From Handbook to Scripture, Day 220
READING: MARK 8
Like the other gospels, Mark is not a biography but a thematic narrative that approaches the life of Christ from a specific perspective. The theme of this gospel is evident in Christ’s clear purpose statement in 10:45: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” The 18 miracles in Mark demonstrate not only the compassion of the Lord but also His power and authority, and they authenticate His teachings which are interspersed throughout.
Jesus responds to mounting opposition by intensifying His teaching and preparation of His disciples so that they will be prepared for His departure. In the period between Mark 8:27 and 10:52 (approximately six months), Jesus tells His disciples of His coming death and resurrection with increasing frequency as He turns His steps to Jerusalem.
Prayer: Lord, may I be willing to come after Jesus by denying myself, taking up my cross, and following Him. May I find life by losing it for Your sake and the gospel’s.
Meditation passage: verses 2, 27–29, 34–38
From Simple Prayers, Day 220
I DRAW NEAR TO YOU, GOD
I praise You, Lord, that You are intimately acquainted with my ways and that You always love me and have my best interests at heart.
With regard to my former way of life, may I put off my old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of my mind; and may I put on the new self, which was created according to God in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:22–24)
May I be diligent to add to my faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are mine in increasing measure, they will keep me from being barren and unfruitful in the full knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:5–8)
Take a moment to offer this day to the Lord and ask Him for the grace to grow in your knowledge and love for Him.
THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE
Jesus and the Father are one. (John 10:30)
God will judge the secrets of men through Jesus Christ, according to the gospel. (Romans 2:16)
I LISTEN TO YOUR WORDS OF TRUTH
My soul silently waits for God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my stronghold; I will never be shaken. (Psalm 62:1–2)
MY RESPONSE TO YOU, LORD
I will do no injustice in judgment, nor show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but I will judge my neighbor fairly. (Leviticus 19:15)
You desire mercy, not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6)
Lord, I thank You for Your eternal Son and that You will judge the secrets of men through Him. I thank You that You alone are my rock and my salvation, and I ask that I would practice fairness and mercy in my dealings with others.
From Handbook to Wisdom, Day 220
IT’S ALL IN YOUR PERSPECTIVE
No one who waits for You will be ashamed,
but those who are treacherous without cause will be ashamed.
Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths;
lead me in Your truth and teach me,
for You are the God of my salvation,
and my hope is in You all day long.
Now I am a child of God, and what I shall be
has not yet been revealed.
I know that when He is revealed, I shall be like Him, for
I shall see Him as He is.
And everyone who has this hope in Him
purifies himself, just as He is pure.
(1 John 3:2–3)
An optimist said to a pessimist, “Isn’t this a bright, sunny day?” The pessimist replied, “Yes, but if this heat spell doesn’t stop soon, all the grass will burn up.”
Two days later, the optimist said to the pessimist, “Isn’t this rain wonderful?” The pessimist replied, “Well, if it doesn’t stop soon, my garden will wash away.”
The next day, the optimist invited the pessimist to go duck hunting. The optimist wanted to show off his new registered hunting dog that could do things no other dog could. The pessimist looked at the dog and said, “Looks like a mutt to me.”
At that moment, a flock of ducks flew over. The optimist shot one of the ducks and it fell in the middle of the lake. He snapped his fingers and his new dog ran after the duck. The dog ran out on the water, picked up the duck, and ran back on the water. The optimist took the duck from the dog’s mouth, turned to the pessimist, and said, “What do you think of my dog now?” The pessimist replied, “Dumb dog—can’t even swim!”
An eternal perspective enables us to see clearly; a temporal perspective clouds the truth.