Day Twenty-Four with Mark: Mark 6:30-44

Today in journey through Mark we look at the feeding of the 5000 in Mark 6:30-44:

Feeding the Five Thousand
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34 As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. 35 When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; 36 send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.” 37 But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii[a] worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?” 38 And he said to them, “How many loaves have you? Go and see.” When they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39 Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. 42 And all ate and were filled; 43 and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44 Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.

small_mosaic_1Today is one of those stories that we have all heard a million times.  We know about Jesus feeding the 5000.  We’ve heard stories about it, we’ve heard sermons about it, we’ve read it, we know it. So, today, go back and read it, like you’ve never heard it before.  Don’t rush through it, don’t think about how you’ve heard it before.  Go back and read it like it’s the first time.

Ok, what do you notice?  What did you see in this reading that you never really noticed before.  That’s one of the ways to hear God’s voice in scripture; what jumps out to you?  What did you notice that you didn’t notice before?

Let me tell you what I noticed today when I read this passage.

First, in 31, we see Jesus concern for His disciples. They had been working and serving and hadn’t had any time to rest.  That mattered to Jesus.  He tells them, let’s go away.  Let’s get some rest.  Take care of yourself.  It’s ok to focus on your needs.  Not to the exclusion of others as we will see in a moment, but take care of yourself.  Get enough food.  Enough rest.  Enough care.

These bodies, this life, they are gifts from God.  Take care of them.  Jesus noticed they were exhausted.  And the said, let’s go rest.

But then, notice in 34, when people came to them, He didn’t say, nope, we are busy.  How often in our lives do people irritate us when they interrupt our plans?  What did Jesus say and do?  He had compassion.  He had compassion for them.  He and the disciples took time to serve them.  That’s a great reminder to us when things don’t go as we plan them to or desire them to.  Don’t lose sight of the humanity and the need of other people, even when they come at an inconvenient time for you.

Serve them anyway.

And I love what it says in 42.  They ate, and they were filled.  Jesus filled them completely.  He took care of them.  He loved them.  He cared for them.  He made sure they had what they needed.

He does the same for us.  He loves you.  He cares for you.  He meets your needs.

That’s who He is.

Today, what did you notice the reading of this familiar story?

Monday we’ll look at Mark 6:45-52.

What questions do you have?  How does this strike you?  Shoot me an email, comment below, or connect with me through social media.

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The Forgotten Commandment

I’m a fan of checklists.  I always like to know what I’ve got to do, when I’ve got to be somewhere, what is on my plate for that moment.  I’m always looking to what is next.  That’s just how I’m wired.  Believe me, I’m not saying it’s good, I’m just saying it’s how I’m wired.

And today, as busy as many of us are, even if we aren’t wired like that, it’s sort of how we feel, isn’t it?  Even if we don’t want to go, go, go, go, we feel like our schedules, our lives, all that’s going on makes us that way.  That’s sort of modern life today.  Or at least that’s how it feels.

I think today that we can learn a lot from what happens in Mark 6:30-31.  Listen to what it says:

30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.

rest-and-recoveryJesus had sent the Disciples out on a task, they had a lot that they were called to do for Him. They come back, they are excited, but they had been going, going, going, going.  And what does He tell them to do?

Come away and rest.

When was the last time you rested?  I mean, really?  When was the last time you let the concerns of work, of school, of life, of family, of everything, just go, if just for a moment, and rested.

We can’t go all the time.  Remember one of the Ten Commandments is to keep the Sabbath.  We have got to have times of rest.  We must.  We have do. We can’t go all the time.

Jesus understood it.

He made the Disciples live it.

What about us?  Do we live out this forgotten commandment?  Now, believe me, this is a do what I say, not what I do.  You can ask my wife, I struggle with this.  But the older I get, the more I’m learning that I can go and go and go without taking that rest.

So today, take some Sabbath.  Catch your breath.  Rest.  Trust.  Hope.

You can rest.  God has it all under control.  You can trust that.  He’s got it.  Remember that forgotten commandment.  Take Sabbath.  Take rest. And see how God uses it in our lives.

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Refreshment

There are seasons in our lives when we just feel exhausted. Or worn out. Or tired. Or just, just done. We don’t want to keep going; we don’t think that we can keep going.

We just want to quit. We feel dry. We feel like things will never change, never get better, never be different.

Ever felt that way? Feel that way now? We’ve all been there at some time. Everyone one of us had been broken and burned out at some point.

Today, we read one of my favorite passages that deals with this. It is one of those just encouraging passages. Listen to what it says today in Acts 3: 18-20:

But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,

15adc07bc50989220c76b6faa90b1d7aWhen we repent and ask forgiveness, our sins are forgiven. And times of refreshing will come. I love that phrase. Times of refreshing. Such a great concept.

Today, there is a time of refreshing that awaits you. You can rest easy. You can feel life. You can feel forgiven. You can feel new and restored.

You can know that. Through the appointed savior, that has taken away your sins. Through Jesus.

Feel that today. Seriously. Let that wash over you. Let that grace and mercy wash over you like rain. Let it drench you. Let it refresh you.

You are forgiven. Through Jesus, you are forgiven. Really. You are.

Be refreshed today. Be renewed today. Be reborn and remade today. Today, feel that refreshment. No matter how tired or beaten down you are, feel that today.

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Give Us Rest

maxresdefaultDavid Crowder Band is one of my favorite Christian bands ever.  I love their spirit, I love their art, I love their lyrics, and I love their passion for leading the people of God in worship.  There version of one of my favorite hymns, O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing is very different, but very good.

One their last album they have what may be my favorite of their songs.  It’s called “Give Us Rest.”  I just love the notion of singing to God, saying, give us rest.  We are tired. We are worn out. We are exhausted.  We can’t do any more.

Oh great God, give us rest!

Is that your prayer today?  So many days, it is my prayer.  As a busy body, sometimes, I just need rest.

Today, don’t just listen to the words of that song, listen to what Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Today, there is rest.  No matter what you are facing.  No matter where you are.  No matter what is going on. There is rest.  Really, there is.

Now that doesn’t mean that everything will get better at this exact moment.  It doesn’t.  But, you can rest.

You can put down your burden.  You can lay it aside.  And you can know that the very  God of Creation holds you in His hand.  You can rest today.  Really, you can.  You can rest.

Today, cast your cares upon Christ, because He cares for you.

Rest.  In Him.  Rest.

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Rest

Mark is my favorite of all the Gospels. Each one of them has a different thing that they emphasize. Matthew make connections with the Old Testament. Luke looks at Jesus love and connection with the entire world. John answers the deep questions of faith.

But Mark is simple. Mark is shorter. Mark is fast. And in Mark, Jesus is always going. As someone that’s a little (or a lot) ADD, I really like the emphasis on action in Mark’s Gospel. Jesus and the disciples are always going, always acting, always on the move.

Except for the passage we read today. Listen to Mark 6: 30-32:

The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.

Rest_Stop_Brown_Bear-insert-in-postThe disciples had just come back from doing ministry and they were excited. The way the text describes it, I can almost see them gathered around Jesus like little children talking fast and telling Him everything that had happened.

And He said, let’s rest for a while. They had gotten so busy, they hadn’t even had time to eat.

Let’s rest.

We are supposed to go. We are supposed to be active. We are supposed to do and take the Good News everywhere. We have kingdom work to do today! We are supposed to be on the move. Time and daylight is wasting.

But, sometimes, we get ourselves worn out. We can do too much. We can get too busy. We can get off track and sideways.

And we need to rest.

Listen to me friends, you don’t have to do everything. The fate of the free world doesn’t rest of your shoulders. I know it feels that way sometimes, anyone that knows me a little can tell you that I often feel that way. So I’m preaching to me as much as I am to you.

Rest. Rest in Jesus. Breathe. Calm down. Slow down. Rest.

He has a lot for us to do for the kingdom. He has a lot that we need accomplish for His work. But have to take care of ourselves.

Today, perhaps, today you need to rest. Rest in Him. Rest in His purpose and plan for your life.

Rest.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones

The Good Stuff

We only have so much time in our lives. I’m not just talking about big picture, total heartbeats in your life type of stuff. I’m also talking about the fact that there are only 24 hours today.

There’s only so much time that we have. And are very busy people. There’s so much we have to do. So many places we have to be. So many things we have to be about.

We can feel overwhelmed, tired, and give out sometimes. We can feel so give out that we want to give up. We can feel so worn out that we don’t know what to do next.

We can feel tired, hungry, and broke. Both physically and spiritually.

Listen to what Isaiah 55:1-3 says today:

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.

Today you don’t have to “work” for real life. You don’t have to “labor” for real water and real food.

Are you thirsty? Come drink.

Are you hungry? Come eat.

Are you tired? Come rest.

Today, don’t waste your time, your effort, your money, on that which isn’t life-giving. Come get the good stuff. And the good stuff is free.

It’s not found anything in life, but in Jesus. He is our water. He is our food. He is rest. He is our life.

Today, our life will not found in our labors, in work, in our money, in anything else. It will be found in Him. Today, find your life in Him.

If you are hungry. Angry. Lonely. Tired. Exhausted. Give out. Giving up. Beat up. Worn out. Hopeless. Cynical. Weary.

Come. Drink. Eat. Rest. Find life. Find it in Him. Don’t waste your precious time on that which is not life. Find life in Him.

He is the good stuff our heart desires. Today, may we find our all in Him.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

To the Thirsty

Very few passages in the Bible start off, hey, those of you that are doing just great, I’ve got something to tell you. That’s not how most the Bible sounds. In fact, in the few cases are talking to the one’s that have pretty well off, the message is either this – be careful, don’t get confidant right now, or give God the praise for what’s going on.

But, that’s not most of scripture. Most of the Bible is like what we see here in Isaiah.  Listen to what the word says in Isaiah 55:1-3:

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.

To those of you that are are thirsty, come to the water. To those of you that have no money, come, buy and eat.

You are spending your time, your money, your effort on those things which do not satisfy. Come, find the things that do. Come, find the things that give life. Come, and on be thirsty.

Today, if you are thirsty, there is hope. Today, if your soul is parched, there is hope. Today, if you are hungry, if you are worn out, if you are tired, there is hope.

The Bible is a love story written to the weak, to the sinful, to the broken. It is God’s act to love to those that feel unlovable. It’s God’s sign of forgiveness to those that feel like they can’t be forgiven. It’s God’s mercy to those that feel like they don’t deserve God’s mercy.

Today, if you are thirsty, come. There is a God that longs to give you water and to give you life. If you are tired, come. There is a God that longs to give you rest. If you are broken, come. There is a God that longs to put you together.

Come and find what you soul needs. Today, if you are in need, there is a God who longs to meet that need. Today, to all the thirsty, come, and drink from God’s living water. Come and lay your burdens down before God. Come and receive His life. Come and live.

Today, to all that need. God is there.