Tuesday, August 20

We are currently reading through the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel together, and you can jump in at any point. Orienting yourself to this book of the Bible will help pick up the flow of the story. You can find a helpful, short orientation to this book on the August 19 Daily5 entry. 


1 Samuel 1

There was a man from Ramathaim-zophim in the hill country of Ephraim. His name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

2 He had two wives, the first named Hannah and the second Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah was childless. 3 This man would go up from his town every year to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of Armies at Shiloh, where Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were the Lord’s priests.

4 Whenever Elkanah offered a sacrifice, he always gave portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to each of her sons and daughters. 5 But he gave a double portion to Hannah, for he loved her even though the Lord had kept her from conceiving. 6 Her rival would taunt her severely just to provoke her, because the Lord had kept Hannah from conceiving. 7 Year after year, when she went up to the Lord’s house, her rival taunted her in this way. Hannah would weep and would not eat. 8 “Hannah, why are you crying? ” her husband Elkanah would ask. “Why won’t you eat? Why are you troubled? Am I not better to you than ten sons? ”

9 On one occasion, Hannah got up after they ate and drank at Shiloh. The priest Eli was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s temple. 10 Deeply hurt, Hannah prayed to the Lord and wept with many tears. 11 Making a vow, she pleaded, “Lord of Armies, if you will take notice of your servant’s affliction, remember and not forget me, and give your servant a son, I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and his hair will never be cut.”

12 While she continued praying in the Lord’s presence, Eli watched her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying silently, and though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, “How long are you going to be drunk? Get rid of your wine! ”

15 “No, my lord,” Hannah replied. “I am a woman with a broken heart. I haven’t had any wine or beer; I’ve been pouring out my heart before the Lord. 16 Don’t think of me as a wicked woman; I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment.”

17 Eli responded, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant the request you’ve made of him.”

18 “May your servant find favor with you,” she replied. Then Hannah went on her way; she ate and no longer looked despondent.

19 The next morning Elkanah and Hannah got up early to worship before the Lord. Afterward, they returned home to Ramah. Then Elkanah was intimate with his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 20 After some time, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, because she said, “I requested him from the Lord.”

21 When Elkanah and all his household went up to make the annual sacrifice and his vow offering to the Lord, 22 Hannah did not go and explained to her husband, “After the child is weaned, I’ll take him to appear in the Lord’s presence and to stay there permanently.”

23 Her husband Elkanah replied, “Do what you think is best, and stay here until you’ve weaned him. May the Lord confirm your word.” So Hannah stayed there and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24 When she had weaned him, she took him with her to Shiloh, as well as a three-year-old bull, half a bushel of flour, and a clay jar of wine. Though the boy was still young, she took him to the Lord’s house at Shiloh. 25 Then they slaughtered the bull and brought the boy to Eli.

26 “Please, my lord,” she said, “as surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. 27 I prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked him for, 28 I now give the boy to the Lord. For as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.” Then he worshiped the Lord there.


Summary

Samuel is to be the priest of God, and he is consecrated to God by his godly mother, Hannah. The story of his birth reveals that God has a special plan for Him. This back story of his birth is a reminder to us all that He is constantly working to bring about His purposes in the world. His mother so believed that God works sovereignly in the world that she is willing to lay down the son she has desired so long for the plans of God.


Reflection

Do I really believe God accomplishes His purposes in the world by bringing about the life and circumstances all around me? Am I constantly aware that He is moving around pieces in my life to draw me to Him?


Prayer

Father, I believe You’ve caused me to be born and to live where I live today in the here and now. As You build Your people, help me live with awareness that You call me to sacrifice all I have to follow You.


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Arrowhead ChurchComment
Monday, August 19

Overview of 1 Samuel


The Old Testament book of 1 Samuel is full of stories of God’s power in establishing His people Israel. We see them ask for and receive a king like the nations around them for the very first time. This first king is Saul, and he quickly fails. The Lord has a plan to raise up King David, who will point to the one true King of God’s people, Jesus. This book is full of interaction between these men and full of powerful truth concerning how the Lord accomplishes His purposes for His people in the world. 


We will read it one chapter per day, which means we will spend less time reading summaries, simply due to the time commitment. We will apply a consistent set of reflection questions geared to allow openness in how the Lord might speak to you as you encounter His Word. You will love this book of the Bible! It speaks loud and clear. After today, you will be jumping into this story in the middle, so remember the themes and purposes of God that He is revealing in this account.


For details to orient you to 1 Samuel in a more in-depth way, click here.


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Arrowhead ChurchComment
Friday, August 16

 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him.  And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.

John 5:15-17

Summary: 

If you chose to get well, there will be haters.

In verses 9-16, the religious came up to this man and asked him what he was doing carrying his mat on the sabbath. The man explained to them that after 38 years of being an invalid, he had been completely healed. Instead of being happy for him, instead of congratulating him on his new life, instead of giving God the glory, they condemn him for breaking one of their rules. Unfortunately, there will be people in your life that don’t want you to get well. Why that is I don’t know. But if people were upset with Christ, they will hate on you too. It might be a co-worker, it might be a long-time friend, it may even be a family member. So decide, “Do you want to get well?”

Reflection:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Prayer:

Father, I know that through you I can be well. Thank you for giving me the desire to be healed.


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Arrowhead ChurchComment
Thursday, August 15

Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.”  And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

John 5:8-9

Summary: 

The final step to getting well is…

3. Walk

A. Walk away from lesser things.

  • You need to walk away from some of those old places you used to go.

  • You need to walk away from some of those same old situations you find yourself in.

  • You need to walk away from some of those bad habits you need to kick.

  • You need to walk away from some of those old friends you used to know.

Walk away from lesser things and 

B. Walk to greater things.

Allow God to fill that void in your life. Let Him do for you what you could never do for yourself.

  • Let Him make all things new.

  • Let Him redeem all your broken places.

  • Let Him resurrect everything you thought was dead and gone.

  • Let Him give you beauty for ashes.

Revelation 21:5 says, And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Reflection:

Are you willing to get up, to get rid of your old ways, and walk towards new life in Christ? Do you want to get well?

Prayer:

Father, I want more than anything to get well. Please take all my broken places and make them new. Give me strength to walk towards you every day in every situation.


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Arrowhead ChurchComment
Wednesday, August 14

Jesus said to him,

“Get up, take up your bed, and walk.”

And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked

John 5:8-9

Summary: 

The second step to getting well is...

2. Get rid of your mat.

- Get rid of anything and everything that has kept you from being well. It’s all that stuff that you turn to instead of God. You need to get rid of that food you turn to when you are stressed out. You need to get rid of that anger that you turn to when things don’t go your way. You need to get rid of that credit card and that shopping channel when you feel like you don’t fit in.

You need to get rid of that alcohol, those pills, that pack of smokes, the bad habits, the poor attitude, and those unhealthy relationships. Whatever it is that you turn to instead of God, you need to get rid of it. Get rid of it, so you aren’t tempted to turn to it. Cut-off any possibility of going back. Burn all of those old bridges; you don’t need it anymore. John 8:36 says, “Whom the Son sets free, is free indeed.” If God wants to remove something from your life, then you never needed it anyway. Remember, our God is a god of multiplication. Whatever He removes, will be replaced by something infinitely better. That’s a promise.

Reflection:

What is it that you turn to instead of God?

Prayer:

Father, you are our source of comfort and strength. You alone provide us with all that we need. Forgive me for seeking lesser things to fill all my empty spaces.


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Arrowhead ChurchComment
Tuesday, August 13

When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?”

John 5:6

Summary: 

Do you want to get well?

If your answer is yes, then do what this man did and follow Christ’s advice.

The first step to getting well is…

1. Get Up! – Get up out of that mess you are in. Get up and get ready to move. Some of you have been waiting around on God to move when He’s been waiting around on you. Folks if there are 1,000 steps between you and God, He will take all of them but one. That last step is for you. Get up and let God know that you are serious and ready to move.

Jesus then tells the man to pick up his mat. Don’t leave it here because you don’t need it anymore. He never has to lie next to this pool again. Pick up your mat and leave this place once and for all.

Reflection:

Am I ready to receive healing? Am I ready to be free from all those things that has kept me in bondage?

Prayer:

Father, you are a good father who wants me to be whole. Give me the desire and courage to get well.


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Arrowhead ChurchComment
Monday, August 12

 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. 3 In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5 One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?”

John 5: 1-6

Summary: 

John 5: 1-17 is entitled “The Healing at the Pool on the Sabbath,” and it tells the story of a man who has been an invalid for 38 years. Jesus is in Jerusalem for a feast and finds this man lying next to the Pool of Bethesda. A large crowd of people gather at the pool each day waiting for an angel to stir the waters, so that they can be the first one in to be healed.

The Bible doesn’t say how long this man has waited by the pool to be healed or even what caused his infirmity. Verse 14 leads some Bible scholars to believe that this man’s sickness was because of some sin in his life. We should never assume that one’s sickness is caused by their own sin. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world where people are broken through no fault of their own. So, we aren’t sure if this happened to him or because of him. But whether this man’s illness happened to him, or was caused by him, didn’t stop Jesus from asking, “Do you want to get well?”

This passage of Scripture applies to us in our physical bodies as well as our spiritual condition. Often we claim we want to go forward in our lives, but the truth is that we really want to stay where we are

Reflection:

Do you want to get well?

Prayer:

 Lord, search my heart and show me areas in my life that need healing. Give me the desire to get well.


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Arrowhead ChurchComment
Saturday, August 10

Generosity

*You’ll benefit most from this week of prayer by having read from the beginning of the week, especially Sunday August 4 and Monday August 5. If you haven’t read the entries from those days, take time to do that today before continuing with the reading below.


Mark 8:34-36


Earth is temporary. To have everything here and to not focus on eternity would be foolish. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to realize that if we believe that people live forever in eternity, we should prioritize later over now. Though there’s nothing wrong with enjoying God’s blessings on earth, we are called to obedience in living for eternity.


This most obvious place we test whether or not we are living for eternity is in how we think about money. Humans naturally look to the resources currently in our possession to provide stability for us both now and in the future. We know, though, that God can give and take away at any time. So, our faith must be in Him for our future, not simply our money.


The best way to demonstrate that we trust God with our future is to give away money today. That’s a black and white statement, but it’s true.


Are you a generous person? When you hear about a need, are you more likely to think about how you can meet it or to try to quickly move on?


God uses our financial gifts to our church to fund ministry. By giving to Arrowhead, you keep our church moving forward in ministries both inside and outside the church. You provide for our facilities, pastors, kids ministry, and much more. We give funds from the church to local ministries and we send missionaries around the world. By giving, you fund so much! Our vision for what we believe God wants to do needs more money, and it always will! He calls us to trust Him for outcomes, and we can always see more than we currently have the resources for.


When we give on earth, we actually gain in eternity. Will you consider either beginning to give to our church or possible to give more? You can learn more about how to do that here.

Ben ShounComment
Friday, August 9

Leadership is Multiplied

*You’ll benefit most from this week of prayer by having read from the beginning of the week, especially Sunday August 4 and Monday August 5. If you haven’t read the entries from those days, take time to do that today before continuing with the reading below.


Read Ephesians 4:11-16


Churches need leaders to help them grow into maturity. Have you ever considered that you are a leader in our church? Your influence impacts people, either for good or possibly for indifference. But, God’s plan for His people is to grow into full maturity.


Ten years into the life of our church, we have a need for more leadership. Not titles or jobs being filled, but leaders. Those who see need and see vision to meet it. Those willing to sacrifice and not just settle for nice church services each Sunday. Those committed not just to their own health but also to helping others take next steps toward Jesus.


Pray this prayer:

Father, grow me into a leader. I want to impact people at church, home, work, school, and everywhere I go for Jesus. Give me courage and faith to hear You call me to more.

Ben ShounComment
Thursday, August 8

Answered Prayer

*You’ll benefit most from this week of prayer by having read from the beginning of the week, especially Sunday August 4 and Monday August 5. If you haven’t read the entries from those days, take time to do that today before continuing with the reading below.


Read James 5:13-18


Have you ever seen an answered prayer? A real answered prayer: a within-minutes or days kind of answered prayer? There’s nothing more motivating to continuing to pray than knowing God hears and responds.


Elijah prayed for no rain, and it stopped. He prayed again, this time for rain, and it rained. Do you have the audacity to pray like that? What is it that if God could answer any prayer on your behalf that you would ask Him for.


Pray that prayer today every time it comes to mind. Ask God to move.


Pray this prayer:

Father, I know You love to hear prayer and to answer. Today I’m standing on Your promises and asking for a specific response.


Take a second and send an email to prayer@arrowhead.church and our prayer team and staff will pray specifically for your request today.



Ben ShounComment
Wednesday, August 7

Sunday Morning is Family Time

*You’ll benefit most from this week of prayer by having read from the beginning of the week, especially Sunday August 4 and Monday August 5. If you haven’t read the entries from those days, take time to do that today before continuing with the reading below.

Read Hebrews 10:19-25

Church matters. The family of God all comes together on Sunday for worship. Just like a family lunch or dinner, we’re all expected not out of obligation but because we love each other and we know it’s important. We all need each another's challenge and encouragement.

Yet we live in a day where our calendars are so full that the most obvious place to try to either catch up on sleep or work in time for a hobby is Sunday. There’s nothing wrong with sleep or hobbies! But, if we’re not careful we will miss what’s most important and settle for something less than God’s best.

Simply put, our church family needs you. All that’s standing in the way of you being connected and our family being better served is you taking one Sunday a month to stay for both services, to serve in one and worship in one. Or, if you aren’t able to do that, you can commit to coming to church 30 minutes early or staying 30 minutes after your service to serve. Our staff and leaders will train you, you’ll meet new people, and you’ll know you’ve contributed to the family. If you’re already serving, who could you invite to serve alongside you?

Pray this prayer:

Father, I know I need a spiritual family, and part of being in a family is willingness to serve. Would you clarify for me how I could do that better? Also bring someone to mind that I could invite to serve alongside me.



Ben ShounComment
Tuesday, August 6

Hesitancy

*You’ll benefit most from this week of prayer by having read from the beginning of the week, especially Sunday August 4 and Monday August 5. If you haven’t read the entries from those days, take time to do that today before continuing with the reading below.

Read Genesis 19:1-29

In this account, the Lord is destroying Sodom and Gomorrah because of its wickedness. Lot, Abraham’s nephew, is to be a leader of the people of God, but his heart is connected to his old life. He barely escapes, and his wife doesn’t. He knew there was a better life ahead but because of his sinful desires, he just wasn’t completely sure he was ready to leave his old life behind. Hesitation can be a killer.

In your own life, are there places of hesitation? You know you want more with God, but you just enjoy the old life enough that you’re not sure you’re ready to give it up?

Maybe you could serve someone else at work, or serve at church, or join a connect group this fall, but you’re just not quite sure you’re ready to give up the freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want. We all must be careful not to hesitate.

Vision is the antidote to this. Hesitancy only dies when the future you see is worth it leaving your old life behind. Can you see yourself as a man or woman of prayer? If you have desired to lead in some way in our church, can you see the why behind what you’d do? Dream a big dream for what God wants to do in you and in our church this fall!

Pray this prayer:

Father, I know my tendency to hesitate instead of carrying the fight in my spiritual growth. Increase my vision for what is possible!

Ben ShounComment
Monday, August 5

Another New Season

*You’ll benefit most from this week of prayer by having read from the beginning of the week, starting on Sunday August 4. If you haven’t read the entry from that day, take time to do that today before continuing with the reading below.

Read Ephesians 5:15-21

Making the most of our time requires thinking in advance and also being willing to boldly adapt to what comes my way. Have you considered the fall season for your life and/or your family?

  1. What time of day will you most often read your Bible and pray? Will you read the Daily5 or will you use another resource?

2. Are you ready to join or start a Connect Group or Recovery + Support or will you say you’re willing to go it alone?

3. What’s your calendar like? Do your weekends reflect a desire to worship Jesus with your church family or have you already filled them up with travel or other commitments?


4. Will you serve the church family on Sundays? If you’re willing to explore serving on a ministry team, click here

Pray this prayer:

Father, I know life is short and You are worth living for. This fall I want to be renewed in my faith or I want to begin following Jesus for the first time. Help me set priorities to make that possible.


Click this link and listen to this short podcast while you drive today.

https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/seven-simple-tips-to-refresh-your-prayer-life

Ben ShounComment
Sunday, August 4

Prayer Kickoff

Our journey as a church through the Book of Acts in 2019 during our 10th year of ministry has been one of my favorite consistent times in God’s Word. For me, there’s nothing like seeing how the first followers of Jesus lived out His calling on their lives. Think about it: many of these men and women were alive while Jesus was on earth and heard Him give clear instruction as to how to carry out His mission. Seeing Him dead and then alive gave them urgency. They lovingly, but aggressively, took His message to the ends of the earth.

This fall we see the rapid advance of the grace of God throughout the world in the second half of the book. I’m asking God to give us the same urgency to fight for victory in our faith both in our individual lives and as we seek to impact our towns!

Through August and September, we will be preaching on Sundays through the most thrilling chapters in the Book of Acts as it relates to the advance of the gospel. We are here today because of what happened then. These men and women refused to settle for believing that the message of Jesus required limited cost or provided limited reward. They found life by giving all to Him. We must fight against our flesh and against the enemy’s plans for our defeat. Jesus has won, and we have victory, so we’re going to carry the fight to what holds us back.

Our goals are too big for us to accomplish alone. I’m convinced the only way we are changed or we impact anyone else is through prayer. We are carrying the fight to our fears, temptations, and complacency. This is a season of powerful change for our church. Many will take big steps toward Jesus. Will you dare to ask God to accomplish this?

Take some time today to pray for yourself and for our church. Simply say this to Him:

Father, I give myself fully to You for these 7 days. I want all You have for me.

Write down answers to these questions:

  1. Has the summer bred spiritual complacency in my life?

  2. Can I honestly say the most important thing to me right now is Jesus and His kingdom?

  3. Have I become willing to compromise in any area of my life?

  4. What sin patterns have been present in me over the last few months? Am I tired of these patterns?

  5. Have I been moving too fast or distracted from what matters most? How can I change this?


Leave time tomorrow to spend 15-20 minutes reading the Bible, planning for the fall, and praying for God’s power to increase in your life!

Ben ShounComment
Friday, August 2

19 So the Lord Jesus, after speaking 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 word by the accompanying signs.

Mark 16:19-20

Summary: 

After His resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven, but the story was just beginning! He works miracles to affirm that what we say is true. We need both word and Spirit!

Reflection:

What have you taken away from these readings in the Gospel of Mark? How has He shaped what you know to be true of Jesus and His power?

Prayer:

Father, I ask for power on my life as I follow Jesus today.


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Ben ShounComment
Thursday, August 1

9 Early on the first day of the week, after he had risen, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and reported to those who had been with him, as they were mourning and weeping. 11 Yet, when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe it. 12 After this, he appeared in a different form to two of them walking on their way into the country. 13 And they went and reported it to the rest, who did not believe them either. 14 Later he appeared to the Eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table. He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who saw him after he had risen. 15 Then he said to them,“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all 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 drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes; if they should drink anything deadly, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well.”

Mark 16:9-18

Summary: 

As word spread about the resurrection, Jesus called His disciples to tell everyone and to believe that He would send affirmation through what the disciples were able to do. They were bold and sent out, just as we are.

Reflection:

Am I living a lifestyle of being sent with the good news?

Prayer:

Father, I want to take the good news of the cross and resurrection to those around me today. I pray for the following people who I am not sure believe:


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  • Encourage Someb

Ben ShounComment
Wednesday, July 31

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they could go and anoint him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they went to the tomb at sunrise. 3 They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone from the entrance to the tomb for us? ” 4 Looking up, they noticed that the stone — which was very large — had been rolled away. 5 When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side; they were alarmed. 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he told them. “You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they put him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see him there just as he told you.’ ” 8 They went out and ran from the tomb, because trembling and astonishment overwhelmed them. And they said nothing to anyone, since they were afraid.

Mark 16:1-8

Summary: 

Jesus really died, and He’s really alive! These ladies are overwhelmed with joy, and so should we be as well. Yet, they didn’t completely understand all that it meant yet. What a day it must have been!

Reflection:

Take a few minutes to reflect on the power of the resurrection of Jesus. What can He now not do? Nothing! 

Prayer:

Father, thank You for raising Jesus from the dead to prove You are the Victor over all sin in my life!


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Ben ShounComment
Tuesday, July 30

21 They forced a man coming in from the country, who was passing by, to carry Jesus’s cross. He was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.

22 They brought Jesus to the place called 'Golgotha' (which means Place of the Skull ). 23 They tried to give him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.

24 Then they crucified him and divided his clothes, casting lots for them to decide what each would get. 25 Now it was nine in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The inscription of the charge written against him was: The King of the Jews. 27 They crucified two criminals with him, one on his right and one on his left. 

29 Those who passed by were yelling insults at him, shaking their heads, and saying, “Ha! The one who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 30 save yourself by coming down from the cross! ” 31 In the same way, the chief priests with the scribes were mocking him among themselves and saying, “He saved others, but he cannot save himself! 32 Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, so that we may see and believe.” Even those who were crucified with him taunted him.

33 When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 And at three Jesus cried out with a loud voice, '“Eloi, Eloi, lemá ' 'sabachtháni? ” ' which is translated,“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? ” 

35 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “See, he’s calling for Elijah.”

36 Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, fixed it on a stick, offered him a drink, and said, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down.”

37 Jesus let out a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 Then the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 When the centurion, who was standing opposite him, saw the way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God! ” 

40 There were also women watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41 In Galilee these women followed him and took care of him. Many other women had come up with him to Jerusalem.

42 When it was already evening, because it was the day of preparation (that is, the day before the Sabbath), 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Sanhedrin who was himself looking forward to the kingdom of God, came and boldly went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’s body. 44 Pilate was surprised that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had already died. 45 When he found out from the centurion, he gave the corpse to Joseph. 46 After he bought some linen cloth, Joseph took him down and wrapped him in the linen. Then he laid him in a tomb cut out of the rock and rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses were watching where he was laid.

Mark 15:21-47

Summary: 

Jesus was mocked by onlookers and even His own family and disciples couldn’t stop this. He was deeply loved by many but tragically slain by those who saw Him as a threat. All this was the plan of God to save us! Jesus faced the abandonment of His Father as He carried the sin we commit, and by doing so made it possible for us to be reunited with Him.

Reflection:

Jesus really died. And it was really for me. Is there any unconfessed sin in my life which I’ve been afraid to bring to Him? This scene of the cross reminds me that I can.  

Prayer:

Father, once again today I stand amazed at the power of the cross. Thank You for enduring this tragedy and turning it into triumph on my behalf and for Your glory. 


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Ben ShounComment
Monday, July 29

As soon as it was morning, having held a meeting with the elders, scribes, and the whole Sanhedrin, the chief priests tied Jesus up, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate.

2 So Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews? ”

He answered him,“You say so.”

3 And the chief priests accused him of many things. 4 Pilate questioned him again, “Aren’t you going to answer? Look how many things they are accusing you of! ” 5 But Jesus still did not answer, and so Pilate was amazed.

6 At the festival Pilate used to release for the people a prisoner whom they requested. 7 There was one named Barabbas, who was in prison with rebels who had committed murder during the rebellion. 8 The crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do for them as was his custom. 9 Pilate answered them, “Do you want me to release the King of the Jews for you? ” 10 For he knew it was because of envy that the chief priests had handed him over. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd so that he would release Barabbas to them instead. 12 Pilate asked them again, “Then what do you want me to do with the one you call the King of the Jews? ”

13 Again they shouted, “Crucify him! ”

14 Pilate said to them, “Why? What has he done wrong? ”

But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him! ”

15 Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them; and after having Jesus flogged, he handed him over to be crucified.

16 The soldiers led him away into the palace (that is, the governor’s residence ) and called the whole company together. 17 They dressed him in a purple robe, twisted together a crown of thorns, and put it on him. 18 And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews! ” 19 They were hitting him on the head with a stick and spitting on him. Getting down on their knees, they were paying him homage. 20 After they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple robe and put his clothes on him. They led him out to crucify him.

Mark 15:1-20

Summary:

The sentence has been pronounced: Jesus is guilty. His coming has been a great offense to the Jewish leaders and they will not tolerate Him any longer. They will even choose to have another prisoner released to them before choosing Jesus to go free, though He of course has committed no crime. Imagine the scene.

Reflection:

The glory of the scene of the cross stands alone. Nothing or no one is like it. What does it do in my soul?

Prayer:

Father, thank You for sending Your innocent Son to this brutal death on my behalf.


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Ben ShounComment
Friday, July 26

27 Then Jesus said to them,“All of you will fall away, because it is written:

I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered. 

28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”

29 Peter told him, “Even if everyone falls away, I will not.”

30 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to him,“today, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.”

31 But he kept insisting, “If I have to die with you, I will never deny you.” And they all said the same thing.

32 Then they came to a place named Gethsemane, and he told his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 He said to them, “I am deeply grieved to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake.” 35 He went a little farther, fell to the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And he said, “'Abba', Father! All things are possible for you. Take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will.” 37 Then he came and found them sleeping. He said to Peter,“Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn’t you stay awake one hour? 38 Stay awake and pray so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 Once again he went away and prayed, saying the same thing. 40 And again he came and found them sleeping, because they could not keep their eyes open. They did not know what to say to him. 41 Then he came a third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The time has come. See, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Get up; let’s go. See, my betrayer is near.” 43 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, suddenly arrived. With him was a mob, with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. 44 His betrayer had given them a signal. “The one I kiss,” he said, “he’s the one; arrest him and take him away under guard.” 45 So when he came, immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Rabbi! ” and kissed him. 46 They took hold of him and arrested him. 47 One of those who stood by drew his sword, struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his ear. 48 Jesus said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs, as if I were a criminal, to capture me? 49 Every day I was among you, teaching in the temple, and you didn’t arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.”

50 Then they all deserted him and ran away. 51 Now a certain young man, wearing nothing but a linen cloth, was following him. They caught hold of him, 52 but he left the linen cloth behind and ran away naked. 53 They led Jesus away to the high priest, and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes assembled. 54 Peter followed him at a distance, right into the high priest’s courtyard. He was sitting with the servants, warming himself by the fire.

55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they could not find any. 56 For many were giving false testimony against him, and the testimonies did not agree. 57 Some stood up and gave false testimony against him, stating, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with human hands, and in three days I will build another not made by hands.’ ” 59 Yet their testimony did not agree even on this.

60 Then the high priest stood up before them all and questioned Jesus, “Don’t you have an answer to what these men are testifying against you? ” 61 But he kept silent and did not answer. Again the high priest questioned him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One? ”

62 “I am,” said Jesus,“and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 

63 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? 64 You have heard the blasphemy. What is your decision? ” They all condemned him as deserving death.

65 Then some began to spit on him, to blindfold him, and to beat him, saying, “Prophesy! ” The temple servants also took him and slapped him.

66 While Peter was in the courtyard below, one of the high priest’s maidservants came. 67 When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.” 

68 But he denied it: “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about.” Then he went out to the entryway, and a rooster crowed. 

69 When the maidservant saw him again, she began to tell those standing nearby, “This man is one of them.”

70 But again he denied it. After a little while those standing there said to Peter again, “You certainly are one of them, since you’re also a Galilean.”  71 Then he started to curse and swear, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about!” 72 Immediately a rooster crowed a second time, and Peter remembered when Jesus had spoken the word to him,“Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.

Mark 14:27-72

Reflection:

Instead of time to review a summary of this long passage, simply go back and re-read a portion that may have stuck out to you as you read the first time.


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Ben ShounComment