Daily Devotion for NPC (Note: You will notice some repetition from yesterday; the opening prayer is the same, and the scripture passage from Mark parallels yesterday’s reading from Luke 4. The overlap is not a oversight or a misprint. We often benefit from sitting with the same material for an extended time and letting it sink in.)
Good Morning! (well, almost)
Take a deep breath, then be still for a moment; then pray, perhaps, Lord Jesus, please be present with me now as I read your word. In these moments, please encourage me and give me fresh confidence in you and your love. Help me be open to whatever you want to teach me. Help me be ready to respond to you with trust and obedience. Amen.
2) Read Mark 1.
Read it quickly; pause and notice what stands out to you.
Read it slowly; again, pause and notice what stands out to you.
Read it slowly, out loud. If your attention drifts, or if you are particularly struck by a particular section of the chapter, read it again, still slowly and out loud.
Notice and reflect on how this passage impacts you today. If you read the chapter yesterday, consider how your day-to-day reactions to the passage compare.
3) For Reflection
I’ve heard and read Mark 1:35, In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed., countless times. In particular, I’ve been sent to this verse so I’ll know that it is explicitly biblical to pray faithfully: Be like Jesus! Take time to pray alone! Every day! Preferably at a painfully early hour! (I added, painfully, otherwise I stand by the quotes.) I am the last person to discourage daily prayer, but as I sat with the passage yesterday, it occurred to me that in the context of the entire chapter verse 35 is about the importance of personal prayer only secondarily. The chapter as a whole is about Jesus beginning his ministry, first in his home town, then in the surrounding area. Jesus is busy! From the outset, Jesus’ ministry of proclaiming and enacting the kingdom of God is multi-faceted and demanding. Jesus withdraws to pray alone in the context of and in response to his work.
Are you engaged in ministry?
Is it possible you are engaged in ministry but haven’t been inclined to identify it as such?
Could you name and describe your ministry (ministries) (i.e., the particular ways you serve others in Jesus’ name) to others?
Does your ministry ever tire you out? Or do you get tired of the way you serve Jesus?
How much of your prayer life is directed toward discerning what the Holy Spirit is inviting you to do? Toward developing insight, vision, energy to do your ministry?
for wisdom, energy, and support, so that you can live and minister in fresh ways in Jesus name
for yourself and your loved ones.
for our church, our community, and our world, particularly in light of the pandemic
Thank God for meeting you, for the opportunity to sit, read, and pray, and pray for an awareness of God's presence through the day.
Northminster Presbyterian Church 400 Rancheria Road | Diamond Bar, CA 91765 | PH: (909) 861-4715