Posts by Mark Medley

Posts by Mark Medley

Revelation 7 | Who Gets to Sing in the Choir?

There are many interpretations and much hype about the 144,000 “sealed” persons mentioned in Revelation chapter seven. This same group is also mentioned in Revelation chapter 14, where they sing a song no one else gets to sing. Who are these people? The numbers 12,000 and 144,000 have variously interpreted meanings throughout church history. Some, taking the numbers in Revelation to be symbolic, believe it represents all of God’s people throughout history of the Church (since the number 12 is a…

Revelation 5 | Idols and Honor

A trip to India will cause you to reassess things in your life. The spiritual, cultural, and literal climate are all very difficult for anyone to become acclimated. But undoubtedly, the most unexpected thing about the culture is the blatant and literal idolatry which is a part of everyday life. People actually purchase stone idols and pray to them. They set up shrines to their billions of gods. This grieved me to the core of my spirit to see this…

Revelation 3 | What Would Jesus Say?

What would Jesus have to say about our church? I am visualizing one of the ordinary weekly staff meetings where we are going through the “connection cards” that visitors fill out. Suddenly we realize that Jesus himself had visited our church that week and filled out a card, leaving his comments on the state of our church. Just thinking about it, my palms are get sweaty and my throat swells. What would the Son of God say to us if…

1 John 1 | Love Is A Fuzzy Word

Is there a more ill-defined word than love? We use it to describe our feelings for God and for pizza, for our spouses and for sports. We use it so much that it has lost its meaning, its depth, its cost in our lives. Within the past year, the words of 1 John have been messing with me. The Apostle John is not ashamed to use the word “love” – and he knows exactly what it means. Love changes our lives, our motives and…

John 17 | Come See The Heart of God

God has given us a beautiful gift in John 17: a glimpse into the heart of Jesus Christ and his relationship with His Father. The Bible is full of great prayers, but perhaps none reveals the heart and purpose of God better than this one, uttered just hours before the crucifixion. Jesus lifts up his eyes as if to make eye contact with His Father, zeroing in on the will of God. He prays according to His own need, “Father,…

John 4 | Lift Your Eyes

Jesus was doing things all wrong: He left a fruitful and popular ministry in Judea and went where most Jews would not go: Samaria. He spoke to the wrong person (a woman) and He did it in the wrong place (in public). But in reality, Jesus was doing all the right things. He obeyed the leading of the Spirit. He saw what God was doing in a woman’s heart and he spoke to her greatest need. He allowed room for…

Hebrews 5 | Better

You may not realize it, but you may need an upgrade. You are reading this blog on a phone or a computer which runs on an operating system. Chances are, you have had to update the system many times over the years. The idea is that the old system has flaws and can’t run the apps and software that you want to run as smoothly as the new one, so you need the upgrade. That is roughly the idea of…

Acts 24 | This Man Is A Plague

Public enemy number one… A threat to all humanity as we know it… A person who has turned the world upside down… Yet this was Paul, a humble man who was a helpless prisoner of the world’s most extensive empire. Was he really all that dangerous? In Acts 24, the political ruler refused to hear Paul because he knew he himself to be a sinful man. The religious leaders refused to hear Paul because they thought themselves to be righteous…

Acts 8 | When The Gospel Goes, The Spirit Flows

“I don’t understand why I don’t see the miracles here that people see in other places.” My friend sat across the lunch table visibly frustrated. I’ve heard people say this type of thing before. The lament is that we hear of such great miracles in other countries, such as Africa or Latin America. So why do we not see many of these kinds of miracles here in the United States? I understand the frustration. But there seemed to be something…

Luke 17 | The Miraculous In The Mundane

Our concept of the spiritual world is really strange sometimes. We often miss the truly spiritual things because we are focused on what we think is spiritual. We can easily miss the forest for the trees. Luke 17 is a good example. The young disciples thought their biggest need was to increase their faith. The well-meaning but deceived and law-bound Pharisees were concerned with the end times and the coming of the kingdom of God. But Jesus ties strong faith…