Mark Daily Readings, WEEK SEVEN
DAY ONE MARK 11:1-14
During Jesus’ triumphal entry the crowd is ecstatic! They love Him. They shout blessings and yell “Hosanna!” Yet, in a few days they will change from adoration to accusation (Mark 14-15). They will no longer be yelling for his glory, but for his death. How impulsive is their faith? Can your faith be fickle at times? Have you praised Him one day and then blamed him the next? Think back to an example and why your faith may have waivered. Have you ever said one thing while believing and living another? Why? What steps can you take today toward more constant faith and obedience?
DAY TWO MARK 11:15-33
Jesus commands His disciples to have faith (v. 22-25). Faith has the power to move mountains (v. 23 and Matthew 17:20)! The creator of the universe will answer the honest and humble prayer that is said in faith. Do you believe that? What hesitations do you have? One of the things that can hinder prayer is the refusal to forgive someone (v 25). We are commanded to forgive others as we have been forgiven (Matthew 18:21-22, Ephesians 4:32). Who do you need to forgive and truly release from whatever you have been holding against them? Do you realize it stands in the way of your own forgiveness and personal relationship with God? As hard as it may be, forgiving them today is essential to your personal growth. Spend some time in prayer today about forgiveness: how you have forgiven and how you need to be forgiving. Ask God to reveal any areas where you need to make some changes and that He would give you the strength and courage to do so.
DAY THREE MARK 12:1-17
Who do you think the characters in the parable might represent? Do you see who represents God in the parable? Who represents Jesus? The Jews? The prophets? The idea of the parable is that those who reject God will ultimately be rejected. Put yourself in the place of the tenants. How would you have responded? Do you think that there are things that God is “renting” to you now? What are they? How do you care for them? What connections can you make to this passage? What is standing out for you to learn? What do you think Jesus’ teaching meant then? What do you think it means now? What about for you personally? How does it help to give perspective for how you view your money? God cares about all the details of your life… even taxes. Take some time to pray about how God wants you to view, use and give your money. How can you honour God with your cash? And even in taxes?
DAY FOUR MARK 12:18-34
What do you think Jesus is trying to teach in verses 18-27? Why do you think it is meaningful for us to read and understand this principle? What does it cause you to think about? The most important thing you can possibly do is love God with all that you are. List examples of what that could actually look like. How have you seen other people love God with all that they are? How would your life look different if you actually loved God that way? What does it truly mean to love your neighbour as yourself? First, who is your neighbour (think broader than your street)? How are you loving them? How are you neglecting them? What steps can you take toward loving God more fully and loving your neighbour as yourself? Pray about what you can be doing and begin to make a list of a few simple, attainable goals to help you better live out the greatest commandment.
DAY FIVE MARK 12:35-44
God always cares more about the inside than the outside. The Pharisees seem to always have it together (on the outside), yet Jesus constantly condemns them (because He knows their heart). The widow gave all she had, which wasn’t much. What was Jesus’ response? He pointed her out, made an example of her… commended her heart. If the emphasis isn’t on what we give God or even the amount, what is it that God is wanting? He not only looks at what we give but also what we are holding back. He also looks at how and why we give. What are you currently giving (time, money, skills, etc.)? Take some time today to examine your heart. How and why are you giving (or not giving)? What adjustments need to be made? How can you use the example of the widow to influence your giving attitude and actions?
Breaking the Mould Reading plan and general series outline theme adapted from ‘Defiance: Challenging the norm’ Source: ministrymatters.com