Then [Jesus] looked at those seated in a circle around him and said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers!
Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
Mark 3:34-35 NIV
Some things bear repeating.
Especially in times like these when the actual, unchanging truth of Scripture finds itself at odds with what Western culture wants to read into it.
Which is why – one week from today – His Own Heart Ministries will begin an updated version of Nudges. It’s been two years since the publication of the three-part series. Since that time, God in His grace has more than doubled the number of subscribers to our blog. We’ve prayerfully made the decision to run this refresher for those new readers as well as for any who were with us the first time around.
First, though, we’d like to ask you read the following excerpt from Mark: A Six-Week Devotional, published by NewSpring Church.
Then we’d like to ask you read the accompanying passage of Scripture from Mark 3:20-35.
Then we’d like to ask you to do some spiritual soul-searching as you consider the questions that conclude the post.
Please be sure to work your way through each part of this exercise in order to receive maximum benefit from what lies ahead in future posts.
“What would have happened if Noah had completed 90% of the ark in Genesis 6? Imagine if he’d left a small hole in the hull or left off the roof, choosing instead to take a weekend off. Noah could not afford partial commitment. His salvation and his family’s chance of surviving catastrophe were dependent upon his complete and total willingness to completely trust God. The same is true for us.
Real commitment is incredibly difficult, yet we are asked to do it every day. We’re asked to commit to spouses, children, jobs, exercise programs, diets, and countless others. Many of these commitments require balance. We have to take time and effort from one to give to another. While this works with certain aspects of life, it does not work with our commitment to follow Jesus.
God does not expect us to be perfect. Much of the Christian life is a process of letting go of old habits and embracing our new life as a Christian. We won’t always get it right, but we will keep moving forward if we remain steadfast in our commitment to God.
In Mark 3:34-35, Jesus says our commitment to Him should supersede every other relationship in our lives: “Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.’”
Jesus doesn’t ask for our perfection; He asks for our commitment.
We are not capable of living perfect lives. Jesus doesn’t ask for our perfection; He asks for our commitment. As Christians, we are called to press on the best we can after realizing and acknowledging our complete dependence on the sacrifice Jesus made. There can be no partial commitment when it comes to this one decision. We are either in or out.”[Read Mark 3:20-35. The NIV translation is posted below for your convenience. Take some quiet time this week to reflect on the questions that follow the passage to take inventory of your true commitment to Jesus Christ.]
Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family[a] heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”
So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come.In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”
He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.”
Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”
“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.
Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
- On a scale of 1 to 10, where is your commitment to Jesus? Why did you pick the number you did?
- Who or what has the most influence on your day-to-day decisions? Where does Jesus fall in the order of influential voices in your life?
- What step do you need to take this week to make your relationship with Jesus your Number 1 priority?
– Copyright 2020, Carole Anne Hallyburton. All rights reserved.