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NT Route 3:16 – 2nd Stop Mark 3:16

Once again, it’s been quite a while since I’ve been here. This is mostly due to life in transition. With starting a new job, which also included a big change in shift, and finishing my first semester of schooling in many years, I have found myself very busy. Praise the Lord He has been with me and brought me through all my busyness and even now fills my heart with joy and inspiration to continue my journey along NT Route 3:16. Thank you for waiting and for your prayers. I know you have been praying, I can just tell.

On our journey, the next stop is Mark 3:16. “And He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter).” Now I know that the Lord has set me on this journey because there is something for me to discover at each stop that He will use to edify my life and the lives of those with whom I share, but when I got here, I was really stumped. Here there only seems to be a small portion of an over-all message, and on top of that, it’s just a list. True, a list of very important names, but still, just a list. What, oh what could there possibly be here to impact my own life. It’s just a part of a list, not even a complete thought…But wait, WAIT. I do see it. I see a complete whole message in this one verse of scripture, and I see how it applies to me.

The message hidden in Mark 3:16 actually becomes more clear when you read it without some of the words. The verse says “He appointed” and then points out one of the appointed to whom He gave a new name. Oh how very clear this verse spells out the vital importance of being appointed by God! It is so important, because when Jesus is the one who makes the appointment, it is for real! It is for real, and He will bring it to pass! If we set out of our own accord, we are very likely doomed to failure, but when we answer the call of God’s anointed appointment we are most assuredly destine to succeed.

I have taught for many years and whole heartedly believe that God uses every person who ever has and ever will live to fulfill His purpose. He appoints each and every one of us to be used to carry His name into all the earth and speak it forth to every living creature. Yet He leaves us with a choice. The choice we have is to receive His appointment as a blessing or a curse. For example, Moses was blessed as he moved in his appointment to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt and to the land of Canaan. On the other hand, the Pharaoh was cursed as he refused to move in his appointment to release the Hebrews and let them go with Moses. How much more wonderful it is to move in the appointment of the Lord.

The other key point in this verse is that Jesus had given Simon another name. In answering his appointment, Simon was to be known as Peter. This point is key to each of us, because it points out the importance in realizing, accepting and moving in the fact that as we surrender our lives to Jesus we too should become known by another name. No I’m not necessarily saying that we need a different name, but what I see here at Mark 3:16 is that when we have surrendered to Jesus, people should be able to recognize that we are a different person. When they hear our name, it should call to their memory a person who is devoted to living for God. The only way people can recognize such a difference is if it is true.

As I was reading one morning, the Lord expanded this understanding to me through the life of another person from the Bible, whose name was Jedidiah. I discovered in 2 Samuel 12:24-25, that when God sent the Prophet to the King to tell the name of his new baby was Jedidiah, He also sent word through the Prophet that the name means, beloved of God”. God proclaimed this name on the child because from his very beginning, God loved him. While Jedidiah was very much a great King, in the long run, he did not live by the name God had given him, and by the time he died he had pretty much turned from God to live by the name given him by his earthly father and in his earthly father’s womanizing ways. While he had been proclaimed by God as Jedidiah, he lived and died by the name Solomon. What a shame for the most wise man who ever lived, that he died as Solomon the king who turned to the gods of his wives, instead of Jedidiah the beloved of God. I guess it just goes to show that how you finish is so much more important than how you start, and how you finish is all about how you live today (and tomorrow), not how you lived yesterday.

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A journey through the Old Testament on Route 3:16

Haven’t been here in a while. The last several months have been busy and difficult. Praise the Lord we were able to visit Dad in late January, because by February he was no longer with us. Praise the Lord, too, that his suffering was very minimal with the cruel disease that took him so swiftly.

One of the most difficult parts of the last few months was trying to give a proper and fitting tribute to my Dad at the memorial service held in his honor. Dad was a great man. Not in riches or fame, but in the legacy he left. A legacy of having taught us what truly should be important to a man. God, Family, Friends and Country. As I journey through this life, I always had and always will have a great example to follow. My Dad.

Thank-you for indulging my few moments of personal thoughts.

Speaking of journeys, a while back the Lord impressed on my heart to take a journey on route 3:16. Which is to say, following a path that consists of the verses found at chapter 3 and verse 16 of each book in the Bible. In the following, you will note that there are some books missing. That is, of course, because those books do not have a verse 3:16.

When first mapping out this journey, the steps (verses) seemed disjointed and not at all a path, but as I progressed, what unfolded was very much a flow of thought and progression. As you read the following, I encourage you not to just take my word for what is written here. Take the time to examine each step in its context. Go to your Bible. Read the verses that precede and follow. I am sure it will encourage, strengthen and bless your heart as it has mine.

OLD TESTAMENT ROUTE 3:16

Man had let sin into the World through his disobedience, and the Lord was angry. He cursed the ground and increased the toil of man, and then He turned to the woman.  (Genesis 3:16) To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. In pain you shall bring forth children; yet your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.”

Even in His anger, God did not abandon His creation. (Exodus 3:16)  ’Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has appeared to me, saying,’ I am indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you in Egypt.

God even made a way for His creation to seek forgiveness. (Leviticus 3:16) ‘And the priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar as food, an offering by fire for a soothing aroma; all fat is the LORD’S.’

God also provides means to help His creation remember to whom they belong and who they serve. (Numbers 3:16) So Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD, just as he had been commanded.

God blesses and cares for His creation. (Deuteronomy 3:16)  ’And to the Reubenites and to the Gadites, I gave from Gilead even as far as the valley of Arnon, the middle of the valley as a border and as far as the river Jabbok, the border of the sons of Ammon;’

God sends His creation and goes before them clearing the way. (Joshua 3:16)  that the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed opposite Jericho.

God imparts wisdom on His creation for dealing with the enemy. (Judges 3:16) And Ehud made himself a sword which had two edges, a cubit in length; and he bound it on his right thigh under his cloak.

God desires that His creation recognize His blessings and share them. (Ruth 3:16)  And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, ‘How did it go, my daughter?’ And she told her all that the man had done for her.

God imparts true wisdom on those who seek Him and appoints wise councilors. (1 Kings 3:16)  Then two women who were harlots came to the king and stood before him.

God provides for those who obey His commandments. (2 Kings 3:16)  And he said, ‘Thus says the LORD, ‘Make this valley full of trenches.’

God provides for all generations. (1 Chronicles 3:16)  And the sons of Jehoiakim were Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son.

His creation shall rise up to praise their Lord in all their works. (2 Chronicles 3:16)  And he made chains in the inner sanctuary, and placed them on the tops of the pillars; and he made one hundred pomegranates and placed them on the chains.

We are called to care for and tend to all that God has provided us.  (Nehemiah 3:16)  After him Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, official of half the district of Beth-zur, made repairs as far as a point opposite the tombs of David, and as far as the artificial pool and the house of the mighty men.

Without the Lord we are lost.  (Job 3:16)  “Or like a miscarriage which is discarded, I would not be, As infants that never saw light.”

The Lord is a just God. (Proverbs 3:16)  Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor.

The world is unjust. (Ecclesiastes 3:16)  Furthermore, I have seen under the sun that in the place of justice there is wickedness, and in the place of righteousness there is wickedness.

The Lord sees our indiscretions. (Isaiah 3:16)  Moreover, the LORD said, “Because the daughters of Zion are proud, And walk with heads held high and seductive eyes, And go along with mincing steps, And tinkle the bangles on their feet,

We are to follow after the Creator, not the created. (Jeremiah 3:16)  “And it shall be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land,” declares the LORD, “they shall say no more, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD.’ And it shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they miss it, nor shall it be made again.

The wrath of God is severe. (Lamentations 3:16)  And He has broken my teeth with gravel; He has made me cower in the dust.

Wait upon the Lord and He will speak to you in the midst of your strife. (Ezekiel 3:16)  Now it came about at the end of seven days that the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

All situations may be answered by quietly resting in God. (Daniel 3:16)  Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter.

The time will come when the God will distinguish between those who love Him and those who do not. He will pour out His wrath on those who deny Him and draw close to them those who seek Him. (Joel 3:16)  And the LORD roars from Zion And utters His voice from Jerusalem, And the heavens and the earth tremble. But the LORD is a refuge for His people And a stronghold to the sons of Israel.

We must not fail to recognize when we are plundering that which God has created for us, and amend our ways to be good stewards. (Nahum 3:16)  You have increased your traders more than the stars of heaven– The creeping locust strips and flies away.

To rejoice in the calamity that will befall those who deny the Lord is to fail to understand the heart of God. Instead seek diligently to enlighten them, and mourn over their unwillingness to hear. (Habakkuk 3:16)  I heard and my inward parts trembled, At the sound my lips quivered. Decay enters my bones, And in my place I tremble. Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress, For the people to arise who will invade us.

Our eternal strength in is the Lord. In Him we have hope that far exceeds the trials and tribulations of this life. (Zephaniah 3:16)  In that day it will be said to Jerusalem: “Do not be afraid, O Zion; Do not let your hands fall limp.

To “fear” God is to abide in Him, obey His commands and devote ourselves in service to Him. God remembers those who belong to Him and “fear” Him. He protects them and provides for them. (Malachi 3:16)  Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name.

In conclusion, an interesting note: There are many who teach that it is not important to study the Old Testament, because the New Testament brought a “new covenant”. Yet as we have traveled along Old Testament Route 3:16, verse after verse has revealed answers to the oft asked question, “Why Jesus?” (Why His incarnation…why His tragic death on the cross…why His rebirth…why His ascension…why should one surrender their life to Him…) Study of the Old Testament is critical to gaining understanding of Jesus. Besides, Jesus Himself said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets (what we now call the Old Testament); I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-19)

PS: I am currently on route 3:16 in the New Testament and will share sometime soon.

Thank-you for reading.

Please know that I pray Numbers 6:24-26 for you!

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