READ: Mark 16:1-20
THINK: Since we have full access to God's written Word, we may sometimes find it difficult to relate to the emotions and experiences of people we read about in the Bible. After all, it's always easier in retrospect to overdramatize situations, to excessively glorify people's faith, and to criticize their failures. But certainly we would have emerged with different perspectives had we actually been there and lived through events described in the Bible.
RESPOND: What do the women's actions during Jesus' ministry (cf. vv. 40-41) and surrounding His death tell us about their character and commitment to Him? (See 16:1 note.) How would you have felt if you were with the women during these events? Why did Jesus' followers refuse to believe the reports that He was alive (vv. 11-13), even though He had told them He would rise from the dead (cf. ch. 10:34; 16:7)? Are the signs Jesus spoke about (vv. 17-19) still valid today? Why or why not? (See 16:18 note.) What signs do you think accompanied the disciples' preaching (v. 20)? Who was behind these works? What signs should we expect among Christ's followers today? Are these signs evident? Why or why not? (See article on Signs of Believers, p. 1377.)
PRAY: Ask God to help you become better acquainted with His Word and to remember and apply what you study. Ask Him to help you follow the example of the women who stuck by Jesus through the darkest hours. Ask Jesus to work through you in powerful ways to confirm the message He has called you to spread.
ACT: Follow the example of the women who served Jesus' needs and the example of Jesus, who meets your needs. Look for people who have apparent needs--physically, emotionally, relationally, spiritually. Pray for these individuals as you encounter them throughout they day, asking God to do miracles, even for those who don't know Him yet. Serve everyone you can in practical or tangible ways. Perhaps this will spark spiritual conversations. Believe that God will do things so powerful that people will not be able to explain them apart from Him.
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