READ: Mark 6:1-29
THINK: Do you ever find yourself taking God for granted? Perhaps it's even easy to consider Jesus' to be so familiar that you no longer rely on Him for anything extraordinary. But there are few things God values more than the faith of those who claim to love and follow Jesus. The fact is that God wants to do powerful works through His people--things so extraordinary that few could deny that God is responsible for these things. But Jesus' followers must trust Him completely if He is to use them in this way. They must obey the instructions in His Word and not worry what others think. Then, God will do things that will be difficult for anyone to take for granted.
RESPOND: Why was it so difficult for the people in Jesus' hometown to accept Him and His ministry? Why didn't Jesus perform many miracles in His hometown? In what ways did Jesus fill the role of a prophet? (See 6:4 note.) Why is a lack of faith so serious and destructive among God's people? (See 6:6 note.) When Jesus sent His disciples out to do ministry, why do you think He instructed them to "Take nothing for the journey..."? Why were the disciples able to do extraordinary works and do you think Jesus expects the same of His followers today? Why or why not? What is the significance of anointing people with oil when praying for their healing? (See 6:13 note.) Why do you think Herod was impressed by John and tried to protect him, even though he did not really accept John's warnings? What do Herod's actions tell us about his character?
PRAY: Ask God to teach you to trust Him more fully, even though learning to do so will be difficult. Ask Jesus to honor himself in your life, and pray that people will never give you credit for what God chooses to do through you.
ACT: Put aside your assumptions and expectations as well as the fear of what others might think. Dare to trust God for something that would certainly fail apart from Him. Perhaps He will use you to start a new ministry at church or school. He may lead you to pray in person for someone who needs a miracle. Or He may want you to share with friends or ministry leaders an idea that will inspire vision and participation from others.
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