December 30 - Mark 1
After reading Mark 1, Dig Deeper (pick one to focus on, or study them all):
Mark's gospel is a fast paced account of Jesus' life. Look for all of the words that communicate the frantic pace of life (v10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 28, 29, 35, 42, 43). Some of these examples just reflect life in general (our constantly feeling on the go is not a new thing), and other instances show how quickly people reacted to Jesus. Let God's Word have an immediate effect on your life no matter how busy you are.
COOL FACT: Look at the phrase Mark uses at the end of v10 - heaven was 'torn open' and the Spirit descended. Mark will use the same exact word to describe what happened to the temple curtain when Jesus died (15:38), removing the barrier between us & God.
CROWD WATCH: Keep an eye on the crowds that surround Jesus as we read Mark. In the first half of the book, the crowd will get bigger and bigger, and then that will reverse until finally Jesus is left utterly alone on Good Friday. What kind of things is the crowd looking for in chapter 1?
FOCUS PASSAGE: v35-39 - Jesus was busy, on the move with an immensely popular start-up ministry. "Everyone was looking for Him." Jesus knows what it's like to be under stress and have 1000 things to do each day, but yet look at how He responds in v35: He gets up early, pushes Himself away from the chaotic schedule, and went off to a solitary place to pray. You're not any busier than Jesus was at this point. Make the time each day to find a solitary place to encounter Him through prayer and scripture.
Ask God to remind you to stop and pray throughout your busy day.
Pray that God will give you courage to step away from the crowd.
Pray for God's blessings as you begin a New Year reading His Words each day.
Isaiah 9:6-8 (Christmas Eve)
God's zeal has saved His people, so reflect God's zeal in all you do
Monday - God does not leave His people wandering in the dark (Isaiah 9:2)
Tuesday - Salvation comes through a child (Isaiah 9:6)
Wednesday - There will be no limit to Christ's Kingdom (Isaiah 9:7)
Thursday - God's zeal (raw passion) will accomplish your salvation (Isaiah 9:7)
Friday - You're created in God's image, so reflect His zeal in all you do (Isaiah 9:7)