Week Eight — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — The Life of Christ in Mark — Mark 9: 24, 25

Sunday

Mark 9: 23,24 “If you can?” said Jesus.  “Everything is possible for him who believes.”  Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

Prayer:  Lord God, in your strength may we overcome our moments of unbelief.

Thought for the day: Belief opens new pathways to life.

Monday

I John 4: 4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Prayer:  Jesus, we give thanks for the Holy Spirit sent to your disciples.

Thought for the day: A single light has the power to brighten all the dark corners of a room

Tuesday

Titus 1:15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure.  In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.

Prayer:  Jesus, we give thanks for the purification that comes from belief in you.

Thought for the day:  Just eight drops of bleach can purify a gallon of water.

Wednesday

Mark 6:5, 6 He could not do many miracles there [ in Nazareth], except to lay hands on a few sick people and heal them.  He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Prayer:  Jesus, may you forgive us when our unbelief has hindered your work.

Thought for the day:  If there an Olympics event for believing, who would be in the competition?

Thursday

John 11: 39, 40 “Take away the stone,” [Jesus] said.  “But Lord, “said Martha the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

Prayer:  Jesus, we serve you that we might see the glory of God.

Thought for the day:  Our recorders need to be programmed to save and play incidents that bring glory to God.

Friday

I John 5: 4, 5 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.  Who is it that has overcome the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Prayer: Lord God, through faith in your Son we find life that overcomes the world.

Thought for the day: To live joyfully in the world one must learn how to overcome the world in faith.

Saturday

Romans 9:33 As it is written: “See I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

Prayer:  Jesus, Son of God, we trust you as Savior of the world.

Thought for the day: Stair steps are a stationary means of transportation, they are built to get you somewhere.

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Photo: “Christ our Healer” by Lawrence OP on http://www.flickr.com

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Week Seven — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — The Life of Christ in Mark — Mark 8: 28, 29

Sunday

Mark 8:28, 29 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked.  “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ.”

Prayer: Lord God, we confess Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

Thought for the day:  Confession is a lifestyle event.

Monday

Romans 10:9, 10 That is you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with the heart that you believe and are justified, and it with the mouth that you confess and are saved.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, with our lips, our hearts, our lives we give you praise.

Thought for the day:  From the seed of belief the confession sprouts, and from the sprout of confession grows the tree of a disciple’s life.

Tuesday

I Timothy 6:13, 14 In the sight of God who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to kept his commandment without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, when you stood before Pilate you said it was so; you said you were the king.

Thought for the day:  Like a gentle rain clearing the air, a good confession can purify the spirit.

Wednesday

I John 4:15, 16  If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

Prayer:  Lord God, we give thanks for the Holy Spirit you have sent to live in us.

Thought for the day: The songwriter said, “Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.”

Thursday

Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Prayer:  Lord God, may our lips ever praise and honor you.

Thought for the day:  Do you suppose that people mean what they say when they say “O-my-god”?

Friday

Matthew 10:32, 33 [Jesus said,] “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.  But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.

Prayer: Jesus, Son of God, in word and in deed we would confess you before the world.

Thought for the day:  The good confession is good for the soul – your soul and the soul of others.

Saturday

Philippians 2:10, 11 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Prayer:   Jesus, we confess in humility what all must come to confess, that you are Lord of all.

Thought for the day:  The perfect sacrifice of a perfect life deserves the perfect honor.

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Photo: “Light of the Nations” by Waiting for the Word on http://www.flickr.com

Week Six — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — The Life of Christ in Mark — Mark 6: 41,42

Sunday

Mark 6: 41, 42 Taking the five loaves and two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.  The he gave them to his disciples to set before the people.  He also divided the two fish among them all.  They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we give thanks for your abundant supply for those who hunger.

Thought for the day:  Sometimes leftovers are the best part of the mea.

Monday

2 Kings 4:43, 44 “How can I set this before a hundred men?” his servant asked. But Elisha answered, “Give it to the people to eat.  For this is what the Lord says: ‘They will eat and have some left over.”  Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.

Prayer:  Lord God, we give thanks for all your servants who have fed us with the word of God.

Thought for the day: God is not a stingy giver.

Tuesday

Exodus 1: 14, 15 When the dew was gone, then flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor.  When the Israelites saw it they said to each other, “What is it?” For the did not know what it was.

Prayer:  Lord God, we give thanks for your faithful day-by-day provisions for our lives.

Thought for the day:  The Israelites in the wilderness survived well on a high fiber and carbohydrate diet.

Wednesday

Joshua 5: 11, 12 The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land, unleavened bread and roasted grain.  The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land, there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate of the produce of Canaan.

Prayer:  Lord God, we give thanks for the strength and the opportunity to feed our households.

Thought for the day:  The Israelites learned there was a time for handouts and a time for handouts to cease.

Thursday

Psalm 104: 27, 28 These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time.  When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.

Prayer: Lord God, we marvel that in this vast world you created you have given nourishment to all your creatures.

Thought for the day: Litter and pollution is a concern for all God’s creatures.

Friday

Revelation 2:17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna.  I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on in it, known only to him who receives it.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, in a world that tries our faith we turn to you for life-giving sustenance.

Thought for the day:  What do you suppose happened to the jar of manna that Moses placed in the ark of the covenant? 

Saturday

John 6:36 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will ever go hungry and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, in you our deepest longings are satisfied.

Thought for the day:  The next time you have a spiritual snack attack try reading the Bible.

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photo: “Christ feeds the Five Thousand” by Lawrence OP on http://www.flickr.com

Week Five — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — The Life of Christ is Mark — Mark 5: 14, 15

Sunday

Mark 5: 41, 42 He took her by the had and said to her, ‘Talitha koum!’ (which means, “Little girl, I say to you ‘get up.’). Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she as twelve years old).  At this they were completely astonished.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, your words to us are life and hope.

Thought for the day:  Anyone can give the gift of a pick-me-up word.

Monday

Psalm 27: 13, 14 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Prayer:  Lord God, we wait for your working in the affairs of the world.

Thought for the day:  Your ticket never expires early ,when you are waiting for the Lord.

Tuesday

Isaiah 40: 30, 1 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Prayer:  Lord God, the very thought of you gives strength to our spirit to carry on.

Thought for the day: Love of God is a natural high.

Wednesday

I Thessalonians 1:9, 10 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us.  They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead – Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, you have given us a worthwhile hope to wait upon.

Thought for the day:  Idols are indifferent to the give and receive demands of love.

Thursday

Romans 8: 24, 25 For in this hope we were saved.  But hope that is seen is no hope at all.  Who hopes for what he already has?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, when we read the Gospels, we know the wait for you is worth it.

Thought for the day: Children’s happiness grows through waiting.

Friday

Psalm 130: 5, 6 My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning.  O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love, and with him is full redemption.

Prayer:  Lord God, in our hours of uncertainty may we have the faith to wait upon you.

Thought for the day:  Sometimes the waiting line is longer, when you come back later.

Saturday

Revelation 1: 7,8 Look he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him.  So shall it be! Amen.  “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” Says the Lord God. “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, in faith we believe that you will return for your saints.

Thought for the day: Some persons have learned to live at peace with their scars.

 

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photo: “Jesus heals the blind” by Lawrence Lew OP on http://www.flickr.com

Week Four — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — The Life of Christ in Mark — Mark 4: 14,15

Sunday

Mark 4:14, 15 The farmer sows the word.  Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.

Prayer: Lord God, may we be prepared to receiver your divine word of life.

Thought for the day:  The best complement to good see is good soil.

Monday

Romans 10: 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.  But I ask, Did they not hear?  Of course they did:  “their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

Prayer:  Lord God, we have heard your word, and we believe your promises to us.

Thought for the day:  Someone said the Bible contains truths to be believed, commands to be obeyed, and promises to be received.

Tuesday

Psalm 119 10, 11 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.  I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. 

Prayer:  Lord God, keep us ever in the upright path of your word.

Thought for the day:  The Alpine climber knows that a secure footing is the difference between life and death.

Wednesday

Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Prayer:  Lord God, on your word we are nourished in body and soul.

Thought for the day:  Not all words are nutritious and wholesome for the soul

Thursday

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard you hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, when worldly anxiety would choke our faith we turn to you in prayer.

Thought for the day: Anxiety is a reaction, but prayer is an action.

Friday

Psalm 27 13, 14 I am still confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Prayer:  Lord God, we wait to see the fruit of your word in our lives.

Thought for the day:  Impatience is not a secret ingredient that makes all fruit ripen at the same time.

Saturday

Isaiah 55:10, 11  As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty , but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Prayer:  Lord God, may you find in us a good and godly return for sending us your divine word.

Thought for the day: The wise agriculture agent test the soil before applying fertilizer.

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photo: “Parable of the Sower” by Fr Lawrence Lew, O. P. on http://www.flickr.com

Week Three — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — The Life of Christ in Mark — Calling Disciples — Mark 3:13, 14

Sunday

Mark 3:13, 14 Jesus went up on a mountain and called to him those he wanted ad they came to him.  He appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, in your great wisdom, love, and mercy you have called us to share your message.

Thought for the day: If Jesus could use a loud-mouth fisher, a tax collector, and a political activist; then he can use you to send his message.

Monday

Luke 6:12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.  When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we covet your prayers for our service for you.

Thought for the day:  When we anoint our decisions with prayer, we receive the assurance that God shall lead us forward.

Tuesday

Jeremiah 1: 4, 5 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

Prayer: Lord God, you called us into being that we might live in service to you.

Thought for the day:  We all were God’s test-tube babies.

Wednesday

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Prayer:  Lord God, thought this world may be a great mystery, we know you call us and we love you.

Thought for the day: When we find our God-given calling the world will fall into place.

Thursday

Galatians 1:15, 16 But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man.

Prayer: Lord God, we are trusting your word and your Spirit to lead us as no other can.

Thought for the day:  More times than not our own prayerful counsel can lead us closer to God.

Friday

I Peter 5: 10, 11 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong firm and steadfast.  To him be the power for every and ever. Amen.

Prayer:  Lord God, may we never lose sight of the eternal glory in Christ that awaits us if we remain faithful.

Thought for the day:  The songwriter said, “When by his grace I shall look on his face, that will be glory for me.”

Saturday

2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure.  For if you do these things you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, may we in word and deed confirm your calling.

Thought for the day:  The winning ticket to the lottery jackpot that remains unclaimed is of no greater value than the loosing ticket.

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photo: “Call of St Matthew” by Fr Lawrence Lew OP on http://www.flickr.com

Week Two — Verse by Verse Devotinal Series — the Live of Christ in Mark — Mark 1:14, 15

Note:  This series is based on studies from the Gospel of Mark.  Readers are encouraged to read weekly one or two chapters of the Gospel of Mark between this week and Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018.  This week begins by reading Mark 1.  Next week read Mark 2 and 3. 

Sunday

Mark 1:14, 15  After John was put I prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.
“The time has come,” he said.  “The kingdom of God is near.  Repent and believe the good news!”

Prayer:  Lord God, may we be prepared to receive your good news of salvation.

Thought for the day: Jump-for-joy news is the best news to receive.

Monday

Matthew 2:23 and he [Jesus] went and lived in a town called Nazareth.  So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we give thanks for the life you lived among us.

Thought for the day: With the help of Jesus any one of us can call heaven our home town.

Tuesday

Mark 8:35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we give thanks to you. You gave your life to bring us the good news of God’s love.

Thought for the day: The four Gospels are our “Extra Edition.” Read all about it.

Wednesday

Isaiah 52:7  How beautiful on th mountains are the feed of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

Prayer: Lord God, we thank you for your prophets, your Gospel preachers, your missionaries who shared your message with us.

Thought for the day:  The next generation of believers needs your testimony of faith.

Thursday

Matthew 11: 4, 5 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you bear and see:  The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank you sharing the Gospel with all who most need God’s mercy and love.

Thought for the day:  Love given to the unloved is always a miracle.

Friday

I Thessalonians 1: 4,5 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we give thanks for all your ministers who have poured their life and soul into their service and their message about you.

Thought for the day:  The price of admission is paid to God’s Gospel Concert to benefit those in need.

Saturday

Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.  For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “the righteous will live by faith.”

Prayer:  Lord God, your message of love received in faith transforms the sinner to the saint.

Thought for the day:  Faith can bring quarrels with God to an end.

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photo: “Jesus Preaching to the Peoples” by James Shepherd on http://www.flickr.com