Devotion – Mark 10

S – Peter began to tell him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.

 Mark 10:28 CSB

O – Commentary: The disciples had done what Jesus told the rich man to do—they had given up everything to follow Jesus.

 New Living Translation Study Bible 

A – The disciples did everything asked of the rich man and Jesus is saying how hard it is to get into heaven.  It comes down to trust.  Do you trust that Jesus is Savior, Lord and that God is who He says He is?  You can’t go halfway in – it is a life decision.

R – Lord, let me demonstrate my love for you in a genuine, committed way that leaves no doubt about my trust and reliance on you.

Devotion – Mark 9

S – Jesus said to him, “ ‘If you can’? Everything is possible for the one who believes.” 

Immediately the father of the boy cried out, “I do believe; help my unbelief!” 

Mark 9:23–24 CSB

O – Commentary:  Perhaps the first lesson for us in this story is that God does not demand perfect faith in people. We do believe. But we still need help for our unbelief. Jesus accepts even imperfect faith and generously works His miracles in our lives. As we continue to grow in our relationships with Him, He does indeed “help our unbelief,” gradually replacing it with a more perfect trust in Him.

But there is another lesson as well. The disciples who had been unable to help were troubled by their powerlessness. Afterward, they asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

Jesus answered, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

For the challenges of our lives as Jesus’ disciples, we must rely, not on our own strength, but completely on God’s. And we express that dependence most perfectly in prayer.

  The Teacher’s Commentary 

A – The Commentary nailed it.  God doesn’t demand perfect faith.  He desires a growing faith.  One fighting the tension of belief and trust.  The way to grow faith is to grow relationships.  The more you know someone, the more you trust them.  Prayer and being in God’s presence (The Word, worship and inviting the Holy Spirit into your day) is so important.

R – Lord, continue to grow my faith by spending time with you throughout today.  Let my belief develop into a deeper faith and trust in you.

Devotion – Mark 7

S – Nothing that goes into a person from outside can defile him but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.”  

Mark 7:15 CSB

O – Commentary: It concerns moral distinctions about eating. Eating affects the digestive system, but moral issues involve the heart. The heart is a metaphor for the seat of moral decision-making. How a person eats (with clean or unclean hands) or what a person eats (clean or unclean food) affects only the digestive tract, so it has no bearing on the moral issues of the soul.

 New Living Translation Study Bible

A – Jesus is doing a couple of things.  He is giving plain instructions on how to view eating.  At the same time, he is defying Jewish laws that had been in play for hundreds of years. He is challenging the culture.  Finally, he is aligning with Gentile beliefs which are building a bridge to people the Jewish nation would not be in a relationship with.

R – Lord, help me to see people, situations and decisions with your eyes.  Help me to move beyond what I know and familiar to what is your heart and will. 

Devotion – Mark 6

S – When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. “Where did this man get these things?” they said. “What is this wisdom that has been given to him, and how are these miracles performed by his hands? Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And aren’t his sisters here with us?” So they were offended by him. 

Mark 6:2–3 CSB

O – When people become familiar, we lessen their value. In relationship, the norm can override their ability to be great.  Those who grew up with or knew of Jesus as he grew up and lived are baffled by his wisdom and power.  More over, they were offended – (from skandalizomai, “to be caused to stumble, to be repelled”;  finding no reason to believe He was God’s Anointed One.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures,

A – I can do this so easily.  I can say “I know that guy.”  In doing so, believe less of him or what God is doing in his life.  It is better to believe the best and let God do what He needs to in that person’s life.  It is not my job to judge.  Yet, as a leader, you need to be led by the Spirit to know truth vs false naratives.

R – Lord, I ask the Holy Spirit to lead me to see the truth in people and situations so I can believe your best in each.

Devotion – Mark 5

S – Immediately Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?”…The woman, with fear and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 34 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be healed from your affliction.” 

Mark 5:30, 33-34 CSB

O – The healing power of God went out from Jesus.  He asks, “Who touched me?” to find out who the person was.  Since he controlled the power of God in Him, I believe he released healing willingly according to the woman’s faith.  He sought her out, not to embarass or chastise her.  He sought her out so this “exile” could be restored with the title of “Daughter.” 

A – God waits on our faith to do the things only He can do.  It causes us to grow in greater relational intimacy and strength.

R – Lord, let my desire for you and your presence remind me to believe beyond the present.  Let it always draw me back to my relationship with you.

Devotion – Mark 3

S – And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand but is finished. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house. 

Mark 3:26–27 CSB

O – Satan casting out demons is an absurd statement by the scribes.  The leader wouldn’t defeat his own team, who were doing what he sent them to do.  Jesus recognizes the enemy must be bound or immobilized before He did his works.

A – Spiritual warfare is real.  As believers, we have the authority through the name and blood of Jesus to take dominion over the works and agents of the enemy.  We should operate from a place of victory knowing that the war was won on the cross and not in our own strength and abilities.

R – Lord, I invite you to negate any works of the enemy today and I would walk humbly in the victory that comes through the name and blood of Jesus.

Devotion – Mark 2

S – Immediately he got up, took the mat, and went out in front of everyone. As a result, they were all astounded and gave glory to God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!

Mark 2:12 CSB 

O – Commentary:  Everyone (probably including the scribes) was amazed (existasthai, lit., “out of their minds”) and praised (ascribed glory to) God because of Jesus’ display of supernatural power

“Mark,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures

A  – It is often overlooked that the scribes joined in when the crowd praised God for the healing.  What changed to the point where they began to look at Jesus as a threat to the Jewish religion?  He threatened what they hold as truth.  He was changing the way it was fulfilled.  It was new.  I understand that. Jesus was changing hundreds of years of ritual, teaching and culture. But…they missed God on who Jesus is.

R – Lord, with all the changes happening today, let me see the true you in each situation.

Devotion – Mark 1

S – As he passed alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, Simon’s brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 17 “Follow me,” Jesus told them, “and I will make you fish for, people.” 18 Immediately they left their nets and followed him

Mark 1:16–18 CSB

O – Commentary: 

Disciples usually sought out their own teachers. Only the most radical teachers called their own disciples. Because discipleship sometimes involved temporarily laying aside one’s livelihood and being apart from one’s wife and children for a time, the decision to choose a teacher would have normally been made only after much deliberation, especially when the teacher traveled from place to place instead of staying in one town to teach. Galilee was not so large as to require long journeys, however; they would be able to return to stay in their hometowns periodically

  The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament

A – There is something special about being chosen.  To see the custom of choosing a teacher is the opposite makes the decision to follow even more remarkable.  I can see similarities to a modern-day following of Christ.  He already is our savior and says “Follow Me” by offering a relationship through salvation.  Do we “leave the boats” and say yes?

R – Lord, help me to hear your voice today and move forward with a “yes.”  Help me to grow with you. instead being stuck back at the boat.

Devotion – Proverbs 31

S – Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.

Proverbs 31:30 CSB

O – Two fleetings that are evident on the outside are an illusion and temporary.  The woman who reveres God will be exalted.

A – Interesting that Proverbs starts and ends with the fear of the Lord.  If that is our foundation, we will remain when everything else goes away.

R – Lord, let me live and lead from my relationship with you today.  

Devotion – Proverbs 30

S – 

Who has gone up to heaven and come down? 

Who has gathered the wind in his hands? 

Who has bound up the waters in a cloak? 

Who has established all the ends of the earth? 

What is his name, 

and what is the name of his son—

if you know? 

Proverbs 30:4 CSB

O – Commentary: 

The question, What is His name? asks what His true character is like. The inquiry, What is the name of His son? suggests the question, “Has He imparted His nature or attributes to any other who may in any sense be called His ‘Son

The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures

A – The first part reminds me of Job and Romans 1.  Through simple questions, you see the unlimited power of God displayed in a real sense.  The part where the author asks of his son reminds me how often the OT pointed to the Messiah.  

R – Lord, as “big” as you are, you desire a relationship with me to day.  I am humbled and grateful I get to do life with you today.