Devotional Guide: Preparing for 9/4/11

In case you did not pick up the new Northlake Devotional Guide or if you just left it about home, here is the devotional exercises for this week as we prepare for Sunday, September 4th – week two in our season of reflection on following Jesus as His apprentices in the Kingdom way of life.

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Meditative Reading: Practice prayerful, slow, meditative reading with Mark 1:16-34.

(Part 1 and Part 2 can be done on separate days.)


Personal Reflection: When passages are listed, reread that section, and then write out your honest, personal reactions to the questions.

  1. v14-15. What is your current understanding of the meaning of “the good news of the Kingdom”?  What do you think it meant to those who first heard it? 
  2. v16-20. What do you think was so compelling about Jesus’ offer that they would leave their livelihood, identity, and family behind to follow Him?
  3. v21-28. What about Jesus’ teaching do you think was “new” and “with authority”?  What was so different about His words and way of teaching?
  4. v29-34. Twice now we have seen Jesus prevent the revelation of His identity.  We know He wanted to be known.  So, is it just the fact that it was demons speaking or is there something else causing Jesus to silence the proclamation of His identity?

COMMUNAL DAY: Conversation Starters

(For discussion with your family, roommates, or a group of friends.)

From your reading and reflections this week, what did God teach you?

The disciples in this passage left everything and left it immediately to follow Jesus.  How do you think we are to understand and apply such a radical call to our walks a disciples today?  What are the nets you sense God prodding you to cast aside?

We traditionally define the Gospel as Jesus dying for our sins.  Even though this is part of the truth, Jesus (and the 12) was proclaiming the Gospel before He ever died.  So, what was the Good News according to Jesus?


Prayer of the Week: Lord, help us to examine ourselves to see if we are willing to give all for you.  Search our hearts and convict us where there is still fear, self-preoccupation, and lack of trust. Amen.      from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals 

Jesus Experiment: Since Mark is best experienced as a Narrative, the exercise for this week is to set aside a block of time to read the whole Gospel in one setting.  We look forward to a few months of careful study, thoughtful reflection, rich conversation, and personal responses to individual stories within Mark’s Drama.  Make time this week to encounter to whole Story in one sitting.  Write your thoughts about this or have coffee with a friend and discuss what you discovered.

Hello there!

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