By Mark Shields
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been reading the book of Mark and receiving a spark to take on the challenges we face.
As pointed out in the post “Plentiful Harvest”, our responsibility is to take in the word from above, share it, and let God do the rest. Then the harvest will be plentiful.
The spiritual principle illustrated in the post “Light in Darkness” is discovering the great strength we have in God’s assistance along our journey. He is like a lighthouse constantly there to provide the light to our destination.
In the post “Seed to Succeed”, explained is how seeds grow gradually into a harvest. In the same way, God’s Word provides seeds that eventually grow to help us succeed in life.
Some thoughts were posted at “Calming the Storm” about how fear can be overcome as we focus on the help of Christ and His unlimited power to calm the storms. Our fears can subside when we rely on this power to calm the storm and are prepared to take swift action with faith.
In the post “Spirit Aflame”, thoughts were shared about a man possessed by demons who was doomed but with the help of Jesus was changed. Transformed to the point that he enthusiastically became a follower and joyfully told others about what Jesus had done in his life.
The examples given in the post “The Power of Faith” help us realize that we have a power within that can give us a spark for each day as we go to Jesus for help and apply the faith principles taught. One is the woman in the crowd who decided to take care of her health issue by touching Jesus’s cloak. Another example is the church leader named Jairus who went to Jesus when his daughter was sick.
The reading plan below will be used to hold me accountable in sharing about God’s word over the next few weeks. As I share about my study, it’s important to have a plan. I’m thankful that Jesus is God’s plan for us and by accepting Christ as Savior; we have taken the steps necessary to make this day with God amazing!
Questions for Reflection
What amazing things has Jesus done so far in the book of Mark? Why are the hometown people skeptical? What course of action does Jesus follow? How successful are the disciples?
With whom is Jesus identified? What attitude does Herod have toward John? Are there times when you have acted hastily and later regretted your actions? What were the consequences? How can you avoid future conflicts brought on by similar action?
What is the pace of Jesus and His disciples? What happens to disrupt the day off? How does organization fit into the situation? Have you faced, or are you facing, a humanly impossible situation? How does this incident strengthen your convictions that Jesus is able to meet your needs?
In dismissing the crowd, how does Jesus meet the disciples? How does Jesus show His complete mastery over nature? Can you think of an experience you’ve gone through in which God did amazing things? How can this experience build your faith for present and future needs?
What insights do you gain concerning the Pharisees? What is their complaint? How does Jesus turn their attack back on them? What are you doing to use Scripture effectively and wisely?
Are there things that you take in that ultimately result in negatives that come out? What are you doing to curtail and get rid of these negatives? How does Jesus respond to the Gentile woman who had a daughter possessed by and evil spirit? What hints of future benefit to Gentiles? What do you discover in this passage about unseen qualities like faith, hope, and love that you can apply in life?
Why did Jesus leave the Decapolis the first time? How can Jesus return now to the Decapolis? In what ways are you astonished at the perfection of God’s creative acts? What effect does your obedience to Jesus have on others?
Feel free to respond with a short note or a comment about any of the questions above. Also, I welcome any other thoughts or ideas, favorite inspirational videos, photos, or favorite Bible verses. Just add them to the comments or to a Facebook page I’ve set up at this link: This Day With God.
Resources and Supplementary Helps Used in Posts
Adeney, Carol. This Morning with God: A Daily Study Guide to the Entire Bible. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1978. Print.
“Sermons.” Sermons | FUMC Waco. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://fumcwaco.org/resources/sermons/>.
“Bible.” The Bible – The Word of God – ChristNotes. N.p., n.d. Web. 2017. <http://www.christianity.com/bible/>.
Nicholes, Lou. “Recent Commentaries.” Family-Times.net – Devotional Commentary Index. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.family-times.net/commentary/>.
“Bing.” Microsoft. N.p., n.d. Web. Images >.
“BibleGateway.” BibleGateway.com: A Searchable Online Bible in over 150 Versions and 50 Languages. N.p., n.d. Web. <https://www.biblegateway.com/>.