This may be different than the typical bible study or article, because you actually need to open your Bible and take notes for yourself as you go through it! This quiet time will help you change your view of God, relationships, and “change”.
You may have read David Motamed’s “Quiet Time on Ezra”. I take a different approach when I read the Bible. It’s cool that we can learn from each other how to interact with God and read the Bible in different ways to find out what works best for us. I like to read the Bible like a novel, so I can see the whole picture of who God is. That helps me more than breaking down each and every verse individually, and convictions end up staying with me throughout the day better that way. It’s much easier for me to remember a story or narrative than a specific verse and its analysis.
Think for a second about who your favorite celebrity or historical figure is. Why is he or she your favorite? I’m going to guess it’s because they inspire you in some way. The crazy thing is that Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, and Queen Elizabeth the First give us just a fraction the inspiration that Jesus brought with his life.
Jesus was inspiring for many reasons. You can spend a lifetime reading about his life and find new inspiration every time. For this quiet time I want to focus on change. Change is inspiring and Jesus makes it simple.
Take a minute right now to think about one thing you want to change about yourself that is going to be difficult to change. Write it down.
- Open your Bible to Mark or click it open online!
- Get out a notebook and pen
- Read the passage on your own. Feel free to underline or take your own notes.
- Then read the questions and points below after each passage, and answer the questions in your notebook.
- You may have noticed how quickly Jesus operated. After Jesus was baptized he was sent “at once” into the desert. Then you see the people around him changing at “at once”. Why do you think it takes us so long to change?
- You should have also noticed Jesus’ authority. Somehow, Jesus was able to draw crowds in the first day of his ministry. Why were so many people drawn to him?
- Considering his sense of immediacy, his authority, and his prayer, how did these things make Jesus the perfect person to change lives?
- I chose to isolate this section because here Jesus starts to meet resistance against his message. Try to relate yourself to the people resisting change. How do you resist change?
- What are a few of Jesus’ messages to those who resisted change? Which of these do you think he would say to you?
- Jesus also showed in three different instances how he chose who he was going to be closest to. How do you pick friends and how does that compare with the way Jesus picked friends?
- Even though the parable of the sower is one of the most important passages to understand the Bible (Mark 4:13), it’s interesting that it doesn’t come up until Chapter 4. Why is that?
- Take some time now to identify which heart condition you have that is keeping the Word from changing you: hard, rocky, or thorny? What is causing your heart to be that way?
- Look at the rest of the parables in this section. Which one inspires you and why?
- Jesus could only help people who really believed. Some struggled to believe because of fear, because they were offended, or because they just thought Jesus was foolish. What stops you from believing God can change you?
- What did the people who changed do to change?
- Take a minute and put everything in this section and all of Jesus’ actions on a timeline. What characteristics do you notice about Jesus?
Ready for Part 2?