February: Part 2

GOD’S FAMILY

The word “family” can mean many different things to different people. Often, when people speak of family, they mean their blood relatives, specifically those with whom they live (often called the “nuclear family”). While this certainly is one aspect of family, it is not the totality of it. When Christians speak of family, we also refer to God’s family, his ekklesia, or “church.” Those who are members of God’s household, brought together in Jesus the Messiah, are more than random individuals who come together a couple of times a week. When we enter God’s kingdom, we become family with one another, forging a unique bond that transcends blood relation, culture, social class, or geographic location. We are all children brought together into God’s great family. 

Instructions for Daily Reading

Each day as you engage the Scripture, we recommend following this pattern of devotional reading.

[Take a brief moment of silence to quiet your heart.]

  1. Read the Scripture aloud.
  2. Seek out where King Jesus is at work in the Scripture.
  3. Pray over the Scripture.
  4. Discern how this Scripture impacts your life.

 [Demonstrate loyalty to Jesus in one tangible way today.]

Day 1

Mark 5:21-34 A Woman Healed

Daily Reflection: The story of the woman with the issue of blood is one of the most profoundly insightful accounts of the heart of Jesus. At this moment, Jesus is on his way to help Jairus’ daughter when he is met with a woman desperate for his healing touch. This woman takes matters into her own hands by pursuing Jesus – even if it means just touching his garment. In a single moment, just a quick touch to his clothing freed her from suffering. Interestingly, Jesus did not respond with apprehension but was instead inspired by her faith. So what does he do? He leaves her with peace and freedom. In other words, Christ’s desire is for his family to receive healing on more levels than we even know to ask him to heal.

Daily Demonstration: If there is one thing that we know to be true of life, it is this: you don’t have to manufacture suffering. Live a day in this world, and somehow you will be exposed to at least the potential of hurts and trials. Today, seek after Christ to find healing in some of the most vulnerable areas of your life. Keep your eyes and ears open, however, and don’t be shocked if he provides more than you even knew to ask him to heal!

Day 2

Mark 5:35-43 A Girl Raised

Daily Reflection: It is helpful to keep the story of the woman with the issue of blood in mind as you read today’s scripture. Why? Her story begins with the tale of Jairus. If you read back in verse 22, you’ll notice that Jesus was passing by the woman because he was on his way to heal the daughter of Jairus. Think about it this way: Jairus watched the entire woman’s healing play out in front of him. From there, Jairus receives word that his daughter has died, yet, he continues to allow Jesus to pursue the healing regardless. The outcome was his daughter raised from the dead and healed from what put her there in the first place. Watching the healing of a woman play out in front of him, Jairus’ faith stayed intact for Jesus to do a miraculous work for his daughter. This is family. We can – and should be – encouraged by the miraculous things to happen in the lives of those around us.

Daily Demonstration: Look around at the people in your world today. What has God done for them? If you don’t know – ask! Take the day to rejoice and be encouraged by the faith of others. You may be surprised at the impact it has on your own.

Day 3

Psalm 46 God is Our Refuge

Daily Reflection: Psalm 46 is the first Psalm in a series of writings that aim to recognize and provide thanksgiving for the protection he provides for his family. In this particular Psalm, the writer uses the language of “refuge” to describe the presence of the Lord. In Hebrew, the word for refuge is machseh, which translates to an “impenetrable fortress.” In other words, God’s works are not only for the overall benefit of his family, but they are also unshakable in the face of any opposition.

Daily Demonstration: The understanding that God’s ways are impenetrable is not always the intuitive way that we tend to think of him. Often, we put our ways ahead of his under the mistaken thought that they will be more impenetrable if we have control over them. This, however, cannot be farther from the truth. What kinds of things are you holding on to control today? How can these things be handed to the impenetrable fortress of God and his provision? Beware, you will have to exercise some extreme faith in this task!

Day 4
Psalm 100 A Joyful Noise to the LORD

Daily Reflection: Psalm 100 uniquely ties together two critical aspects of the Christian faith to better the relationship between God and his family: unity and worship. One of the most powerful acts that can be carried out by God’s family is the coming together of the people to worship Yahweh in unity. As thanksgiving and praise rise to the Father, there is an underlying sense of the truth that “we are his” and “he is ours.” This time of unity strengthens faith, embraces understanding, and deepens the relationship between humanity and God himself.

Daily Demonstration: What do you think is the difference between merely worshipping God and worshipping him with joy? To better grasp the answer to the question, it is essential to understand joy at a deeper level. Open your heart and allow the joy of the Lord to be experienced today. Take this joy and worship God in its overflow. How does this experience feel different?

DAY 5
Psalm 121 Help Comes from God

Daily Reflection: Two essential truths of God are that 1) he protects his family and 2) he protects his family in every step of their lives. We often remember the former of these truths; however, it is the latter half that we tend to forget. Often, our most powerful experiences with God come in unexpected moments. Sometimes these moments are an apparent movement of his protection, and other times we may not notice his presence in a situation until hindsight. No matter the case, it is vital that we recognize him in these moments – we must recognize where our help comes from. When we know who is leading us, our confidence can flourish, and he can keep us “from all evil.”

Daily Demonstration: It is much easier to see that your help comes from in the middle of a dire situation. Unfortunately, there are many times in which we fail to see the mighty work that God did to help in other circumstances. This is why reflection is a vital aspect in the life of a member of the family of God. Take time today to look back in hindsight at the times when you didn’t see God at work at the moment. Give gratitude for all that he has done – especially that which you didn’t even know to thank him for!

Day 6

Mark 6:1-6 A Prophet Comes Home

Daily Reflection: Mark 6:1-6 could be one of the most “cringe-worthy” moments in the ministry of Jesus. In this account, Jesus returns home and begins to teach in the synagogue. His teaching does not go well, however, because everyone in attendance knows who he is and questions his ability and status. They, quite literally, took offense to his claims. Often, people have a hard time moving beyond what they knew someone to be and what they ultimately become. In other words, if people can no longer explain you, they tend to reject you. Entering into God’s family can lead to this. People may ask questions. People may bring up instances from the past. Do not be discouraged, though, Jesus faced it – and he just moved on.

Daily Demonstration: It may be hard, but there could be some aspects of your “hometown” that you need to move beyond. It could be people who think less of you. It could be people who question your authenticity. It could even be people who challenge how long you will “stay in the faith?” Just remember, a prophet is not without honor except in their hometown – it’s okay to move on.

Day 7

Mark 6:7-16 Sending Out the Twelve

Daily Reflection: When Jesus sends out the 12 in Mark 6:7-16, he does a few interesting things before their departure. One, he instructs them to bring enough to survive, but nothing in excess – this journey will still require some faith. Secondly, he sends them out in groups of 2. Why would Jesus do this? The truth is, we are better together. We can live better, stay faithful, and do even greater ministry as a family of believers. Thus, the sending of the 12 in groups of 2’s is an essential lesson to be grasped today. Remember, “two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up” (see Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

Daily Demonstration: With whom are you doing ministry? Is it a spouse? Is it a friend? Is it a co-worker? If you currently have a ministry-partner, take time to recount some of the amazing things you’ve seen God do in ministry. If you do not have a ministry-partner, pray through who could come alongside you and reach out. Perhaps you could meet a need together – even today! Tonight, if possible, set aside time to enjoy a Sabbath meal with your family and maybe those whom have come to mind to pursue in a ministry partnership.

DAY 8
Mark 6:17-29 The Death of John the Baptist

Daily Reflection: After a life of ministry that served to herald the coming of the King and his Kingdom, John’s death, brought about by the whims of people driven by greed, selfishness, and pride, serves as a foreshadowing for the impending death of Jesus. If we look closely, we can see aspects of ourselves in each character of this story. The insecurity of Herod who doesn’t want to look foolish in front of his guests, the anger and offense of which Herodias could not let go, or even the innocence of John, who demonstrated loyalty to God’s family and yet still endured persecution.

Daily Demonstration: As you go about your day today, take a moment to reflect on your own life. How can you demonstrate loyalty to God’s family? Whether it’s letting go of the offense, embracing your identity as a child of the King, or remembering that suffering is a part of every believer’s life. Take comfort in knowing that “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (see 2 Corinthians 4:17).

Day 9
Mark 6:30-34 Jesus Seeks Time Away

Daily Reflection: Out of love for his disciples, Jesus’ first response upon their return is to encourage them to escape the crowds and rest. However, even in their attempts to seek rest and solitude, they were followed by the crowds. Often, the demands of our family and friends can seem overwhelming. In moments like this, remember how Jesus responded to the crowds. Today’s reading shows us that he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd – a family that he loves endlessly.

Daily Demonstration: When you feel overwhelmed or can’t seem to get away from the needs of the crowd, ask God to override those feelings with compassion and empathy. God wants to use you to bring others into his big family, and he will equip you for that purpose. He will give you the eyes to see others the way he does and send his Holy Spirit to help and comfort you as you lead others to the Father.

Day 10

Mark 6:35-44 Feeding the Multitudes

Daily Reflection: Jesus led the disciples to care for the multitudes as if they were family. Instead of sending the crowd away at a late hour with no plan to feed them, he encouraged the disciples to use what they had on hand and divide it up among the people. He blessed this food, and miraculously it was enough to feed 5000 people. God will never ask you to give more than what you have. But when you give all you have, God will multiply it to bless more people than you could ever imagine. Just like the disciples, who were also able to eat that evening, you will also have your needs met in the process.

Daily Demonstration: What do you feel like God is asking you to give? Take a moment to pray that he would show you what he wants you to give to his family. T8iake comfort in knowing that “the generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered” (see Proverbs 11:25).

DAY 11
Mark 6:45-56 Walking on Water

Daily Reflection: Today’s reading onto a boat amid rough conditions alongside the disciples. The wind and waves were fighting against them. Similarly, life will often bring with it a strong headwind – tough circumstances that make forward progress seem impossible. Even with our family around us, it can still look like we are overwhelmed in our challenges. But take heart! Jesus is not only nearby, but he will jump into our situation when we need him to, causing the wind to cease and our fears to abate.

Daily Demonstration: If you are facing a headwind today, take a moment to make room for Jesus in your boat. His word and his presence will bring both calm and clarity to any situation.

Day 12

Psalm 89:5-11 Who Rules the Sea?

Daily Reflection: There is no one like our God. He is the Most High God, Yahweh – the author and creator of all things on heaven and earth, who rules the raging of the sea. There is no problem, situation, or challenge that he cannot handle. And yet as his children, we have the unique privilege of calling him Abba, Father. God, in all his power and glory, loves us as his children and desires nothing more than to have a personal relationship with us.

Daily Demonstration: It’s hard to fully comprehend the power and authority of God while also understanding his desire to seek intimacy with us. And yet this relationship is of utmost importance to our Father, who desires to bring all people back into his family. Today, ask God to give you a fresh sense of wonder about who he is, and how special it is to know that the same God who created heaven and earth desires a relationship with you.

Day 13

Mark 7:1-8 Scribes and Pharisees

Daily Reflection: Today’s passage reminds us to filter our everyday habits and traditions through a spiritual lens. Family and cultural traditions can be important, but we should never lose sight of the overarching message of love Jesus taught: love God and love others. When we order our lives to love first, we are honoring our Father over the traditions of man.

Daily Demonstration: As you go about your day today, ask God to show you any areas of your life where you may be honoring the traditions of man over the teachings of Jesus. Allow the Holy Spirit to help show you opportunities to demonstrate the love of God to his big family.

DAY 14
Mark 7:9-13 The Spirit of the Commandment

Daily Reflection: In today’s culture, it is not difficult to find examples of those who twist the word of God to suit their agenda. This type of hypocrisy and use of the Bible to legalistically rationalize one’s purpose was also prevalent in Jesus’ time. Reading the word of God as one whole story, and taking everything into the overall context of God’s plan for his family will help us see the truth.

Daily Demonstration: As a follower of the Lord, we need to demonstrate our loyalty to King Jesus through obedience to his word. As you read the Bible today, pray that the Holy Spirit would help you understand his word and obey in its overall context. This could very well be a great topic of conversation during tonight’s Sabbath meal with your family.

Day 15

Mark 7:14-23 What Makes You Unclean

Daily Reflection: In Mark 7:14-23, Jesus makes a controversial claim that rattles the Gentiles whom he is teaching. In essence, Christ is letting them know that it not what goes into someone that defiles them, but instead, it is what comes out of them. In this lesson, Jesus is simultaneously dealing with two issues; 1) the eating of food considered to be “unclean” and 2) the condition of one’s heart. This is an opportunity for God’s family to remember the importance of a purity of heart. What comes out of a person reveals the innermost workings of their intentions. To focus on what goes in (in terms of tradition) is shallow in comparison to what it means to foster a heart resembling the Father’s.

Daily Demonstration: Take some time to focus on the state of your heart today. Have you been too focused on keeping a tradition that you have forgotten the importance of what is already living inside of your heart? Are there things which you need to let go of today? Pray that God would search your heart and bring about purity therein.

Day 16
Mark 7:24-30 A Courageous Mother

Daily Reflection: There is often an array of obstacles that stand in the way between us and the healing touch of Jesus. In the case of the Syrophoenician mother, there were quite a few of these obstacles that could have seemingly held her back. First, she was dealing with a demon – an enemy of the kingdom. Second, her very ethnicity forbids her from having any interaction with a man from Nazareth. Even those who followed Jesus would have attempted to keep away. Finally, Jesus himself was looking for privacy, not necessarily a public display of his power. While all these things are true, Jesus’ love for his family is so great that despite the obstacles, the woman is drawn to Christ. Her faith leads to the healing of her daughter.

Daily Demonstration: Facing obstacles takes courage, boldness, and faith. As demonstrated by the mother in this story, sometimes you have to push through every barrier with a faith that knows Jesus is willingly waiting to provide. What are some obstacles you are facing today? How can you push beyond them to get into the presence of God? Pray for the courage to make a move.

DAY 17
Mark 7:31-37 Jesus Brings Hearing

Daily Reflection: The healing of the deaf and mute man in Mark 7 contains intricate details that reveal the love that Jesus has for his family. Again, Jesus was inspired by the love of the people who surrounded this man. They longed to see his healing. Even so, Jesus takes him to a private place and touches both his tongue and his ears before healing him. Why would he do this? Jesus was interacting with this man with senses that worked. Jesus’ healing touch was about to become his reality. When Jesus then proclaims healing out loud, it is interesting to note that the man himself could not hear it yet, but that did not matter. Though he couldn’t hear it, all of creation certainly could. In a single moment, the love of God can radically change the lives of those in his eternal family.

Daily Demonstration: Is there any area of your life in which you need healing? This could be something to do with your physical body, or it could also be hearing in the realm of family, friendships, and thought processes. Don’t be afraid to ask the Lord for his healing touch today. Be bold in your ask and consider asking someone else to participate in the prayers.

Day 18
Mark 8:1-13 More Miraculous Meals

Daily Reflection: In the account of the gospel, according to Mark, this is the second time in which we see Jesus miraculous feed a large group of people – his family. In this case, Jesus is moved to provide a meal for these Gentiles as he feared they would not be able to make the trip home. Turning to the disciples, Christ asked for their help to both collect food and distribute it. Interestingly, they come with confusion as to how they will find this much food – a miracle they had seen Jesus already perform. How quickly they forgot the miraculous things that occur when Jesus is moved to care for his family.

Daily Demonstration: Often, we respond with doubt to God in matters which we have seen him successfully provide. It is almost as though we are surprised when he performs miracles in our life or the lives of those around us – despite our having seen it before. What are some areas of need that maybe you have seen God provide before? Pray today that any doubt of God’s ability would be shattered, and instead, an expectant faith would rise within you. Pray some big prayers today!

Day 19

Mark 8:14-21 Yeast of the Pharisees

Daily Reflection: In this particular teaching, yeast is equivalent to evil. If you know anything about yeast, you know that it is a small ingredient that lies hidden within the unbaked dough of bread. Over time, however, this yeast causes a reaction that makes the whole loaf of bread rise. In this teaching, Jesus compares yeast to the Pharisees, in that this evil is seeded in a small way, but will eventually infect the whole. Jesus’ concern for his family is so great that he seeks to deal with the yeast for the protection of the wholeness of his eternal family.

Daily Demonstration: Bad thoughts and desires can begin with small seeds. Before you know it, however, those negative attributes can affect the whole of your life. In some cases, even in the lives of those around you. Today is a good day to begin to discover what kinds of “yeast” may be lurking in your heart. Ask Jesus to remove these seeds and replace them with his compassion and character.

DAY 20
Mark 8:22-26 Healing a Blind Man

Daily Reflection: The healing of the blind man in Mark 8 is unique in that the man is not fully restored, seemingly, of his sight in the initial attempt. This is one of the only times we see Jesus gradual heal someone instead of healing them in one single instance. The text does not give us enough information to show us why it was gradual – perhaps the man was not ready for instant sight, or maybe Jesus wanted to provide the man with a unique perspective. No matter the case, the healing came, though it did not happen in one single push. Jesus’ desire to see wholeness in his family is seen in both full healing and the journey to get there.

Daily Demonstration: Have you ever sought God for help, only to feel as though he either “didn’t hear you” or maybe “didn’t respond how you want him to respond?” Consider the story you read today. Perhaps your healing process is gradual. Take time to remember those things which you desire to overcome. Trust Jesus with the journey to full healing – it may come today, or it may only occur in part. Either way, God is faithful and knows what is best for you!

Day 21

Mark 8:27-38 A Misunderstood Messiah

Daily Reflection: Peter’s confession of Jesus as Messiah occurs at a significant place in Biblical geography. Where they stand in Caesarea Philippi is known as the “gates of hell.” Many believe this to be the very place in which the “sons of God” descended upon earth in Genesis 6. Where they stand is the center of the enemy’s work and the power of the darkness over the fallen world. It is interesting that at this moment, at the gates of hell, Jesus asks Peter, “who he is.” As his family, we can be confident that no matter the surrounding, nothing negates the truth that Jesus is our Messiah – our King!

Daily Demonstration: Ponder this question: even amid hell, are you willing to confess Jesus as your King? It’s easy to default into patterns of sin in times of trouble, but Jesus’ compassion for his family will keep you on mission. What are some areas of life that feel like hell right now? Try and speak the truths of Messiah Jesus over those areas – you may be surprised at what such a confession can do! The perfect place to confess some of these matter may be over tonight’s Sabbath meal with your family.

Day 22
Mark 9:1-8 Transfiguration

Daily Reflection: The transfiguration experience in Mark 9 was a moment in which a few of the disciples saw Jesus in a heavenly form amongst glorified people of Biblical history. Interestingly, this experience is later referenced by Peter in his writings. He writes, “for we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,’ we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain” (see 1 Peter 1:16-18). In other words, the transfiguration experience led the disciples to see Jesus’ true nature – a majestic King who has been given glory by the Father to be the King of his family.

Daily Demonstration: If we are not careful, the presence of Jesus can become common. In this way, we forget his true nature of a loving, glorified King. We must regularly bring this truth to remembrance. Pray that God would give you a “transfiguration” experience and be renewed with a vision of Christ’s true nature – your King.

DAY 23
Mark 9:9-13 Elijah Has Come

Daily Reflection: After the transfiguration experience, some of the disciples ask Jesus what it means that Elijah was to come before him. Jesus assures them that “Elijah had come” (see John 1:21 & Luke 1:16-17). Who played this role as the predecessor to Jesus? John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus to begin his earthly ministry and therefore played a pivotal prophetic role in his mission. Unfortunately, John the Baptist’s fate was sealed on this side of the New Heaven and the New Earth, but this was always prophesied to play out this particular way. In other words, Jesus is the Messiah who is fulfilling prophecy that will result in the reconciliation of his kingdom family.

Daily Demonstration: Take today to give gratitude to God for the amazing gift of Jesus Christ. His fulfillment of prophecy allowed a way for the kingdom of God to open its arms to God’s family once again and begin the process toward an eternal New Eden. Take hope today, for we will live in God’s kingdom in perfect harmony into eternity.

Day 24
Mark 9:14-29 Healing a Possessed Child

Daily Reflection: This particular healing of the boy is interesting in that it deals with a lack of faith in most of the individuals involved in the narrative. The disciples, who were commissioned in Mark 6 to drive out demons, could not seem to help this boy who was in need. More, the father himself expressed doubt towards Jesus as his ask was less about “I know you can do it,” and more about “if you can do it.” Luckily, Jesus loves his family enough to use this moment as a time to inspire faith. He encourages the father to believe, and once he does, the boy is healed. The boy is not only healed, but Jesus also tells this spirit never to enter him again – thereby sustaining the healing into the future. Faith can do big things for God’s family!

Daily Demonstration: Are there areas of your life where your faith may be lacking? In some stages of life, you may not lose faith in who Jesus is but can begin to lose faith in what Jesus can do. What are some things that maybe you’ve forgotten that Jesus can do? Look around your world today. Are there people in need of prayer? Are there needs that need to be met? Believe that Jesus can provide today.

Day 25
Mark 9:30-37 Who Is the Greatest?

Daily Reflection: Just a few verses before today’s reading, Peter confesses that Jesus is the Messiah in the midst of one of the most spiritually dark places on earth. Yet, when Jesus begins to speak of his death in Mark 9:30-37, the disciples question Jesus for making, what they think to be, an outlandish claim. This leads the disciples to then argue over who among them is the best. Jesus responds very clearly to this situation. He reminds his followers that the kingdom of God is not what they expect it to be. It is an upside kingdom where the most mature of faith are not better than someone else, but instead willing to serve someone else. Further, the kingdom embraces suffering. So much so that suffering is a means of achieving glory. Even Jesus must face suffering. This suffering, as Jesus notes, is worth it as his care for his family – despite their lack of understanding – is at the forefront of his mission.

Daily Demonstration: Reflect upon the suffering that Jesus endured on account of his family. What feelings arise within you as you contemplate this truth? Do you feel worthy? Do you feel grateful? Do you feel like you need more information? Whatever comes to you, seek to find answers to the feelings that arise within you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in the process.

DAY 26
Mark 9:38-50 Helping Other Followers

Daily Reflection: One of the most vital aspects of the kingdom of God is the unity that exists amongst the believers within it. When this unity begins to fade, the power entrusted to God’s family can be negatively impacted. In today’s reading, Jesus highlights a few compelling truths about the importance of keeping unity intact and encouraging the ministry of other followers of Christ. Jesus makes note that “those who are not against him are for him.” In other words, there is no neutrality in the kingdom of God – you’re in the family, or you’re not. Thus, the importance of “being at peace” with one another is such a vital piece of the kingdom. To be a part of God’s kingdom is to be a part of a robust, united family that builds one another up.

Daily Demonstration: Unity is an essential quality of anything that succeeds in bringing God’s goodness to earth. Observe the different areas of your life today. Is there unity in your family? Is there unity in your friendship? Is there unity in ministry relationships? Do you feel unity between yourself or God? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” make efforts to create unity today, starting with asking for God’s help to do so.

Day 27
Mark 10:1-12 A Teaching on Divorce

Daily Reflection: One of the most controversial topics of Jesus’ time on earth – and perhaps even today – is that of divorce. This topic was so heavily debated, that the Pharisees decided they would challenge Jesus’ thoughts on the matter. While the content provided by Jesus in this discourse is essential, it is also vital to understand a truth about the Pharisees themselves. They were not asking Jesus about divorce to learn; they sought to catch Jesus in false teaching. Their intentions were not holy, but instead divisive and slandering. Jesus is willing to answer questions, prayers, and concerns, but true fulfillment will come when the intention behind the questioning is purely motivated. Jesus desires to grow his family spiritually, but that is a two-sided street.

Daily Demonstration: One of the most frightening aspects of the intentions of our hearts is that sometimes we don’t have the eyes to see it. There are times when we feel as though the right things motivate us, but it may not be 100% true. Today, take a scary step of boldness. Ask a trusted family member or friend to reveal some of the parts of your heart from which you have been blinded. Take this information to measure the intentions of your heart. It may sting, but this will payout in the long run.

Day 28
Mark 10:13-16 Jesus Blesses Children

Daily Reflection: In Mark 10:13-16, people are bringing children to Jesus for healing and blessing. In the beginning, the disciples felt as though these children were not worthy of Jesus’ time, and therefore began sending them away. Such an action did not sit well with Jesus. Why? To Jesus, these children perfectly represented the mindset of the family of God. Children have a way about them that is full of faith and fully committed to their provider. Their innocence is astounding. For this reason, Jesus takes this opportunity not only bless the children but teach the adults that this is how they are to live as God’s family, children desperate for his healing touch.

Daily Demonstration: It has been said that someone’s true character is revealed when they are in the presence of children. As Jesus teaches, there is never a good reason to treat a child with disrespect and disqualification. Take time today to treat the children in your life, or those whom you come in contact, with love and care today. Maybe tonight would be a great time to include other families in your Sabbath meal and invite children to sit at the table with you. Take note of the attributes of the child. You are seeing first-hand the character of the Lord and the character of those who follow him the closest.

DAY 29
Mark 10:17-22 @ Jesus and the Rich Man

Daily Reflection: One of the most profound exercises one can do as a Christian is self-examination and reflection, to see what might stand in the way of having true intimacy with Christ. For the rich man, it was his possessions. He cared more about his possessions than the Kingdom; so when Jesus asked him to sell everything, he was unable to let them go for the cause of Christ. The kingdom of this world pressures us to pursue what is new, now, and next. All the while, our everlasting God calls us into His unchanging love and an eternal kingdom that cannot be shaken.

Daily Demonstration: Jesus wants to be first in our lives, from the moment we wake to the moment we lie down. Think about how quick you are to check those phone notifications. When you wake up, do you grab your bible or your phone first? When you come home, do you turn on the TV right away, or do you spend some time decompressing with God? Choose one moment today where you would typically turn to something material, and decide to put God first.