Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Book of Mark Study: Week 4

I've missed the past few weeks updating the Mark journey but Week 4 is ready to go!

Day One: Mark 11:20-33

v. 24 "Therefore I tell you, whatever you as for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

This verse can be one of those that we just pick out and then apply it to our lives however we want thinking we'll get exactly what we want. But I think the key things here are - asking in prayer, and believing we have received it. There are definitely things I have prayed for and hoped would come true, believed that God would do miracles, and then things went the exact opposite. December 8, 2016 comes to mind for sure. Did I not believe enough that God could heal my Momma, no, but its in the believing that He could have that makes the difference in my mind.

As I was reading Mark, you have seen that I also read "The Circle Maker" and Batterson talks about how we should pray in a way that we have confidence that we will get what we've prayed for if we believe it has been promised to us - like the Israelites and Jericho. Again this can be a bit tricky when we don't get what we want, but if we focus on what the Scriptures say about asking (in His name - John 14: 13-14; things that are good and that come from the Father - Matthew 7:7-11; in prayer and believing - Matthew 21:22 & Mark 11:24; and many others).

We have to keep our motives in our prayers pure. Yes, I'm totally fine with asking the Lord for UGA to finally win a National Championship again, and I believe that He could do it, but does it glorify His end game? Eh, maybe not so much. Make sure you are asking for things that bring Him glory and expand His kingdom, and for the Dawgs to win.

Day Two: Mark 12:1-27

vs. 1-12 The Parable of the Tenants

I don't always realize what the Lord has given me to be a good tenant of - or talents as another parable talks about. Pastor Louie did a message on "Don't Waste Your Influence" earlier this year and I think it sort of fits into this section. The people in the parable were given a vineyard to manage for the vineyard owner and then they kept killing the people who came to take some of the fruit back to the owner. Then they killed the owner's own son (symbolism of Jesus' death a few chapters later) and then Jesus said "What then will the owner do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others" (v9). I don't want Him to take the gift He's given me and then give it to someone else.

My prayer for this day was to have my eyes be opened for those things I need to tend to in my own vineyard so that they bear fruit for the Master.

Day Three: Mark 12:28-44 

vs. 37b "The large crowd listened to Him with delight."

Though the crowd wasn't quite understanding all the parables and teachings of Jesus, they were still drawn to Him and His words. The same can go for those that are around us. They may not totally get what we believe or why, but there is still something about Him that draws them to us and ultimately to Him...or at least there should be.

There was also a challenge placed on me to truly delight in Him every day.

Day Four: Mark 13:1-36

vs. 2 " 'Do you see all these great buildings?' replied Jesus. 'Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.' "

Everything we have on this earth, physically, is worthless in eternity. Tell me you've heard this joke...

Man: "When I die, I am taking my gold with me"
Man dies...
St. Peter: "Welcome to Heaven!"
off to the side James says to John..."Should we ask Peter why that man brought pieces of pavement with him?" (Revelation 21:21 says the streets of heaven are made with gold

Y'all our possessions aren't worth anything in eternity. So why is it so hard for me to clean out my closet?!?! Why do I put so much value on the brands I wear or simply what I wear? I need to focus more on what my clothes say about who I am and who He is instead of who I'm wearing.

Day Five: Mark 14:1-26

vs. 13-16 "So He sent two of His disciples, telling them, 'Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. Say to the owner of the house he enters, "The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?" He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations.' The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared Passover."

There's a ton of things packed into these 4 verses in my opinion and I'm going to break it up by people.

Jesus - His reputation completely preceded Him. People didn't always agree with what He was all about nor did they always understand Him, but He was known as "Teacher".

How am I known? Am I making the effort to be known well or just be well-known?

The Owner of the House -  Y'all, this guy's house was already ready for Jesus! He had room in his house, in his life, for Jesus to move into and work with.

Anyone who knows me knows I generally have to do a major clean up before people come over. So this one was a great challenge for me - Do I have prepared room in my life for Jesus to move and work? Or do I have to "clean up" right before He arrives?

The Two Disciples - These guys were ready for anything. We've seen several times, even here in Mark, where the disciples just didn't get it. Basically all of chapter 8. But here in chapter 14, they didn't question Him at all. No "What man? What's his name? Can't we just go to a restaurant? Why do we have to go into some stranger's house?" Maybe those are only questions women would ask, but from knowing the disciples previous history, I imagined they would have had lots of questions. Yet, they didn't - they finally got it! Let's all just shout FINALLY! right now.

Lord, where in my life are You (or people around me) trying to show me my "FINALLY!" moment?

Day Six: Mark 14:27-42

vs. 37-38 "Then He returned to His disciples and found them sleeping. 'Simon,' He said to Peter, 'are you asleep? Couldn't you ket watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit willing, but the flesh is weak.'"

In Draw the Circle, Batterson actually addresses this passage. He throws out the question - 'would Peter still have denied Jesus later if he hadn't fallen asleep and prayed through the night?" And it challenged me to really ask myself - "what would be different in my life if I prayed through the night?" and not literally through the night, but through the whole circumstance and not just when it was convenient or comfortable.

Day Seven: Mark 14:43-72

vs. 72 "Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: 'Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.' And he broke down and wept."

Peter recognized that he had made a mistake in regards to his relationship with Jesus. I believe that he was truly broken in spirit when he wept. What is my response when I've realized I've made a mistake - do I sweep it under the rug and ignore it or does it truly break my heart?

Week 5 will be out next week and it only has the last 3 days!

Thanks so much for following along :-)

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