S – Know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for himself;
the Lord will hear when I call to him.
Psalms 4:3 CSB
O – In answering his enemies, the author encourages himself with his relationship with God and what God will do.
A – What would our challenges look like to us if we saw them through the lens of how God sees us and is leading us through them? If we saw that He sees us as strong, courageous, wise, humble, discerning and teachable? If we knew He heard us even when we don’t see Him working? It would change the perspective.
R – Lord, let me lead today knowing that in setting me apart, you equip me with all the resources you have to offer. Let me walk in confidence that you are with me.
O – Commentary: In the face of such antagonism, David found comfort in God’s character. Using the metaphor of a shield, he said that God was the true Source of his protection (in spite of their taunts). The words lifts up my head express restoration to dignity and position
“Psalms,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures
A – As we navigate each day, God gives us some “tools” to help us. The Holy Spirit, His Word and His character. When you are in a real relationship with someone, you “know” them. You know their thoughts, words, convictions and beliefs. The more you get to know God, you get to know his character. In this psalm, you see that he protects and he restores. He fights for you and takes away shame and disgrace. His love goes way beyond salvation. He loves you right where you are at.
R – Lord, help me to have God’s character in my life as I navigate my day today.
S – The kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers conspire together
against the Lord and his Anointed One:, “Let’s tear off their chains and throw their ropes off of us.”
The one enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord ridicules them.
Psalms 2:2–4 CSB
There are people whose words and actions are against God.
Laughs –sâchaq, saw-khak’; a prim. root; to laugh (in pleasure or detraction); implies. to play:— deride, have in derision, laugh, make merry, mock (-er), play, rejoice, (laugh to) scorn, be in (make) sport.
A – All three times in the Bible where God laughs, it is in mockery of those who come against Him. As a believer, it brings awe to the magnitude of God’s unlimited power and strength. Gal. 6:7-8 says “God will not be mocked.” We live in a time when people are taking liberty with their views and actions toward God.
R – Lord, I repent of any time I chose my own way over yours. I desire to reverence who you are while building a relationship with you to know you better.
S – He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams that bears its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
Psalms 1:3 CSB
O – The imagery of this is strong. A tree beside a flowing stream will be fruitful and consistent. It continues to grow which is prosperity.
A – As I navigate my journey with Christ, this is what I want. I want to be firmly rooted. I want to stay close to God. I want consistent time with God daily that results in my own growth. I want to bear fruit that models Godly character but also nourishes others’ growth in Christ. Finally, I want to live a prosperous life in all areas.
R – Lord, help me to live in a way that produces these results today.
S – But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see him there just as he told you.’ ”
Mark 16:7 CSB
O – In many sermons, it is noted “and Peter.” The principle shared is that Peter is singled out because he denied Christ three times. The message of forgiveness and inclusion when sin and denial mean to bring isolation and judgment.
A – If Jesus can forgive denial by one of his closest friends at a horrific time, can’t we forgive as well? Jesus continues to model for us the power of forgiveness. It has to be extended and accepted for it to be effective. Graciously, we only have to do one of the two parts. But both people need to do their part for it to work. If Jesus or Peter don’t do their part, where would the new church be?
R – Lord, help me to forgive quickly today. I am a sinner and have no right to hold someone else in judgment. I have been forgiven…I must forgive others.
S – Those who passed by were yelling insults at him, shaking their heads, and saying, “Ha! The one who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 30 save yourself by coming down from the cross!” 31 In the same way, the chief priests with the scribes were mocking him among themselves and saying, “He saved others, but he cannot save himself!
Mark 15:29–31 CSB
O – First, interesting note about “shaking their heads.” It fulfills a prophecy in Psalms –
Psalm 22:7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head,
Also, using Jesus’ own words to mock him, the crowd jeers that he saved others but couldn’t save himself. The Messiah, being God, should be able to do that.
A – In hindsight, we know Jesus could save himself.
“Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 “How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?”
Matt 26:52–54 NASB
Here is the great part. Jesus could not save himself. If he saved himself, he could not save you and I. His whole purpose was to be the sacrifice and shed his blood for us. The words “save yourself” was another way the enemy was trying to alter “the plan.” (Ex. Temptations in the wilderness).
R – Lord, thank you for giving your body and blood for me today. Let me be the man of God you called me to be. Let me honor your sacrifice in a way that honors you.
S – She has done what she could; she has anointed my body in advance for burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”
Mark 14:8–9 CSB
O – Commentary:
This was a “beautiful thing” done in preparation “for My burial.” The woman may not have understood, but she did love the Lord and expressed that love by giving.
Judas, on the other hand, “went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them” for the promise of money.
What a contrast. The woman gave generously because she loved Jesus: Judas betrayed Jesus because he loved money.
This unique promise looked beyond His death, burial, and resurrection to the present period of time when the gospel is being preached.
“Mark,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures
A – This action carries a gravity to it. With great cost, the woman acknowledges “anointing” on the one who embodies the anointing. That is amazing. Jesus links the gospel to this action for the time after his resurrection. Her recognition of who He is and a willingness to accept that personally caused her to give of herself (love and personal belongings) to him. Much like we do in accepting Christ today. He asks for our relationship and hearts.
S – “But you, be on your guard! They will hand you over to local courts,, and you will be flogged in the synagogues. You will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a witness to them. 10 And it is necessary that the gospel be preached to all nations. 11 So when they arrest you and hand you over, don’t worry beforehand what you will say, but say whatever is given to you at that time, for it isn’t you speaking, but the Holy Spirit
Mark 13:9–11 CSB
O – Lot of strong principles in these verses:
We need to be observant of all that is happening in the physical and spiritual realms.
There will be persecution for your relationship with Christ.
You will gain access to groups of people and leaders because of it.
Your message is salvation comes through Jesus.
Your message will be given to you by the Holy Spirit at that time.
A – Same principles – a different version of them today. There is a spiritual battle going on every day. Persecution comes in different forms and we aren’t flogging people today. But the message of Christ is challenged and we have the opportunity to share our faith through the Holy Spirit.
R – Lord, help me to see clearly all that is going on today. Give me your insights and words by the Holy Spirit, no matter what difficulty or challenge I encounter.
S – They were looking for a way to arrest him but feared the crowd because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. So they left him and went away.
Mark 12:12 CSB
O – This is the first time in Mark when Jesus’ parable is understood by the religious leaders. It caused them to want to arrest Jesus, fear the people they served and move in a direction away from their purpose.
A – Recently, Kristin shared about the principle of Pride and Fear. It is playing out here. The pride of the religious leaders was accused by Jesus in this parable. It caused them to fear. The results were totally opposite of good leadership and intimacy with God.
R – Lord, help me to walk in humility and confidence that eliminates fear and pride. Let me walk in the purpose you have for me, serving others by leading according to your will.
S – He was teaching them: “Is it not written, My housewill be called a house of prayerfor all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves!”,
Mark 11:17 CSB
O – Jesus just finished throwing out the “money changers” out of the Temple from the court of the Gentiles.
Jesus’ daring action captured peoples’ attention and He taught (lit., “began teaching”) them about God’s purpose for the temple. Using a question expecting a positive answer, He appealed to Old Testament authority for His action (quoting Isa. 56:7b verbatim).
Only Mark extended the quotation from Isaiah to include the words for all nations. God desired that both Gentiles and Jews use the temple as a place of worship (cf. John 12:20). This was especially relevant to Mark’s readers in Rome.
By contrast, you (emphatic), the insensitive Jews, have made it, the court of the Gentiles, a den of robbers. It was a refuge for fraudulent traders (cf. Jer. 7:11) instead of a house of prayer
“Mark,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures
O – Even in his anger, Jesus is laying more foundation for God’s plan for Jews and Gentiles to worship together. Such a great detail.
R- Lord, thank you for being so Big, and yet you are intimate in the details of my life. Also, continue to value all people, even those who are not like me.