The world seems often uninterested in things that are whole, families that are peaceful, societies that progress together. Dissension and fighting get a lot more attention.

God's desire for people of faith is that they not only get along, but that they seek to be whole.

God has that desire also for your spirit. Seek that wholeness now in these quiet moments.

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And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered."

Mark 3:23-27

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I really like it when Jesus speaks plainly, don’t you? And then there are passages like these, when I need a decoder ring and a good commentary to make it clear for me.

These “parables” are more like proverbs: “If this, then that…” It happens three times. Jesus’ main point seems to be that anything divided against itself cannot stand, whether it’s a kingdom, a house, or evil personified. It’s not Monday Night Raw, but Jesus does put the divine smack-down on the scribes and everyone else listening. Jesus reminds his critics that he is the one who stands against evil, and that no one should ever accuse him of playing on the same team.

No one should ever be confused: Jesus is evil’s mortal enemy. He has the power to cast out that which seeks to divide and conquer God's people. If God is for us, who can be against us?

Valerie Burton

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Today I pray that what I do and say will honor you, God, and will demonstrate to others beyond any doubt that I am yours. Let nothing I do and say stand in the way of others’ understanding who you are. Amen.

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Allow the Lord to teach you the way of faith and truth, producing a heart undivided in its commitment to God's name.

Give thanks to God with your whole heart. Glorify God's name always, knowing that God's love for you is great and unwavering.

Inspired by Psalm 86

Valerie Burton

Valerie Burton lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband, Allan, their sons, Carter and Marshall, and dog, Byrd. She is the minister for Christian formation at Baptist Church of the Covenant. Life is good when there is coffee and a fire in the fireplace.

He Leadeth Me

Ken Medema

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