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                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                 Mindful Of The Things Of God (8:31-33)

INTRODUCTION

1. As Jesus travelled near Caesarea Philippi, He made the first of three
   predictions concerning what awaited Him in Jerusalem... - Mk 8:31; 
   cf. Mk 9:31; 10:33-34
   a. He must suffer many things
   b. He must be rejected and killed, and rise again in three days

2. Peter's response was adamant...
   a. He took Jesus aside and began to rebuke Him... - Mk 8:32
   b. Peter's words:  "Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen
      to You!" - cf. Mt 16:22

3. In turn, Jesus looks at His disciples and then rebukes Peter...
   a. "Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of
      God, but the things of men." - Mk 8:33
   b. Matthew reveals that Jesus also said:  "You are an offense to
      Me..." - Mt 16:23

[Peter's outburst of concern for Jesus was only natural.  But Jesus'
rebuke reveals an important lesson in being "Mindful Of The Things Of
God."  Let's first consider that...]

I. GOD'S WAYS ARE NOT OUR WAYS

   A. AS STATED...
      1. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My
         ways" - Isa 55:8
      2. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways
         higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts."
         - Isa 55:9

   B.  AS ILLUSTRATED...
      1. By His view of suffering in the scheme of redemption - Mk
         8:31-33; Lk 24:26-27,44-46
      2. By His view of greatness versus ours - Mk 10:42-45
      3. By His view of beauty versus ours - 1Pe 3:3-4
      4. By His view of money versus ours - Lk 16:13-15

[Clearly the mind of God and the things of God come from a higher plane
than the mind of man.  Peter failed to appreciate this.   How can we be
sure that we are ever "Mindful Of The Things Of God"...?]

II. MINDFUL OF THE THINGS OF GOD

   A. WE CANNOT TRUST OURSELVES...
      1. Our feelings
         a. This is often the standard of right and wrong for many
            people
            1) Who go by whatever "feels right"
            2) Who place stock in a religion "better felt than told"
         b. Yet the Bible declares the danger of trusting in our
            feelings
            1) "There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end
               is the way of death." - Pr 14:12
            2) "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool..." - Pr 28:26
      2. Our conscience
            a. "Let your conscience be your guide" is the motto of many
         b. But consider:  "O Lord, I know the way of man is not in
            himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own
            steps." - Jer 10:23
         c. Our conscience is not always reliable
            1) Paul had served God with a good conscience throughout his
               life - Ac 23:1
            2) Even at a time when he was persecuting Christians! - cf.
               Ac 26:9-11
      3. Our wisdom
         a. Many feel that through their own wisdom they can determine
            right and wrong
         b. God has chosen to save man in a manner designed to confound
            the wise - 1Co 1:18-29
         c. For us to know God's will, it was necessary for Him to
            reveal it to us - 1Co 2:9-12
            1) This He has done through His Spirit-inspired apostles
            2) Who in turn shared it with us through their writings - Ep
               3:1-5

   B. WE MUST TRUST IN GOD...
      1. In how to be saved
         a. Some seek to be saved by good works
         b. Others by faith only
         c. We must trust in Jesus and His apostles - Mk 16:15-16; Ac
            2:38; 22:16
      2. In how to worship
         a. Some want to offer what pleases them
         b. Others want to offer what pleases others
         c. We must trust in the commands and will of the Lord - Mk
            7:6-7,9; Col 3:17
      3. In how to live
         a. Some want to make themselves #1
         b. Others want to make work or family #1
         c. We must trust Jesus and the Word of God - Mt 6:33; 1Ti
            6:17-19; 2Ti 3:16-17; 2Pe 1:3

CONCLUSION

1. We can only be "Mindful Of The Things Of God" when we...
   a. Humbly submit to what is revealed in the Word of God
   b. Refuse to let our feelings, conscience, or wisdom be our guide

2. Otherwise, we are "Mindful Of The Things Of Men", where we...
   a. Become an instrument of Satan! - cf. Mk 8:33
   b. Become an offense to Jesus! - cf. Mt 16:23

Have you given much thought as to whether you are "Mindful Of The Things
Of God"...?

   "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are
   above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your
   mind on things above, not on things on the earth." - Col 3:1-2

   "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the
   renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and
   acceptable and perfect will of God." - Ro 12:2
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