so I wanted to post this every week but I think at the risk of it becoming too long I will post them when they start reaching a certain length.
- June 11th 2021
Mark 1-4: for the most part this covers his early ministry. Jesus is preaching in the synagogues and healing the sick. He is traveling around, he chooses his disciples and then we get to the parables.
The parable of the sower is the one that stands out to me specifically. seed falls along the path and immediately the seed is picked off by birds. Those, according to Jesus, are the ones who satan immediately takes away the word from them. Then there are the ones sown on rocky ground, their roots cannot go deep. They are the ones who receive the word with Joy, but when trials come they wilt and fall away. Then there are those who seeds fall into thorns. They are the ones who receive the word but the deceit of riches and pleasure choke out the desire for God and they fall away too. Then are those who’s seeds fall on the good soil and they produce fruit up to a hundred fold.
When I think about this verse I think about where I am at. It makes me acutely aware of tactics of satan. He wants to snatch the word from those who receive it, if he can’t do that then he wants to wear on them so that they give up. if he can’t do that, he brings along temptations and snares to try to get people in that way. Knowing the tactics of the enemy is half the battle, I think, because it allows you to carry on a defense. where am I most likely to fall? and how can I better prepare?
- June 14th 2021
Mark 5-7: this section also went through much of Christs ministry and shared a few parables. but in chapter 7 verse 5-8 it says And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
This actually had me thinking about how many people think of the Bible as a set of rules. What the religious did in that day was set a bunch of laws according to tradition placing a further burden on the people of Israel. These were rules that were impractical or unnecessary but seemed necessary to the Pharisees. Jesus came to set the record straight. these men replaced the word of God with the traditions of men and because of that many would grew weary.
We have to be careful to read the word and search for ourselves what God’s will is for us. We can’t twist scripture for our own preferences or cater to our own imaginings because that just causes further divide. The danger we face is downplaying God’s grace and making it all about following our own set of rules. The thing about those rules Is that we will eventually break them too. If we can’t even follow the ten commandments than how are we suppose to follow our own?
- June 15th, 2021
Mark 8: 14-21 need further study to really grasp what it means.
mark 8-9: mark 8:34-37 says, “And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?”
One of the hardest things to grasp as a non-believer is the idea of denying themselves. Even as a christian it is not an easy thing to practice. The flesh desires the world and the temptation of it but Jesus calls us to be set apart from the world. Not to be a part of it. the most influential passage I believe I have ever read was “for what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul.” It really brings you to question your own motives. Do I value the world or do I value my soul? With eternity in mind, Life is a blip in the length of all time. Some are given more life to live than others but through it all is it worth more than my soul? It really comes down to whether you believe what is to come is greater than what is here now. There is a parable known as the treasure in the field. Jesus Likens heaven as a treasure in a field. the man comes across a great treasure In a field, so he goes home and sells everything he has to buy the field and with it that treasure.
What I find most interesting is that he didn’t just go and by the treasure but the whole field. The field is the space we are able to grow in, live in, take pleasure in and the treasure is what we found that makes it all worth it no matter how big or small that field may be. We are able to live and live abundantly because of the treasure we have found. It’s just up to me to notice the great treasure before me. The one who lost out in the deal was the one who sold the field because he didn’t notice the treasure it contained.
Mark 9:29 says And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
In this section there was a demon possessed boy who had been possessed since childbirth. Each time, the demon would cause his body to go into a fit and also throw itself into fires and water. The disciples failed to exorcise the demon claiming it to be too strong but Jesus comes to tell him that prayer is the only weapon against it. It just reminds me of the power of prayer. I take prayer for granted and always ALWAYS forget the great power we have in prayer. I really want to study on the power of prayer or read a book on it because I want to be able to use it faithfully in my life. before this the father of the child was asked a question by Jesus, whether he believed or not that his son could be saved and he said I believe and help my unbelief. If I really do believe in the power of pray, and I do, I want to make it a point to pray this. After this response Jesus exorcised the demon. I want to believe that God can use my belief and at the same time help my unbelief.
in Mark 9:35 it says,” And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
The disciples were arguing who would be the greatest and Jesus’ answer makes it Clear that he cares more for humility. Being Humble is hard. We are proud creatures, especially when we feel we’ve accomplished something. We like to brag and make a show of it because it gives us attention but Jesus says the best of us are those who makes themselves a servant to all. This is not to say you shouldn’t think about yourself but always be ready to be in service of others. to put others above yourself. That’s so hard. It doesn’t make it any easier when we have everyone wanting to be the center of attention. You sometimes feel like you just want a little bit attention. But to realize that the Lord sees you and that will be rewarded is what should help us not get caught up in this self- centered mindset.
mark 9:42-48 says Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.“
Jesus cares for his children and cares for the sanctity of purity in the hearts and minds of his children and it is clearly seen through the severity of which he speaks about it in this passage. This idea of brashness goes down into how we should treat sin. With the same seriousness and effort as we would anything that would bring harm to a child. He’s not telling us to maim ourselves but to radically change the way we see sin. I always think that if Jesus thought it serious enough to die for, i should take it serious enough to radically change the way I deal with it. There’s plenty of areas in my life I see I need to change and also plenty of reason to pray unceasingly for. So I think that’s what I need to do.