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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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This weekend, we continued our study through the Gospel of Mark as we dove into Mark 11:1–26 and examined Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem as well as the cursing of the fig tree. In this message, Pastor Doug Sauder shared how Jesus’ version of power, anger, and judgment looks very different from the worldly version and how we as Christians can follow His example.
In this week’s group study, Calvary Christian Academy Discipleship Director Steve Mayo invites us into a deeper conversation around the nature of power as explored in this weekend’s Scripture! If you missed the message or want a refresher, click here to watch it in its entirety.
Below, you’ll find some key questions to reflect on and consider in your group, with your family, or in your circle of friends, some action points fo the week, and a look ahead.
Memory Verse of the Week: Mark 11:24–25 (NIV)
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Icebreaker: Share a pet peeve of yours.
Getting the Conversation Going: We all have things that stir us up—things that push our buttons in a good way and things that drive us to take action. In Mark 11:15–17, we see that in Jesus.
Mark 11:15–17 (NIV)
“On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, ‘Is it not written: “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations”? But you have made it a den of robbers.’”
Even though Jesus was in the last week of His life, and an agonizing week at that, His thoughts were not on Himself, but on those in the temple who were being taken advantage of. You see, our Lord wouldn’t stand for such abuse upon those who sought to be closer to God. These were men and women coming to the temple in order to offer a sacrifice to the Lord, and they were being taken advantage of.
Discussion Question 1: Why did Jesus become so upset by what He saw?
The Nature of Power and the Power of Service: There’s a righteous anger that wells up inside of us when we see things that are wrong or injustice being done. As believers, we must remember there’s a difference between righteous anger and outrage. The question for all of us is will it stop there, or will we be brave enough to take action?
Discussion Question 2: What makes you angry? What stirs up your desire for justice? Who does your heart break for? How are you working to impact this area?
Mark 11:24–26 (NIV)
According to His Will: Anything we ask in prayer, as long as we believe, it’ll be ours! If it sounds too good to be true, it’s not; however, we can’t simply rip this verse out of the greater context of Scripture or in how Scripture always explains prayer. Consider a similar verse: “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13 NIV).
It’s the implicit message in every passage like Mark 11:24 or John 14:13 above. It’s the unspoken truth, the prerequisite key: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14 NIV).
When we pray, we must pray for all things according to His will and good pleasure as we seek to live and walk according to His will. We can also clearly see in Jesus’ directive that we’re to forgive others as He has forgiven us. It’s His will that we love, treat, and show compassion and grace to others as it has been shown to us.
So, as we seek to live in accordance to His will and way, He will be faithful to reveal His will to us. Then, as we pray according to His will, we’ll receive what we ask. And let me tell you, there is never anything you could ask for according to your will that will be better, more life giving, beneficial, and fulfilling than what you ask for and receive according to His will, because as Paul says in Philippians 2:13 (NIV), “It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
Discussion Question 3: What does it look like to pray according to His will?
Discussion Question 4: How are prayer and passions tied together? How can you pray for His will in your areas of passion and burden?
This Week: As you pray this week, always approach God with an open-handed posture seeking above all His will to be done.
Pray It Out: Share prayer requests in your group. Write down the requests of your group members, spend time praying over these requests, and keep praying individually over them throughout the week.
This weekend, we’ll continue our study through the Gospel of Mark as we dive into Mark 11:27–12:17. In this message, we’ll see Jesus address all sorts of questions from different people, teaching us as believers how to deal with confrontation and hostility.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.