February 11 – Today’s Readings – Mark 1-3 and Psalms 41

Welcome to The Book of Mark

Mark 3:24-25 reads, “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”

When speaking these words, Jesus was obviously referring to the kingdom of darkness but the nature of His comments allow us to apply them to other “kingdoms” as well. We know that when there are deep issues of division in a nation, that country becomes consumed with the topic – no matter how insignificant it may seem. The divisions or side issues can captivate peoples’, attention so that they no longer focus on more important business.

The same is true in our homes. If there is turmoil because of division on issues like faith, money, intimacy, honesty, moral integrity,substance abuse etc., the peace and harmony in that home will cease to exist. There are huge spin-off issues that occur from disagreements allowed to persist in the family.

In the Church, unity is something so important that at times we must lay down “pet issues” in order to preserve the “bigger picture”. What do I mean by this? Well, it has to do with individuals insisting on having their own way at the expense of the family of God. We must be willing to “go to the wall” for issues like sin or heresy but not petty issues where we want our own way because of opinion, or self-seeking and childish thinking. We know that one of Satan’s strongest weapons against the Church is to bring discord and division.

How about our personal lives? – How about our relationship with Jesus and the things that can diminish our intimacy with Him? We know that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39) We also realize however that we must work at keeping our “Spiritual House” in order – it must stand strong because every good and wonderful thing in our lives flows from spiritual wholeness! This is why we allow no “division” to come between the Lord and us. This is why we keep in step with the Holy Spirit. I have learned that healthy spiritual individuals make for healthy families – make for healthy Churches – make for a healthy communities – make for healthy cities. The power that is resident in a “Kingdom” that is NOT divided against itself is incredibly influential. Let’s be part of that miracle!

Questions:

1. Name and give reference to Bible examples where divisions caused unnecessary grief in the Kingdom.

2. Comment (without giving names) on a situation where serious problems could have been avoided if people had not allowed division.