Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Book of Mark Study: Week 3

I didn't share my Mark journey last week in hopes that you would check out my posts over on my fiend, Jessica Mathisen's blog as her featured Sisters of Influence.

So let's head right in to week 3 now!

Day 1: Mark 8:1-21

vs. 17 "Aware of their discussions, Jesus asked them: 'Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened?"

Leading up to this in chapter 6:30-44 and 8:1-13, Jesus had performed two miracles regarding bread. How easily they forgot! They didn't ask for eyes to see or hearts to understand what He had been doing in their lives and right in front of their own eyes. We (myself totally included) must ask for our eyes to be open to what He is doing in and around us! If not, we'll be just like them and people will begin to say "how did AllieDanae not see what He was doing in her life?" - I don't want that, do you?

Day 2: Mark 8: 22-38

vs. 31-32 "He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took Him aside to began to rebuke Him. But when Jesus turned and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter. 'Get behind Me, Satan!' He said. 'You don not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.'"

Speaking of not having the eyes to see, when I do see what He's trying to teach me, how do I handle it? Do I question or rebuke Him? Do I tells others when He wants me to share or do I keep things to myself? There are definitely areas in my life that I just don't fully understand why/what He's doing in my life. Maybe it is because I haven't asked Him to fully reveal it to me, or because He has been slowly revealing His plan but I have been like Peter, and questioning Him.

Day 3: Mark 9:1-32

vs. 22b-23 "'But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us.' 'If You can'? said Jesus. 'Everything is possible for one who believes.'"

Oh Lord, please turn my 'if You can' mentality & prayers into a 'when You can' ones. I want to learn to pray with confidence (vs 29). That's another reason I love being in the middle of the 40 day prayer challenge while reading through Mark. My prayers lacked some confidence in the God of the universe, but now I want to pray knowing that He will move when and how He wants.

Day 4: Mark 9:33-50

vs. 42 "If anyone causes one of these little ones - whose who believe in Me - to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea."

Well, that is harsh, but so important to remember. There will always be eyes watching us as believers. In this instance, I believe He was talking about not just actual little children who believe, but "young" believers as well - those new to the faith. Paul says it best in 1 Cor 6:12 about how all things might be permissible but not all are beneficial to our lives. We have to be careful of the impact our lives are leaving on others - especially new Christians. We are called to a higher standard of living.

Day 5: Mark 10:1-31

vs. 21 "Jesus looked at him and loved him. 'One thing you lack,' He said, 'Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.'"

Okay, first let's talk about the first part - Jesus looked straight at the man who was genuinely asking a question about a struggle he was having and Jesus gave him instant love. We know from vs. 22 that the rich man was really sad about Jesus' answer, and we don't 100% know what happens to him. But Jesus loved that he was willing to ask the tough questions. Confession: I don't always ask Him the hard questions, because I'm scared of the answer.

The second part is in regards to a message that Priscilla Shirer gave at the Grove one night close to this day. She talked about how her son held on to his tooth to tightly because he didn't realize that he'd get an even greater treasure once he let the tooth fairy have it. Y'all, for some reason that story really resonated with me more than the typical 'if you open your hand, the Lord will be able to take away and put back anything He wants you to have'. [[One note - I do agree that He doesn't always take away, but it is the willingness in our hearts for Him to have it back]]. He really wants to offer us His best, so we need to give Him our best.

Day 6: Mark 10:32-52

I'm breaking this down into 2 parts because they're both so great.

vs. 35-40

The Bible doesn't say He'll give us what we ask for, but our hearts and motives have to be pure and theirs was not. Can I recognize the true motives of my requests and prayers? If they're not pure, am I willing to change them and my prayers as well? That can be ridiculously hard.

vs. 46-52

The blind man had the true faith to ask Jesus for exactly what he wanted (which I struggle to do, but King David is a great example of how to pray badly and confidently). He knew that Christ had the power to heal his eyes if He wanted to. That is the key point here.

Day 7: Mark 11:1-19

The first few verses (1-11) are always hard to read because I know what the same crowd does to Jesus just days later - ask for Him to be crucified, but we really can't say we wouldn't have done the same.

Can anyone explain to me the reason vs 12-25 are in the Scriptures? I totally understand how they relate to prayer and having confidence that God can do whatever we ask (including withering a tree for us) but I feel like He could have said it another way. Whatever. I just think its kind of a funny story, although super serious at the same time. It's serious because the reason Jesus flips the tables (turning God's house into a money scheme) and His explanation of the fig tree and prayer is huge.

Go read it. Then let me know what you think!

Week 4 is coming next Monday!

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