could arrest him. If they did not repent, they would face judgment along with the wicked. Revelation 20: 15 And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire. [2]

God Gives the Wicked Time to Repent

Manasseh was the son of Hezekiah, one of the finest kings, but he was not like his father. Instead, he was a cruel tyrant. His story is told in 2 Chronicles chapter 33. He was an idol worshiper who turned against God and worshiped many different pagan deities. In addition, he was guilty of immorality and perversion as he devoted himself to witchcraft and murder. He even sacrificed his son to a pagan god.

In God’s grace, judgment came upon Manasseh. The Babylonians hauled Manasseh to a foreign prison. There he had a change of heart. 2 Chronicles 33:13 And when Manasseh prayed, the Lord listened to him and was moved by his request. So the Lord brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh finally realized that the Lord alone is God! [3] God’s mercy is vast and beyond our comprehension because He responds to repentant hearts.

To learn how God will judge the wicked in His time, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/mark-jesus-authority-challenged


[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Tyndale House Publishers.

Asking God for forgiveness lifts a huge burden. Is the Lord calling you today to confess your sins so He can forgive? I remember ministering to a World War II soldier in the hospital. The war had been over for decades, but an action in the war continued to trouble him. He indicated that there was no day that he did not think about what happened.

Humbling himself, he admitted what he had done and asked the Lord to forgive him. As I held his hand, I assured him if we sincerely repent of our sins, the Lord Jesus forgives us. After all those years, God’s forgiveness removed a heavyweight. If you are struggling with past sins, don’t wait any longer. Come to Jesus today. 1 John 1: But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. [1] 

God Did Not Design us to Carry the Burden of Sin

The Lord did not design us to carry the burden of sin. Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.[2]

If you are carrying the burden of sin, take your sin to the cross of Jesus and leave it there. As we confess our sins, the Lord forgives us. The Lord gives us a wonderful gift of forgiveness. Jesus bought this gift as He paid the price for our sins on the cross.

When I Refuse to Confess my Sin

The religious leaders had challenged Jesus, so He told them a parable. He wanted them to admit their sin so they could be forgiven and set free. What would they do? They refused to repent. Mark 12:12 The religious leaders wanted to arrest Jesus because they realized he was telling the story against them—they were the wicked farmers. But they were afraid of the crowd, so they left him and went away. [3]

Jesus gave them every opportunity to turn from their wicked ways, but they refused. Only the Lord knows if they softened their hearts and came to Him in faith at a later point. These people are now in eternity, but it is not too late for you to come to Jesus and confess your sins. Jesus came to set the captives free. (Ref. Luke 4:18) Let the Lord set you free today if you are wrestling with unconfessed sin. The Lord brings sins to our minds so we can confess and be forgiven, not to condemn us. We can be so thankful for having such a wonderful, forgiving God.

To hear more about asking God for forgiveness, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/mark-jesus-authority-challenged


[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Tyndale House Publishers.

Making Jesus our cornerstone is the most significant thing we can do. A cornerstone is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation. All other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.[1] If the cornerstone is off, it places the whole foundation in jeopardy.

A life built without Jesus as your cornerstone is like building our house on sand. A life lived without Jesus as your cornerstone soon becomes chaotic. With Jesus as our cornerstone, He is our anchor in a storm. He is the invisible hand that sustains us as we walk through the uncertainty of life.

Jesus met Spiritually Blind Religious Leaders

Jewish leadership challenged Jesus only days before He died on the cross for our sins. Jesus told them a parable about wicked farmers who refused to give rent to the owner. In the parable, the evil farmers represent the religious leaders. As the parable unfolds, the farmers beat the first servant who came to collect for the owner. The servant goes back empty-handed. The owner sent other servants who were abused or killed. Then the owner sent his beloved son, whom the farmers killed.

Then Jesus spoke to the religious leaders. Mark 12:“What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do?” Jesus asked. “I’ll tell you—he will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others. 10 Didn’t you ever read this in the Scriptures? ‘The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. [2] The religious leaders knew Jesus was talking about them. Their failure to repent resulted in rejecting Jesus as their cornerstone. If they did not change, this would have eternal consequences. 

Building on Jesus as Our Cornerstone

Is the Lord calling you to strengthen the foundation of your life? Jesus may be in your foundation, but today the Lord is calling you to make Him your cornerstone. We live in an ever-changing and chaotic world. Jesus wants you to be able to navigate this time of difficulty. You can build a firm foundation by spending time in God’s word, prayer, and worship. Spending time with the Lord is like putting reinforcement in our foundation.

Others around may be far from the Lord, but you can be a lighthouse guiding them to Jesus. You can be Jesus’s arms, feet, and voice to bring the Good News of Jesus to those the Lord directs you to. My Father’s last words to me before he died were, “I will be alright.” He was correct in what he said because Jesus was his cornerstone and firm foundation. Making Jesus our cornerstone changes everything, especially our life today and in eternity. To hear more, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/mark-jesus-authority-challenged


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornerstone

[2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Mk 12:9–10). Tyndale House Publishers.

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