January 8 - Mark 8
Updated: Mar 17, 2020
MISSING THE OBVIOUS: Imagine having seen Jesus feed the 5,000 (Mark 6), and then a few weeks later, finding yourself in the exact same situation - thousands of hungry people in the middle of nowhere - and then telling Jesus you're not sure where to find enough bread. Or imagine being the Pharisees who knew about the two mass feedings and many healings, and then asked for yet another sign from heaven to prove Jesus' divinity. Seems insane, right? Except we're no different... we've seen God's faithfulness hundreds of times over and yet we still get nervous when the odds seem against us and we still demand even more proof for what God's will is for our lives. Don't do that. Just trust your faithful God & Savior.
GOSPEL HUMOR: Verse 16 is one of the funniest lines of the Bible. All the disciples can ever think about is food.
MESSIANIC SECRET: For these first eight chapters of Mark, we've seen Jesus command people not to say anything about His true identity over and over. Jesus didn't want the crowd following Him just to partake in healings and miracles. Chapter 8 - halfway through the book - is a huge turning point. After Peter recognizes Jesus is the Christ, Jesus one more time tells him to keep the secret, but from here on out, things are different. The number of miracles and healings go way down, and Jesus talks more openly about His true mission: to sacrifice His life.
BUT WHAT ABOUT YOU? There will come a point when everyone who has ever lived will need to answer the question Jesus asks Peter in v29: Who do you say Jesus is? It doesn't matter what the crowd thinks about this, what's important is that you know the correct answer to this all important question. Memorize and understand Peter's answer.
WORD TRIVIA: 'Messiah' (Hebrew) and 'Christ' (Greek) mean the same thing - Anointed One. Anointed means that Jesus has been appointed by God to be your teacher who reveals to you God's will for your salvation, and your only high priest, who has paid for your sin and continually pleads your cause with God the Father, and your king, who guards and keeps you in the freedom He has won for you.
KEY LESSON: After commending Peter for recognizing He is the Christ, Jesus' next words to Peter are harsh: v33. But Jesus is not just dressing down Peter, His comments are aimed at all of us. Like Peter & the crowd, we often put our own concerns ahead of God's concerns. Reading the Bible each day like this and gather with God's people on Sundays will help you get past this sinful instinct.
Pray that God's concerns will be your concerns. Follow the pattern of the Lord's Prayer: Acknowledge God's holiness, and align your life with His kingdom and His will before launching into your concerns and requests.
1 Timothy 4
We have put our hope in the living God, therefore, train yourself to be godly.
Monday - God preserves our hope in Him through the work of the church.
Tuesday - Memorize 1 Tim 4:7b, our 2020 theme: Train yourself to be godly
Wednesday - Work hard at spiritually disciplining (training) yourself - 1 Tim 4:10
Thursday - Spiritual Disciplines are saturated in scripture - 1 Tim 4:13
Friday - Make the time each day to practice your Spiritual Disciplines.