Category Archives: Luke

I don’t get this

“Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” Luke 24:45.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Nehemiah 5-6, Psalm 146, and Luke 24.

I will on occasion look at a manual with hope of fixing something.  It seldom comes to a good result!

I can read a manual but can I understand?

The disciples were aware of the Old Testament.  They knew what it said but they often didn’t understand what it truly meant.

In today’s verse we read that Jesus gave the disciples the information they needed to understand what the Old Testament was saying about Him.  Talk about a light going on!

I like to read books that help me to understand Scripture.  I just finished “Accidental Pharisees” by Larry Osborne and am currently reading “Surprised by Scripture” by NT Wright.  There have been multiple “So that’s what that means” moments during the readings.

I had those same “moments” yesterday morning as I sat with a group of men studying the behaviors of Saul and David.

I need to ask for insights before I delve into the Bible.  What will I learn if I’m locked into preconceived notions?  Maybe those “notions” are accurate, but what if some of them aren’t?  I want to be pliable enough that I can receive insights.

“Lord, help me to understand Your Will.  I am often hardened to change.  Forgive me.  I need Your Wisdom if I am to live as You want.  Thank You for providing insights via books and Bible study.  I love You, Father.”

I need His insights.

 

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What is the good news?

“One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the good news…..” Luke 20:1.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Ezra 7-8, and Luke 20.

What was the “good news” that Jesus was proclaiming?

The good news was that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah that the Old Testament referenced in a number of places and ways.

Jesus was the fulfillment of the OT prophecies.

Could it be true that Jesus was the Messiah? Even John the Baptist wasn’t sure that Jesus was who He claimed He was.

But there was the Messiah in the flesh…..in their midst.

How could they be confused about Him?  This has everything to do with preconceived notions.  Many of the Jews thought of the Messiah as a military leader.  They expected the Messiah to use force and put an end to all of the Jews’ problems.  This Jesus in their midst displayed no military qualities.  So instead of suspecting that their vision of the Messiah was inaccurate, they dismissed Jesus as not being the Messiah.

I don’t know how things will go in the so-called end times but I have a suspicion that there will come a time when the Jews will realize that Jesus is the Messiah and act accordingly.  What a day that will be!

“Lord, You are the Messiah.  Thank You for entering my world and taking care of my sin problem.  Thank You for the promise of an after-life with You.  How glorious!  You are indeed ‘Good News.’”

Jesus is all the “good news” you and I will ever need.

 

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Celebrating God

“’I tell you,’ he replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.’”  Luke 19:40.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Esther 9-10, and Luke 19.

Flooded areas tend to overflow into other areas.

I have God in my life but am I anywhere near overflowing of Him?

To overflow, my enthusiasm for Him will show up in other areas of my life.

Do I credit God for the visuals that I take in?  I just finished moving to a new location yesterday (Hence the missing entry) and things are very different here visually.

The place I moved from has plenty of trees.  In the new spot, things are wide open.  Last night I got a good look at a full moon reflecting on a river.  Wished that I had brought my tripod from the other place so that I could have pictured it clearly!

I need to have all my senses open to God in my midst so that my praise of Him will be ongoing.  I go to church and sing numerous praise songs.  It is uplifting, and I like it during the away-from-church time, when those songs are running through my head.

“Lord, You are worthy of praise.  Forgive me for missing what You have done in my midst.  Thank You for loving me.  For taking care of my sin problem.  I love You, Father.”

I must notice God’s workings in my midst.

 

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Will I work for free?

“Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?”  Luke 17:9.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Esther 1-2, Psalm 150, and Luke 17.

How many times have you done something special but ended up a bit disappointed because nobody noticed?  I’ve been there.

What I fail to remember is that Someone did notice?  How can I forget Him?

I find it easier to remember the good things I’ve done.  I imagine God, who sees EVERYTHING I do, could well think, “It’s about time he did something right!”

I often think in sports’ terms.  Players crave the applause of the crowd.  That applause, however, is often misconstrued.  In baseball, the home-run hitter gets the large ovations.  I, however, prefer the player who defends well and gets on base consistently.  He scores ahead of the home-run hitter.  He moves base-runners along.  But I digress….

I must be that consistent “player” that I admire.  I must get done the expected day-to-day things.  Keep things neat.  Look for ways to help.  React to situations positively.  God’s watching.  He’s the Ultimate One I’m trying to serve by my actions.

“Lord, I love You.  Lord, I want to serve You in whatever capacity You have for me.  Open my eyes/ears so that I catch what I need to do.  Forgive me for messing up the little things and craving recognition.  Your love is all I need.”

Will I work free of praise?

 

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God can only help the needy

“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”  Luke 15:7.

We must be in a constant state of neediness of God.

We cannot function rightly without Him.  We desperately need His guidance.

I must get to know Him better so that I can rightly represent Him in everything that I do.

I cannot be looking at others thinking that they really need God.  I can never think that if they keep this up then maybe some time they will be as “good” as I am.  What foolishness!

I am the one needing God permanently.  I will never reach a level above needy.  If I am ever “above needy,”  I know that I misunderstand my true self.

The big danger of the self-righteous is that they begin to live independent of God.  My dependence on God must be permanent.

There is great comfort in knowing that God will take care of me.  My part is to trust Him in everything.

“Lord, I need You every second.  Forgive me for independent living.  It is ungodly.  Direct me.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.  I love You, Lord.”

If you aren’t needy of God, good luck!

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All in?

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even their own life – such a person cannot be my disciple.”  Luke 14:26.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Zechariah 10-12, Psalm 126, and Luke 14.

We must not take this verse literally.  Why?  Jesus taught that we are to love one another, not hate them.

Today’s verse is about our level of commitment to Him.  Other things, and here Jesus uses family members as an example, must not be more important to us than God is.

Tim Keller in “Counterfeit gods” identifies those “other things” as counterfeits.  They are terminal and do not deserve a place above God.

I have been trying to lose weight for many years.  I was determined, or so I thought, but I could never actually do it.  Maybe a pound or two came off when I deprived myself for a few days, but it never lasted.  This year things changed.  I made the commitment after reading about a plan that had worked and dove into the deep end of the pool.  Hard at first?  You bet but before long the weight was falling off.  Then I got a very encouraging report from my doctor, “Whatever you’re doing, keep it up.”

Much of what I ate regularly before, was no longer what I could not eat.  News of my new lifestyle brought probing questions from those who knew me best.  I also faced situations where making the right food choice was tough.  But by staying committed to eating “right” I have been able, for over eight months, to be 30+ pounds lighter and feel very healthy.

God has high expectations for each of us.  Very high.  He doesn’t want a piece of us.  He wants the total package.  Why are we frustrated with our Christian walk?  We have too much of us attached to the ways of the world.  We are not fully committed to Him.

“Lord, powerful words from You.  I know what You want from me, full commitment.  I so often “surrender” myself to You but You are not fooled.  You know that I often walk my own walk.  I make my own choices.  I have never doubted how remarkable my life would be if I was fully committed to You.  My doubts are about change.  About the reaction of those who know me.  Of the things You would expect me to change.  Weight loss took me down that same uncertain road but the reward for commitment has been huge.  Take me over, Father.  O Lord, I need You. Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

If we make a full commitment to God, and keep it, our lives will never be the same again and we’ll love the new us.

 

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You hypocrite!

“Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, ‘There are six days for work.  So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.’  The Lord answered him, ‘You hypocrites!  Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water?’”  Luke 13:14-15.

It was your basic teaching day on the Sabbath at the local synagogue with Jesus doing the teaching.

But then things took a turn for the worst.  Why?  Jesus noticed that one of the female attendees had a crippling condition that did not allow her to straighten up and decided to do something about it.  Jesus knew that the woman had suffered with this problem for eighteen years.

Jesus could have waited for a “better” time to help the afflicted woman but wouldn’t.  She may have been willing to wait as well.  Anyhow, Jesus called the lady to come out of the audience and down to the front and promptly healed her of her affliction.

What does the synagogue leader do in response?  He chides people for coming to the synagogue on the Sabbath in need of healing!

You wonder why Jesus was so frustrated with these folks?  In a moment that should have been one of great rejoicing, these folks cite a broken rule of their own making.  It was indeed outrageous behavior.

The synagogue leader and his associates were sure that they had “the truth” cornered.  And we must be careful that our “truths” are Biblical not our own creations lest we be labeled “hypocrites” too.  The world watches the professing believers and often sees hypocrisy.  Our complete trust must be in Him so that our actions will rightly represent Him.

“Lord, tough story and an easy one in which to see the hypocrisy of a group of people.  We claim to be Godly yet we too often betray that relationship with our actions.  I ask for forgiveness.  I ask for enlightenment in this day that Your Ways will be my ways.  Prick my conscience when I am messing up so that I can change.  I love You, Father.”

Have you been a hypocrite today?  We must rightly represent God in everything.

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