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February 23 | Mark 9:38-50


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Self Evaluation

by Kim Starr


In today’s reading, the disciples come to Jesus and tattle on a man who was casting out demons in Jesus’ name. They almost brag relating to Jesus that they told him to stop exorcising demons because he was “not one of us.” The disciples believe they are part of Jesus’ special inner circle and that only they can do such things because Jesus gave them the power to do so.

 

Much to their surprise, Jesus tells the disciples to not stop the man. Jesus understands that the man using his name is doing so because he believes. His actions have a ring of authenticity that Jesus can accept. Jesus then tries to explain that the disciples are not in an exclusive club and that he hasn’t given them the power he has so that they can gain a reward or a gain a high position; rather, they have been called to be in humble service to others and to reach out, love their neighbors, and serve them. This is what Jesus has been doing throughout his ministry.

 

Jesus also tells them that, if anyone causes another to stumble, they need to cut that part of themselves off. While Jesus does not mean this literally, he wants us to take what he says seriously. Sometimes discipleship requires amputations. We need to recognize bad habits, ambitions, resentments, and relationships that pull us back to a life contrary to what Jesus teaches. We need to amputate anything that stands between us and God.

 

Today, let us evaluate ourselves. Do we need to open our eyes and hearts to accepting people who we may not agree with or even like? Are they doing the Lord’s work? Are they serving others and loving their neighbor? If so, we need to accept them and work with them to further God’s kingdom. We then need to evaluate ourselves to see if we are acting or living in a way contrary to what Jesus teaches. If we find something, we need to amputate that part of ourselves, leave it behind, and return wholeheartedly to God.


PRAYER

Oh heavenly Father, it is easy for us to lose sight of what we should do to further your kingdom. Help us see where we can join with others to achieve this goal. Help us see things within ourselves that we need to cut off. Help us be your humble servants loving our neighbors. Amen.






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2 Comments


Robin, it took me a bit to figure out how to respond to your post. Thank you for your words of encouragement. I am grateful when my words impact the readers, especially in the way I hoped they would. You are correct: To God be the glory! Blessings, Kim

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robin.lorms
Feb 23

Good morning, Kim.

Your commentary this morning is so on point. The disciples were guilty of prideful accomplishment in doing only what Jesus asked them to do. They felt like they were part of His inner circle and able to accomplish much as His chosen. Much of that is true, however, we all need to be reminded that it is Jesus "who is at work in us to will and act according to His good purposes". To Him be the glory.

I also like the term "amputate" which is so descriptive of ridding ourselves of whatever hinders our ability to serve Him with a right heart and motivation. Thank you for so descriptive of a term.

Have a blessed day…


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