Towards the end of last week I got to thinking…when was the last time I just read straight through one of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John)? Since I was having a hard time coming up with the last time I did this… needless to say… it had been too long. It seems that my other study in the Old Testament (1st and 2nd Chronicles, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah) and our church’s recent sermon series (Joshua, Isaiah, 1 Corinthians, and 1st Timothy) have been lending themselves to “frequenting” the Gospels” from time to time but not necessarily just reading through it. By “frequenting”, I mean reading passages and parables and doing cross references to other passages that I was currently studying, but not actually diving into. So over the course of a couple days I journeyed through the Gospel of Mark (keep in mind that I have two kids – so uninterrupted quiet time to read comes sparingly and at the expense of sleep).
Throughout that period of study / reading, I was simply amazed once again by the life of Jesus Christ. Such power and boldness were present in every aspect of His life. Power to resist tempation and the boldness to call men to repent and believe in the Gospel. Power to heal the sick and cast out demons and the boldness to preach the truth, even to the hypocrites who took offense. It seems that it didn’t matter what kind of financial or physical condition any of the people who followed Jesus were in, all they needed was Jesus.
What awesome lessons we draw from the early followers of Christ! One simple lesson speaks directly to my heart: “Have faith in God” ~ Mark 11:22
You may be asking, “Well…what kind of faith?” And I am glad that you asked, because I think that Jesus spoke very clearly about the type of faith that we should have all throughout the Gospel of Mark. This faith is not for the half-hearted, for it is faith that requires utterly abandoned hearts that yearn and seek after God! A heart that cries out that I will not be afaid of the “wind and the sea” around me. I will repent and believe! I will suffer for the sake of the Gospel. I will not separate what God has joined together. I will love the Lord my God will all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I will love my neighbor as myself. I will go forth, filled and living in step with the Holy Spirit. I will not forfeit my soul for wordly gain. I will have faith!