6 Minute Read + Scripture readings
Today’s Bible Reading:
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
“For the Son of Man will go just as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for him if he had not been born.”
Mark 14:21 (CSB)
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
For centuries, there has been a debate in the Christian community about who’s really in control. For the sake of time, let’s simply identify the two extremes of this argument.
One extreme is to say that mankind is the one in the driver’s seat. God is simply playing “catch up” when He observes the decisions we make.
The other extreme is to say that God is the One in the driver’s seat. Mankind is essentially a puppet who mindlessly, fatalistically carries out the whims of God.
In all honesty, I don’t know anyone who holds either of these two extremes but virtually everyone who has studied up on this topic typically settles on one side of this issue or the other.
The truth of the matter is that Scripture teaches that both God and His creation have free will. God can do absolutely anything He desires to do and mankind can do anything within his realm of legitimate options.
Why did I bring up this theological matter? Because theology matters! What you believe affects everything else in your life.
When we look at the verse I chose for today, we see that Judas was prepared to betray Jesus. Jesus clearly held Judas responsible. Yet, in the same breath, Jesus said that Judas’ actions were simply carrying out the decrees of God. God had willed it to happen.
Mark 14:21 (CSB): “For the Son of Man will go just as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for him if he had not been born.”
So, when someone treats you badly, you need to realize two things: 1) God holds the person responsible for what they did and He will bring discipline/judgment into their lives in His own timing; and 2) that bad thing couldn’t have happened if God hadn’t willed it or allowed it to happen.
No matter what you are going through, God is absolutely in control. And He has promised to use His power and wisdom to cause everything you go through (especially the bad stuff) to result in your good (to make you more like Jesus). Simply read Romans 8:28-29.
Therefore, don’t spend your time waving your fist at Heaven when bad things happen to you. Instead, realize that whatever you are going through had to pass through God’s hands before it got to you. He loves you so much but He knows that we often learn the most powerful lessons as a result of bad circumstances.
So, receive the bad things as a gracious gift from Him and let Him form Christ in you through the mess.
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Lord Jesus, help me not to despair or settle into anger when bad things happen to me, especially when those bad things were brought about by someone else. Instead, help me to see the sin in the actions, realize that You will one day make things right, and receive the bad thing from You as an opportunity to grow in Christlikeness. Amen.