May 19


Mark 10-11

We are in the Christ Stream today reading about Palm Sunday and more. We are using the Common English Bible this week. | @7StreamsMethod | @serenatravis | #7Streams | @drakewtravis

Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for sharing your endless wisdom, your mind, your life and your eternal home with us.  Amen

1 – In case anyone is wondering: Jesus is in the final days – week or two at the most – of His life/ministry before He is crucified. It is the Springtime. If we put our calendar transparently right on top of the local calendar of the era and region we would be calling the month April. If you are into calendars, the Julian and the Gregorian and (it’s a laborious study so we will simply mention it here) The year is 29 A.D.
-Fascinating little study about the dates. But, on to Jesus’ march to Jerusalem. He has just come far south. He is still east of the Jordan and getting mashed in by a crowd again, He is teaching and some Pharisees are there. They ask him if divorce is permitted by law.  It’s always amusing when someone asks a question and they are not really on a quest to get their question answered. These Pharisees are tramps! They were the type to divorce and give out easy divorces for … a wife burning the food, for casually stating “she isn’t attractive to me anymore”. They treated women below dogs. And so over the years, most of these clowns had turned their wives into skittish, cowering ladies who lived with little value in their own minds so their own husbands were not drawn to them anymore. They don’t care that the Law forbids divorce. They are just trying to set up a situation where Jesus seems pitted against Moses. Makes one shake their head to watch these guys get “owned” or exposed like crooks in broad daylight. I like to say that Jesus tied them in a knot and left them baking in the sun. OK, that’s not very nice 🙁
Next we see Jesus blessing little children, and the disciples rebuke this. For them, children are a segue to nothing. They can’t be added to the “vital contacts” list. Jesus, always ready to create a teachable moment, does so and portrays “the child” as the ones who access God far more readily for they come to God for love. They come purely. No finesse, no secondary or hidden agenda. No attempt to deceive or be dubious. They just come to Jesus because they want HIM. Adults rarely do that, though children always do. And we better learn something here.

~Then there comes a rich young ruler; he has wealth, youth, time, and power. He wants to add Jesus’ wisdom to his arsenal AND have eternal life. Jesus basically says to him, that Jesus is to be the number one priority in his life. We’ve met people who glance over Jesus’ statement here and declare they can never follow Jesus. This is paper-thin scholarship. Just a few verses later

Jesus tells his disciples that ALL things are possible with God. Jesus asserts that those who serve Him wholeheartedly will be rewarded accordingly and they can “take that to the bank”.
-He tells of his Passion again – remember Jesus does this five times during this season of His ministry –  James and Johns’ little “I’m #1” squabble is turned into a teaching lesson for service. Interesting that Christians lead the world in service because of this passage right here!
-in the blind Bartimaeus story, notice that when Jesus calls to him, he throws off his mantle. This mantle was a cloak that was sanctioned by the government meaning he was ‘cleared’ to beg. BarT- throwing it away as soon as he hears Jesus’ voice means he KNOWS he will be healed. Do we come to Jesus’ with that confidence?!
11 – The triumphal entry is the event that is commemorated each Palm Sunday the world over. ‘Pretty bold of him to go straight to the Temple and bash all the bookkeepers and kaBoom the bazaar that had developed into an eternal fundraiser. To charge people for praying was disgusting and Jesus’ made is statement didn’t He.??  The fig tree incident can be analyzed for a lifetime, I’ll just pick one facet and say this, “we need to be producing something for God’s sake. Jesus is hungry and wants a fig. Are we going to be coming to God empty handed forever? Come on! He tells us to be full of faith and quick to forgive. Let’s do what we are told here.
-It ends today with the Temple leaders coming to him again with a question that is just a ploy to ensnarl Him. Again, their “question” is no quest. Jesus throws it right back at them and they fall dumbfoundedly silent.  This whole interchange is actually taught in law schools today for it’s brilliance and quick reply that exposes what is really going on.
-Looking over the two chapters today, let’s not come to Jesus with our “educated agenda”, let’s come like Bartimaeus and the children with our needs before us and excitement to be with Him.

May 18


Hosea 11-12

We are in the Exile Stream and reading from the Common English Bible. | @7StreamsMethod | @serenatravis | #7Streams | @drakewtravis

Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Dear Lord,

We know that You are compassionate to those who follow after You. We want to follow You. Help us to stay on the straight and narrow and to not be distracted by the temptations of this world. May Your compassion flow through us to reach more for Your Kingdom. Amen.

Just to pause for some review, Hosea was sent as the final prophet to the North; to Israel.  They split from the south because they were tired of the taxes and of being told by the new young leaders [in the south] that taxes would only go up; way up. To secure the division, the north (Israel) had set up the the golden calf as their national symbol and had immersed themselves in Baal worship. This deliberate paganism was a 200 year run from ca. 920 BC to 720 BC.  During these two centuries God sent Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, Amos and finally Hosea.  All tried to get the northern Kingdom to repent of its idol worship. It was as feckless of results as trying to get dogs to stop digging through garbage or to keep pigs out of mud. ?How to get these people to stop their transgressions? We read Hosea 11 and 12 today and will finish Hosea next week.

11 – begins that God called his son out of Egypt. This is a theme; a motif in the long process of redemption.  Moses was called out of Egypt, the Israelites were called/delivered out of Egypt, Jesus was called out of Egypt as a toddler when the angel told Joseph/Mary to return to Israel now since Herod was gone.  The phrase “Leaving Egypt” can virtually mean to depart from slavery and come into freedom. God had called Israel out of slavery and … they dove back into it around 920 B.C. and told themselves that they were doing this to symbolize their independence. It’s quite the “whirling dervish” mentality and it wasn’t taking them where they might have thought it would.

God has cared for them for so long; from the start! and all they do is run away. They are a frustration to God.  And since they think it’s their right to dabble in spiritual slavery, they will return to slavery. Assyria will swarm in and when the swords flash all over over their country it won’t be some display or Memorial Day exposition.  Swords will flash for their death! Horror of horrors. God really doesn’t want to see this happen to Israel, his chosen people. But what is God to do when Israel has chosen wrong? The two mentioned cities of Admah and Zeboiim were sister cities of Sodom/Gomorrah, mentioned in Gen. 10:19. They had joined in S Gs’ sin.  They were burned into oblivion too in Genesis along with the other ungodly populations. Again, God doesn’t want to treat Israel this way but what choice is Israel’s behavior offering to God when they had joined in such diabolical behavior? Their satanic behavior must be addressed. Does God love them? He never stopped loving them. This is pain for the divine one who would so prefer to save them.  However their life of lies cannot go on.

12 – Ephraim, in Israel (remember Absalom and his army perishing in the forests of Ephraim a few days ago?) Ephraim was a cultural center in Israel.  Let’s put it this way, they put the “cult” in cultural. At any rate, Ephraim is doing deals with Egypt and Assyria (both menacing countries on either side of them) and they are thinking that they are going to triangulate a clever deal and thereby keep punishment at bay. It is as if they think that some tricky chess playing or maneuvering is going to keep them out of trouble. They were being like Jacob; Israel their forefather who was constantly conjuring something v.s. dealing with matters in a forthright manner. God had dynamically met Jacob at Bethel [Gen. 28] – now that area is “sin-central”, they are ungodly in every way.  God has worked so long to establish His people in Israel but they seem to prefer to return to lostness.  They will, – and blood is going to be spilt.

Don’t you wish things had gone differently? Yeah. God does too.

May 17


Jeremiah 8-10

We are in the Prophetic Stream today spendings some time with Jeremiah, the Weeping Prophet. We are using the Common English Bible this week. | @7StreamsMethod | @serenatravis | #7Streams | @drakewtravis

Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

God of Heaven, hear us when we pray. We see the mess that comes from disobedience. Let us be tender toward you, and listen.  May we be clay that can be molded in your hands. We do not want to be like those we have read about today. Make us like you.     Amen.

ch. 8 – begins midstream [continuing the thought that began in ch. 7]  One version called it “…The Valley of Slaughter”. This is the description of how bad things were in Jerusalem as it was approaching 600 B.C. Human sacrifice had been going on, the priests were agents of darkness and not taking people to God. They had been doing astrology full on; consulting moon and stars like pagans gone amok. So God would see to it that the bones of these false priests would be laid out before the heavens – it was much more like Hindu “theology” for this to happen v.s. Judaic theology wherein the followers are buried at their death v.s. eaten by birds or burned on pyres. Judeans had been playing with false religion so they were going to end up as such.  It’s a horror show, folks.  God has been trying to talk to His people, but one may as well try to have a calm conversation with a scared cat!  They run away, listen to lies, they’re impenitent, oblivious to the Lord, they lie to themselves, lie about God and reject God outright.  Judah will be stripped bare for what they are doing. The harvest will not come in… but the enemy will come.  They’ve poisoned what God gave them and now they are poisoned. Healing? not happening. Jeremiah is very pained by all this.

9 – The first verses here is why Jeremiah is nicknamed the Weeping Prophet. What ‘once was’ compared to ‘what is now’ has decayed to such a sorry state of rottenness both spiritually and culturally. Deception is everywhere. The desolation they are seeing will soon completely overtake them.  This once beautiful city will soon be worse off than a dog pen. Jeremiah saw distinctly what was coming for these people. He walked among them (for well over a generation of time) and pleaded, practically begged- trying to persuade them – imploring them to turn from wickedness.  Btw, no one “converted” in his 60 years of ministering and prophesying. Jeremiah certainly had a discouraging assignment. The rebellious and callous ungodliness of these people -who had “firstborn” status with God- virtually broke Jeremiah’s heart.  There will be so many dead bodies when the Babylonians stomp through Judah! My God, My God, won’t these people hear the warnings?!
10 – is a glaring rendition of the pure worthlessness and empty stupidity of idols: either making them, using them, or worshiping them in any manner.  God is true, and living, and powerful, and renders justice, and applies his wrath properly.  He controls all nature – these idol makers are fools; buffoons.  Will you come home to Almighty God?        Since you won’t, you may as well get to packing up your things for you are going to be run out of here.  Your injuries, your destroyed belongings, your decimated families … what did you think would happen for ignoring the Lord’s instruction?!

Then Jeremiah ends the reading today with a humble prayer that is ‘one for the ages.’   “Correct me Lord, but with justice, and not in your anger, or else you will reduce me to nothing.”  Jeremiah knew the times he was living in for certain.