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A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing through Instagram when I stumbled upon a hashtag #GoodMorningGirls. Courtney of WomenLivingWell hosts a daily Bible reading devotion. They just finished a topic and was going to start on the book of Mark. I decided to read along. We’re reading one chapter a day and using the SOAK method to study.

SOAK stands for:

Scripture – reading the Bible passages and writing down the exact words of a particular verse that spoke to you.
Observation – writing down what you think God is saying to you in the passage you just read.
Application – personalizing what you’ve read by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now. It can be an instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life.
Kneeling in Prayer – asking God to help you use the Scripture or maybe a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you.

Chapter 1

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There’s a lot to learn in the first chapter. From verses 1-8, John the Baptist preached of a baptism of repentance but made it known that he is only a messenger and not the Savior. In verse 13, Jesus was fasting in the desert for forty days and was tempted by Satan. He told the devil to go away because we should only worship and serve the Lord. (Matt. 4:11) Being Christians does not exempt us from struggle and temptations. We even experience it more because the devil will try to turn us from God. But we should strive to live Christ-like lives. In verse 35, Jesus went to a solitary place to pray. It is important to observe silence when praying. Praying is our way to communicate with God. Isn’t it frustrating when we talk to our friends or family and it’s very loud and noisy? The same goes with praying. Our quiet time is our “date” with God. We must observe silence so we could hear when He speaks to us.

What spoke out to me in this chapter is when Jesus called upon His disciples. They all had lives and jobs but they dropped everything and followed Jesus. Serving God and preaching the gospel should be the top priority. I’ve known it all my life but it wasn’t until recently when I realized I have not made it a point to prioritize my relationship with God. It was always something I would do when I have time but it should have been putting Him first and everything else falls second. Even family and career. And that’s what I’m implementing in my life from now on.

I pray for God’s constant reminder to put Him first above all others. From experience, it’s smooth sailing from there on end because He puts everything in order.

Chapter 2

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I grew up in a Christian family. I went to Sunday school, sang in the choir, attended youth fellowship, and eventually attended Sunday service. I also spent 10 years studying in a Christian school. Despite my background and upbringing, I still sinned. As humans, we are all sinners. Just because we’re Christians doesn’t mean we don’t do anything wrong. I did things I knew were wrong in the eyes of God but I still did them. If I compare myself to other people, I’m not that bad. But in Jesus’ standards, I’m not good. I was doing what I want, living a life I wanted and not what God wants for me. In a way, I was disobeying His commands. I have repented and asked for God’s forgiveness. I learned from my mistakes and fully intend to not do it again.

The great news is, Jesus has come for us. He gave his life to pay for our sins, but he rose 3 days later as told in the Scripture. As sinners, we are given an opportunity to an eternal life because of God’s great sacrifice. And we should take it for granted.

In my prayer, I always ask for God’s forgiveness. I may have done something that feels okay in my perspective, but may not have been pleasing to Him. I may not have been aware that I did something wrong, so I ask for God’s forgiveness and He will make me realize what I did and how I should improve on it.

Chapter 3

mark3The greatest commandment is love. We should love one another just as He have loved us. We are also commanded to love our enemies. The sad thing is, there is so much hate in the world right now. I think this passage speaks for itself, but simply put it’s “United we stand, divided we fall.”

When we do not get along, it strains our relationships. The simplest things would tick us off, causing more problems than resolutions. Our household, office, church, etc falls apart. It’s stressful and wears us out. I for one hate the feeling of stress. It’s not a healthy feeling. And honestly, nothing is achieved when there’s conflict.

So how do we resolve this? Ask for God’s forgiveness, seek His guidance, pray for each other, be humble and keep an open mind. Listen to what the other party has to say. Sometimes we only want to hear ourselves and our ideas that we forget to hear what people around us have to say. What I learned when it comes to handling these kinds of things is to put myself in their situation so I would understand where they’re coming from. And if I still disagree with that person, I shouldn’t be talking about it with other people, because that ends up in gossip. I’ll add it to my quiet time with God and tell Him what is bothering me.

I pray for patience. I tend to have a short fuse. But I noticed in the past few years, I have been more patient than I used to. There are still times when I get irritated easily, and now I am reminded I need to be patient just like how Jesus was.

Chapter 4

mark4I have heard of this parable so many times in my whole life. It was taught in Sunday school, in youth fellowship, and some more in the regular service. Each time I hear it, I compare myself to which seed I am. I’ve thought about it, and at one point or another, I’ve been like all the seeds in the parable. I heard the word of God and just as quickly, disregarded it. I heard it again and accepted it in my heart, but it wasn’t rooted and eventually forgotten. I realized I spent most of my life hearing the word, accepting it, but it bears no fruit in me, like the seed that fell on rocky places. As previously mentioned, I lived the life I wanted.

The great news is, I’ve matured and I am thirsty for the word of God. My goal is to be like the seed sown on good soil. Not only will I hear the word and accept it, I will also bear fruit by spreading the gospel.

I asked God for His continued guidance and to show me the path I should take. To give me encouragement and confidence as I go on my walk with Him.

Chapter 5

mark5I chose two passages from chapter 5 but they have the same idea. Having faith in God. A woman who has been bleeding for twelve years was healed after she touched Jesus’s cloak. She was healed because of her faith. Just the same, the synagogue ruler’s daughter was reported dead, but Jesus told him to not be afraid and just believe. Like them, we don’t need to demand a miracle. We just have to believe in God, trust that He will give the desires of our heart.

I have lived my life with faith in God and He has not failed me/us. My mom and I have experienced a lot of hardships, we’ve been through a lot, but she has taught me to put my trust in God and he will see us through. He did, He always has. We never had to worry about food, shelter, clothing, and other necessities because He provided them all. He used other people, He touched their hearts to help us in our time of need. And each time it happens, our faith only grows stronger. Matthew 21:22 “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Feel free to share any thoughts you have from these chapters/verses. I welcome all opinions but keep it clean. No hate speech. All questions are accepted and I will try my best to answer each of them.

You can follow this reading plan on Instagram or learn more about it through the website: http://womenlivingwell.org/

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