Wednesday Morning: 08 May 2019 – Mark 8:10-26 ~ on demanding miracles

Wednesday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Grace – Wednesday)

O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, you have brought us safely to the beginning of this day: Defend us by your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin nor run into any danger; and that guided by your Spirit, we may do what is righteous in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Mark 8:10-26 (NLT)

Immediately after this, he got into a boat with his disciples and crossed over to the region of Dalmanutha.

Pharisees Demand a Miraculous Sign

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had arrived, they came and started to argue with him. Testing him, they demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.

When he heard this, he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why do these people keep demanding a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, I will not give this generation any such sign.” So he got back into the boat and left them, and he crossed to the other side of the lake.

Yeast of the Pharisees and Herod

But the disciples had forgotten to bring any food. They had only one loaf of bread with them in the boat. As they were crossing the lake, Jesus warned them, “Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod.”

At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread. Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “Why are you arguing about having no bread? Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? ‘You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear?’ Don’t you remember anything at all? When I fed the 5,000 with five loaves of bread, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up afterward?”

“Twelve,” they said.

“And when I fed the 4,000 with seven loaves, how many large baskets of leftovers did you pick up?”

“Seven,” they said.

“Don’t you understand yet?” he asked them.

Jesus Heals a Blind Man

When they arrived at Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to Jesus, and they begged him to touch the man and heal him. Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man’s eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, “Can you see anything now?”

The man looked around. “Yes,” he said, “I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around.”

Then Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again, and his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly. Jesus sent him away, saying, “Don’t go back into the village on your way home.”

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Morning Reflection:

on demanding miracles

“When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had arrived,
they came and started to argue with him. Testing him,
they demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven
to prove his authority.”
– Mark 8:11b

Jesus responds to the religious leaders unbelief with grief and disappointment. His ministry had already included sufficient miraculous signs to persuade open-minded people of his deity; he was not about to “perform” for unbelievers.

Jesus’ miraculous signs were intended to fulfill Old Testament prophecy,  e.g.

  • feeding the multitudes – the Good Shepherd, providing his flock – Ezekiel 34:5
  • healing the blind – the Messiah, opening blind eyes – Isaiah 29:18.

And they were an expression of God’s love and compassion for those who were helpless and hopeless. Jesus’ performed signs and wonders only in response to what the Father told him to do.

Why is this important? Because Jesus wanted his disciples to understand who he was – both Son of Man and Son of God – so that they could have a realistic and fulfilling relationship with him.

Questions for consideration:

  • Do you believe that God gives miraculous signs today in order to bolster faith in Jesus Christ? Please explain.
  • Have you ever witnessed a God-given miraculous sign? How did you respond? Please explain.
  • Have you ever asked for a God-given sign to bolster your faith? What happened? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Prayer for the families and loved ones of those being persecuted:

Heavenly Father: Comfort the families that are affected by the persecution of their loves ones. Open up safe channels and opportunities for them to support and/or visit those who are imprisoned, or otherwise detained. Empower them by your Spirit to remain faithful to you and to their loved ones, even as they wait patiently for deliverance and release. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

My prayer:

Heavenly Father: Open my heart and mind to your Kingdom presence around me. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear of the life-giving presence of your Son, Jesus Christ, through the work of your Spirit moving among us. Have mercy on me and all those who need help, hope, and healing. Make me a channel of your blessing to others, and may I always point them to Jesus – the true source of any goodness that may result. It’s in his Name I ask it. Amen.
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“Make Me a Blessing” – SERAPHS Official

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Morning Prayer: Fri, 26 Aug – Proverbs 8:32-36; Ephesians 4:29-32 ~ make me a blessing

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Sentence

As I arise today, may the strength of God pilot me, the power of God uphold me, the wisdom of God guide me.

Morning Reading: Proverbs 8:32-36 (NLT)

“And so, my children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful. Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it. Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home! For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. But those who miss me injure themselves. All who hate me love death.”

Morning Reading: Ephesians 4:29-32 (NLT)

Blessing
Blessing

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, I thank you. Through your cross and resurrection you offer freedom and hope to those ready to receive them. Lord, show me loving-kindness – that I may be an encouragement to others today.

+ I am a child of the day: help me to live in the light of your presence.
+ Guide my thoughts, my words, my actions: so that what I do today may please you.
+ Help me to avoid wrongdoing: show me your mercy and love.
+ Through your passion and death you have won life for me: give me the strength of your Holy Spirit.

Lord God, you hold out the light of your Word to those who do not know you. Show me loving-kindness – that I may be an encouragement to others today. Strengthen in my heart the faith you have given me, so that no trials may quench the fire your Spirit has kindled within me. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“Make Me a Blessing” – Billy Graham British Crusade Choir

Out in the highways and byways of life, Many are weary and sad; Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife, Making the sorrowing glad.

Make me a blessing, make me a blessing, Out of my life may Jesus shine; Make me a blessing, O Savior, I pray, Make me a blessing to someone today.

Give as ’twas given to you in your need, Love as the Master loved you; Be to the helpless a helper indeed, Unto your mission be true.

Blessing

Christ with me, Christ in me.

Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left; Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down; Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me; Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me.

Christ with me, Christ in me.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!