Today’s WORD (Text)               Mark 1:35-39

35/ In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36/ And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37/ When they found him, they said to him. “Everyone is searching for you.” 38/ He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” 39/ And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

Today’s Witness

Although the length of Jesus’ earthly ministry was brief relative to that of the ancient prophets that preceded him, and of the apostles who followed him, the impact of Jesus’ teachings, his ministry among the crowds, and the miracles he performed far exceeds that of any historical figure.  Notice the intensity and persistent movement of Jesus in Mark’s record, “while it was still very dark, he got up and went out, and…he prayed.” Prayer was central in the private life of Jesus, and prayer fueled his focus, his faith in the Heavenly Father, and his fortitude.  The pressure from the crowds kept coming.  Jesus kept on proclaiming the message with an intentional focus on what he “came out to do.”  I pray that the church of Jesus Christ today can summon the faith, focus and fortitude like Jesus had, the kind that results from a disciplined prayer life.  The greater the pressure and the needs encompassing us, the greater our dependence upon God’s mighty power must be.  We can do all things that are in God’s will for us to do through Christ who gives us strength. 

Today’s Invitation

What pressure points are you experiencing in your efforts to obey God’s call on your life?  Are you setting aside quality time on a regular basis to commune with God privately, and to allow the Holy Spirit to order you steps?

Today’s Prayer

Dear Lord, because you experienced human life in its fullness, you know the demands and the pressure we feel in our efforts to follow your call, to obey your voice, and to make an impact in the lives of others.  Teach us to maintain the proper perspective on your mighty power, and on our limitations.  We declare by faith that we can do all things that you strengthen us to do, in keeping with your will and purposes for our lives.  Help us to operate within the parameters of your will for us, and to resist the temptation to do more than you direct us to do.  Lord, help us to make a difference for the good in the world. Empower us to proclaim the message with faith and in the power of your Spirit, in the Name of Jesus.  Amen.

The Passionary Intention

Today, I choose to live my life with passion.  Today, I intend to follow Christ more nearly, love more dearly and incarnate God’s grace more clearly by asking myself three questions:

  • Where will I follow Christ today?
  • To whom shall I demonstrate Jesus’ love and justice today?
  • How can I play my part in practicing the presence of Christ, right here, right now?


The Passionary Movement Word and Witness devotion is published weekdays (Monday – Friday).  Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, Executive Director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies is the author of today’s devotion


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