Lord God, with a grateful and humble heart I come thanking you for this day of grace. I thank you for helping me remember that I am a new creation, saved by grace and sealed by you through the waters of baptism. Thank you for calling me from death to life. Now as I go to this night to rest, be with me. Renew me and reneegize me that I may be a mirror of your light in the world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Daily Archives: January 11, 2021
Psalm 116:12-19 (ESV)
12 What shall I render to the Lord
for all his benefits to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord,
14 I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints.
16 O Lord, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.
You have loosed my bonds.
17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!
Mark 1:14-20 (ESV)
Jesus Begins His Ministry
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Jesus Calls the First Disciples
16 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. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 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. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.
“After John had been arrested…” (Mark 1:14)
John’s arrest was big news. Bad news. Heartbreaking and lamentable news. Yet though it heralded the end of John the Baptist’s ministry, it wasn’t the end of the story. Herod’s malice could not halt the plans of God. John came preaching the good news of repentance and forgiveness, and when Herod had him imprisoned, Jesus continued John’s preaching. He even added to it. He continued John’s call to repentance, but he also announced, “The Kingdom of God is at hand” and called everyone to “believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15).
In the face of bad news, which we all face at one time or another, Jesus urges all of us, Believe the good news. Believe it despite the bad or heartbreaking or lamentable news. Choose to focus your thoughts and emotions on the truth of the kingdom of God. Remind yourself of all of the promises and proclamations Jesus has given us:
- “I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20).
- “I will never forget you.” (Isaiah 49:15).
- “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33).
- “I make all things new.” (Revelation 21:5).
Believe these words! Write them down, and put them where you will see them every day. Make promises like this the “news” that fills your thoughts and lifts your heart.
God’s plans can never be defeated – not by John’s arrest or Jesus’ death or the devil’s malevolence. Not by rulers or schemes or any sin or misfortune in your life. Believe the good news: you have been born, through baptism, into Jesus’ death and resurrection, into a living hope. God is keeping a careful watch over your life. Because you believe in him, you can hold onto his promises when you are feeling discouraged or frightened. Jesus has won for you a place in his kingdom; he has made the good news a reality for you. Let these truths sink into your heart so that you can know peace in the midst of difficulty or sorrow.
Jesus, I choose to trust in the good news today. I choose to believe that your kingdom is at hand, that you rule over all things, and that you love me. Amen.