Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Read Luke 18:1-8 Jesus gave them a parable about praying - not just praying but continually praying till you get the answer. There are many kinds of prayer and this is one. The parable was about a widow who had a request to bring before the judge. She kept coming back to the judge day after day pleading her cause till finally the judge got tired of dealing with her and he granted her request. Jesus said that if this unrighteous judge would do that, how much more will our righteous father answer our request if we continue to ask. He ends the parable with a question: “nevertheless when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” The widow kept coming to the judge because she knew he had the power to help her. To keep asking God something means that we know that God alone has the power to change our circumstance. The more I grow in the Lord I find that I don’t use this type of praying as much as I do the prayer of faith. I know that God is the only one who has to the power to change anything in my life so I usually ask him once and consider it done, but lately I have had a problem that has been so over my head that I have talked to God about it so many times I know he is getting weary. Finally, I think I have the answer. It has been a process but by waiting to get his perfect wisdom, it has saved me a lot of money and time. God has promised to avenge his own elect and I am so grateful. Lord, we acknowledge the fact that we need you every minute of every day. You overwhelm us with your goodness.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Read Luke 17:33-37 God’s kingdom is an upside down kingdom. It is the opposite of the world’s and its laws. In God’s kingdom you die to live, receive by giving and find when you lose. To illustrate this Jesus gives us yet another parable. He gave 3 examples where two people were together and one taken while the other left. I used to think that this scripture had to do with the rapture and maybe it does. But, maybe it has to do with judgement and maybe to be taken is to be taken for judgement. Whether to be taken or to be left is the best thing he was trying to make the point that it is coming when people least expect it. The Roman government came when the people didn’t expect it. Jesus came and was a complete surprise and he will come back to an unsuspecting people. Those who trust in Jesus will be saved and the others killed. The last statement Jesus said was, “Wheresoever the body is, the eagles will be gathered together.” Eagles are messengers of divine judgment. Those who choose to live for their body, not by the spirit will be judged. Though, Jesus said he would come back at a time when no one knows he also said that he wouldn’t do anything he didn’t warn the prophets first. He is warning the prophets and he is coming back soon. So what do we do? Go out on a hilltop and wait? No, we draw near to God and do what he tells us to do day by day, then we will be ready when he comes. Lord, make us ready for your return.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Read Luke 22:1-29 The feasts were set up as an ordinance for the people to participate in year after year. They were “dress rehearsals “ for the time that the Messiah would come to earth and be the fulfillment of the feast. Every year the Jewish people celebrated the Passover where they brought their lambs to the temple to atone for their family. There would be one passover lamb that the priests would choose to be the atonement for all the people. This year this passover lamb would be Jesus himself - the fulfillment of all the years of celebrating Passover. God used Satan,and Satan used Judus Iscariot to turn Jesus over to be crucified. Judas betrayed Jesus to the chief priests for money. On the day of unleavened bread, Jesus sent Peter and John to find a place to eat the passover together. Jesus told them that they would enter the city, see a man with a pitcher of water and follow him to his house. They were to ask him if they could use his guest room and get it ready. Of course, it happened just as Jesus had seen it in the spirit. When they met, Jesus told them that this would be the last time he would eat with them before he suffered. The next time he ate it would be in heaven with God. He explained that the bread was his body and the blood represented his blood. Then he told them his betrayer was at the table. When they began to question among themselves who it might be and argue which was the greatest Jesus gave them a parable. He explained to them that the greatest one is the one who does the most to serve. Because they stood by Jesus in all his ministry, they will rule over heavenly kingdoms and sit on thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel. Of course, this didn’t make much sense to them then, but it was a great promise that they would see after they died. They would receive this great honor because they suffered the humiliation and persecution of walking with Jesus on the earth. It is the same for us, the more we stand with Jesus during adversity and ridicule the more we will be in trusted with spiritually. The riches of the kingdom are truly not silver and gold but worth far more. Lord, we seek to walk with you no matter what comes our way. We choose to be your disciples to the end.
Friday, April 26, 2013
Read Luke 17:20-32 The Pharisees asked Jesus when he thought the kingdom of God would come. He told them that it would not be something they would be able to see with their natural eyes because the kingdom of God was actually coming through him to be inside of them. He didn’t come out and actually say that he was ushering the kingdom of God but tried to give them clues. He explained that his life was going to be short like lightening. It was going to be a powerful light that would only be there a short blimp in history. Then he explained that he must suffer and be rejected by that generation. He is speaking double - explaining his first and second coming. He will literally suffer and be rejected by his generation just as the church will be in the last days. Both times will be like the days of Noah only there is something we need to know about he days of Noah. It was a time when the bloodline of humans was being mixed with demons. (Gen 6) Their offspring were human/demons who God had to wipe out in the flood. This will happen again in the last days. There will also be those who are just going through the calendar of life not realizing the times. They will be caught unaware just like the generation when Jesus came the first time. He used the example of Lot who chose to live among a very hethenistic people and became comfortable and adapted. As soon as God got Lot out he destroyed the rest of the town with fire and brimstone. Lot’s wife’s heart was attached to that lifestyle and she turned to look and pine. She was turned to a pillar of salt. This is a picture of judgment in the end. The evil will burn in a lake of fire much like what happened to the people of Sodom. Lord, open our eyes to see the times we are living in and imprint on our heart that we have the kingdom of God within. May your kingdom come!
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Read Luke 17:1-19 It is impossible to not have offenses. The Greek definition for offenses is a scandal; a snare being the cause of displeasure or sin; a stumbling block. There is nothing you can do to stop trials but you can control if you are the reason for the trial. If you are the cause of the offense then you must repent and go to the person you have offended and ask for their forgiveness. Then you are free before them and God. If the offense comes against us, then we must forgive them if they ask for it or not. To harbor unforgiveness is an offense against the name of Jesus. If he who is sinless can take our sin for us, then we who are sinful can forgive. The apostles understood what Jesus was saying and had much reason to be offended by the organized religious system of the day and the unrighteous government system. So they asked for God to increase their faith. Jesus let them know that they only needed a small amount of faith to do great things. Then he explained to them that to increase their faith they just needed to do what the Word said to do. If they do that then they will be profitable in God’s eyes. To further teach them about being faithful he told them the parable about the 10 lepers who were healed by him. Only one came back and thanked Jesus. To him Jesus said, “Arise, go your way; your faith has made you whole.” He healed all 10 but because this man acknowledged the source being from God and was thankful - he was made whole. That word “whole” means to save, deliver, protect, heal, preserve, do well, which is much more than what the other 9 got. He had faith in God and praised him. That is what faith is: acknowledging God as the source of everything good. Lord, increase our faith to believe the simplicity of the gospel. You are our source and strength.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Read Luke 16:19-31 In an effort to make them become heavenly minded, Jesus gave the Pharisees this parable. There were two men: an opulently rich man and a poor man who begged at the rich man’s gate. They both died. The poor man was carried by angels to Abraham’s bosom which was under the earth. The rich man woke up in the place of torment in hell. They were separated by an impassable chasm. I have touched on this before but I’ll repeat it. Before Jesus, those who died went to the place of the dead, Gehenna, Sheol, hell, or the grave. All names for the same place. Within that terrestrial land under the earth there were cities where the dead lived. The ones who lived their lives for the devil lived in a place of torment where the people who lived according to the law and honored God went to cities like the cities of refuge on the earth. Like the cities of refuge, they stayed there till the death of the high priest, who was Jesus. Jesus came down and preached captivity captive and led the saints to heaven. Jesus was the first to rise from the dead, the first fruit. With him he took those who loved God. Back to the story. The rich man is hot and tormented and cried out to Abraham to have mercy on him. Abraham reminds him how he was blessed in life and Lazareth was not, but now Lazareth is comforted and he is not. The rich man realizes he blew his chance by living so selfishly on earth but thinks of his 5 brothers. He does not want them to have the same fate he has so he asks if Abraham would send Lazaret to them. Surely they would believe if they saw someone who had risen from death. But Abraham tells him that if they didn’t believe Moses or the prophets then they wouldn’t believe if someone rose from the dead. He of course is alluding to the fact that Jesus died and rose from the dead and still people didn’t believe. But there was another Lazareth who rose from the dead and we don’t hear that his resurrection caused the world to repent either. Lord, thank you for reminding us daily what is important and what is not. Help us to live for eternity.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Read Luke 16:16-18 Jesus marked the end of the “law and the prophets” with John. He was the beginning of a new kind of prophet. He proclaimed the kingdom of God which was the first time that phrased was used in scripture. It was a new concept. It was not the end of the actual law and actual prophets which Jesus explained in the next verse. He said, “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” Jesus came as the fulfillment of the law and what the prophets prophecied. There are mysteries in these two verses that I don’t understand. Jesus was the law that became flesh so it is important to know just what that law was. The only way we truly know Jesus is to study the law and the prophets. Then to muddy the waters even further he gives us his next statement which seems totally out of context. He talks about putting your wife away. If you do and marry someone else then you are committing adultery. What we aren’t told is that during that time men were putting their wives out of the house and refusing to give them a writ of divorcement so they were still married by law. To remarry would be to commit adultery since they were still married to their former wife. He was using this as a clue to what he said in the first two verses. The marriage contract with God was between Israel and God. Israel had prostituted herself with other gods and chosen to put God away. But they still esteemed the law as a formality though their hearts were far from him. They had spurned the law and killed the prophets. So they were the ones committing adultery with foreign gods. Because they did this the law would contemn them. Lord, I only see in part… open our eyes to see more of you and understand more of your mysteries. May we not go after anything other than you.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Read Luke 16:1-15 This parable about the unrighteous steward is a parable of service: you will either serve God of the things of this world. The steward in the parable was exposed for dealing unwise with his bosses money. When his boss called him on it and asked for a final account of his stewardship he had to get crafty. He knew if he lost his job he would need friends to help him so he decided to buy some with his bosses money. So he went and talked to everyone who owed his boss money. He discounted their amount and gave them a lower bill. When the boss found out what he had done he applauded his craftiness. The steward and the clients were all wrong and they would spend eternity together. Then Jesus made the statement that if you are unfaithful in the way you do business here on earth, then you will be unfaithful to godly things. God will trust his riches to those who deal faithfully here on earth. It does matter how we live our lives and conduct our business. The way we transact our daily lives shows what we trust in. We cannot serve God and serve ourselves. When Jesus told this parable it made the Pharisees who were covetous mad. Jesus gave them no slack and told them they could justify their actions before men and look righteous but God knew their hearts. The things that man honors and values is not the things God honors and values. Man recognizes wealth and external things but God always sees the purity of the heart. Lord, when you look at our heart, may you be pleased.
Friday, April 19, 2013
Read: Luke 15 The Pharisees couldn’t stand not being treated more elite than the sinners. Jesus lumped them all into the same basket and treated them all the same. They were discussing this when Jesus perceived their thoughts and gave them three parables about the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. They all mean the same. One dealt with their job, the next - their finances and the last - their family. These were all high priorities for them. In the first two senerios the person who had lost something went out and looked until he found it. The last story of the prodigal son, the father let the son come home on his own, and waited expectantly for him till he did. The parable of the sheep had to do with the Pharisees. They thought of themselves as being the sheep that are in the fold. The parable of the coins had to do with the sinners (vs. 10). But the last one had to do with both sets of people. They would consider the prodigal son to be like the sinners who spurned the law of their fathers and chose to live in sin. The son who stayed at home and followed the law would be the Pharisees who stayed true to the law in deed but their hearts were not changed. The son who remained faithful had a pious heart and thought his obedience should give him favor with his father and had no compassion over his destitute brother just like the Pharisee had no compassion for the sinner. But the father was like God and he had compassion for both his sons and wanted them both to rejoice to be with him. That was Jesus’ heart. He loved the Pharisee and the sinner and would do what it took to draw them both back into the father’s house. Lord, help us not to be like the Pharisee that sees his own piousness as something that is good. Help us to love everyone that God has made and desire all to come into the kingdom of God.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Read Luke 14:25-35 Jesus made a very strong statement: “if any man wants to come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, and his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” He goes on to give a parable about what he means. If you are wanting to build something, you wouldn’t start without first finding out how much it is going to cost. Or what president or king would start a war that he didn’t think he would be able to win. That is the same way it is in the kingdom. To follow Jesus, it will cost you everything. You have to be willing to put your family, friends and yourself on the altar. That is the test of a true disciple- one who has given all. He ends his teaching with a lesson on salt. We are to be the salt of the earth to preserve it from destruction. If we lose our effectiveness because we have become complacent in our walk with God then instead of preserving the land, we add to the dirt and the land becomes a waste land. We need to stay seasoned and a blessing to the earth and the world we are in. We literally hold back Satan’s hand of destruction and evil back when we walk in righteousness. God would have spared Sodom and Gomorrah if he had found 10 righteous men there. As it were, there were none and Lot was delivered because of Abraham’s righteousness and lineage. Lord, keep us salty and alive in you so that your presence in us can make the devil have to flee.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Once again, our nation is challenged with an evil attach on our safety. The prophets of today have prophesied that there will be acts of terrorism in places where crowds meet. This time it was the Boston Marathon at the finish line. How cruel and heartless - but the devil is just that. My heart and prayers go out to everyone at the race and those who have families involved. The devil want to put in us the spirit of fear. He will do anything to do that. Fear is the opposite of faith. We cannot fall to his schemes. We are truly in the last days where we have got to have a strong faith and resolve. God is still faithful and his mercies never fail. Take heart - it will get worse on this earth, but our God is getting stronger and stronger in us. "Fear not, little flock it is my great pleasure to give you the kingdom" - Jesus
Read Luke 14:12-24 When Jesus talked to the Pharisees he nailed them. He knew what they were doing and exposed them. He told them not to ask people to eat with them that were able to reciprocate, but to ask those who couldn’t reciprocate - the poor, maimed, lame, and blind. Then God will recompense them in the resurrection of the just at the end of time. One of the men sitting with them spoke up and said, “blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God”. Apparently he didn’t understand that anyone can say that but not many mean it. The truth is that God bid them all to come to the supper table then. It is easy to want to live eternally in heaven, but few understand the cost. If we aren’t wanting to dine with him now, we won’t want be able to dine with him later. Jesus gave him a parable to explain the point. The parable was about a man who gave a party and invited many to come but kept getting lame excuses. One needed to go see about some property he had bought. Another needed to see about some oxen he had just bought. The last man had just gotten married and would rather spend his time with his new wife. So, the master told his servant to go out to the streets and invite the poor, the maimed, the lame and the blind. When there was still room he told his servant to go out to the derelicts on the outskirts of town and bring them in. But, none of the original invitees would be able to get in. Interesting that Jesus had just told them to do the very same thing. Maybe if they did what he said they would have been given a heart like God’s and be able to understand God’s great invitation to come and dine. Lord, this was a great reminder that we are always invited to come and dine at your table. May we not pass up this great opportunity every day.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Read Luke 14:1-11 Jesus has been invited to eat with the chief Pharisees in one of their houses. I image they set him up by inviting a man with dropsy to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. Jesus knows their thoughts and asks them if it is lawful to heal on the sabbath day. No one dares to answer so he asks them if they had an ox that fell into a pit if they would pull him out on the sabbath day. Of course they would so he healed this man with the burden of his sin and pulled him out of his pit. He had noticed that they all tried to sit in the middle of the couch because it was the most honored place so he gave them another parable. If they are invited to a wedding they should not seek to sit in the most honored seat lest someone more important than them come in and they have to give up their seat and sit in the least honored seat. What they didn’t realize was that Jesus was the most honored guest and at his wedding he would be given the most honored seat and they would be humbled to sit in the least honored seats. It would be better if they humbled themselves now so that when that wedding comes they would be escorted to the front table. Jesus ended the parable with this statement: “For whosoever exalts himself will be abased; and he that humbles himself will be exalted.” I am in the midst of a very humbling situation and I am praying to glorify God in it. Being humbled is painfully sweet. It is like a pill that is hard to swallow but the benefits of the pill are healing medicine. Lord, may we truly humble ourselves before you and exalt you instead.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Read Luke 13:31-35 Some of Jesus’ followers who were Pharisees came and warned Jesus to get out of town because Herod was plotting to kill him. Jesus had not arrived in Jerusalem where he knew he must die so he knew he couldn’t stay. But, just to let Herod know he was not afraid of him he called him a fox and told him that he was not afraid of demons and had power over sickness and on the third day he would be totally perfected in heaven. He went on to rebuke Jerusalem for killing so many of God’s prophets. He would be the last prophet to die in Jerusalem to let his blood redeem all the innocent blood shed there before. Jesus lamented for Jerusalem because that was the place God chose to place his presence and his holy city. It had rejected every move of God to embrace it and draw it to himself. It was void of God’s spirit but one day Jesus will come back to that city for those who bless his name and are looking for his coming. Jesus lived his life with eternity in mind. He didn’t worry about losing his life because he had given that to his Father and he knew what was awaiting him after death. If we had a clear picture of what happened to us after death I think we would lose our lives to God and look forward to eternity more. Faith is the evidence of things not seen so it takes faith to believe in a heaven we cannot see. Lord, help us to live our lives with eternity in our hearts and lose our life to your purposes.
Friday, April 12, 2013
Read Luke 13:23-30 Today Jesus is asked if only a few will be saved. Jesus gives his answer in a parable. It is not the amount of people that he talks about, it is the condition of the heart that Jesus addresses. Jesus warns them to enter the strait gate. I looked to see if the term “straight gate” had been used before in the Bible and I came upon an interesting verse in Ez. 46:9. He told the people that if they came to worship the Lord for a feast that they needed to enter and exit opposite gates. If they entered in the North entrance then they needed to exit the South gate and visa versa. It was a picture of how we should enter and exit God’s presence. We enter with sin, burdens, etc. but we should leave clean, restored and lightened. There is only one door we can enter heaven and that door is Jesus. When God stands up at the end of time- it is over and whoever is in, is in and whoever is out, is out. The ones who get the door shut before them will argue that they went to church and even got involved in religious activity but he is going to tell them they never knew him and he never knew them. There will be much anguish and torment for them. They will see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets and still not be able to get in. People will come from all directions and all time periods and sit down in the kingdom of God. The last generation will come first down to the first generation. What a parade of people! That is going to be a great moment! Lord, I am in awe of how great and marvelous your plan is. May we be the ones who intimately know you and You intimately know us.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Read Luke 13:18-22 Jesus has just healed a lady who had a spirit of infirmity and he goes into an explanation of what the kingdom of God is like. He walked about demonstrating the kingdom of God he was bringing down to earth. The kingdom of God was in him and he embodied it. He explained what would happen if we allowed the seed of the kingdom to be implanted in us. This seed of the kingdom will be like a mustard seed that is one of the smallest seeds but grows into a magnificent tree that is a safe haven for many that need a place to rest. He then likened the kingdom to leaven in bread and how it is hidden in the grain but eventually causes it to expand and influence the whole loaf. Everywhere else in scripture leaven has to do with sin and wrong doctrine but here Jesus was using its physical properties to illustrate a point. God has planted us all over the world to expand his kingdom and influence everyone we come in contact with just like that leaven affects the rest of the ingredients. Jesus was on a journey to Jerusalem - his death - so he was spreading seed and advancing the kingdom as much as he could along the way. Lord, may the kingdom of God be evident in our lives today.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Read Luke 13:10-17 I tend to forget that Jesus spent so much time in the synagogue teaching before he was cast out. Today while he was there, a woman with the spirit of infirmity approached him. She had been oppressed by this spirit for 18 years and it had her bent over. (What a picture of what the devil will do to a person.) When Jesus saw her he called her out and told her that she was loosed from her infirmity. I can just see the chains that tied around her body so tightly that she couldn’t even stand up suddenly snap and her body came to attention. She could now stand straight and tall with strength pouring through her veins. Glory to God! Then, amazingly, the ruler of the synagogue rebuked Jesus for healing on the Sabbath. It makes me wonder how many foolish doctrines and traditions I might have that look that contradictory. I wonder what the woman was thinking about now. Jesus rebuked him back and called him a hypocrite. He reminded them that they unloosed their ox who they load down with burdens from their stall and led them to water just like he unloosed this woman and led her to healing waters. How could they not call what they did work and call his healing work. She, as a child of Abraham who had been tied up away from water for 18 years was worth far more than their ox. This shut them up for the time being and freed the people to rejoice. Lord, may we be people who loose people of their burdens and lead them to healing waters.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Read Luke 13:1-9 The people told Jesus of some Galileans that were so cursed Pilate killed them and used their blood for sacrifices. Jesus called them on it and asked them if they thought these Galileans were worse sinners than them just because this happened to them. He was trying to let them know that they were all sinners and all needed to repent or their life would not be esteemed any higher in heaven than the ones sacrificed to idols. Then Jesus referred to 18 men who were crushed when a tower near the pool of Siloam fell. I couldn’t find any information about that incident but I know that the pool of Siloam was a pool that was stirred by angels at certain times and when the waters moved all who went into the pool were believed to be healed. Siloam means “sent”. Jesus was the pool of Siloam - the “sent”one to stir the waters of the spirit and bring healing for all who came in. Obviously, by Jesus reference to it, he knew that the people thought the men who were killed were cursed also. Jesus once again brought them back to the statement that except YOU repent, you will die also. Then he gave them a parable to explain his point. A man had a fig tree that was totally unfruitful. The owner of the land told the gardener that he wanted the unfruitful tree dug up because it was taking up space. The gardener pleaded with the owner to give it one more year and he would cultivate the land around the tree and then see if it bears fruit. Jesus was talking about Israel. They were unfruitful and God was tempted to uproot them and plant a new people. Jesus, as the gardener, asked God for time so he could cultivate their hearts to receive the Word and maybe they would be fruitful again. The only way to do this was to repent and be born again. Lord, open our eyes to see that we were all sinners condemned to die until you came and redeemed us. Help us to live in a state of repentance and gratefulness.
Monday, April 8, 2013
Read Luke 12:49-59 Jesus came to be a consuming fire and burn up all the chaff and sin. He came to cleanse the temple of its hypocrisy and man-made laws. Jesus also came to be baptized by sin and become sin for us. He came to take those stripes the we deserve on his own back that we might become the righteousness of God. Jesus came to be the standard - the Word: that is the two-edged sword that divides soul and spirit, bone and marrow, thoughts and intents. Even those of the same household will be divided by the teachings of Jesus and the spirit he brings. Jesus rebukes them for being able to discern the physical wind and what it brings but not being able to discern the spiritual wind and what it brings. Then Jesus gives them a parable of what happens in Satan’s court. If you choose to be judged in his court it will not be just and you will pay for every sin you have committed and then some. They were standing before the Righteous Judge and they couldn’t comprehend it. They didn’t understand the spiritual times they were living in. They had no idea that the Messiah they had prayed for for so long was in their midst so they were choosing Satan over the Messiah unaware. If they had been diligently looking for the Messiah as the wise men were, they would have known this was the promised King of the Jews. Lord, help us to know the times we are living in and help us not to miss your appearances in our lives. Let your Word divide our hearts and make us wholly yours.
Friday, April 5, 2013
Read Luke 12:41-48 Jesus has just told the parable about the faithful servants that were able to wait for their master to come and were not robbed by the thief. When he finished telling the parable, Peter asked him if that parable was for them or for all mankind. Jesus answers Peter with a question: “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?” Jesus was trying to help Peter learn how to understand parables by picking a part the different people in the parable and asking questions about them. He was letting Peter know that the faithful servant is open to anyone who wants to be him. Then he explains who the unfaithful servant is: the man who gets tired of waiting and decides it is not worth living in expectation for something that doesn’t look like is going to happen. That man will become slack in his walk with God and start treating people unfairly, eating and drinking to get drunk. That man will be caught with his pants down and all he worked for on this earth will be give to the faithful servants. The unfaithful servant is a person who knows God’s will and decides to do his own thing. He will be punished severely. The man who doesn’t know God’s will and is still unfaithful will not be punished as harshly. To whom much is given, much will be required. Lord, we choose to be the faithful servant who waits as long as it takes for you to come. You are not slack concerning your promises but are slow to anger and compassionate. We trust in your timing.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Read Luke 12:33-40 Spiritual riches are so much more satisfying than worldly riches and the things of heaven are much more weightier than anything this world has to offer. If this concept is in our hearts then we will be willing to sell what we have, and give to the poor. It is always about what is in our hearts. It is not wrong to enjoy things money can buy as long as it doesn’t “own” your heart. Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Verse 35 says “let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning”. Eph. 5:14 talks about wearing the armor of God. We are to have our loins girded with truth. Our lights are our eyes that are portals to our soul. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit their eyes were opened to see things that were otherwise closed to them. If our eyes are burning then they can see in the darkness and see truth. Next Jesus goes into a parable about servants who wait and watch for their lord, even if he tarries. They are to watch and wait and protect their house so the thief won’t be able to break in. Our house is our spiritual being. We are all waiting for God to come and do something (heal us, save our children, give us a husband, fulfill our dreams), but if we get tired of waiting then the thief will be able to come and steal our joy, our hope, and our god-given dreams. Jesus is coming one day, just as the fulfillment of our dreams are coming if we wait in the Lord for them. Lord, guard our hearts from earthly lusts. May we wait patiently for you to come and fulfill our dreams. Show us how to “occupy” till you come.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Read Luke 12:25-32 I love the sermon on the mount because Jesus is opening up his treasure of wisdom and letting us in. Today, he is explaining that man cannot do supernatural things like God can, so it is senseless not to trust him. He asks us if we can just by thinking cause our bodies to grow taller. If we can’t do that simple thing then why are we trying to take on all the other problems we have. He tells us to meditate on the flowers that grow in the fields and how they are just a beautiful display of wonder yet they have no other reason to be there except to be beautiful. They don’t strive to be there, they are just a product of God’s hand. We can be that carefree if we trust in God. He has planted us here just like those lilies and we have an eternal purpose. Then he directs us to think about grass and how it faithfully grows every spring and dies every winter. If God can make that happen every year, he can certainly cover us with his provision and protection. We are not to doubt that God will feed us or give us water to drink. The key is to being in the Lord’s kingdom. This is a promise to God’s people, not the people of the earth. It is our responsibility to feed and clothe them so that they may see our good works and glorify God. Nations have always coveted the wealth of America because their nations have lived in poverty and want. Our president made a statement the other day that we are not a Christian nation but a nation of all religions, so today we see dire poverty and neglect in our own nation. God is dividing whose are his and whose are not. One of the ways of knowing which side we are on is his provision. God is going to supernaturally provide for us once again like he has done all through history. Our part is seeking the kingdom of God first. “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Lord, we seek your kingdom in our lives and in the people of this world. May your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Thank you for being our provision and our protection.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Read Luke 12:11-24 Jesus always teaches a principle then demonstrates it. Today’s reading is a perfect example of that. Jesus is finishing his teaching on the Holy Spirit and ends it with verse 11 and 12. When you are brought before religious leaders, people in powerful positions in the world, or demonic powers don’t try to reason your answer, but allow the Holy Spirit to give you the right response. As soon as he says that, a person comes up to him with a problem and Jesus demonstrates this principle. The man is complaining that his brother is not dividing the inheritance with him and he wants Jesus to be his advocate. Jesus explains that he is not here to judge or divide then the Holy Spirit in Jesus shows him the root of the man’s heart: covetousness. He tells them a parable about a man who was very rich and had an over-abundance. Instead of looking for people to share it with he decided he needed to build bigger places to store it. Then he could kick back and enjoy his life with no worries. God called this man a fool because he was going to take his life that night. All his “stuff” was not going to help him and his life would be in vain. It does no good to have an abundance of worldly goods and no eternal reward of knowing God. When you know God and honor him with your wealth, then you realize it is not “your” wealth, but his that he has in trusted you to spend wisely. We are not to worry about our future because God has promised to both feed and clothe us. If the ravens don’t do a thing to make their food and God feeds them, aren’t we more important than ravens to God? Of course we are. If we are rich toward God and trust him with our lives then we will walk in the promises of the Word and stand on them. So what is our part? To seek God’s kingdom first then all the things we need both spiritually and physically will be supplied. Lord, help us to seek you first and allow the Holy Spirit to speak through us about every situation.
Monday, April 1, 2013
Read Luke 12:1-10 Jesus was becoming more and more popular and his crowds were growing. Jesus took this opportunity to warn them about becoming like the Pharasees. Their leaven or sin was hypocrisy. He warned them from becoming a hypocrite because everything they did in secret would be exposed one day. He was trying to get they to think with eternity in mind, not just the present here-and-now. People may be able to kill your natural body, but it is your spirit that is going to live eternally. Don’t fear men who can only take your life; fear God who can give your eternal life. God knows the price and fate of every sparrow. He knows how many hairs are on our head so why would we think God doesn’t care about us or has forgotten about us if he keeps up with sparrows. Then he gave them a key to possessing the kingdom of God. He said, if we will be faithful to speak his name to men; he will confess our name before the angels of heaven. If we speak against Jesus, we can be pardoned, but if we speak against the Holy Spirit, we will not be pardoned. How do we grasp this? The Holy Spirit seems to be the untouchable one of the Trinity. He is so protected and honored by Jesus and God. I don’t know how we talk against him but I have sure heard people talk against his ways and his gifts. I don’t know if this falls in this “unforgiven” category but all I know is we need to watch how we talk about the things of God that we don’t understand. The Holy Spirit was the gift Jesus died to give us so it was very important to heaven. It is how Jesus moves in us and speaks to us. Father, forgive us for dishonoring the Holy Spirit and those that seem to walk in it. Give us a fear that will seal our mouths to only speak what is good, perfect, lovely, etc. Cleanse any leaven from our lives.