So, since my second year at university I’ve been in the habit of reading a book of the Bible a week and meeting with a group of friends to talk about what three things stood out to me. It’s a really good practice and I feel like I get a lot out of it, of course I would: Scripture is God breathed and is useful! Over the summer I started again and got up to the book of Judges…
Starting back at Uni, though I decided to put my read through on hold so that the leadership group at Navs could catch up. This week they’re finishing Numbers…I’d made a decision that I would use the weeks where they’d caught up to read the Bible differently. So I’ve been looking a bit at Romans, Amos and Hebrews…and yesterday I read through Mark.
Here are my three points from Mark
- “You have made a fine art of departing from God’s command in order to keep your tradition” 7.8 He then goes ahead to give the example of how they would dishonor their parents for the sake of making a “gift to God”. This is a heavy moment and there is lots to draw from it. I think the main thing reading it, for me, was that God’s commands still stand, even the ones I forget to pay value to – such as honoring my parents. As I grow up, I see more and more that my parents aren’t perfect people (I know that’s common for everyone), but God still wants me to honor them!
- “He [Jesus] took a child and stood him among them. Then He put His arms around him…” 9.36 When I read this I welled up to think of what it must have been like to be that young child, with the arms of the Creator around you! How safe would you feel to have the physical arms of the Savior around you. It took me a while to realize…His arms are around me, He holds me.
- “On the contrary, whoever among you wants to be a leader must be your servant; and whoever wants to be first among you must become everyone’s slave!” 10.43-44 I think in the past I’ve read this verse and been tempted to paraphrase its meaning in my mind “the first shall be last” and that therefore “its bad to want to be first/a leader”. I don’t think Jesus is condemning those who want to go into leadership and to guide others…instead He is instructing them on what that looks like. Not acting all self-important and serving yourself…but serving others. So in my role at Navs where one of my roles is “Ministry leader”. This looks less like – being the authority figure, who has all the answers…and more like being a servant to those who are involved in Navs. Lord please help me think like a servant, always looking for opportunities to make someone’s life easier and to help, rather than boost my own agenda and reputation.