Mark Day 45
Read: Mark 15:42-47
Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Mark 15:43
It was courage for a dead man, but it was the first act of courage from someone other than Jesus. Finally, someone decided to say something or do something about what they believed. Of course, Jesus is destined for the cross. He laid down His own life for us, no one took it from Him. Jesus was going to rise from the dead, victorious. But Joseph didn’t know that really. He too was looking for the kingdom and Jesus represented that kingdom and the cost of enjoying that kingdom. Often courage is inspired by another’s courage. Courage in encouraging and inspiring. Finally, someone had the courage to be a friend of Jesus. And that courage set the scene for a mighty act of God, the resurrection. And Joseph didn’t just take the body, we prepared it right for burial. Courage doesn’t just react, that would really be fear, but it responds with respect. Joseph believed in and respected Jesus. I’m sure he was disappointed, but he found the courage to be the friend of a dead man. That courage set the stage for a mighty revelation of the power of God. That’s how things happen in the kingdom of God, with faith that has the courage to act. Remember, faith without action is dead. Let the courage of Jesus inspire you to have the courage too.
Mark Day 44
Read Mark 14:16-41
And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down. Mark 15:36
Be careful to avoid selfish love, it will abandon all compassion and concern for its own entertainment. We think it is far away and off in some dark corner but it’s closer than we realize. Selfish love lives in the heart of man. Selfish love will dare to mock and mistreat the one who simply cares. Even those dying in the selfish love mocked Jesus on the cross. It’s a sad commentary on the life of the lost. Even the little effort to provide Jesus with some relief before death is put on hold to hopefully be entertained once again by the power Jesus walked in. Being so consumed with selfish love the crowd couldn’t see the power of God to hang on a cross unjustly for us who deserved to hang on that cross justly. Selfish love can’t see God. Selfish love sees the situation as a selfish opportunity to be accepted by the crowd and to see something that it can talk about later. Selfish love never sees past the moment and that is why it ends in death even before death comes. Hell is manifested here in and through selfish love. And Jesus went there for us so that we could know what love truly looks like. In the Savior’s love, there is true love and life.
Mark Day 43
Read Mark 15:1-15
And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” 5 But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed. Mark 15:4-5
There is hardly anything more dangerously powerful to our lives than the love of self. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we like ourselves, but we tend to love and trust what we have made of ourselves. It’s that love of self that keeps us from hearing and believing the words of Jesus. We want things done for ourselves, but we don’t what to change anything about ourselves. We want what we want the way we want it. That’s the epitome of sin. That’s what was happening in Pilot’s chambers. All the miracles, signs, and wonders meant nothing to a people who love themselves more than anyone or anything else. We become comfortable with ourselves and the lives we’ve made for ourselves even if we don’t like either. It was and is the love of self that put our Savior on that cross. We don’t usually realize it but that love of self is really hate and we will hate anyone or anything that tries to change us. The power of sin rips out our eyeballs so that we cannot see the love of God.
Mark Day 42
Read: Mark 14: 53-72
And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven. Mark 14:62
Our skin seeks the safety of the group rather than God. It’s the spirit that seeks the salvation and safety of God. Unless our spirit is strong, our skin will surrender to the intimidation of the crowd or the crises. Earlier that night, Peter had fallen asleep rather than pray. His spirit was weak, but Jesus’ spirit was strong. Jesus wouldn’t play their little games of half-truths with no hope. Jesus had the courage to speak the truth. Speaking the truth wasn’t about pointing out the injustice of that night but rather pointing out the truth of God’s word. The enemy can’t handle God’s word. Remember, in all of this Jesus had to live life like you and I can. Jesus knew the presence of God and the power of God. Jesus had spent His time in prayer earlier. In the presence of God, we find the power and perspective of God in our lives. We reach for the eternal from our spirit and when the supernatural presence of God becomes real to us in our spirit, we will have the supernatural power to stand in our skin.
Mark Day 41
Read Mark 14:32-50
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:38
Will you live from a willing spirit or a weak skin (flesh). That’s where we all begin at least. Our skin is weak and will take us into temptation. Unless our spirit is strong, we will walk into denial, betrayal, and violence. It happened to the disciples and it can happen to us. Our skin can easily float on the emotions of the day of the event. But our spirit, if given the opportunity, feeds on what is good and right and true. We find those elements in the presence of God and our spirit is made strong in the presence of God. It is in prayer that we deal with the skin and deliver the spirit to live in the power of God. The skin fears the man, but the spirit lives to serve the Master. The only way to overcome the skin is to become like Jesus in the spirit. That is what happens in and through prayer. In prayer we let God breathe the breath of life into our spirit. When the spirit is strong the skin is its’ servant. What we need today is a willing and wanting spirit that desires and depends on God. Ask & you will recieve.
Mark Day 40
Read: Mark 14:1-11
But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. 8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. 9 And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” Mark 14:6-9
Wickedness sprouts where worship splinters. That was never more evident than on that night in Simon’s house. Mary opened a bottle of precious nard and poured it over Jesus’ head. A year’s wages spent in a moment of time. That’s what worship does; it spends all it has in that moment with Jesus. Not even understanding all that Jesus was and would do, she worshiped Him with all she had at that moment. We often miss the root of Judas’ problem. Judas and some of the others were indigent with what Mary had done. Wickedness sprouts where worship splinters. Be careful not to criticize or compromise worship, it’s on the front end of betrayal. You won’t find Mary betraying Jesus for money or membership into a lost community of haters. It would be better for a person to never have been born than to never bow their knee to Jesus in worship. Don’t find room for excuses when it comes to worship but take every opportunity to express yourself in worship to the King of kings.
Mark Day 39
Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.” Mark 13:35-37
Keep your eyes open! Stay awake! There are things we don’t know when they are coming but we can see coming if we know God’s word. To fall asleep is to close our eyes and many are walking around with their eyes shut. We fall asleep when we close our eyes to the work of hell in our world and accept as normal or endurable the things that are contrary to the word of God. It not only happens in our world but in the church. Know the word of God and see what is happening in the seen and unseen realm. Jesus is coming back and those who know God’s word will be looking for that moment. Jesus says all this is like seeing the trees begin to leaf out. If you know what you’re looking for you will see what looking at. We see according to what we hear as truth and we hear what and who we trust as being truthful. If our heart is right with God, we can hear and see. God heals our hearing and seeing spiritually just as He did physically. But it’s our responsibility to stay awake, to keep our eyes open. Hearing His word as truth will keep our eyes open. Be on your guard, stay awake!
Mark Day 38
Read Mark 13:14-23
And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand. Mark 13:21-23
We cannot see according to the flesh but see according to our faith. That’s why Jesus told us what is to come. If we believe in Him and if we believe Him, will see His word as true and come true. There is going to be a battle for souls and there will come judgment on all sin. Be on your guard. The enemy will try to persuade us otherwise. Things will happen that will even tempt the “elect”, the mature in Christ, to believe otherwise. Be on your guard. We stay on our guard by believing and trusting in His word. The devil is defeated but he is not dead and he is working to deceive the hearts of man. Using crisis and counterfeit, he will be working to take as many people down with him as he can. Remember what Jesus said in the here and now as well as for the then and there. He always tells His people what is coming. He prophesied His death and resurrection, which happened. He prophesied the fall and judgment of Jerusalem, which happen. And He has prophesied His second coming which will be in the clouds and it’s happening. Keep your eyes peeled by keeping your faith prominent.
Mark Day 37
Read: Mark 13:1-13
And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. 6 Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7 And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet.
See to it that no one leads you astray. Once again, it’s important that you can see the truth. You will see many come in Jesus’ name and you will see wars and there will be rumors of wars but do not be afraid. Look at the world from your heart and what you believe in Jesus. Judgment is coming. Judgment is built into creation and it’s something that God works with to take man’s eyes off what is false to see what is true. If you can hear the words of Jesus, you can see through the window of Jesus. Don’t be impressed with what man builds or what man says, be impressed with what Jesus says. Judgment is coming but God is bigger than our trouble. See to it that no one leads you astray. He who endures to the end will be saved. (Mark 13:13) Jesus is speaking to the here and now and the then and there. Judgment was coming to Jerusalem and everything man had made would be torn down. But judgment is coming again before He comes again. And He is coming; Jesus said so, and we must adjust our eyes to look for Him and not the hate of a world that doesn’t want to recognize Him. Don’t be anxious, be armed with the Holy Spirit.
Mark Day 36
Read: Mark 12:28-44
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.” Mark 12:29-31
We all have eyes to see and we use them to judge but how we judge will be determined by who and what we love. The Scribes loved places of honor and lived hating those who gave them those places. The Widow loved God and lived loving Him with all she had in this life. There’s judgment all over these two stories. We judge with our eyes from our hearts. God gave us eyes to see through, not to just see with. We see through our eyes from the convictions and commitments of our hearts. We see with our eyes when we let the world determine what we see and why. Who or what we love will determine who and what we see and we will judge the world we live in accordingly. It’s what fills our hearts that determine who and what we see with our eyes. If we want to fix our eyes, we must first fix our hearts. Out of the mouth the heart speaks and from the heart the eyes see. When our heart is right, our judgment will be too. Love God and see His awesome creations and power.