Mark Daily Readings, WEEK FOUR

DAY ONE MARK 6:30-44

What is most impressive to you about this story? Be sure to take time to find something new… resist the temptation to view it as you always have if it’s very familiar to you. Read one sentence at a time and be intentional about processing what is happening along the way. When you get to a statement that stands out to you, stop to think about it. What image does it give you of the disciples? Of Jesus? How does their example challenge or encourage you?

DAY TWO MARK 6:45-56

Verse 45 starts with “Immediately…” What does that mean to you? Why did Jesus send the disciples on ahead? What is significant about this? This is the second time we see Jesus put the disciples on a boat headed for a storm (first example was in Mark 4:35-41). What learning experience have you faced over and over? Why do you think the repetition was/is necessary? When he saw them straining, Jesus went out to the disciples but almost passed them by (v. 48). Why do you think He might have passed them? The disciples had just witnessed the feeding of the 5000 and now had seen Jesus walk on water (and again the calming of a storm). Yet, “they had not understood… their hearts were hardened” (v. 52). When have you missed the message of Jesus because your heart was hardened?

DAY THREE MARK 7:1-13

Here we see another breaking of the mould. Why might the washing have been so important? Why do you think the Pharisees got so upset? What is your response when you see others doing things differently than you have traditionally done/are doing? Re-read verse 7. What does it mean to you? What might you need to re-evaluate or change in order to be sure rules or traditions made by man aren’t overshadowing your love and devotion to God? Ask God to show you how you might be worshiping in vain.

DAY FOUR MARK 7:14-23

Jesus is referring to clean vs. unclean meats and ceremonial washing (like in v. 1-13 from yesterday). He wanted to point out that purity comes from internal cleanness, not external observances. Read Proverbs 4:23. How might this apply to the verses in Mark? What can you or should you be doing to better guard your heart? How might guarding your heart help protect you from worshiping in vain?

DAY FIVE MARK 7:24-37

The woman had heard of Jesus and came begging. What image do you have of her? Her character? Her view of Christ? She was specific and intentional in her request to Jesus, asking for a small amount, a “crumb” of His help. Jesus knew her heart and saw her faith; her request was granted. What can you learn from this woman for how to approach God in your prayer life? After reading about Jesus healing the possessed daughter, we read about Him healing a deaf and mute man. When is a recent time you have seen an amazing thing? For example, the healing of a friend or family member, a birth, safety in a dangerous situation, relational healing… When is the last time something caught your breath and made you sit back in awe? Did you give God the credit? How might He have been at work? How do these two stories of healing encourage your faith? How might they frustrate you (for example, you or someone close to you needs healing that you haven’t seen, etc.)? Take some time throughout your day to release whatever emotions today’s reading brought for you: excitement and awe – thank and praise Him… frustration and mistrust – tell Him, He can handle it… Challenge yourself to be honest. Take a chance on letting go.

Breaking the Mould Reading plan and general series outline theme adapted from ‘Defiance: Challenging the norm’ Source: ministrymatters.com