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Daily Reading: Mark 1

Scripture Focus: And immediately... (Mark1.18)

Devotional Thought: Happy New Year! As you begin a new year by reading the gospel of Mark, you may notice the word immediately. We often think of immediate as being "instantaneous" but the Greek word is actually used to indicate "soon" as well. The point is that there is no delay in beginning to act. That's how Jesus' ministry is described in the opening verse of Mark: "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ..."

Nine times in this one chapter the Holy Spirit directed the gospel writer to stress the immediacy of what was happening:

  • The Spirit descending

  • The Savior facing temptation

  • The disciples leaving their jobs and families

  • The disciples following Jesus

  • Jesus going to "church" on the Sabbath and teaching

  • A possessed and pitiful man calling out to Jesus for deliverance

  • Jesus going home with some disciples

  • Family members telling Jesus about their sick loved one (praying)

  • Leprosy leaving a stricken man

Consider these things in your own life. And, as you begin the New Year, ask yourself, "What are the things that need my immediate attention? What are the things I should begin acting upon?"

"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it." ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for giving me the gift of another year. Help me to hear your call and to respond with a bias for action. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 1:1-6: 1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. 4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

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