Day Two: True Greatness

Mark 9:33-35 (NIV)
33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.
35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

“The kingdom of God is counterintuitive to how the world works, a reign in which everything is turned on its head, following the character of the God who chooses the younger over the older, who triumphs through the cross, and who manifests his kingship by self-giving love.” [T. Gombis, The Story of God Bible Commentary, 325]

“Jesus is giving them a key kingdom principle: sacrificial love. He himself became last. He didn’t cling on to any status or privilege but took the humble position of a servant. He lived a selfless life and died a selfless death on the cross. Jesus lived what he taught. Look how he’s helping the disciples to see how their understanding of greatness is backwards. They were arguing about being the greatest, but Jesus is telling them that true greatness lies in servanthood.” [Adapted from P. Jason Han’s message]

Prayer: Lord Jesus, may we take the humble position of learning from your example, starting with serving and loving those you have placed in our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship with “The Cross Stands” by Worship Central (click here).



Day One: The Greatest

Let’s read aloud the following scripture and prayer.

Daniel 7:13-14 (NIV)
In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Prayer: Lord, thank you that there is more for our lives and our churches. Help us to see afresh your everlasting kingdom – how you have authority, glory, and sovereign power over all things. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Let’s sing and give our hearts to the Lord with “Holy Forever” by Chris Tomlin (click here).




Day 5: Follow Me

Mark 1:16-20 (NIV)
16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

“The good news isn’t a message, it’s an invitation. It’s ‘follow me’. Salvation is not just being saved from something, but that you’re saved into something. That’s what we’re proclaiming: ‘God, you’ve saved me into a whole new life, into a calling, the things of your heart, a whole new way of living, what you desire to do, your purpose and plans.’ We can’t stop at ‘thank you God for doing this in my life in the past’ – we’ll die if we stay there. The good news is that God saves us into the new things he’s doing, the next step. That’s why Jesus says ‘follow me.’” [Adapted from P. Nate’s message]

Prayer: Father, thank you that your good news continues each day in our lives, because you are always inviting us into life with you. Help us to respond to your invitation at once and follow you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship Jesus to “Ready For You” by Worship Central (click here).



Day 4: It’s Time!

Let’s read aloud the following passages and prayer together:

Mark 1:14-15 (NIV)
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

2 Corinthians 6:2 (NIV)
2 For he says,
“In the time of my favor I heard you,
    and in the day of salvation I helped you.”
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Prayer: Father, by your Spirit and your Word, proclaim over us and into us again today the good news of God – the kingdom of God has come near! Right now is the time of your favor, today is the day of your salvation! We believe your good news and we open our hands to receive your favor and salvation, more than we can ask or imagine and according to your power at work in us, in our lives right now. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship Jesus our Lord as we sing “Great Things” by Phil Wickham (click here).



Day 3: Get Ready!

Mark 1:4, 7-8 (NIV)
4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
7 And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

“But John’s message of repentance was essentially forward-looking. God’s doing a new thing, so we have to get ready!… When God arrives; when the king knocks on the door; when you’re about to be plunged in the holy spirit – what is there in your life that most embarrasses you? What are you ashamed of? What bits of the room have been quietly crying out to be tidied these many years, and you’ve been ignoring them?… It’s time to get ready.” [N.T. Wright. Lent for Everyone, Mark, Year B]

Prayer: Father, we hear you tell us it’s time to get ready! Help us to respond in repentance – cleaning things up, throwing things out, rearranging our lives to be ready to embrace the new thing you are doing. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “Heaven Invade” by Kari Jobe (click here).



Day 2: Past, Present, and Future

Mark 1:1-3 (NIV)
1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, 2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way”—
3 “a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.’”
“…‘the beginning of the gospel’. The phrase…signals two important things. First, God is initiating something new here…Second, the ‘beginning’ of a narrative implies a middle and an end. There is an ongoing aspect to this story…” [Strauss, Mark. Mark, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament]

“The greatest news is that Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God is coming. And then Mark quotes three Scriptures which span the scope of this expectation from past, future, and present. But what he’s getting at is that this good news is past, present, and future. It’s good news that God was at work the whole time, is at work right now, and is at work getting us ready for the future.” [Adapted from P. Nate’s message]

Prayer: Father, how wonderful that your good news is past, present, and future. We thank you for what you have already done, welcome what you are doing today, and look forward, in hope, to your good news to come. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “One and Only Jesus” by Vertical Worship (click here).



Day 1: Jesus, Messiah

Mark 1:1 (NIV) – “The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.”

“Mark here introduces the primary purpose of his Gospel: to tell the world about Jesus Messiah, Son of God. He is a prophet yet more than a prophet. He is God’s promised Messiah, the anointed Son who has been sent into this world to sacrifice himself for the salvation of humankind…He is the unique Son who himself is very God and, as God, brings final salvation into this evil world” [Osborne, Grant. Mark, Teach the Commentary]

“What is being declared is the beginning of good news which is centered on a person, Jesus, Messiah, Son of God.  This good news, captured in the word ‘gospel’ is focused and simple: Jesus is coming!  And that is the same message for us today, whatever the circumstances of life or society are, whatever the trajectory of recent events are, good news!  God himself is coming, God himself is here, right here, right now – and that means everything from here on out will be completely different.  This good news is not merely informative or inspiring, it is transformative and penetratingly so, from God to us.” [P. Brian’s message]

Prayer: Father, thank you for the good news of Jesus, Messiah who came to give us salvation and new life! We believe your good news today and are eager to hear it and speak it and live in it with our whole heart today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “God Is Coming” by Martin Smith (click here).



Day 5: Maranatha

Luke 23:44-46 (NIV)
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”  When he had said this, he breathed his last.

“Jesus emerged from the blackness before he died. He did not have to wait for an open tomb and a resurrection body. The face of his Father shone lovingly upon him again on this side of the grave. Darkness may still have covered the land. The fearful rending of the ‘veil of the temple’ might intimidate any who saw it. But for Jesus the battle was ended.” [John White. Daring to Draw Near: People in Prayer.]

“With this he ‘breathed his last,’ in control to the very end. The powers of darkness have not won but lost. In his death salvation was secured for humankind, and it came not when earthly or cosmic forces demanded but when God so willed. The greatest act of love humankind will ever know was now complete, and the powers of darkness were once for all conquered.” [Grant Osborne. Luke Verse by Verse.]

Prayer: Jesus, you are our only hope. May your kingdom come. May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. By your Spirit, we commit our lives into your hands for today and the battles ahead. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “You Hold Me Now” by Hillsong Worship (click here).



Day 4: My God, My God

Let us read aloud these passages together,

Matthew 27:45-46 (NIV)
45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

 Psalm 22:1-5 (NIV)
For the director of music. To the tune of “The Doe of the Morning.” A psalm of David.
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me,
    so far from my cries of anguish?
2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
    by night, but I find no rest.
3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
    you are the one Israel praises.
4 In you our ancestors put their trust;
    they trusted and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried out and were saved;
    in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

“The darkness may not immediately lessen, but to cry out is natural and altogether appropriate. He waits tenderly and patiently to hear you cry, ‘O God, where are you?’ He knows then what you still expect of him.” [John White. Daring to Draw Near: People in Prayer.]

“When we are in the Spirit, we are not led to fear, anger, or distraction. We don’t trivialize the pain. Instead, we let the Psalms be our guide through the battle.”  [Adapted from P. Ed’s message.]

Prayer: My God, my God, I cry out to you. By your Spirit, I put my trust in the Holy One who hears and delivers. I put my trust in the Holy One who saves and does not put me to shame.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “Is He Worthy” by Chris Tomlin (click here).



Day 3: Forgiven and Forgiveness

Luke 23:34 (NIV)
34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

“Stop grappling with your feelings. Raise the issue to an altogether higher level. Go to the Father and pray that the Father will forgive…God will in fact take you seriously when you pray for the forgiveness of another. The capacity to pray in this way is what makes you a priest. You are to follow in the steps of the High Priest and to plead for mercy for those who need it. In doing so you will transcend that form of forgiveness which merely affects the horizontal relationship between you and a fellow creature, and will be calling for divine forgiveness of sin from the only Source able to provide that forgiveness.” [John White. Daring to Draw Near: People in Prayer.]

“Jesus was described in the gospels as being full of the Holy Spirit and led by the Spirit. How much we need the filling of the Holy Spirit as well. As we go through our own battles, it is only through the Spirit that we are able to live and pray as Jesus did.”  [Adapted from P. Ed message.]

Prayer: Father, thank you for your love and forgiveness. As you have forgiven me, forgive _______.  May you bring your salvation, healing, and reconciliation to our families, to our churches, to our cities, to our campuses, to our friends, classmates, and co-workers. May you receive all the glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “Endless Alleluia”  by Bethel Music & Cory Asbury (click here).