July 7, 2019


Day 1: A few weeks ago, the message focused on prayer and spending time with God. Have you been able to incorporate more prayer into your daily devotional time? Throughout this week’s study, we will incorporate a call to prayer to help focus our actions. In Sunday’s message, we continued our journey through the Gospel of Mark. Cory taught on Mark 2:1-12. As you reread these passages, what stands out to you? Are you moved by the act of support provided by the men bearing the stretcher? When you find yourself in a position to help someone in need, how do you respond? Pray over your response. Ask God to speak to you, “Dear God, What help can I give? What difference can I make? If I tend to not respond, why? Lead me to an open heart to be the stretcher bearer in someone else’s life. Amen.” 


Day 2:  The paralyzed man and the men assisting him recognized the authority and power of Jesus. They overcame great obstacles and removed a roof to lower the man to Jesus. Jesus saw the faith in the bearers and the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (Verse 5) In our daily lives, do we forget to recognize the power of Jesus over us, both physical and spiritual? “But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” (Verse 10) What a formidable gift Jesus has over our life! He removes our sin. He lifts our spirit. He can help us see again, both physically and spiritually.  Have you fully submitted to this power? Pray: “Dear God, I walk through this world directing my own way, forcing my square pegs into round holes, pushing my will into life. Help me to give that control over to you. I will let go of my own desires and recognize your will, your power, and your great gifts in this world. Amen.” 


Day 3:  Jesus saw the faith of the men who worked to bring in the paralyzed man. Jesus saw the faith of the paralyzed man who was willing to struggle to get to Jesus. Faith is seen through our actions. Read James 2:14-17“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (verse 17) The devotional team met this week, we pondered, “Who were these men? Did they know this paralyzed man, or were they acting out of selflessness to a stranger?” Although we will never know, we can try to put ourselves in the shoes of these men. Just as we discussed on day 1, are we willing to be the stretcher bearer for someone in need? Do we put our faith into action when called upon? “Dear God, we know faith requires not just thoughts but action. When we are faced with a task guide us, push us, implore us to understand that call.  Moreover, know that I will hear your call and I will act as a servant to others in faith. Amen.” 


Day 4:  Faith requires courage. The scripture tells us people gathered “in such large numbers, there was no room left… and he preached the word to them.” (verse 2) Transporting the paralyzed man to Jesus required great courage for the stretcher bearers and the paralyzed man. The crowd could’ve prevented them from reaching Jesus. Any of them could’ve been hurt. The act of climbing to the roof was dangerous, but everyone showed great courage in their faith. (1 Corinthians 16:13, Hebrews 13:5-6, Deuteronomy 31:6) Pray: Dear God: Give me courage when I am weak. Let me live Isaiah 40:31. I will soar on wings like eagles; I will run and not grow weary, I will walk and not be faint. I will be strong in my faith as I walk with you. Amen.” 


Day 5: The Pharisees were present on this day (verse 6). The “teachers of the law” allowed their faulty reasoning to push Jesus away. What a great opportunity they missed! But we are so blessed to grow closer to Jesus as we get to know/understand His actions and His heart. Which path will we choose – Pharisee or believer? Pray: “Dear God, when times are challenging, I don’t want to push you away or doubt you like a modern-day Pharisee. I want to draw closer to you. I want to recognize your true power. I will show faith through actions, and I will demonstrate courage in my faith. Thank you for all your blessings. Amen.” 

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