Original Documents

Click below to see readings for the week:

Read Mark 9:30-37

Friday

Read Mark 9:30-37

Mark 9:30–37 (GNB): 30 Jesus and his disciples left that place and went on through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where he was, 31because he was teaching his disciples: “The Son of Man will be handed over to those who will kill him. Three days later, however, he will rise to life.”
32 But they did not understand what this teaching meant, and they were afraid to ask him.
33 They came to Capernaum, and after going indoors Jesus asked his disciples, “What were you arguing about on the road?”
34 But they would not answer him, because on the road they had been arguing among themselves about who was the greatest. Jesus sat down, called the twelve disciples, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must place himself last of all and be the servant of all.” 36Then he took a child and made him stand in front of them. He put his arms round him and said to them, “Whoever welcomes in my name one of these children, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, welcomes not only me but also the one who sent me.”

Think

Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name - welcomes me - says Jesus.

Pray

Lord - help me to welcome in your name.

Read Mark 8:27-38

Thursday

Read Mark 8:27-38

27 Then Jesus and his disciples went away to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Tell me, who do people say I am?”
28 “Some say that you are John the Baptist,” they answered; “others say that you are Elijah, while others say that you are one of the prophets.”
29 “What about you?” he asked them. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”
30 Then Jesus ordered them, “Do not tell anyone about me.”

31 Then Jesus began to teach his disciples: “The Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law. He will be put to death, but three days later he will rise to life.” 32He made this very clear to them. So Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33But Jesus turned round, looked at his disciples, and rebuked Peter. “Get away from me, Satan,” he said. “Your thoughts don’t come from God but from human nature!”
34 Then Jesus called the crowd and his disciples to him. “If anyone wants to come with me,” he told them, “he must forget self, carry his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his own life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36Do people gain anything if they win the whole world but lose their life? Of course not! 37There is nothing they can give to regain their life. 38If a person is ashamed of me and of my teaching in this godless and wicked day, then the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Think

If the Messiah must lay down his life; how much more should people like you and me give up our self service and surrender to God.

Pray

Lord help me to surrender myself more and more to you so that I might receive true life in you.

Read James 3:1-12

Wednesday

Read James 3:1-12

My brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers. As you know, we teachers will be judged with greater strictness than others. 2All of us often make mistakes. But if a person never makes a mistake in what he says, he is perfect and is also able to control his whole being. 3We put a bit into the mouth of a horse to make it obey us, and we are able to make it go where we want. 4Or think of a ship: big as it is and driven by such strong winds, it can be steered by a very small rudder, and it goes wherever the pilot wants it to go. 5So it is with the tongue: small as it is, it can boast about great things.
Just think how large a forest can be set on fire by a tiny flame! 6And the tongue is like a fire. It is a world of wrong, occupying its place in our bodies and spreading evil through our whole being. It sets on fire the entire course of our existence with the fire that comes to it from hell itself. 7Human beings can tame and have tamed all other creatures—wild animals and birds, reptiles and fish. 8But no one has ever been able to tame the tongue. It is evil and uncontrollable, full of deadly poison. We use it to give thanks to our Lord and Father and also to curse other people, who are created in the likeness of God. 10Words of thanksgiving and cursing pour out from the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, this should not happen! 11No spring of water pours out sweet water and bitter water from the same opening. 12A fig tree, my brothers and sisters, cannot bear olives; a grapevine cannot bear figs, nor can a salty spring produce sweet water.

Think

James 3:8-10 - “But no one has ever been able to tame the tongue. It is evil and uncontrollable, full of deadly poison. We use it to give thanks to our Lord and Father and also to curse other people, who are created in the likeness of God. 10Words of thanksgiving and cursing pour out from the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, this should not happen!”

Pray

Lord help me to guard my tongue.

Read Isaiah 50:4-9a

Tuesday

Read Isaiah 50:4-9a

4 The Sovereign Lord has taught me what to say,
so that I can strengthen the weary.
Every morning he makes me eager
to hear what he is going to teach me.
5 The Lord has given me understanding,
and I have not rebelled
or turned away from him.
I bared my back to those who beat me.
I did not stop them when they insulted me,
when they pulled out the hairs of my beard
and spat in my face.
7 But their insults cannot hurt me
because the Sovereign Lord gives me help.
I brace myself to endure them.
I know that I will not be disgraced,
for God is near,
and he will prove me innocent.
Does anyone dare to bring charges against me?
Let us go to court together!
Let him bring his accusation!
The Sovereign Lord himself defends me—
who, then, can prove me guilty?

Think

The Sovereign Lord himself defends me - If you were to imagine yourself accused in a court of law wouldn’t it be good to know that God who knows you and loves you is your judge and defender.

Pray

Lord you have heard me - and you know me - be my defender and friend.

Read Psalm 116:1-9

Monday

Read Psalm 116:1-9

I love the Lord, because he hears me;
he listens to my prayers.
2 He listens to me
every time I call to him.
3 The danger of death was all round me;
the horrors of the grave closed in on me;
I was filled with fear and anxiety.
4 Then I called to the Lord,
“I beg you, Lord, save me!”
5 The Lord is merciful and good;
our God is compassionate.
6 The Lord protects the helpless;
when I was in danger, he saved me.
7 Be confident, my heart,
because the Lord has been good to me.
8 The Lord saved me from death;
he stopped my tears
and kept me from defeat.
9 And so I walk in the presence of the Lord
in the world of the living.

Think

Verse 1 doubly emphasizes the fact that God hears and he also listens.  The ultimate answer in verse 9 is that God saves the Psalmist - and the life the Psalmist receives is ‘to walk in the presence of the Lord’.

Pray

Speak - the Lord is listening.

Read Mark 8:27-38

Friday

Read Mark 8:27-38

27 Then Jesus and his disciples went away to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Tell me, who do people say I am?”
28 “Some say that you are John the Baptist,” they answered; “others say that you are Elijah, while others say that you are one of the prophets.”
29 “What about you?” he asked them. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”
30 Then Jesus ordered them, “Do not tell anyone about me.”

31 Then Jesus began to teach his disciples: “The Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law. He will be put to death, but three days later he will rise to life.” 32He made this very clear to them. So Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33But Jesus turned round, looked at his disciples, and rebuked Peter. “Get away from me, Satan,” he said. “Your thoughts don’t come from God but from human nature!”
34 Then Jesus called the crowd and his disciples to him. “If anyone wants to come with me,” he told them, “he must forget self, carry his cross, and follow me. 35For whoever wants to save his own life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36Do people gain anything if they win the whole world but lose their life? Of course not! 37There is nothing they can give to regain their life. 38If a person is ashamed of me and of my teaching in this godless and wicked day, then the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” 

Think

 “If anyone wants to come with me,” he told them, “he must forget self, carry his cross, and follow me.

We live in a world of self obsession and self promotion.  Jesus invites us to overcome this self obsession - and find true life in following him.

Pray

My self service never satisfies my needs.  Teach me to serve you first and find all I need in you.

Read Mark 7:24-37

Thursday

Read Mark 7:24-37

24 Then Jesus left and went away to the territory near the city of Tyre. He went into a house and did not want anyone to know he was there, but he could not stay hidden. 25A woman, whose daughter had an evil spirit in her, heard about Jesus and came to him at once and fell at his feet. 26The woman was a Gentile, born in the region of Phoenicia in Syria. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. 27But Jesus answered, “Let us first feed the children. It isn’t right to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.”
28 “Sir,” she answered, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s leftovers!”
29 So Jesus said to her, “Because of that answer, go back home, where you will find that the demon has gone out of your daughter!”
30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed; the demon had indeed gone out of her.
31 Jesus then left the neighbourhood of Tyre and went on through Sidon to Lake Galilee, going by way of the territory of the Ten Towns. 32Some people brought him a man who was deaf and could hardly speak, and they begged Jesus to place his hands on him. 33So Jesus took him off alone, away from the crowd, put his fingers in the man’s ears, spat, and touched the man’s tongue. 34Then Jesus looked up to heaven, gave a deep groan, and said to the man, “Ephphatha,” which means, “Open up!”
35 At once the man was able to hear, his speech impediment was removed, and he began to talk without any trouble. 36Then Jesus ordered the people not to speak of it to anyone; but the more he ordered them not to, the more they spoke. 37And all who heard were completely amazed. “How well he does everything!” they exclaimed. “He even causes the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak!” 

Think

The miracles that Jesus performed pointed to verses like those of Isaiah 35:4-7a.  Don't be discouraged, God will lift up those who are struggling.  In what ways do you need God to lift you up?

Pray

Lord open my ears to hear you more clearly.