Thursday, September 18, 2014

GROW -- Mark 7:24-9:1

Greet the Lord
Read Mark 7:24-9:1

Continuing the narrative: Jesus retreats to Tyre, attempting to lay low, but he "could not be hidden." He heals a Gentile's daughter of demon possession and a deaf man in Sidon. A great crowd gathers with little food. Jesus has compassion on them, concerned that they eat before traveling home. He blesses 7 loaves and a few fish and it feeds 4,000 with 7 baskets of leftovers. Jesus shows emotional disappointment/frustration (he "sighed from deep within himself") when the Pharisees demand a sign. Then the disciples become worried when they have no bread. Jesus questions them and reminds them of the miracle He has just performed. Peter confesses Jesus as the Messiah, and Jesus teaches them plaining what is coming in the days ahead. He teaches the gathering crowd the value of the eternal and the futility of living for the here and now. He warns that anyone who would follow Him must deny himself and take up his cross.

1. News of Jesus traveled fast. Even though He kept telling people to "tell no one" when he healed them, they didn't listen. They couldn't help but share the amazing things that He had done.
2. Jesus came to offer the Kingdom to the Jews, but He didn't reject when Gentiles came to Him looking for help or hope.
3. Jesus experienced human emotions when He was pressured by the Pharisees and forgotten by the disciples.
4. Following Jesus isn't a "fun" activity. There is a tension in giving your life to Christ. It involves self denial and cross bearing. But ultimately it is the only way to "find life" because living for the world is futile.


GROW -- Mark 7:1-23

Greet the Lord
Read Mark 7:1-23

This passage is part of a narrative. Jesus has been healing the sick and challenging some of the traditional "laws" regarding the Sabbath. The Pharisees observe the disciples eating without ceremonial washing and confront Jesus about it. Jesus refers back to Isaiah, noting how the people "honor" with lip service, but the HEART is far from Him. He attacks the idea that calling "Corban" negates the principle of honoring, taking care of, and providing for one's parents. Jesus explains its not the externals that defile someone. (Here Mark notes that Jesus has declared all food clean at this point.) It is what is in the heart that defiles, for that is where evil comes from.

Principles Observed from the passage:
1. Traditions are not part of the gospel.
2. Lip service is not good enough for God.
3. The heart is most important.
4. Motives matter.
5. Follow the spirit of the law, not just the letter, looking for loopholes.
6. Defilement comes from within, not from externals. Thus, circumstances do not give evil men an excuse. Their evil comes from evil hearts.

Other observations:
List of evil:
evil thoughts
sexual immorality


*When the heart is not involved, my worship is vain, empty, hypocritical and adding to the Word of God.

Mark 7:6--"This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me..."

Art Worship

I recently discovered this amazing Facebook group called "Bible Journaling Community." There I have found a sisterhood of artsy ladies who praise God and worship Him through art, by journaling Scripture and songs and thoughts they think while reading God's Word. I decided to join in. And it's awesome.

I set up a little "Art Worship station" by the couch where I read so I have my box and notebook handy. I follow the acronym "GROW" (Greet the Lord, Read a passage, Observe things about it, Write/doodle/draw) as I meet with God and the drawing part has been refreshing on several levels. First off, it feeds my creativity which I love. It also provides an amount of time that I am focused and meditating on a specific verse or principle from the Word.

I tend to sketch out a picture/text with pencil, then go over it with my favorite pen (Micron Pigma) then add color with watercolor pencils, then paint it.