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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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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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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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

Week One – Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Honor Belongs to God — Psalm 139: 7, 8


Psalm 139: 7,8 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

Prayer:  Lord God, we give thanks for your abiding presence for all the days of the year past.

Thought for the day: Even the loneliest days are not days when you are altogether alone.


Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Prayer:  Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, we begin this day, this year, as your chosen ones.

Thought for the day: Chosen people are no mistakes.


I Peter 2:4, 5 As you come to him, the living stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him – you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, as your priests we offer to you a sacrifice of praise. 

Thought for the day:  There is change left over when you pay for a sacrifice with joy.


Ephesians 4:24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Prayer:  O merciful God, give us the strength to lead holy lives in this dark and confused world.

Thought for the day:  Righteousness and holiness will never go out of style.


Matthew 10:28, 29 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.

Prayer:  O God in Heaven, each and every day this year may we find comfort in knowing your eye is on the sparrow and you care.

Thought for the day: God must have loved birds to have created so many species of them.


Deuteronomy 31:8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you: he will never leave you nor forsake you. Co not be afraid, do not be discouraged.

Prayer:  Lord God, your presence is our counsel, our comfort, and our consolation.

Thought for the day: Let one parent stand watch at the school bus stop, and the bullying soon ceases.


Psalm 139: 23,24 Search me, God, and know my heart: test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Prayer:  Lord God, prepare us to live forever with you.

Thought for the day:  The baggage regulations for heaven are stricter than the airport’s luggage rules.

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photo: “The Most Holy and Undivided Trinity” by Fr Lawrence Lew O. P. on http://www.flickr.com

Week Fifty-Two — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Names of Jesus — Matthew 1: 24,25

Note: This week we focus on some of the names of Jesus associated with the Christmas birth in Bethlehem.


Matthew 1:24, 25. When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.  But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son.  And he gave him the name Jesus.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, from your birth and forever you are Savior.

Thought for the day:  The songwriter said, “There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain.”

Monday – Christmas Day

Matthew 1:22, 23 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The Virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” which means, “God with us.”

Prayer:  Lord God, who are we that you should dwell with us?

Thought for the day: God is never late for an appointment.


Matthew 1:1 A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the Son of David, the son of Abraham.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, you are our King eternal.

Thought for the day: The first king has earned his crown.


John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Prayer:  Jesus, when we receive you we are sustained day by day and hour by hour.

Thought for the day: Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the city whose name means house of bread.


Matthew 2:23,24 and [Joseph] 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 that you lived among us and knew firsthand our sorrows.

Thought for the day: Hometowns are unforgettable.


Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Prayer:  Lord God, we rejoice in the news that you sent to us your beloved son.

Thought for the day:  Only those who have paid the price can say, “Been there, done that.”


Luke 2:11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, you, the anointed of God, are our prophet, our priest, our king.

Thought for the day: Bosses and parents may be obeyed, but a Lord is revered.

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photo: “God’s love revealed” by Fr Lawrence Lew OP on http://www.flickr.com

Week Fifty-one — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Angelic Announcements of Advent — Luke 2: 11, 12


Luke 2:11, 12 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we give thanks that you have come into the world.

Thought for the day:  We all arrive into the world needing a bath and a warm blanket.


Isaiah 53:6 We all like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Prayer:  Lord God, we confess we have strayed from you.

Thought for the day:  The best builders design their plans to exceed code requirements and pass the fire inspection the first time.


Matthew 18: 12, 13 What do you think?  If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of the m wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?  And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will be happier about the one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.

Prayer:  Lord God, you have valued us more that the world and more than we valued ourselves.

Thought for the day: If you could select any one item on “Antique Roadshow” to represent you, what would its value be?  


Ezekiel 34: 11, 12 For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:   I myself will search for my sheep and look after them.  As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep.  I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 

Prayer:  Lord God, you have been patiently waiting for us to return home to you.

Thought for the day:  Why are parents unable to sleep through their child’s curfew hour?


Psalm 23: 1, 2 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.

Prayer:  Lord God, in following your guidance we have always found blessings.

Thought for the day:  The Arctic explorer Earnest Shackleton proved his leadership, when he brought every stranded crew member home to safety.

Thought for the day: 


I Peter 2:25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, show us how best to live that we too might please the heavenly father.

Thought for the day: Rule One Prime: Don’t lose your soul.


John 10: 11 I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, for now and for eternity we give thanks for your great sacrifice.

Thought for the day: Some shippers reserve the right not to ship items that are priceless.

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photo: “God’s love revealed” by Fr Lawrence Lew OP on http://www.flickr.com

Week Fifty — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Angelic Encouragement in Advent — Matthew 1:20


Matthew 1:19, 20 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had a mind to divorce her quietly.  But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

Prayer: Lord God, we give thanks for all the saints who have made our lives better by obeying you.

Thought for the day: Your obedience may release a great blessing for someone else.


Genesis 26:24 That night the Lord appeared to him [Isaac] and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham.  Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.”

Prayer:  Lord God, may the blessing of your presence abide with us as it did with the patriarchs of old.

Thought for the day:  The patriarchs did make it through the trials of life by faith.


Deuteronomy 31: 7, 8 Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their forefathers to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance.  The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Prayer: Lord God, in doing your work may we find anew your promise never to leave or forsake us.

Thought for the day: A wise teacher said you may allow yourself disappointments but not discouragement.


I Kings 17:13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid.  Go home and do as you have said.  But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son.

Prayer:  God, our Heavenly Father, we confess we have too often neglected to offer our worship and devotion to you

Thought for the day: When you give to God’s work, plenty will miraculously appear.


Isaiah 44: 7, 8 Who the is like me?  Let him proclaim it.  Let him declare and lay out before what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come – yes let him foretell what will done.  Do not tremble, do not be afraid.  Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?  You are my witnesses.  Is there any God besides me?  No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”

Prayer: O God, we live in awe of the countless times you have kept your word and shall do so again.

Thought for the day:  The best promises are a bottomless well of blessing.


Psalm 31:19, 20 How great is your goodness which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.  In the shelter of your presence you hide them from the intrigues of men; in your dwelling you keep them safe from accusing tongues.

Prayer:  Prayer:  Lord God, though we fear you, yet we cling to you as our refuge.

Thought for the day: Rain does sound sweeter when you are safely sheltered under a metal roof.


Revelation 1:17, 18 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.  Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid.  I am the First and the Last.  I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever.  And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, how grateful we are that you and no other hold the keys of life and death.

Thought for the day: The life alert system is only a prayer away.

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Week Forty-nine — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Faith in Yuletide Greetings — Luke 1:38


Luke 1:38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

Prayer: Lord God, we give thanks for all the humble saints who have obeyed you.

Thought for the day: Your obedience to the Lord may be the means of reaching someone in need of hope today.


Luke 1:45 “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.”

Prayer: Lord God, we believe that we may see your good works.

Thought for the day: Why did Henry Ford say that if you believe or if you don’t you will find your confirmation?


Isaiah 53:1,2 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed. He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had not beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, as we serve the children of God may we remember you were one of us.

Thought for the day: Why did it require fifty plastic surgeries for the teen to discover she would never be the actress in the movies?


Psalm 119:65-66 Do good to your servant according to your word, O Lord. Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I believe in your commands.

Prayer: Lord God, we believe that following your will and your word are leading us ever closer to you.

Thought for the day: The second stanza of the song “We are Climbing Jacob’s ladder” says, “Every rung goes higher, higher.”


John 17: 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.

Prayer: Jesus, Son of God, to know you is to know the goodness of God.

Thought for the day: The echoes of Jesus’ preaching have never stopped sounding.


John 20:29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, when we believe we do find you in the word and in the love of your disciples.

Thought for the day: Atomic scientists first believed they would find atomic particles, and they did.


2 Timothy 1:11,12 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.

Prayer: Lord God, following your Son’s example we entrust to you our spirit for eternity.

Thought for the day: Bank lockboxes are secure only if the rental fee is paid promptly.


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photo: “Embraced by Grace” by FR Lawrence OP on http://www.flickr.com