Not-so-smooth Transitions

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If you ever led small group discussions or family devotions, you know that sometimes there is no smooth way to go into devotions.

Like tonight: our family was having a robust discussion on dinosaurs. In my mind, I knew we would have no other opportunities to do devotions. This is how I transitioned into devotion time:

Me: NO ONE MAKE A MOVE. STAY IN YOUR SEAT. IT’S…
Kids: DEVOTION TIME!

Sometimes, you’ll get an opening. Other times, unless you are about to teach on Job 40 & 41, there is no easy way to switch from dinosaur talk to the Gospel of Mark.

Mark 1:40-45 Jesus Will Never Reject Us

Mark 1:40-45 And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.

1. Did Jesus want to heal the leper?

2. If we are sick, or we have done something wrong, will Jesus ever say, “No, I will not” or will he say, “Yes, I will heal you. Yes I will forgive your sins.”?

3. What was Jesus sent to Earth to do? Was it heal every single person or did he have a bigger plan? What do you think that bigger plan was?

 

Series: I have made mentioned of our family devotions on the Internets and gotten a few requests for my notes. So that is what I am doing just that here. Every Wednesday as a regular weekly series, I will share my notes that I write in preparing for family devotions.

Mark 1:35-39 Jesus Prayed

Mark 1:35-39 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.

1. What is prayer?
Worship
Talking
Giving Thanks

2. Why do we pray?
We get to talk to our Father in heaven. We get to spend time with him. We get to kick it.

3. When you don’t get to see your dad, do you miss him? When Jesus was here on earth, do you think he missed his Father?

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.”
(Matthew 26:36 ESV)

And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
(Matthew 26:39 ESV)

Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”
(Matthew 26:42 ESV)

So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.
(Matthew 26:44 ESV)

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
(Mark 1:35 ESV)

And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.
(Mark 6:46 ESV)

But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
(Luke 5:16 ESV)

In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.
(Luke 6:12 ESV)

Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray.
(Luke 9:28 ESV)

Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”
(Luke 11:1 ESV)

When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you,
(John 17:1 ESV)

4. How come we get to talk to the God?
Because of everything Christ has done for us.

5. Do you think Jesus helps us pray?
“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
(Matthew 6:5-15 ESV)

6. Do you think Jesus prays for us?
I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.(John 17:9 ESV)

Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
(Romans 8:34 ESV)

7. Do you think the Holy Spirit helps us pray?
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
(John 14:26 ESV)

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
(Romans 8:26 ESV)

8. Do you think the Holy Spirit prays for us as well?
And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
(Romans 8:27 ESV)

Just like Jesus always wanted to spend time with His Dad, we get to spend time with our Dad in Heaven. We get to call out to him like you guys call out your daddy. God will always have time to spend with you. He is never busy. He will always listen. You can just start talking and he hears you perfectly fine. Even if you can’t speak, he can read your thoughts and see what’s on your heart. He will always answer prayers:

I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my words.
(Psalm 17:6 ESV)

 

Series: I have made mentioned of our family devotions on the Internets and gotten a few requests for my notes. So that is what I am doing just that here. Every Wednesday as a regular weekly series, I will share my notes that I write in preparing for family devotions.

Mark 1:29-34 Jesus Heals the Sick

Mark 1:29-34 And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

Who made our bodies?
Genesis 1:26-27
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

Were our bodies suppose to get hurt? Were we suppose to get sick?
Genesis 2:31a And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good…

Why do we get sick? Why do we get bad dreams? Why does our tummies hurt? (Genesis 3)

Who comes to heal the sick, take away our hurts and give us brand new life?
If God heals you in this house, that is of God.

If you are healed when you take medicine, where did the medicine come from?

If you are healed when you go see the doctor, nurse or even go to the hospital, where did all doctor and nurses’ smarts come from? Where did money to build the hospital come from?

God heals.

What if we die here on earth, do we still live?
If we trust, believe in Christ, we will live in perfect happiness with Him forever. That is faith.

Colossians 1:15-20
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

 

Series: I have made mentioned of our family devotions on the Internets and gotten a few requests for my notes. So that is what I am doing just that here. Every Wednesday as a regular weekly series, I will share my notes that I write in preparing for family devotions.

Mark 1:21-28 Jesus Rules and Reigns Over Satan and Demons

Mark 1:21-28 And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.

Be confident in God’s Word. If the Bible says it, it is as good as gold. It is as good as done. (See 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.”

Do the demons know who God is?

Do the demons know that Jesus is Lord God Almighty?

Do you believe in God?

Do you believe everything He says?

But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.

 

Series: I have made mentioned of our family devotions on the Internets and gotten a few requests for my notes. So that is what I am doing just that here. Every Wednesday as a regular weekly series, I will share my notes that I write in preparing for family devotions.

Who is the Lord over heaven?

Who is the Lord over earth?

Who is the Lord over hell?

Satan is not in charge of anything except demons. Christ is charge of everything. When Christ died on the cross, Satan, demons, hell, sin and death were defeated at that moment.

Parents: This is where we talk about the supremacy of God. We do not live in a dualistic universe where the forces of good battle against the force of evil. We live in the kingdom of God where Christ has claimed victory over Satan, death (Heb 2:14), demons (Col 2:15), hell (Phil 2:9-11) and sin (Heb 7:27).

Mark 1:16-20 Jesus Calls Out

Mark 1:16-20 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.

When we are saved, when we accept Jesus into our hearts and trust in Him and trust what he says, there are a ton of things that God did before we could even know who God is.

God knew you.

God loved you.

God created you.

God pursued you.

And God called you.

Just like the disciples here, Jesus Christ called them one by one, telling them to all, “Follow me.” Likewise, when we heard about God for the first time and when we heard about what Jesus did for those who trust and believe in Him, His Holy Spirit was calling out to each other hearts, saying, “Follow me.”.

When do you remember the first time you felt God calling you?

 

Series: I have made mentioned of our family devotions on the Internets and gotten a few requests for my notes. So that is what I am doing just that here. Every Wednesday as a regular weekly series, I will share my notes that I write in preparing for family devotions.

Mark 1:14-15 Jesus Is The Good News Pt. 2

Mark 1:14-15 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

1. Is the kingdom of God right here, right now?

What is the kingdom of God? Is it like a country like the United States—does it have a location? Does it include all of the earth, all of heaven and all of outer space?

Does it have a leader?

Who lives in the kingdom of God?

2. What does it mean to repent?

What does it mean to turn away from sin and turn towards God?

What does it mean to trust in God?

3. What is the gospel? Tell me some of the things you think the gospel of God is.

 

Series: I have made mentioned of our family devotions on the Internets and gotten a few requests for my notes. So that is what I am doing just that here. Every Wednesday as a regular weekly series, I will share my notes that I write in preparing for family devotions.

Mark 1:12-13 Jesus is Led by the Holy Spirit

Mark 1:12-13 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.

Was Jesus human?

Was Jesus the Son of God?

Did Jesus have in him, the Spirit of God?

Do we have the Spirit of God?

Are we sons and daughters of God?

Romans 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Does God love his kids?

Does God love you?

Parents: After talking about the person and work of the Holy Spirit, now the opportunity presents itself to talk about “What does that mean to me?“, “What does it mean to have the Holy Spirit within my heart?” or “What does it look like to be led by the Spirit of God?“. If further discussion is needed, a great starting off point is Galatians 5:22-23 “The Fruit of the Spirit”.

Series: I have made mentioned of our family devotions on the Internets and gotten a few requests for my notes. So that is what I am doing just that here. Every Wednesday as a regular weekly series, I will share my notes that I write in preparing for family devotions.

Mark 1:9-11 God is Three in One Not Three

Mark 1:9-11 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

How many people were here with John? 

Jesus – was baptized by John
Holy Spirit – descending on him like a dove
Father – a voice came from heaven

Is Jesus God? Is the Father God? Is the Holy Spirit God? 

Yes

How many persons who are God? 

Three

How many God(s) are there?

One

If there are three people and just one God, how can all three persons be one God?

Parents: On the surface, the doctrine of the Trinity is the most confusing because we really don’t have anything on earth like it. I believe it was Augustine who said:

Three persons in this room does not have one will.  Triune God does have one will.

The best way I explained the Triune God to my kids is explaining how my wife and I try to have one will but we do so imperfectly. That is why my wife and I have to talk all the time especially when it comes to connecting, becoming one, parenting, and running the house. Mom and Dad have to do talk all the time and sometimes we are not perfect in having one will—even less so when it comes to do the Father’s will.

However, the Father, Son, and Spirit communicate perfectly, know perfectly, love perfectly, and therefore have one perfect will. They never have to argue, fight, or disagree. They can certainly discuss anything (and Father and Son do) but they all want the same thing and want the same way to get to that same thing. (This is most evident by the cross of Christ.)

What would it mean to be perfectly love each and perfect agree with one another? To have three persons with one mind, one heart and one will?

Series: I have made mentioned of our family devotions on the Internets and gotten a few requests for my notes. So that is what I am doing just that here. Every Wednesday as a regular weekly series, I will share my notes that I write in preparing for family devotions.

Mark 1:4-7 Jesus Baptizes With the Holy Spirit

Mark 1:4-7 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” 

What do you think John meant by “Christ will baptize you with the Holy Spirit”?

What does it mean if the Holy Spirit (Spirit of God) is in your heart and with you always?

Parents: I know I am assuming a lot when it comes to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, not knowing your religious background, upbringing or your church’s stance on the Holy Spirit. Parents, simply do a word search on the Spirit (as oppose to spirit, see Romans 8:16) and talk about this distinct person of the Holy Spirit. Emphasize, while we can’t see him (like the Father), he is fully God and does a real work in our hearts when we are saved to God.

Note: I originally posted this as Mark 1:4-11 and suddenly remembered that passage better serves as two distinct conversation: Who is the Holy Spirit (this post) and What is the Trinity? (next post). For posterity sake, I have taken the liberty of updating the old post, splitting into two, re-titling both and posting up. Sorry for the confusion. Enjoy. –Ed.

Series: I have made mentioned of our family devotions on the Internets and gotten a few requests for my notes. So that is what I am doing just that here. Every Wednesday as a regular weekly series, I will share my notes that I write in preparing for family devotions.