THE WORDS OF JESUS IN THE GOSPEL OF MARK
We are so glad you are joining us for these daily prayer devotionals as together we seek the heart of our God. Over the coming weeks, we will focus on some of the most meaningful words of our savior Jesus Christ from the book of Mark, as we follow his journey with his disciples on the path toward the cross. Our journey of prayer and fasting will culminate on Easter Sunday as we celebrate His resurrection, declaring victory over sin, death and shame.
Each devotion will take less than ten minutes of your time.
- We will Engage the Word – looking at some of Jesus’ words in their biblical context.
- We will Connect the Heart – considering a truth that is applicable to our lives.
- We will Reflect on the Truth, asking a number of questions each day that invite us to look and listen with intent.
- And we will Depend on the Spirit – We will pray, for it is in praying that we learn to pray. And it is in praying that the Spirit changes our hearts.
We want to encourage you to grab a journal or a notebook – something to write on as you walk through each prayer guide. Yes, it will add a few minutes to the time it takes to do the devotion, and it will also deepen your experience and shape your walk with God for years to come. This journal or notebook will be a keepsake to remind you of God’s faithfulness during this challenging season for all of us.
Engage the Word
28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”
29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Connect the Heart
This question from a scribe (a Jewish religious leader) follows a series of questions that the religious authorities asked Jesus in an attempt to trick or trap him. However, this is actually a friendly conversation with good intentions – something pretty uncommon, considering the authorities wanted to trap and eventually kill Jesus (and would in just a few days).
His response shows what is of fundamental importance and central everything else: loving God and loving people. This just happens to be the mission statement of the Ascent Church. May we follow Jesus and allow his life to redefine ours in this way. And in doing so – we will no doubt have a major impact on the world around us.
Reflect on the Truth
- What are some ways that your life reflects your love for God? Are there any areas of your life that need some attention in order to better love God?
- What are some ways that your life reflects your love for other people? Are there any areas of your life that need some attention in order to better love others?
- Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see the deeper longings, desires or motives in your heart that these thoughts are pointing to. (for example: you may write down, “I love you God, but sometimes it seems like just words. I need your help to love you more and love you better. Please help? ”) The Lord can help us discern the path forward – through His Word, His Spirit, His people.
- Consider how the Lord might be opening a door for greater kingdom impact for you as you live out the values of Loving God and Loving People.
Depend on the Spirit
Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and ears to opportunities He might be wanting to lead you toward as you love God more fully and love people more deeply.
This week, we will focus on the words of Jesus in the last days of His life leading up to His death on Friday, and His resurrection on Sunday.