Posts tagged with: Mark

Multiple shoes, in multiple colors

What Would Be Jesus’s Nickname for You?

Jesus appointed twelve of his disciples as members of his primary team. Like Jesus, they would preach the good news of the kingdom and drive out demons (3:14-15). Most importantly, as we saw in yesterday’s reflection, they would “be with” Jesus, sharing life with him and learning in relationship with him.

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A team of people collaborating and discussing.

Being With Jesus . . . Always

This passage underscores the relational core of discipleship. We who follow Jesus are to learn his teaching. We are also to learn how to do his works. But the center of discipleship isn’t gaining theological knowledge or practical ministry skills. Rather, it is being with Jesus.

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An autistic child trying to shut out noise by covering his ears.

Conspiring Against Jesus

I do want to follow Jesus. I want to take seriously what he teaches, even when it disrupts my life. I want to reject the conspiracy that makes Jesus inoffensive and comfortable.

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A lifeboat on a beautiful beach

The “Life-Giving” Purpose of the Sabbath

It happened sometime in the fifteen years. All of a sudden I started hearing the phrase “life-giving.” “Being with my friends is life-giving for me.” “This part of my work is life-giving, but this part isn’t.” And so forth and so on. Part of me is tired of this phrase because of its overuse. But there is also something in me that is drawn to it. I do want to fill my life – including my work – with activities that are life-giving rather than life-draining. I expect you do too.

According to Jesus, the Sabbath is life-giving.

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A dog resting, but attentive

Should I Try to Keep the Sabbath?

For centuries, Christians have debated the question of Sabbath-keeping, proposing a wide range of answers, often with more heat than light. Thus, it seems almost foolish for me to think that I can responsibly address the question “Should I keep the Sabbath?” in one short devotional. Nevertheless, I want to offer some basic parameters that might help guide our thinking and practice.

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A family on vacation together

Won’t Keeping the Sabbath Make Me Less Productive?

What a well-rested person produces seems, in fact, to exceed in quality if not quantity what a harried, tired, over-worked person produces.

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Relaxing outside with your feet propped up.

Receiving God’s Gift of Rest

God did not set apart one day a week for rest for the sake of the day itself. Nor did God create human beings so that the Sabbath might be honored. Rather, according to Jesus, the Sabbath is something for human beings. It is a provision of God for us and our benefit. The Sabbath is, indeed, a gift from God.

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A forest with some of the trees are not straight, but have curved trunks.

Are You Ready for the New Wine?

And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will…

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Drinking coffee with someone who has dirty hands and fingernails.

Eating with “Scum”

This story challenges me to consider my own attitudes and behavior. Am I more concerned about what people think of me than I am about people in need? Am I willing to “get my hands dirty” by entering into relationship with people who aren’t so neat and tidy? Am I willing to be like Jesus? Or am I more like the Pharisees?

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Writing a blog post.

Popularity or Purpose? A Personal Story

As you know if you’ve been receiving Life for Leaders for a while, most of the time I focus on a passage of Scripture and its implications for our lives, especially our work and leadership. But, every now and then I pause to offer a personal story informed by the text. Last Thursday, my devotion was called, “Popularity or Purpose? What Will You Seek?” I noted how Jesus did not let popularity draw him away from his core purpose. Today, I thought I’d share an example of how I have wrestled with a similar tension.

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A newspaper being read in an office.

Here is Good News!

As we begin our Life for Leaders study in the Gospel of Mark, I thought it might be helpful to provide a bit of background to the book we’ll be examining. We know surprisingly little for sure about the writing of the Gospel of Mark.

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Open book & notebook for studying.

Why the Gospel of Mark?

Today, we begin a new Life for Leaders series based on the Gospel of Mark. For the next several months, we will walk slowly through this Gospel, allowing it to deepen our faith and enlarge our vision of what it means to follow Jesus in every part of life.

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