April 2, 2017: Follow Christ
April 2, 2017
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Today’s Bible Reading: Joshua 3-5, Psalm 73, Mark 1:9-20, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 Mark 1:9-20: Jesus’ baptism is accompanied with an extraordinary voice from heaven along with the Spirit descending upon him: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased” (1:9-11). In Christ, through faith in him, we are beloved and “accepted in the beloved” too (Ephesians 1:6, KJV). It is amazing to hear the word of God given to attest to the identity of Christ. All true Christians have the assurance available to them that they are, in Christ, also “accepted” in Christ the “beloved.” Dwell in this thought today. You are not alienated; you are accepted. You are not hated, diminished, or dismissed; you are loved. After the baptism, after the spiritual “high,” comes the temptation (1:12-13). Jesus is fulfilling all that is necessary so that in life, as in death, he might be the full and complete perfect “Son” that Israel failed to be. He crosses through the waters of baptism (the Jordan), and in the desert is tempted. All along without sin, this his perfect, righteous life might be the life that we can have reckoned to us through faith. When you are tempted, remember that he was tempted as we are, and so is able to help us in our weakness (Hebrews 4:15). If you are feeling overcome by temptation, turn to Jesus. Say his name. Ask for his help. After the baptism, after the temptation, comes the message and the ministry (1:14-15). The summary of his message is here given: “The time is fulfilled” (1:15) (all that the prophets had promised); “the kingdom of God is at hand”—the kingdom of God is where the King reigns, and in Christ the King, the kingdom has arrived and the promised Messianic kingdom has come; “repent and believe in the gospel,” which means good news. Given this announcement of this good news of the King, our response can only be to turn from other ways of living, trust in Christ, and believe his message. Would you do that today? After the baptism, after the temptation, after the message, comes the team (1:16-20). With authority, he calls them, “Follow me.” And he gives them a mission: “I will make you fishers of men” (1:17). Their task now is to be with people and their souls and their salvation. Whereas before they brought fish from life to death, now they will bring people from death to life. You too have a calling if you are a Christian. You have a calling to follow Christ (the upward calling). You have a calling to holiness and witness (the outward calling). You have a calling to the church (the community calling). And you have a calling to live in a particular way, exercising your particular gifts for Christ’s glory (the vocational calling). Today would you renew that calling to Christ and follow him with all your energy and passion? To receive God Centered Bible devotionals directly in your inbox, sign up here.]]>
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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