Mark 3:31-35 – We’re Related!

Read Mark 3:31-35

How do you think Mary felt when her son all but disregarded her? Obviously, Mary was concerned for Jesus, hoping he wasn’t overdoing it and exhausting himself. Isn’t that what any good mother would do–want to protect her child from harm?

But this was Jesus. This was God. God’s mission would involve some long days, missed meals, and sleeping in unfamiliar, uncomfortable places. Jesus did that for us! In today’s reading, Jesus uses Mary’s concern as a teachable moment.

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Zechariah 7:8-10 – Do This!

Read Zechariah 7:8-10

Once again, God spells it out for us. When we ask “how can I please God?” or “what makes a good person?” the answer to both of these questions is right here in these verses. One of God’s primary concerns for his returning community is justice – especially for the weak and vulnerable.

Of course, for me personally, the part about orphans and widows is like a nod in my direction. Until recently, I never understood how God wanted to use me in Mexico. After working with the girls at La Ola Girls Home here in town, I know God wants this for me and this verse is like my confirmation. My dear friend Becky, who runs the orphanage, is also recently widowed. I’ve seen how the oppression is real for both widows and orphans still today. I’m honored to be on her team as she keeps God’s dream alive!

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2 Peter 3:8-13 – God’s Timing

Read 2 Peter 3:8-13

Have you ever heard someone say, “God’s timing is perfect”? I did, just today. It’s a phrase we like to use when God seems slow in answering our prayers. Peter calls out that big old elephant in the room for us. He starts out by explaining that God’s clock works differently than ours. “A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.”

Is that a helpful reminder for you? Are you waiting on God for something big in your life to happen? It seems like we are always waiting for something, whether it’s a job promotion, finding the right house to move into, getting pregnant, getting married, being able to retire and start living life the way you want. What is it for you? When we welcome God and expect him to move in these life events, we can trust he is working out the “best” solution for us. Could that be why one of the gifts of the spirit is “patience”? We must continue to wait.

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Obadiah 17-21 – Promised Restoration

Read Obadiah 17-21

I learned today the Edomites were taken down in the 5th century B.C. God used a people called the Nabateans to defeat the Edomites and force them from their main city of Petra. The interval between prediction and fulfillment would, therefore, have been very short, assuming Obadiah was writing following the Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem. When Obadiah prophesied this promise, it was probably thought to be crazy. Judah was the more likely candidate to not survive (that’s only when you take God’s will out of the equation)! The Edomites would later disappear from history completely, marking the total destruction of one of Israel’s enemies.

It always helps me to understand the context of a story to aid in understanding. The Negev region was very dry and hot in the southern part of Judah. The foothills would be found in western Judah. Phoenicia would be an ancient civilization along the Mediterranean, primarily located in modern-day Lebanon.

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James 5:13-18 – The Power of Prayer

Read James 5:13-18

What happens when we pray, and no healing takes place? I’m sure you’ve had that happen in your life. Wrestling with God in those moments is difficult. We can feel like God has left us behind or turned a deaf ear to our cries!

Some of us blame God and even turn away. That’s never the answer. God has his reasons for answering prayer the way he does. Not healing is God saying no to our request. I learned a long time ago it doesn’t do any good to get mad at God or demand my way. I may never understand why God allowed someone else to be healed but not the person I prayed about. I trust God knows best, even when I cannot see.

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