September 22, 2019

Mark

Jesus Is On The Way

Day 1: Jesus’ greatest expression of coming to us is seen in the incarnation; He came to us as one of us to show us who God is and how God lives when He is one of us. John 3:16-17begins to tell us what moved Him to come and Philippians 2:5-8speaks to the posture in which He came; love, humility, as a servant. Who would avoid or hide from someone like that? Yet we all do to some degree, intentionally or not. Fear, pride, shame, hopelessness, can all cause us to want to hide things (or even ourselves) from Jesus or even push Him away. What would it look like to be honest about this with Jesus? To honestly and humbly tell Jesus, “Here it is; this is where I am”?  Can you be honest with Jesus about your struggles and who or what you are really hiding from? 

 

Day 2: Are there dead places in your life? Shadowy stuff in your heart that needs to be drug out into the light and changed? You may know and hate these places, or they may be largely unexamined and even unknown to you, but they keep showing up in attitudes or behaviors. What would it be like to begin asking God to show you where they are coming from, to examine your heart, and for Him to expose the darker corners to you? Are you willing to have eyes to see what God reveals? Do you have relationship with another follower who loves you deeply enough to help you see them, to pull them out into the light and allow Jesus to begin to transform and heal them? 

 

Day 3: Read Mark 5:11-17.It’s not always just about my story or my needs, as important or significant as those are to me and God, there are others who have a life going on as well. If you’re the man cleansed or healed by Jesus, you are really grateful Jesus came to you that day. If you’re a pig, or a pig farmer, or someone who depends on the pig farmer, not so much. One event will affect multiple people in different ways; some days we’re the demoniac and other days we’re the pig farmer. What are some practices, disciplines, prayers that could be helpful in remembering it’s not always about me– that there is a greater good, a larger story? How could others help us see and remind us of this reality? How could corporate worship help form this perspective in us, a perspective that brings us once again to the realization we are part of something bigger than ourselves? 

 

Day 4: Read Mark 5:14-17. We would all like to think that there would never be a situation or something in my life that would lead me to want Jesus to go away or leave me alone. And maybe we wouldn’t voice it as directly as the folks in this account did. We’re sophisticated and know that you just don’t say things like that. But, we’ve all lived it and been in that space before. Sin, fear, economics, etc can lead us to some really dark attitudes, motivations, and behaviors. They lead us to, in effect, say to Jesus, “I don’t want you here.” Or, “Leave this thing in my life alone.” The question is, what do we do when we get there? How do we respond and see it for what it is? We bring other followers who aren’t in that same space into where we are. Do you have relationships with followers who love you enough to be with you in real life stuff? To help bring Jesus’ ways to where you are? Who have permission to speak in to the difficult things? Is it a practice of yours to ask the Holy Spirit to show you your heart? Is it a regular practice to reflect on your fears and to examine what you are chasing, worrying about, or trying to avoid?

Day 5: Continuing from Day 4, can you trust Jesus to come to you, even when you are lost in rationalizations or justifications that uphold fearful attitudes that may lead you to want to hide? Can you risk that trust, that He might come to you at your worst? To come to you as a humble servant with love and forgiveness, help and healing? Even as you scream or accuse Him of abandoning you or not caring? Will you risk that trust, believing He would come even for you? Even in this?