Friday, May 12
As we started our journey through the book of Mark on Monday we saw that Jesus was all about the gospel of the Kingdom of God. Now as we come to the end of Mark we see Jesus is still about the same work. He is seated with his disciples and tells them in 14:25, “Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the Kingdom of God.”
We see later in chapter 14 that he was “deeply grieved” and asked that God would “remove this cup.” Death was not what he wanted even in this situation, knowing what was coming, he still said, “not what I will, but what you will.” Jesus knew the prophesies, he knew the suffering he was about to face, yet still he sought the Kingdom of God. Jesus, along with his passion for the Kingdom to be fulfilled, is our inspiration to follow the will of God. We must “seek first the Kingdom of God”(Matt 6:33). It is of utmost importance.
Even after Jesus was crucified and was raised from the dead He still focused on the Kingdom. He told his disciples to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”(Mark 16:15) We are to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God to all around us no matter how popular the message is or isn’t.
(Photo Credit: http://dailybiblememe.com/tag/mark-1615/)
Thursday, May 11
What are some of the things that make you mad and how do you react when you are upset? Do you think Jesus ever got mad or expressed his anger?
We read in Mark 11 of a time where Jesus was anything but quiet and soft spoken. We see Him turning tables and running people out of the temple. This is not to say that we should go flipping tables and chasing people whenever we get upset, that is NOT what was happening here. Jesus reacted in this way not because someone disagreed with Him, in those instances He says to turn the other cheek. He reacted this way because these individuals had taken the temple of His Father and they were using it like a common marketplace. The things they were doing were a disgrace to the sanctuary of God. Jesus was angry with a righteous indignation. He was furious because the temple of God was being defiled!
Do you get more upset and react in a more dramatic way if someone speaks against you or against your God? Hopefully we are faster to defend our God rather than ourselves. We tend to be pretty quick to jump at small things, leaving the big things for someone else to handle. I think of David before He became king, he was willing to fight a giant because of what he had said about our God.
We must pick our battles. It isn’t easy to let someone talk about you or your family. It isn’t easy to let them bad mouth a friend. These things don’t matter as much in the end though. What truly matters is how we defend our faith, how we stand for our God. We MUST stand firm when it comes to the scripture, we MUST share our faith, and we MUST learn to choose our battles as Jesus did.
– Bill Dunn
Wednesday, May 10
What is the most you have ever paid for something? What is the most you have ever gotten from selling something? We value our things and we value our money. It seems that prices keep going up and up on everything that we need. Yet when we sell something it seems the price is never quite as high as we would like it to be. When we buy or sell we must ask ourselves, “What is this really worth to me?” That question will help us decide if we want to buy or sell at the price offered.
Jesus asks His followers to place value on what may be the single most valuable thing we have, our life and the choices we make in it. In Mark 8:31 Jesus teaches that He, “must suffer many things and be rejected … and be killed, and after three days rise again.” In the verses that follow He tells Peter that Peter had not set his mind on God’s interests, but his own. Then Jesus tells us, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” (Mark 8:34) Jesus is saying that we must place a value on being His follower. We must also place a value on following our own desires. We must decide which is of greater value to us. If our desires win and we choose to seek the things of this life and avoid the suffering of following Jesus it is a steep price to pay. Jesus says, “whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.” (Mark 8:35) Proverbs puts it this way, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12, Proverbs 16:25)
I leave you with the 2 questions that Jesus asked His disciples in verses 36 and 37, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
(Photo Credit: ttps://www.bbmquotes.com/quote-from-the-bible-mark-836/)
Tuesday, May 9
Do you like the power of a storm or are you terrified by that power? Are you one to sit on the porch and watch as a thunderstorm rolls in or run for cover when it is forecasted? I have always been captivated by the incredible power of a storm. I love to feel the temperature change as the front rolls in, you can almost feel the electric in the air as the lightning gets closer and closer. As I watch a storm moving in I can’t help but think of the fact that as powerful as the storm is it cannot come close to the power of our creator. The storm rages in its fury and is uncontrolled as the lightning strikes and the thunder crashes. God is powerful and in control, He put His power to use as He spoke and the universe came into existence.
As we read of the storm in Mark 4 we find that this storm raged on and on. We can almost see the disciples frantically running around the boat trying to secure everything and keep the boat afloat while our Messiah quietly sleeps in the stern. As the disciples rush to wake him and ask how he could be sleeping at a time like this he calmly says to the sea, “Hush, be still.” The wind stops, the waves calm and they go peacefully through the rest of their journey. Sometimes I think we are like the disciples, we get so worked up over what is happening around us that we forget who is living in our hearts. We forget that Jesus has promised that he will never leave us. We forget that God has called us for a purpose. We forget that even if we don’t survive this storm, we have the promise of eternal life in the Kingdom of God. In the storms of life never lose sight of the One who holds you! Never lose sight of the one who can either calm the storm or calm you!
Monday, May 8
When you think of Jesus what do you think of? The cross? The suffering? The Resurrection? Feeding 5000? There are a great many things that Jesus accomplished while He walked this planet 2000+ years ago. Whatever Jesus choose to spend His time doing we should also spend our time doing.
As we begin to read from the Gospel of Mark we see that Jesus did a great deal of healing, and this resulted in crowds coming to Him. When people gathered to Jesus, he made teaching a priority. In chapter 1 verses 14, 15 it says, “Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” Later in verse 38 He says, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.” Jesus clearly states that the reason He came was to preach and teach to bring people to repentance, “for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”
Sometimes Jesus shared the word verbally and other times he shared it in action. Regardless of where Jesus was or who was around He was always focused on sharing the gospel of the Kingdom of God, in whatever way He could. We need to take after Him, after all we call ourselves CHRISTians. Not only that but also in chapter 3 verse 14 it says that, “He appointed twelve, so that … He could send them out to preach.” The twelve were the first disciples, we are the disciples today. Take the time to preach the gospel message in everything you do!
(Photo Credit: https://dailyverses.net/mark/1/15)