A Time Apart

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S (Scripture): Mark 1:35 Early in the morning, well before sunrise, Jesus rose and went to a deserted place where he could be alone in prayer. 36 Simon and those with him tracked him down. 37 When they found him, they told him, “Everyone’s looking for you!”

38 He replied, “Let’s head in the other direction, to the nearby villages, so that I can preach there too. That’s why I’ve come.” 39 He traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and throwing out demons.

O (Observation): Jesus knew the value of connecting with God. Without his time away, how was Jesus to know the will of the Father?

After spending time with God, Jesus was expected to go back to the healing ministry he left the night before. But instead – assuming he got clarity from God – Jesus says it’s time to move on to the nearby villages.

Jesus received clarity of God’s mission after spending time apart.

A (Application): When was the last time you spent time apart? Did you experience this during worship? On a hike? In solitude?

Being intentional about time away – writing these devotions – is a way for me to get clarity from God about what God’s Word is saying to me today.

I invite you to follow this blog / subscribe to it, if you find it a helpful (or even a challenging) respite. How can you sense God’s presence? Through reading? Music? Quiet?

Find that time apart. Embrace it. Seek clarity for your role in God’s mission in the world.

P (Prayer): Lord, we pray that you might illumine our pathways. Amen.


Meditation: Trust in the Lord

S (Scripture): Psalm 94

16 Who will stand up for me against the wicked?
Who will help me against evildoers?
17 If the Lord hadn’t helped me,
I would live instantly in total silence.
18 Whenever I feel my foot slipping,
your faithful love steadies me, Lord.
19 When my anxieties multiply,
your comforting calms me down.

O (Observation):  A steady and reliable God is mentioned in today’s psalm, a sure and true presence in times of calm and in times of trouble.  

God’s faithful love steadies the psalmist, and all of God’s people, and comforts them in times of trouble. 

A (Application): Today’s application is more of an exercise than a written devotion.   

Take a deep breat in.  Hold for 3 seconds.  Breathe out for 3 seconds.  

Repeat this several times until you’ve reached a peaceful state.   

Read the psalm text above.   Let your mind focus on a phrase or even just a word.   Repeat this phrase or word slowly, several times, in your mind.  

What is God speaking to you through this phrase/word today?   Is God addressing a difficulty in your life?  Or a joy in your life?

Give thanks to God for being present with you.  Seek God’s guidance and lift up any concerns you might have for yourself and others.  

When you are done meditating on this phrase/word, and you are done giving thanks and lifting concerns, repeat the breathing exercise above.  

Be still for 5 minutes.   Concentrate on your breathing.  Slow.   Steady.  

Now, with God’s peace, set forth into the glory known as “this day”! 

P (Prayer): Lord, we are thankful for your presence.   Give us strength and courage to trust in you.  Amen.