All Articles For Marcus, John

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If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. John 13:14 When was the last time we washed someone else’s feet? Not, of course, literally, although we might have opportunity to do that; but, when was the last time we stooped below our dignity and served for the good of the church? Serving might involve something as mundane as opening a door for someone else, helping an elderly person with his walker, or picking up a piece of trash from the church grounds. Or it might involve greater sacrifices like spending hours...

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There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand. Proverbs 19:21 As another year dawns upon us, many devices will be found within our hearts. Solomon, of course, is not talking about devices of the medical kind, but of the scheming kind. People devise many schemes. Some of them seem almost certain to materialize, while others will almost certainly not do so. Who can tell what will become of our plans? Although the plans of men are uncertain, this coming year holds no uncertainty whatsoever from God’s per­spective. That is because the New...

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But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:8 What an unruly evil is the tongue! Men have been able to tame all kinds of animals. They can get cockatoos to sing, tigers to jump, elephants to dance, dolphins to flip, and snakes to be charmed. But the tongue is different. It cannot be restrained or controlled to do just what we want it to do. Therefore it brings forth sinful words that often wreak havoc in our lives and in the lives of others. The tongue is full of kill­ing poison....

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And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. Exodus 33:18-19 When Israel blatantly disregarded God’s holy law in the matter of the golden calf, God, through His appointed officebear­ers, slew three thousand of those who had not repent­ed. Now, in light of Israel’s great sin against God, the question in Moses’ mind was, will God’s...

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Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? Luke 24:25-26 Jesus Christ rose from the dead, just as He said. It is remarkable that although the truth of the resurrection was plain to see, all of the disciples doubted it. Mary Magdalene, to whom Jesus first ap­peared, thought in her grief that someone had stolen her Master’s body. The apostles, including Peter and John, thinking the women were speaking idle tales, did not believe them...

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Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward...

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Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed.” Psalm 65:1   Psalm 65 gives us multiple reasons for which to give thanks, all of which point to God’s goodness. The psalm begins on a note of thanksgiving and carries that thought throughout the psalm: “Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion” (Ps. 65:1). Praise has to do with being sincerely and deeply thankful for God’s wonderful works and His superior qualities. The reason praise is said to “wait” is that there is always something for which to praise God in Zion....

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Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. Psalm 41:1 Every believer ought to expect affliction in this world. But, with the affliction, God will also make a way out. Psalm 41 is about affliction as well as God’s deliverance. David begins the Psalm with a reference to him who considers the poor. The poor is someone in a lowly state because of affliction. That affliction might be physical; but it could also be emotional or spiritual. Although the wicked commit the most horrible treacheries against God’s people, we can still count our­selves...

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Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there re­memberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be rec­onciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Matthew 5:23-24 True religion is more than just external cer­emonies and observances. True religion is a matter of the heart. The heart-centered character of true religion is evident with something like the sixth commandment, which Jesus addresses in His sermon on the mount just prior to the words we consider. Those who truly love God and their neighbor...

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Rev. Marcus is pastor of the First Protestant Reformed Church in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is...

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