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    365 Bible Reading

    January 19 – Mark 15

    LOOK:  We continue with the trials of Jesus.  Jesus stands before Pilate as the religious lost charge Him with many crimes.  Finally, Pilate offers to release Jesus or a hardened criminal named Barabbas.  The crowd chooses Barabbas and Jesus continues to be beaten and mocked by the Roman guards.  Next we see the crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus.

    LISTEN:  I’ve always been amazed at the entire ordeal that Jesus went through in His last day before rising again victorious.  Jesus was betrayed by a friend, left alone and desperate by other friends, wrongly accused, abused by soldiers who knew how to hurt and humiliate a person, deprived of water, crown of thorns pushed onto His head, nailed to a cross, suffocating while struggling for air and worst of all…became my sin and forsaken by God His father.

    LEARN:  Whenever we read about the final day of Jesus before His death and eventual resurrection, we should be moved emotionally but also moved practically.  In other words, if the crucifixion just makes you emotional and doesn’t change your life, it is no different for you than a good story or movie.  Jesus sacrifice for us is personal and should be transforming!

     
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    365 Bible Reading

    January 18 – Mark 14

    LOOK:  This passage tells the story of Jesus being anointed with an expensive perfume while in the house of Simon the leper (hopefully former leper).  Jesus rebukes the attendees who rebuke the woman for such an extravagant gift.  We then see Judas starting his betrayal of Jesus.  The last supper takes place and Jesus predicts Peter’s denial.  The events leading up to Jesus’ death begin to take place: The garden prayer time (I’ve been there, amazing place); The arrest; The trials; Peter’s denial of Jesus.

    LISTEN:  I’m struck by the response Jesus gives to the seemingly frugal followers that wanted to help the poor.  Jesus only had three and a half years of ministry before His death.  Jesus made it clear that He appreciates worship…He leaned into the kisses (enjoyed affection)!  The other thing I see here is the willingness of Jesus to go through the whole agonizing process…from betrayal to death.

    LEARN:  When is the last time you have lavished affection on Jesus?  Not just the sterile, corporate worship service at church, but the private worship of Jesus expressing your relationship with Him. 

     
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    365 Bible Reading

    January 17 – Mark 13

    LOOK:  Here we are told about the end of times.  We see what it will be like when Jesus comes back.  The tribulation is described and the warning to “Watch” is given.

    LISTEN: This passage probably makes you a little nervous.  I find that people get nervous when hearing about the coming tribulation, judgment and eternity.  The Bible tells us what will be happening when the time is right and tells us how bad the tribulation will be but does not tell us when it will start.

    LEARN:  The word, “Watch” is sticking with me.  I wonder how much we as Christians are keeping watch.  The danger for us as Christians today is to be dulled by the concerns of this world.  When our focus is 100% on this world and our life here and now, we lose our eternal reality.  We should live the reality that we are eternal beings living here temporarily.

     
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    365 Bible Reading

    January 16 – Mark 12

    LOOK:  This section starts with the parable of the tenants.  Jesus clearly illustrates that the religious lost have rejected the very Son of God.  Jesus then answers questions regarding paying taxes, relationships in heaven, the greatest commandment and who’s son the Messiah is.  He ends this passage by warning the people against the Pharisees and anyone who would misuse God’s people.

    LISTEN:  It appears that this passage is all about Jesus dealing with those inside the religion of the day.  There are no miracles recorded here or any contact with those in need.  Jesus is being attacked and challenged by those who want to get rid of Him.  Just a thought…not much gets done when we spend all our time fighting inside the church.  I’m shocked at the non-sense that God’s people allow themselves to focus on rather than the ministry we have been given.

    LEARN:  Drop all the drama!  Don’t focus on who we do and don’t like inside the church and start living for others.  Jesus said it, “Deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow me.”  Are you following Jesus or protecting your following at church?

     
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    365 Bible Reading

    January 15 – Mark 11

    LOOK:  Jesus comes to Jerusalem and the people greet Him like a king.  The worship and wave palm branches.  Other Gospels tell us that Jesus wept when He came to Jerusalem.  He knew the people would soon turn on Him and want Him dead.  He cried because of their unbelief.  Next, Jesus cursed the fig tree (I love to tell that story) and cleared the temple by overturning tables and making a whip.  The passage ends with the religious lost coming to question Jesus about His authority.  I love how Jesus turns the questioning back on them and then embarrasses them, making them leave defeated.

    LISTEN:  There are two times in Scripture where we see Jesus cry…at the death of Lazarus and during the triumphal entry.  He cries at Lazarus death because His friends were hurting.  He cried at the triumphal entry because of lost people.  The question we should ask is this, “How does Jesus cry for you?”  Does He cry with you when you hurt or does He cry over your unbelief in who He is? 

    LEARN:  Lots of good life application today.  Are you like those that waved palm branches when convenient and then turn on Jesus when challenged?  Are you like the fig tree that produced no fruit?  Are you like the money changers in the temple that use the church for your own gain?  Lots to think about.

     
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