November 11, 2018 Ezekiel 12-14; Mark 6:30-56

“There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42 (NLT) The heart of this ministry is to inspire a love for God’s Word and encourage the discipline of daily Bible reading and SOAP journaling. These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.

Printable reading plan: Discover One Thing Reading Plan

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Always have Hope | Joni Tyner

S~ Then He climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were totally amazed. For they still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in. Mark 6:51-52 (NLT)

O~ If you’ve been reading the past couple of days in Mark, you’ve seen Jesus in action!  He’s been casting out demons and running pigs into a lake.  He healed a woman that simply touched his robe.  He brought a girl back from the dead.  Right before this passage, Jesus fed OVER 5000 people with food that would have probably been appropriate for 20-25 people.  Jesus’s disciples have been eye witnesses to all of this power.  They doubted him about the food and then he had them physically pick up the left over food.   (Side thought… I wonder what they did with that left over food?  I wonder if Jesus sent it home as a blessing to a widow that was struggling to make ends meet?  Or maybe they left if for the landowners as a “payment” for hanging out on their land.  I have no idea.)

…sorry for the bunny trail, back to this scripture.  Jesus had sent the disciples out in their boat and stayed behind to pray.  At about 3am a huge storm rolls in and scares the disciples. Jesus walks on the water to them and gets into the boatThe storm stops.   This is all scripture I’ve known about since I was a little kid.  This morning something new caught my eye,  “Their hearts were too hard to take it in.”   What??  They had lived and talked and seen Jesus live a perfect example of being the Son of God and yet they struggled with hardened hearts.   What is that all about?  Why?

A~ I have a study Bible that has notes at the bottom of each page and often gives insight to scripture.  It has been invaluable to me as I imperfectly grow in my habit of reading the Bible. I was curious what commentary would have about this verse,  here it is:

“Even after watching Jesus miraculously feed 5,000 people, they still could not take the final step of faith and believe that he was God’s Son.  If they had, they would not have been amazed that Jesus could walk on water.   Is your heart hardened against Jesus? Even Christians can be hard-hearted to Jesus’ word. We can be informed about what the Word say, and we can be amazed at how he was worked in other people’s lives, but we can refuse to believe he will come to our aid in our time of trouble.  Such a reaction is not unbelief, but willful, hard-hearted rejection of Christ’s ability to help.  Instead, ‘take courage’ and trust that he is there for you.”

I’m pondering the difference between doubt and refusing to believe God will come to my aid.  I think this is what hope is.  I need to continue to believe it IS possible and God can make the impossible happen.  I think it’s reflecting back at all the blessings and answered prayer in my life.  I think it’s consistently asking the Holy Spirit to give me a tender heart for the things of God, for my eyes to see this see this world through His lens of love.  I also think it is having gratitude for the big and little blessings in my life.

P~ Dear Jesus, I confess I sometimes doubt that certain circumstances are ever going to change in my life.  Please forgive me and help me believe that You are at work in the difficult times.  I pray for patience and contentment in the waiting.  I pray my heart is fresh and tender for people that You love.  I ask for confidence and faith to love like You love.

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