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Retreat 2013 Devotionals

August 27, 2013 by jpark

Saturday August 31, 2013

Hungry for Jesus | Mark 5:24-34

24 And he went with him.

And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. 25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years,26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28 For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” 29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?”31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 And he looked around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” (Mark 5:24-34, ESV)

Introduction

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”  – C.S. Lewis, Weight of Glory

Notes 

v.25 -26 – What did this woman go through?  Physical suffering – 12 years of continuous bleeding; Medical suffering – It says she “suffered” under care of doctors; possibly undergoing painful medical treatment;  Financial suffering – “She spent all she had” to pay for her medical treatments; Social and emotional suffering – According to Levitical Law, she was considered “unclean” and was an outcast from society.

v.27-29 – She had heard about Jesus’ healing power (Word) and acted upon it (faith) and received healing (true spiritual healing – freedom from sin).

v.30-32 – Jesus is able to distinguish people who touch him physically and those who seek to “touch him spiritually”

v.33-34 – The woman feared being rejected as a result of this bold act because it would be considered a violation of religious law, but Jesus instead affirms her faith and proclaims her to be free

Reflection Questions

1. Read C.S. Lewis’ quote above. How would you assess your desire for Jesus lately? This past month? This past year?

 

2. Read Mark 5:24-34. We see a woman who desperately reached out to touch Jesus. What can we learn about spiritual hunger and the Christian life from this passage?

 

3. Please take a moment to pray through some ways you’d like to apply the lessons you’ve learned today.

 

Sunday September 1, 2013

The Harvest is Plentiful | Matthew 9:35-38

35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:35-38, ESV)

 

1. In this passage, we see Jesus’ compassion for his flock and his desire to raise up workers to minister to them. As we prepare for the fourth year of TRC, what can we learn about ministering and serving through this passage?

 

2. In light of this passage, what are some good examples you’ve seen in the past that have modeled this well and have been a blessing to you? Give thanks for them and pray that you can be a blessing to someone this year in a similar manner.

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