Sunday, February 21, 2016

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sometimes You’ll Be Criticized for Doing Good


Mark 3:1-5 And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. (2) And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. (3) And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. (4) And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. (5) And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. 

How on earth could ANYONE criticize Jesus?

Some how, the religious leaders found a way, because Jesus threatened their power over the people.  At some point in Jesus’ ministery, there was someone from the Jewish leadership always following him and setting traps to catch him in a spot where with they could condemn him and put him to death.  Ultimately, they were successful!

In our text today, Jesus has healed/restored a man with a withered hand.  So what is so bad about that?  He performed this miracle on the sabbath day.  In all fairness to the religious leaders, the law is quite clear that NO work is to be done on the Sabbath day.  What’s worse is that Jesus knew (because he had the miraculous ability to know the thoughts and hearts of men) that what he was about to do in healing this man, would be seen as offensive.  But it was the right thing to do, so he proceeded anyway.

Both the world and the church is made up of fallible people and for that reason, we will sometimes be criticized...even for doing good.  We need to follow the lead of Jesus and do good anyway!


Reflecting His SON,  
Dennis Hogan
Minister, North Hardin Church of Christ

1804 Sam Stewart Dr.
Radcliff, KY  40160

Questions, comments or  further explanation?  Contact me at:  dennis.hogan@icloud.com
If you have friends, family, or acquaintances that you feel could benefit from RTS, please forward 
their e-mail address to me and I will add them to my mail list.

Monday, October 5, 2015

She Ministered Unto Them!


Mark 1:29-31 And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. (30) But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her. (31) And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them. 

In our text today, we find Jesus going to the home of Simon Peter. In previous verses, Jesus had been healing a number of people. It could be that he was escaping the crowds for the purpose of getting some relaxation. When they arrived, they find Peter's mother-in-law laying sick with a fever.

Today a fever is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, we now know that a fever generally means that the body is fighting an infection. However in that time, a common ordinary diseases could be deadly. The text does not explain how severely she was sick, just that she laid sick with a fever. Regardless, Jesus had compassion on her and healed her from her fever.  For Jesus there is no miracle too big or too small.

Our focus for the text today is found in verse 31. It is the reaction of Peter's mother-in-law that is of interest. After being sick for a period of time, the text tells us she got up and ministered to them. It is common after getting well from any illness there is a period of rest and "catching up".  But Simons mother-in-law did not rest.  She got up and served Jesus.  What do you imagine she might have done for them? I Imagine she probably cooked some food. Maybe even washed their feet (which would have been a custom). And most likely met other needs and serve them like a woman might have done during that time. This is significant for two reasons:

1.  We can learn from the example of Simons mother-in-law. For those of us that are Christians, we too have been healed. We too ought to feel a sense of joy and relief that we are no longer burdened by our disease of sin.  We two should desire to get up and serve Jesus, to show our gratitude.

2.  There is no service too small for Jesus. Jesus did not require Simons mother-in-law to forsake her house and to go out to a foreign country to become a missionary.  Serving him with her current talents was sufficient. In Matthew chapter 25 we find Jesus tells us, giving a cup of water, giving food, visiting the sick, and small acts of kindness's like that to ‘the least of these’ is doing it to Jesus. Sometimes, it seems that if people can't do something to heroic then they do not want to do anything. But Simons mother-in-law simply did what a woman did she served Jesus using her own talents and the resources at her disposal.

We need to learn from Simons mother-in-law,  We too need to serve Jesus!  We serve Jesus by serving others. We need to use our own talents, our own resources and do what we can. We need to look out to those that are in need and serve Jesus by serving them!

Reflecting His SON,  
Dennis Hogan
Minister, North Hardin Church of Christ

1804 Sam Stewart Dr.
Radcliff, KY  40160

Questions, comments or  further explanation?  Contact me at:  dennis.hogan@icloud.com
If you have friends, family, or acquaintances that you feel could benefit from RTS, please forward 
their e-mail address to me and I will add them to my mail list.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Jesus Loves Even...‘Them’


Mark 2:14-17 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him. (15) And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him. (16) And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? (17) When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

This is one of those passages that gets misused, misapplied and abused by those that want to support and promote THEIR own agendas.  

Why is this passage referenced so much by so many?  The passage simply is telling the event of Jesus convincing regular people to follow him.  In this case, it was Alphaeus.  What is so special about Alphaeus?  He is a tax collector.  Tax collectors during Jesus’ time was uniquely hated.  The Romans used the native people to collect the taxes from their own people and so they were hated for being traitors.  What’s more is that they had the full authority of the Roman government and could set the tax at whatever they wanted.  For instance, if the Roman Government wanted $100 from a jewish family, the individual tax collector could DEMAND $200 and keep the difference.   Therefore they were HATED by the average person...much more than we despise the IRS.

After Jesus convinced Alphaeus to follow him, he went to Alphaeus’s house to eat a meal.  In doing so, it appears that Alphaeus did something that I believe that we all would have done...he invited his friends over to meet Jesus.  The problem is that because, as a tax collector, he was considered the dregs of society.  And so his friends would also be considered dregs as well.  The text identified these people as “publicans & sinners”.  The horror of this passage is that Jesus had the audacity to actually eat and spend time time with these “low life’s”.  The text tells us that when the religious leaders of the day saw this, they condemned Jesus for his behavior.

This is where the twisting of the truth happens.  People think, teach, promote and distort the idea that because Jesus ate with them he condoned their lifestyles.  I have heard people go so far as to paraphrase this passage that Jesus hung out in bars and actually participated in the sinful acts of the world.  This is so far off from the truth that it is disgusting.

3 Truths we need to get from this passage:

1.  Jesus Valued All Men!
While the religious leaders of the day were quick to write off the “sinners” and relegate them as lost causes, Jesus saw them as lost and he came to find them!  He saw them as sick and dying and in need of saving. This is one passage that we learn about Jesus being the Great Physician.

Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

There is no sin so big, there is no amount of sin so many that Jesus did not come to save.  Therefore if Jesus thinks all people are worth saving, we should too!


2.  Jesus Did NOT Condone Sin!
While those that desire to misuse this passage wants to focus on Jesus socializing with the sinners, they wrongly conclude that his socializing with them was an approval of their sin.  On the contrary.  So if he did not condone their actions, what was the purpose of spending time together?  He loved them and wanted to save them!  News Flash:  You cannot save someone that you first reject and toss away!  There is an old saying that applies here: “People don’t care how much you know, until they know that you care”!  Jesus understood this principle and so in order to get folks to listen, that might not have otherwise...he let them know that he cared by eating with them.  That is NOT condoning their lifestyle!


3.  Jesus Teaches that Sin Must be Repented from
The passage itself, if people care to actually care to read it, shows that Jesus did not condone, approve of, or even over look the lifestyles, behaviors, choices or actions of these sinners.

Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Instead of approving their sin, Jesus taught, hoped for and encouraged their REPENTANCE.  Repentance is an acknowledgement of sin and a desire and a commitment to turn away from sin to live a life that is in alignment with the Will of God!

Romans 12:1-2  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 


Reflecting His SON,  
Dennis Hogan
Minister, North Hardin Church of Christ

1804 Sam Stewart Dr.
Radcliff, KY  40160

Questions, comments or  further explanation?  Contact me at:  dennis.hogan@icloud.com
If you have friends, family, or acquaintances that you feel could benefit from RTS, please forward 
their e-mail address to me and I will add them to my mail list.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Jesus Taught Them!


Mark 2:13  And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them. 

The statement set forth in this passage is one that we might pass over very quickly in reading the Bible.  It is a statement of fact and one that describes a simple action of Jesus.  It is an action that he did on a regular basis and so it could be relegated as not that important.  But I have found that these kinds of passage hold very important gems of truth.  

Very simply we find that Jesus saw a crowd gather because of his fame.  So what does he do?  He taught them.  Teaching was Jesus’ primary function.  Everything else that he did was for the purpose of giving him a stage to teach.  It was the teachings of Jesus that allowed his kingdom to spread throughout the world.  It was his teaching that he wanted his disciples to do after his return to Heaven (Matt 28:18-20).  From this we can draw 3 conclusions:

1.  Christianity is based upon information and fact NOT feelings!
Despite the fact that many focus on and promote the emotionalism of religion, the Bible is clear that Christianity is a thinking religion not purely one of feelings.

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 

In order to obtain the salvation that God & Jesus offers, it requires knowledge of who Jesus is, what he did and what he desires from us.  We only get that from the knowledge of God’s word.  Feelings will mislead us and can cause us to to fall short from receiving the Grace that God offers.  We are saved by Faith!  Faith ONLY comes from hearing the word of God.

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 


2.  If we are to be his disciples, we should want to know all we can from him!
Going along with the first point, we must have a DESIRE to know all we can about who Jesus is and what he wants from us.  

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

It is not a knowledge to be able to regurgitate dates and events, but rather understanding HOW we turn from our old life of sin and to walk on the path that Jesus instructs.  Can we really claim to be a follower of Jesus and NOT care about what he teaches?


3.  To Be like Jesus, we too should be teachers
Once we become Christians ourselves, we must understand that it becomes our mission to continue the mission of Jesus!

Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 

That does not mean that we abuse relationships by beating people in the head with your beliefs, but since we have the prescription from the Great Physician, we need to let our friends, family, co-workers and such that we can help them, through the grace of God and the sacrifice of Jesus, to rid themselves of their sins.

May we hunger and thirst for the word of God and have the courage to apply it to our lives.


Reflecting His SON,  
Dennis Hogan
Minister, North Hardin Church of Christ

1804 Sam Stewart Dr.
Radcliff, KY  40160

Questions, comments or  further explanation?  Contact me at:  dennis.hogan@icloud.com
If you have friends, family, or acquaintances that you feel could benefit from RTS, please forward 
their e-mail address to me and I will add them to my mail list.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Why Did Jesus Do Miracles?


Mark 2:1-12  And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. (2) And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. (3) And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. (4) And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. (5) When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. (6) But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, (7) Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? (8) And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? (9) Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? (10) But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)  (11) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. (12) And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion. 

Once again, our text today focuses around a miracle that Jesus performs.  He is back in Capernaum, and the news of his arrival back to town has caused a swarm of people at the house he was staying.  The crowd was so thick, that four friends bearing a crippled man, were unable to get to Jesus.  To get the crippled man to Jesus, the four lowered the man through the roof. 

What Jesus does next shocks and infuriates the religious leaders of the day.  Instead of simply healing the man and causing him to walk again (which he does do later), he first declares that the sins of this man are forgiven.  This statement causes the scribes (the experts at the Law of Moses) to accuse Jesus of Blasphemy!  How dare Jesus project himself as being equal to God and say that a man can forgive sin!

Jesus’ response was so profound and on point.  He asks his critics;  “Which is easier to forgive a man’s sins (invisible and impossible to prove) or to say take up thy bed and walk (openly provable by a number of people)”?  And then he makes the statement that is the focus of our lesson today.

Mark 2:10  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) 

Jesus said that he performed this miracle to PROVE that he has the POWER and authority to forgive sins.  Because he demonstrated that he has the power to heal a clearly identified crippled man that fact proves that he is from God and that he has the power given by God to forgive the sins of man.  The removal of the sin of man is the sole purpose of Jesus’ coming to this earth.  And Jesus, being able to heal the sick, and raise men from the dead is a clear proof that Jesus is who he says he is.


Reflecting His SON,  
Dennis Hogan
Minister, North Hardin Church of Christ

1804 Sam Stewart Dr.
Radcliff, KY  40160

Questions, comments or  further explanation?  Contact me at:  dennis.hogan@icloud.com
If you have friends, family, or acquaintances that you feel could benefit from RTS, please forward 
their e-mail address to me and I will add them to my mail list.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Jesus Knew His Place!


Mark 1:40-45  And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. (41) And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. (42) And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed. (43) And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away; (44) And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. (45) But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter. 

Our text today, like the last few days,  is focused on Jesus miraculously healing those that are sick; this time someone stricken of leprosy.  Leprosy was such a terrible disease because it was painful and very contagious and those stricken with it were cast out of their communities and banded together in small groups for support. More often than not leprosy was a painfully terminal illness.

This particular man had apparently seen Jesus healing many other people and was convinced that Jesus would be able to wipe out this dreaded disease.  In vrs 41 we find that Jesus was “moved with compassion” for him and healed him by touching him and speaking the simple command “Be Thou Clean”.  The next statement is crucial to separating Jesus from our modern day pretenders.  The Bible says that IMMEDIATELY the disease left him.  There was no need for further treatments.  There was no need for time to pass to allow for the miracle to take effect. The miracle took effect right there in front of them so it was provable to all those around. It was miraculous and immediate and provable.  That should be clue for us to compare to those that claim they can perform miracles today.

The part of this passage that I want to focus on today is vrs 44.  So many religious leaders today seem to behave like they are above the the rules and restrictions of others; whether biblically or civilly.  But Jesus, even though he was the Son of God and and God himself (John 1:1-3), he understood that he still was bound by certain regulations.  According to the law of Moses, the civil and religious law that Jesus lived under had certain requirements as it pertains to leprosy.  When someone was suspected to have contracted leprosy, they were required to have it verified by the priests  (Leviticus 13:9).  There was not governmental agency like we think of in our society, so the priests had that responsibility.  Once the person was affirmatively diagnosed, he was cast out of society. And when he confronted someone in public, the had to yell out ”Unclean, Unclean”!  If on the rare chance that a person recovered from this disease, they had to go back to the priests, and only through them, could it be verified and allow them to return to society (Leviticus 14:1-9). 

In vrs 44 Jesus tells the man to go and show himself to the priests and to perform the sacrifices that the law required.  Why did Jesus require this man to do this?  Jesus was certainly more knowledgeable than the priests were.  He knew that this man was clean far better than the priests could.  Simply, because Jesus knew his place and knew that the Law of Moses did not give him the authority to perform that act.  And so he followed the law that he was under!

Being a Christian, according to the Bible, gives us FREEDOM! (Rom 6:18)  That freedom is a NOT a freedom to make our own rules.  That freedom is a freedom FROM sin NOT a freedom to pick and choose which rules, laws and commandments that we choose to follow.  

Jesus knew his Place...Do We?

Reflecting His SON,  
Dennis Hogan
Minister, North Hardin Church of Christ

1804 Sam Stewart Dr.
Radcliff, KY  40160

Questions, comments or  further explanation?  Contact me at:  dennis.hogan@icloud.com
If you have friends, family, or acquaintances that you feel could benefit from RTS, please forward 
their e-mail address to me and I will add them to my mail list.