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    365 Bible Reading

    Sorry for the repeat…getting my days straight!

    January 11 – Mark 9

    LOOK:  The account of the transfiguration is amazing!  Can you imagine being there?  I’m sure the disciples present were overwhelmed.  Then we hear about the Father trying to get his son healed from demon possession.  He is desperate and the disciples can’t seem to do the job.  Jesus rebukes not only the demon but the crowd because of their lack of faith.

    Jesus continues to remind the disciples that His death was coming soon while He trained and equipped them for ministry.

    We then read the hard teaching about “causing to stumble”.  It is difficult to read and apply.  I suggest some time in a commentary for this section.

    LISTEN:  I’m struck by the conversation Jesus had with the father who needed help for his son.  I like the effort and the honesty this man had with Jesus.  “I do believe, help me with my unbelief”.  Great words that I think we could all repeat.

    LEARN:  I want to grow in my faith…not my head knowledge of the Bible or Jesus…I want to have a radical faith that transforms my actions.  It must be true that we hardly even tap into the power of God because of our weak faith.  Ask for help today in any areas were you lack faith.

     
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    365 Bible Reading

    January 11 – Mark 8

    LOOK:  In this passage we have the lesser know “Feeding of the 4,000”.  I guess since the disciples didn’t get it the first time, Jesus did it again.  Jesus keeps warning the disciples about the Pharisees and the danger of religion for religion sake.  Jesus then heals a blind man, but in a wild story, Jesus takes two attempts to heal the man.  What could be the reason for this?  Peter than gets an answer right and Jesus predicts His coming death.  Peter than gets it wrong and Christ rebukes him.  Jesus than challenges His followers to follow Him with a life of complete sacrifice.

    LISTEN:  I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be a disciple…incredible highs and dark lows.  I relate to Peter.  I think I could have gotten it right some of the time and then failed majorly other times. 

    LEARN:  Jesus shows incredible patience with His people.  Today, I am thankful that God is patient with me and my foibles!  I pray that we will all follow Christ the way He prescribed…full out sacrificial living, following the way of the cross.

     
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    365 Bible Reading

    January 9 – Mark 7

    LOOK:  This passage starts with the Jesus and His disciples being accused of not obeying God’s Law by following Jewish customs.  Jesus makes it clear that true spirituality comes from the inside and effects the outside not the other way around.  Jesus then heals a Greek woman and has a most strange conversation with her.  Jesus than heals a deaf man.

    LISTEN:  I’m impressed with the message that Jesus is bringing to the Jews.  He is letting them know that their religiosity is not impressing God.  Jesus makes it clear that the Gospel is for all who will believe including those outside the Jewish heritage.  Jesus taught than illustrated His teaching with His actions.

    LEARN:  I’m reviewing what I consider my religious life.  How much of it is tradition and habits instead of a heart response of faith in what Christ has done to save me?  I pray that my version of “church” and “faith” pleases God and is more about Him than it is about me.

     
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    365 Bible Reading

    January 8 – Mark 6

    LOOK:  Jesus is dishonored in His home town when people resent Him and what He could teach and do.  John the Baptist is beheaded for a dinner show and then two of the most dramatic Biblical scenes unfold:  The feeding of the 5,000 and Jesus walking on the water.

    LISTEN:  Reading the entire chapter reveals a tired group of disciples that just wanted a rest.  When the crowds wouldn’t let them get away, Jesus wanted to serve.  The Bible tells us what was happening inside the disciples…they had hard hearts.  Call them burned out or exhausted, Jesus knew they had lost their compassion for the people.

    LEARN:  Have you lost your compassion?  Are you tired of constantly being good?  Is it possible that being a Christian has cramped your style?  If the people who were the closest to Jesus could develop hard hearts shouldn’t we guard our hearts?  “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23

     
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    365 Bible Reading

    January 6 – Proverbs 1

    LOOK:  The book of Proverbs comes with it’s own purpose statement:

    for gaining wisdom and instruction;
    for understanding words of insight;
    for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
    doing what is right and just and fair;
    for giving prudence to those who are simple,
    knowledge and discretion to the young—
    let the wise listen and add to their learning,
    and let the discerning get guidance—
    for understanding proverbs and parables,
    the sayings and riddles of the wise.”

    LISTEN:  Proverbs gives such practical advice about how to live a great life. We are told what usually happens when we make good choices and bad choices.

    LEARN:  Wisdom is not just knowing what is wrong and right but choosing to do what is right no matter who is watching.

     
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