a 40-day devotional journey through the book of Mark

We are glad you are taking this journey!

On this page you will find 40 devotionals written by staff members of Crossbridge. It is our hope that these thoughts help you think about the verses you read each day. 

If you are unfamiliar with the book of Mark, it tells the story of Jesus. It is one of four books in the New Testament that tell the story of Jesus (the others being: Matthew, Luke, and John). Mark is the shortest of the four books and it is quick paced! 

Throughout the next 40 days (not counting Sundays) you will read through the entire book of Mark. We realize that some of you may have never read an entire book of the Bible. That’s okay! We are glad you are taking this journey with us. 

Here are a few tips as you read through the book of Mark:

  • Pick a consistent time each day to read.
  • If you get behind, don’t get discouraged; just keep moving forward.
  • Ask God to highlight one thing each day for you to learn.

First, read the scripture, then read and reflect on the devotional. There are two questions that we want you to reflect on daily:

  • What stood out to me as I read?
  • Is God asking me to do something as a result of what I read?

We trust that as you read the words in Mark and this devotional, God will speak to you. Our ultimate hope is that these 40 days help draw you closer to Jesus!

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  • DAY 1 - february 17

    Mark 1:1-13

    Jimi Angel (a friend and fellow Crossbridger) loves to play in the dirt. Literally. He operates a massive bulldozer. The Caterpillar D10 dozer with its gigantic eight-foot blade slices through solid earth like a knife through warm butter. Flattening the high spots and filling in the low ones, the heavy machinery is a necessity for establishing a clear pathway and level foundation for whatever construction comes next.

    John the Baptist (aka John the Bulldozer) is sent by God to help people establish a clear pathway and level foundation for God to come and build His heavenly kingdom right here in our own lives. John’s message was to 'prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him' (Isaiah 40:3). Interestingly, Isaiah’s next words (Isaiah 40:4) are, every valley shall be raised up; every mountain and hill made low; John calls in the bulldozers! 

    In other words, sin is a clear obstacle to the kind of life God wants to establish in you and me. The mountain of sin must be leveled. The dark valley of separation from God cannot be ignored. John the Bulldozer calls us to acknowledge this hindered pathway by confessing it to God and then trusting Him to transform the landscape of our lives. 

    God the Father’s love for us is more powerful than a D10 bulldozer. He sent his Son to transform our lives according to His good plans. Will you allow Him a clear path to refashion your life? Your answer to this question just might become the beginning of the good news about Jesus in your life.

    What obstacles hinder God from intimately shaping how you go about your daily life? Anything that needs to be bulldozed, uprooted or removed? Confess it to your loving heavenly Father right now, and invite Him to give you power to remove it.

  • DAY 2 - FEBRUARY 18

    Mark 1:14-34

    I have a habit of screening my calls. If I don’t recognize the number, I don’t answer. If I’m honest, sometimes I don’t answer even when I do recognize the number. Maybe I’m too busy to get involved in a conversation, or it’s inconvenient, or perhaps I want to avoid an uncomfortable situation. How often do we do this when it’s Jesus calling? Maybe at times we simply don’t recognize the gentle whisper of His voice. Other times we may be fully aware of His call but push Him away for the same reasons: we’re too busy, it’s inconvenient, or it’s uncomfortable. 

    This was not the case for four fishermen. Jesus approaches Andrew and Simon as they are casting their nets. “Follow me!” he says, and “they left their nets at once and followed Him.” Similarly, when Jesus calls James and John, they join Jesus “without delay,” even leaving their father behind in the boat!

    The notion of time is important to Mark. The whole story is full of urgency. He leaves out all backstory about these fishermen and any previous dealings they may have had with Jesus and instead chooses to focus on their immediate response to His call: a resounding YES, the action of literally dropping everything, their nets and their livelihoods, to follow Him. They may not have known Jesus, but they recognized His authority and believed that He would equip them with everything they would need for the new life ahead of them. 

    What is God calling you to do today? Will you answer? Trust that in saying yes, God will give you everything you need to accomplish His purposes.

  • DAY 3 - FEBRUARY 19

    Mark 1:35-45

    How clean are your hands right now? I’ve always been a germaphobe. I lived on Germ-X before Germ-X was cool. Even still, I have probably put more sanitizer on my hands this past year than ever before. I’m sure you can relate.

    What if I told you Jesus had unclean hands? 

    Maybe not literally, but figuratively. Jesus touched some messy situations. He frequently came in contact with prostitutes, tax collectors, and even dead people. 

    Today in our reading we see Him interact with a man diagnosed with leprosy. Leprosy was an infectious skin disease that was extremely painful and contagious. People infected were cast out of their town to go be with others that were also infected. Being seen with lepers was to be avoided and the lepers were supposed to warn others not to come close and yelled “unclean,” anytime someone walked by. 

    In this story the leper approaches Jesus. Jesus doesn't cower away, but instead stretches out His hand towards him and does something absolutely crazy, He touches him! He could have healed him with a word, but instead He did what others wouldn’t. Jesus didn’t keep His distance from the messy world that He entered into. He loved people and got close to them and their messy situations, even if it was uncomfortable or risky.

    So, how dirty are your hands? How have you responded to engaging the people around you that might be a little messy, hard to love or seem to be the outcasts of society? Spend some time today asking God to help you get your hands dirty by loving all people, even if their circumstances are messy.

  • DAY 4 - FEBRUARY 20

    Mark 2:1-17

    Can you imagine what it would have been like to be living when Jesus was around “in the flesh”? Sometimes, I try to put myself in the stories; imagining what it was like to watch Jesus in action.

    Can you imagine being crowded in a small house seeing a paralyzed man show up and Jesus not only tells him he is healed, but that his sins are forgiven as well? This would have been something to tell your friends about later that night.

    Can you imagine getting an invite from your unchurched friends for pizza and upon arriving at the house, you discover Jesus is there hanging out with them? I am guessing that Levi was hoping his friends would be on their best behavior!

    I love that Jesus does things that cause me to step back and take notice. Throughout scripture, Jesus has a way of saying and doing things that cause us to pause. This is one of those passages for me.

    Listen to the final verse that He states, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor-sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Mark 2:17

    Here is something I find myself praying, “Lord, where might I find You hanging out if You were walking the earth today? If it is okay with You, I would love to tag along and go where You go.”

  • february 21

    Reflect on this past week. Where did you sense God’s leading?

  • DAY 5 - FEBRUARY 22

    Mark 2:18-28

    Jesus gives great examples in these verses about how it’s impossible to embrace the new while we’re still clinging to the old. One example that is especially striking is the image of pouring new wine into an old wineskin. 

    That’s the thing about following Jesus, we have to break free from the old to embrace the new. 

    We have to let go of the old wineskin, so to speak. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says it perfectly, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

    Jesus changes everything. When we make the decision to follow Him, we become new creations. We see the world in a new way; we allow ourselves to be transformed by His grace. Like the old wineskin, we can’t accept all that Jesus has to offer if we don’t fully let go of our past when we choose to follow Him.

    What’s keeping you from experiencing a deeper relationship with Jesus today? Whether it’s an old habit, hurt, or hangup, I’d invite you to lay it at the foot of the cross.

    The battle for you--yes, you--has already been won. Jesus died to give you a brand new start. The price for everything we’ve already done and will do has been paid. 

    So, what are you waiting for? Let go of that old wineskin and become the brand new creation that God intended for you to be.

  • DAY 6 - FEBRUARY 23

    Mark 3:1-19

    In these pages of the Bible Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath, crowds from all over come to see Him, and He chooses His twelve Apostles.

    The religious leaders were out to destroy Jesus. That was their mission. They knew what Jesus could do, yet their knowledge did not draw them to Him. These leaders watched Jesus carefully but with no heart of love for Him. They knew about Him but did not know Him. They knew Jesus would do something when He saw the man with the deformed hand. Jesus’s response was to heal him, for He believed there is never a wrong day to do something good. 

    Crowds from distant places came to see Jesus. I imagine it was a sight to see. Yet it seems that these crowds were attracted to Jesus because of His miraculous works rather than His message. It is great that people were attracted to Jesus, but if their focus was on what He could do for them rather than who He was, they would not follow Him very long. They saw Jesus only as a doctor. 

    Jesus performed many miracles of physical healing, but He also longs to restore our souls through relationship with Him. 

    When we decide to follow Jesus as the disciples did, we begin to live for Him by serving and offering our life to Him. Are you more attracted to Jesus’s miracles or His message of internal restoration? Are you coming to Jesus in desperation or with the desire that He continues the work He is doing in you? We get to extend the ministry of Jesus when we decide to follow Him. What a joy and a blessing! 

  • DAY 7 - FEBRUARY 24

    Mark 3:20-34

    These verses have a lot going on, but the verses that grip me most are the ones toward the end of the passage, when Jesus's earthly family comes for Him and He turns them away.

    As someone with a close-knit family, I can't help but wonder how this made Mary and Jesus's brothers feel. Did Jesus hurt their feelings here?

    If I'm completely honest, there are times I squirm when I read scripture; I would count this as one of them. To ease my discomfort, I often seek answers to Jesus's words or deeds of which (from my own point of view and life experiences) I can't make sense. I scour through different translations and Google searches for clues and meanings that I reason must be a historical, cultural norm unfamiliar to me. There has to be a reasonable explanation, right? A simple resolution; sensible and diplomatic...right? 

    The truth is, our God cannot be contained in limited, finite human standards and sensibilities. If I'm hasty in my quest to finish off my interpretation of this story with a neat little bow, I miss its significance, which is this: Jesus forsakes the family unit as we know it to make me and you and all eight billion of us His family.

    It's not that Jesus didn't love His mama or His bros. It's that His love is wider, longer, higher, deeper than any human standard can comprehend. 

    Jesus's earthly life, death and resurrection; His every word and deed demonstrates His amazing love for us. Wow. Take a moment and let His amazing love wash over you today.

  • DAY 8 - FEBRUARY 25

    Mark 4:1-20

    I don’t know about you, but I don’t always understand Jesus’s parables. This can actually be a good thing because it pushes us to think deeper about the Bible. To do research. To lean on the Holy Spirit for understanding. 

    Thankfully in this parable, Jesus provides an explanation of what He meant. We are the farmers. The seeds are the word of God that we are spreading to the world. There are a variety of responses by the seeds. Some grow and thrive. Some grow and die. Others do not sprout at all. 

    Sometimes we can feel a lot of pressure to make these “seeds” grow. But, here is the truth - the growth is God’s job. Paul writes about this in 1 Corinthians 3:6, “I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.” 

    Do not be discouraged if you share the Good News with someone and it falls on deaf ears or a hard heart. When we invest in someone, we want the seeds to grow and produce fruit. But we have to trust that God will use our investment when the time is right. Remember, God has a plan and He wants all of His children to join Him for eternity. 

    God will continue to water the seeds we scatter. Don’t give up. Don’t stop trusting God because the seeds you planted didn’t grow the way you wanted them to. God is still faithful. He wants us to be His partners in spreading the Good News. 

    As much as you are able, take your eyes off the results and focus on faithfully spreading the seeds of the Good News wherever you go. Enjoy scattering the seeds. Who knows what God will do with the seeds you scatter?

  • DAY 9 - FEBRUARY 26

    Mark 4:21-41

    One of the gross things about me (according to my wife) is that I like mustard. It is a good condiment on meatloaf, ham, hot dogs, and more! Okay, I digress, but I do like mustard and I am slowly winning my son, Hendrick, over as well. I am grateful for mustard and for the many seeds that go into making it. Generally, it takes around 1,000 seeds to produce an 8oz jar of mustard. By contrast, it only takes approximately 4 small tomatoes to make an 8oz bottle of ketchup. 

    Mustard seeds are SMALL!

    If we try and understand the word picture Jesus paints, we see the smallest amount of faith, represented by the mustard seed, is all that is needed for the fullness of Christ to work. But faith is hard. We see the insurmountable storm we are in and worry, doubt, and overwhelming fear kick in.

    Jesus invites us to be still and trust in Him, even with the smallest speck of faith. 

    When we do, He can bring peace and hope. As we fully trust in Him, our faith becomes evident and we can be the light of Christ to the world around us. Our unrelenting faith will lead us to not only grow but to be multiplied through others as they place their trust in Christ. 

    An old song says, “Sometimes He calms the storm and other times He calms His child.”

    What are the storms that you are facing? What is extinguishing your light? I pray that you can take the smallest of steps today to allow Jesus to bring peace into your storms and hope into your heart.

  • DAY 10 - FEBRUARY 27

    Mark 5:1-20

    The power of Jesus is incredible! 

    This passage begins with the story of a man possessed by many demons who was cast aside by society. People were afraid of him, and they didn’t know what to do with him, so they let him wander in a cemetery. It’s a sad start to a story.

    Then Jesus comes, and in just a few words, tells the demons to leave the man, and they do! Jesus didn’t have a long conversation with the demons or beg them to leave. They immediately obeyed, and the man changed in an instant. This is the incredible, awesome power of Jesus. He takes our brokenness, our heartache, and He heals and restores us. We sometimes think that our brokenness is too much for Jesus, but it isn’t. Nothing is too big for Jesus. He not only heals and restores, but gives us strength and peace. 

    Scripture says “He (the man) was sitting there clothed and perfectly sane.” He was not the same person he was at the beginning of the story. The man was transformed from the inside out. He spoke, looked, and acted differently.

    2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” This is what happens when we encounter Jesus. He transforms us into someone new and gives us a new life. Why? Because you are loved by Him! 

    Today, I invite you to reflect on how Jesus has transformed you. What in your life needs transformation? You are loved, and you can be transformed.


    Reflect on this past week. Where did you sense God’s leading?

  • day 11 - march 1

    Mark 5:21-43

    “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

    You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Yeah, sure. If only it were that simple. You have no idea what I’m going through.”

    You’re right. I don’t. But Jesus does, and He performs some pretty awesome miracles in this passage. He even raises a girl from the dead.

    In Matthew 17:20, Jesus famously tells his disciples, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

    Nothing is impossible with faith. And I believe that Jesus telling us not to be afraid lets us know, whether or not things turn out the way we hope they will, that He is with us. 

    I don’t know how long you’ve been waiting for your miracle. Maybe you’ve all but given up hope and your trust in God is crumbling. Maybe you’re afraid to believe, because you can’t face the disappointment any longer.

    Or maybe today is the day to let Jesus renew your strength and heal your heart. Take the step of bold faith and place your trust in Jesus once again. No matter how you’ve been disappointed, hurt, or how long you’ve been waiting, open your heart to let Jesus in. Let Him walk with you on this journey. Miracles can happen at our times of most vulnerable surrender, and Jesus will meet you at exactly that moment. 

    Don’t be afraid. Just believe.

  • DAY 12 - march 2

    Mark 6:1-29

    Oh, to be able to stop the hands of time. To find that perfect Christmas morning moment and just hit the eternal pause button. To forget the past, ignore the future, and just stay parked in the moment. 

    Jesus had just healed a very sick woman and raised a dead little girl. The crowds loved Him. Oh, to stop the hands of time. 

    But Jesus left there. He knew He’d been SENT by his Father for a purpose. The mission. The mission drove Him away from the cheering crowds to a place without honor. To a place of service to others. Ultimately, to death on a cross.

    Then Jesus CALLS his disciples to join Him in his mission. 

    He sent them to leave what’s comfortable. To live for something more. To join God in the ministry of healing and resurrection life. 

    Jesus warned them. You’ll serve outside the spotlight from places without honor. You’ll sacrifice. People will hurt you. Love like this and they’ll serve your head on a platter. 

    The invitation to follow Jesus in the mission is an invitation to certain death. How would Jesus’s followers respond?

    They went out. After receiving all the necessary resources for success, the disciples decided to hit the play button. To join in the journey with Jesus. To bring healing and life to a world that’s sick and dead in sin. 

    But then came the resurrection. Death was swallowed up. Love overcame. 

    Hear the call of Jesus today. As the Father has sent me, I am sending you (John 20:21). 

    Will you go?

    What fears do you have about the radical lifestyle of living for others? To whom might God be sending you?

  • DAY 13 - MARCH 3

    Mark 6:30-44

    I love the line where Mark says, “Jesus saw the huge crowd as He stepped from the boat, and He had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.”

    What is the meaning of compassion? Compassion can be defined as recognizing the suffering of others and then taking action to help. 

    Jesus was really good at seeing the needs of people and taking action to meet those needs. In this passage Jesus looks at the disciples and uses words that could sound harsh if you didn’t know Him. I would never want to call Jesus harsh, but it seemed strange to me that upon seeing a hungry crowd He looks at His disciples and says, “You feed them.”

    How many times do we walk past a person in need and whisper a beautiful prayer that calls upon our Shepherd to see His sheep and provide from His incredible abundance? I speak for myself when I say, “It is way too often the case.” We continue on to our next appointment believing by faith that God is moving the heavens, and our dear friend back on the sidewalk will be provided for shortly when the heavens split and a combo meal falls from heaven like manna from the Old Testament.

    I still believe God provides in miraculous ways, but oftentimes He invites us to be a part of His provision stories. I can hear Him at times saying, “I got this,” but other times using the same words He used with the disciples in this story, “You feed them.” God, give us ears to hear and faith to respond! 

  • DAY 14 - MARCH 4

    Mark 6:45-56

    This may be a familiar story for many of us. Jesus walks on water, the winds die down and the disciples are saved from the storm. However, was saving the disciples the reason He decided to walk out on the lake or was there another reason behind it? 

    Verse Mark 6:48-49 says that late that night He saw the disciples were struggling against the wind and waves. It goes on to say, “Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. He intended to go past them, but when they saw Him walking on the water, they cried out in terror, thinking He was a ghost.” If His intention was to save them, why was He planning to walk past them?

    The disciples had just witnessed the miracle of the loaves and fish and yet they were terrified seeing Jesus perform yet another miracle. Verse 52 states, “Their hearts were too hard to take it in.” 

    After they reached the other side of the lake, Jesus was recognized right away and the sick were brought to Him from near and far hoping they would be healed. In Mark 6:56 it says, “They begged Him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of His robe, and all who touched Him were healed.”

    Are we like the disciples that are terrified when we see Jesus at work, or are we like the people that begged for His healing touch? Jesus wants us to come to Him. Spend some time today leaning into Him with confidence that He is a miraculous God.

  • DAY 15 - MARCH 5

    Mark 7:1-23

    The year 2020 will not soon be forgotten by those who lived through a global pandemic that upended life as we knew it. Some of our most familiar traditions, the way we schooled our children, shopped, and experienced community, were stripped away in the blink of an eye. Traditions are a source of comfort. In a rapidly changing world, we long for things that restore our sense of normalcy. Traditions can be sacred and valuable, but sometimes, clinging to what is familiar and comforting robs us of the opportunity to experience something better. 

    I pity the Pharisees in this story. Here was Jesus, standing right in front of them! Yet because they clung so tightly to their rules and traditions, criticizing Jesus and His disciples for neglecting the Jewish ritual of handwashing, they missed out on experiencing a rich relationship with the Living God in the flesh! Jesus reveals their hypocrisy, knowing that although they followed their rules and observed their traditions to the letter, their hearts were far from Him. The Pharisees designed purifying rituals to be close to God, but Jesus came to show them that true holiness is a result of purifying the internal. 

    Romans 14:17 says “For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Jesus desired that Christians would be known by our love, not by our rules or traditions. Living a life of goodness and peace begins with purifying our hearts and honoring God by becoming more like Christ.

    Ask God where your heart is out of alignment today and pray that He will gently place you back on the right path.

  • DAY 16 - MARCH 6

    Mark 7:24–37

    Jesus is trying to keep His presence in Tyre a secret. He was trying to find opportunities to teach His disciples privately, but He was not very successful. If you knew Jesus was near, wouldn’t you want to find Him too?

    We see two people who need a healing touch from Jesus. Both individuals have someone who is caring for them by making sure Jesus is aware of their situation. One is represented by her mother, and one is represented by friends. We sometimes call this standing in the gap.

    In the first circumstance, Jesus uses His power to cast demons out of a little girl without even touching her. He brought healing to a Gentile because of the faith of a mother. 

    Then a man who cannot hear or speak is brought to Jesus. This time Jesus touches the man – a little strangely (who would want someone to put their fingers in their ears or spit on their tongue?). The man was also healed. 

    Sometimes we want Jesus to do things in a certain way. We put Him in a box. We want healing to come, but we want it to meet our expectations. Jesus will not be contained in the boxes we create. When we give Him freedom to do exactly what is best for us, we will be amazed and also say, “He has done everything well.”

    Today, thank Him for doing things well in your life. And thank Him for the people who have stood in the gap for you!

  • MARCH 7

    Reflect on this past week. Where did you sense God’s leading?

  • DAY 17 - MARCH 8

    Mark 8:1–13

    Large crowds continue to surround Jesus. The people have been with Him for three days, and they have nothing to eat. In this story, Jesus demonstrates the compassion He has for people because He wants to feed them before sending them home. 

    Jesus’s disciples must have remembered the miraculous feeding of men and women that happened previously. They saw the miracles that Jesus had just performed, but they still asked how they could possibly feed such a large crowd. Again, because Jesus blessed the little (seven loaves and a few fish), they received abundance. After feeding 4000 men, there were leftovers!

    How often do we forget the miracles that Jesus has done for us in the past? How often do we ask for a little and receive even more than we expected? 

    Jesus knew the needs of the crowd just like he knows every need that we have. His desire is to take what we have, even when we think it is not enough, bless it, and then have our little multiplied so others can see His love for us and know He loves them also.

    Today, remember the little things that you have brought to Jesus that He has blessed in amazing ways. Thank Him for his compassion and blessings of abundance.

  • DAY 18 - MARCH 9

    Mark 8:14-26

    Throughout the scriptures nobody was closer to Jesus than His disciples. They shared countless meals, travels, lessons and miracles. Throughout His ministry, Christ taught those that followed Him using parables and lessons that conveyed spiritual wisdom through everyday comparisons. 

    On this day, the disciples were so focused on what may happen in the future, that they missed the lesson that Christ was teaching in the present. Tomorrow’s meal became their focus instead of Jesus. Now, many people fault the disciples for their lack of faith in these situations. The truth of it is that they were human. They had a lifetime of training to think in the way the world does. Jesus was trying to retrain them how to think the way He does. So, when the disciples get worried about having very little food, Jesus asks them, “Have you been paying attention, or have you hardened your heart to it? Did you not see, or hear, or remember?” He then recounts the miracles where He fed multitudes with only a little food. You see, He was trying to get them to remember what He had already done for them to renew their faith. With their faith renewed, they could now focus again on their relationship with Him.

    If the people that spent Jesus’s ministry with Him could lose focus on Him, then we are just as susceptible to it as well. Take the time to live in your moments with Christ. Make Him the focus. Remember what He has done for you, and the future won’t look so bleak.

  • DAY 19 - MARCH 10

    Mark 8:27-38

    Jesus starts out by asking, “Who do people say I am?” Some say Elijah, or John the Baptist, or other prophets. This question got me thinking of what people think of Jesus today. Is He revered and honored in your personal life? Peter quickly responded, “You are the Messiah.” By stating this huge statement Peter is indicating Jesus is the Deliverer to bring peace, bring holiness, and purify society. Peter is expecting big things from Jesus. Jesus in many ways has brought all of those into the world. 

    But Peter did not understand Jesus when He spoke about rejection, suffering, and being killed. Peter got it right with Jesus’s title. But the work in the world would come from His followers.

    Not only does Jesus’s identity include eventual death and resurrection; it will finally be defined by these things. 

    These next verses (34-38) are crucial with Jesus’s invitation in connection with what He just revealed about Himself. He called the crowd, (you and I) to join in. The road may not look like what Jesus went through but sacrifices to follow Jesus will not be optional. “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.” Self-denial and cross bearing described what it means to follow Jesus. Jesus’s example of discipleship is anything but attractive or easy. Jesus is calling us to separate from what defines us. 

    Who is Jesus to you?

  • DAY 20 - MARCH 11

    Mark 9:1-13

    Whoa! This is a weird story. 

    Jesus is glowing brightly. 

    Moses and Elijah show up to hang out with Jesus. 

    Peter awkwardly suggests the disciples start a building project.

    Makes sense to you, right? Okay, me neither.

    There are many stories in the Bible that make us scratch our heads. As we read these stories our brains tend to get stuck on the odd parts and we often miss the simple truths right in front of us. One of those truths is found in verse seven: This is my dearly loved Son.

    As God the Father spoke these words to the disciples, He was making two statements in one sentence. First, He was giving Jesus an identity by calling Him 'Son'. Second, God was revealing His character as a loving Father.

    We can become children of God, too! When we believe and accept Jesus, we become God’s children. John 1:12 says, "to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God." Ephesians 1:5 talks about God adopting us saying, "this is what he wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure."

    Think one more time about those words, "This is my dearly loved Son". Did you notice God wasn’t speaking to Jesus? He was speaking about Jesus to others. That is interesting!

    Today, I invite you to imagine God speaking about you to some other people. Do you know what he would say? I do...

    This is my dearly loved child.

    Take some time and dwell on this thought – I am a dearly loved child of God.

  • DAY 21 - MARCH 12

    Mark 9:14-32

    "It has often thrown Him into fire or water to kill Him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."

    "'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for one who believes."

    Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

    As a mom, it's easy for me to empathize with this father. I shudder to think of the images that must have haunted his mind's eye; seeing his young son's helpless body violently thrown into fire or water; not once but often, by evil forces he was powerless from which to protect his innocent child. 

    I appreciate his honesty in this moment: his heart believes Jesus can heal his son, but his mind is clouded with doubt. Raw and real, his belief and unbelief coincide in the anguished plea for his child's life.

    Without hesitating, Jesus commanded the spirit to leave the boy and never return. While I'm always awestruck by the miracles Jesus administers in scripture, today in this passage I find myself grateful for something more...what Jesus didn't say:

    "Dude. That stinks you have unbelief. I really wish I could help you out, but why don't you work on that and hit me up when you get it right."

    Jesus, I thank you today and every day for your overwhelming and unwavering love for all of us, no matter how much we believe or unbelieve. Amen.

  • DAY 22 - MARCH 13

    Mark 9:33-50

    I think all of us probably have a desire to be great at something. Some people are great at sports, their job, or singing. It is rare that we equate greatness to being humble and being a servant, but this is exactly like Jesus, flipping the script on what the world deems as great.

    In this reading the twelve followers of Jesus get into an argument about which of them they think would be considered the greatest. To bring some perspective, Jesus pulls a child in and explains that welcoming them is the standard. If you’ve been around children for any length of time, you will soon learn that they can be loud, messy, gross, whiny, and stubborn. Children can be extremely hard to love, even when you love them unconditionally. They require a lot of energy, time, resources and investment.

    Jesus is telling us to serve people around us. We are called to humbly serve everyone, but especially serve them when they are stubborn, hard to love and take a lot of work. We are challenged here to help people with their needs, encourage them as they are growing and be an example worth watching.

    Jesus gives us a pretty challenging picture here of what being the greatest looks: like humble servanthood and leading by example, but if there’s anything I want to be great at, I pray it’s those things.

    Spend time today reflecting on the people around you. Have you served them well? Have you encouraged them and been a Christ like example in their life? How can you encourage them better?

  • MARCH 14

    Reflect on this past week. Where did you sense God’s leading?

  • DAY 23 - MARCH 15

    Mark 10:1-16

    Often when we think of our faith, we want to be mature in it. We want to learn and grow more.

    But in verse 14 of this passage, Jesus says that the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like the children in their faith. What does He mean here?

    Have you ever met a child that says something so honest to you? To a point where if they were older, they would know that maybe that wasn’t the most appropriate thing to say? Kids have a beautiful and sometimes comical honesty and openness to them.

    That’s what Jesus wants from us as well.

    He wants us to come to Him openly and honestly like children do. He doesn’t want us to hold back feelings. He wants us to come to Him trusting that He can handle our emotions and wants our vulnerability.

    God doesn’t want us to feel guilty or embarrassed about coming to Him. He knows what is in the depths of our hearts and is joyful when we express those things to Him, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    How can you lean into God in a new way today? You are His child. He is your Father. Come to Him and be honest and open. Allow yourself to express the emotions that may be hard to put into words. Tell Him things that no one else may know. Laugh with Him. Cry with Him. Your Father is waiting with open arms. Run to Him, beloved child.

  • DAY 24 - MARCH 16

    Mark 10:17-34

    What does it mean to follow Jesus?

    In America, we live in a relatively wealthy society. Sometimes, we can be quite attached to our money and the things it can buy. In this story Jesus reminds us that nothing should be more important than our love for Him. Nothing else can get in the way of following Jesus, not money, possessions, property, or even family. 

    Sounds almost impossible doesn’t it? That’s what the disciples thought too. 

    They asked, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus told them, "if it was all up to you then nobody could be saved, but with God anything is possible." Jesus shows us how to live but He doesn’t ask us to do it on our own.

    He helps us. He walks with us.

    At a difficult time in my life when I didn’t have a place to call home one of my brothers in Jesus let me stay with him and his family for several months. His house was mine. I ate at his table.

    They were and still are my family.

    Following Jesus is a great thing, but Jesus reminds us that there will also be hardships that come from following Him, things like persecution. There may even be things that don’t seem fair. “Many who are first will be last, and the last first.” But Jesus embraces this. The One who was first made Himself last and gave His life for the least of us. 

    Take some time today to pray for all of those around the world who follow Jesus, people you know and people you don’t know.

  • DAY 25 - MARCH 17

    Mark 10:35-52

    Growing up I loved to watch boxing, but it is just not the same without the heavyweight icons in the ring like Tyson, Holyfield, and Foreman. I remember sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting for the big punch to land, bringing victory to the other. They were battling for the title of Heavyweight Champion and all of the esteem that came with it.

    James and John were nicknamed, “sons of thunder” because they were rough guys that would not back away from a confrontation. They were the fighters battling for who would get to sit next to Jesus.

    Often our quest for security and affirmation leads us to fight for positional authority or power. 

    It could be in our places of work, friend group, or even governmental systems. Jesus is gently reminding us that true power and authority comes through service to one another. Our quest for perceived power and authority in this life is not the pathway for eternity with Christ. True authority is not achieved but it is granted by God through service to the Lord and to humanity. That is what brings true power.

    Jesus illustrates what that looks like for us in His healing of blind Bartimaeus. Those around Jesus sought to silence Bartimaeus but he continued to pursue healing from Jesus. Jesus saw him and acknowledged his faith. When we see people with the eyes of Jesus and seek to serve them, we cease to see them as an annoyance to be disposed of. When we serve others, we experience true power that comes by pursuing the heart of Christ.

    Spend some time in prayer today asking God who He wants you to serve better.

  • DAY 26 - MARCH 18

    Mark 11:1-11

    I’ve never really met anyone famous before, but I’m sure if they entered my town it would be a celebration. At this point, Jesus was pretty famous. He was healing the sick and performing unbelievable miracles and was the talk of the town. People were praising Him and welcoming Him into their towns.

    However, we will soon read that in a matter of days, shouts of victory would give way to betrayals from the same lips. He became more and more a source of controversy. He was speaking in parables and talking about dying. Their promised King wasn’t supposed to die, He was supposed to conquer the Roman Empire and be, well - a King. 

    The people had an idea of what God was going to do and how He was going to do it, and Jesus didn’t meet their expectations. 

    What the people didn’t realize was that He was up to way more than conquering the Roman Empire. He was conquering sin and death for not just them but for you and me. 

    How often do we have a tendency to put God inside a box? 

    We predict how He’s going to move in certain situations, or how we think He should show up? When He doesn’t do what we think He should we sometimes get angry or distrust His ability to be King in our lives. In reality, He’s up to more than we could ever imagine, we just have to trust!

    Picture Jesus showing up in your town. How would you respond? How has He exceeded your expectations? Spend time celebrating Jesus for who He is, and what He’s done in your life even if you might not have always seen it!

  • DAY 27 - MARCH 19

    Mark 11:12-33

    My dad has always loved Fig Newtons. He would pop one in his mouth and with crumbs on his lips, he'd sing the old jingle: ooey gooey rich and chewy inside, tender flaky golden cakey outside…He was way more into them than I was, but growing up I got a kick out of him belting those lyrics.

    Ask yourself this: If I were that fig tree right now in this season that I'm in, would I be bearing fruit? Has the way that I have been living my life been pleasing to the Lord? The people that Jesus just witnessed laying down cloaks and palm branches cheering, Hosanna in the highest, are also found buying and selling spiritually worthless goods in the house of the Lord. 

    The Israelites and this fig tree had much in common. They both looked promising on the outside - the tree flashing its branches full of leaves, and the Israelites praising Jesus as He entered their city. On the inside however, the tree produced no fruit and the Israelites had made the house of prayer into a den of robbers.

    As you have been drawing closer to God in this series of Lent, know that Jesus wants to be closer to you. He wants you to bear ooey gooey rich and chewy fruit in your life. He wants to flip over the tables and curse the unfruitful branches of your life to get to your heart. His righteous anger is not toward the sinner, His anger is toward the sin and death that has been separating Him from his most beloved creation… you.

  • DAY 28 - MARCH 20

    Mark 12:1-17

    In our reading today there are two separate stories, and in both stories the religious leaders show contempt for Jesus.

    Jesus was able to navigate both of the situations with ease and get out of them without harm. While Jesus’s skills are impressive, it’s the goals of the religious leaders that stick out to me. 

    Think about this: you’ve really got to dislike a person to try and get them arrested! And that dislike has to be pretty strong if you are willing to sacrifice your personal integrity in order to concoct false stores and situations in order to get them arrested. The Pharisees had strong feelings of rejection (I would go so far as to label it “hate”) toward Jesus.

    But the question is, why? I honestly don’t know.

    The reality is that 2,000 years ago Jesus walked this earth. He taught, He healed, and He pointed people to God. For some people the life and ministry of Jesus was transforming. It brought them life and freedom like they had never experienced. For others Jesus was nonsense simply to be ignored. And for others (specifically the religious leaders) Jesus was a threat that needed to be eliminated. 

    Those same groups of people exist today. Folks who have been transformed and set free by Jesus. Others who choose to ignore Jesus and pretend as if He never existed. And still others who view Jesus as a threat and want to do whatever they can to remove His influence on this earth.

    The question is – which kind of person are you going to be?

  • MARCH 21

    Reflect on this past week. Where did you sense God’s leading?

  • DAY 29 - MARCH 22

    Mark 12:18-34

    Could you imagine being able to have a cup of coffee with Jesus? Or even sitting down with Him at your favorite lunch spot?

    What would you ask Him? Would you be intimidated? Or would you be filled with so much joy no words would even come out of your mouth? In this passage we get a glimpse of a pretty casual conversation between a teacher of the law and Jesus. When the teacher asked Jesus “Which commandment is most important?” Jesus responded, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

    The teacher of the law responds “Correct these are the most important”. In verse 34, Jesus said the man responded wisely. Then Jesus uttered the words I think we all long to hear “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”

    If you had the opportunity, what would you ask Jesus? Would it be: Where does thunder come from? What will next power ball numbers be? Did aliens build the pyramids? I thought it was interesting that this man asked the question, “what is the most important commandment? “Jesus sensed what was going on in his heart. Could you imagine after a conversation with Jesus hearing from Him say “You are not far from the Kingdom of God”. 

    Maybe today you can ask Jesus, "What is most important to me? Have I been putting things in front of my relationship with you?" My prayer is that at the end of that conversation you have with Jesus, you will sense Him saying to you "You are not far from the Kingdom of God!"

  • DAY 30 - MARCH 23

    Mark 12:35-44

    Whenever I read about the widow who gave all that she had I think of Aunt Minnie.

    The first church I pastored was a small church in the country. My wife and I were burdened by school debt. Money, or the lack of, made life very stressful. 

    Driving home one day my car died. It was going to cost more than the car was worth to fix it. I felt like I was at the end of my rope. 

    One of the ladies in my church lived in a shack of a house that sat on a little hill. Every couple of years that area would flood and her house would be surrounded by water for a week or so. Everybody called her Aunt Minnie. She was a person who walked close to Jesus. 

    When my car died, she said, “Pastor, I don’t need to go anywhere. You can drive my car until you can get a different one.” Her car was an old AMC Pacer and if you floored it and had a strong tailwind it might reach 45 miles an hour. I was so grateful! Many people had multiple vehicles, but hers was the only one that was offered. 

    No gift has meant quite so much to me as Aunt Minnie's. She gave despite her poverty, and not just to me; Aunt Minnie gave to anybody in need. It seemed as though she could always find someone who needed something more than she did. 

    The little she had to give…to some it may have appeared to be nothing, but her kindness made it everything. 

    As you reflect today on the story of the poor widow, who does God put on your mind and heart?

  • DAY 31 - MARCH 24

    Mark 13:1-31

    This is just the first part of the story Mark writes in chapter 13. It is definitely not full of rainbows and butterflies. Imagine being there with Peter, James, John, and Andrew as they sit with Jesus and ask him the question we would all love to know the answer to. 

    They asked Jesus, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to be fulfilled?” Unfortunately, His answer is not as cut and dry as we would probably like it to be.

    Jesus starts to tell them that there will be several times that will make us believe the end is near but that they are just the beginning. His words do not paint a pretty picture for mankind but as we look at the world around us right now, so much of what He said is a reality. But does He want us to be afraid? I believe the answer is no!

    Jesus tells us in verse 9, “You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about Me.”

    Are you ready to spread the Good News even in the worst of times? We do not know when Jesus will return but will we stand up for Him until He does? Spend some time today in prayer and ask God to give you confidence, wisdom, and guidance as you continue to walk with Jesus.

  • DAY 32 - MARCH 25

    Mark 13:32-37

    Most of us have a watch on our wrist, or a clock in our pocket on our phones. Time. It is something that we all measure. We use it to measure our preparedness and our responsibilities. When and where we need to have the kids. “Honey did you start the timer on the oven?” We all deal with time. We also all deal with the idea of the Lord's return. When I was younger this passage gave me a great deal of anxiety… As I think about it, anxiety doesn’t come from the Lord and neither does fear. This verse is really interesting. Jesus is simply stating that literally NO ONE knows that time of the return. But if anxiety and fear don't come from the Lord then what do we have to fear? Should we fear time? The answer is NO! I believe this passage tends to pull us toward being concerned with time because our world revolves around time! Time is a big deal to us. But when we worry about time, when we are fearful, our mind and heart is somewhere it's not designed to be. The big picture is, what would it look like in your life to not fear the return? To be proactive with the time you have. Every moment we live in fear is a moment meant to be focused on the Kingdom! Moving forward, do not be concerned with when the Lord will return, but be concerned with what you are doing today for the Kingdom! 

  • DAY 33 - MARCH 26

    Mark 14:1-26

    My son made a card for me the other day. “Thank you for taking care of me,” it said. He also made one for his brother, “Thank you for playing with me.” Both cards were adorned with primitive pencil drawings of figures hugging under the sun. It was a simple gesture, but the outpouring of love from this child caught me by such surprise I won’t soon forget it. He regularly teaches me what it looks like to love people well. 

    Similarly, the woman with the alabaster jar is one of my Biblical heroes. What courage it must have taken to enter a room full of men to bestow such a radical act of love upon Jesus. To the absolute horror of the dinner guests, this woman poured out a jar of perfume that was worth an entire year’s salary on Jesus’s head. They could have fed more than 5,000 people with it. These men were appalled at the impracticality and foolishness of the act. They viewed it as a waste of resources, but Jesus was so moved that He promised it would be remembered wherever the Good News is preached. Jesus knew at the time that the Good News would forever be associated with love. Just as this woman poured out all she had in an act of devotion, Jesus gave all, His blood poured out as a ransom for many. 

    These extravagant acts of love were rooted in sacrifice. Jesus sacrificed His life. The woman: her financial security, her reputation, her comfort. This kind of love is never practical or reasonable, but it’s the kind of love and adoration that Jesus will remember. 

  • DAY 34 - MARCH 27

    Mark 14:27-42

    This is an intense scene. Jesus knows He’s about to be betrayed, and He explains to His disciples that they will all turn away from Him. The disciples, especially Peter, don’t believe it’s possible. 

    Yet we all have moments when we turn away from Jesus. 

    We think we know best how to accomplish something. We need to be in control. We’re afraid of what He’s calling us to do.

    So we run away.

    Just like with His disciples, Jesus is waiting for us to return. He knows when we mess up and we will find our way back to Him. 

    Because Jesus knows how we feel. On the night He was betrayed, His soul was “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (v. 34). He knew His mission. He knew what God was asking Him to do, and He felt everything that we feel when we’re asked to do something that terrifies us. 

    He prayed to and pleaded with God: “Abba, Father...everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what You will”. 

    What You will. 

    It’s an act of complete surrender. We push and pull and try to force our personal will onto what we think God has in store for us. How often do we stop and listen to what God’s will for us might be?

    What would happen if we surrendered to God’s will? We say it in prayers, but what if we really savored the words and meant them? Make Jesus’s words your prayer today: “Not my will, God, but Your will.”

  • MARCH 28

    Reflect on this past week. Where did you sense God’s leading?

  • DAY 35 - MARCH 29

    Mark 14:43-65

    I love learning about the Navy Seals. Mainly because they thrive in uncomfortable situations and places. In moments of great commotion and discomfort they are trained to be faithful to the task and each other. The Seals have a famous quote “Get comfortable being uncomfortable”. 

    As you read this passage, try to put yourself in the shoes of the disciples. There is a great deal of commotion and discomfort. Jesus has just been arrested and you are wondering if you will be next. What do you do? Mark 14:54 tells us what Peter did - he followed at a distance and then gathered around the guards to warm himself by the fire. 

    My mind immediately thought of a training exercise the Navy Seals participate in called Hell Week. This is one of the most grueling things a human being could go through, the toughest test of any military branch. Potential Seals train for a week with no sleep, in freezing cold temperatures, soaking wet, and undergoing the most difficult physical training you can imagine. 

    I’ve watched countless documentaries about the Seals that have gone through Hell Week. It is designed to make the participants extremely uncomfortable. Many times, potential Seals quit because their desire for comfort is stronger than their will to continue. They ring a bell that indicates their choice to withdraw from the training program and their journey towards becoming a Navy Seal is over. They are then able to take a hot shower and eat a hot meal.

    But here’s the thing, in almost every interview I have seen, the man who rings the bell regrets it. They started with the goal of becoming a Navy Seal, but the desire for comfort was stronger.

    Peter found himself in a chaotic situation that was highly uncomfortable. He started his journey as a follower of Jesus with the goal of becoming like Jesus. But the desire for comfort was stronger and he “rang the bell.”

    In our relationship with Jesus, there will be chaotic and uncomfortable moments. There will be times when we are tempted to choose the life of comfort over following Jesus. In those times what will we choose - comfort or faithfulness?

  • DAY 36 - MARCH 30

    Mark 14:66-72

    If you are a living, breathing human being, then I am sure there has been at least one moment in your life where you have instantly regretted something that you have said or done. If you are like my high school friend who, as he hesitantly offered a hug to a female teammate after a game of volleyball, said to her “I know you’re ugly…I MEAN SWEATY!”, you have definitely said something that you wish you could take back.

    Similarly, Peter experienced a moment of regret after denying Jesus. After witnessing Jesus being taken away and brutally beaten, there was a moment of terror in Peter’s soul where he had to ask himself, “If that is what is going to happen to me, is following Jesus really worth it?”

    Out of fear of what might happen to him, Peter swears on his life that he has never heard the name Jesus; the same Peter that Jesus said would be the rock of His Church (Matthew 16). Isn’t it funny what fear does to even the best of us?

    There is a reason why following Jesus is a road less travelled. Not many are courageous enough to follow our call to be crucified with Jesus day after day. So friend, be encouraged: through the pain you experience in this world, Jesus is close to provide comfort and strength. And when the day comes for you to leave this world, you have hope in an eternity spent with your loving Father…the same Father that gave Peter his name. 

    Friend, take courage and hold tight to hope.

  • DAY 37 - MARCH 31

    Mark 15:1-20

    "For Jesus knew that the Father would have to treat Jesus like Barabbas so he could treat Barabbas like Jesus."

    This is a quote from one of my favorite sermons: "Jesus is Loving Barabbas" by Judah Smith and it encapsulates today’s reading so well. 

    We often overlook the fact that Jesus loved even Barabbas. Though he was seen as a criminal, Jesus saw him as worth it. Though Barabbas was the sinner of the worst degree, Jesus saw him as beloved. Whether Barabbas would ever really know who this Jesus guy was or not, He gave up his life to save his…and if given the chance, He would do it again. That is how much Jesus loves Barabbas.

    Now, humor me for a second. Read that last paragraph again, but this time put your name in place of Barabbas.

    In the midst of the teachers, preachers, and priests demanding Pilate to "crucify him", while the murderer Barabbas waited anxiously to be released, Jesus said nothing. He stood there, blameless, and remained absolutely silent. It wasn’t because He was at a loss for words, but His mind was set: Barabbas’ life is worth the loss of mine. 

    You see, it is with the blood of Jesus that we are washed clean. It is by the blood of Jesus that the veil was torn and we are no longer separated from the grace and presence of God. It is through the blood of Jesus that the Father looks at us and sees His dear children. If Jesus didn’t take our place, we would be nothing…and this Jesus knew full well. 

  • DAY 38 - april 1

    Mark 15:21—41

    Mark’s gospel is coming to a close. Do you remember how it began? The beginning of the (good news) about Jesus Christ (Mark 1:1). As Jesus’s bloodied body now hangs lifeless on a tree, the Good News has seemingly come to an abrupt end. 

    It’s difficult for me to consider Jesus the crucified. I prefer Jesus the miracle-maker, the water-walker, the demon-destroyer. I like the stories of Jesus’s forgiveness and healing. Oh, and I absolutely love the story of the resurrection! But why can’t we just forget about his death?

    My family has this habit of piling stuff up by the back door from the house to the garage. Like the envelope that needs to be delivered to the mailbox. Or the empty plastic container for the recycle bin. They’re strategically placed to remind us to take them with us as we go. Yet, oftentimes we just pass on by. They become more of a difficult hurdle than a helpful reminder.

    Mark places this story at our back door. We’re meant to deal with it. Remember it. Take it with us as we go. But the sight of our King destroyed on a cross is something we’d prefer to ignore. For His crucifixion reminds us of our own sinfulness, self-centeredness, brokenness and hopelessness. 

    We’d rather not think about it. We really can’t deal with it. 

    But Jesus can. And did. He took our sin upon Himself. His wrongful condemnation and brutal execution became the means of our eternal liberation. We’re alive to God because Jesus died. 

    Let’s never forget this Good Friday good news. May we willingly take it wherever we go. 

    Fix your mind upon Jesus. Think about what He endured. Then voice your personal Thanksgiving to God. Who do you know that needs to hear this good news? Will you share it with them?

  • DAY 39 - APRIL 2

    Mark 15:42-47

    Preparation. Any Boy Scout can tell you the value of being prepared, it's their motto after all! In 2021, we are prepared for just about anything. 

    Each year as Lent approaches and Easter draws near, we spend time preparing our hearts for the celebration of the Resurrection. We read devotional books (just like this one!), pray, and revisit the Easter story. 

    However, in this passage, we are reminded of the preparation for the first Easter. This preparation felt far less joyous. In fact, it must have felt dark, defeating, overwhelming, and even hopeless. This passage brings up a difficult truth. Before Jesus could rise from the dead He had to have been buried first. 

    “So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.” Imagine being Joseph (the man who buried Jesus). He came face to face with great loss, and had no idea that the biggest victory in history was right around the corner. 

    Even in the midst of great loss, God was working behind the scenes. He was preparing for what would come next. He was preparing to make a way for us. 

    This story is a powerful reminder that God is working in the midst of the most difficult situations. Even when we can’t see it, when we don’t understand it, when darkness is near - God is working. As we prepare for this Easter, may we remember that God is working to make a way for us to know Him.

  • DAY 40 - APRIL 3

    Mark 16:1-20

    I don’t know about you, but this passage is my favorite part of the Easter story. It is beautiful, suspenseful, redemptive, and altogether victorious. Jesus has risen, and each year we continue to celebrate this miracle. 

    For me, the most powerful part of this passage are the words that Jesus spoke to His people. He had just defeated death, the best comeback of all time. He could have gloated and boasted, but that’s not the heart of Jesus. Instead, He went to His people and said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation, whoever believes and is baptized will be saved...” Even during His highlight reel moment Jesus is focused on saving the lost and glorifying his Father. What a beautiful thing. 

    Each year we celebrate Easter in the spring, with flowers blooming and the world feeling fresh and new. I wonder though, what it would look like to carry the Easter story with us each day? Jesus calls us to not only hear the good news, but to share the good news of the Gospel. I wonder who in our own lives has yet to hear the miraculous story of Easter? My life is different because the people in this passage were able to share the Easter story. We each are invited to continue sharing the story with others; and as we do, the story is just as redemptive, powerful, and life changing. My hope for this Easter is that we all can both savor the Good News and share it with those who have yet to hear it. 

  • APRIL 4

    Reflect on these past 40 days. How has God worked in your heart and mind?