The CSR (Common Sense Reborn) Daily Devotion kicked off to a very small audience at the start of the year. As this audience (hopefully) grows, new readers are going to find themselves in the middle of reading, prayer, serving, and fitness plans they may not fully understand, or be able to keep up with the further in the year we find ourselves. So I am going to leave Friday as a brief recap day.
The purpose of the Daily Devotion is to highlight a verse or passage from the New Testament book we are diving into for the current month. We’re in February now, so naturally we are reading the Book of Mark. The reading plan focuses on the New Testament (NT) and we’ll be reading the entire NT over the course of 2020. That’s easy to do. The deeper reading plan will get you through the entire Old Testament (OT) in the year as well. But the OT reading plan will take a good chunk of time to complete each night. If you have never read the Holy Bible cover-to-cover, these plans are for you. No matter when you start following these plans, I recommend just reading along and not worry about what you missed until 2021.
The fitness challenge has been building since January 1, so now we are getting to a more demanding routine if you have never participated in a physical training program. We do seven, simple calisthenic exercises Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday are all cardio/run days. The workouts are easy, and designed for everyone, even someone who has a strong and rigid workout routine could benefit from knocking these exercises out in the beginning of the day.
The service challenges are designed for those who work a typical M-F work week and have the weekends off. I’m hoping to motivate and challenge everyone following this blog to get out and find an organization to serve with at least one day a week.
Finally, there is the challenge to find a church that will motivate you and push you to be involved with the Church as well. I follow two big Churches and will usually share their sermons here, which I am about to do below, just before today’s devotion. Have a blessed week, month, and year.
2He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3”Listen! A farmer went out to sow hos seed…8Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” (Mark 4:2-8)
In the beginning of Mark Chapter 4, we see Jesus teaching the “Parable of the Sower.” This parable is captured in Matthew and Luke as well. While it is one of the most well-known parables of Jesus’ repertoire, I am so glad the disciples were as confused about the meaning as I am. I wonder if that isn’t the reason why all the Gospel writers who include the parable, always include Jesus’ personal explanation of what it means?
The problem with parables is they can mean different things to different people. The seeds in this parable could represent money to someone who is obsessed with wealth and finances. The seeds could be hope to someone who is in a very hopeless place, and they can’t get to the place where the crop produces abundant growth. But in this parable, the seeds are the Word of God, because Jesus knows that is all that truly matters in this life.
When you read this parable the first time, what did you think the seeds were an analogy of? Perhaps you didn’t even realize the story was about something completely different than seeds and soil. Jesus spoke in parables because He wanted to instantly engage His audience with deeper thought and conversation. So if there are parts of the Bible and the Gospel you do not understand, reach out to a friend. Engage your “one.”
Reading plan: Mark 5:1-20
Deeper reading plan: Numbers 20-25
Prayer and meditation: continue to pray for your request from day 1 and pray that you will easily understand the hidden messages of Jesus and the Bible.
Fitness challenge: Week six of our 7×14 challenge. 2 sets of 14, incorporate a 1-2 second pause at the apex of each rep.
1. Standard push-up 2. Sit-up or crunches
3. Air squats 4. Hand-release push-up
5. Leg lifts 6. Lunges (7-each leg)
7. 4-count flutter kick