Mark Day 4: Pay Attention

Attentive Boy by Robert Lewis

Gospel of Mark Reading Plan
Day 4 Reading: Mark 4

Pastor Lisa’s Journal
Scripture
And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” – Mark 4:24-25 (NRSV)

Observation
In most of Mark 4, Jesus is teaching through parables and proverbs. A parable is a short story which illustrates a Biblical truth (verses 1-20 the parable of the soils, verses 26-32 the parables of how plants grow and the mustard seed). A proverb is a short saying relating a Biblical truth, which may or may not employ a metaphor (verses 21-25 concerning the lamp and the measure). The chapter closes with Jesus demonstrating his authority and power by calming a storm.

“A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.” - Charles Spurgeon

Application
I’ve often heard the phrase “You get what you give.” It’s a simple one to one correlation, cause and effect. If you practice your scales, you will improve your piano playing. Jesus’ proverb takes this a step further. If we pay attention to his teaching, desiring to both understand it and apply it to living, our efforts will be multiplied by the grace of God. We will receive even more than our efforts could naturally produce. The same goes for those who ignore Jesus’ teaching. They have received nothing and will continue to lose ground spiritually.

Prayer
Rabbi Jesus, you invite all persons to grow in wisdom and truth. Plant in us a resolve to listen deeply. Enable us to focus, to understand your teaching and to apply it rightly to our lives. Protect us from every threat which seeks to steal our time with you, which works to snatch away your insights. Thank you for your grace, for faithfully tending the soil of our souls, and for multiplying our efforts to grow to be like you. Bring forth a great harvest of faith made real in life and love, for the honor of your name. Amen.

You Are the Source
a hymn text based on John 15:1-8
Meter- 86.86 with Refrain (CM with Refrain)
Suggested Tune- GIFT OF FINEST WHEAT (United Methodist Hymnal #629)

Refrain–
You are the Source of grace and life,
the Root of all that’s true
You join us to this mystery
as we abide in You

Verses–
Dear children of this fallen sod
the Gard’ner knows our need
in grafting us to Christ the Vine
we gain eternity (Refrain)

For we are branches of the Vine
joined cross both time and place
no fruit is grown apart from Christ
for what is grown needs grace (Refrain)

You prune our lives with utmost care
so we might bear more fruit
the fruit of justice, peace, and love
lived out in all we do (Refrain)

Eternal Vine, most Holy Seed
sewn as Your willing Son
so intertwine Your family vine
that we might be as one (Refrain)

© May 19, 2000 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.
Lisa is especially interested in collaborating with someone to set this text to original music.

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For more information on the Gospel of Mark Reading Plan, click here

For more information on the scripture translation, art and the use of this devotional in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

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