Well... we have reached our fifth week of our online Bible study with Lysa Terkeurst. Our prayer is that you've been not only moved, but motivated by these sessions; and we predict this week’s session will perhaps be the most impactful one yet. Lysa gets very personal in this week's teaching installment, and nothing touches us quite so deeply as a personal testimony, so be prepared to be encouraged... and have a tissue handy as well!
We'll see this week how, despite not only witnessing great miracles at the hands of Jesus, but even seeing the power of God work through them personally, the disciples failed to learn the lesson of God's provision in all things and all circumstances because "their heart was hardened". When we fail to allow the truths and promises of God to permeate our hearts; that "information" can't result in "transformation". You’ll see this powerfully in this week's teaching session with Lysa.
All of the resources for our fifth week's session are waiting for you now, as we learn discover together the power in Remembering God’s Presence...
Two powerful episodes from the Gospel of Mark will serve as the basis for our study this week. In the sixth chapter, we find two back-to-back stories that you may already know well–the Feeding of the 5,000, and Jesus walking on the water to his disciples in the storm. It is very important that we remember that these stories happened in the same day (and night). While it may amaze us that the disciples could so quickly forget the "lesson of the loaves and fishes"; you'll probably realize quickly that we today often do the same thing when we fail to remember God's hand of deliverance and provision for us.
Additionally, don't miss the fact that earlier in this same chapter (Mark 6), the very same disciples that were so filled with doubt and fear because of the storm at the end of the chapter, had spent time doing powerful ministry themselves and witnessing first-hand, God's promises being fulfilled in and through them. Mark 6:30 is the "introductory" verse to the story of the Feeding of the 5,000; but it also captures their excitement at seeing God work through them so powerfully in verse 13 earlier in the chapter.
Have you had experiences where you have personally seen God's hand work for you... even in and through you... and yet you have failed to rest on and remember his faithfulness in those times? We all have done so; that's why this week's session so powerfully speaks to all of us."for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened." -Mark 6:52 (NASB)
Keeping a heart that is tender toward memories of the previous promises and provisions of our Lord is not an easy achievement; but it is absolutely necessary to steel us against the enemies of fear, rejection and doubt. That's why it is so important that we view these two stories from the life and ministry of Jesus with his disciples not separately, but together. Seeing the power of Jesus manifested in the feeding of 5,000 people (actually more like 15,000 plus when all the women and children were counted) had to be overwhelming.
Mark takes care to point out that even after everyone ate their fill, there were twelve baskets left over–one for each of the disciples (Mark 6:43). Yet despite that the disciples most likely carried their "leftovers" with them when they got in the boat (immediately after this miracle verse 45 tells us); and in spite of the fact they most likely had the evidence of the miracle of that day at their feet as they rowed away; when the storm arose, they still were consumed with doubt and great fear.
Jesus was not traveling with them physically in the boat when the storm hit, but he was doing something far more helpful and important; he was praying for them on the mount above the Sea of Galilee. Verse 48 tells us that his eyes were on them–doubtless because he knew of their storm, and was praying to the Father on their behalf.
If you find yourself in a storm today, swamped by some circumstance of uncertainty or some situation that evokes fear or doubt; know that on the authority of God's Word, Jesus has you on his prayer list–and he is praying for you before the Father–right now, today!Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who
Don't forget, it is vitally important to spend time in prayer as you go through this session, and ask the Lord to write these truths deeply into your heart. As Lysa points out, these principles are not just information to ingest, but transformational truths we digest, making them part of who we are and how we live.
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