Saturday, February 4, 2023

PARABLES OF GOD'S KINGDOM

Mark 4:21-34 / Keywords 4:33

With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand.

 

1.The gospel Jesus brings is like a lamp. As we place a lamp on a lampstand to light the room, we make it known when we receive the gospel. Then the gospel will bring out the truth to open the spiritual eyes of those who hear it. Those who refuse to see truth may lose this grace (25).

 

2. When a farmer scatters seeds on the ground, he expects them to grow and ripen for harvest one day. The farmer does not make them germinate and have life. It is God who makes the seeds spring up and grow (28). We also bring the gospel and scatter its seeds, trusting that God will make the words grow and bear fruit in the hearts of those who receive the gospel.

 

3. The Kingdom of God may not sound glamorous at first. Jesus compared it to a mustard seed that was the smallest seed known to them. As the mustard seed grows into a big plant that provides shelter for birds, the word of God will grow in those who accept it and lead them to know the truth (John 8:31-32).

 


Prayer Thank you for teaching us about the Kingdom of God. Help us to have ears to hear and hearts to understand.

One Word We receive the secrets of God's kingdom

Friday, February 3, 2023

SEED SOWN ON GOOD SOIL

Mark 4:1-20 / Keywords 4:1

Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water's edge.

 

1. A great crowd gathered by the lake. Jesus taught them the secrets of the kingdom of God by parables. Explaining God's truth with everyday examples was an excellent way to help the crowd understand the spiritual world. Jesus also said those on the outside may never understand the truth. Those who refuse to accept the gospel may see and hear but lose the chance to receive forgiveness (12).

 

2. Jesus told a parable about a farmer who sows seeds. The seeds represented the Word of God. And the story focused on the soil that receives the seeds. Some seeds fell on the path, which was not ready to receive the seeds. Some fell on rocky soil that lacked the depth to support sufficient growth of the root. The seeds that fell among thorns could not grow properly and bear fruit because the fast-growing thorns choked the plant. However, the good soil received the seeds, and they bore fruit, multiplying a hundred-fold (20).

 

3. As Jesus spoke parables to plant the Word of God in the hearts of all who heard him, only some accepted the truth and produced fruit as followers of Jesus. What can you do to prepare your heart to receive the Word of God so that God produces a great crop?

 


Prayer Father, cultivate my heart and make me good soil.

One Word I want a heart like good soil


 

Thursday, February 2, 2023

PEOPLE MISUNDERSTOOD JESUS

Mark 3:20-35 / Keywords 3:35

Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."

 

1. Jesus' popularity grew. Jesus was very busy serving the crowd day and night. In this passage, we see two groups of people with different intentions, but both groups misunderstand Jesus' ministry.

 

2. There were the teachers of the law. They intended to discredit Jesus' ministry, claiming Jesus was driving out demons by the power of the prince of demons. Jesus usually avoided arguments about his identity. People came to know him through the evidence shown to them. However, he pointed to their blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Jesus was saving people by bringing God's forgiveness to sinners (28). Speaking against the Holy Spirit was an offense against God (29).

 

3. On the other hand, Jesus' mother and brothers were concerned about Jesus since the crowd made him too busy to even eat. Instead of supporting his ministry, they wondered if he lost his mind. They came to take him home so he would eat and rest. It is hard to deal with misunderstandings from loved ones. Jesus says those who do God's will are his mother and brothers (35). We come to understand Jesus' heart as we try to live according to God's will.

 


Prayer Father, help me to know your heart and work to do your will.

One Word Know God's will and live by it

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

JESUS CONTINUES HIS MESSIANIC MINISTRY

Mark 3:1-19 / Keywords 3:14,15

14 He appointed twelve--designating them apostles--that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons.

 

1. Now some were constantly watching for an opportunity to accuse Jesus (2,6). Jesus was not intimidated by their hostility and went on with his messianic ministry. He healed a man with a shriveled hand on the Sabbath under the watch of the accusers. Jesus revealed the heart of God, doing what is good and saving people on the Sabbath (4). The leaders needed to understand God gave the law with a good intention to save sinners.

 

2. While the religious leaders tried to discredit Jesus' work, people followed him as a large crowd (8). Despite the hindrance, Jesus revealed the glory of God through his ministry so that anyone would see who he was (11).

 

3. Away from all distractions, Jesus went up to a mountain and called twelve men from among his followers (13). They were to stay with Jesus and learn from him and go out to preach the gospel with spiritual authority (14,15). Jesus' time on earth was limited (2:20), but the work of God's ministry would continue through his disciples as they preached the gospel to the whole world.

 


Prayer Father, thank you for sending Jesus, who is our Messiah. Help us to come to know you better every day as we follow Jesus and do your will.

One Word Jesus came to save lives

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

JESUS IS THE LORD

Mark 2:18-28 / Keywords 2:28

So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."

 

1. Some people questioned Jesus about his disciples. They were not fasting like John's disciples and the Pharisees. Those people considered fasting as a measure of righteousness. However, Jesus taught them that this was a time of celebration to have the bridegroom with them. Jesus is the bridegroom. When we accept him as our Lord and the Messiah, we rejoice in him as one attends a wedding dressed in a new garment, enjoying the taste of wonderful new wine.

 

2. Pharisees again questioned Jesus about his disciples picking heads of grain to eat on the Sabbath. The Sabbath was set apart as holy, and the religious leaders firmly kept and enforced regulations that were developed by tradition. Jesus referred to David's example from 1 Samuel 21 to defend his disciples. And he stated the clear order established by God. God made the Sabbath for man to remember the Lord who created the world and rested on the seventh day (27; Ex 20:11). Jesus is the Lord, even of the Sabbath. So, we need to recognize Jesus' Lordship and dedicate the day to worship and honor him.

 


Prayer Father, you are the Lord of my life every day. I rejoice in your grace of forgiveness. Thank you for comforting my heart by reminding me of who you are as I come to you.

One Word Jesus is the Lord and bridegroom

Monday, January 30, 2023

JESUS FREES A MAN POSSESSED BY DEMONS

Mark 5:1-20 / Keywords 5:19

Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."

 

1.Jesus and his disciples got off the boat in Gerasene, and a demon-possessed man came to them. The townspeople tried to help him by tying and binding him so that he wouldn't harm himself and others, but their efforts failed. The man broke the iron chains and lived among the tombs, crying and cutting himself with stones (5).

 

2. People feared and avoided him, seeing the demons that were controlling him. However, Jesus saw him as a man created by God. When Jesus asked his name, the man realized what had been controlling him. One may argue if it was really necessary for Jesus to allow the demons to possess and then drown the pigs at their request. It sounds too costly. However, Jesus shows us that restoring one man's life is more valuable than any material sacrifice. Jesus' sacrifice to give himself up on the cross further proves his desire to save us from the sin of the world at any cost.

 

3. The man wanted to follow Jesus. However, Jesus saw that he was ready to be an apostle who goes into the world to witness the grace he has received.

 


Prayer Father, thank you for your grace of freeing me from Satan's grip and restoring my love relationship with you. Please use me as your witness.

One Word How much grace I have received

JESUS CALLS THE SINNERS

Mark 2:13-17 / Keywords 2:17

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

 

1. Jesus went out to the lake and began teaching a crowd gathered there. When he saw Levi sitting at the tax collector's booth, he called out to him: "Follow me." Levi's occupation as a tax collector labeled him as a public sinner but provided him a comfortable life. We do not know what led him to choose such a controversial occupation.

 

2. It did not matter to Jesus how Levi ended up there. Jesus invited him to leave life as a sinner and become a disciple of Jesus. And Levi decided to follow Jesus right away, leaving everything behind (14).

 

3. Levi must have thrown a farewell party as he was leaving his home. When the Pharisees learned about Jesus having dinner at Levi's house with many tax collectors and sinners, they started to question Jesus' disciples about Jesus' integrity. The Pharisees considered themselves righteous for keeping the law and staying away from sinners. However, before the Lord, no one is righteous (Ro 3:10). Only those who confess their sins and ask for forgiveness and salvation will receive Jesus' healing (17).

 

Prayer Lord, thank you for sending Jesus to call a sinner like me. Please help me to be honest before you, recognize the sickness in my heart, and receive healing from you.

One Word I follow you, Lord

PARABLES OF GOD'S KINGDOM Mark 4:21-34 / Keywords 4:33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they coul...