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Mark: A Daily Devotional Journey

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MARK
A Daily Devotional Journey

  • Introduction

    Welcome to a journey through the gospel of Mark. This guide has been written to help us each day reflect on a portion of Mark and consider its intersection with our lives.  While I may occasionally offer an interpretive insight, my comments along the way aren’t meant to serve as a comprehensive commentary on the text of Mark. They are simply personal reflections offered in the hope that they will provoke you to prayer, reflection, and action in light of each daily reading. As Paul told Timothy, “Reflect on what I’m saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.” (2 Timothy 2:7)

    You’ll also find within the PDF of this guide, a designated place for sermon notes on the weekends, and an iStudy to help facilitate a meaningful small group experience.  It’s my hope that our journey through Mark will help us to see Jesus more clearly, follow Him more boldly, and share Him more freely.

    Grace and Peace,

    Chris Seidman

  • Advance Team – Mark 1:1-8

    Read Mark 1:1-8

    I have a good friend who lives on the water in Panama City, Florida. Several years ago, he was privileged to host George H.W. Bush, the 41st President, on a coastal fishing trip. The night before they went fishing, the President ate dinner at the family table. For weeks my friend and his family had been preparing for the President’s arrival. There was no shortage of inspections done on the house and family by an “advance team” of the Secret Service. The family didn’t mind in the least, and were also investing their share of elbow grease preparing the home for his arrival. There’s an old joke in Britain that says wherever the Queen goes, she smells fresh paint. If someone told you that the President, or Governor, or some famous athlete or celebrity was coming to your home, you’d probably straighten some things up in anticipation, and do it rather excitedly.

    The gospel of Mark opens with John the Baptist on the Messiah’s “advance team.” He’s not there for Jesus’ security, though, nor does he come with a sentence of doom. He comes with good news – the Messiah is coming! It’s time to get ready! John comes to prepare the way. As you reflect on your life, who is it that helped to prepare your heart for Jesus? Who still does that today? (He doesn’t just come to us once.) What is it about their lives, their ways, or their relationship with you that helps to “prepare the way” in your life? Take a moment and thank God for them. Perhaps, you should think about writing them a note or sending them a text.

    Now consider yourself in John the Baptist’s sandals. Who are the people in your life that you can help prepare to receive the Messiah personally? Take a moment and pray for your courage and their hearts. Every follower of Jesus is also a part of his “advance team.” It’s really the only time we are to be out in front of Jesus.

    Grace and Peace,

    Chris Seidman


  • Wilderness Experiences – Mark 1:9-13

    Read Mark 1:9-13

    Some time I ago, I was amused to read of a visit made to America by Queen Elizabeth II. Phillip Yancey, in his book The Jesus I Never Knew, wrote vividly regarding the details of her traveling entourage, which included 4000 pounds of luggage, two outfits for every occasion, 40 pints of plasma, white leather toilet seat covers, her own hairdresser, two valets, and a host of other attendants. Estimates were that her visit cost somewhere in the vicinity of $20,000,000. The Queen doesn’t travel like most everyone else. But Jesus did. His time on earth would not be exempt from wilderness experiences and harsh realities. He would not face these things alone, though.

    Messiah means “Anointed One.” Jesus Himself experiences the anointing of the Holy Spirit. He hears God tell Him who He is – He is God’s beloved Son with whom God is well pleased. What a moment! A veil is pulled back for Jesus – the heavens are torn open – He sees a visible manifestation of the Spirit descending upon Him, and hears the voice of God.

    In a flash, we then find Him in a wilderness subjected to 40 days of temptation at the hands of Satan himself. In a span of a few verses, Jesus hears the voice of God and the voice of Satan. For 40 days, Satan will relentlessly challenge Jesus about what His Father had declared over Him. (For a more detailed account of what transpired between Jesus and Satan in the wilderness, read Matthew 4 or Luke 4). Was He really God’s Son? Could God – His will for Jesus and the path He was to follow – really be trusted?

    Experiencing God’s blessing did not exempt Jesus from the wilderness. God’s affection for us and “wilderness experiences” can co-exist in our lives. The presence of one does not mean the absence of the other. Jesus wasn’t left in the wilderness alone, though. He had the Spirit upon Him and angels around Him. His followers do, too.

    Wilderness experiences and temptation so often follow times of personal dedication to the Lord and renewal. The enemy won’t let us go without a fight. But it’s the fight that actually deepens and prepares us for difference-making down the road in the lives of others. The Hebrew writer (Hebrews 5:8) would later say that Jesus was perfected as a priest through His suffering. If not even Jesus could avoid being perfected through time in the wilderness, what makes us think we can?

    Grace and Peace,

    Chris Seidman

     

  • Power Lines – Mark 1:14-15

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  • Dropping Our Nets – Mark 1:16-20

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  • Eruption - Mark 1:21-28

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  • Healed To Serve - Mark 1:29-34

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  • Keeping Focused - Mark 1:35-39

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  • Able And Willing - Mark 1:40-45

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  • The Bigger Problem - Mark 2:1-12

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  • The Wrong Huddle - Mark 2:13-17

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  • Fitting - Mark 2:18-22

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  • Rest - Mark 2:23-28

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  • Withered - Mark 3:1-6

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  • In The Middle Of The Mess - Mark 3:7-12

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  • He Isn't Stingy - Mark 3:13-19

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  • Family Ties - Mark 3:20-35

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  • In One Ear... - Mark 4:1-20

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  • Shouting Secrets - Mark 4:21-25

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  • Stopwatches And Calendars - Mark 4:26-28

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  • Hypnotized By Size - Mark 4:30-34

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  • Storms And Revelations - Mark 4:35-41

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  • A Wild Man - Mark 5:1-20

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  • Trump Card - Mark 5:21-43

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  • Amazing Jesus - Mark 6:1-6a

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  • From Bystanders To Participants - Mark 6:6b-13

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  • Speaking Truth To Power - Mark 6:14-29

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  • You Can't Fill A Moving Cup - Mark 6:30-44

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  • Against The Wind - Mark 6:45-56

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  • The Heart Of The Problem - Mark 7:1-23

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  • Due Time - Mark 7:24-30

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  • Loosened Tongues - Mark 7:31-37

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  • When He Takes The Initiative - Mark 8:1-13

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  • Getting The Point - Mark 8:14-21

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  • A Second Touch - Mark 8:22-26

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  • No Benign Confession - Mark 8:27-30

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  • Jesus And Job Description - Mark 8:31-33

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  • Dying And Lying - Mark 8:34-9:1

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  • A Few Steps By Sight - Mark 9:2-13

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  • Honest To God - Mark 9:14-29

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  • Trouble Getting It - Mark 9:30-37

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  • A Second Touch - Mark 8:22-26

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  • Stumbling Blocks - Mark 9:42-50

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  • It Comes In A Kit - Mark 10:1-12

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  • Long Before Disney - Mark 10:13-16

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  • Parking The Suburban In The Mailbox - Mark 10:17-31

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  • He Goes First - Mark 10:32-34

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  • Downward Mobility - Mark 10:35-45

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  • He Doesn't Take It Lightly - Mark 10:46-52

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  • Jesus In A Chevette - Mark 11:1-11

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  • His Hot Button - Mark 11:12-25

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  • Questions - Mark 11:27-33

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  • All Too Clear - Mark 12:1-12

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  • Image - Mark 12:13-17

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  • Reading The Word With Jesus - Mark 12:18-27

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  • Fragmented And Tamed - Mark 12:28-34

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  • Timeless - Mark 12:35-37

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  • Platforms And Postures - Mark 12:38-40

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  • Everything - Mark 12:41-44

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  • Mobile Temples - Mark 13:1-31

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Chris Seidman

Chris Seidman
Senior Minister
Governance Council

Contact Chris at cseidman@thebranchchurch.org
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Mark: A Daily Devotional JourneyMark: A Daily Devotional Journey