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Posted by: WCC

Weekly reading: Mark 6-10; Psalm 71&72
Passages referenced: Psalm 71:1-3, 23; Mark 8:34-36

“In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn your ear to me and save me.” – Psalm 71:1-2

We live in a world of self-reliance and a “do-it-yourself” mentality. Our minds like to tell us that we can handle everything that comes our way, in our own strength. This, however, is not how God designed us to operate. We are inherently created to rely on His strength and depend on Him completely and wholeheartedly. God sent His Son Jesus to be our RESCUER and our REFUGE.

“Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.” – Psalm 71:3

Mark lays out the miraculous actions of Jesus during His time here on earth. We see Jesus paving the way for His disciples, and us, to follow. We also see an up-close view of Jesus’ sovereignty and grace. He led the way and took on the punishment for our sins so that we could live in unity with Him forever. God’s plan for Jesus was to be our Savior and the hope of the world. And we’re told in scripture that all we must do to receive that gift is to simply believe and give our lives over to Him.

Jesus called a crowd near Him and taught them God’s plan for Him and what they, and we, must do to gain access to the unending hope in Him:

“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?’” – Mark 8:34-36

When we deny ourselves for the sake of Christ, we gain ALL we need in Him. We are offered safety, strength, and a place of shelter. Our strength is deficient on its own, but with the power of Christ working in us, we can do and handle all circumstances that come our way.

As I reflect on the miracle of Jesus’ birth, life, and resurrection this Christmas, I want to be reminded that all I ever need is found directly in Him. I, like most, struggle with an attitude of self-sufficiency, but these passages of scripture remind me just how reliant on Him I was created to be. Christmas is a time of joy, peace, and hopeful anticipation. And it’s the perfect time to remember who Jesus is and all we’ve received in Him. Through Jesus, we have the gifts of salvation, hope, peace, joy, love, and refuge. And Psalm 71:23 shows us how we can respond to those wonderful gifts: “My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you—I whom you have delivered.” – Brooke Price

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