Week of June 25th

Day 1

Read Mark 13:1-23

I don’t know if you are like me or not, but I have been trained to hear certain things when I read this section.  Have you ever been riding your bike on a dirt road and there is a tire rut that your bike tire seems to be drawn into?  That is a bit of what this feels like. It takes effort to not read automatically, in a certain way, from this passage.  I think I am also trained to read bad news first.  Rarely is there good news being looked at in the 24 hour news cycle, so it is almost as if Jesus is becoming a reporter here telling me all of the bad things I need to know about.  What if I read this differently?

What do you think Jesus' point in saying all of this was?  Why do you think that was his main point?

What did Jesus say here that you need to really pay attention to today?

Why do you think Jesus was so vague on the details (wars and earthquakes)?

In light of the news that is being reported here by Jesus, what is it that you are supposed to do?  Where do you see that?  In the text or from what you have heard?

  Why not share some of your thoughts on this story with those in the messaging app?

Day 2

Read Mark 13:24-36

It’s not only that you don’t know the time of Jesus' return, but it is also important that you realize you can’t know.  I think the logic tends to go in the direction of behavior alteration if we had a better time schedule.  In other words, if I knew when all of this was going down, then I could make sure I get my affairs in order.  Jesus teaches differently than this.  In essence, he is saying, get your affairs in order and live like that.  Jesus' Kingdom was coming, but there were elements of it that were and are right now.  Jesus was not interested in giving us a time to be ready, but rather he was after us getting to a place in life where we live ready.  The end does not change your behavior.  

What does Jesus mean by telling us to be “on guard and stay awake?”

How do you get more on guard in your life?

What needs to happen for you to wake up or stay awake?

How does this passage speak to your life this week?

How does any of this become your prayer today?

Day 3

Read Luke 5:1-11
Have you ever had one of those moments in life that you are certain would be significant?  For all 10 people that went to Jamaica, we were certain that we were experiencing that.  I have been talking to some of them this week as they mentioned feeling guilty about the food that we are covered in and how we treat it here.  We all took journals and spent days unpacking all of the experiences that we had.  I begged them to do this because I wanted accountability to do it myself, but also because I am frustrated with how much I forgot on all the other trips.  In those experiences, the moment is etched with memory that you are certain would be life changing, then time starts to slowly exchange all of those feelings for distance and we hold on to what we can. This had to be one of those moments.  Jesus was teaching a lesson that Peter, James, and John would never forget.

Peter is frustrated as Jesus tells him where to throw his net.  He had done that and it led to nothing more than just toil and empty. That’s a great lesson.  What have you done that was nothing more than toil and labor until Jesus called you to try it a different way…or the same way, just on His terms?

Who is this lesson for?  Is there anything that you are to learn from Jesus teaching here?

Jesus told them to not be afraid.  What was there to be afraid of?  How does this speak to you personally?  What have you feared in Jesus calling?
Why not share some thoughts on the app about this passage with others reading along?

Day 4

Read Luke 10:1-20

It would do us a great help if we spent time really trying to understand what Jesus’ mission was.  Sometimes it feels that he is telling us to make sure that we go to the most remote places and share the gospel.  Sometimes it seems that he is telling us to aim at the poorest and most in need.  Sometimes it seems he is telling us that we preach next door to our neighbors.  Then, almost directly after all of this, it seems that he tells us something to the opposite.  This has led to centuries of really smart people trying to figure out what it was that Jesus was actually doing and what that means we should be doing.  This is one of those moments that may not have a direct crossover, because Jesus’ context was different, but it certainly is relevant.  So what do you get out of it?

Why do you think Jesus sent out “two by two?”

Is there significance in that model that we can draw a benefit from?  Why?

Who does Jesus tell to pray for laborers and where do you think those laborers are to come from?

What does Jesus mean in referring to “the harvest?”

Why do you think the 72 that were sent out came back surprised by the results they had seen?

How does this make it to your prayers today?

Day 5

Read Luke 10:25-42

I am fairly certain that this is a parable that most all of us could tell.  Not only that, it is one that we would all nod in agreement to.  I want to challenge you to read it with careful eyes this time.  Sometimes, those things that we know and have had pounded into our heads, make us want to skip by them without much thought or consideration.  Take a slower approach today.  Work hard at understanding what you think Jesus was saying.  If you were there that day, what would you have actually heard?  It may not be that the words would be different, that is not what I am trying to say, but what would you hear differently standing there before Jesus Himself?

Do you think the lawyer really understood what he told Jesus that day, or do you think that his lack of really getting it is why Jesus offered the story?

What do you think it means to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself?”

How are the love of God and the love of your neighbor connected?

What do you think Jesus' main point was in this moment?

How does this become your prayer for today?

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