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
41 And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums.
42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.
43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box.
44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
Connect the Heart
The line to the offering box was long. Commoners emptied their small bags of coins into the metal receptacle, while wealthy old men proudly dumped in their big bags of coins. And in their midst, a widow’s cloak ducked behind the gilded robes, slipped through the line, and put in two copper coins, “plink plink.” The Pharisees snickered, the chief priests scoffed, but Jesus really saw. He didn’t just see the two copper coins; He saw her heart.
“They all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had,” He told the disciples. Everything. Like the widow who used the last of her flour and oil in I Kings 17 at Elijah’s request, the widow in this story gave it all, too.
Everything isn’t just some, or a portion, or most. It’s all of it. And it’s a sacrificial choice that requires great trust in God the Father to provide. For not long after this widow gave everything she had, Jesus would give everything He had, His very life, to save us. Everything.
Reflect on the Truth
- What happened to the widow’s jar of oil in I Kings 17: 13-16? What do we learn about God in this story?
2. In the case of this widow in Mark 12, “everything” meant her last two coins. For the widow in I Kings 17, “everything” meant her flour and oil. Jesus gave His rights, His comfort, His very breath. What does “everything” mean in your life?
3. 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, “It’s scary to think of giving everything.”) The Lord can help us discern the path forward – through His Word, His Spirit, and His people.
4. In what specific way during this season might God be asking you to give sacrificially?
Depend on the Spirit
Pray for the Holy Spirit to empower you to trust Him as you give sacrificially. Thank God for His sacrifice of Jesus, that through His death you are fully approved, accepted, and loved. We don’t give to be approved by God; we give because He gave everything for us.
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.