Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Walking Towards Easter, Day One

I take part each morning in an online Bible study with IF:Equip. Yesterday, IF:Equip began a study of the days of Jesus leading up to Easter. The study works like this. IF:Equip tweets or posts to Facebook the Bible verses to read each morning. I read them and journal about them. I can also comment on their blog post for that day my thoughts on the day's texts. There is also a short two or three minute video each day of two women discussing the texts. Maybe this sounds complicated but it's not. I'm just good at complicating things. Apparently.

My IF:Equip posts will look different than my normal posts, as they are taken straight out of my journal. 

I hope you hear Jesus in these posts.

Mark 14:17-25
When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.” They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?” “It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. “This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

What Jesus did for me, for all of humanity, for all of this world, is so big it is hard to grasp. The sacrifice he gave, the final days, I long for it all to be better understood by me and tangibly and incredibly personal. Sometimes, I am frustrated by my inability to fully take it in. But right now I give my frustration to Jesus. The Holy Spirit will help me and give me better understanding and make it more and more tangible to me. I am grateful.

“You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” 

Jesus tried to make it so plain to his disciples: “After I have risen, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.” That is pretty specific. He even gave them a meeting place. How could they miss it? How could they doubt? And yet, I do the same all the time. Jesus is pretty clear in his words how he wants me to live: love God and love others.” It’s not complicated and yet I miss what he's telling me. I try and make it so hard. Please Jesus, help me live out your simple message to love you and love others. Help me live it well.

Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.” “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.” But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.

Oh the horror of denying Jesus. And yet how often do I deny him with my own choices to be first? Please forgive my selfishness. Please help me forever choose you, Jesus!

I feel so sad for Peter and his over confidence, because he has placed his confidence in himself. He hasn’t learned yet to place his confidence in Jesus. Jesus, please help me walk humbly with you. Not believing I can do it all on my own, can even hope to stand strong on my own. Please take the pride of self-sufficiency from me and teach me to place my confidence in you. I am grateful for your gentle forgiveness when I forget this. I am grateful you love me still – always – even knowing ahead of time I will stumble.

Today's Question: Why is it important to you that Jesus can see you fully?

That Jesus sees the real me and still loves me, always loves me, never leaves me, this just gives me so much peace. His love for me will never end. His love doesn’t depend on me. His love is bigger than my mistakes. And when I walk outside of the path he has for me. He will always pursue me. Always open his arms for me. He is so good to me!

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