Daily Devotion Text

December 31, 2020

Psalm 66-2020-12-31

  • Bible Text: Psalm 66

    To the choirmaster. A Song. A Psalm.

    1 Shout for joy to God, all the earth;

    2     sing the glory of his name;

        give to him glorious praise!

    3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!

        So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.

    4 All the earth worships you

        and sings praises to you;

        they sing praises to your name.” Selah

    5 Come and see what God has done:

        he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.

    6 He turned the sea into dry land;

        they passed through the river on foot.

    There did we rejoice in him,

    7     who rules by his might forever,

    whose eyes keep watch on the nations—

        let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah

    8 Bless our God, O peoples;

        let the sound of his praise be heard,

    9 who has kept our soul among the living

        and has not let our feet slip.

    10 For you, O God, have tested us;

        you have tried us as silver is tried.

    11 You brought us into the net;

        you laid a crushing burden on our backs;

    12 you let men ride over our heads;

        we went through fire and through water;

        yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.

    13 I will come into your house with burnt offerings;

        I will perform my vows to you,

    14 that which my lips uttered

        and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.

    15 I will offer to you burnt offerings of fattened animals,

        with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams;

       I will make an offering of bulls and goats. Selah

    16 Come and hear, all you who fear God,

        and I will tell what he has done for my soul.

    17 I cried to him with my mouth,

        and high praise was on my tongue.

    18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,

        the Lord would not have listened.

    19 But truly God has listened;

        he has attended to the voice of my prayer.

    20 Blessed be God,

        because he has not rejected my prayer

        or removed his steadfast love from me!

God

  • What truths about God’s person, activity or character does the text reveal?

Lessons / Insights

Apply & Obey

  • How does today’s text apply to me? How will I obey or respond to the truths from today’s text?

Prayer

 

December 30, 2020

Psalm 63-2020-12-30

  • Bible Text: Psalm 63

    A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

    1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;

        my soul thirsts for you;

        my flesh faints for you,

        as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

    2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,

        beholding your power and glory.

    3 Because your steadfast love is better than life,

        my lips will praise you.

    4 So I will bless you as long as I live;

        in your name I will lift up my hands.

    5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,

        and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,

    6 when I remember you upon my bed,

        and meditate on you in the watches of the night;

    7 for you have been my help,

        and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.

    8 My soul clings to you;

        your right hand upholds me.

    9 But those who seek to destroy my life

        shall go down into the depths of the earth;

    10 they shall be given over to the power of the sword;

        they shall be a portion for jackals.

    11 But the king shall rejoice in God;

        all who swear by him shall exult,

    for the mouths of liars will be stopped.

God

  • What truths about God’s person, activity or character does the text reveal?

Lessons / Insights

Apply & Obey

  • How does today’s text apply to me? How will I obey or respond to the truths from today’s text?

Prayer



December 29, 2020

Mark 16- 2020-12-29

  • Journal

    Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

    • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
    • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
    • List out all that you are grateful for.
    • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

     Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:

  • Bible Text:

    Mark 16:14-20

    14 Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. 15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

    19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.]

  • Questions to help us go deeper

    Mark 16:14

    • Jesus finally appears to the eleven, and rebukes them. How might Jesus rebuke me for “unbelief and hardness of heart”? How is the reality of the resurrection evidenced in my life decisions and actions?

    Mark 16:15

    • After this rebuke, Jesus commissions them to preach the gospel to the whole world. Consider how the disciples might have felt to receive such a commission. What does this reveal about God?

    Mark 16:20

    • Notice that the “Lord worked with them” as they preached everywhere. How does this strengthen me as I seek to obey Jesus’ gospel commission?

    •  Prayer 

December 28, 2020

Mark 16- 2020-12-28

  • Journal

    Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

    • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
    • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
    • List out all that you are grateful for.
    • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

     Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:

  • Bible Text:

    Mark 16:9-13*

    9 [[Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.

    12 After these things he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. 13 And they went back and told the rest, they did not believe them.

    * Some of the earliest manuscripts do not include 16:9–20.

  • Questions to help us go deeper

    Mark 16:6-7

    • What do the angel’s words confirm?
    • Reflect on the significance of women being the first witnesses of Jesus’ empty tomb and first recipients of the message of his resurrection. Notice that they were also witnesses of Jesus’ crucifixion (15:40-41) and burial (15:47).

    •  Prayer 

December 25, 2020

Mark 16- 2020-12-25

  • Journal

    Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

    • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
    • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
    • List out all that you are grateful for.
    • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

     Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:

  • Bible Text: Mark 16:1-8

    1 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. 6 And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” 8 And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

     

  • Questions to help us go deeper

    Mark 16:6-7

    • What do the angel’s words confirm?
    • Reflect on the significance of women being the first witnesses of Jesus’ empty tomb and first recipients of the message of his resurrection. Notice that they were also witnesses of Jesus’ crucifixion (15:40-41) and burial (15:47).

    •  Prayer 

December 24, 2020

Mark 15- 2020-12-24

  • Journal

    Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

    • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
    • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
    • List out all that you are grateful for.
    • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

     Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:

  • Bible Text: Mark 15:42-47

    42 And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. 45 And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph. 46 And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.

    Mark 15:43

    • Consider Joseph of Arimathea. Why would it require courage to ask Pilate for the body of Jesus?

    Mark 15:42-46

    • Reflect on how Joseph and others present at the burial must have been feeling, and how they still managed to give Jesus a proper burial within 24 hours and before the Sabbath. How am I challenged by these disciples of Jesus?

    •  Prayer 

December 23, 2020

Mark 15- 2020-12-23

  • Journal

    Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

    • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
    • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
    • List out all that you are grateful for.
    • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

     Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:

  • Bible Text: Mark 15:33-41

    33 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” 36 And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

    40 There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41 When he was in Galilee, they followed him and ministered to him, and there were also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.

    Mark 15:34

    • Reflect on Jesus’ suffering. Even more painful than the physical torture of crucifixion, Jesus endured relational separation from his Father, with whom he had been in fellowship for eternity – all this in order to redeem humanity.
    • Jesus quotes directly from Psalm 22. Take some time to read Psalm 22. How can the sentiments and conclusion of this psalm help us in times of despair?

    Mark 15:38

    • What is the significance of the temple curtain being torn in two?

    •  Prayer 

December 22, 2020

Mark 15- 2020-12-22

  • Journal

    Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

    • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
    • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
    • List out all that you are grateful for.
    • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

     Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:

  • Bible Text: Mark 15:21-32

    Mark 15:21-32

    21 And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. 22 And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull). 23 And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take. 25 And it was the third hour when they crucified him. 26 And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” 27 And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left.* 29 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!” 31 So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.

    Mark 15:23

    • Jesus refuses the wine offered him to help numb his pain, having committed to drinking the cup from God (14:36). Reflect on Jesus’ obedience to God’s will to the very end.

    Mark 15:29-31

    • “Save yourself” is a mantra we can relate to today. How is this mantra spoken in and through my own life? What is Jesus’ counter mantra?

    Mark 15:32

    • The chief priests and scribes demand a miracle “that we may see and believe.” What would Jesus prove if he came down from the cross? What does Jesus demonstrate instead by remaining on the cross?

    •  Prayer 

December 21, 2020

Mark 15- 2020-12-21

  • Journal

    Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

    • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
    • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
    • List out all that you are grateful for.
    • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

     Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:

  • Bible Text:

    Mark 15:16-20

    16 And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. 17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. 18 And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.

    Questions to help us go deeper

    Mark 15:16-20

    • It was Roman custom for a criminal to be flogged before crucifixion, but this mock homage was improvised. What can I learn about human nature from the soldiers’ treatment of Jesus?
    • The soldiers’ mockery of Jesus as “King of the Jews” is both grotesque and ironic. By what criteria did they decide to mock him rather than worship him as king?

    •  Prayer 

December 18, 2020

Mark 15- 2020-12-18

  • Journal

    Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

    • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
    • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
    • List out all that you are grateful for.
    • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

     Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:

  • Bible Text:

    Mark 15:6-15

    6 Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. 7 And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. 8 And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them. 9 And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. 12 And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” 13 And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” 14 And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” 15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

    Questions to help us go deeper

    Mark 15:9-15

    • Do a character study of Pilate. What is he like, and what drives him? As I examine myself, are there ways I am like Pilate? Who or what dictates my actions today?

    Mark 15:14

    • What is the crowd like? Trace the events that led to this madness (vv. 10-11). What warnings are there for me?

    •  Prayer 

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